5.11 Response XR1 Flashlight Review

5.11 Response XR1 Flashlight Review
PTR Review
  • Build Quality 10.0
  • Feature Set 8.0
  • Lumens 10.0
  • Light Quality 9.5
  • Runtime 7.0
  • Value 9.0
Overall Score 8.9 (out of 10)

5.11 has a new line of flashlights coming out and the 5.11 Response XR1 is a compact model that packs a big punch. Whether you’re protecting our country and its citizens or just traversing the urban jungle every day, take a look at what this guy’s made of.


  • Excellent output for its size
  • Excellent light quality
  • IP68 rating
  • Aluminum construction
  • Available lithium-ion battery/charger kit
  • Very good value
  • Perfect size for everyday carry


  • Light generates a fair amount of heat in high and medium
  • Lower runtimes than the competition


The size of the 5.11 Response XR1 and it 1000+ lumens of output make it an excellent option if you’re looking for a well-built premium flashlight for everyday carry or service duty use.

Feature Set

Dual Power Sources

The 5.11 Response XR1 flashlight comes with two CR123 batteries for power. If replacing batteries after a few hours of use isn’t your thing, grab 5.11’s Response XR charging kit. It comes with two lithium-ion batteries and a charger. The XR1 only needs one of those batteries, so you can cycle them and ensure you always have a fresh power source.

Rated to Work

The XR1 carries an IP68 rating. That means it’s dustproof and waterproof up to 2 meters deep. Considering that and its tough aluminum construction, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an environment that it’s not suited for.

Compact Design

The 5.11 Response XR1 is only 5.75 inches long with a slim profile and head that’s just under 1.25 inches. It’s easy to store in your pocket, on your backpack, in a toolbox, or in your go bag.

5.11 Response XR1 Flashlight Review

There’s no slide focus, but the head has some additional knurling to help secure your grip. The length of the battery housing has ridges that help in that department as well.

Clip It

5.11 includes a belt clip in a forward carry position. That’s head up if you’re not familiar with the term. Most flashlights I have with a clip go with a head down design since the weight naturally pulls it that way. However, the top of the clip is past the balance point, so the majority of the weight is still on the lower side when you clip it in.

The clip is stronger than its size suggests. That makes it a little challenging to get it over thicker material like a leather belt. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about it falling off.


Output and Throw

5.11 Response XR1 Flashlight ReviewThe 5.11 Response XR1 has gives you 1031 lumens in high with its Cree XML2-U3 LED chip. There’s also a Response XR2 model that gives you double the output and needs twice the power.


You have 4 modes to work with. Here’s how those break down along with their respective throws:

  • High: 1031 lumens, 235 meters
  • Medium: 591 lumens, 179 meters
  • Low: 92 lumens, 66 meters
  • Strobe: 1031 lumens, 235 meters

Cycling through the modes works like most flashlights – just turn the light on and off in succession until you get to the mode you want. An easier way to go is to give the power button a half press instead of a full click to cycle. That’s also useful if you’re communicating in Morse code.

5.11 Response XR1 Flashlight Review


Like all flashlights, the runtime varies widely depending on what mode you use and the outside temperature. Here’s what you can generally expect.

  • High: 1 hour, 37 minutes
  • Medium: 1 hour, 57 minutes
  • Low: 8 hours, 25 minutes
  • Strobe: 1 hour, 50 minutes


5.11 Response XR1 Flashlight ReviewThe beam has a tight hotspot and corona, putting the majority of its intensity in the center. You get a reasonably wide sidespill that comes out at roughly 70º or 17 inches of beam diameter for every 12 inches of distance.

The beam comes out nice and round, though you’ll notice that the ridges on the top of the head show up in the outer edge’s definition. It’s not anything terribly distracting, though.

It’s a nice, clean beam as well. I didn’t notice any artifacts or other oddities on the objects I lit up.

The color temperature is on the blue side of neutral. It’s still close enough to the middle that you pick up most color accurately. It’s only against a white background that I really notice the shift.

Additional Field Notes

In high and medium modes, the light gets pretty warm. You expect some heat generation when you’re pushing a lot of light out of a smaller model like this one, but it’s a little more than I’m used to.

It’s something that’s reflected in the runtimes. Even though dropping to medium gives you about 57% of the output, you’re only gaining 20 minutes of runtime (~21%). That means you’re losing an increasing amount of battery capacity to heat loss as you increase the output.

When you drop into low at 9% of the max output, you’re gaining nearly 7 hours of runtime and the battery is running much cooler.

To put that in perspective, LED Lenser’s F1R uses a similar 18650 cell and gets a full 3 hours on high at 1000 lumens.

Price and Value

The 5.11 Response XR1 flashlight comes in at $74.99 with two CRF123 batteries. I highly recommend going with the charging pack. That runs another $49.99, putting your total cost just under $125. That’s pretty competitive against other lights with similar output, build, and IP rating and you have a spare battery as a bonus.

The Bottom Line

Time will tell if the heat generated by this light has any long-term effects on its life. In the meantime, the size, output, and build of the 5.11 Response XR1 flashlight make it one of the best all-around everyday carry flashlights I’ve used.

5.11 Response XR1 Specifications

  • Model: 5.11 L1471 BLK
  • ANSI FL1 and IP68 waterproof: up to 2 meters
  • Modes:  High, Medium, Low and Strobe
  • High: 1031 lumens; 1 hour 37 minutes run time
  • Length: 5.75″
  • Body diameter: 1″
  • Head diameter: 1.40″
  • Weight: 5.34 oz.
  • Price: $74.99
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