Olight S1 Baton Review

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I'm going to save you the trouble of reading this review and tell you right away that the S1 is one of the best EDC lights you can buy today. Ever since its debut last year in its original black and blue aluminum design, the S1 has delivered exceptional value in performance, size, and as of Olight's latest offerings, collectibility.

If a feature-packed, inexpensive light that clocks in at an under two and a half inches sounds like a good fit for your carry, read along for my impressions and adventures with the Olight S1 Baton.

Specifications

Despite its size, the S1 surprises with its specs. No question that this is a modern light, packing a Cree XM-L2 emitter in neutral white and powered by either a lithium CR123A primary or RCR123A lithium-ion rechargeable cell. Olight measured its output using ANSI/NEMA FL1-2009 standards, which provides consumers uniform measurement metrics with which to compare light specs. Besides the lumen levels and runtimes listed below, the S1 also has a beam distance of 110 meters with a beam intensity of 3,000 candela units.


ModesLumensRuntime
High480 ~ 280 lm1.5 h + 90 mins
Medium75 lm6 h
Low7 lm40 h
moonlight0.5 lm600 h


Better-equipped and smarter folks over at Reddit and Candle Power Forums found that the S1 either matched or exceeded its manufacturer ratings. In an industry with many specs over-represented and under-delivered, this is always good news for the consumer.

The S1 comes in a number of materials, but for this review Olight provided me with the polished titanium model, with a bead-blasted finish as an alternative option. We definitely love titanium here at Everyday Carry, and in addition to titanium's benefits, the light's IPX8 water resistance and 1.5 meter impact resistance ensure your S1 need not be a safety queen. She's as hardy and capable as she is beautiful.

In hand and in use

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The first and most obvious feature that impressed me the moment I popped the S1 out of the box was how remarkably small it was. I had read other reviews of the S1 talk about its size, but you only appreciate how it can vanish into both hand and pocket once you you've held and carried it. Given how I had been carrying a Thrunite T10T and found that light already pocket-friendly, the S1 by comparison was a veritable David to the T10T Goliath.

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If EDC viability is the first thing I assess in a light, then interface usability is definitely the second. While I appreciate programmable and versatile UIs in flashlights like those found on Zebralights and EagleTacs, I like my menus as simple as possible. I don't want to have to double- or triple-click my way through a dozen modes just to get to the one I need, especially in a pinch. The S1's UI is mercifully simple, with a sturdy button that activates deliberately—meaning no accidental pocket burning. A single click of its side switch turns it off and on. Holding the switch while on cycles through its three main modes, spaced out at useful levels. Clicking and holding from off goes straight to Moonlight, and double-clicking from off sets it to High. Double-clicking while on activates its auto-shutdown timers, and triple-clicking while on engages its strobe. It memorizes its default cycled mode, but doesn't hold on to its Moonlight or strobe setting once turned off. Simple and effective.

Unique features and applications

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The S1 Ti retains all the useful features of its aluminum predecessor. Its polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) total internal reflector (TIR) optics is not your usual reflector, a material leaning towards plastic more than the usual glass lens. Instead of a tight beam with a focused hotspot it creates a more even, balanced beam useful for floody applications. This actually makes a lot of sense for a light of this size—as a tiny everyday light it's quick out of the pocket and immediately usable at any brightness.

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Speaking of tiny, Olight definitely made good use of the space they were working with on the S1. I found its body design quite smart. Its midsection has flat edges that prevents roll even without the clip and lets you find its side switch from touch alone. A little over half the light is covered in knurling, though it's a little on the smooth side—for bigger hands it could have been more aggressive for better purchase.

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Its removable magnetic tailcap lends itself to unique scenarios. You can pop it on a beam under a table, car undercarriage, or to the side of a filing cabinet to instantly give you a powerful light source. With its side switch removing the need for a longer, heavier, or non-flat tail, it can also just as easily just stand on most surfaces with its diffuser cap to act as a neat little candle, something I put to good use during my recent travel. Another nice use I found was that when you attached the cap to the S1's tail, it also improved its underhand grip. So if you’ve got larger hands, you won’t get left out if underhand is your grip of choice.

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Initially I didn't like the fact that its clip, as low-riding and beefy as it is, only carried one-way (not including via lanyard). That is, until I realized that the S1 is perfect for clipping onto the brim of a hat. That definitely saves me from having to buy a separate headlamp.

Field tests: practical applications in the woods and sand dunes of Australia

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I got the chance to put the S1 through its paces on a recent trip to Australia. The light was with me for every night I spent with colleagues in a resort near the dunes of Port Stephens a few hours outside of Sydney. The resort itself was in the middle of a forested area with some space between cottages, so things got pretty dark and quiet at night. Being the only person in the group who had a more than a cellphone light on him at all times, it was left to me to light up our dinner tables and trail walks when the sun went down.

The S1 helped us eat, lit up our notes during quiz night, led the way for evening stargazing on the dunes, and even fended off more than a few close encounters with large lizards, curious possums, and dangling spiders. I appreciated the S1's size during this whole time, as I didn't think twice to clip it to either my pants or shorts pocket the moment I got out of bed. As I was bunking with colleagues, its diffused moonlight mode also ensured I didn't wake anybody up for late-night bathroom or water breaks.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

+ Did I mention it was tiny
+ Solid features, brightness, and runtime
+ Convenient UI
+ Exotic materials and detail (copper accents, GITD diffuser cap)
+ Every inch of the light is useful, from TIR head to magnetic tail
+ Inexpensive for all the features you get

Cons:
- Might actually be too tiny for larger hands
- Tail magnet likes keys and coins a little too much
- Uncommon battery

Final thoughts

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The S1 isn't the smallest EDC light, nor is it the most powerful. But when you put together all its features and specs in a light barely larger than the battery that powers it, then you have something truly special. Olight upped the ante by offering the S1 with even more features flashaholics would like, such as neutral white tint and prized body materials like titanium and copper.

I've quite enjoyed carrying the light every day for the past few months, proving its mettle to me in both urban and actual jungles. I think you'll like it too. Even if it doesn't earn its place as your main EDC, if you like flashlights you owe it to yourself to at least hold the S1 in your hands—its size won't be the last thing that surprises you.

Buy on Amazon

Did you enjoy this review and want to learn even more about flashlights? Be sure to check out our Beginner's Guide to EDC Flashlights to shed some light on this EDC staple to and find the perfect one for you (if it isn't the S1 already).

Disclosure: I received this product at no charge courtesy of the manufacturer for editorial consideration. That doesn’t, however, affect my opinion of the product as stated in this review.

Words by Mikey Bautista

Photography by Bernard Capulong

#titanium #s1-baton #olight #flashlights #reviews #olight-s1-review #olight-review see all



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Discussion (20 total)

Yep, great light. Only issue I have is; the button can be a bit cumbersome to use. I like back buttons myself. But I have this light and use it. Excellent detailed review. I like the looks of that Ti one!
What about only 1.5 min of Turbo Mode? Interesting oversight for a review of this type. Hmm.
I just ordered one of the plain (black and blue) versions of this yesterday. It will be my first higher quality light and after reading this review I am even more excited about it. Thanks for the review! I just found this site this morning and it's looking like not much work is going to get done today!
Glad you liked the review, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the light (I sure do, never leave the house without it.)
I've had this flashlight for just over a month and I love it! I bought it as a backup light for work in case my main light died while in a crawlspace or attic, but I find myself using it more often than my Streamlight. The magnetic base comes in handy when working on a furnace in a dark space and it the clip holds it to my hat if I need to use it as a headlamp.
The magnetic base has come in quite handy for me as well as I'm often under a desk fixing wires or looking for dropped articles. Very underrated feature.
I own the original black and blue one and also the S2, it's big brother. Recently it was left in my pants pocket and got to ride through a cycle in the washing machine and dryer. Came out as good as new. Couldn't recommend these lights enough.
I have a rose gold version for my wife and after I received it, immediately I order a titanium version for myself. :D can't really feel the size until you hold it with your own hand. It's really small and elegant. (19th April, I had received my Polished S1 Baton Titanium! Love it so much!)
Mike. Going against the grain on this one. For the same price I got the nitecore srt3 with batteries and charger. More customizable features and solid as a rock. Best feature is the tail cap on/off switch. Customer service is second to none. Give it a try.
I'm a former SRT3 owner myself! And I do love the magnetic ring system, it's my favorite among all flashlight UIs. That said, I do enjoy the lighter pockets with the S1, hehe.
Love the solid design of Olights. Thinking about picking myself up one of these to add to my collection of black Fenix's.
I'd like to say you can indeed switch the carry orientation of the light. Juts pull the clip off and flip it around. Yes, the clip rides just short of running off the head, but it will carry that way if you just can't stand to have the lens exposed (like me). I have the original version and this is a little pocket dragon. It has saved my butt more than once and helped me at work during a recent power outage. Great light for what you pay for it, no matter the version.
I am really, really liking this light. The looks and functionality are hands down the best of all sub $100 lights imo. I'm really glad I picked up this limited edition Ti S1.
Isn't the "Olight S1 Baton" (500 lumens) model enough ? (just a bit less bright based on comments, nearly but half the price - does anyone see other major differencies ?) http://www.amazon.com/Olight-S1-Baton-Compact-Flashlight/dp/B014JPY3O0?tag=bg999-20
(great review by the way)
That's what I think is great about the new releases. The original one is great, the newer ones in titanium and copper and neutral white tint are there for those who prefer them. Everyone wins. :)
Yeah, I've got the raw copper version. It's since 'replaced' [depending] an Eagletac D25C, which is a great light in itself. I just instantly made this my #1 flashlight edc. It's like the perfect flashlight - per all the features listed. Personally, I think the size is just about perfect; it doesn't seem too thick. The only possible drawback would be the magnet attaching to other items in the pocket, which it does do. Still, that powerful magnet is absolutely there when you need it. I don't see how anyone could go wrong with this light - in any of its groovy incarnations...
Great review. Love the little beast, very tempted however I have the nitecore MH20 among my serious collection, self confessed Flashaholic if I may add! Highly recommend the nitecore too, a touch longer and 1000 lumens! It's with me everyday everywhere.
Very nice review. Interesting that consumer testing came back with results nearly identical to the manufacturer's results, quite the rarity.

The only thing holding me back is the thickness/diameter. It seems a little thick for in-pocket carry, with the diameter coming in at 21 mm, compared to the Preon P1 at 15 mm. I know it is a small difference, but it seems like the Baton would be somewhat bulky when clipped to the pocket, or am I just completely mistaken?
I just got one. It is a little thick - I'm coming from a Thrunite Ti3. But if you put it on a TEC P7 or something like that, it would fix the problem. For now I've been using a tiny flashlight holster on my belt that came with the light when I bought it (in a bundle on Amazon).
I clip mine to my belt and often forget it's there, and the best part is that it easily snaps away from the clip when needed but has never came off accidentally.