Author Topic: Review: Klarus RS30 dual head rechargeable flashlight  (Read 2815 times)

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Offline YJT

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Review: Klarus RS30 dual head rechargeable flashlight
« on: January 10, 2016, 03:43:24 PM »
Klarus RS30 dual head rechargeable flashlight

Klarus sent me their RS30 for testing. According to Klarus, this is the first rechargeable dual head flashlight in the world. However, this is not the most interesting feature in this flashlight. Keep reading.

The RS30 is surprisingly small flashlight for its light output, or has surprisingly long runtime with more conservative light outputs; depending on how you use the flashlight. It is a very versatile flashlight, and it is easy to find various uses for it. However, it is not a tactical flashlight, nor is it designed to be.

At the first glance
Klarus RS30 is a short, flat bar that at the first glance reminded me of a electronic stunning device. Then your attention is turned to the fact that it is a dual head flashlight. When you pick it in your hands, the prominent feature is the significant weight compared to its size. However, when you carry the flashlight in your belt in the holster provided, youŽll soon forget about the weight, but youŽll get the impression of a sturdy piece of equipment that can withstand a lot of abuse and still keep working.

The body of the flashlight is evenly thick throught the length of the flashlight, if you donŽt count the deep grooves on the short sides of the device, that are meant to secure your grip of the flashlight. On the other short side of the flashligh, there are two rubber covered operating buttons, black and orange. On one wide side of the body, there is a recharging socket, where the power cord attached to with a magnet. The recharging socket doubles as an indicator of the status of the battery. 

At the middle of the body, on the narrow sides there are some deep grooves to improve you grip of the flashlight. There are also some patterns in the wide sides as well, but they probably wonŽt constitute much to improving your grip. At the first glance, I thought that they are the Klarus logo, but on a closer inspection, they are just X patterns.

On the back end of the flashlight, there is a large round knob that at first glance I thought was a power switch, but actually is the locking device of the battery compartment. With it, you can fasten the battery compartment very securely. On both sides of the fastening screw, there are low protective rails that have attachment points for the wrist strap provided.

In the package, along with the flashlight itself, there are two 18650 batteries, charging cable, belt holster, and a spare O-ring.

Using the flashlight
The flashlight is supplied with two, partially charged 18650 batteries, so you can try the flashlight right away. I started by fully charging the batteries, using the charging cable provided. It attaches to the charging socket in the flashlight body with a magnet, so charging the flashlight is made easy.

While the flashlight recharges, the lights around the charging socket indicate, whether the charging is in process or if it is finished. The same lights indicate roughly the charging status of the batteries, when the flashlight is turned on. You can recharge the flashlight for example from the USB port of a computer, or from power socket using a standard socket adapter (not provided). Fully charging the batteries takes some 2,5 hours, and you can charge them while inside the flashlight, or you can remove them and recharge using sepatare charging dock.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the flashlight in addition of its wide range of light outputs is the fact that one can use the flashlight using either CR123A batteries or rechargeable 18650 batteries, or combination of thereof - one 18650 and two CR123 batteries. You can also use the flashlight using only one 18650 battery or two CR123 batteries. You can recharge the 18650 battery inside of the flashlight, even you you have CR123 batteries in the mix.

The flashlight has two operating buttons that are located side by side on the other narrow face of the flashlight. The buttons are color coded black and orange, but you cannot easily separate them by feel. When one presses the orange button, the flashlight lights up on the moonlight mode. If you keep the orange button depressed, after one second the light goes into momentary on turbo mode, and when you release the orange button, it goes back to the moonlight mode. When pressing the black button, the flashlight lights up using the same light output that was last used. You turn the light off by pressing the black button and keeping it depressed for a second.

You change the light outputs by clicking the operating buttons; the light intensifies with the black button, and turns dimmer by pressing the orange button. The light outputs do not cycle from turbo to moonlight, which is a good thing since with cyclic change of light outputs you can change from bright light to dim by accident. There are also two flashing modes: strobo and an emergency flash. You activate the strobo mode by clicking either of the buttons twice in rapid succession. From strobo mode you can change to emergency flash by rapidly clicking twice. When cycling from one light output to the next, there is a possibility that you click the button too rapidly, changing to strobo by accident.

The flashlight has a lock out function to prevent accidental activation. You can lock the flashlight by keeping the black button depressed for about five seconds. The light flashes twice to indicate that the flashlight locks up. The lock out is turned off by rapidly clicking the black button three times,

The light beam
The light beam has a fairly bright, even hot spot that has a fairly crisp edge, and the spill is also even.

I measured the width of the light beam by attaching a tape measure to the wall of a darkened room. I flashed the wall from a distance of one meter (100 cm), and measured the width of the light beam with the tape measure. Since light travels at almost straight line, you can easily estimate the width of the light beam at various distances. The measured width of the light beam from a distance of 100 cm is about 100 cm, and the width of the hot spot is about 25 cm (this translates to 40 feet spill and 10 feet hot spot from the distance of 40 feet, for example).

The maximum distance of the light beam is 260 meters (about 850 feet), according to the manufacturer. In this picture, you can barely see the orange-ish house at the end of the street. The distance is 167 meters, according to a map measuring app. Here is the same place in daylight.

Another picture I tried to light up a bit more distant target, this time trees across a soccer field (distance about 125 meters, according to a map):
The camera could not auto focus, as the light bounced from ice flakes hovering in the air.

Some more beamshots:

User experiences
I have only few daysŽ worth experience from this flashlight when writing this, but here are some observations from practical use:

Klarus fits into my hand very well and it feels good in the hand. However, since the operating buttons are fairly small and are located side by side and you cannot distinguish them from one another by feel, it can be hard to operate the flashlight with gloves on, like in wintertime. I would prefer if the operating buttons would be bigger and be shaped differently from each other, so it would be easier to distinguish them apart by feel.

When you take the Klarus from the holster without looking, the flashlight can end up in your hand in four different ways:
in a hammer grip with the operating buttons under your thumb ,
in a hammer grip under your forefinger
, and in a ice pick grip with the operating buttons under your ring finger
, or in a ice pick grip with the buttons against the base of your palm.
Although the flashlight is meant to be used with thumb in a hammer grip, you can use it in other ways, except in ice pick grip with the buttons away from your fingers. The problem is that you cannot without looking easily distinguish, in which way you are holding the flashlight. This means that it takes more time to get the flashlight to use. The Klarus RS30 is not meant to be used as a tactical flashlight, so this might not be a big issue in most situations, but is worth noting anyway. Anyway, it would be better if the flashlight was shaped so that you could easily distinguish by feel, in which way you are holding it.

The flashlight has a tailstand option, which can be useful while camping, for example - although there are much lighter optons for that purpose. Additionally, the flashlight stands on only the battery compartment fastening screw, so it might fall easily. If the protective rails around the screw would extend to the same level as the screw, it would form a more stable base for the flashlight to stand on.

I am fond of the kind of dynamic light switch, where you activate the turbo mode by keeping the orange button depressed and it returns to the previous output level when releasing the button. However, it would be even better, if the force used to press the light switch would determine the intensity of the light. The problem with the function presently used is that it has a one second dalay before switching to turbo mode. Additionally, you can depress the black button by accident, turning the light off. But then, this is not a tactical flashlight, so these might not be critical issues,

Technical data
For the most part the data is provided by the manufacturer.

Lenght: 13,9 cm (5,47 inches)
Body diameter: 5,0 cm x 2,7 cm (1,97 inches x 1,06 inches)
Weight in operating use: 344 grams (12,12 ounces); weighted with the batteries provided
Power source: 4 x CR123A batteries or 2 x 18650 batteries, of a combination of thereof
Light outputs (and run times), provided by the manufacturer:
- with two 18650 batteries: 2400 lumen (1 h 50 minutes) / 880 lum (4 h) / 380 lum (10 h) / 140 lum (29 h) / 5 lum (1000 h) / strobe 2400 lum (5 h 30 minutes) / emergency flash 140 lum (87 h) 
- With one 18650 battery: 1200 lum (1 h 50 minutes) / 440 lum (4 h ) / 140 lum (14 h 30 minutes) / 5 lum (500 h) / strobe 1200 lum (5 h 30 minutes) / emergency flash 140 lum (43 h 30 minutes)
Light beam distance (max): 260 m (850 feet)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 07:13:04 PM by YJT »
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Offline limphoni

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Re: Review: Klarus RS30 dual head rechargeable flashlight
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 04:35:01 PM »
I am thinking to buy this rechargeable flashlight. I need this kind dual head flashlight. Just a question. Is there upgrade version available or still it is good to buy? Any other brand make this type flashlight? I want a good quality rechargeable light. Any suggestion?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 04:50:54 PM by limphoni »