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September 10, 2013 Comments (0) Gear & Equipment, Reviews

The Olight i3S EOS 80 Lumen XP-G2 AAA LED Flashlight – Special Edition Ember Orange

Handy, little gadgets always make me smile.  Having a compact, simple device become a very useful tool makes me even happier.  A knife clipped to my pocket, a flashlight on my keychain, and my Leatherman Micra stowed in my back pocket can provide such simple convenience when out wandering or exploring.  It’s amazing how much they are missed when you leave them at home.  The i3S EOS 80 Lumen XP-G2 AAA LED Flashlight by Olight is a small, light, and durable flashlight that can throw some serious light for its size.

What You See First

The first thing you notice about this light is the unique coloring.  This version of the i3S is an exclusive to goinggear.com, a company that sells all types of quality outdoor gear.  The finish is an ember orange color, and their small flame logo is etched onto the side of the light.  The reddish-orange coating really does resemble the color of bright embers in a camp fire.

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The next attribute I noticed was the quality.  The body of the light is made of aluminum, and it is coated with type III hard anodizing.  This should provide an above average level of scratch resistance.  Next, you have a reversible stainless steel clip.  The clip mounts firmly around the light in two different places and, it has a good amount of spring to it.  Lastly, there is a short chain with a strong, spring-loaded clip at the end of it.  All of the various parts of the light are sturdy and seem durable.

The overall length is 2 5/8 inches long by ½ an inch wide.  The small size adds to the convenience factor.  It could be easily stowed in your pocket, attached to a keychain, or clipped to a pocket or belt strap.  The light weighs only 11 grams without the battery

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The light comes in a nice plastic, calm-shell case which houses the flashlight itself, two spare O-rings, a Duracell AAA battery, and a set of instructions.  Olight provides a lot of simple extras that provide great value.

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How It Works

To turn the light on, you have to twist the head of it clockwise.  To turn it off, you twist it counter-clockwise.  There are four settings available – low, high, moonlight, and strobe.  The low setting provides 20 lumens for 8 hours.  The high setting provides 80 lumens for 35 minutes.  The moonlight setting provides .5 lumens for 60 hours.  To cycle through the settings, you twist the head on and off.  The first setting is low, and then a second set of twists takes you to high, and a third set of twists enables the moonlight setting.  If you cycle through all three settings two times, you will activate the strobe mode.

At the heart of this light is its LED.  Olight has chosen the CREE XP-G2 LED paired with an orange-peel reflector that directs the light out through a “96% transparent ultra-clear optical lens”.  At both the low and high settings, I found the LED to put out a very useful beam for a variety of activities.  The 20 lumen low setting is an ideal compromise between output and battery life.  I used this setting for simple tasks like lighting my way from the car to the house, taking out the garbage, checking the corners of my basement for water from the recent heavy storms, and just about any task that required some additional light.

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The moonlight setting is best used in complete darkness.  If you were out camping and needed to root through your backpack or find something in your tent in the middle of the night, the moonlight setting will help.  Because it uses so little of the battery, this ultra-low setting can come in handy at specific times.

The 80 lumen setting is, in my opinion, just awesome.  Certainly, larger lights have much greater capacities, but for the size and a common AAA battery, you get an extremely useful and handy product.

Over the Fourth of July, my wife and I traveled out of town with our three kids.  We spent all day at a cottage on Lake Erie, and the partying didn’t end until late at night.  Lots of friends and family meant limited parking spaces, and I had to park a few houses away.  The neighborhood we were in didn’t have many streetlights, so getting to our parked car wasn’t easy.  I used the 80 lumen high setting to light up a path for our over-tired, sleepy-eyed kids.  Navigating past over-sized thorn bushes, across uneven driveways and curbs, and over unfamiliar ground was easy with the i3S.  80 lumens is great amount of light, especially for such a small package.  It was really helpful.

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The i3S also has an IPX 8 waterproof rating.  I didn’t know what that meant, so I had to look it up.  There were many different explanations, but, in general, I found that it means you can submerse the object continuously under water at some depth over 1 meter.  While this flashlight is not meant for deep water exploration, it handled splashes and a dunking here and there.  I kept it turned on in a large glass of water while I was writing this review for over 5 minutes, and I had zero issues with it.

From time to time, I like to talk to someone who is outside the heavy duty/tactical/survival gear community and get their opinion on a review item.  So, I handed the flashlight to my 10 year old daughter and asked her to describe the one main feature she felt was important.  Immediately, she commented on the orange color.  She felt that it would help find the flashlight if it was dropped or misplaced because the unique color would help it stand out.  While it isn’t blaze orange, I do think she has a good point.

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What I Think

I love it.  It’s small, weighs so little, and is just really convenient to carry on your person.  Combine this with three useful light output settings, a very reasonable price, and the fact that it uses AAA batteries, and you have a winning product.  The price is $24.95, and it’s available at goinggear.com.  Check out this excellent flashlight today.

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