Bigger and brighter. Most of the time when a flashlight company comes out with a new product, this is the direction they choose. With Olight lately, this hasn’t always been the case. I guess we were just about due for something like this.
Meat and Potatoes
Olight’s major push lately has been for “Better” lights, not necessarily “brighter” (though that has often been a byproduct). The M3XS-UT Javelot however is the new top dog in the Olight arsenal when it comes to mega-throwers. Taking the previous M2X-UT Javelot and giving it a healthy dose of M3X-Triton DNA brings out this monstrous torch that runs on either 3 or 4 CR123A cells or the rechargeable option of 2×18650.
Like the previous Javelot, the huge, smooth reflectored head houses a modified Cree XP-L LED with the dome removed to give it more capability to focus all 1200 lumens downrange in a thin, cohesive beam. Simply put, this is the best thrower light I have yet reviewed, just barely dethroning the M2X-UT Javelot from a few months back, thanks to it’s slightly deeper reflector and higher output. This beam shape means that it is totally inept at gently lighting up an area as you look for dropped screws under your desk, or unobtrusively checking on sleeping infants, but if you use it as designed, for long-range powerful illumination, it does an amazing job.
Operation of the M3XS-UT feels supremely familiar to anyone who’s been following Olight products lately. It is a dual-switched UI very similar to the Maverick series of lights. In actuality, it appears to be identical to the UI originating in the M18. At its barest, it is a 3 mode light with mode memory. While the light is on, pressing the digital side switch will cycle through the modes resetting the memory to whatever you land on. Added to this are quick shortcuts from off to a lower yet “moon” mode (pressing and holding the side switch during activation), direct to high (double click), and even a strobe (triple click). The nice aspect of these is the fact that they don’t overwrite your memorized mode, so you can easily have direct access to quite a few possibilities. Included also is a quick direct-to-strobe option by pressing and holding the selector switch at any point when the light is on. Finally, if you switch the power off while in this strobe mode, it will actually memorize it as well.
Fit and finish of the M3XS-UT is spectacular as always, and right in line with classic Olight. The anodizing is flawless as usual, and the machine work is actually quite stunning. Despite the ungainly shape inherent to 2×18650 throwers, the Javelot has quite a few very attractive physical features. I’ve never taken any issue with the quality of work of any Olight torches, and this particular model doesn’t challenge my assumptions.
Let’s get this out of the way. I’m sure if you’ve been paying attention to my usual gripes, by now you’ve spotted something I’m going to mention here. One of my biggest pet peeves with flashlights are torches that try to be everything to please every crowd. Don’t do this. Instead, follow the adage of “do one thing and do it well.” This is never more evident to me than in tailcap shapes. With a torch of this particular shape and balance, there is no reason I can think of that someone should expect that it must tailstand or it is useless. Yet here once again we have a tailcap that attempts to be both a protruding switch, and recessed enough to tailstand. As usual it does neither well. These shortcomings are further exasperated by the fact that Olight seems to have thrown in an impact weapon into the tailcap DNA as well. The “teeth” surrounding the switch are even narrower and sharper than most I’ve seen which makes it both less comfortable to use, and less stable. This design would be a far better fit with a basic protruding “tactical” tailcap. There’s no reason for anything else.
This next critique is a little more unique to this lamp. I’ve not been a huge fan of most cigar grip rings on flashlights, especially the ones that aren’t made of pliable rubber, but I do tend to tolerate them. I can see their usefulness, even when I’m not the target audience. The M3XS-UT however doesn’t even offer me the option for removal if I so choose. As far as I could tell, there was no smooth ring that could be installed in its stead. To add insult to injury, if you decide to run the light on rechargeable 18650 power, you are forced into an odd layout where the body extension only fits on aft of the grip ring. There is no way to attach it the other way around. I also cannot (in good conscience) leave the ring off, because there is actually an o-ring that resides beneath it, reducing random rotation. I’m personally incapable of leaving an exposed gasket like that.
Wow. There are some nit-picky things about it, but as a whole, this is an incredibly powerful, fun light. A dedicated thrower isn’t the perfect light for everyone, by any means, but if you are looking for this capability, the M3XS-UT Javelot has it in spades.
Provided for review by the kind folks at GoingGear.
EDIT: I’ve just heard as well that the M3XS-UT Javelot now ships with a pair of Olight 3600mAh 18650 cells thrown in. All the more reason to love it!