Fenix PD35 Tactical Review (2024 Upd.) Discontinued???

Last Updated on April, 2024

Regarding tactical flashlights, the PD35 series is a well-known one. From 2013 to 2022, they have greatly improved their flashlight game within a budget. 

Last year, Fenix released the PD35 Tac series’ Fenix PD35 V3.0, and within less than a year, it became super famous. It’s in almost all the best tactical flashlight lists. 

I have been using one for the last seven months.

In this article, I’ll share Fenix PD35 tactical review based on my experience. 

So, let’s get started! 

About the Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight

Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight
Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight in different angle 1
Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight in different angle 2
Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight in different angle 3
Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight in different angle 4

Fenix PD35 is one of the most famous lineups from fenix lighting. These flashlights are the first preference of many in the last few years. 

And, fenix never disappointed their customers. From PD35’s first release to PD35 V3.0, the manufacturer constantly updated the flashlights with new features and lucrative design. 

Most of their flashlights are so versatile that anyone can use them as everyday carry. 

Especially, the PD35 V3.0 is so versatile that even professionals like doctors prefer it (because of the low output, 5 lumens)

That’s why, fenix lighting’s PD35 series have captured a wide range of markets that most of the brands failed to do. 

Note: Fenix PD35 is now discontinued, and they’ve launched a new version of this same flashlight with updated features: Fenix PD35 V3.0, Check it out HERE!

What Does the Full Package Include? 

Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight
ARB L-18 2600U Li-ion Battery of Fenix PD35 flashlight
Micro USB cable of Fenix PD35 flashlight
User Manual of Fenix PD35 Tac flashlight
Warranty Card of Fenix PD35 Tac flashlight
Holster of Fenix PD35 Tac flashlight
Lanyard of Fenix PD35 Tac
Spare O-ring of Fenix PD35 Tac flashlight

The Fenix PD35 package comes with all the essentials like: 

  • Fenix PD35 v3.0 Flashlight 
  • ARB L-18 2600U Li-ion Battery
  • Micro USB cable
  • User Manual 
  • Warranty Card
  • Holster 
  • Lanyard
  • Spare O-ring

Specification of Fenix PD35 

Fenix PD35 is a futuristic light. It’s light in weight and smaller in size and it’s super easy to carry in any situation. So, here is the specification of this flashlight. 

  • Lumen Output (Max): 1700
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Dimensions: 5.28″ x 1″ x 0.9″
  • Weight: 2.95 oz
  • Peak Beam Distance: 390 yards
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 31900 cd
  • Max Runtime: 230 hours
  • Battery: One rechargeable 18650 li-ion battery
  • Lighting Modes: 5 brightness levels plus strobe
  • Bulb Type: LED Luminus SFT40

Notable Features of Fenix PD35 Tactical

Fenix Flashlight on the wood

Fenix PD35 is a small professional-grade flashlight. In this version, the manufacturer has added some outstanding features. So, here are all the notable features fenix PD35 V3.0 offers. 

Output Mode 

With a variety of 6 outputs (including strobe), this light is quite versatile. From low to high, this flashlight can do it all. Also, the strobe mode is a lifesaver in emergencies.

The maximum lumen output with this flashlight is 1700, which is a few lumens more than many competitors in the market. 

Overall, multiple output mode (from low to high lumen output) makes it a perfect everyday carry. 

LED 

Under $100, a few tactical flashlights offer 50,000 hours of lifespan. 

However, this tactical flashlight uses a high-quality Luminus SFT-40 LED, which offers more lifespan and power than other LEDs. 

In fact, the SFT-40 is a lot more powerful than Cree XP-L V3 LED, which was used in previous versions of Fenix PD35 tac.

led of Fenix PD35 Tac flashlight

Battery

The Fenix PD35 comes with a 2600 Li-On battery and is rechargeable. You don’t need any other gadget to charge this as the flashlight already comes with a premium micro USB cable in the package. 

Also, the battery life is extremely good. You’ll get exactly what the manufacturer claims depending on the mode you are using. 

However, you’ve to remove the battery from the flashlight in order to charge it. 

Build Quality

A common feature of tactical edition flashlights is their robust build quality. And Fenix Lighting won’t disappoint you here. 

The flashlight is made with high-quality aluminum known as A6061-T6 aluminum. This premium-grade aluminum is mostly seen in high-end tactical flashlights. 

Also, the premium-grade diamond-shaped knurling over the tube provides better gripping and prevents overheating issues.

a human holding a Fenix flashlight

User Experience 

The best part with Fenix PD35 v3.0 tactical is the user experience. Though there is no user interface, the way the PD35 is designed is user-friendly. 

The tactical tail switch makes it super easy to switch on the light. The side switch is really helpful for changing output modes. 

Then again, it’s small in size, light in weight, and easy to carry. Overall, a great package!

Modes 

a human using Fenix PD35 Flashlight

As you already know, the Fenix PD35 V3.0 has six modes. All these modes are for different purposes and provide different results. So, here are the details of all the modes you should know. 

Turbo Mode/ Tactical Mode 

In turbo, aka Tactical mode, it provides the highest 1700 lumens, and the typical runtime is 1 hour and 25 minutes. 

The throw distance is 357 meters, providing 31900 candelas (luminous intensity). The turbo mode is also known as the outdoor mode in other models. 

High Mode 

The high mode outputs 600 lumens and runs for around 2 hours and 35 minutes. The throw distance is 216 meters, and the luminous intensity is around 11700 candela. 

Medium Mode 

In the medium mode, the flashlight uses 150 lumens and covers a throw distance of 109 meters. 

The usual runtime in the medium mode is around 8 hours and 30 minutes, and the luminous intensity is around 3000 candela. 

Low Mode 

The low mode uses 50 lumens, providing a runtime of 26 hours and 25 minutes (approximately). 

The throw distance is 63 meters, and the luminous intensity is 1000 candela. 

Eco Mode 

This mode requires 5 lumens only, and for this, it provides a long runtime of 230 hours. 

However, it can only cover a throw distance of 20 meters, and the light intensity is around 100 candela. 

Strobe Mode

Strobe, aka emergency mode, is also as powerful as the turbo mode, aka tactical mode. It uses 1700 lumens. 

Important Aspects You Should Know About Fenix PD35

a man holding Fenix PD35 Tac

In this section, I will share this flashlight’s important aspects in detail. Almost every expert recommends the Fenix PD35 v3.0. That is because of its quality. 

That’s why I’ll focus on each aspect and explain it to you. So, if you are considering Fenix PD35 v3.0 to be your next purchase, don’t miss this section! 

Built Quality 

Regarding the quality, no doubt, this Fenix light is amazing. Built with premium A6061-T6 aluminum, it’s much more durable than steel yet light in weight. 

The flashlight is also shock-proof, IP68 dust and waterproof rating(up to 2 meter). Also, the knurling pattern helps to keep the battery and internal surface protected. This anti-abrasive coating also gives a premium experience. 

The anti-roll design helps to prevent overheating issues. 

Also, weight management is perfect. Without the battery, it weighs as low as 83.5 grams, making it a perfect choice for long time usage. 

The toothed strike bassline not only gives this flashlight a rough look but also keeps the flashlight secure. It’s so durable that you can easily break a window with it.

Battery and Charging 

The Fenix PD35 tac v3.0 comes with one of the high-end batteries of Fenix lighting, the ARB-L-18 2600U rechargeable 18650 battery. This battery is a beast. 

Even though it looks like a regular battery, it’s rechargeable through a regular micro USB cable. The battery offers multiple benefits, which are: 

  • Circuit Protection: To keep your battery safe from all kinds of accidents like overcharge, short circuit, overheating, and over-discharge, there are three layers of protection. 
  • Pressure Relief Vent: This vent ensures that the battery doesn’t explode or cause a short circuit due to gas expulsion. This extra layer of safety keeps the flashlight safe. 
  • 500 Charge Cycle: You can still charge and discharge this battery 500 times; the battery will retain 75%. So, you’ll be able to use it for years without hesitation. 
Fenix battery with charger

But, to charge this battery you’ve to remove it from the flashlight and then charge it and many didn’t like this. 

But, there are a few reasons why fenix didn’t add an in-built charging system. Which are: 

  • Lightweight 
  • Higher waterproof and dustproof rating
  • Better safety 

Then again, the PD35 V3.0 has a type-B port and that’s why it takes almost 4 hours to charge the battery. In 2022, a type-B port isn’t acceptable in my opinion. 

The battery also comes with a charging indicator that shows if it’s fully charged or not.

When you are charging the battery, it’ll flash the red light, and once it’s fully charged, it’ll turn blue

Now, let’s focus on the battery performance. 

In order to know about the battery percentage, there is a battery level indicator on the side switch of the flashlight.

Does the battery level indicator work? 

Well, Yes the battery level indicator works like a charm. 

It does! 

The indicator blinks in four modes to state the battery level. Which are: 

  • Green Light: 85-100% (best performance)
  • Blinking Green Light: 50-80% (good performance) 
  • Red Light: 25-50% (average performance) 
  • Flashing Red Light: 0-25% (poor performance)

How long the battery will sustain depends on the mode you’ll be using. 

Also, you should know a few things about the battery’s performance. Which are:

  • The battery level indicator only works on the battery given in the package. 
  • Improper battery installation may cause a decline in performance. 
  • When the battery level gets down to 0-25%, the tactical flashlight will shift to the eco mode. Every 10 minutes, it’ll show you a low voltage warning to charge your battery. 
  • If you are going outdoors for a long time, it’s better to get a battery replacement. The battery replacements are available in the official Fenix store (for $9.95). 

Ease of Use 

Fenix flashlights mostly focus on making lights that are user-friendly. However, most tactical flashlights are different from regular flashlights. 

These are rough and tough, rigid, and come with difficult features (sometimes). 

But Fenix PD35 tac is different. It’s super user-friendly, and the best part is that you can use it with one hand. 

a human using Fenix PD35 flashlight

All the switches, like the tail switch and side switch, are perfectly placed. All these buttons work just with one click. 

And it’s completely beginner-friendly (no complexity involved). You have to just press the tail switch and the modes will keep changing. 

Tail Switch

Like most high-end tactical flashlights, Fenix PD35 tac also has a tactical tail switch. 

This rubberized premium quality tail cap is mostly seen in high-end flashlights, but Fenix PD35 offers this for under $100. 

If you softly press the tail switch, the light turns on, and once you leave it, it turns off. 

a human holding Fenix flashlight's tail switch

If you fully press the tail switch (there’ll be a click sound), the light will turn on, and when you fully press it again, the light will turn off. 

Also, the Fenix PD35 tac comes with an extra tail cap. So, if you lose one, you’ll still be able to use the extra one. 

Real-time Performances 

The real-time performance mostly relies on the mode you’ll be using. 

The performance is mostly what the manufacturer claims (sometimes even more than that). 

However, due to the use of thermal coating (which protects the flashlight from overheating), sometimes there will be a drop in lumen intensity (mostly not noticeable). 

Also, there’ll be no noticeable change in beam pattern (in fact, it’s much better than many other flashlights). 

In daily life usage, a few lumens drop doesn’t change anything. Also, the tactical flashlight gives good backup.

But, carrying a battery replacement is always recommended (especially when you are in wood).

Light Quality

The Fenix PD35 tac v3 uses an SFT40 LED, which provides cool white light. The SFT40 provides the same lifespan as most of the tactical series’ led does but with better lumens. 

When most of the flashlight’s lumen gives up at 1000-1200 lumen range, this beast takes it up to 1700 lumens (enough to cover three football grounds)! 

Besides LED, Fenix lighting has done a brilliant job with the lens and beam. 

The crystal clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating helps the flashlight deliver brighter light than other Fenix lights in this price range.

Also, the beam is proper and focused. It uses the max output to focus on the object you want to visualize.

Intelligent Memory

This flashlight uses its special intelligent memory circuit that remembers the last mode you’ve used before turning it off. Once you turn it on, it’ll instantly switch to that mood. 

However, the mode memory circuit doesn’t work in two scenarios. Which are: 

  • Momentary activation (softly pressing the tail switch)
  • Used strobe mode before turning off the flashlight

Throw Distance

Well, the throw distance completely depends on the mode you are using. 

When you use the turbo mode, it’ll cover around 357 meters, whereas the eco mode barely covers only 20 meters. 

However, the high-quality LED and crystal clear anti-reflective glass assure you the best result possible. 

Warranty

The Fenix PD35 tactical flashlight comes with a lifetime-limited warranty (free labor cost, you have to only pay for the parts required). 

a human using Fenix PD35 flashlight

Also, if you don’t find the light helpful or if it doesn’t meet your expectation, you can return it to Fenix lighting within the first 30 days (after ordering) and get your money back. 

How Much Does it Cost? (Including Refund Policy)

The Fenix PD35 is available on Amazon, AliExpress, and on the official website of Fenix Lighting. One unit of this package costs $79.95. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

Also, if you order from the official website, you can enjoy free home delivery and get 20% off if it’s your first purchase from Fenix Lighting. 

And, if you don’t like it, there is a free return policy within the first 30 days after buying. In this case, you’ll get a refund or store credit (as you like). 

But, if you order from Amazon, you can only avail yourself of a free return facility. 

UPDATED VERSION
FENIX PD35 V3.0
FENIX PD35 V3.0
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Is it Possible to Modify the Fenix PD35? 

Well, yes, it is, but it isn’t recommended. 

You can modify it if you are an expert, but it may cause issues like disavowing your warranty. 

However, you can always use add-ons from Fenix lighting. These are affordable and easy to use. 

You can use accessories like traffic wands, rail mount, filter adapter, remote switch, heavy-duty holster, diffuser tip, and extra batteries. 

However, accessories like a tail stand aren’t available for this light. 

Fenix PD35 Tactical Review: Pros and Cons 

Pros

  • Better output and throw distance
  • Mode memory
  • Tail cap switch
  • Multiple modes
  • Up to 1700 lumens output
  • Battery level indicator
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Premium and Sturdy
  • Warranty and refund within 30 days
  • Better visibility with outdoor mode
  • No overheating issue
  • Rechargeable batteries

Cons

  • It takes a bit more time to charge the battery

What Does the Other User Say About Fenix PD35? 

a human holding Fenix PD35 Tactical

Fenix PD35 series is a popular lineup of Fenix lightning from 2013. The Fenix PD35 v3.0 is the most updated and powerful design. 

Most users liked this small beast for under $80 for its digitally regulated output, reverse polarity protection, and rechargeable battery. 

Many use this for its versatility. For example, doctors use it for its 5-lumen output, and civil engineers find its variable light output fascinating. Everyone praises Fenix lighting for this good-quality flashlight. 

No doubt, it’s one of their best sellers. 

However, under loading comments in some forums, I found a few complaints about the USB cable and the type-B port Fenix provided. 

I think it’s a bit true. Fenix should upgrade the port to type-C in the next model. 

Also, a few complaints were about not having onboard charging circuitry. 

But, according to Fenix, with onboard charging circuitry, it wouldn’t have been possible to make it water-resistant and light in weight.

Overall, most of the users are quite satisfied with Fenix PD35 v3.0. 

Fenix PD35 Tactical Review: My Experience

So, earlier I used Fenix PD35 v2.0. The max output was 1000 lumen, and the max coverage was around 250 meters. 

After using it for two years, I wanted an upgraded model. That’s when I discovered Fenix had launched an updated version of the PD35 series. 

Comparing the price, features, and other aspects, I found it great (plus, I had a good experience with Fenix products earlier). So, I instantly ordered it. 

And after using it for more than seven months, here is what I have experienced. 

I am someone who likes to go outdoors and do extreme things. I have used this flashlight in the woods, in heavy rain, and even on dark snowy nights. And, I am surprised how it performed all the time. 

Unlike the PD35 V.2, it doesn’t have a Cree XP-l hi LED; instead, it has a luminous SFT40 LED, which provides plenty bright light. 

I must say, it’s a hundred times better than the PD35 V2.0. With PD35 V3.0, I could have experienced something that wasn’t possible with other flashlights. 

I know this is not the best tactical flashlight, but it is a great choice when you look at the price. 

FENIX PD35 V3.0 and V2.0 flashlights

From quality to real-time performance, it was a beast. 

The max output, aka the turbo output, was helpful in dark wood. And, if you want to change modes, it can be done with a few clicks. Also, it switched to my last used mode whenever I turned the flashlight on. 

Also, the flashlight’s body tube is durable but not heavy in weight. The pocket clip is super easy to carry when you are in the wild. 

The momentary on function is on point. The tail cap and side switch work great. 

The fenix flashlight is water and dust-resistant. The impact resistance makes it a true beast. And, accessories like spare o rings, belt clip, extra tail cap, etc., make it a great deal. 

The battery backup is undeniably good. I have used it for eight days without charging a single time. 

But, when it comes to charging the battery, it takes around 4 hours, which I didn’t like but never mind. 

Overall, I found it great for everyday carry

Do I Recommend it? 

Fenix PD35 Tac flashlight on hand

Yes, I do. 

Under $80, it’s a great purchase. Also, Fenix flashlights are always great regarding quality and other policies like warranty and refund. 

I enjoyed using this light. This flashlight performed steadily in heavy storms, snowfall, and high winds. 

After months of being used as an everyday carry, there is no decline in performance. 

But unfortunately this device is now discontinued. So I suggest you to checkout the updated version of this same flashlight HERE.

You won’t regret it. Trust me! 

Other Fenix brand’s flashlight reviews:

Conclusion

Being a Fenix PD35 series user, I must say, the PD35 v3.0 is a great catch. See, It’s not a review sample. I purchased it and used it for months and then shared my experience. 

I bet it’ll last for a lifetime, from quality to the performance. Also, the cool white light is there to meet all the requirements. 

So, if you are also looking for a tactical light on such a budget, Fenix PD35 v3.0 is something that you can get. 

FAQs

Yes, the Fenix PD35 is rechargeable, as it comes with a 2600U Li-on rechargeable battery that can be charged with a USB cable.

Yes, the Fenix PD35 is water-proof up to an IP68 rating.

Fenix Lighting manufactures the Fenix PD35 series.

UPDATED VERSION
FENIX PD35 V3.0
Brightness
Beam Distance
Runtime
Price

4.8

4.8

4.7

4.8

Overall Score

4.8

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Pros
  • Great throw
  • Excellent quality of building
  • Included every single accessories to get started
  • Lightweight and Compact
  • Doesn’t get heated easily
  • Consistent output
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of April
Cons
  • Low battery capacity

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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