GSAR Gear Review: Inova X5 Flashlight
The Inova X5 is a nearly indestructible LED flashlight. The body of the flashlight is machined into a six-sided cylinder from solid aerospace grade aluminum. It is available in either silver or black. The hard anodizing is extremely durable and has no real scratches or blemishes, even after being put through rigorous use and abuse. The X5 is also water resistant to IPX4 standards and pretty well crushproof, so there are no worries about it getting wet, dropped, or otherwise beaten-up in the field.
The bezel has five separately drilled holes, providing excellent protection to the Nichia CS LEDs recessed inside.
The run time more than makes up for the cost of the batteries themselves. The light has a decent output and throw(56 lumens and 118 feet, respectively). It’s pretty bright, but it’s not going to replace a searchlight. But what it lacks in power it makes up for in solidness and sheer unbreakability. It makes a great general purpose light. I would say that the lights advertised 1.75 mile signal visibility is true, and even understated. Simulated missing persons were reportedly able to see it blinking on top of a small mountain from 2+ miles away.
The X5 runs on two CR123A batteries. They’re widely available camera batteries which are fairly expensive($1-$2 apiece), but are much longer lasting and provide more power than AAs.
The X5 has an interesting interface. It has three modes:
1. A momentary-on, which is used by pushing the tailcap in.
2. A constant-on, which is reached by twisting the tailcap.
3. Lock-out mode, which is reached by twisting the tailcap 360° this disables the momentary-on, so you can throw the X5 in a pack or a pouch and not worry about it turning on by itself.
One of the things I would’ve liked to see was a removable pocket clip. And although you can use a pouch or a lanyard, a clip would have really been a nice addition.
Overall, after several months of hard use, I can say that this is really a great rugged general purpose SAR flashlight.