In this Klarus E1 review I’ll examine the new E series flashlight from Klarus and discuss the pros and cons of this 1000 lumen flashlight. I’ll also share detailed photos. Klarus calls this flashlight a “deep carry” model and from a size perspective it’s somewhere between a mid-size flashlight (think Nitecore P12GT) and a small flashlight (like the Fenix E18R). The E1 is about as small a flashlight you can make that will hold a 18650 battery.
Note: The folks at Klaruslight.com supplied me with this flashlight to test. Links to Amazon.com may be affiliate links that generate me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Who is Klarus E1 for?
This is an interesting flashlight. In all honesty, I was a bit underwhelmed when I pulled the Klarus E1 out of the box. It really doesn’t fit into the typical tactical and EDC flashlight sizes you are used to seeing. It’s not a super small, mid-size or large format flashlight. It’s not a big thrower due to the flashlight head design. It’s not a particularly high output light either at 1000 lumens. It doesn’t have a side switch. So the real question is “who is this light for?”
I think the most practical use for the Klarus E1 is as a utility everyday carry flashlight AND as a self-defense flashlight. This means it’s a flashlight that could be part of your EDC rotation. Personally, I think the sweet spot for the E1 is the person who would never consider carrying a flashlight but should. It’s for that person who wants a higher quality flashlight for an affordable price. It’s for that person who won’t carry pepper spray, a knife or pistol but needs something for self-defensive purposes. Lastly, it’s for that person who needs a utility flashlight that is infinitely better than a no name brand light you get at the local big box home store.
The Klarus E1 has no side switch
The first thing I noticed was the E1 has no side switch. This isn’t necessarily bad. It just means you have one less option for turning on the flashlight. The E1 is a very economical flashlight and adding features generally affects price. I have no way of knowing for sure if that’s the reason a side switch was left off.
How this affects flashlight ergonomics
Having no side switch means you’ll almost always depress the on switch with your thumb, which requires you to hold the flashlight as shown below.
It’s the only way to hold the flashlight and cycle through the lighting modes and/or access the strobe. If you choose to hold the flashlight in a conventional fashion (see image below this paragraph) you have no easy access to lighting controls that a side switch would have offered you. Is this a deal breaker? For some people it might be if you find only one way to hold this flashlight too constraining.
E1 dual tailcap switch
On the plus side the Klarus E1 uses a dual tail cap switch. If you’ve read any of my other tactical flashlight reviews, you’ve noted I’m a big fan of the dual tail switch in any mid-size or large format tactical flashlight that I carry. So I was pleased to see this type of tail cap switch on the Klarus E1.
The main switch turns on the E1 and you cycle through the lighting modes by depressing the secondary tail cap switch. In the next section I’ll discuss the two lighting modes that are available.
Klarus E1 lighting modes
There are two lighting modes for the Klarus E1. One is a tactical mode and one is an outdoor mode. If you are mainly interested in the flashlight for general lighting purposes you can use the outdoor mode. If you are more interested in using the E1 for self defense purposes, you can deploy the tactical mode.
E1 tactical mode
I set up the E1 in tactical mode. It simply means that when you partially or fully depress the main tail cap switch the E1 will be in turbo mode (1000 lumens). Your other option is to depress and hold the secondary switch to activate the strobe (also 1000 lumens). This gives you immediate access some pretty blinding output
E1 outdoor mode
The outdoor mode is a more conventional setting for the E1. You have four modes to choose from – moonlight, low, medium and high. In outdoor mode the Klarus E1 uses last mode memory. If you turn off the light in low mode, that’s the mode you’ll be in when you turn it back on.
The secondary tail switch accesses moonlight mode. Moonlight mode is just two lumens of output. Just enough to see objects right next to you but not so bright as to affect your night adjusted eyes.
So what does Klarus mean by Deep Carry?
It’s sort of funny that one of the features of a flashlight I tend to care the least about turns out to be the thing that gives the “Klarus E1 Deep Carry” its name. It’s the pocket clip. Yup. They’ve redesigned the pocket clip so the head of the flashlight is slightly below the pocket line. See the picture below.
Many of the really small EDC flashlights using a single CR123A battery ride almost as deep. But any mid or large tactical flashlight won’t ride as low as the E1 Deep Carry. See below:
With all of this being said you’ll have to be the one to decide if this is a “game changing” feature. I’m not big on having stuff sticking out of my pockets so I’m perfectly fine with the way this flashlight rides, but I’ve never thought of a flashlight as being something I needed to conceal carry either.
Klarus E1 Deep Carry battery and run time
One advantage of the Klarus E1 Deep Carry is that it’s small AND it uses a 18650 rechargeable lithium. It’s true that many EDC flashlights are smaller, but they also use a smaller battery as well. The 18650 allows the E1 to have 18 hours of runtime without recharging.
Unlike many Klarus flashlights which allow you to recharge the battery while in the flashlight, in the case of the E1 Deep Carry you have to remove the battery for charging. Charging is don by plugging the supplied micro-USB cable directly into the battery.
I prefer to be able to charge a battery in the flashlight from a convenience standpoint. But, it also means that there is a micro-USB port in the body of the flashlight which is one more place for water, dust, or dirt to enter. Plugging directly into the battery eliminates that possibility.
Is it charged?
The Klarus E1 has a battery level indicator. A small LED give you a green, yellow, and red indicator to help you know when to plug the battery in for recharging.
Klarus E1 Deep Carry beamshots
I wanted to include a couple of beamshots and LED. The E1 really isn’t a “thrower” because like most EDC flashlights it’s not designed to be. So if you need a flashlight with a ton of throw you’d be better off reading my Klarus XT11GT review. It’s worthwhile to show you a photo of the E1 LED and reflector design:
The first beamshot gives you an idea of the beam quality. As I mentioned earlier the E1 is a general purpose flashlight and the beam will give you better edge-to-edge coverage:
I think the second beamshot demonstrates a nice real-world example of how you might use this flashlight. Typically, there will always be some sort of ambient lighting when you use a flashlight – think parking lots, neighborhood walks, checking things out around your home. This beamshot is a good simulation of that type of situation:
Both photos were taken with the E1 in high (1000 lumens) mode.
Klarus E1 specifications of note
Here are some additional specifications of note:
- 18 days of run time
- Thermal protection to prevent overheating
- IPX8 waterproof
- Dual mode lighting – tactical / outdoor
- High, Medium, Low, Moonlight, Strobe, SOS lighting modes
- 4.14″ in length
- Micro-USB rechargeable 18650, lanyard, charging cable
- More info here
Klarus E1 review conclusion
I hope this Klarus E1 review has helped you understand more about this “deep carry” EDC flashlight. If you already have a stable of tactical and everyday carry flashlights the E1 is a hybrid that isn’t quite a mid-size light but isn’t a tiny CR123A light either. It’s an (for lack of a better term) “in-betweener” that is small but doesn’t sacrifice run-time or output.
If you have never had a high quality flashlight, the Klarus E1 is an excellent choice for your first high output flashlight. It’s great as a utility flashlight or if you need a self-defense light with quick access to a high lumens output (1000) strobe. And it won’t break the bank either.