Surefire’s M3LT CombatLight isn’t a flashlight, it’s a CombatLight. And that’s not some clever marketing schtick, either. The company’s lights have long been standard equipment among Special Forces around the world. A Surefire is by definition bomb-proof.
The M3LT certainly lives up to the company’s name. Surefire won’t disclose who makes the quad-die LED it uses, but it’s likely Cree’s popular MC-E. Light is generated by the powerful multi-die LED, and then focused with a total internal reflector (TIR) and a Fresnel lens to throw a beam as far as possible. Push the tail cap partially in, and you’ll get 70 lumens for up to 8.5 hours from the M3LT’s three lithium cells. Push it farther, and you’ll get 400 lumens for 1.7 hours. A combat grip enables you to use the light while holding a firearm.
We found the color temperature of the M3LT to be fairly warm, and the TIR and Fresnel help eliminate artifacts commonly seen from multi-die LED emitters. In terms of range and output, the M3LT is on par with other quad-die emitters we’ve tested. The TIR, however, limits the light to a centralized hot spot with very little usable spill. Other negatives include the lack of a rechargeable option, a slight front-heavy feeling, and pricing that seems designed for defense-department wallets. Still, if you want a light that meets the requirements of the U.S. Navy SEALS, the M3LT is well worth it.
For more info on flashlight tech, read our primer.