Nitecore MH40GTR Review (XP-L HI)

Preface

The Nitecore MH40GTR is the upgraded version of the Nitecore MH40GT model from the Multitask Hybrid Series.

In keeping with the tradition of the previous model, the MH40GTR utilises the Cree XP-L HI LED.

Let’s check out the merits and demerits of this upgraded model.

Packaging & First Impressions

Note: It seems that the Customs had opened up our review sample package (the 2 included 18650 batteries, charger and instruction manual are missing) but do expect the usual Nitecore packaging for this flashlight.

This is what the light will come with as shown below.

  • The threads and o-rings were well lubricated. Threads were rather smooth and clean (no gritty feeling at all).
  • The tail mechanical switch require a rather firm and deliberate press to activate and helps in preventing any unwanted activation of the light.
  • Anodizing of the light is uniform without any missing specs.
  • The provided clip is not reversible.
  • The clip has sufficient tension to ensure that the light will stay clipped to any material to prevent the light from falling out.
  • The provided lanyard is able to support the full weight of the light and should hold up to the test of time.
  • The lanyard can be attached to either the tactical ring or either sides of the tail cap.
  • Holster provided is of decent quality and should withstand day-to-day abuse without issue.
  • The “half” holster protects the head and part of the body only.
  • Battery compartment is able to take a KeepPower 18650 3400mAh battery with barely much room to take a slightly thicker battery width. Fatter protected 18650 3500mAh batteries should be able to fit without issue as well. Hence, there should be no fitment issues with the default 18650 2600mAh batteries.
  • Due diligence must be made when inserting the batteries into the battery tube – the batteries with its positive ends must be placed into the battery tube first (when loading the batteries from the tail cap area).
  • Scanning the QR code with your phone/tablet on the box’s back would bring up the Nitecore MH40GTR’s product page.

Note:

  • Before using the flashlight for the first time, remove the Dust Protection Film on the lens.

Front:

Back:

Sides:

Top:

Bottom:

Contents:

Removing Dust Protection Film on the lens:

Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)

  • Body Material: Black HAIII Aluminium
  • LED: XP-L HI
  • Battery Format: 2 x 18650, 4 x CR123A or 4 x RCR123A ONLY
  • Output & Runtime (with 2 x 18650 3.6V 3500mAh battery):
    • Low (15 lumens / 140h)
    • Mid (100 lumens / 27h)
    • High (380 lumens / 6h 15min)
    • Turbo (1200 lumens / 2h)
    • Strobe (1200 lumens)
    • SOS (1200 lumens)
  • Max Beam Distance: 1,004m
  • Beam intensity: 252,000cd
  • Waterproofness: IPX-8 (2m)
  • Impact Resistance: 1m
  • Dimension: 257mm (length) x 70mm (head diameter) x 25.4mm (body/tail diameter)
  • Weight: 374g (including batteries)
  • Battery reverse polarity protection
  • Accessories Included:
    • 2*Nitecore NL1826 18650 Batteries (2600mAh)
    • 1*Clip
    • 1*Tactical Ring
    • 1*Lanyard
    • 1*Holster
    • 1*Spare Rubber Switch Cover
    • 3*Spare O-ring
  • MSRP: ~$129

UI (User Interface)

UI for this light is suitable for a Bug-Out Bag (BOB) or walking/hiking light/search & rescue light as it is relatively straightforward to use.

Switching ON and OFF is done by the mechanical switch on the TAIL of the flashlight, so momentary activation is possible.

There is a total of 2 switches on the flashlight – TAIL mechanical switch & TWIST for TURBO OR User-defined secondary modes.

This makes the MH40GTR like a 2 modes (TURBO & User-defined secondary) flashlight.

Normal Operation (Head Tightened) – TURBO Mode

From OFF:

  • 1/2 Press –  Light will switch ON to MOMENTARY TURBO.
  • 1 Click –  Light will switch ON to TURBO.

From ON:

  • 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.

Normal Operation (Head Loosened) – User-defined Modes

From OFF:

  • 1/2 Press –  Light will switch ON to MOMENTARY last used mode (last mode memory) – any of the brightness levels except TURBO.
  • 1 Click –  Light will switch ON to last used mode (last mode memory) – any of the brightness levels except TURBO.
  • Multiple 1/2 Press – Mode change (light cycles through HIGH, MID, LOW, SOS, STROBE -> HIGH, MID, LOW, SOS, STROBE).

From ON:

  • 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.

Form Factor

For flashlights that are intended to use for a BOB or walking/hiking/search & rescue light usages and for possibly an extended period of time, form factor is extremely important.

This light is relatively hefty in weight and size, but feels slightly head-heavy in a medium sized hand due to the larger reflector upfront. Switching between overhand and underhand holding method is still relatively easy with its form factor. The knurling and Tactical Ring on the light enables the light to be sufficiently “grippy”, even with wet hands/gloves.

Despite having a Tactical Ring, the weight of the flashlight makes it rather unwieldy with the Rogers/SureFire hold but is useful in the overhand and underhand holding method mentioned earlier. The Tactical Ring does slightly hinders removing and replacing the light from the holster, due to the size of the holster’s bottom cut-out.

It is able to tail-stand perfectly, even with the lanyard attached (either on the Tactical Ring or tailcap).

For hands-free usage, it fits perfectly under the arms when required.

With Tactical Ring:

With Tactical Ring & Clip:

Without Tactical Ring & Clip:

More pics of the MH40GTR:

Charging Process

Charging is done with a Nitecore proprietary charger (that are used on most of their TM Series), charging the battery at 12.0V & 1.0A. It would have been much preferred if Nitecore had gone with a more conventional Micro-USB or USB-C charging instead.

The light cannot be operated when charging.

To charge this flashlight, the following steps must be carried out:

  1. Loosen the metal sleeve cover counter-clockwise to access the charging port.
  2. Connect the plugged-in charger to the charging port.
  3. Switch ON the TAIL mechanical switch to start charging process.

The Flashing RED (twice per second) indicator depicts charging in progress and Solid RED indicator depicts charging has completed.

Note:

  • Fully tighten the metal sleeve clockwise after charging is complete, to protect the charging port from any potential water intrusion.

Beam Style/Beamshots

For this light, the spill, corona and hotspot is predictable due to the deep Smooth Reflector. With the LED used, the beam is “throwy” for recognizing items in the mid to further range distance, as a predominantly “thrower” flashlight would be.

The above beam profile is a rough interpretation of what is seen when white wall hunting.

The beam has a distinct hotspot with some slight corona and a fairly wide usable (circular) spill. It also helps that the LED is perfectly centred in this sample. There are no rings in the beam when whitewall hunting and in real world usage.

All of the beamshots taken below are done so with the following camera settings (LOW: 0.6 sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB, MID: 1/2 sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB, HIGH: 1/4 sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB, and TURBO: 1/5 sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB).
Some pictures have been adjusted slightly to depict as close as to what is seen in real life. The distance of the light from the door is 4.6m.

Control shot:

LOW (15 lumens):

MID (100 lumens):

HIGH (380 lumens):

TURBO (1200 lumens):

Mode (Output) Spacing

Mode spacing appears to be progressively brighter to the eye and the modes are well spaced enough to be able to know which mode one is currently in. With that in mind, TLR tend to view mode spacing as battery life indicators (amount of runtime left) rather than the specific output (lumens).

Most Nitecore flashlights have a Ultra-Low mode which essentially is a moonlight level (sub-lumen or 1 lumen) for those bedtime runs or for night-adjusted eyes. However, since this light is primarily targeted for those looking for a “throwy” light, it is understandable why Nitecore may have omitted this mode for this flashlight.

Tint & CRI

Nitecore did not disclose the tint (color temperature) and/or the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for the LEDs used in their light. For this light, a guesstimate would be in the 6500K and 70CRI ballpark.

However, there is slight tint shift in the beam profile. The hotspot is a cool white tint whilst the corona possess a slight yellowish green tint; and the spill having a white tint.
This is not noticeable in real life usage.

Waterproofness

The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on TURBO.

No signs of water intrusion in the head, switch, body or metal sleeve was seen.

Lockout Capability

No electronic lockout but mechanical lockout is possible when needed, like during transportation in a bag.

A quarter turn (anti-clockwise) of the tailcap will enable mechanical LOCKOUT.

Quick Comparison to Previous Generation

DescriptionNitecore MH40GTRNitecore MH40GT
Provided 18650 Batteries2 x NL1826 (2600mAh)2 x NL183 (2300mAh)
TURBO Mode Output1200 Lumens1000 Lumens
Max Beam Distance1,004m803m
Beam Intensity252,000cd161,300cd
Length25.7cm25cm
Head Diameter70cm60cm
Weight
(including 2 x 18650 batteries)
374g302g

Scale Comparison (Ruler)

Summary

To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same light for our own usage or to gift to our loved ones out from one’s pocket (wallet), would we still do it?
For this light, it is a YES, especially if a slim profile but longer runtime search/hunting flashlight is needed.

The simple twist UI for primary TURBO & user-customizable secondary mode, direct access to MOMENTARY TURBO from ON and Tactical Ring to allow more comfortable ways to hold the flashlight are all plus points for this flashlight.

We found it interesting that Nitecore continued using the XP-L HI LED for this newer model and were guessing that they would be using the newer XHP35 HI LED instead, for more output and roughly the same amount of throw.

Here is a bonus size comparison picture with other Nitecore 2 x 18650 battery-operated flashlights we reviewed recently.
From Left to Right: Nitecore MH40GTR, Nitecore MT42Nitecore EC4GTS.

As with all gears, two is one and one is none.

Stay safe,
The Lite Review


Disclaimer: Light was provided for by Nitecore (manufacturer) for this review. No other compensation was provided.


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