Review - Olight S1RII Baton

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Review - Olight S1RII Baton

Olight’s S1RII Baton is a deceptively powerful light in a very small package (roughly the size of a shorter, albeit fatter, tube of lip balm) that should be on your short-list if you’re in the market for an easily carried everyday flashlight.

SkyBen.trade Amazon Store

Currently offered for $64.99 (as of November, 14, 2018).

I received my Olight S1RII Baton from SkyBen.trade in exchange for my evaluation of the item. I’ve had the honor of doing multiple evaluations for SkyBen.trade and have purchased a number of products from them as well. Without exception all items (from SkyBen.trade) have been shipped very fast and packaged extremely well – making my experiences with SkyBen.trade 100% positive.

I normally include a link to the item’s owner’s manual, but could not locate an online link so snipped photos of the product’s features will have to suffice. Those (snipped) photos do a decent job of describing the product features, so my review will center on my own experiences (and thoughts) regarding the S1RII Baton from Olight.

Build quality (S1RII Baton) is what I’ve come to expect from Olight: very well done with a lot of attention paid to every detail. The finish follows suit and previous experiences with Olight products tell me that this flashlight will bear the test of time/use with aplomb.

Olight gave the S1RII Baton a different body texture – basically a series of protrusions that look very much like small pyramids covering the bulk of the body. I find this texturing to be very comfortable to my hand (almost as though it is a mini-massage) and it provides the user with excellent grip. I think this texture also conveys a look of toughness to the overall product.

The switch is located on the side of the body – up close to the head of the flashlight. It sits in the middle of a raised platform; directly opposite of the attachment point for the included clip. All but silent when pressed/released; the switch has good tactile feedback, but I find it a bit difficult to use because of my large fingers/thumbs. The switch is designed to make it less likely to be accidentally activated while carried in a pocket – a good thing. But that design also means it is a bit less friendly for those of us with larger hands. It isn’t a huge issue, but it does warrant a mention.

In the center of the switch itself is a led that serves to tell the user the battery status, as well as the charging status (when charging). I do find the battery status feature to be very useful since it gives the user a “heads up” long before the battery is depleted to the point that the light no longer functions.

The clip is one of the better designs: it’s a deep carry style that doesn’t have to be physically moved to have a reverse function. The clip itself can be removed, but it has only one attachment point. Carrying head up, or head down, is up to the user. Either method will result with (roughly) ¼ of an inch of the head/tail sticking above the clip itself. This makes it very easy to attach the S1RII Baton to the brim of a cap so it can be used as a headlamp.

Olight put a magnetic tail on the S1RII Baton – a feature that I absolutely love on smaller flashlights. The magnet is quite strong: giving the flashlight the ability to firmly attach itself to ferrous objects with enough grip to keep the flashlight where the user wants it.
Part of the magnetic tail’s functionality is the included magnetic charger – a new and improved version that is both a bit smaller (than prior versions) and a bit more powerful (charges faster). My understanding is that it will work with earlier models that used the magnetic charger too, so if you’ve got other Olight flashlights (with a magnetic charging via the tail) this new charger will recharge those flashlights faster.

I am very fond of the charging system. I find it to be the easiest method for charging a depleted battery: simply plug the cord into a USB outlet and get the magnetic end somewhere near the tail of the flashlight (the two will attach themselves correctly) and charging begins. There’s no messing with input covers on the flashlight, and no worries about the cover allowing dust/moisture in because it wasn’t sealed properly. From a user’s standpoint it is simple, effective, and very close to being idiot proof.

Thanks to the flat bottom, the S1RII Baton tail-stands like a champion – even if the surface isn’t a ferrous metal. Olight got the lanyard attachment right too – a slot in the side of the tail so the lanyard itself doesn’t interfere with the light’s ability to tail-stand.

The body unscrews from the head; inside there’s a spring on the head with contacts on the tail end of the body. The battery goes in with the positive end to the tail (opposite of what most flashlights require) so the magnetic charging system can recharge the battery while in the flashlight. The threads are well cut (square) and came well lubricated. Screwing the flashlight together/apart shows no indications of imperfections or obstruction.

On the business end there is a TIR optic lens for clarity and a really nice hot spot. The reflector is a bit deeper than I would have expected: giving the S1RII a far better throwing ability than I would have guessed.

There is a large, distinctive, evenly dispersed hot spot in the center of the beam. From that point the beam spreads out quite nicely (albeit noticeably less bright) to cover a very wide area. The surprising thing is how well the S1RII throws that beam of light (rated at a maximum of 145 meters).

I find the cool white beam (6500K) to be remarkably good for what the flashlight is designed to do – shedding light on close-up objects over a wide area. While not a “thrower” in the sense that a user can light up objects at a great distance, the S1RII does a very respectable job of lighting up things that are up to 75 meters (or so) away.

The operation (of the flashlight) is simple and straight-forward: click the switch to turn the light off/on. Press and hold to change modes, and double click to enter turbo (triple click to go to strobe). From off, press/hold the switch to go into the moonlight mode. I find the output levels to be spaced well for my demands. Generally moonlight mode and the low mode are the two that I use most, but I do appreciate the fact that 1,000 lumens are available with a double click.

Mode memory works for the regular modes (and moonlight) but not turbo or strobe. There is a lockout mode as well: from the off position press/hold switch for 2 seconds (moonlight mode comes on and then back to off) and the flashlight is now locked out. To take the flashlight out of lockout mode, press/hold the switch until it goes into moonlight mode, then release the switch.

I generally do not read the owner’s manual until I’ve used a flashlight for a good bit of time. My excuse is that doing it that way lets me discover how easy the light is to operate and how intuitive the user interface is. Of course such a method sometimes leads to me learning things, upon reading the manual, that I had not discovered on my own. The S1RII is one such example: I had absolutely no idea that this little flashlight had a timer mode (until reading the manual). I don’t have the foggiest idea of why a timer would be useful (in a flashlight) but the little Olight offers both a 3 minute timer and a 9 minute timer.

Accessing the timer took a bit of finesse and several attempts; it seems that the process requires the right timing and perhaps a bit of practice. From the On position, double click the switch (holding it in on the second press) and the light will flash once. That indicates the light is now on the 3 minute timer. To change to the 9 minute timer, double click and hold the switch again; the light will blink twice to indicate it is now in the 9 minute timer mode. Once the time has expired, the flashlight shuts itself off.

Personally, I don’t view this as a useful feature. But it is there and I would guess that some users will like the option of using a timer.

One of the operational traits that I don’t care for is the timed step-down in output. I don’t mind it in the turbo mode (1.5 minutes at 1,000 lumens, then it steps down to 300 lumens) but I am not a fan of the step-down in high mode (1.5 minutes at 600 lumens, then stepped down to 300 lumens). I get the heat factor – and yes the S1RII will get warm fairly quickly – but this effectively makes 300 lumens the practical high output.

I would prefer that the turbo mode steps down – after 1.5 minutes – to something like 500 lumens and then stays there until the battery is depleted (or the heat factor demands a further step-down). I think the S1RII would be far more useful if it could run (high mode) at 450 – 500 lumens until heat became a factor (or the battery is depleted).

Granted, the S1RII isn’t designed to be used at high outputs for long periods of time. It doesn’t have the battery capacity or the cooling ability, but 1.5 minutes of run time (at 600 lumens) makes the claimed output levels seem more like marketing points than usable features. Having said that I must admit that my own use is almost entirely concentrated on the two lowest outputs; I seldom use either the turbo mode, or the high mode. But that doesn’t alter my belief that the S1RII would be more useful if the high mode output were leveled out so the user could get 10 – 15 minutes of steady use out of of that mode, at a steady output.

I think the target audience (EDC use) will find the S1RII to be an excellent choice; especially so for mechanics or those who do a lot of their own repairs (vehicles or their home). The magnetic tail makes this flashlight very useful and very versatile. It is small enough to fit into tight spaces, and has plenty of power to light up much larger areas.

For me the battery life has been quite good – when I avoid using turbo mode too often. Sticking with the lower two modes (as I tend to) makes the battery life exceptional for such a small light. I probably won’t EDC the S1RII though – it’s too large for a key-chain light, and too small (my tastes) for an EDC pocket light. I say that only because I think I’d be likely to set it somewhere and not realize I hadn’t picked it back up because it really isn’t noticeable when carried in my pocket. I tend to favor a bit larger pocket knife for the same reason.

Mine will likely spend its time in my shop, firmly attached to the side of a toolbox so it is instantly available whenever I need it. If not there, it will spend its life on the side of the refrigerator (assuming my wife decides to commandeer it – as she’s indicated) for those times when the electric goes out and she wants a nightlight in the kitchen. Either way, the S1RII is too useful a tool to go unused.

Thanks to SkyBen.trade for providing me with the opportunity to express my opinion on the Olight S1RII Baton flashlight.