Finding the perfect flashlight that delivers high performance without weighing you down can be a struggle. Luckily the Nitecore P12GT is a small, practical design that will certainly surprise you when it comes to what it has to offer.
When there are so many tactical flashlights on the market claiming to be excellent all-rounders, yet having their own individual faults and drawbacks, it was genuinely refreshing when I unboxed the Nitecore P12GT to take it for a spin. For its relatively slim size (a length of 140mm, and head diameter of a snug 25.4mm) and weight (91g without a battery) this is truly an all-purpose tool that exemplifies the phrase ‘bang for your buck’. It may share more than a few similarities to its predecessor model, the P12, but with a greater focus on its beam, as well as a longer throw and an integrated bezel – a bonus in an emergency – this is a case of Nitecore refining quality.
Though its minimal casing and lack of unnecessary, overly flashy accessories may suggest a stripped-down simplicity, this is a Nitecore that packs a serious punch. At first, its light weight almost threw me; surely the trimmed-down feel meant a slimmed-down performance? But the settings and variations tucked away at your disposal are more than enough for any situation.
With a selection of four regular modes, you can choose from 1, 55, 280 or 1,000 lumens, depending on the job at hand. It’s a truly excellent range, with each step up noticeable at a quick glance, and perfect for any number of tasks. I always say the best way to test out a flashlight’s capabilities is to take it with you on a camping trip; it’s the ultimate road test, so to speak, and the P12GT ticked every box during my field test. Even its lowest, single lumen setting provides a solid, useful beam, perfect for those little jobs like finding your keys, locating a lock or reading before lights out.
Sometimes the devil is in the details, but here it’s in the P12GT’s simplicity. The light’s on/off tactical tailcap switch is easily accessible. When paired with the second mode button on the aircraft-grade aluminum body, it’s that simplicity that I find makes for an effective use.
On top of its four regular modes, the P12GT has three additional special modes: strobe, SOS and beacon. What also comes in handy is the light’s memory function, which stores the previous regular setting you used last before switching off, or remembers if you were using the strobe mode. Very handy if you find yourself returning to a previous task.
And that is only the start of the P12GT’s handy additional functions, with other accessories including ATR (Advanced Temperature Regulation). This technology charts the P12GT’s temperature, keeping tabs on its safe operating limits, and on just how warm the flashlight is getting, reducing the brightness accordingly. In a model this size, I think a function such as this is essential, as there really isn’t any free space for gripping should it begin to get uncomfortably warm – and anything that extends a light’s work life while remaining practical gets a big thumbs up.
In regards to the tactical elements of this light, it can be used as a highly effective self-defense tool, thanks to its crenelated strike bezel – it’s not just to make it look good, it’s all part of a very smart design. Much safer than carrying a knife or concealed weapon, a flashlight like this is the peace of mind you need for any uncertain situation, whether you need something with a bit of impact, or the flashlight’s brightness to startle assailants, this is a constantly useful piece of kit.
With the extras that come in the box, you should have enough spare parts and accessories to keep you covered for a while. There’s an extra rubber cover for the tailcap, just in case it starts to show some wear and tear, as I noticed it can feel a little stiff at times. There is also an additional O ring, to keep its IPX-8 waterproof rating tight and the water out. Another handy accessory is the tactical ring; simply unscrew the flashlight’s base and attach the tactical ring for assistance while using it with a pistol. There are also a wrist lanyard, pocket clip and a tough, well-concealed velcro holster for easy storage and accessibility.
When going for the P12GT, you’ll need to shell out for a suitable battery charger, if you don’t already have one. Battery life itself is excellent – with a boasted 520 hours of runtime on the light’s lowest level and one hour if you’re blasting out on full power.
The other cool feature this model has is in regards to measuring that remaining battery life; whether you’re using the supplied single 18650 or dual CR123 batteries, a simple double tap of both the tactical tailcap button and second mode button will give you an accurate way to measure battery life, by displaying flashes that correlate to the power you have left. A handy little trick that I wish was a standard feature in any flashlight model.
For more suggestions on Nitecore products, check out our manufacturers guide.
- Lightweight yet strong design
- Excellent range of outputs
- Selection of additional functions
- Advanced Temperature Regulation
- Very minor stiffness to switch reaction times, especially tactical tailcap
- No charger supplied