After hours swapping between various lumen intensities, strobe lights, and S.O.S. patterns — we loved that the Nitecore didn’t blast us with the strobe as we toggled through modes. The strobe function requires you to push and hold the mode button, so it’s easy to avoid if you’re just trying to dim your light, but still a click away in an emergency.
The Fenix PD35 we tested was nearly identical to the Nitecore, but had a much cooler white light and a smaller range of brightness modes. The Fenix also got hot way too quick — it was the hottest of all flashlights we tested. It does have two extra modes, but when we searched for the strobe variations like S.O.S. or “beacon light”, it was hard to tell which mode we were on or how we even got there.
The Nitecore P12’s only drawback: It takes CR123 or 18650 lithium ion batteries. While these are easily available online or at hardware stores, they might not be available at, say, your local Walgreens. But it’s easy enough to stock up on CR123s when you first purchase the light, especially since these batteries have a 10–15 year shelf life.