Review: Convoy S2+ (the red one!) – Fantastic 18650 EDC

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Chicken Drumstick
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Review: Convoy S2+ (the red one!) – Fantastic 18650 EDC

Convoy S2+ 18650 – XM-L2 T6-3B 7135*8

Declaration & Thanks:
This light was supplied for review by Simon @ Convoy flashlights.

Conclusion Summary:
The S2+ is an ideal and brilliantly capable EDC torch. With only one tiny minus that is doesn’t come supplied with a pocket clip (but can be ordered separately). Quality, construction, performance and ability all easily exceed its price point. And to date, this S2+ has probably the best switch I’ve used on a flashlight yet. Oh, and I adore the colour.

The S2+ with some of its fellow Convoy models.

M1 | M2 | S2+ | S4 | EagleTac 18650

Manufacture Specs:
Aesthetic
MATERIAL Aluminum Alloy
Electronic Components
LOW VOLTAGE WARNING Yes
OUTPUT CURRENT 1050 mA
REVERSE POLARITY PROTECTION Yes
Flashlights
FLASHLIGHT MODES Group 1: Lo (5%) > Mid (40%) > Hi (100%);
Group 2: Lo (5%) > Mid (40%) > Hi (100%) > Strobe > SOS
LENS TYPE Glass Lens
MODE MEMORY Yes
REFLECTOR TYPE Aluminum Textured/OP
SWITCH PLACEMENT Tail
SWITCH TYPE Clicky
TAIL STAND Yes
Light Sources
LIGHT SOURCE BIN XML2 U2-1A
LIGHT SOURCE BRAND Cree
LIGHT SOURCE COLOR 6500-7000K
LIGHT SOURCE MODEL XM-L2
LUMENS (MAX) 490LM
Power & Batteries
BATTERIES INCLUDED No
BATTERY TYPE 18650 lithium (protected or unprotected)
REQUIRED BATTERY COUNT 1
Manufacturer
BRAND Convoy
Dimensionsus | metric
HEIGHT 118 mm
WIDTH 24.1 mm

Customizable LED:XML2 T6-3B / T6-4C / T5-5B / T4-7A
Customizable driver: 7135*4 / 7135*6 / 7135*8

Info about my reviews and testing:
I like to keep my reviews fairly informal and not overly technical. There are plenty of talented people with fancy measuring devices to offer more technical detail. What I want to do is give an honest appraisal of owning and using this torch, and what a regular punter will make of it.

What’s in the box?

The S2+ like many of the S series Convoys came in a nice box with foam cut-outs. In the box is the S2+ and a sturdy looking multi-link lanyard.

Exterior Design & Ergonomics:
The S2+ is available in different colours, this is the wonderful new anodised red. It is a semi-matt finish and is flawless, while looking superb. And a refreshing change from the regular black anodising of most lights.

The S2+ consists of 3 sections; head, body and tail cap. The threads are all square cut and the tail cap caters for lockout.

The knurling is mild, but sufficient for grip and makes it nicer in the pocket.

There are two holes on the tail cap for lanyard attachment, or if you prefer for the screw on Convoy pocket clip (something I wish was supplied with the light).

The switch is recessed and allows easy, stable tail standing.

Beam:
The S2+ uses a shallow OP reflector.

This offers up a lovely floody light, with smooth transition from hot spot to spill beam.

Convoy offer several different emitter options for the S2+, from the latest high binned CW XM-Ls as well as Neutral and Warm White options.

My example is a neutral 3B tint. And I have to say this is a wonderful tint, the beam shot photos below will really highlight this. But this tint offers great colours and depth but doesn’t look yellow or brown. When you can get a beam looking as good as this, it makes you wonder why some people still opt for CW emitters.

Sadly there is no XP-G2 option for the S2+, it would lose its floodiness, but I think this emitter would work well in this size of light, if you require something with a little more throw.

Switch, UI & Performance:

The switch deserves special mention. This is a new switch type for me, it’s a reverse clicky, but feels like a piston switch to use. Only the middle part of the switch moved in and out, while the outer section remains in place.

The switch is wonderfully positive and smooth to use. And makes half click mode changes much easier than they are with the traditional rubber booted switches. I seriously hope to see this switch find a home on more Convoy flashlights.

If I had to sight a single item about the S2+ that elevates is above other torches of similar ilk, then the switch is it, it really is that good.

The S2+ uses the 105C based driver. As per the emitter, this is also customisable, from 3 to 8 7135 chips at the time of ordering. I opted for the 8*7135 driver, which should offer up a beefy 2.8amps to the LED.

A nice thing about this driver is it is also user customisable. By default it has 5 modes:

Low – Mid – High – Strobe – SOS

But not everybody will want the disco modes. So if you switch to the Low mode and wait a few seconds, the light will flash once. Turn it off and on again and it is now a 3 mode light:

Low –Mid – High

It also has memory.

Giving the end user this easy ability without the need of a soldering iron is fantastic.

The S2+ has the latest version of this driver, you’ll note older ones had stars on the underside to allow you to select different mode groups by soldering a star to the negative contact (as well as the method above).

I did take some tail cap readings using a freshly charged Samsung 25R @ 4.19v

High = 2.82 amps
Mid =
Low =

So according to my DMM, the 8*7135 driver does indeed offer up 2.8 amps as promised.

In Actual Usage:
Size wise the S2+ compares favourably with other tube style 18650 lights. I like the fact it is a smooth finish, this way nothing snags on clothing or your pocket as you carry it or use it.


Solarforce T1 | Convoy S2+ | Convoy S4 | EagleTac D25LC2 Mini

Not being supplied with a pocket clip means there is no anti roll device as standard, although you can purchase a sturdy pocket clip separately that would solve this. I have the clips on order as I type this, as I’m not a fan of a torch this size floating about in my jeans pocket and prefer to clip it to the inside of my pocket.

If you prefer to carry the light in a coat pocket, this is a non-issue.

I found the beam, tint and UI to all be great for EDC use. The low isn’t a moonlight, but it is a suitable low setting, and the floody beam would make this ideal for reading or map work with ease.

On high it does heat up pretty fast, but outside with your hand round the torch it can run like this for semi long durations before you have to step down to mid.

Beam shots & Comparisons:
Being an XM-L2 in a small reflector the S2+ is nothing but floody, but one shouldn’t expect anything else.

The 3B tint however and the smoothness of the beam are however very impressive.

I decided to compare to S2+ to 3 other of my EDC 18650 lights.

-Convoy S4 Nichia 219B Qlite 3.0A
-Convoy S4 XP-G2 5A2 Qlite 3.04A
-Lumintop SD20 XM-L2

I compared it to these lights to give a comparison of beam profile, tint and price point.

I think the 3B tint stands up well to the 92CRI Nichia and compares favourably to the output of the Lumintop.

The XM-L2 doesn’t throw as well as the XP-G2 does, but no surprises there. But the beam is smooth and just look at how wide an area it illuminates.

Video Review:
TBA

dangerous
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I have one of these bad boys on order. I went with eight chips and the 4C tint. While I personally love the 4C tint, I understand people just looking for the brightest will continue to use 1A.

BLF

WarHawk-AVG
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Simon…make these in black/silver…I WILL BUY THEM!

Love that new style switch…truly makes it head and shoulders above the normal rubber boot

Also I noticed on the smaller 18350 S2+ the 2 group driver in low DOES NOT have the nasty PWM flicker annoyance of many other EDC type lights, you guys definitely stepped up the useability of these drivers.

Honestly people if you are looking for a VERY good pocket EDC, these type lights cannot be beat for the price, plus with the 2.8A driver you can easily use most inexpensive laptop pulls (all the ones I currently have run them and they do great

If you need an EDC (and don’t mind the red) GET ONE OF THESE…Simon…make these in black and silver…and I will be buying more!

These lights make very ample light upto 40-50 yards easily, more than enough for EDC, not a super thrower and not a zoomie, but best of both works

DanielM
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Great review CD, love the beamshots on the red brick house.
I would like to see how the switch is mounted.

Old-Lumens wrote:
I love modding, but I don't have much use at all for flashlights in general.
WWW
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Thanks for the great review!!! I’ve been eyeing Convoy for a while now, the price is very attractive and the high praise I’ve been hearing will possibly make this my first 18650 light. I also like the fact that it comes in a color other than black!!!

Iker
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WWW wrote:
will possibly make this my first 18650 light. I also like the fact that it comes in a color other than black!!!

You won’t regret it. There is also the blue version announced a few weeks ago…

Calmaja
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Iker wrote:
WWW wrote:
will possibly make this my first 18650 light. I also like the fact that it comes in a color other than black!!!

You won’t regret it. There is also the blue version announced a few weeks ago…
!{width:50%}http://kfdown.a.aliimg.com/kf/HTB1KB.YGVXXXXaAXpXXq6xXFXXXU/121130677/HT...!

I’m waiting that blue one too, looks like not yet available.

zoom zoom
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Man that switch... Any chance we could buy the switch and metal cap separate to swap in current convoy S lights?!!? Mtnelectronics has a lot of pocket clips available, not much extra cost, weeks less shipping time!

absalom
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Do you have a link to the exact pocket clip you plan to use?

Chicken Drumstick
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absalom wrote:
Do you have a link to the exact pocket clip you plan to use?

I assume the same clips that the Convoy S4 uses will fit. See the picture in the review of the other Convoy lights.

These are the ones I’ve ordered:
http://m.aliexpress.com/item/2049685616.html?tracelog=storedetail2mobile...

I’ll report back on how they fit when they arrive.

Ice
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I don't think they fit 

Tom E
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Just got a Red S2+ in from FastTech yesterday (1.4A, 4C tint) - awesome switch, totally agree. A friend at work, whom I show bout every light I own, said this switch was the best he felt of any of them. He ordered two same day.

I bought it cause the switch peeked my interest - hope the Convoy brand extends the switch design to all tailcap switch lights. Definitely worth the extra $2. I'm still looking for a good feel/quality side switch pocket EDC sized light... The ZY-T11 and clones is about the best to me right now...

Firelight2
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zoom zoom wrote:

Man that switch… Any chance we could buy the switch and metal cap separate to swap in current convoy S lights?!!? Mtnelectronics has a lot of pocket clips available, not much extra cost, weeks less shipping time!

I feel exactly the same way. I NEED THAT SWITCH! J)

Gunga
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Put that switch on the 18350 version in blue!

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Nice review. It makes me even more await the one I’ve ordered >4 weeks ago… The tracking still says “in transit” and it is not found yet in the German postal service. Sad
I’ve should have bought the clip too…

ykb
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Many thanks for the review, Chicken Drumstick. I was looking for a relatively inexpensive and compact 18650 EDC, and this one seems ideal. I’ve just ordered the 1.4A / 3B version, along with the clips.
Cheers!
Smile

waiting for ZebraLight Q50

Tom E
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The Red S2+ tailcap assembly easily fits on the S2+ 18350 light - I tried it. The red and gray combo is pretty weird...

Halo...
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Pictures of how the switch is mounted? I’m guessing its pressed in.

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Sorry, no pics. It's the std small white Omten mounted on a round PCB. The brass retainer ring is reverse mounted - lots of fun to figure that one out... Smile Everything is std accept the SS button parts themselves. the center button has a weird rubber boot on it, but it sure works well...

msg1285
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Nice review Beer

I got an S2+ last week and it has been amazing, I ordered another one the next day. It may not be the smallest, but is just about perfect for what I need. I can’t imagine anyone being disapointed in it. The spill is great and throws better than expected.

Antenne
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Maybe these are the same parts (steel switch) as the ones built-in the rechargeable Models like the Dipper BD03/BD04?

Chicken Drumstick
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Ice wrote:

I don’t think they fit 


Just took the clip off the S4 which is the same as the ones I ordered, and it fits the S2+ fine.

Tom E
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The tailcap housing is physically different btw for the red S2+. The last pic above shows it - that red ridge around the SS - it protrudes up -- that's not on a standard S2+ tailcap. So, I'm thinking it would not be possible (or the same) to get a SS button conversion kit for a conventional S2+ w/rubber boot.

dondulah
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Is there a separate name for this S2+ it makes it confusing since the only difference seems to be the color and the tailcap?

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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Ice wrote:

I don't think they fit 

Just took the clip off the S4 which is the same as the ones I ordered, and it fits the S2+ fine. !http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q11/300bhpton/Torches/Reviews/Convoy%...! !http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q11/300bhpton/Torches/Reviews/Convoy%...

Hey.. no straight flash photography Wink PM

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dondulah wrote:
Is there a separate name for this S2+ it makes it confusing since the only difference seems to be the color and the tailcap?

+1 - it is pretty confusing. Same as the S3 - new design, but not called an S3+ -- weird...

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These are the different model names as I understand it:
S2+
New S2+
Red S2+
16340/18350 S2+

S3
New S3

I agree they could use a better naming system.

BLF

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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Ice wrote:

I don’t think they fit 


Just took the clip off the S4 which is the same as the ones I ordered, and it fits the S2+ fine.


Make sure you use some loctite on the little screws on the pocket clip…they will loosen and the darn thing will fall off at the most inopportune time (ask me how I know Sad )

Those are the stainless pocket clip from fasttech I believe
https://www.fasttech.com/p/1281100

Man, those switches look GORGEOUS!!! I soooo wish Simon would find a supplier and sell them as an addon (aka completely separate from the Convoy deal) I need about 8 of em Smile
Only problem I see…they are smaller than the entire rubber boot and wouldn’t fit

Simon..have your engineer gurus come up with a viable rubber boot to stainless switch “upgrade” and you will sell tens of thousands of em (especially if the ring on the bottom had a tightening groove cut in em (like the groves on some of the SK68/98 pills) so they could be removable/replaceable

I guess we can refer to them here as the S2+ ADV (for advanced tailcap) Smile

Chicken Drumstick
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ChibiM wrote:
Hey.. no straight flash photography Wink PM

No flash used for any pictures in this review. Zeusray used on the indoor shots at it gets dark before I get home from work. Clip pics taken today in daylight.
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So the holes are not too big for those nuts in the clip?

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dangerous wrote:
I have one of these bad boys on order. I went with eight chips and the 4C tint. While I personally love the 4C tint, I understand people just looking for the brightest will continue to use 1A.

4C's are also my favorite now, and the 5B1's I like, but no longer available at MtnE or IOS... Think I bought Richard's last one.

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