Olight took advantage of the new XM-L2 LED in their new M22 flashlight. When the light was released, it received mixed reactions from the market regarding its look.
Bottom line is, some liked it others, not so much. See for yourself:
They sort of really emphasize the tactical aspect with all the military stuff on it don’t they?
This side seems like something made for retail stores, it even has the square with the code on it.
The presentation is stellar:
The Olight comes with an Olight M22 (duh), a diffuser, a cool holster, a battery magazine for CR123s, a lanyard, 3 o-rings, and an extra GID tail boot (Glow In the Dark). For the purpose of this review though, Olight sent a SS bezel along with the light.
My first impressions of the light was that it feels solid, reliable and has a surprisingly good finish to it. The letters and font on the two sides of the battery tube are nice and clear. The cooling fins on the head are just the right size, not too small to be of any use, but not so unnecessarily large either. The knurling is just awesome, it’s composed of these small little checkered raised rectangles. The bezel is tough and has a caution sign with the words “hot surface” laser etched net to it, and on the other side “CREE XM-L2” also laser etched.
You cannot tailstand the light because of the protruding tail boot:
The tailcap has a gold-like contact, below it is a normal spring, so it maintains its springiness but with good contact.
Threads are well lubed and look like they’ll last for a long time:
Inside the battery tube there is a convenient little shiny sticker in place to remind you which way to put in the batteries just in case:
You can remove the grip ring, but doing so will expose an o-ring, you see two in the picture because I deliberately did not tighten down the tailcap fully.
There is also a cool feature I haven’t seen yet. The clip and the grip ring have a complementary mechanism to keep themselves in place.
The head doesn’t have anodized threads, so the light stays on even when the head is partially unscrewed, which is kind of needed because of the UI.
The reflector is smooth and moderately deep, producing a beam that is throwy but balanced
The light has thick walls, and it feels like it can take a brutal beating (the light to the side of it is the ArmyTek Predator):
The bezel is simple to remove, just apply an average amount of initial force and the bezel loosens.
The red o-ring is sprinkled with GID powder and at night it glows, I’ll take a few pictures of this soon.
This is how it looks like with the Stainless Steel bezel:
Straight forward pictures coming your way:
The holster that comes with the Olight is impressive. It is made with some sort of slightly hardened material so it retains its shape. The stitching is flawless and thick. To the sides are two battery holsters so you can carry two extra 18650 along with your M22 in the holster. That’s an amazing feature, one I was waiting for a company to implement one day.
A How-to Guide
Replacing the tail boot on the M22 is a bit deceptively simple. For those familiar with common parts in a tailcap and steps to replace tail boots, the Olight has a slightly longer procedure.
First, take some tweezers or something to poke into the two “pits”
Next, start unscrewing it. It took quite a bit of initial force to loosen it, and make sure you press down, I slipped a couple of times and gave it a few scratches.
Now, typically once you’ve done all this, all that is left is to remove the tailcap and put in the new one, however, this time, you will have to repeat the process again with another retainer inside.
Cree XM-L vs. Cree XM-L2:
Notice how the XM-L has lines across the LED while the XM-L2 does not
First some suspensful pictures of the competitors:
Below are the output levels of the M22
ArmyTek Viking X:
ArmyTek Predator SMO
ArmyTek Predator OP
More to come soon
I’ll be working on a few waterproofing tests, outdoor beamshots, diffuser beamshots and even the GID o-ring,
I showed a few pictures previously of the UI of the Olight. Many originally wanted the side switch of the previous military lineup such as the M21. However, I think the UI with the M22 offers a better range of flexibility. I always have mine set to low, because I find that way, I have the best dynamics. I can readily use the low mode, and if needed, I can very easily access high output. Strobe is also accessible and “hidden” at the same time. Just give it a try.
I personally believe that the Olight is a considerable competitor in the tactical light market. Especially at the price point of $95. Outdoors, this light really shines. When I have the outdoor beamshots up, you’ll see what I’m talking about. It lights up the targets you point at and also everything around it. I think this type of beam can really help out in tactical situations, when operators need to cover large areas quickly.
One thing I really did not cover in depth was regulation. The M22 is regulated on high, but has thermal management that steps down whenever the light gets too hot. This is welcoming, as usually it is much more beneficial to decrease the output to an almost unperceivable level and maintain safe operating parameters than push the LED too hard.
For civilians (like me), the M22 offers a well designed light with high performance. Not only that, but it also has fantastic accessories to boot.
Olight itself is a great company to deal with and respond to emails and inquiries.
If you have any questions or requests, please feel free to ask me or send me a PM,