Review of the Sunwayman V11R Flashlight
For the last year or two, I’ve had two primary lights that keep with me. During the work week, I usually carried an Olight i3 primarily due to its diminutive size. On the weekends, I carried the more versatile 4Sevens Quark X 1232 . On my bedside table, I kept a 4Sevens Maelstrom X10 for tactical needs. Each had their pluses and minuses for “EDC” (every day carry) duty. During that period, I wished for a flashlight that could replace all three. An “all in one” light that could handle EDC and tactical needs…could such a flashlight exist? One-size-fits-all solutions are in my experience compromised solutions. But the Sunwayman V11R flashlight fulfills many purposes extremely well.
Here’s some specifications on the V11R from the Sunwayman website:
* CREE XM-L U2 LED, with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours;
* Dimensions: 84mm (length) x 23mm (head diameter)
* Weight: 49g (battery excluded)
* Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
* Military Specification Type III- hard anodized body
* Waterproof, in accordance with IPX-8 standard
* Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
* Tactical forward click switch with momentary on
* Tail stand capable- can be used as a candle
* Accessories: Clip, O-ring, lanyard, holster
From a quality of construction standpoint, the V11R seems as well made as any other Asian made light I’ve tested or used (Fenix, FOURSEVENS, Olight, etc…). The dimensions and weight are very well suited for EDC and the V11R has become a very popular choice for that purpose. The pocket clip isn’t exactly what I’d call “deep carry” but the light is very unobtrusive with dress slacks when worn clipped to the pocket. For size reference, here’s a photo of the V11R next to a Quark Pro:
Of course, the unique thing about the V11R is the user interface. It has a “Digital Sensor Magnetic Control system” – a rotary ring which allows you to go from the V11R’s low of 1 lumen to a high of 190 lumens (using a single CR123 for power). It’s easily the most simple and convenient user interface I’ve tried on a flashlight. The ability to customize the output (as opposed to being stuck with whatever settings you get from the factory with other UI styles) is just wonderful. To activate the V11R, there’s a familiar half press=instant on, full press=click to stay on. Sunway man bills the V11R as having a tactical interface/capability because of the instant on feature. However, if you’ve read any of my tactical flashlight reviews, I don’t consider the V11R (or any flashlight) as a good tactical option if the activation switch can be clicked to stay on. In a tactical engagement where you want to use a flashlight with a handgun, the idea is to get the light on, ID your target, take the shot, and get the light off VERY quickly because it makes you an easy to see target when left on. With the adrenaline rush that comes from being in a life or death situation, that half-press to use the tactical “instant on” activation can easily turn into an unintended full press which clicks the light on, stays on, and gets you killed. In defense of the V11R, it does have a pretty stout activation button that isn’t easy to click down into the on position. But the bottom line is while the V11R could be pushed into a tactical role, it wouldn’t be my first choice for this purpose.
The maximum output of 190 lumens is perfectly adequate for most indoor, urban settings. But who wants “adequate?” Fortunately, it’s a simple matter to substantially increase the maximum output of the V11R. By using a rechargeable CR123 battery, the maximum output on the V11R increases to approximately 500 lumens!
I’ve not used rechargeable CR123′s prior to owning the V11R, and asked many questions within the flashlight community before I decided to go this route. I learned that it’s key to get a good brand (like AW) and it’s also very important to get a good charger like this XTAR MP2 16340/18350 Battery Charger which is designed for Li-ion batteries:
Sunwayman also makes an extension tube which allows for AA batteries to be used with the V11R. Since AA batteries are far more ubiquitous than CR123′s, many like having the option.
For me, the V11R is an interesting novelty when used with a standard CR123 battery, but with a RCR123 the V11R becomes an impressively capable tool. I’ve been carrying this light every day for about a month – it’s certainly replaced my Olight i3′s as my M-F EDC flashlight. Again, though billed as a tactical flashlight, (the biggest area in which this one-light solution seems to fall short) it would not be my first choice for this purpose and I do have another light that I can use evenings and weekends (when I’m far more likely to need a tactical flashlight). But aside from this shortcoming, it’s the best all-around “every day carry” light I’ve used. You can find the Sunwayman V11R For Just $88.00 on Amazon.com (click here).
A good friend of mine did a nice video review of the Sunwayman V11R which you can see below: