Malkoff MDC Bodyguard V2 18650

Malkoff MDC Bodyguard V2 review

Introduction: Less Is More!

Malkoff Devices has been around for at least 10 years and has a large fan base at Candlepowerforums. The company is also famous for its Maglite bulb replacement LED dropins and custom-made maglite accessories, as well as their large variety of Surefire P60 LED Drop-ins. Check their store out to see what they have to offer!

This review concerns the indestructible Malkoff MDC Bodyguard V2 running off a single 18650 battery with 1150 out of the front lumens.

This Flashlight was designed for rugged service from the ground up.  It is fully potted to stand up to rough service and recoil. This Item is Covered by Our Lifetime Warranty.

What’s included:

  • Malkoff MDC Bodyguard V2 flashlight in a simple and plain carton box
  • Business card


Brand/modelMalkoff MDC Bodyguard v2
CategoryTactical flashlight
Lumens1150 lm
Beam intensity11,000 cd
Battery config.1*18650 / 2*CR123

Handling of this tactical flashlight

Since it was designed for ‘rough service’ from the ground up, you shouldn’t expect any LCD displays, sensitive electronic side switches, or many bells and whistles. The Malkoff MDC Bodyguard is a light that you can count on in the most critical conditions. You activate the light with a simple rear clicky. And since it has a forward clicky (McClicky), you can use it for Morse coding as well. It is a “great tactical flashlight” without a strobe mode!

Besides the indestructible flashlight, the pocket clip also seems to be that. The clip is about 2mm thick and is very strong, unlike 99% of the clips you can find on other flashlights. The diameter of the MDC Bodyguard is a bit on the slim side, which is not my personal preference.

The body is long, thin, and pretty lightweight. Easy to clip on your pants.


  • Since this is the unshrouded version, the tail switch sticks out and can not tailstand. If you choose the shrouded version the Malkoff MDC Bodyguard is able to tailstand.

Build Quality and Anodizing 

The MDC is made to last. Since I own many flashlights in all kinds of shapes and colors I was a little surprised by its design in person. But since I have been playing with it, I can definitely see why this flashlight has a lifetime warranty! None of the Chinese flashlight makers have this! None!

The light is straightforward and comprises 2 main parts: the body and the head. The anodizing seems to be brushed, as the grooves have shiny anodizing and the main parts of the body don’t. I can’t find any damage or missing anodization.


There is nothing to complain about or add.. just simple, bare aluminum threads!

LED, Lens Bezel and Reflector

Somehow, I missed a crenelated bezel (strike bezel) on the MDC Malkoff. I am unclear on why a crenelated bezel was not used. The choice to use TIR optics instead of a reflector and glass lens is probably based on the philosophy that less is more—less chance of breaking.


The Malkoff MDC Bodyguard V2 uses an XP-L LED, which can not be seen from the front since the TIR optic obstructs the view of the LED.


  • Length:   140 mm (5.25 inch)
  • Diameter body: 22 mm (0.9 inch)
  • Weight empty: 77grams (2.71 oz / 0.169 lbs)

Below are some size comparison pictures. From left to right: Convoy S2+, Nitecore MH25GTS, Malkoff MDC Bodyguard, Astrolux FT01,

size comparison malkoff flashlight

User Interface:

The Malkoff MDC Bodyguard v2 only uses 1 forward clicky switch for power on and off.


  • Turbo for 10 seconds and then drops to Medium output.

Momentary On:

  • Yes

Mode memory:

  • It only has 1 main mode from Off. If you power it back on after using it for a while, it will start from Turbo again.

Lock out:

  • Just the switch


  • Not that I could detect by eye.

Batteries and charging:

The Malkoff MDC bodyguard V2 recommends using a single high-drain 18650 battery or 2 CR123 primary batteries. The max voltage is 6V, so you can’t use 2*18350 batteries! There is no parasitic drainage because it uses a mechanical tail switch.

You need to use a high-drain button-top 18650 battery in order to use it. Flat-top Sanyo batteries fit, but when you shake the light, it will turn off and on. Fortunately, it doesn’t have any modes; otherwise, it would change modes. Only button-top batteries are recommended.


These readings were done using a Fluke 77III DMM with solid 3mm copper wires (0.11 inches). All measurements were taken with the battery directly touching the positive contact towards the driver. So, if the tail switch increases any resistance, this is not measured the way I tested it. Of course, the lumen measurements in the integrated Sphere are exactly the same as you can see in real-life situations.

The light turns down output after few seconds…

Jetbeam Hi Drain 18650 2600mAh:

  • 2.12 A 
  • 0.48 A 

Nitecore NL1835HP 8A 3500mAh protected

  • 2.14 A
  • 0.49 A 

Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh protected:

  • 1.94 A
  • 0.47 A

Samsung INR 25R flat, unprotected:

  • 2.53 A
  • 0.55 A


The App I used for the runtime graph is the Ceiling Bounce App. NO COOLING. The battery used: Nitecore 3500mAh 8A. Runtime roughly 570 minutes = 9.5 hours

I put the light inside a rectangle box, so the little ups and downs are easily noticeable on a micro level. The first drop at about 126 minutes was a change in setup because the light meter would jump between a few numbers a few times per second. This was at bedtime. From 150 minutes till the end was during my sleep and the light position didn’t change. These ups and downs must be a driver thing.


I measured with a few batteries in my homebuilt integrating sphere. The Malkoff website claims a max of 1150 lumens on turbo and 250 on low. My measurements were not so close and were 20% lower! The highest I could measure was 872 Lumens with the Nitecore NL1835hp battery. The problem with the Samsung was its size. It didn’t have enough pressure on the spring, which resulted in lower output.

Malkoff MDC bodyguardModeMy measurements
Jetbeam Hi Drain bluehigh833
Nitecore NL1835hphigh872 Lumens
low211 Lumens
Pana ncr18650B prothigh722
Samsung 25R greenhigh790


This will not be your cup of tea for all the white wall hunters out there. It has a rather ugly beam on a white wall, but this is really neglectable outdoors! Take a look at the beamshots below to give you an idea.


This time I used the Nitecore NL1835HP 8A battery. The reason for using this battery is simply because the Nitecore battery showed the highest number of lumens. 1 problem I encountered during the test is the 10 seconds timer. I had to turn the light on, run to the 10-meter mark and start measuring, I did that about 3-4 times and noted the highest number I could find. Usually, this “searching for the highest number” can take 10-20 seconds alone. LOL. This time it was measured outdoors at 10 meters distance with the Skytronic LX101 Lux Meter.

  • 5 meters: 2650 cd at start (113 meters)
  • 5 meters: 800 cd after 30 seconds (62 meters)

Disclaimer: The Malkoff MDC Bodyguard was provided by the manufacturer for review.

Beamshot comparisons

Overall conclusion of the Malkoff MDC Bodyguard V2


  1. Lifetime warranty (extremely rare)
  2. High quality flashlight and materials for impact resistance
  3. Fully potted head for max impact resistance
  4. Simple UI (on – off)


  1. Turbo mode is very short (10 sec)
  2. Only1 mode (can be a pro)
  3. No direct access to low

Reviewer: Marco

Rating: 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆: Excellent

There aren’t many flashlights in this category, 1 mode, high impact resistance, lifetime warranty. If you are looking for a light that can withstand some abuse, definitely consider this one! The more I play with it, the more I like it!

Buy Malkoff MDC Bodyguard v2