Flahlights are very important to me. They are incredibly useful when camping, travelling or for survival situations. I carry a small pocket flashlight with me as part of my EDC (Everyday Carry) kit. Until recently, my favourite brand of flashlight has been Thrunite. Thrunite offers well built flashlights at competitive prices. A friend introduced me to OLight and these guys make incredible products.
This review is about their S15R Baton pocket rechargeable flashlight. The R means rechargeable (as you probably guessed) and the unit comes with a magnetic USB powered charging dock. The end-cap of the flashlight has a strong magnet which mates with the USB charging base very well and it seems to use conductive charging.
Rechargeable means you won't be fumbling for batteries in the dark. It means the battery will last longer than disposable batteries and it means I can use my OrangeJoos (link) solar charger to recharge my flashlight when camping or in a survival situation. All very good characteristics.
The USB dock is made from plastic and is very simple. One port connects the dock to a USB charging port (computer, solar charger, external battery pack, wall outlet, etc) and it has another USB port called Extended which allows you to daisy chain another device that can charge simultaneously. The reality is that I don't like to daisy chain charge any devices because you will charge them at the rate of the slowest device and this is no exception. That USB extension port is nice to have in case but not something I would use regularly
The user interface is very simple and consists of a top switch that switches the light into one of 3 modes. If you hold the button while the light is on, it will cycle through the Low, Medium and High settings. When you release the button and chose a mode, it is remembered and the next time you turn on the device, it will start in that mode. Let's say the last mode you used it in was low or medium but you want to turn it on in High powered mode, simply double press the button (when the light is off) and it will switch to on in high powered mode.
One additional nice design choice is to surround the power button with a solid metal ring which protects it from accidentally turning on in your pocket. Nice design touch.
The front panel is actually anti-reflective coated tempered glass which means most of the light is usable. Cheaper products use plastic.
Use and testing
I had a chance to compare the S15R to the various other flashlights I own from Phoenix, Thrunite, Led lenser, Maglite, etc.
The minute you hold the S15R in your hands, you can feel the quality aircraft grade aluminium construction. It is solid and fairly drop resistant. When you press the button, it makes a satisfying click.
the body is textured which means you have a good solid grip even when your hands are slightly wet or with gloves.
Unlike many of its competitors, even the pocket clip is built extremely well. Whereas most clips can easily be removed with the slightest pressure, this thing holds on for dear life (which is fantastic).
When the battery starts to get low, a light around the power switch will glow red (which is a nicer way of finding out its recharge time rather than waiting for the light to dim and die).
The magnet on the tail cap is used to hold the device onto the charging dock but it can also be used to hold the light on other metallic surfaces when working.
I know companies are in a lumen race but the reality is that the high powered mode of this flashlight (280 lumens) is powerful enough to illuminate any non-tactical situation. It is actually brighter than I would typically use while camping or when rummaging in a dark area. I found myself using mode 2 very often which provides a clean 70 lumens of light ad gives you 4 hours of use from a single charge.
This isn't a tactical light but a fantastic EDC light that you will use over and over. It is a device that will last many years with minimal maintenance and if the battery every get's weak, you can easily buy a replacement online.
Olight S15R is now my EDC light (the one I carry with me every day) and it is the one that made me switch from Thrunite (as my preferred brand) to OLight.