Convoy C8+ XHP70.3

1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.

Convoy C8+ XHP70.3 Hi review

Convoy C8+ XHP70.3 Hi specifications

Brand & ModelConvoy C8+
Flashlight categoryThrow flashlight
LED1*Cree XHP70.3 HI R9050 (high CRI)
Max. output3000 lumens
Max. beam distanceUnknown
Max. beam intensityUnknown
Battery config.1*18650
Onboard chargingNone
Main modes12
BlinkiesStrobe, SOS, Bike Flasher
Review publication dateApril 2024

Review intro:

When I think about the ‘flashlight hall of fame’ or businesses and individuals who have made significant contributions to the flashlight space, I can’t help but think of Convoy, specifically the man behind the brand, Simon Mao. Simon, over the last several years, has brought us great quality, nice-performing, and super affordable lights. I’d say a good number of guys and gals got into this hobby with a Convoy light, either an S2, S2+, or a C8. That last one, the C8, was a particularly important flashlight, and it’s one that has been copied more than Oakley sunglasses and Gucci handbags.

Just about every major brand and one-hung-lo ‘Fire brand has made their own version of the C8 pattern flashlight, and for good reason. It’s a great form factor: A compact, 44 mm head tube light that can be a midrange thrower or a close-in throw/flood light. There’s really no limit to how you can mod these. Just throw in your favorite 17 mm driver and reflow your favorite LED on a 16 or 20 mm MCPCB and away you go! Sometime around 2018, Simon made some design and feature upgrades, and marketed the light as the C8+. This is the subject of our review today, and this one’s a bit special since it probably represents the apogee of the C8+ evolution, and it’s still really (emphasis on really) affordable. Read on for more.

What’s in the package

Simon doesn’t waste effort or resources on a fancy box, and that’s totally fine with me. It saves you (the consumer) from paying for packaging that makes the flashlight more expensive. That said, the plain cardboard box is totally functional and appropriate, even if it’s not fancy. It’s a box, and as a box, it gets an A+. Here’s what you get:

  • Convoy C8+ flashlight
  • Lanyard (attached)

The lanyard was attached to the light, which was nice, and it’s a typical cheap lanyard, but works. There’s no battery included, but you can order one with the light if you need one. Chargers and holsters are also available for this light from Convoy also.

Flashlight in use, Build Quality, and Warranty

A brief history lesson, so put on your thinking toques. The C8+ started out as the C8, which is a design introduced some 10 years ago by UltraFire, as a smaller version of their WF-500, a 2×18650 incandescent light. The design was copied and improved by Thorfire and Sofirn, and eventually ended up as the light we have today. The original design had a screw-in pill, minimal heatsink fins and more curvy edges, but the + version adds more fins and grooves for gripping plus an integrated LED shelf for better thermal transfer. This is a medium general purpose light.

Convoy got it right with this one and if I’m honest, it’s one of the nicest-handling 18650 lights I’ve encountered. It’s not an EDC, but it is small enough to pocket and isn’t overly bulky. The tube is covered with grippy knurling for a super-sure grip. I really like handling this light. For switching, every C8+ has a rear (reverse-but can easily be swapped for a forward) mechanical clicky switch. It’s a good one too, with positive, snappy clicks and nice feel. It’s easy to reach in all grip positions. For carry, I think it’s too big for EDC use, but can ride in a pocket fine. It doesn’t have a pocket clip, you can add one (available from Convoy) by threading screws through the lanyard holes on the tailcap.

Build quality is excellent and typical of the Convoy brand. You get a lot of flashlight for your money. The test light, as configured, comes out to around $35 US. Add a few dollars and you can get a battery, and that’s a stinking steal. A similar light from Acebeam, Armytek, or even Thrunite will set you back around $60-$80 or more. All the parts fit together just fine with no gaps or wonky fit up. All the edges are chamfered and smoothed as well. Simon doesn’t go to great lengths to advertise features, but I’m sure he uses good quality aluminum alloys, so this is probably milled from 6061. The machining is very tidy with no issues. The C8+ comes in a variety of colors, including clear, gray, black, green, brown/sand, and orange. The test light came in sand color which is awesome. The anodizing isn’t advertised, but I’d imagine it’s some sort of type III HA hard anodizing, and it’s also well done. Convoy’s finishes are one of my favorites; a really grippy matte with good texture and grippiness. The light can be fully disassembled without heat, strap wrenches, or finagling, so upgrades for the C8+ are endless!

Every joint is o-ring sealed and there’s no charge port so while no IP rating is given, I wouldn’t worry about dunking the C8+. The tube threads are rectangular cut and fully anodized, but were lightly lubed and could benefit from some. I added SuperLube and they became buttery smooth. You get springs for the tailcap and driver, which is a really nice feature for a budget light and one that mainstream brands are moving away from. Dual springs add durability and reliability. 

For the warranty, none is implied, but you’re covered for DOA lights, factory defects, and the like. Simon will take really good care of you and make any issues right. Ask me how I know that!

LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

The C8+ can be had with a lot of popular LEDs, but the test light was configured with the Cree XHP70.3 HI LED. This LED is pretty new, but has made its rounds through the flashlight continuum into some fan favorites. It’s the 3rd gen of Cree’s 7070 size XHP quad die high output LED. This one’s domeless from the factory for increased intensity as well with the added benefit of a cleaner beam with less of the obtrusive angular tint shift. It runs on 6 volts in this configuration, so 2 dies in parallel, two in series (the 12 volt version is 4S).

It’s available in cool white tints, warm white tints, R70 and even high CRI 9050. The test light was spec’d with the 5700K R9050 (90 CRI) version which runs on 6 volts. This LED is paired with a light OP reflector which helps smooth out any irregularities in the beam, and it does a great job, producing a clean, throwy beam with lots of side illumination and a bright hotspot. It’s very clean also, with minimal aberrations and while there’s some tint shift, it’s mostly gone, and significantly better than a domed 70.2 for tint distribution. On the photometry, I’m coming in a bit high for CCT, but RA is on point at 90+.

Spectral measurements: 

I used the Opple Lightmaster Pro to measure the flashlight at 1 meters from the sensor. 

Mode:CCT:CRI Ra:duv

Dimensions and its competition


Convoy C8+MillimetersInches
Length145 mm5.7 in
Head diameter44 mm1.7 in
Body diameter23 mm0.9 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter and the nearest tenth of an Inch.


Convoy C8+Weight in gramsWeight in oz
Without battery152 g5.3
With Sony VTC6 18650198 g7

Weight is rounded to the nearest gram and tenth of an Oz.

Flashlight size comparison with its competition:

Group 1 left to right: Generic C8 1, Generic C8-2, Thorfire C8, Convoy C8+

Group 2 left to right: Olight Seeker 4, FireFlyLite X1S Pharos, Acebeam P18 Defender, Klarus XT11 GT Pro V2, Acebeam P17 Defender

Group 3 left to right: ArmyTek Prime C2 Pro Max USB Magnet, Convoy C8+, Acebeam P17 Defender

Group 4 reflectors left to right: ArmyTek Prime C2 Pro Max USB Magnet, Convoy C8+, Acebeam P17 Defender

Convoy C8+ XHP70.3 Hi UI: User Interface and Driver

The C8+ takes a 17 mm driver, and to work with the XHP70.3 it needs a boost driver. The test light came with Convoy’s own 6 volt 5 amp boost driver. The UI is the tried-and-true 12 mode group interface that basically emulates ToyKeeper’s Biscotti UI. This UI’s been around a long while, and it works great with a reverse clicky switch. You get 12 mode groups with single output or multiple output modes ranging from 0.1% to 100%, strobe, SOS, and bicycle flasher. 

Available modes: 

  • 0.1%, 1%, 10%, 20%, 35%, 50%, 100%

Available blinky modes:

  • Strobe, Bike Flasher, SOS, Battery Check

From OFF:

  • Press and hold: N/A
  • Single click: Turns on in last memorized brightness level (mode memory is active by default)

From ON:

  • Fully click the switch: Turns off
  • Tap the switch: Advances to next mode
  • Long press switch (more than 1 second): Returns to the first mode in the group (only works with mode memory OFF)
  • Tap switch 10+ times: Enters configuration mode for setting mode groups, turning on/off mode memory

Mode memory:

  • Yes. Remembers the last used mode. Mode memory can be disabled.


  • None?

Low voltage warning/protection:

  • The light will drop to a very low level when the batteries reach a certain low voltage (not specified in the manual)


  • Strobe, SOS, Bicycle Flasher

Lock-out mode: 

  • None, but light can be mechanically locked out by unscrewing the tailcap ⅛ turn


  • None visible

Additional/summary info on the UI: 

  • The Biscotti UI is a true classic from the glory days of flashlights. It predates Anduril and really has a lot of flexibility. It’s sort of overshadowed by Anduril 2 these days, but I still like it and think it’s still relevant. One of the first drivers I bought from Simon came with this UI, and I still like and use that light to this day.

How to switch mode groups on Convoy C8+?

  1. To switch between the mode groups, from off, half-press the switch a bunch of times (over 10), and when it no longer turns on, stop and wait for the ‘buzz.’
  2. There’s two buzzers: The first is for the mode group selection, the second is for turning mode memory on or off.
  3. To turn on/off mode memory, wait for the second buzz, then click the switch off.
  4. To switch modes, during the first buzz, the light will blink out the number of the mode groups, from one to 12 (1 blink = group 1, 2 blinks = group 2, etc.).
  5. To select the desired mode group, click the light off on that group number. It’s not really meant for forward switches though (ask me how I know that one). The mode spacing is good, and the .01% is pretty low with 100% being direct drive if FET driven.

The boost driver should be nicely regulated, and the firmware includes LVP and thermal regulation set to 55 C.

Convoy C8+ XHP70.3 Hi Charging and batteries

The C8 platform shares the 18650 size li-ion battery, which has been around for pretty much ever. While the 21700 cell has become the de-facto flashlight battery these days, the 18650 is still relevant since it fits into a smaller host, and advances in battery technology have improved both capacity and output. The light doesn’t come with a battery, but you can order one from Convoy. This C8+ digested a variety of batteries I had on hand; flat top, button tops, protected, but the longest protected cells with internal charging and button tops were a bit long to comfortably fit. There’s no onboard charging with the C8 or C8+ lights which is fine, but you’ll need a separate li-ion charger which is, you guessed it, available from Convoy. 

Charge typeFitsNo fitCharge time
NoneStandard flat top and button top, protected flat and button topLong 18650 cells.N/A

Performance test

Lumen measurements

How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards: The ANSI FL1 standards specify that output in lumens should be measured 30 seconds after turning on, as this is the standardized time for measuring brightness according to the industry standard. This is why we focus on this part in our measurements. The ANSI FL1 standards require an ambient temperature of 22 ± 3°C. We record the ambient the ambient temperature to identify potential reasons for any observed discrepancies.

Lumens are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of actual. Current is measured using my Thisinde B18B+ multimeter with short 12 gauge wires on banana plugs in the meter for under 200 mA and a Fy219 clamp meter for higher current. I used a Sony VTC6 3000 mAh battery for the testing. I tested the #2 mode group (#1 is the default).

ModeAmps at startSpecifiedTurn on30 sec10 min
0.1%16 mA?2.52.5
1%65 mA?2525
10%600 mA?337337336
35%2.2 A?984984959
100%8 A?2423 lm1820 lm959 lm

Ambient temperature during testing:

  •  19.8°C 

Parasitic drain:

  • N/A (it’s a clicky switch)

Simon specs the R9050 at 3,000 Lumens, and I’m not far off. The LED isn’t being driven very hard (8 A at the tailcap at start-and it drops rapidly), so the output is low for an XHP70.3 HI at startup. This is a R9050 version though so it’s to be expected. If you want higher output, you can opt for the R70 version, but the driver is limited to 5 amps. You can get an 8 A version of the 17 mm driver, but it would quickly overheat the host.

Convoy C8+ XHP70.3 Hi Battery Life: Runtime graphs

How Runtimes are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About ANSI FL1 runtime standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.

Lumens are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of actual. I use a Digi-Sense 20250-92 data logging thermocouple for the temperature measurements. The probe is affixed to the head using kapton tape and uses the same 5 second sampling rate for logging.

I tested 10%, 35%, and 100%  from the #2 mode group with a Sony VTC6 3000 mAh 18650. The battery was allowed to fully charge before each test.

ModeSpecifiedRuntime (ANSI FL1)Time till shut off
10%?1h 31min3h 10min
35%?1h 4min3h 15min
100%?54min 50s2h 27min+

+ The light was still running at a very low level when the test was terminated

The runtimes look great and right off the bat I see the driver is well regulated, with no zig-zagging thermal regulation nonsense. The output on all modes tested is nice and laminar. On the VTC6, 100% starts high, but has a quick drop to 1800 Lumens by 30 seconds, and maintains that for another 3 minutes before stepping down to about 1000 Lumens. 35% was also set to this level and it was maintained until LVP hits around 60 minutes in and the output drops to roughly 1% or about 20 Lumens accompanied by blinks-one blink about every 2 seconds.

This continues for a while until the light shuts off. I didn’t let the 100% mode run until shut off, but I did for the 10% and 35%. The battery read about 2.89 volts after the runtimes. Heat wasn’t an issue, and thermal regulation worked flawlessly keeping the head around 56 C. The tube was mostly hand-friendly on 100% and 35% at around 45 C, so doable without gloves, but it takes about 10-15 minutes to heat up to that point.

Overall, this is performance I’m used to seeing on much more expensive flashlights! The comparison graph shows other popular XHP70 lights I’ve reviewed, and you can see the performance (after the step down) is similar. Compared to the ArmyTek (over $100) and the Acebeam P17 (around $80), the C8+ is only held back by the R9050 LED and the smaller battery. It would be interesting to see how the M21A fares (the 21700 size C8+). Maybe a rematch is in order?

Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements

About Peak beam intensity: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About peak beam intensity The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object). This means that the intensity has decreased so much, it becomes difficult to see darker objects, or objects that don’t reflect light. The columns ‘Meters’ and ‘Yards’ use rounded numbers.

Beam distances are measured using a Uni-T UT383S luxmeter measured indoors at 5 meters using a Sony VTC6 3000 mAh 18650. Measurements taken at 30 seconds. I tested the #2 group modes. The light was recharged and allowed to cool between the 35%, 50% and 100% measurements.

ModeSpecifiedCandela measured MetersYards
0.1%?75 cd17 m19 yd
1%?550 cd47 m51 yd
10%?5900 cd154 m168 yd
35%?18,975 cd275 m301 yd
100%?34,575 cd372 m407 yd
100% at start?48,450 cd440 m481 yd

Ambient temperature:

  •  19.5 °C 

This is awesome performance from the 70.3 HI LED. 370+ meters on high is pretty incredible for the big LED, and over 400 meters at start is also great.


Camera settings and distance: Photos taken with a Canon EOS R100 with Canon RF-S 18-45 mm STM lens. The camera is set to 0.3s, F5 ISO1600 and 5000K WB. The fence is 95 meters away.

Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:

  • Convoy C8+
  • Convoy M21B
  • Generic C8 (XHP50.2)
  • Olight Seeker 4
  • ArmyTek Prime C2 Pro Max USB Magnet

Please note that the following beamshots are mainly intended to showcase the beam pattern and beam quality, rather than overall performance. These images are typically taken directly after activation, and in different seasons or weather conditions, and therefore do not fully represent its overall performance. For accurate performance metrics, such as output, beam distance, and runtimes, you need to look at the performance section of this review.

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to us for review at no cost by Convoy. We have not been paid to review, nor have we been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict


  1. Decent sustained output
  2. Ultra affordable
  3. Excellent build quality
  4. Easy to upgrade
  5. High CRI with a nice beam
  6. Well regulated driver
  7. Simple UI with lots of optional modes


  1. 100% (max) output is a bit short-lived
  2. No onboard charging
  3. Short runtimes

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: a match would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Nick
Author: Nick

5 stars: ★★★★★

While our star rating provides a reliable indicator, we encourage you to read the full review to make an informed decision based on your own needs and preferences.

You’ve probably heard the saying that some things get better as they age. Leather, cheese, and steak, come to mind, but this is true with flashlights too. Convoy has been at the forefront of the value wars for almost a decade, producing high quality, high performance lights for a ridiculously low price.

How many enthusiasts could raise their hand when asked if a Convoy was their first serious flashlight? I’d guess lots started with an S2, L6, L2, S9, and/or a C8. Moreover, they’ve only gotten better over time, with Simon seeking feedback from the community then proactively improving and adding new designs with 21700 batteries, high output multi-LED arrangements, boost and buck drivers with USB C charging, ramping UIs (including Anduril of late), and high CRI LEDs. This C8+ XHP70.3 HI is no different and really pushes the performance-per-dollar bar pretty high! To get this level of performance, you’d be spending double or triple what this costs.

The build quality is awesome and solid, the finish is one of my favorites, it handles nicely, and while down from the competition at startup, the sustained output is pretty impressive for an 18650 light. There’s plenty of beam distance available, and the beam looks great, with even tint and excellent color rendering.

Misses? Not many.

The max output is pretty short-lived, and while not a deal-breaker, there’s no onboard charging, and the runtimes are on the short side. That’s not a fault of the light though, just a limitation of the battery. Still, those are pretty inconsequential, and don’t really detract from the overall usefulness or functionality of the light.

In short, this C8+ has come a long way from the first UltraFires of 10 years ago and this one’s got me chuffed to bits! If you don’t own a C8+ or the 21700-size tube version, do yourself a favor and pick one up (or two, or three). 5 stars for the C8+ HP70.3 HI.

Buy your Convoy C8+ XHP70.3 Hi here

1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.