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EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight S1R Baton II Review (1000, EDC Flashlight, 16340, Rechargeable)

Today I am looking at the new Olight S1R Baton II. While the name is a mouthful this small light means business. It’s just 2.4 inches tall but produces 1000 lumens on Turbo, has a magnetic tail and has recharging via the doc. Thanks to Olight sending this to me to take a look at the newest light in the Olight flagship line.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/LwokMdZ
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging follows other recent Olights. It’s a tall and narrow white textured cardboard box. Inside is a white branded plastic tray that holds the light. Underneath was a large yellow cardboard read me, telling you to remove the insulating film, suggesting to store the battery in an included battery keeper, and what all is inside. Included with the light is the light itself, the Olight dual direction pocket clip, a proprietary Olight IMR 16340 550mAh battery, new generation of the magnetic USB charger, a small plastic battery box, lanyard (With threading needle), and a brown suede bag.







Construction
The S1R Baton II follows in a long line of well made production lights. The light is made from aluminium and anodized a smooth satin black. Starting at the back of the light we notice the recharging contacts for its magnetic recharging system. The outside silver rings are slightly raised, and the inner brass button is sunk in just a little. I did test for safety of this system with a bit of steel wool and didn’t have a fire starter on hand. This tail cap is magnetic and quite strong. It easily holds the weight of the light and is better against vibrations then some previous Olights. The tail section also has a hole drilled in it’s side to allow for a lanyard.

Unlike on the original S1R Baton, on version 2 the tail and body tube are one machined piece of aluminum, and the only place the light seperates now is right below the head. The body tube has a new machined raised square with each side tapered in. It’s definitely more aggressive than the small flat squares before but nothing that should rip up a pocket. I like it quite a bit. Threads are small, well machined and greased.


The head itself is pretty small, and inside features a pretty stiff brass spring. On the exterior writing is kept to a minimum, with just a small Olight logo, and opposite that the model number and serial number in small writing. The button is the same as others in the Baton series, It has a silicone cover, and has a small red LED in the center for indicating status. This is surrounded by a blue bezel. The front bezel of the light is reflective blue, and has engraved 1000 Lumens, CCT 6500k CRI 70. It features a TIR lens.

Size and weight comparisons
I measured the length at 63mm and the maximum diameter in the head at 21mm. Weight with the battery and clip came to 51g. The S1R Baton II makes a pretty good EDC for a 16340 battery light. The thin side walls and clip make it a pretty easy carry in a front jean pocket in my opinion.

In comparison the Olight S1 Mini Baton Is 54mm in length, 21mm in diameter, 43G with battery and clip, its tail isn’t rechargeable or nearly as strong magnetically though. The Copper Smini Baton I have with battery is 54mm in length, 21mm in diameter but comes in at 72g with battery and clip due to copper being heavy.

LED/Beam/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XM-L2 LED in cool white. It’s rated at 6500k with a CRI of 70. I don’t notice any cree rainbows, or odd color tints on mine. It features a TIR style optic and it’s no secret I like this style of optic on a short from factor EDC light like this. You get a sizeable hot spot that allows it to throw a useable amount and then you get a wide spill. For me and how I use an EDC light (Shorter durations) this is about perfect.


Runtimes are about what I expected for a small light that leads off with saying it’s capable of 1000 lumens in turbo. Turbo mode doesn’t last that long, only about 1.8 minutes before it starts to slowly decrease fairly significantly to about 30% relative output. While that sounds like a lot it’s still quite a bit of useable light for about 28 minutes. Past this light steps down again pretty quickly to low mode. Total runtime from turbo on the included 550mAh battery was 65 minutes. Heat was well controlled for a small light.

UI
The S1R Baton II has the standard Olight UI many of us have come to know, and I like with the slower fades from off/on and between modes. From off, long press to activate moonlight mode at 0.5 lumens. To turn on in normal modes single click the switch, to change brightness level hold the button and the light will cycle through the 4 available modes lowest to highest. Double click to access turbo. Triple click to access strobe. The light also features memory mode for normal modes.

Lockout can be accomplished when the light is off by pressing and holding the switch for 2 seconds until moonlight mode comes on and immediately shuts off. If you then press the button the red LED under the power button will come on to let you know your in lockout mode. To exit lockout press the button for about 1 second until moonlight mode stays on. Personally I will just give the body of the light a ¼ turn to mechanically lock it out. The light features a short 3 minute timer, and a longer 9 minute timer. If these are setup (See the included manual) the light will automatically shut off when the end of the timer is reached.

Recharging and the Battery
Olight has an updated magnetic charger (MCC2) with the S1R Baton II. The main benefit of this charger is it’s faster. It now is capable of 1A charging. The charger is also capable of working with older versions of lights such as the S30R, or S2R. On those it was able to charge at a closer rate of .95A.

Visually it’s a little different with the bottom and top having rounded edges. Gone is the LED indicator at the base of the charger and instead it has been replaced with a tiny LED on the bottom. I find the LED harder to see if it’s sitting on top, but better for night time bedlight charging due to less ambient lighting.


On the S1R Baton II the charger didn’t charge at full speed the charger has printed on it. This due to the smaller capacity of the battery. You wouldn’t want to charge this 550mAh cell at AA for safety and cell longevity reasons. The battery has a plastic separator that stands up a little more and protects the positive terminal more then other olight batteries have had. The light is also capable of using a CR123 or other olight batteries although you won’t be able to recharge it in the light.


My guess would be Olight will be rolling out updates to some of their other Baton series lights with this new charger over time.

This is the 4th model of Olight magnetic chargers that I have, I think I need to start putting labels on them to keep them straight in my charging drawer.It would be nice if they had labels or color indicators on the lights/charges to help you out.

Safety
I deliberately tried to short circuit the exposed charging contacts on this light with a bit of steel wool and had no ill effects.

Pro

  • Small size, well built, strong magnet, great pocket clip.
  • Convenient slightly faster charging
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • Proprietary battery, new to the this updated light. The older ORBC-163C06 also works in the light but won’t recharge.
  • MCC2 charger with the LED on the bottom makes it harder to check status, I would prefer the charge status on the side.
  • LED choice, while I don’t have major complaints against the XM-L2, I would love to see a neutral white or high CRI option, it would make this fantastic EDC in my opinion.

Conclusion
The Olight S1R Baton II is a nice little EDC light with a lot of power for a short time. I think it’s a nice update. I especially like the new style of pocket clip and the new milling on the body. Olight does a good job with TIR reflectors creating attractive beam patterns for this style of light in my opinion. If you are needing a new EDC this is a nice option to choose.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Nitecore MH12GTS (1800 Lumen, 18650, 1” Tactical)

The Nitecore MH12GTS is the upgraded version of the popular tactical MH12GT. It features and upgraded LED, 1800 lumen max output, microUSB charging, and an included 18650 battery. Thanks to the NitecoreStore.com for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/9gaIWVC

The YouTube version of this Review:

Packaging
This light comes in a Nitecore standard black and yellow retail box. On the outside there is quite a bit of info on the light. On the inside the light sits in a plastic tray with all the accessories and manual underneath. Included accessories are the light itself, lanyard, microUSB cable, pocket clip, tactical ring, NL1835HP 3500mAh button top battery extra orings and a velcro pouch.






Construction
The Nitecore MH12GTS is made of machined aluminum and his hard anodized a mostly glossy black. Starting at the tail cap, it has large lanyard holes on either sides, and does tail stand. The sides are cut down to allow for a finger or thumb to access the off center silicon textured button. It’s a pretty stiff button for a full click and mechanical. Opposite the button is a flat facing port cover for the USB charging port. The cover stays in place pretty well. The USB port underneath is waterproof and I will test that later in the review. Spring inside the tail cap is stiff and dual construction



This uses a dual tube style construction, from what I can tell the inner tube is not removable. Threads are a steep ACME cut and unanodized at top. The tactical ring on this light is threaded. I like this and means that it won’t’ freely spin like happens on many other light designs with a similar ring.There is an oring above the tactical ring.The body tube has smooth knurling but has horizontal lines milled in to break this up and then for the flats where the labels are they are milled a decent amount lower. This provides a bit more grip. The body tube looks like it’s removable but I can’t get it to budge. Further up the light has an anti rotation ring that’s small.



The head of the light has minimal heat syncing and heat hasn’t been a major issue here because the light does step down. The button is metal and has a clear Status indicator ring around it with a blue LED underneath. The head is pretty smooth. The bezel is smooth and the glass is anti reflective coated. The reflector is fairly deep for a 1 inch light and the LED is nicely centered.

The pocket clip on this light slots in right below the tail clip on the body tube. My first clip didn’t fit very close to the body of the light. I contacted Nitecore store and they promptly sent me a new one which was a much better and closer fit. I would prefer a clip that allows for deeper carry personally but this seems to not be what is done on most lights similar to this one.

Size/Weight/Water/Comparison
I measured length at 144mm. Maximum diameter is 35mm at the tactical ring, max diameter of the body is 26mm. Weight with the battery and pocket clip is 153.1 grams.

Size comparison with the Olight M2R Warrior is that they are very similar in diameter. The light is shorter at about 15mm. The nitecore is slightly lighter.



LED/Beam/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HD LED in cool white. It’s capable of producing upto 1800 lumens in turbo mode. It throws pretty well due to that deep reflector. Overall the beam has a hot center and about 4 distinct rings. It’s not a very smooth transition to spill. The brightest hot spot has a bit of discoloration in the very center. This is easily noticed straight on against a surface that’s all the same texture and color such as drywall or concrete. It’s noticeable at distance as well.

Turbo 1800 Lumens
High 900 LUmens
Mid 240 Lumens
Low 70 Lumens
Ultra Low 1 Lumen
Strobe/SOS/Beacon 1800 Lumens

Power and Runtime
This light is capable of running on 18650’s, CR123a, and RCR123A. 2× 18350’s is not recommended due to too high of voltage. To access Turbo you need cells capable of 8A or more. Total runtime with the included 3500mAh battery was 142 minutes. Turbo run time starts decreasing almost immediately. It has a run time of about 3 minutes. When the light steps down you are getting about 45% relative output for about 20 minutes. Between 20 minutes and 142 minutes the light is pretty stable between 45% and 35% relative output for 120 minutes. Heat is pretty well managed.


Turbo Runtime

Full Runtime

One thing worth noting is that the manual says “When using an IMR 18650 battery and the power level is low please stop using the product when the power level is low to prevent damage to the battery. An IMR battery is what the light ships with. This suggests that the light doesn’t have low voltage protection for this type of battery built in, so using protected cells would be a good idea. Lucky the one that ships with the light is protected.

UI
The tail switch on this light functions as only an on and off. It takes a decent amount of force to press, I think this is good for a tactical light.

For normal operation this light has 5 modes, UltraLow, Low, Mid, High, and Turbo. When the light is on the mode button cycles through them. Memory mode is strong on this light and works everywhere except strobe.

Momentary access to turbo is possible if the light is on by holding the Mode button for 1 second, if you let off it returns to what mode you were in previously.

Strobe on this light isn’t at just one rate. It’s pretty fast and then alternates between fast and really fast. I like it, I just wish strobe wasn’t so easy to access with just a double click of the mode button. When in st4robe you can also get to Beacon or SOS by long pressing on the mode button. To exit a special mode just short press on the mode button to return where you were previously.

Direct access to moonlight mode can be accessed with the light is off by pressing and holding the mode button, while actuating the tail button, so it’s a 2 hand operation.

Recharging
This light has recharging via microUSB on the tail cap of the light. There is a rubber flap that protects the port from dust and moisture. The port is also conformally coated, so it’s protected from moisture even if the flap is open. To test this I dunked it in water and then blew some air in the port with my mouth and proceeded to charge it without issue. There is also a small blue LED built into the tail cap to show charging status. Blinking blue means it’s charging, solid blue means it’s full.

The disappointing thing about charging via USB on this light is the speed. I saw charging speeds at it highest at only 0.64A. So for the included 3500mAh battery that means a full charge took me 10 hours, 9 minutes. This is really slow in 2018 for a premium light. I would expect a minimum of 1A these days, if not closer to 2A to cut down on the charging time substantially.

Pro

  • Comes with a nice high capacity Nitecore battery
  • Waterproofing even with the USB protective cap off
  • Quick access to ultralow 1 lumen mode

Con

  • Slow onboard Recharging .64A means using onboard recharging takes forever.
  • Beam throws well but has a slightly more dim area in the direct center.
  • Not a big fan of double click to strobe, I would prefer double click of the mode button to go to turbo and triple click for strobe.

Conclusion
The Nitecore MH12GTS is a pretty nice tactical style light with a good amount of throw for its compact size. The UI takes a little while to get used to but if this was a light you used often I think most would like it. I like how it’s able to use a pretty wide variety of power, including primary and flat top unprotected 18650’s. I like that Nitecore has put a lot of effort into making the USB port waterproof. I can get past the beam irregularities in normal everyday use, but the slow charging time is hard to live with on a premium light. Overall it’s a nice showing here from Nitecore and one that will be especially useful for a nice throw in a small diameter light.

Link to the NitecoreStore for the MH12GHTS https://www.nitecorestore.com/MH12GTS-1800-Lumen-Long-Throw-Flashlight-p…

Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews Website

Lumintop ODL20C Review (26650 Thrower w/ USB-C Recharging)

Today I have the Lumintop ODL20-C. This is a Thrower style light using a 26650 battery and it has USB-C on it for recharging. This light is using a Cree XHP35 HI LED Emitter, is capable of upto 2000 Lumens meaning it can throw a beam 860 meters. Thanks to FastTech.com for sending this to me to review.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/V8DqyxV

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is similar to other Lumintops, with the light coming in a brown cardboard box that is tight fitting. A good amount of information is on the back of the box. Inside the light is well protected in black foam cut to fit.


The light does come with the light itself, lanyard, spare oring, USB to USB-C charging cable, 26650 to 18650 adapter, and manual, warranty card, etc. I like the addition of the battery adapter. It works pretty well and I think more 26650 lights should come with it. No 26650 battery was included but one is shown in some of the official marketing material. The manual is pretty good, with a diagram, runtime tables, and good directions.

Construction
Lumintop again has nice construction on this light. It’s pretty large for a single 26650 light, and is pretty heavy. Fit and finish is tight on this light. It’s made of aluminum and is hard anodized black with a mostly matt finish. The tail cap has a pretty deeply recessed center section, and a small hole for the lanyard. It features a large diamond pattern to help with grip. Inside the tail cap it features a heavy dual spring. The body tube features nicely greased orings on each end and threads that are ACME cut, they are anodized and smooth. The body tube is reversible. It features a trapezoid patterned grip on it. Each of the 4 trapezoids are parallel. 2 feature the large diamond grip pattern milled in and the other 2 are plain. It’s a different look to your traditional knurling and provide a medium/low amount of grip.



The head is decently sized and where a lot of the mass for this light comes from. Inside it features a button style contact and a large rubber ring to provide reverse polarity protection. Button top and flat top batteries as well as protected cells are all compatible with this arrangement. Heatsyncs are pretty deeply cut into the sides and around the reflector of the light. They are not sharp and work well. The bezel is smooth and may be glued, I could not remove it with my hands along, it does retain the iconic Lumintop red bezel oring. The glass is glass and anti reflective coated. It feels pretty thick. The reflector has just a slight orange peel, and to LED is nicely centered.

The button is fairly large and surrounded by a polished metal ring. The button itself has a little transparent area in it that allows the led’s underneath to act as a status indicator for power level. The button itself is pretty flat and has a nice snap to it. Ergonomics and balance are pretty good on this.

The silicone cover that protects the USB-C port on this light is quite large. It’s a tight fit and I find if you close up the light say to put a different battery in the cover has a tendency to pop open. The only thing I can figure is its air pressure but this doesn’t seem to affect the water resistance of the light. With the door closed it stays in place reasonably well but the little tab on it does get caught pretty easily. Not the best design here. I would like to see another included in the package like other brands do.

Size/Weight/Comparisons
This is not a small of light weight light. I found it to be on the heavy side. Weight with a battery measured in at 400 Grams. Length measured at 147.5mm, diameter at it’s widest was 59mm and 35mm at it’s narrowest.


LED/Beam/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HI LED in a pretty neutral cool white. Being a thrower the beam pattern is mostly spot with a little spill. The Lumintop GT mini was even more focused. The reflector here has just a slight orange peel.

For my runtime test (Starting in Turbo mode until the light shuts off) I used a protected Keeppower 26650 cells that is rated for 5000mAh as it was one of the only 26650 batteries I had till recently. You do need a cell capable of at least 7A in order to activate Turbo. Total runtime I thought was a little short at about 105 minutes. However the bulk of this run time (about 95 minutes) was at about 1000 lumens which makes it pretty good. Turbo lasted about 5 minutes before the light started to take a major decline. Overall not a bad runtime in the big picture. One of the benefits of the weight of this light is that it’s able to handle heat pretty well. It gets warm but never hot during use.

Charging
This light has onboard USB-C for recharging and is capable of 2A. I didn’t see fast charging out of it but my USB-C meter is still on a boat in the Pacific somewhere. It does come with a USB-A to USB-C cable which is great since not everyone has USB-C cables laying around at this point. You do need a good charger to see 2A though, I had issue the first time I tried charging it getting less then 2A.

UI
UI is the same as the Lumintop ODF30 I reviewed last month. It features a single electronic switch mounted on the side. Ui is overly simple on this light. Low, medium, high in that order. When in high, double click to go to turbo. Eco mode (Still too high for my taste) is accessed when the light is off by long pressing the button till the light comes on. To shut it off while on requires a long press (2 seconds). Tho light also has Strobe but it can only be accessed from Eco Mode by double clicking to reach strobe. I like that strobe isn’t a part of the main group but this is a little awkward.

Lockout mode is also available. When the light is off long press for 4 seconds and the light will flash to enter lockout. To unlock requires unscrewing the tail cap. That’s certainly a different way to unlock and it’s not my favorite. Unscrewing the tail cap to mechanically lock it out seems more intuitive to me.

The light has low voltage reminder by flashing the LED under the button. This is a little hard to see if you don’t notice it. It comes on under 3V.

Pro

  • USB-C makes it to another light for recharging faster and easier. 2A charging was seen.
  • Good build and finish quality.
  • Ergonomics and balance are pretty good on this light.

Cons

  • Pretty beefy light and heavy but with good ergonomics
  • Only 2A maximum charging speed – 26650 batteries can safely accept higher speeds, and USB-C can deliver it.
  • No Neutral white option or cell included.

Conclusion
Another nice light in what I am calling 2018 the year of the thrower flashlight. While the weight is noticeable here it translates in the pretty decent runtimes and it deals with the heat pretty well. I would love to see neutral white be an option on this light but the cool white isn’t too cool which is good. I prefer the 26650 format for a thrower because it’s easier to bring with you and fit into a pocket or bag then a end over end 18650. The ergonomics on the ODL20C are good and I love that USB-C recharging options are becoming more and more common!

Link to this light on Fasttech https://www.fasttech.com/p/9659882 (non-affiliate)

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

[Review]Lumintop GT mini (18650 Thrower – Mini Giggles)

For the past few years forum members have been designing a huge thrower flashlight called the BLF GT, an 8× 18650 thrower. Lumintop was the manufacturer, and it was a great success, but very pricy. Lumintop decided to make a much more reasonable, smaller, and more affordable version which I have here today to review. The Lumintop GT mini takes what was learned from the BLF GT and shrinks it to a light capable of 1200 lumens and a throw out to 700+ meters, in an easy one handed pocketable light. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/oUqIr4C
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Lumintop typically has nice packaging and the GT mini, is no different. The brown box had an outer brown cardboard sleeve with a line drawing of the GT mini, the inner box just has the Lumintop name on it. No info on this light is listed externally other then if it’s Neutral or Cool white with a sticker on the end (Probably from Bagngoogd). Inside the light is packed in form fitting white foam. Accessories that came with my light were 2 extra o’rings and a purple unbranded lanyard. I prefer the orange lanyards that Lumintop used to use. A short 18350 tube is also available for this light. It’s a $5 extra to get it separately or get order it from the beginning for a few extra dollars.



Construction
Lumintop does a nice job with their lights and this is no different. It’s made from aluminium that’s been hard anodized in a near mat black. Threads feel nice, although they were dry from the factory. The tail cap is flat, but indented in the center. It looks like you could fit a thin magnet in if you desired. The lanyard hole is small as well but that’s not a major issue. The tail cap has 6 small flat areas to aid in grip. The light includes dual springs in the tail cap. Threads are fine, and have a slightly flat profile on top.





The body tube has flat diamond knurling that’s medium grip. It has some concentric areas turned in it to break up it into 4 blocks, and then 4 flats milled into it for writing and orientation. The spring on the head is short, stiff, and single :). There isn’t any physical reverse polarity protection on the head. The head itself has a series of rings with varying degrees of depth of cut to dissipate heat. The button has a silicone rubber feel to it and is slightly raised. Underneath is a LED that has various functions. The rest of the head is relatively smooth with small cuts for style near the edge. The reflector is deep and smooth. The LED is nicely centered. The front bezel is lightly crenelated and is not glued on. The lens is anti reflective coated.




My only build complaint is that the flats on the body tube, where the labels are for the light don’t line up with the power button when screwed all the way down so that the light is operational. Aesthetically this bothers me, but it’s also a small operational thing as well because I like the flats to line up with the button because it’s easier to find the button in the dark. Since this light by default has a lit up button it’s less of an issue. It seems not all the lights are affected by this by reading on Budget Light Forums.

Size/Weight/Water Rating/Size comparison
I measured length at 132mm, width at it’s largest at 50mm, and at it’s narrowest 23.3mm. Weight with an 18650 battery is 200 Grams. The light is rated for IPX68.

In comparison to other throwers, The GT mini is the same length as the Thrunite Catapult V6 but the head is head and body tube are smaller. Compared with the Convoy C8+, the GT mini is a good deal shorter (no tail switch), and has a slightly larger sized head.

LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XPL HI LED and is available in cool or neutral white. Mine that I am testing here is in neutral white which is my preference. This is pretty warm for neutral white which I don’t mind. Probably around 3800k or warmer. It uses a FET driver to achieve around 1200 maximum lumens in Turbo mode.

For runtime I used a 3400mAh Protected Thrunite battery. Step Down was pretty fast and pretty agressive on this light. It really stepped down pretty low and quickly after 2.5 minutes. It stepped down again at 3.5 minutes to 10% relative output. This is great for thermal and overall runtime but less practical for actual use. It requires you to either bump up again repeatedly to get brighter levels. Overall runtime was over 300 minutes but this was at about 10% relative output. Heat was not too bad, the head got to about 105F.

UI
This light uses the popular NarsilM V1.3 firmware. I won’t pretend to be the expert on this firmware as it offers a lot of options. It’s a firmware designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. What I like about it on this light is that it’s ramping, meaning the light doesn’t have predefined levels by default. This can be switched if you don’t like ramping but I will stick with the default for this review. The manual does a nice job of explaining the firmware. Full ramp from low to high is about 2.5 seconds. The light flashes at the top and bottom to let you know where it is. It has a shortcut to turbo if you double click. If you double click again from turbo you get into the strobing modes, and double click to exit. The switch has a green LED under it, this is on when the light is off, but not when the light is on. This can be turned off with turning the light on and off in rapid succession. Battery status, and lockout are also available, as well as momentary. It really is pretty much all here including setting the UI back to factory default. Make sure to give the manual a read or two to make sure you have a grasp of the capabilities.

Pro’s

  • The Neutral white version is a pretty warm tint which I like.
  • Lumintop have a nice build and packaging quality, on par with an Olight or Acebeam.
  • Glowing power button
  • Manual is different (in a good way vs the standard ones from Lumintop)
  • Great value thrower
  • Small 18350 tube available and included in some versions of this light.

Con’s

  • The body tube has flats, with labels and they don’t line up with the button, this is annoying to my “OCD”.
  • Large and Aggressive stepdowns in the runtime
  • Large head, small body tube makes it a little less ergonomic. I imaging this is even more so with a 18350 tube (Disappointed on isn’t included).

Conclusion
At the current sale price (With coupon) this is a high value thrower light. Unlike it’s big brother the BLF GT, the Mini is affordable, and easily fits in one hand. It offers great firmware, good build quality, and a long runtime even though it steps down a little fast for my liking. With the 18650 body tube it fits fairly well in the hand, but I can imagine the 18350 tube will be a little weird to hold on to, and get fairly warm to hold. That said I will probably buy one because of the novelty factor on my next Banggood order. With all the new throwers out this year, the GT mini ranks high on my list because of it’s firmware and neutral white options and that its been heavily influenced by enthusiasts.

Banggood has offered a great coupon for the Lumintop BLF GT mini: https://goo.gl/B6V9vT  Get it for only $32 with the coupon code: ab8a87

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Haikelite SC26 (26650/26350, ramping UI, CW/NW, Body Color Options)

The Haikelite SC26 is a new light utilizing the 26650 battery format as well as the hard to find 26350 battery size with the included optional tube design. It comes in 5 different exterior colors and 4 LED options. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to review. Let’s take a look at this interesting light.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/AmkMR1w
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is pretty basic, It’s a brown cardboard box, with a Haikelite sticker on the top. Inside is foam that is cut to the light’s shape. Included accessories are the 26350 tube, 2x orings, pocket clip, and manual. The manual is 1 half sheet of paper with a few technical details printed and operating instructions.


Construction
The light is made from Aluminum alloy, and is available in 5 colors of anodizing, Blue, Silver, Black, Teal, and Tan. The anodizing on my Blue SC26 doesn’t match. It seems the body tube is the outlier as the battery tubes, and end cap all match pretty well. The tail cap is small and has smooth rounded edges. Inside is a very stiff large spring. The body tube is what you would expect with orings on each side. Knurling is in a diamond pattern but not super aggressive.




A clip does come on this light but it only fits well in the larger configuration, lens up carry. Due to the thickness of this light I don’t consider it a front pocket EDC, it would be fine in a jacket pocket. I would have liked to see a spot for a lanyard but it does not have one.

Size/Weight/Comparison
I measured length with the long tube at 124.4mm, with the short tube it was 85mm. Diameter at its greatest is 35.3mm, and 32.1mm at its narrowest. Weight was 211.3g. No water rating is given but it has o’rings and seems reasonable for most uses.

With the short tube it’s pretty similar in length to a Emmisar D4 with the 18650 tube. When the SC26 has the longer tube its about 1/4 “ shorter then the Thrunite Catapult V6.

LED/Runtime
This light is using a Cree XHP35 and is available in the HD or HI variants. Mine is the HD variant in neutral white. The beam in this light has quite a bit of Cree Rainbow effect, for me it’s most noticeable in the hot center of the light. There is a definite donut, even at a distance, I find the direct center to be the warmest white, then there is a slight ring on the outside of the center that is brighter before the light fades to flood and the tint cools off. I found this more noticeable in the non turbo modes

For my runtime test I used a 4500mAh KeepPower protected 26650 battery. Overall total runtime was impressive at 350 minutes from turbo. This long runtime distorts the graph a little as nearly all that time at about 30% relative output which is somewhere near 700 lumens. When the power gets low the light does some flashing of the emitter to let you know it’s about of of power. Turbo lasted for just about 1.5 minutes before step down with my battery. Turbo mode is thermally controlled but with a timer too. Thermal mode is configurable. I used a fan to cool the fan during my short runtime test.

UI
This light has a ramping UI which I like. It flashes to let you know your at the bottom or top of the range. Ramping UI is listed at 21 to 2050 lumens. To get to turbo when the light is on just double click. Double click again to go back to the previous level you were at. To adjust your ramping level just press and release when you want to stop. To decrease output do the the same. The light also offers configurable thermal protection between 44 and 55 degrees Celsius.

The light also offers a 5 group mode UI that you can switch into. Make sure you check out the manual or the Banggood product listing on how to configure this and all that’s offered. There is only one mode that has strobe.

The light does have lockout in the UI. When the light is ON double click followed by a long press to lock out the light. Repeat to unlock. This is not my favorite method because with the ramping UI you are long pressing a lot. So it’s easy to put the light in to lockout if you double click to shortcut to turbo and then want to adjust down.

Batteries
This light is able to run on 26650 batteries which is what I did my testing with. I used KeepPower 4500mAh protected batteries. It can also run on 2× 26350 batteries or with the included short tube 1× 26350 battery. I like the look of it in the short chubby design, the problem is finding high quality 26350 batteries. They do exist but they are hard to find and of unknown brands. MTNElectronics carries some but the brand is not mentioned and they have no reviews. This was similar to just about everything else I found including Banggood. I don’t like the safety aspect of using lithium ion batteries from an unknown, unlabeled manufacturer. Hopefully some 26350’s from a known manufacturer will hit the market if this size becomes more popular or I can get some of these unlabeled 26350’s to test with this light. It’s also worth noting the light has Battery level indicator via the switch. Greater than 3.6V it will be blue, Less than 3.6V it will flash blue and below 3V it will red flash.

Pro’s

  • I like that the light has 5 color choices and 4 emitter choices including neutral white.
  • Ramping firmware and backlit button, it could be faster and have Lockout revised.
  • I like the size and feel in my hand with the large side switch.
  • Large stiff springs, but slight left to right rattle.

Con’s

  • Sources for high quality 26350 are pretty slim. It’s not a popular sized cell.
  • Non Uniform color anodizing.
  • Mine came with fingerprints on the inside of the lens, I was able to easily disassemble and clean it.
  • No lanyard loop.

Conclusion
This light is advertised as an EDC, at least for me it won’t be used as a front jean pocket EDC, because that 26650 is just too big in diameter and I don’t like lens up carry with the clip, but I could easily see throwing this in a jacket pocket or bag. I like that it comes in a wide variety of colors as well. I wish 26350 batteries were more widely available because I like the small size in the hand with she short tube. Even in it’s longer configuration I like the size of this light because of it’s narrow profile for a 26650 battery. I wish it had a lanyard loop on it but even without one it’s a pretty nice light if you don’t mind a bit of Cree Rainbow.
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Banggood would like me to mention that this light can be found on their site https://goo.gl/KHhyym (Affiliate Link) and they have provided a coupon code of “ef3048” to get the light for $42 if you are interested in it.

Review Reviews

Omars AC Powerbank 24,000mAh up to 80W AC

Today I have an Omars AC Powerbank. This is a little different from the powerbanks I have taken a look at in the past. This one has an AC output jack on it that’s good for up to 80W. It also has 2 USB ports that are capable of up to 3A each. Thanks to Omars for sending this to me to take a look at. Pickup this Omars AC Powerbank on Amazon https://amzn.to/2oh65e1 Save 10% with the code OMARS80W

Construction

Construction of this Powerbank is mostly plastic. It’s quite large, It’s pretty big, and heavy. Think ream of paper but not quite as wide. I measured the weight at 934G. It feels decently constructed and I would guess internally there may be a metal structure inside to keep it rigid. Omars also makes a model of this powerbank with twice the capacity in what I can tell the same footprint. To me it seems like this model the batteries are near the rear because of how it balances. On the front there is a button to turn it on, and 2 standard USB ports. Under the cover on the left is the ungrounded AC plug, with a manual switch to turn it on and off.

The manual isn’t bad but it’s not great either. It’s pretty short and generic. It’s not the level I would expect for an $80 electronic. Packaging was a brown cardboard box with an Omars sticker sealing it all in. there was a good amount of foam keeping everything in place.

 

Power/Features

The manual does say that the AC port is using Fixed wave inverter and is not suitable for small motors. I tested it with an AC fan and it worked but introduced a wine in the motor that I figured is not healthy. This is unfortunate but not uncommon with consumer DC to AC inverters.

 

I charged my laptop (With it powered off) from 6% to 100% using the Omars power bank . My laptop has a 56wh battery and the Omars has an 88wh. I was pleasantly surprised that after this full charge the powerbank indicated it had between 50-75% of power left. My killowatt meter showed 0.5kwh so this adds up. Losses due to conversions were less than what I expected. With my laptop I would expect about 2 full charges out of this powerbank.

 

Uses for this I can see being places where size and weight are less important but you need to keep your AC devices. Car camping, emergency preparedness,

 

Recharging

I completely discharged the powerbank and plugged it into the included 12V barrel wall charger and it charged in right at 3 hours. I thought this was a great charge speed given the large capacity. When measured on my kilowatt meter, it was pulling 36W at the beginning. What I didn’t love is the use of the

 

Conclusion

The Omars AC Powerbank does a good job at what it claims to do, I had no problems with the way it operates while being reasonable. It would be nice if small motors worked well with it, and it did work to power a fan. I can see potentially using it to charge a laptop once while car camping maybe or at a convention but in doing so you pay a pretty sizeable penalty in size and weight. This isn’t something that I would want to hike with at least in this size. As long as you recognize the the limitation of this type of powerbank and they fit your application you won’t be disappointed in having one.

Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

WowTac A4 Review (2000 Lumen 2x 18650 Thrower)

On my review table today is the new WowtTac A4 thrower. It uses a Cree XHP 35 HI LED and a deep reflector to achieve a claimed 820 meter throw. The A4 follows the older established design of a thrower by using 2× 18650 batteries in series. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/avSYy2t
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
The Wowtac packaging is a compact, long box that folds up from the front flap to reveal the light sitting in a foam protection. Underneath is the only accessories the light comes with (2 orings) and the manual.The box on the outside is pretty plain with not many details but it does make mention of an A5 model that currently is unannounced and I wonder what this might be to fit in this box.. . . .



Construction
The light is made from aluminum and anodized in a semi gloss black finish that’s even and without flaw. The tailcap is mostly flat with a slight recess with nice deep diamond knurling on the edges. It does have a small lanyard loop. Threads are square cut. The spring in the tail cap is rather short, and doesn’t have much travel.

The body tube is one long piece of aluminium that is symmetrical on both ends and it’s completely round. Knurling is deep and a diamond pattern. It feels nice in the hand, grip wise. I do miss it not having any flat areas though that help locate it’s orientation in the hand and help find the front power/mode button.

If the head of the Wowtac A4 looks similar, that’s because it is. The Thrunite Catapult V6 is identical in design with the only difference being that the Catapult V6 is that it has micro USB recharging opposite the main button and the threaded area where the tube connects is made to accommodate the different power sources. This makes sense, because Wowtac receives technical assistance from Thrunite on their designs. Think of Wowtac as the value brand for Thrunite. In this end this is good for both companies as it helps increase volume of manufacturer and lowers costs for both. The reflector is deep and smooth, the bezel is silver aluminium and looks like it should unscrew with the proper tool. The button itself is silver and metal, in the middle is a LED indicator that shows blue when the light is on. When the battery power is less then 20% it turns red, and when less then 10% the red will begin to flash.




I measured the length of the A4 at 202mm, maximum diameter at 58mm, minimum diameter at 25.3mm and weight with batteries at 321.5g. The light is IPX8 water rated.

LED/Beam/Runtime/Heat
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HI LED in cool white. It sits in front of a deep smooth reflector with anti reflective coated glass. The LED is nicely centered. It’s tint while cool white is fairly neutral.

The beam pattern is a small very focused hot spot in the center, with a large but dim spill. The spill has a hard cut off on the edges. It’s pretty identical to the Catapult V6. Heat isn’t too much of a concern, it’s big head does a good job of dissipating heat during operation.

UI & Modes
The UI of this light is simple and straightforward. From Off Long press to receive “reading” mode of 0.5 lumens. When on in any mode, long press to move up in brightness. Starting at Low of 22 lumens, Medium of 180 lumens, high of 950 lumens. From any mode the light is on you can double click to go to turbo at 2000 lumens. The light has Strobe which you can get to from tubo by double clicking again.

Runtimes
I performed my runtime tests with 2x Thrunite 3400mAh Protected button top 18650 batteries. Total runtime was just shy of 140 minutes in my runtime test. Turbo runtime was consistent with the 1.5 minutes that WowTac claims. The light stepped down 9 times over 22 minutes until it stabilized and ran for the remaining 120 minutes before an abrupt shut off. Step Downs were not the smoothest and most were drastic.

Batteries
This light does not ship with batteries, which is a first from WowTac. It needs 2x protected button top 18650 cells as specified by the manual. Flat tops without buttons or protection are too short to make contact. There while there is a spring in the tail cap there isn’t a ton of give to it. Magnets will work as a spacer if needed. For my test I used 2x Thrunite 3400mAh protected button top cells. Working voltage is 5.5-8.4v, so CR123A and 18350 cells are not an option for this light.

Comparisons
2018 seems to be the year of the thrower, and I have had several this year to review. I have not been disappointed in any of them. The Thrunite Catapult V6 has a super similar head as the Wowtac A4, and they use the same LED, however they give different throw distances. The WowTac has a claimed 820m, while the Thrunite claims 750m. My assumption is that the WowTac is driving the LED a bit harder due ot the higher voltages.

Pro

  • High Value for a large 2× 18650 thrower
  • Offers a firefly 0.5 lumen mode that throws well due to the reflector geometry
  • It should be pretty simple to change the emitter on this one if you wish
  • Minimal and tasteful branding on the light

Con’s

  • No batteries included, this is the first model from WowTac to have that.
  • Only offered in Cool white at the moment.

Conclusion
2018 Seems to be a popular year for throwers and I am enjoying it so far. The WowTac A4 offers everything you would want in a budget oriented handheld thrower, in a narrow but longer package. I think it’s a nice option for people who have lots of 18650 batteries and a charger already or don’t need USB charging.

Personally I am finding that I enjoy using the 1× 26650 battery format throwers a little better than the 2× 18650 category of throwers just because they are easier to carry in a bag and fit in my hand. That said the 2X 18650 form factor is well proven and works well. The Wowtac A4 is an affordable option, with a great beam profile for long distance throwing.

If you are interested in purchase, the light appears to be sold out at WowTac direct right now, but is available from Amazon yet (Affiliate Link).

Cool Videos EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Thrunite TH30 Headlamp (3350 Lumens, XHP 70.2 LED)

Today I have the new Thrunite TH30 Headlamp on my review table. This is a fairly slim profile headlamp that can also double as a EDC type light. It has a impressive 3350 lumen turbo mode, is USB rechargeable and ships with a Thrunite IMR battery. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/zuZo4rz
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is typical of what we are used to from Thrunite, simple, and functional. It’s a small brown cardboard box with minimal details printed on the outside. Unfolding it from the front cover reveals the headlamp packed in white foam. The battery is preinstalled with a protection disk. One of the nice things is that the head strap is already assembled and attached to the light. Underneath are the accessories which include a Micro USB cable for charging, pocket clip for the light (Can’t be used while in the headlamp mount), extra head mount, usb cover, manual, and branded black and red 3 piece head strap.





Construction
The TH30 itself is made from aircraft grade aluminium and is anodized a fairly shiny black. The light comes into 3 basic pieces, the head, body tube, and tail cap. Starting at the tail cap, the bottom is flat, and non magnetic. Knurling matches the body tube in a fairly aggressive diamond pattern. Threads under the cap are ACME style, and were lightly greased. The body tube has a pretty minimal diameter, and it has the same knurling as the tail cap. The pocket clip can mount onto the body tube either near the head or tail. Unfortunately the clip isn’t very deep carry when mounted near the head , but is reasonable when at the back of the light.


The head itself is fairly typical of a right handed light but it has been slimmed down where possible. As a result it only has cooling fins opposite of the emitter, and the sides are flat which is where the writing on this light are located. The only button is on the top of the light surrounded by an uncoated aluminum accent bezel. It’s a large, domed textured silicone rubber button that is semi transparent. Underneath are charge status indicators. The button stands a little proud and as a result the light won’t slit flat on it’s head.

The mount and stap were nicely preassembled. The mount itself is made from a black silicone rubber and is the style where you pass the light through silicone rubber hoops. This means the light stays put pretty well and isn’t the easiest to remove or add back. The head strap bands are black with red Thrunite lettering woven into the fabric. It’s a fairly basic strap and doesn’t include any of the silicon strips on the inside to keep the strap in place on helmets.

Size/Weight/Water Rating
I measured length at 106.5mm, minimum diameter at 23.6mm and maximum diameter at 28.2mm. Weight of the light with the included cell and head strap was 172.3g. The light is IPX8 water rated.


LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XHP 70.2 LED available in both cool and neutral white. My example here is in neutral white which is my preference. The LED is quite large but nicely centered in the reflector. Lens is glass and anti reflective coated, the reflector has a orange peel on it that does a good job of smoothing out the beam.

Runtime on the included 3100mAh IMR battery totaled 110 minutes from Turbo. When starting on high the light really steps down after about 5 minutes due to heat and is only running at about 25% relative output where it ran for the majority of the time. I saw very little difference when I ran a cooled output for 20 minutes compared with uncooled as well suggesting it’s a timed/voltage decline. Stepdowns were smooth. The last 10 minutes of runtime the light will start flashing to let you know the battery is depleted and ready to shut down.
Total Runtime

Uncooled 20 Minutes

Cooled 20 Minutes

Heat is a bit of a concern with this light on turbo since it produces up to 3350 lumens. During my test, the head easily reached 120F while on turbo within about 3 minutes. This is hot, but it won’t burn you. When being warm as a headlamp the silicone rubber mount does a good job of insulating your skin from the heat. The manual does say for the safety battery, driver and LED they recommend not using the light at the maximum for more than 10 minutes.

The beam is mostly flood and quite smooth. The center is slightly hotter but it’s nicely diffused thanks to the orange peel reflector. This light really isn’t a thrower but because of it’s power it does a decent job out to about 100 yards or so.

Battery and Recharging
Included in the package is a 3100mAh Thrunite Branded high drain, button top IMR 18650 battery. While not officially mentioned, given the performance characteristics it’s believed this battery is a rewrapped Sony VTC6 with protection. Working voltage of this light is 2.75V to 4.2V so 2x CR123A batteries will not work in this light.

Recharging is accomplished via a microUSB port on the very top of the head of the light. I like this location as it’s out of the way. The usb cover is attached with a decent amount of material as well and an extra is included in the packaging just in case. A red LED is under the main operation button will let you know the light is charging and it turns blue when charged. I measured max draw during charging at 1.5A which matches ThruNite’s claims, and a full recharge took 2 hours and 34 minutes. The light can be powered on to low mode during charging via USB.

UI and Mode Spacing
Changing modes in this light is easy. When the light is on pressing and holding the button will cycle through modes. The light starts on low, and progresses linearly though Low, Medium Low, Medium, High, and SOS. To get to turbo at anytime double click, and to use firefly when the light is off just long press. The light will remember the mode you were last in except for Firefly, Turbo, or SOS.

Turbo (3350 lumens for 1.5 min then 1050 lumen after step down)
High (1275 lumen; 90 minutes)
Medium (352 lumen; 5 hrs)
Medium-Low (130 lumen; 14 hrs)
Low (25 lumen; 60 hrs)
Firefly (0.5 lumen; 32 days)
SOS (645 lumen; 305 minutes)
The light can be mechanically locked out by just breaking contact with the tail cap or body tube. Given this lights power I would recommend doing that.

Pro’s

  • Available in Neutral or Cool White
  • Mode spacing is nice, and it has a simple UI but I wish strobe was not part of the main group.
  • Very smooth floody beam, not much noticeable tint rainbow to me.
  • High quality included battery that is non proprietary.
  • 2 Year free replacement warranty, with a limited lifetime warranty after that

Con’s

  • Pocket clip is reversible but not very deep carry
  • The button cover protrudes a little so it won’t stand on its head very well.
  • Wish it had active thermal controls

Conclusion
If you have followed my reviews for a while you will know I am a fan of headlamps, for me it’s probably in the top 3 types of flashlights everyone should own. The Thrunite TH30 is a very nice high lumen headlamp option. Understandably Turbo doesn’t last too long, due to the immense amount of heat 3350 lumens creates, but the lower modes are sufficient. I really like that this headlamp uses non proprietary batteries which makes getting extra’s or a replacement easy and less expensive than some other brands. I like that the light comes with an excellent and safe battery as well, I think it’s an extra layer of safety to have a protected cell when your using one on your head. I think it’s safe to say this is my favorite headlamp of 2018 so far.