You can’t have too much of a good thing. That’s Olight’s motto, or so it appears as another light joins the Baton line.
Meat and Potatoes
Olight’s Baton series has encompassed quite a number of different battery configurations. From AA to 18650, it has given users their choice of power source. Until now though there hasn’t been a dedicated 2xAA option allowing flashlight aficionados the advantages of a 3V power source alongside the convenience of common AA cells. The closest that was available was an extension tube on the 14500 capable S10 Baton. While this option does work, I’ve never been a fan of extension tubes. Adding another set of threading, which is another electrical joint ready for befoulment, another potential structural weak point, just seems counterproductive. It is a bandage when you need a cure. Now, those worries are behind us as the ST25 has arrived, and with it come an advance or two.
Still equipped with a Cree XM-L2 LED, the ST25 has been boosted to 550 lumens, far above it’s AA brother. This die sits centered in a relatively deep, but narrow smooth reflector. The resultant beam is focused into a rather midrange balance between spot and flood. Beam quality is fairly good, not necessarily the best I’ve ever seen, but there aren’t really any major detractors in it that affect daily use.
Fit and finish in the machine work and anodizing are excellent again, as usual for Olight products. I feel like I am being redundant by saying this, but Olight has put out some of the most consistent build quality on their lights ever since the first one I reviewed back in 2009. In fact, they have continued to improve over the years, but it’s hard to tell because they do such a darn good job.
User interface on the ST25 isn’t anything unique to write home about. It’s a standard 3 mode with mode memory. Once the light is on through either the side switch or the amazing super-silent tailcap button (a welcome new addition to the Baton series), pressing and holding the side switch will cycle through the modes L-M-H memorizing wherever you stop. There is an available moon mode that is accessible only by holding the side switch for a couple seconds while the light is off. It is also memorized if you want to keep ultra-dim handy. Of course there is the obligatory strobe mode as well, simply a double click away, but we don’t like to talk about that. At least you have to be pretty deliberate to stumble on it.
Finally I have a light where I have some consistent points where I can offer critique. Some actionable improvements that can be made. I like finding these because it reminds me why I do this. I’m not looking to dock points from any light, but seeing potential growth areas means to me that this industry as a whole has not finished maturing. That’s a good thing for customers.
My initial affection for the ST25 was dimmed just a touch by a couple of aspects. First, my torch seems to have a little flicker upon first activation. This is just something that shows up in either High or Moon modes, Low and Medium seem to be exempt. It also only occurs for the first few seconds after I switch the light on before settling in to consistent output. This isn’t a PWM issue (which is entirely absent), but a more random flicker that only covers a few seconds. I imagine that this is strictly an issue with this one particular unit, rather than a defect to be found in the entire model line, but it is still an annoyance. It also could be a sign that my AA cells are starting to run a little dry (I use Ni-MH cells in any AA light I run), but that seems to be the case nearly all the time…which brings me to my second point.
The ST25 has found itself particularly susceptible to the same malady that plagues the entirety of the Baton model line. Accidental activation. Once again I routinely hear the chorus of “Daddy, your light is on!” throughout the day as my children love to spot this. It’s almost become a game of who gets to tell me. No other series of lights has been so dramatic in accidental activation as these, though some have aspired to the throne. This would easily be fixed by recessing the switch just a little, or making it a touch stiffer to press. Instead, I have to resign these torches to desk or workbench duty rather than daily carry, because at least there I don’t have to assume my power is nearly gone at any given moment.
A quality light over all. Power, simple use, attractive package. There are a few issues, one a design flaw, one likely an individual shortfall, that prevent this from being truly great, but it is still enjoyable to use. As a desk duty light, or gracing a tool box, it is really in its element.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Going Gear.