The folks over at OLIGHT were kind enough to send over a couple different weapon-light systems to test for our SOFREP members. When the lights arrived, they were well-packed and sealed up nicely from the elements.
The two lights OLIGHT sent for testing were the OLIGHT Odin Mini and the OLIGHT BALDR Mini. The Odin Mini came in a heavy-duty box that had what I would call a coffin-style opening. Whatever the name, though, it was a nice touch and a good first impression of quality. The BALDR Mini came in a small, more traditional box, but it was well-packed in a cocoon of plastic casing.
While some consumers may not pay attention to the care taken to pack products smartly (insert my dad here), some of us certainly appreciate it when companies take pride in not just their product – which is to be expected – but also in the care of product packaging to ensure the product arrives to the consumer unharmed. OLIGHT knocked this aspect out of the park.
My first thought when I unboxed the Odin and looked at the light and played a bit with the charging cable was “okay, this is a cool magnetic charging system.” By “cool” I mean that it was a noticeably stronger magnetic charging connection than many I’ve tested. I confirmed this first reaction when I connected the charger to the light and I could both see and hear it “snap” into place. Some products I’ve purchased or tested over the years had magnetic chargers that worked great unless slightly bumped, or they had issues with the charging cord not seating onto the product perfectly each time, which would sometimes cause the light to not actually charge. I didn’t see any potential issue with the magnetic charging system with either the Odin Mini or the BALDR Mini, though. It was a positive physical and visual connection between the cord and the light each time I connected the two.
The second thing I noticed with these lights was that they both were fairly small in stature (hence the name Mini I guess), but that their construction felt very robust. I really appreciate items that can perform equally to larger products, but pack that same punch in a smaller package. As former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill has said on multiple occasions regarding excess size/weight of items he used to carry, “Ounces equal pounds” and no person who has ever carried a weapon for a living (or even while hunting) has the desire to carry unneeded excess weight. Each of the OLIGHT’s I tested take this message to heart and deliver a powerful, robust product that still leaves room on the weapon for additional accessories while ensuring the user of that weapon system less overall muscle strain and fatigue during its use.
Both the Odin Mini and the BALDR Mini do this well, but more on the specifics of each light’s specs and performance in a bit.
Products, Features, and Materials
I said above that I was immediately impressed with the build quality of each light, but let’s look a bit more in depth at the actual performance numbers of each product.
OLIGHT Odin Mini
According to the OLIGHT website, the Odin Mini has the following features:
- Aluminum Alloy Body
- 1,250 Lumens
- 787 Ft. (240 m) Beam Distance
- MCC3 Magnetic Charging Cable
- 2040mAh 18500 Rechargeable Lithium Battery
- 14,400 candela
- IP-X8 Waterproof
- High/Low Options
- Pressure Switch and Mount Included
- Fits both M-LOK and Picatinny Rails
- Length: 4.55 in (115.5 mm)
- Head Diameter: 1.14 in (29 mm)
- Body Diameter: 1.01 in (25.7 mm)
- Weight: 6.21 oz (176 g)
As I mentioned earlier, the Odin Mini has a robust feel in-hand without having the size that can cause fitment issues on one’s weapon or without so much added weight that the balance of the weapon is off. Another aspect of the Odin Mini that I appreciate is that it will function equally well as both an EDC pocket light and a weapon-mounted light with a pressure pad. The directions are easy to follow and mounting the Odin Mini on a long-gun is simple using either the M-LOK rail mount or the provided Picatinny rail attachment.
I also appreciate OLIGHT for including ALL of the necessary attachments in the Odin’s box without charging extra for alternate accessories. The following items come included in the package without need for additional purchase:
- Odin Mini (with battery)
- MCC3 Magnetic Charging Cable
- Magnetic Remote Switch
- M-LOK Rail Mount
- M-LOK Nut (x2)
- H3.0 Allen Wrench
- M-LOK Socket Screw x2
- Pressure Switch Mount
- Self-Locking band (x2)
While it may seem obvious to all of us that companies SHOULD include each of the above-listed attachment with a single order, I’ve worked with enough products over the years to know that isn’t always the case. OLIGHT could have easily stated on their site that the light system comes standard with M-LOK rail compatibility and tell consumers if they want to use it with a picatinny rail that they’ll need to buy the additional attachment for $9.99 (or some other obscure price). To OLIGHT’s credit, though, they didn’t do this. They provided the consumer with a solidly built, quality product without any nickel and dime schemes on the back end; and props to them for making that decision.
OLIGHT BALDR Mini
The OLIGHT BALDR Mini is an LED light and green laser weapon combo for pistols. The traditional benefit of a green laser vs. a red is that the green light spectrum illuminates better and at longer potential distances than red while in daylight or in environments with increased light.
According to the OLIGHT website, the BALDR Mini has the following features:
- Aluminum Alloy Body
- 600 Lumens
- 426 Ft. (130 m) Beam Distance
- Magnetic USB Charging Cable
- 3.7V 230mAh Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery
- 4,225 candela
- IP-X4 Waterproof
- Small Size (Car key / Zippo Lighter)
- Length: 2.24 in (57 mm)
- Width: 1.29 in (32.8 mm)
- Height: 1.41 in (35.8 mm)
- Weight: 3.07 oz (87 g)
The BALDR Mini boasts an ambidextrous on/off activation switch and, per the user’s preference, it can be toggled between an LED white light, a green laser and the combination of the two. I tested the light and laser in a bright (indoor) environment and I could still easily see the laser at 25 yards, which should provide more than enough light throw to accommodate those using the BALDR Mini as a carry light/laser combo on a concealed weapon.
Like the Odin Mini, the feel of the light housing of the BALDR Mini is superb and it gives the impression that it can take a beating and not skip a beat. For me, though, the highlight of the light is its quick on/off mounting system. On their website, OLIGHT says, “The quick attach and release mount and the slim switch make the BALDR Mini extremely easy to manipulate for everyone.” I would agree completely with their assessment of this mounting system.
Another unique feature of the BALDR is its ability to adjust (slide) forward and backwards on the weapon for the utmost in personal preference and holster/situation-specific compatibility. Like the Odin, it too has a charging system that leaves no doubt of when the charger and light make solid contact. Another great feature of both the Odin and the BALDR is the visual indicator light that illuminates when the light is connected to a powered charge cord. If additional charge is needed, one end of the charging cord glows red and when charging is completed it glows a steady green. That visual indicator gives the one final nod to the fact the light is indeed charging to all but eliminate those frustrating situations when hours later you return to your light only to find the magnetic charger wasn’t seated properly.
In my opinion, with the Odin Mini and the BALDR Mini, OLIGHT has created two quality lights. From the first sight of the products nestled safely in their packaging to the obvious care in their construction to their actual use and function, these two lights are great offerings by OLIGHT. Couple in the fact that each of these light falls in at around or just above the $100 mark and these are quality options for those looking to enter the weapon light market or for those looking to upgrade the quality of a lighting system they already utilize.