If Olight’s Baton series has gradually morphed into their primary line, then the S30R is definitely their flagship model. Formed gradually through evolutionary design, it is the culmination of many small improvements over time resulting in a formula for success.
Meat and Potatoes
Sporting the proven combination of Cree XM-L2 LED and a single 18650, the S30R is as powerful a light as it appears on paper. With the LED sitting in a small, relatively shallow reflector, this torch emits a broad swath of light capable of excellent short range illumination. It is much more floody than other submissions I have reviewed recently, but that makes for a more useful general purpose light. I have become a far greater fan of flood lights lately than when I started off as a flashlight enthusiast.
If you’ve been following the evolution of the Baton series over time, you’ll instantly recognize the genetic parentage here. This is obviously based on the S20R, but kicked up to significantly higher output. The overall torch has grown dimensionally a little, with slightly thicker sidewalls (a point of contention of mine from previous models), a few minor heat sink fins, and a slightly redesigned pocket clip (more on that later). The result makes the previous light seem incomplete. Though the user interface and most other features of the light are identical, this is definitely the superior product. The level of polish and finish is seemingly of a much higher caliber.
Running an incredible 1000 lumens on max the S30R is extremely bright. It lights up a huge area that is an incredible testament to the technological advances that have been taking place over the last few years. Don’t expect it to last forever at that output. I’m sure it diminishes over time and the depletion of the cell, but thanks to the amazing frontrunning feature of the rechargeable baton series, that’s not a huge issue.
As I mentioned before, the entire S[xx]R Baton series is built around convenient rechargeability. Each light ships with a simple to use recharge dock that turns dead batteries into a concern of the past. If you ever use the light a lot during a day, just drop it on the charger for a couple hours and top things off. You’ll know if you’re getting low too since these lights now all include a low battery indicator in the now-recessed button. For an EDC torch, this is the ideal scenario in my personal opinion. I wouldn’t use Li-ion cells in any emergency prep scenario, but for daily carry they solve far more problems than they create.
I doubt I’m the only person pointing out concerns about their flashlights, but I know that Olight seems to be steadily addressing my specific complaints with this line of lights. Over the last several iterations I have complained about the strange design that was used for the pocket clips. They had an odd protrusion about ⅔ of the way in that prevented easy insertion of cloth. In this model, that has been removed. I was giddy with excitement. This meant that the light would be much more simple to use and be more of a joy to carry. To some extent I was right, but it highlighted a new concern about this general design. The pocket clips all have used a simple tension attachment method to join clip and light. Most of mine have been quite snug thus far, but this particular light was definitely not. Toward the beginning of my carry time it simply rotated in place causing consternation when trying to locate the switch by feel. This new recessed pocket switch is a life saver for preventing accidental activation, but it is not spectacular at distinguishing itself by feel from the remainder of the light. This has not been a problem when the switch would remain in a reliably constant position relative to the clip, but in the S30R the random rotation of the light highlighted this difficulty.
The more time went on carrying this light, the worse this clip got. It seemed to stretch or weaken somewhat so that it would both not hold the body of the flashlight well, and was beginning to stretch open so it did not provide positive retention on my pocket. Eventually we have arrived at the situation I am currently suffering. I like to carry my lights a while to both get a quality idea of what needs to be reported, and to give them a chance to develop a few wear marks to show what to expect. When the time came to photograph the S30R, this is all I was able to provide.
The light has completely fallen off my clip (again) except this time I am totally unaware when it happened, or where it is presently located. Believe me, this is a frustration. This was one fantastic light otherwise, and it is already missed. I hope that eventually I will be able to discover its current resting place. The snow around here will melt in a few months. It might be out there buried for all I know. Until then, I will appease you with a selection of stock photos taken from Olight’s and GoingGear’s pages.
Eventually I would like to see this clip redesigned to be a full-circle attachment held in place by the tailcap and locked in rotation by a key of some sort. Even better would be to have some stronger alloy be used to help prevent stretching.
I like this light. I really do. I have recommended it to a number of people and even convinced one team at my job to purchase a small fleet of them for daily professional use. I also made sure to mention this clip issue. Some other method of light retention needs to be devised, because the pocket clip is in no way a reliable choice. Beyond that however, the light is bright, easy to use, and incredibly convenient to charge.
Provided for review by the kind folks at GoingGear.
EDIT: Now that the snow is melting, look what I found. Surprisingly, it still works once I dried it off entirely. Some ice had found its way into the charging cap, but now that it’s cleared, good as new.