(Review) Olight S1 Mini Baton

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(Review) Olight S1 Mini Baton

With its diminutive size it would be easy to dismiss the Olight S1 mini baton as little more than a cute toy. That is exactly the reaction most people had when first seeing the S1 Mini in person – until the flashlight was turned on, that is. At that point all onlookers realized they were witnessing something rather remarkable: a serious tool with big flashlight capabilities, but in a small, easy-to-carry-everywhere form.

By small I mean it is shorter than the average tube of lip balm – by the length of the cap on the tube of lip balm – and the diameter is just, ever so slightly, smaller than a US nickel. With a maximum run-time of 15 days, a maximum brightness of 600 Lumens, and USB recharging… well it’s amazing to get that kind of capability out of that small of a package.

Like every Olight I’ve purchased, the S1 Mini baton comes in very nice retail packaging, complete with excellent graphics and all of the pertinent information readily found on the packaging. I’ve learned to equate Olight’s quality packaging with product excellence; figuring that much attention given to the packaging is the byproduct of far more attention paid to the product itself. Once again, the S1 Mini proves that theory to be correct.

Superbly anodized in a black semi-gloss finish, the S1 is basically a tube featuring interspaced grooves that alternate from one series to the next. On the sides are two opposing flattened areas on which the graphics are located. The interspaced grooves extend to the sides of the tail cap and provide excellent grip while remaining very comfortable in the hand.

The removable tail cap features a magnetic base of barely adequate strength. It will hold the S1 Mini upside down (suspended from a metallic object) pretty well, but often struggles to maintain position when the S1 Mini is affixed to a perpendicular metallic object (the S1 Mini tends to slid downwards). The threads are anodized, very well cut and properly lubricated. The head end features a spring (battery goes in negative end toward the head) while the tail cap has only the contact (for the positive end of the battery). The tail cap screws on/off with ease, with the only obstruction being the included clip (which presses against the cap and sometimes requires a bit of finagling to get the cap on squarely). I find that replacing the cap goes much easier if I grip the clip between my thumb and forefinger fairly tightly, then press down to spread the clip away from the body of the S1 Mini, so I can easily screw the tail cap back on (squarely) with my other hand. The S1 Mini tail-stands with the best of them – rock solid.

The head is not removable. It has a smooth blue bezel (I think it looks great). The lens is concave – like a bowl – with a hole in the center for the LED. The lens appears to be made of glass, but I can’t be positive. The lone switch is located on the side of the flashlight, near the head. It sits on a flattened spot that is raised a bit above the rest of the body. Covered in a rubber cap, the switch features an led in the middle (low battery warning, lock out status, etc..) and is surrounded by a blue metal ring (again – it looks great to me). The switch offers the right about of tactile feedback but could be just a bit bigger in my opinion. The switch is very easy to find in pitch black darkness – it is directly opposite the included clip – simply find the front end of the clip with your forefinger and press down – as if pinching – with the thumb on the switch.

The clip fits into a semi-circle groove quite snugly. Enough so that it is unlikely to be removed by accident. The clip cannot be reversed, nor can it be re-positioned. It (the clip) does reverse back upon itself – allowing the S1 Mini to be carried head-down or head-up in a pocket. This design also allows the S1 Mini to be used as a headlamp simply by attaching it to the brim of a cap. Near the head there are two small holes in the clip – they’re for attaching a lanyard (included) or a key ring (not included). The clip works very well, but I do sometimes have a bit of difficulty clipping it to the inside of my front pocket (head-down position). I chalk that up to my large fingers and lack of dexterity.

Compatible with CR123A/RCR123A batteries. The (included) RCR123A battery is rechargeable via the (included) Micro USB cable port (located on the battery). While charging a small LED will glow red (top of the battery). Once fully charged that same LED will glow green. My guess is that it takes roughly 2 hours to recharge the battery (I did not time it).

Features

LED – Cree XM-L2
Cool White – 6500k, 70 CRI (The version I have)
Cool White – 5500k, 90 CRI (optional version – specs vary from the specs I’m including)

600 Lumens (max)
130 Meters (max)

TIR Reflector

Low battery Warning
Battery charging status (on battery itself)

Timer
Mode Memory

Thermal Protection (output steps down to protect components)

Magnetic Tail Cap

IPX-8 (Waterproof to 2 meters)

Impact Resistant to 1.5 meters

5 year warranty

Specs

Length – 2.13 inches
Diameter – .83 inch
Weight – 1.52 oz (includes battery)

UI/Modes

Operation is simple and straight forward. Press/release the switch to turn flashlight ON/Off. Press/hold the switch to change modes. Modes run in the following cycle – low, medium, high, low, etc.. When the desired mode is reached, release the switch.

Press/release the switch to turn flashlight OFF. Flashlight will turn back on in the last mode used (exception being Turbo mode and Strobe mode).

Moonlight Mode is attained by pressing/holding the switch for more than 1 second. Release switch once light turns on. Flashlight will turn on in moonlight mode – if it was shut off in moonlight mode.

Turbo mode – double click the switch (from OFF or ON position) to enter turbo mode. Turbo mode is not memorized (flashlight will turn on in high mode, if shut off while in turbo mode).

Moonlight mode and turbo mode are not available if using regular CR123A batteries.

Strobe Mode – triple click the switch (OFF or ON position). Press/release to shut flashlight off. Press/hold to change modes. Memory is not available for the Strobe mode.

Timer Mode – from the ON position, press/release, then press/hold the switch. Flashlight will flash on once (release at this point) for the 3 minute timer. Once the 3 minute timer is set, double click and hold the switch (flashlight will flash twice) to enter the 9 minute timer. I found it a bit tricky to enter the timer modes – the spacing has to be just right or you end up going into turbo mode (or strobe mode).

Moonlight Mode – .5 Lumens, capable of running up to 15 days.

Low Mode – 15 Lumens, capable of running up to 30 hours

Medium Mode – 60 Lumens, capable of running up to 6 hours.

High Mode – 330 Lumens, capable of running up to 60 minutes.

Turbo Mode – 600 Lumens, runs for 1 minute, then steps down to 330 Lumens and runs for up to 55 minutes.

Beam

A flood beam that has the ability to throw light further than I expected. It’s a great beam for up close needs; providing the user with excellent peripheral vision and fully capable of illuminating the average yard. The surprise (for me) is the S1 Mini’s ability to illuminate at distance – easily lighting up objects out to 75 meters or more (turbo mode). In my mind, that ability in such a small package is amazing.

The light temperature (6500k) is definitely a cool white but I didn’t notice any tints of blue in my use. I do find the light color to be pleasant, and it provides the user with great visibility over a large area. I’ve had the S1 Mini for nearly one month now and I’m still surprised by the amount of light this little flashlight can put out.

(Night pictures were shot with a full moon – so the capabilities of the S1 Mini Baton aren’t fully shown)

Conclusion

I think Olight kind of stubbed their toe with the merely adequate magnetic tail cap. A stronger magnet would hold better on vertical surfaces: making the S1 Mini even greater than it is. If I’m really picking nits, I’d want a slightly larger switch – but that’s just a matter of personal preferences. Outside of those two issues – and they aren’t very big issues to be honest – I am extremely pleased with the Olight S1 Mini Baton.

I love the size of the S1 Mini – it is so easy to carry everywhere and all the time. In fact it is unnoticeable until I need a flashlight. I think the grip is great and the flashlight is very comfortable in hand. I like the modes, the spacing and the user interface, but the output is far and away the single most amazing aspect of this very impressive little flashlight.

Olight Website

S1 Mini Baton Owner’s Manual

$49.95 on Amazon