[Review] Convoy S2+ (Sand Colored, XP-L HI V2) ~ Best budget EDC?

The flashlight was gracefully provided by Fasttech.com for review.

As with most Convoy flashlights, their packaging is fairly simple and minimal.
The original package of the light includes a pocket clip and a lanyard.

The pocket clip comes anodized in black color while the lanyard one of those kinds that allows
the use to adjust its length.

The S2+ model is quite old, yet the sand-colored body is what’s new here.
My crappy camera might not give an accurate presentation of the actual color of the light, but I can assure you that the sand anodization is very impressive.

As seen, the light has a minimal tube-styled design.
No fancy heatsink fins or aggressive bezels, just some diamond cut pattern grooves along the whole body.

The pocket clip can be mounted in 5 different positions.
If the clip is placed over the tailcap grooves it allows for a proper deep pocket carry.

As with most modern Convoys, the tail side of the body is fully anodized.
The threads are square cut and arrived very nicely machined and lubricated.

Most people would agree that the most interesting feature of the S2+ is its tail switch.
The switch pretty much looks like a piston drive switch yet it’s a regular sprint driven one.
I do believe that the switch assembly is made out of anodized aluminum.

The switch is very soft and has a nice clicky feedback.
The only thing that I am not fond of is the fact the force has to be exactly vertical to the switch
in order to get it to actuate properly. An angled press might not get it to fire up.

The tail spring is quite beefy and is secured by a brass retaining ring.
I don’t know if this specific light was torqued down by Godzilla, but I bent my screwdriver to 45° trying to get it loose yet I didn’t manage to finish the job!

The head of the light houses the Cree XP-L HI V2 and the smooth reflector.
I went with cooler LED tint as I prefer such tints for daily usage.

The light uses the well known AMC7135 based driver.
I chosen to get one with 8 x 7135 chips, yet getting a driver with only 4 x 7135 might be more suitable for EDC usage.
The driver is directly soldered to the brass pill, something with is way more desirable that using a
retaining cap.

Thankfully, the whole pill can be easily removed from the head.
The front glass is AR coated and the o-ring is glow in the dark.
The brass pill itself is very heavy and beefy and should provide an excellent thermal capacity to the LED.

In total, the S2+ weighs a bit over 83 grams (ofc excluding battery).
In my opinion, its weight and size are totally acceptable for an EDC light.

Despite the small reflector size, the beam produced by the XP-L HI is excellent.
The hotspot is well defined and there is a total absence of artifacts around it.

User Interface

The driver that is used by the light contains two different group modes.
1st Group: Low - Mid - High
2nd Group: Low - Mid - High - Strobe - SOS

The modes can be scrolled through with a half press of the switch.
In order to change mode group, a half press has to be initiated once the light blinks while being on low mode.

Of course, the driver supports mode memory. The memory is set after the user stays in the same mode for more than 2-3 seconds

Tailcap Measurements

In order to get my measurements I used a Samsung 25R cell and a clamp meter.
Mode - Current
Low - 0.22
Mid - 1.21
High - 2.81

Of course, the measurements are totally on par with the 2.8A draw claim’s by the manufacturer.
At these current draw levels the light should be pushing more than 1000 Lumens.

Wall Beamshots

I created a simple animated gif with 4 shots I took.
The mode order in the gif is : Control Shot - Low - Mid - High


Outside Beamshots

The tree is around 25m (75ft) away




Here’s the link to Fasttech’s listing: Convoy S2+ XP-L HI V2 Flashlight

Why did they change the switch? Is it somehow better than the one found in the cheaper variants?

Thanks for the nice review. What is your overall conclusion about this light? (I have it, but with biscotti-driver, and I find it flawless, everything is done right)

In the S2+ the retaining ring in the tail is reverse threaded, counter clockwise to unscrew.

It is a matter of taste, Simon made the change at some point and many find a metal switch-cap more classy, but personally I like silicon covers better because they feel better and allow building a lighted tail.

I thought all the sand coloured ones came with the new firmware, and 12 mode groups. This is getting confusing, because you can still order a “new edition” C8 which has the old firmware as well.

Convoy really need to sort their models out. There are so many versions now of similar products that it can be impossible to be sure you are ordering what you want, or whether there is a newer version available.

If you buy this light from Simon itself, you get the biscotti firmware.
Maybe FT is selling old stock

I personally do not like the metal switch that much because it’s so much smaller than a standard silicone cap.
I would love it if the switch would be 2 or 4mm bigger and the ring around it illuminated :slight_smile:

I ordered this light from simon 5 weeks ago and didn’t receive it yet :frowning:

Thanks for your kinds words.
Well I do believe that the light is one of the best in the sub-$20 category.
Everything on it is excellent. I especially like the thick, matte textured anodization that most convoys come with.
My only complain would be with the metal switch, that even though it looks super cool and is great once you get used to, requires a bit of a learning curve”.

As for the retaining ring, I already knew about the reverse threads but it seems that in order to get it apart I will have to apply equal amount of force on both sides (e.g use fine needle nose pliers).

An illuminated metal switch from the factory would be dope.
Someone has already posted a thread about implementing an illuminated tailcap.

Regarding the shipping times, mine took around 2.5 weeks to arrive in Greece, yet it took another 3.5 weeks for our national post to process the package…!

The new S2+, especially with the advanced biscotti FW truly is a great EDC light. Mine has the 3A tint.

As for the switch, I actually prefer this metal one to the rubber one on my Convoy C8. The rubber one is too mushy and imprecise by comparison.

Yeap, unscrewing the switch retaining ring will be hard applying for to one side only, it will work only after the initial torque is done on both sides

As for the flashlight, of everything that comes with the new models (smooth reflector, metal button, xp-l hi, ARC glass, driver) I end up preferring to change most but glass and the driver. I switched my clear S2+ with a 219C and OP reflector, and ordered with a rubber tail cap (I believe only the clear one has both metal and rubber variants). These changes make it a best for me, but I understand how throw, output, tint and CRI will weight differently from person to person

Well I am more into throw and output so the XP-L HI is the way to go :smiley:
I even think about stacking another 4 x 7135 chips and go for a 4.2A output.
Probably I will hold back my thoughts as anything over 3A is way overkill for an EDC.


Even with just 8 chips, the S2+ can get extremely hot. I can’t imagine what it would be like with 12 chips.


It would probably start spitting flames after 90 seconds on high :smiling_imp:

It would turn into a real torch. :slight_smile:

S2+ and S3 with RMMs DIY FET-Driver and Triple-LEDs here
Takes around 45 seconds to get uncomfortably warm in the head area…
I would love more Convoys like the S8 with at least a bit of a heatsink…

It does heat up, but I find it takes a few minutes longer to get too hot to touch on turbo than what most concerns I’ve read here seem to believe. And this is with the nichia on the x8 driver, the xp-l should take longer even to become burning hot. The triple with FET, of course, is another story entirely

I forgot to add another change I’ve made, which is to change the GTD o-ring for a black one, in order to reduce a slight tint shift to green which is uncharacteristic of the nichia and took me a while to figure out :person_facepalming:

The reason it took so long is because the OP reflector on my other S2+ did not have this effect as visible, but the SMO reflector on the clear one made it noticeable

Out of curiosity, what LEDs are you running on your triple setup?
Heatsinks or not, the compact form factor of the light will always stop it from handling high currents.

Don’t make the mistake I made. Just get a set of “ring-pullers”. I got a set from Tekton (via Amazon) for a decent price, and was kicking myself I didn’t just go and do that long ago.

4 pliers in a set, all combinations of straight/curved, squeeze-to-open/squeeze-to-close.

No more screwing around with needlenose pliers, tweezers, screwdrivers, etc. Ever.


It is very confusing. When I’m recommending the S2+ light to others I almost have to write a thesis on reseller, chips, UI, colour, emitter/reflector, tint. The XP-L HI models should have used a different model name.

I think FT, BG, and GB all requested the 3/5 mode UI in their order.

Indeed. It’s bad enough to have to explain the difference between S2 and S2+, let alone the myriad other models. At least the C8 is the good old C8, no closely-named similar models within Convoy itself.

Personally speaking, good reason not to purchase Convoys off of them and always go straight to Simon.

I’m actually recommending the 3/5 mode version to other lighting photographers as it has a better strobe (10Hz). Whilst the variable strobe in the latest revision of Biscotti is great for giving someone a migraine, it sucks for light painting.