Imalent RT70 Flashlight Review Update
The Imalent RT70 is a good mixed-use flashlight. It has great throw and high output due to the Cree XHP70, and a nice user interface. Read on!
Official Specs and Features
The RT70 comes in only one version, but as stated above, this body is available with a different emitter, and a different name. The RT35 is the thrower of the family.
Price and Coupon
I received this light from a new site on the scene, GearVita. The Imalent RT70 is available there for $137.99, but I was able to get a great coupon, which takes $60 off: Coupon Code: RT70Light. Price after coupon: $77.99!! Those are tracking links there.
I love the RT series from Imalent. Honestly, Imalent has made one of my all-time favorite lights, too (DX80). I like the RT70 too, and certainly, at $78 it seems like a good buy!
The Big Table
|Price in USD at publication time:||$137.99|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||?|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||?|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||5500|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||5220 (94.9% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||903|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||5000lux @ 5.531m = 152960cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||782.2 (86.6% of claim)^|
|All my Imalent reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Imalent RT70
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Proprietary charge cable (USB to magnetic connector)
- Nylon pouch
Package and Manual
This is the standard Imalent “big light” box.
Something I didn’t know before getting the bad-emitter RT70 before – this “IM” number on the inside flap of the box is an item-specific serial number.
There’s a protective cover over the lens. You’ll want to remove that.
The manual is a fine manual.
Build Quality and Disassembly
The build quality of the RT70 is the same as the build quality of the RT35. I’m satisfied with the build quality. I like all the fins on the head and body – they give the RT70 a very “flashlighty” look. Futuristic even. I like the way they look, and they’re functional too. As will be seen later, the amount of current this light uses needs some good cooling! (Spoiler, over 15A on Turbo.)
The tailcap has a very “the cells are built into this light” look, but the cells aren’t actually built into this light. It would seem that all of this “extra” on the tailcap is basically just to make room for multiple lanyard attach points. Based on my experience with both copies of this light, I’d really rather the cells just be built-in.
Knurls for days.
The driver is held in by two Philips screws (unusual!). The positive contact is a brass ring, as is the negative – no springs in the head end.
I was surprised that the threads on this copy were actually not ideally clean, and ended up feeling a bit gritty. More on that in a bit.
All the springs are in the tailcap. They aren’t massive springs but seem to adequate keep the cells in contact when the light gets bumped around. Note here that the cells all go into the light in the same direction. More on that later, too.
In the picture below, you may start seeing part of my issue with the light, and why I think it’d be just as good to have built-in cells. See the flecks on there? That’s brass from the brass rings for positive and negative connection. The brass flakes off. Or is scrubbed off by the bare aluminum part of the body.
I don’t think the flaking is enough to cause any shorts, but it’s annoying.
Size and Comps
Weight: 420g without battery
Size: 86 x 51 x 161mm (Head diameter x Tail diameter x Length)
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
Imalent includes a directional nylon pouch. The bottom is open, and the light hangs out a little. The straps are double, with one being velcro and detaching at the bottom.
There’s a lanyard included, which connects in these holes in the tailcap.
The lanyard is interesting and unusual. It’s quite a long piece of cord, and seems as though it’s meant to wrap around the head temporarily during carry, and can almost function as a handhold. It’s an interesting design, and to be sure, I like it. At least as much as the “normal” lanyards, in any case.
Power and Runtime
The RT35 is powered by four 18650 cells. These cells need to be quite long, but capable of fairly high current. You’ll need good cells for this light – I tested this all the way up to 15.5A on Turbo! So the current used by this light isn’t trivial! The cells I’m using here are specials from LiIonWholesale. Here’s that cell. It’s a protected MJ1 cell and seems to work well in this light. (To wit, with this cell the light hits over 95% of output claim, which is perfectly adequate.)
Be aware that the light actually needs a quite long cell. I had a set of 3 Efest cells that were long enough. But button top 30q cells were not long enough. And that’s a bit of a rub, because this means the cells have to be cranked down quite hard for good contact to the head, and that’s more rubbing on the brass parts on the inside…. Again, I understand why some makers use cell holders, and some just build the battery in place. This is why.
The cells are in parallel, so the light will actually operate on any number of cells. Even Turbo is accessible with a single cell, though I’m not sure the output will be “real Turbo”. This could be cell-quality dependent, and higher quality cells offering more current can perform better.
Here’s a runtime on Turbo. I measured the 30 second output at around 5400, which is above 95% of the claim, and that’s close enough.
At the end of the runtime, the light just shuts off from around 550 lumens cleanly with no fade out.
High runtime is fairly similar, with a heavy stepdown from the initial output, to around 3400 lumens. High over 2400 lumens is maintained for a respectable 1.5 hours!
At 3.1V, the red switch indicator was solid red. At 2.9V, the switch indicator flashed. At 2.7V, the light shut off.
The charger is unfortunately proprietary, but of course the cable is included. The connector is USB. USB 3.0 would have been fantastic, to harness faster charging.
Over two tests, the light consistently charged at about 1.5A. A little slow for 4×18650, but it did get the job done.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
Even though this doesn’t look like all that “good” of PWM, I am not able to detect this by eye.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
The user input comes from a single switch. It’s solid metal, and rectangular, and very unusual. Very clicky. The indicator (red and green) is above (below? beside? perspective….) the switch, and stays on when the light is on. Green means the cells have a good charge, but red means the cells are <3.2V.
Here’s the green indication.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Hold||Mode Cycle (LMMH)|
|Lockout||Hold (>1s)||Unlock (and on, to Low)|
LED and Beam
In the RT70 is a Cree XHP70 “2nd Generation” (which I presume means 70.2, though it’s not stated this way). The reflector is smooth, and as is demonstrated by the picture below, has a bit of a double cone shape.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com. I use that site a lot!
There are some other lights with the same emitter (claimed, anyway, 70.2), which also claim a much higher total output – the lowest of that mix being 5200 lumens. To wit: there are other similar lights with much higher output than this one. This one appears to be the only with an integrated charger, though. Also the others are Thrunite or Acebeam, and likely to be much more expensive than the sale price on this Imalent!
What I like
- Very nice size and shape (flashlighty)
- Charging works well, and about as good as USB charging can
- I really like the switch, even if it’s a little hard to find in the dark, or by feel.
- Quite a bit of output!
What I don’t like
- Gritty, dirty threads
- Brass being worn on the head electrical connections
- Indicating switch is underutilized
- This light was provided by GearVita for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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