Review: Olight M18 Maverick (XM-L2 | 1 x 18650 / 2 x CR123A)

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Review: Olight M18 Maverick (XM-L2 | 1 x 18650 / 2 x CR123A)

Maverick means one who likes to rebel; it was also the call-sign of Tom Cruise's character, Lt. Pete Mitchell, in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun. The name was apt since in the movie, Maverick was a hot-shot trainee pilot who didn't like following orders. While his dog-fighting moves may have been unorthodox, there was some genius to it (inverting a F14 over a Mig pilot and flipping him the bird anyone?), that his superiors recognized even if they were loathe to admit it. So how does this pertain to Olight's M18?

While it features dual-switches in the form of a mechanical forward-clicky in the tail-cap and an electronic side-switch, it departs from convention in that the rear-switch can also be used to access key modes as well rather than simply being a master on/off switch. Let's explore the M18's inner-Maverick shall we? Wink

MSRP: $71.95


  • Cree XM-L2 LED
  • Three adjustable brightness levels (low-medium-high) and 10HZ strobe
  • Multi-function tail switch: quickly double press the switch to activate high output; quickly triple press the switch to activate strobe; release to quit. Click the switch to confirm the output (high or strobe) and lock out the side switch.
  • Press side switch to change the brightness after powering on the light with the tail switch
  • Strong removable pocket clip
  • Thick stainless steel bezel protects the lens
  • Intelligent driver circuit with memory function automatically memorizes the output level last used
  • Aviation grade aluminum body with anti-scratch type III hard anodizing
  • Lens: Toughened ultra-clear glass with anti-reflective coating
  • Reverse polarity protection guards against improper battery installation
  • Low voltage indication: the bottom side switch will glow red when the power is low
  • Dual spring contacts for vibration and recoil protection
  • Includes: Lanyard, 2x Spare O-rings, Silicone tail cap


  • Runs on: 2x CR123a/1x 18650
  • Output mode/Runtime:
    • High: 500 lumens / 2h
    • Mid: 100 lumens / 9h
    • Low: 5 lumens / 120h
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 4,556 cd
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 5" (127mm)
    • Diameter: .9" (23mm)
  • Weight: 2.17oz (61.5g)

The M18 arrived in the typical cardboard box w/plastic display window:

As with the V11R, you can use it as a lit display case... Laughing

Accessories included are:
Lanyard, 2x Spare O-rings, Silicone tail cap

Here's a full vid review while I flesh out this written one: 


L to R: RL3400 | Xeno S3A | Olight M18 Maverick | Lighten7 Elite S1A | Xeno G10 v2 | Sunwayman T20C | XTAR TZ20 | Prometheus Lights Alpha Series XM18-B | Niwalker NWK550N3 | Crelant V9-T6 | ThruNite TN11S | Nitecore P25 

As can be seen, the M18 is truly a very compact light and second only in overall size vs. the XENO S3A which is the most compact 1x18650 light in my collection.

Barring the pocket clip, overall grip is very comfortable held either over/underhand:

Of note though is that the clip does interfere with the grip if it's mounted directly opposite of the switch and will create some awkwardness when my hand is positioned so I can activate the side-switch with my pinkie:


The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw
- Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the RL3400, read this as 4.1hrs or 245min)
- As of May 2012: Lumens measured on my PVC LMD @ 30 seconds
- Also captured the temperature: ambient, the head/fins at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)

Max output measured @ 30 seconds was 538lms w/the AW2600 (note: although I calibrate my PVC LMD before each runtime/lumens testing, the ambient temp will also cause deviations in readings).

The M18 actually achieves above 550lms at turn on but drops sharply until about the 10 minute mark where it'll start running in a semi-regulated mode for roughly 50 more minutes before it'll begin a drawn out decline. There is a low voltage warning indicator (side-switch will glow red and stay lit):

However, if you fail to notice this, given the M18 also runs on primaries, it'll happily continue to run in a moonlight-like state until it sucks every last ounce of energy in the cells. Thus once the output depreciates appreciably with LiIon's, it's best to swap them out ASAP. I didn't catch the ending voltage for the RL3400 run but for the AW2600, it was 2.71v and overdischarged.

I speculate that this can likely be a battery vampire and I'll report back on whether that's the case when I conduct a 2xCR123A's run.



M18 provided by for review.

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:19
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Thanks a lot for the review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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