“REVIEW”: On The Road 311 – 1x16340 – USB-C Rechargeable – 720 lumens

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MascaratumB
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“REVIEW”: On The Road 311 – 1x16340 – USB-C Rechargeable – 720 lumens

Hi BLF!
This is my review of the On The Road 311

I bought the On The Road 311 flashlight at AliExpress.
- Link (non-affiliated): https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000623233745.html
- Price: 25,22€

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it took 61 days to arrive! But it arrived well!

The 311 model is an upgrade to an older model, the B311.

Unfortunately, we can’t find reviews of many OTR flashlights online. For this 311 model, you can check the video review of our BLF member Trail Trek : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T0SE337vrw&t

NOTE: Click in some of the smaller images to see them in larger format!

———————————————————————————-

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS
Body Colour: Matte Black
Material: Aluminium (T6061)
Emitter: XML2 U3 1A (Cool White)
Lens: Glass
Battery: 1 × 16340 / 1 x CR123a / 1 x RCR123
Switch: Reverse Clicky Switch
Reverse Polarity Protection: Yes
Low Voltage Warning: Yes
Max runtime: 233 hours
Max beam distance: 70m
Max output: 720lumens
Candela: 1210 candela
Waterproofness: IPX6
Impact resistance: 1m

OTHERS:
- Constant Current Drive

NOTE: these are the specs as provided by the manufacturer!

————————————————————————————

THE PACKAGE, FLASHLIGHT & ACCESSORIES

Unlike the previous models I have from OTR, the 311 model arrived in an elegant white box.

Inside the outer box , there is a smaller one where the flashlight and accessories are in! It has a nice message for the buyers Blushing
And this is how it looks and what we find inside:

So, the package brings: On The Road 311 flashlight, OTR branded pouch, OTR branded lanyard, a USB to USB-C charging cable, User Manual, 2 spare o-rings, 1 spare lens.

Both the outer and the inner boxes were sealed with an adhesive sticker ! Wink

NOTE: I chose to buy the package without battery, but it is possible to buy it with a 16340 3.7V Li-Ion700mAh OTR branded battery.

On The Road normally produces small flashlights with good quality. The OTR M3 and OTR M3 Pro are the best known models. The On the Road 311 model is a combination of some of those models.

It is a small flashlight, with black matte anodizing, that combines both the tail clicky switch from the M1 and i3 models, with the USB-C recharging from the M3 Pro.

What stands out the most in this flashlight, at first sight, is the protruding rubber tailcap and the double-sided pocket clip.

I must say that I didn’t manage to take the pocket clip out of the flashlight! It is quite sturdy and is almost “stuck” in the tail. I could force it, but I didn’t want to damage the flashlight nor the clip.

The flashlight is composed by 3 parts: head, battery tube and tail.

These are the dimensions and weight of the flashlight:

And a perception of how it looks in the hand

Starting from the head, it has a stainless steel bezel, that can be unscrewed “easily” (press to the palm of hand), a glass lens ( not AR Coated), an o-ring, aluminium orange peel (OP) reflector, white plastic gasket. My version has a Cree XML2 U3-1A (cool white) emitter, on a 1mm aluminium PCB, which is sitting on the white thermal paste on the head’s shelf. Outside, we can see some cooling fins to help on heat dissipation.

On the other side of the head, we see the driver, that seems to be press fit into a brass ring, as some of the other OTR flashlights. The driver has a small and flexible spring that makes contact with the charging part, located on the battery tube.

The battery tube has incorporated a USB-C charging port. The upper part (external) makes contact with the driver spring, while the down part (internal) makes contact with the battery + pole. There is no spring in the inner part .

The threads on both parts of the battery tube are square. Also, on both parts there are sealing o-rings.
The tube has 2 parts with “engravings”: on the one side, the OTR logotype; on the other, the model number, and the CE / RoHS information.

There is no knurling, but the shape of the tube is mostly hexagonal (6 flat faces). The edges of the tube are not anodized, so the flashlight can be “locked” physically to prevent accidental activations by slightly unscrewing the head or the tail.

About the charging platform: it has a led that will be activated when the battery is charging. If RED, it is charging correctly; if BLUE, or it is completely charged or it is not charging correctly.

NOTE: To charge the battery in the flashlight, make sure the switch is activated (as if the flashlight was turned ON). It will

Well, and in this flashlight, the tail was actually the toughest part for me to disassemble Facepalm
If on the outer side I didn’t take the pocket clip, on the inner side I didn’t take out the switch, which is also press fit into a brass ring, and that has a small and flexible spring. It would be possible to do it (with pliers or tweezers and some press from the tailcap), but I prefer to maintain the flashlight working Silly

As mentioned above, the rubber tailcap is protruding and has no “flaps” around. Despite this, the flashlight tailstands, by sitting on the tailcap itself Wink Around it, only the engraving with the serial number.

With the double sided pocket clip it is possible to use the flashlight clipped into a pocket (almost deep carry), and also on a cap, as if it was an headlight! I really like this function. Please note that you can try to bend the clip to make the retention better while on a pocket.

About the accessories that come with this flashlight, lets take a look at them.

The lanyard is similar to the ones in other OTR packages. It is OTR branded and it is good quality lanyard, with an adjusting piece.
However, the flashlight doesn’t have any lanyard hole. So, to use it, it can be attached to the pocket clip, as shown below.

The USB-C charging cable is also OTR “marked” and it has +/- 60 cm. It is supposedly suited to fast charging, but I have no means to test this.

As for the pouch, it is also similar to the ones on other OTR packages. It is not a holster, but it allows to safely carry the flashlight without damaging the anodizing and also its accessories.

As for the User Manual, well…it is not complete!
As you will see below, this flashlight has several group modes. They are not all addressed in the User Manual, nor is the way to alternate between them. Also, the Operating Instructions are not completely accurate due to this.

About that, I already contacted OTR AliExpress store asking for information and suggesting that they could include it on the User Manual and also on the flashlight page. On the page it is done, let’s see if they will do the same with the manual.

About the rest, the information is quite clear. I do think that the change on the packaging should also include a revised and befitting manual.
(click to enlarge)

————————————————————————————

USER INTERFACE

This flashlight has 3 group modes. Using the brand’s “naming”:

A – Ultra Low > Low > Medium > High + Strobe

B – High > Medium > Low + Strobe [default group mode]

C – High + Strobe

—————

OPERATION:
1 – Turn ON / OFF : full click the tailswitch
2 – Change output levels in any group mode: while ON, tap the tailswitch
3 – Engage/Disengage Strobe: while ON, quick double tap to activate Strobe, and a single goes back to the regular level

The flashlight has memory for the last used mode, except Strobe.
However, on Group modes A and B, a quick turn OFF > turn ON (within 3 seconds) will advance to the next level. If the flashlight is OFF for more than 3 seconds, the last used mode will be memorized.

NOTE: 2 really quick full clicks (OFF-ON-OFF-ON) will activate Strobe.

—————
—————

Perhaps the most “complex” part of this flashlight is on “how to alternate between the group modes A, B and C”.
After contacting the store, here is the answer:

1 – Turn the flashlight ON in HIGH level (in any group mode)
2 – Enter STROBE for 5 seconds or more
3 – Tap to go back to HIGH (1st)
4 – Enter STROBE again (doesn’t matter the time)
5 – Tap to go back to HIGH (2nd)
6 – Enter STROBE again (doesn’t matter the time)
7 – Tap to go back to HIGH (3rd)
8 – Enter STROBE again (doesn’t matter the time)
9 – Tap to go back to HIGH (4th)
10 – Enter STROBE for 5 seconds or more
11 – Turn the flashlight OFF

NOTES:
1 – During this operation, never turn the flashlight OFF or it will “cut” the configuration process.

2 – The initial and final STROBES must really be ON for 5 or more seconds, otherwise the configuration will fail.

3 – The changing between the group modes will start from the default group mode (B), then C, then A, then B… .

4- As pointed out above, and just to be clear, group mode A advances from the lowest to the highest level, while group mode B advances from the highest to the lowest level

————————————————————————————

OUTPUT AND RUNTIME

As I can’t accurately measure these, I will rely on manufacturer’s information (using their 16340 700mAh battery and a XML2 U3 led). This will change with different leds and batteries, of course.

UltraLow Low Medium High
OUTPUT 0.5 lm 80 lm 240 lm 720 lm
RUNTIME 233h 4h10m 1h30m 35m

NOTES:
- the light will flash if the battery is below 5% (I didn’t test this yet. I normally charge the batteries when I feel the light is more dim than usual).
- I don’t have the other acceptable batteries (CR123a or RCR123) to make any low battery testing.
- fast charging is possible, reaching 80% capacity in 15 minutes. Full charging cycle is around 1hour.

————————————————————————————

FLASHLIGHT COMPARISON

Against a 16340 and a 18650 battery…………………………..Versus the other recently arrived flashlight (Sofirn C01R)

Well, this is the smaller AA light around (DQG Slim Ti AA)…………….Against my EDC (Lumintop Tool AA V2.0)

A “direct” competitor (Olight M1T Raider)………………………….Side by side with a pretty one (Convoy S2+ shorty)

Smaller 16340 lights I have (Acebeam TK16 – Olight S1R Baton)……..OTR Family (i3, M3 Pro, 311, M1)

————————————————————————————

BEAMSHOTS

No PWM, as it uses a CC driver.

About the beam of this light, with the XML2 U3-1A. Even if it is a CW emitter, the beam and tint are not unpleasant.
There is some slight but very minimal tint shift. The OP reflector + a non AR Coated lens are probably avoiding a greater shift that CREE emitters produce.
At the same time, in outdoor environment, the beam is quite pleasant, more on the floodier side than on throwier.
The range is quite nice, reaching some good 40-50m with good visibility. The UltraLow level is good for 1-2 meters; the Low mode, for 2-5 meters; the Medium for 10-20 meters and High for at least 50m.

Beam pattern:

Tint comparison:
VS Samsung LH351D 5000K………………………………………………………….VS Nichia NVSW219BT 5000K

VS SST-20 4000K………………………………………………………………………….VS Luxeon V2 3000K

Beamshots

————————————————————————————

OVERALL APPRECIATION

This is a quite nice flashlight! I bought it primarily with the idea of modifying it but right now I am not sure if I will do it or not. Why? Because of its “stock” specs and also because of the way it is built, dimensions, etc.
The driver and the switch are press fit, what may cause some issues when replacing them.
I still need to evaluate if I will put a driver with Bistro HD OTSM UI here.

This is another well built piece by OTR that continues to release small but effective flashlights! They could benefit from better UIs, but this flashlight is more versatile than others, so it can gain some adepts due to this.

What I like:
- Anodizing in black matte, that provides a good handling sensation
- Shape, size and compactness (even if not smaller as a TK16)
- Double sided pocket clip
- USB-C rechargeability
- Beam pattern and, despite all, just a slight shift
- Accessories included
- Overall quality

What may bother me:
- Memory mode, for the group modes with more than 1 level
- Possibility to accidentally activate Strobe when tapping faster to change modes
- Long process to alternate between the group modes
- Well, the user manual doesn’t bother me, but I would change it to improve it

Modding plans?
- eventually: driver with Bistro HD OTSM
- eventually: Luxeon V or Luxeon V2
- less probable: forward clicky switch

Props to On The Road for this flashlight! Keep up the good work and…hopefully they can release a new 14500 light with similar / improved specs , having this 311 as a starting point Wink

If you have questions or comments, let them come! Beer

A true “on the road” flashlight…

Edited by: MascaratumB on 07/27/2020 - 07:00
MascaratumB
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Edited for more compactness!

wle
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nice
why do they keep having yuge jumps between levels? 0.5 to 80 lumens? really? i would hate that.

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wle wrote:
nice why do they keep having yuge jumps between levels? 0.5 to 80 lumens? really? i would hate that.

Thanks wle! Thumbs Up
Well, I was checking something after you mentioned it!
I don’t have an accurate way to measure lumens, but I can try to compare them!
So, I picked the OTR 311 that supposedly has 0.5 lumens and compared it with:

Olight M2R Warrior (1 lumen) and the Acebeam TK16 (0.5 lumens, that I suspect to be ~1 lumen too)

Wuben E19 (2.5 lumens) and the Olight M2R Warrior (1 lumen)

You can see that the supposed 0.5 is way above that level.
I would say that it is bewteen 2.5 and 4.5 lumens.

About that jump you mention, although it may seem non linear, it is “visibly” a correct jump. Meaning: the usefulness of the levels is sequencial and it is what you “need”.
If there was something in between, it probably wouldn’t add that much to the output levels.

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Hi,

With Z821 while flaslight on…
2 fast click leads to strobe
3 fast clicks to pulsing(heart beat mode)
4 fast clicks to SOS

Modes are not well balanced so it has a lot of low modes, medium mode is not medium it is still low.

Mentally 18650 is the format I would like to use but this On The Road 311 does not look bad. Thanks for comprehensive review. Beer
One day when you get clamp meter far tailcap current readings and lux meter reviews will be even better.

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luminarium iaculator wrote:
Hi,

With Z821 while flaslight on…
2 fast click leads to strobe
3 fast clicks to pulsing(heart beat mode)
4 fast clicks to SOS

Modes are not well balanced so it has a lot of low modes, medium mode is not medium it is still low.

Mentally 18650 is the format I would like to use but this On The Road 311 does not look bad. Thanks for comprehensive review. Beer
One day when you get clamp meter far tailcap current readings and lux meter reviews will be even better.


Hey, thanks for the correction on the UI, I didn’t explore the extra blinkies Facepalm

Yeah, I agree that Low and Medium are closer than they “should”, as visibly there is not much difference
However, on “theory” they are more distant! I don’t have a clamp meter, but I made an experience with the luxmeter (not a calibrated tube!).

It was made at 1m from the luxmeter, so this is just an experience, take the numbers (lux) as relative.

OTR 311 OTR Z821 (zoomed out) OTR Z821 (zoomed in)
Ultra Low 12 1 75
Low 234 12 1685
Medium 1261 322 4145
High 3095 922 11150

I need to test it outside too in the next days to see what I get. The 311 also has that kind of spacing, but outdoor it has a visible spacing between those modes!

So far I am liking the little one Wink

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Today I modded the OTR 311 ! I changed the emitter/MCPCB.
So, I took the XML2 U3 1A (cold white) and put a Luxeon V2 4000K in a led4power MCPCB.
The original PCB is ~16mm x 1mm. So, when I changed the MCPCB, it rose the reflector up.
I needed to change the original o-ring and put a thinner one (below the lens) so that the bezel could screw in correctly, without gaps.

The beam improved, but clearly this OP reflector seems suited for larger emitters. Still, the tint of the 4000K Luxeon V2 is great on it Wink


BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE > AFTER

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A question on this one: Are you able to test if it supports C-to-C charging? (There is an issue where many simple charging circuits don’t support this.)

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Scallywag wrote:
A question on this one: Are you able to test if it supports C-to-C charging? (There is an issue where many simple charging circuits don’t support this.)

I am not sure, I guess I don’t have C-to-C cable to test it. Most of the things I have are only USB to C Oops
In case I can test, I will let you know Wink

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Great read again.

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

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id30209 wrote:

Great read again.


Thanks id30209 Thumbs Up
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Absolutely great review mate, you covered it all.
I still like this light for its size and price but @Scallywag sorry no i just tried C to C charging and got nothing Sad
which is to be fair something almost all lights with Type-C seem to suffer from right now.
Ive given one of these lights as a gift to a non flashaholic and they love it for their back yard and taking bins in and out. Small compact light they hang it next to the keys at the back door.

Thanks for the detailed review on this light and loving the modding work there.
Thanks for shout out also. Thumbs Up

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Trail Trek wrote:
Absolutely great review mate, you covered it all.
I still like this light for its size and price but @Scallywag sorry no i just tried C to C charging and got nothing Sad
which is to be fair something almost all lights with Type-C seem to suffer from right now.
Ive given one of these lights as a gift to a non flashaholic and they love it for their back yard and taking bins in and out. Small compact light they hang it next to the keys at the back door.

Thanks for the detailed review on this light and loving the modding work there.
Thanks for shout out also. Thumbs Up

Thanks Trail Trek Wink And also thanks for your inspiring review on video, I linked above Wink
Well, the C-C charging is a no-go then, thanks for trying it! Most of them are “C”-suffering Silly

Still, this may seem an under rated light, as you pointed out, but it is still pretty solid, well built and a user & gifter! It’s versatility is good enough for that!

Thanks again keep up the good work on the reviews too Thumbs Up Beer

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MascaratumB wrote:
Trail Trek wrote:
Absolutely great review mate, you covered it all.
I still like this light for its size and price but @Scallywag sorry no i just tried C to C charging and got nothing Sad
which is to be fair something almost all lights with Type-C seem to suffer from right now.
Ive given one of these lights as a gift to a non flashaholic and they love it for their back yard and taking bins in and out. Small compact light they hang it next to the keys at the back door.

Thanks for the detailed review on this light and loving the modding work there.
Thanks for shout out also. Thumbs Up

Thanks Trail Trek Wink And also thanks for your inspiring review on video, I linked above Wink
Well, the C-C charging is a no-go then, thanks for trying it! Most of them are “C”-suffering Silly

Still, this may seem an under rated light, as you pointed out, but it is still pretty solid, well built and a user & gifter! It’s versatility is good enough for that!

Thanks again keep up the good work on the reviews too Thumbs Up Beer


Trail Trek, thanks for checking. It’s still a very giftable and moddable light (as MascaratumB said), so I’m sure I’ll have to do at least one at some point. If the tail were easier to disassemble, I’d probably consider it for my smart tail and some EDC duty.
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I just wish they would extend the tail tube a bit to surround the switch
To avoid potential for accidental pocket discharge…..

“"A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.””
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travis wrote:
I just wish they would extend the tail tube a bit to surround the switch
To avoid potential for accidental pocket discharge…..

Believe me, there is very reduced chance to press it and activate the light. The distance betwen the switch and the not so soft rubber tailcap is enough to take a hard press to activate the flashlight.

So, I don’t see a reason to rise that protection. Also, it would make the light look “longer” and that is a thing that matters aesthetically.

So far I didn’t have any trouble with accidental activation Wink

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Seems to be a nice light. To bad for the UI, otherwise I would buy a few.

Thanks for the wright-up

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Geuzzz wrote:
Seems to be a nice light. To bad for the UI, otherwise I would buy a few.

Thanks for the wright-up


Thanks for your words Wink
Well, the UI configurability gives the light some more usability, unlike other previous models or other brands!
Still, I admit it is not “perfect”, specially the double click for Strobe and the memory mode on all group levels.
Apart from this, I am actually liking it Wink

I am waiting for Lexel to “return” to order a driver with Bistro HD OTSM for it Innocent

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Today I modded my 311 light. I replaced the original driver for a Led4Power 3A driver.

The original driver is “inserted” into and soldered to the brass ring seem above.
I retrieved the spring from the driver and put it into the new one, as it is ideal to make contact with the (charging) board in the battery tube.

The L4P 17mm driver fits well into the ring, but to make it work, I add to solder it to the brass ring for contact purposes.
I maintained the already modded led (Luxeon V2 4000K).

There is little space between the driver and the shelf. Before replacing it, I measured the top current and it draws only 1.62A.
With the new driver, it will get a bit hotter, even if on the CC configuration it will only go up to 3A.

Although this is not the “ideal” driver for me (I’d prefer one with Bistro HD OTSM), it make this flashlight more configurable and usable (better UI), a since it has USB-C charging, I guess it will start being my EDC and also travel light Wink

Thumbs Up
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It was so clear you wouldn’t leave the driver alone Big Smile Thumbs Up .

Nice review and pictures, well done, thanks. I missed your review originally, but wouldn’t have bought this light due to the UI. Too bad OTR doesn’t use a better firmware. I have the i3, modded with the same driver as yours (actually stole your idea), and it makes a great light with Crescendo and so much more juice.

Now, I’m curious about the Luxeon. I see the LED is out of focus, leading the beam to diverge. The LED must be above the focal point, right? If so, have you had a chance to try some thicker gasket to raise the reflector and see what that does?

On a second thought, I remember it must be actually below the focal point Tired

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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Unheard wrote:
It was so clear you wouldn’t leave the driver alone Big Smile Thumbs Up .

Nice review and pictures, well done, thanks. I missed your review originally, but wouldn’t have bought this light due to the UI. Too bad OTR doesn’t use a better firmware. I have the i3, modded with the same driver as yours (actually stole your idea), and it makes a great light with Crescendo and so much more juice.

Now, I’m curious about the Luxeon. I see the LED is out of focus, leading the beam to diverge. The LED must be above the focal point, right? If so, have you had a chance to try some thicker gasket to raise the reflector and see what that does?

On a second thought, I remember it must be actually below the focal point Tired


Ahah, I told’ya this is a bug Big Smile I wanted to mod it since the beginning and now I had the materials for it Wink

Thanks for your words too Wink

Yes, OTR has improved the UI (at least in the 3 lights I got from them lately) but it is still not perfect! A even more configurable UI (ex: enable/disable mode memory would be enough, IMO) could be the best solution for them to increase sales Wink

The i3 with Crescendo is a great choice indeed. I still have mine and I guess I won’t mod that one…I guess!
If you have an OTR M1 (see below), pick the tube/tail and attach it ti the i3 body, and get some 16650 cells: you’ll have even more juice Wink

The issue with the Luxeon is actually not an issue in real life. The LED dome is less big than the on from the original XML2, and the gasket used not is also different but that “line/hole” seen in the photo is not visible in real life. Actually I start to think that the light was inclined and originated that. Still, being a different LED may, of course, lead to a different performance with that reflector.

For me it works great Wink And now, even more Big Smile

EDIT:
https://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1652500#comment-1652500