OLight: Three Rechargeable Light Reviews
Part 2: R20 Javelot Rechargeable
By Mike Bondra
Hello, again, flashlight fans. Here is my second installment of a three part review. To recap, the OLight models that will go through the rigors will be the palm sized S10R Baton II, the traditional sized R20 Javelot, and the beefy SRMINI Intimidator II. All three are excellent examples of the CREE-based flashlights currently available today, and each of these have unique features that help them stand out in a crowd.
Today, I’ll be giving you my thoughts on the R20 Javelot Rechargeable flashlight. As the name indicates, this light comes with a single OLight 18650 battery, as well as a lanyard and micro-USB charging cable. The current MSRP is $59.95, and a smart online shopper can find them new for about $50.00. A word of caution regarding online shopping – the R20 Javelot Rechargeable is the only model I found in my research to have the batteries removed. I didn’t find any indication of blatant fraud, but read the sellers fine print, especially where the price seems too good to be true, because it may not include the battery.
After I opened up the box and began my initial inspection, something caught my eye. I’m a big proponent of craftsmanship in everything you do. Sure, when I was young I loved duct tape and kludging. Over time (and my own maturity) I realized that there was more value in a repair that did more than get thing functioning, and a thing built is better for the aesthetics than its pure function. I look of the little practical improvements, and I was happy with the details put into this light right out of the box. My old eyes have a bit of trouble with threading needles now, but I had no issue with placing the lanyard’s anchoring string due to the slight cut out on the reveres side of the rear access hole. More than just a countersink, there is a small indentation that makes catching the string as it pokes through the rear casing. Sure, it would have been possible without this, but the fact that the designers thought, ‘how can we make this one act better’ says a lot about their attention to detail.
My initial impressions firmly set, I began to explore the rest of the R20 Javelot Rechargeable. A good solid light made of aircraft grade aluminum, and coated with Type II hardened anodizing, it has a comfortable feel in the hand.
As stated, the light is recharged in a similar fashion to its peers via a micro-USB cable. In the case of the R20 Javelot Rechargeable, the charging portal is found under a collar near the top of the light. This collar has gaskets and screws securely in place, and provides a great seal against the elements, and probably momentary submersion. Okay, I’m SURE it provides a good seal against momentary submersion, since I accidentally fumbled and dropped mine while I was taking it out of my pocket, and it splashed down into a puddle. Again, that’s yet another reason you should always use your lanyard. After about 2 hours, the 18650 battery was fully charged, and I took it out into the back yard for my unofficial testing.
The R20 Javelot Rechargeable has the activation button on the rear of the light, like many of its competitors. This medium sized flashlight, at approximately 5 ¼ inches long by 1 ¼ inches in diameter, packs a whole lot of power in that size. The Cree XP-L Hi LED single light has three settings the user can cycle through. The highest setting is the first one that is enabled upon pressing the power button, and is designed to put out 900 lumens for 2 ½ hours of operation. The medium and low setting produce 100 lumens / 11 hours and 10 lumens / 100 hours respectively. As I’ve said before, statistics don’t mean much to me, but real world usage does. I took the R20 Javelot Rechargeable into my back yard and cast the light to try to read a ‘5’ I had printed on 8 ½ x 11 paper, at about 100 yards. The number was visible at that distance, no problem. The LED generated beam was concise and didn’t’ scatter over the distance, but it was about at the maximum for the light. There were a few detractors with the lighting configuration and set up. As with its ‘big brother’ the SRMINI Intimidator II, there was no ‘moonlight’ setting. This setting is designed to produce a very subtle light, good enough to walk by, and greatly enhances the battery life. Also, there is no memory function to the R20 Javelot Rechargeable, so the user is forced to cycle through from High, Medium, to Low. This can be annoying, especially if you have night adjusted eyes and have to deal with the sudden glare of the initial setting. Finally, there is no strobe feature to the light. This is not marketed as a ‘tactical’ flashlight, and I don’t really consider this a significant issue, but I felt it should be pointed out.
Those points covered, I really enjoyed using this light during my tinkering around the place, and while camping. In my shop and poking around the darkened places in our house and garage, it worked perfectly. I had no problem with colors washing out, and the less intense settings made return glare easy to manage. I particularly liked the size. It wasn’t too long or bulky, and not so small that I felt I would drop it and never find it again. We also took this light with us on our annual family camping adventure, and it got a lot of use tromping around the woods and fields. The lack of a moonlight setting did produce some after images after shutting it down, but the large 18650 battery held its charge for an entire week, with juice to spare.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance and features of the R20 Javelot Rechargeable. A good tight beam and long life make for a very reliable workhorse of a light, and one that will perform again and again with less recharging time than others of its size.
Find this light at www.goinggear.com
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