I get sent lots of bits by all sorts of people to test and hopefully write about on the blog… and I think you can guess that I don’t write about too many by the lack of ‘reviews’ on here. Basically if it’s not up to scratch I don’t write about it. I don’t want to knock back a product or company because I have a problem with it or them… so I just keep quiet.
However a couple of weeks ago Erin reached out to me (as the Americans are so fond of saying) asking me if I’d like to review a couple of products… they would send them free of charge in exchange for a review. I agreed.
Unbeknown to Erin I already had been using a couple of their products for a while. So what’s the company?…. Olight… ‘who the heck are they?’… I hear you ask.
Olight have been producing torches (or flashlights if you are west of the pond) for a while and I first came across them in a couple of YouTube videos reviewing flashlights of all things. The one that impressed me at the time was the Olight R40 rechargeable (I think this has been replaced by the R50 Seeker now) which I purchased, and a bit later I acquired a Olight R20 Javelot. (replaced by the M20SX Javelot) The R40 is my ‘go to’ vehicle torch and the R20 is always in the pocket of my Hi-Vis vest while on the ramp at night. They seem to be manufactured to a high standard and are quite robust.
I know that my R20 Javelot is only small but it packs enough punch for me to light up the tail of an Airbus 320 on a dark ramp. I was looking forward to giving these two new torches a try out.
My R40 uses a micro USB lead to charge but with the H2R and S1R they use Olight’s, I think unique, magnetic charging base. It’s a magnetic disk that holds itself onto the base of the torch. The other end simply plugs into a USB socket. Really neat and simple in my opinion.
The S1R Baton comes complete with a small bag, a charging base and a padded wrist lanyard. The torch is really tiny just 21mm in diameter and 61 mm long but don’t let it’s size put you off! Here’s a few key points…
- Cree XM-L2 LED
- Powered by a 550mAh RCR123 customized battery of five times discharging rate, giving a maximum output up to 900 lumens
- The flashlight can be charged through the magnetic contact charging port (other batteries may also be used in S1R, but cannot be charged)
- New 750mA portable USB charging cable
- Brightness increases or decreases gradually: when the flashlight is switched on/off,
- Flat magnetic tailcap that allows it to be secured to ferrous metal surfaces as a hands-free option
- Lockout mode can be activated on the side switch for accidental triggering protection, along with a low-voltage indicator underneath
- Reverse polarity protection circuits
- Timer Setting: Short (3 minutes) and long (9 minutes)
- The standby current is below 30uA
The charging base is really tiny too… and it’s magnetic attachment is really cool.
The other torch – the H2R Nova is slightly different….
It’s angles 90 degrees so when you clip it on your pocket or belt it shines forward. The pocket clip is a ‘s’ shape too so you can slide it over something either way… so wearing a rucksack it will easily sip over the shoulder strap and you can twist it to point on the ground just in font of you. In the box you also get a charging base (identical to the S1R Baton – handy!) and a strap to turn it into a head torch…. not having a spare head I fitted it over the box…
The H2R Nova uses a 18650 battery and has an amazing 2300 ANSI rated lumens output from a CREE XHP50 LED .
- Huge beam spill (TIR with diffuser lens)
- Optimal for pack strap/pocket/headlamp
- Pocket light and headlamp in one with magnetic charging.
- Magnetic tail fix, 90 degrees light illumination direction
There are 5 power settings, the runtime quoted on maximum power (2300 lumens) is 1h50m while down at its lowest setting (night-light) it’s 45 days.
If you look closely at the lens in the picture it is textured… this threw me at first but at night you can clearly see why. The beam spread is very even with a minimal ‘hot spot’ in the centre. This makes it particularly effective as a general lantern or for providing trail lighting at night… I also tend to think it might be excellent on a bike at night too. (you can get a bike mount – Bike Mount)
They are not discount store cheap…. but usually when you need a torch you really really need a torch at that moment that works and is up-to the job, they are not top end eye wateringly expensive either. As my grandfather always used to tell me “By cheap… buy twice” I paid retail price for my first two Olight torches and was knocked back by the difference in quality and light output compared to anything in my previous “budget end” collection.
So where are the night-time photos?
Well what’s the point? You can tweak a photo of a candle to make it look like the sun is shining… given a long enough exposure and a bit of Photoshop magic. Well maybe not quite.
While we were on site at Blackshaw Moor recently I did have a wander round at night testing them, but to be honest using the HR2 Nova on full power was a bit embarrassing. It looked like I was pointing the torch directly at caravans rather than the path… it was just a bit too bright! I had to knock it down two levels so it matched the torch I was comparing it too. The tiny SR1 on full power out did my comparison torch but it’s slightly tighter beam gave me the distance with less embarrassing spread. (P.S. I’ve nick-named this one “the noisy cricket’ from the tiny gun in MIB)
I was soundly impressed by both these torches in terms of their excellent build quality, functionality and illumination. Like I said right at the start, if I didn’t think they weren’t up to scratch, you would not be reading about them now!
Where to buy…
From the Olight UK Store here
and on Amazon…
S1R Baton – https://amzn.to/2sfzckd
H2R Nova – https://amzn.to/2ktdeG2
My other Olight torches…
R40 Rechargable – https://amzn.to/2kuBF65
R20 Javelot – https://amzn.to/2IQ1E6x
(P.S. If you do buy from Amazon through these links or any Amazon links on the blog, it won’t cost you a single penny more but Caravan Chronicles will receive a few pence from the sale paid by Amazon.)