Evolutionary advancements are the way of the Warrior it seems. These continually advancing technological changes have brought adaptations to many facets of Olight’s signature line.
Meat and Potatoes
The M22 Warrior continues in the proud tradition laid forth by Olight in this long and growing line of duty-carry lights. Incremental changes are the bread and butter of the current mature flashlight industry. Many companies are bringing new advancements to end users by simply updating their existing models and model lines and Olight is no exception. Thankfully, the winners here are the customers.
This iteration of Olight’s Warrior series is pushing it’s power through Cree’s latest XM-L Gen 2 LED. This impressive powerhouse makes the M22 capable of an incredible 950 lumens of blinding output. It still has the usual trio of well spaced levels, this time however the gaps between those levels are growing to ever larger chasms. The 250 lumens that used to be considered a very impressive top end is now a meager medium output with a low end of a still very useful 20 lumens. There is nothing even approaching a moon mode included with this torch, but this Warrior is all about power, not the subtlety.
That power is channeled through a large, relatively deep smooth reflector that, though intended as a general-use focus, still trends toward throw. Thankfully paired with the larger die of the XM-L2 the M22 still retains an easy transition between spot and spill preventing tunnel vision with a bright corona. There are very few distracting artifacts to be seen even while white wall hunting, and the broken textures of real-world environments prevent it from being anything but useful.
Like any good soldier, the M22 is versatile. Powered by your choice of a pair of CR123A lithium primary cells or a single 18650 li-ion rechargeable, you are offered the options of near-perpetual reusability or the ultimate in reliability. Olight even throws in a battery magazine to eliminate rattling cells if primary lithium is your cup of tea. Olight even includes a diffuser cap of the throwy default focus isn’t too your liking.
Aesthetics are improved with this update to the Warrior line as well in my opinion. Quite frankly, this is one of the best looking Olights I have yet used. The ample heat sink fins surrounding the head both look awesome, and actually prove quite comfortable to hold while using the light. This is, I’m sure a result of the incredible quality that Olight demands in their products finish. The barrel of the light is once again covered in signature rectangle knurling and attention has been paid to smooth every edge. Fit and finish has been a mainstay of Olight’s design focus, and rarely have they faltered in that regard. Especially in their higher end model lines, Olight continues to deliver quality products with an attention to detail.
Perhaps the greatest improvement imbibed to the M22, is that of user interface. Still remaining are the three levels with mode memory, advanced by quickly loosening and re-tightening the head. Now however there is the addition of kind of a quick-access menu immediately upon startup. When you first activate the light, it starts in your familiar preset level. A second activation, immediately after the first (either through half presses or a double click), will fire the torch up into high output, regardless of memorized level. This feature is immensely useful for someone like me who likes to have lights start in less blinding and more efficient low levels, but still maintain easy intuitive access to all the power we can muster. A third rapid succession activation will bring to light the strobe mode conveniently tucked out of the way. Having it this well buried does prevent it from being too greatly useful in a true tactical situation, but it still functions adequately for less stressful signaling purposes.
Fit and finish being as fantastic as they are, Olight did leave one glaring chink in this warriors armor. In the spirit of versatility and options, Olight provided the ability to remove the rigid metal “tactical” cigar grip ring from the light. They did not however afford the opportunity to replace that missing ring with a smooth alternative. If, like me, you prefer the more standard “ice pick” method, you are unfortunately left with an exposed o-ring and machining that was meant to be hidden. This is the reason I have taken to leaving the ring in place, and simply shifting my grip more to the flashlight head than the body. A simple smooth replacement ring would go a long way to rectify this fault.
Really, other than that, there is very little I have found to be lacking in this light. It has become one of my favorite daily drivers, mostly thanks to its intuitive interface. If I had to lodge a further complaint, it would be that it is definitely on the larger side of the duty light spectrum. It’s not the type of light you can simply forget you are carrying, but it is useful enough that I am happy to carry it anyway.
The Olight M22 is a worthy torch, carrying the proud tradition of the Warrior into yet another generation of quality flashlight. A rugged and solid duty-light, with incredible output, intuitive interface, and versatility to boot.