Overview_ I really did love my LD09 but the few things I didn’t like seemed to be corrected with the LD11 so naturally, it was time to upgrade, so I am basically putting these two head to head. But my assumptions may have steered me in the wrong direction. The thing I like most about my LD09 was the size it fit well (maybe a little on the small side) in my had and that means a lot since I have a larger hand but it was missing the strobe and it was hard not to look past the LD11 delivering 300 lumens (from a 14500) over the weaker 220 on the LD09. The other function that moved me was the strobe on the LD11, that to me has much more function than SOS which I see little need for, ever. It’s a simple tail cap operation was a standout and supported my carry style but some other quirks keep this off of the top of the list. Let’s go deeper.
Top/Cap_ My flashlight is a defensive tool, I carry it and train with it to use as a force multiplier every day. So with LD11 offering a strike bezel this was one of the big features since few of their personal defense line are sized for EDC this was my only option without jumping to the PD series and larger frames and batteries. I like the compact size and excellent power you get while not filling a whole pocket or worse, using a belt pouch. The unit is tail cap activated giving it a simple operation that cycles up in power then slips into strobe mode. The real thing of note is the beam distance, both claim a 130m beam however between this and the LD09 it seems the latter has a much more focused beam with a halo around for the primary for not shooting directly at a target. The LD 11 is much wider and really throws a lot of light, good but less than ideal for a defense/tactical model. I was more used to a focused beam and let down by the overwhelming blast the LD11 puts out and lack of control.
Sides_ It’s comprised of the standard hard-anodized aluminum and seems durable but after a few weeks carry on the LD09 has already shown wear, I will have to test more to see if there is any difference here but the finish on both seem the same. Since there are some other variations from the two models it might actually show different results. There is a nice hump right in the middle of the unit which helps prevent rolling and even helps with grip as well, there is a pocket clip that for some reason isn’t color matched but does reverse and rides low in the pocket. The other overlooked spec was the weight, there is a slight weight variance with the LD11 weighing in at 1.87oz and the LD09 in at 1.2oz. While it doesn’t sound dramatic when the light is this small it’s noticeable and was something that caught me off guard.
Activation_Pretty standard here, button feels lighter to the touch than the LD09 so it has a certain softness to it. Great for quick cycling of the operations but I can see there being issues with accidental activation and have frequently skipped passed my desired power setting. No spare button which continues the tradition Fenix has setup, but so far no significant wear on the button. Unlike others in its class, it will start low and work its way up going through 3, 50, 130, 300 lumens in order then to strobe, that’s some pretty decent separation for different scenarios. I would prefer this start higher and go lower since this seems to be more defense oriented or feature something more along the Klarus activation model.
Pro’s_ well built, excellent power for the size, battery options
Con’s_ weak beam focus, on the higher price for class, gets pretty hot
bottom line_ it’s a good light but not the best, I was hoping more for an LD09 with some minor tweaks but got something completely different. I still love the flexibility of batteries the 300lumen power and the strike bezel but there are smaller less expensive options (see Klarus Mi7) that pack more of a punch and have some added features packed in.