The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Price: £99.95
Weight: torch 54g (charger and torch combined 167g)
Maximum brightness: 1,200 lumens
Power supply: built-in IMR 16340 550mAh 3.7V lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Modes: low, medium, high; moonlight; turbo; strobe white light
Country of manufacture: China

This new torch kit from Chinese brand Olight consists of a compact LED torch and a neat charging case.

At the heart of the set is the Baton 3 torch, a hand-held unit 6.3cm in length, with a diameter of 2.1cm. The total width of the flashlight, with its clip, is 2.9cm, so it’s a very compact unit.

The unusual feature of the Baton 3 Premium is its accompanying charger, which looks a bit like a small hip flask, or an oversized flip-top cigarette lighter. The Baton 3 torch itself fits neatly into the charger and is held in place magnetically. The charger contains its own 3,500 mAh battery and the kit comes with a USB charging cable, with a standard type-A plug at one end and a type-C connector at the other end, which slots into a port on the side of the charging unit.

You can either charge the unit on its own from a USB power source, or charge it with the torch in, in which case the torch will be charged first if it’s low on power, then both the torch and charger together. A small external indicator light next to the port turns from red to green when charging is complete.

The charging unit stands 8.3cm tall, is 6.2cm wide and 2.9cm deep, so it’s a compact case, that fits easily inside a jacket pocket. Weight with a torch inside is 167g.

The Olight Baton 3 Premium charger will re-power the torch 3.7 times before it needs recharging itself. This is useful if you’re on a multi-day trek, camping for a few days or just want to have a charged-up torch handy in the house. The charging case is satin-finish plastic and its lid flips up easily and stays open on a spring mechanism. When closed, it’s held in position magnetically.

The torch slots snugly into its holder and charges through circular contacts on its base. A small LED next to the clip recess briefly lights to indicate the charge level. The set comes with a small cleaning cloth to ensure the charging contacts are kept clear of dirt.

The drawback is that you will need the charging case to recharge the torch – you can’t use a standard charger, though a separate dedicated magnetic charging cable can be bought.

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition torch is compact. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition torch is compact. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The torch itself is compact and light, weighing just 54g. The case is aluminium alloy with milling round the main body to help grip. At one side is a bi-directional clip which also has a small hole through which you can pass a small cord to act as a lanyard. Olight suggests the clip can also be secured to a hat brim to enable it to be used hands-free. The base is magnetic so it can be attached to a magnetic surface if there’s one available.

The torch has a single white LED.

The Baton 3 has just one control push-button, on the opposite side to the clip, through which all its functions are accessed.

Pressing once turns the torch on. Holding it down cycles it through its three main levels, giving 12, 60 and 300 lumens. You release the button at the appropriate point in the cycle to select that level.

Run times are, respectively, 33 hours, 7½ hours and 95 minutes.

The torch also has a ‘turbo’ setting, delivering its full 1,200 lumens, It will deliver this for 1½ minutes before it dims to the 300 lumens output. The torch does get quite warm when used at the full turbo setting. Pressing the button twice in quick succession turns on the Baton 3 at full power.

At this full turbo setting, the beam will reach about 166m, according to Olight. Although it will just about pick out objects at this distance, we found the useful beam is probably more like 130m at its highest power.

At 300 lumens the beam penetrates 82m; at 60 lumens 38m and 12 lumens 18m. The mid setting is bright enough to illuminate a path for a reasonable distance ahead in total darkness. The lowest power is useful for map reading.

There’s also a ‘moonlight’ setting, delivery a meagre 0.5 lumens. We found this just enough for reading a book or magazine, and at this setting it will be 20 days before it needs recharging.

The torch also has a strobe setting. With the torch turned on, pressing its switch three times will put the Baton 3 into strobe mode, delivering a bright 650 lumens beam flashing rapidly at 13Hz – not something to be used with anyone susceptible to adverse reactions to rapid flashes.

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition comes with torch, charging case and USB lead. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition comes with torch, charging case and USB lead. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

When turned on, the Olight will light up in whichever mode it was in when it was switched off, apart from turbo or strobe. If it was turned off in the normal high mode, it will keep that setting for 10 minutes then revert to medium power when next switched on. The unit can be locked by holding down the button for two seconds. Once locked, pressing the switch illuminates a small red LED in its centre to indicate its status. To unlock the torch, the button is held down for a second or more, which puts the unit into moonlight mode.

There’s also a long and short timer function, which sets the torch to turn itself off after nine or three minutes, useful if you want to get into your sleeping bag and set the torch to provide just a short period of illumination. Selecting these two settings is a little tricky, involving a double press and hold of the button. A single or double blink of the LED indicates which interval has been set.

If you put the torch into the charger while lit, closing the charger’s lid will automatically turn off the beam.

The torch itself, though not the charging case, is designed to survive a 1.5m drop and also has waterproofing to IPX8 standard, meaning it can withstand limited immersion in water up to 2m deep.

The charging unit takes 2½ hours to fully charge from a 5V 2A power source, and the torch takes one hour to recharge fully.

The Baton 3 Premium is a neat little kit that keeps recharging simple. Quality and design are good. The main drawback is that it can’t be charged by any other means, so you must always have the dedicated Olight charger to hand if it runs out of power. That’s not too big a deal, however, as it’s small and fairly light and fits neatly in a pocket or pouch. Bear in mind too, that the charger has a USB-C port, so you’ll need to make sure you pack its dedicated lead or a compatible one if, like us, most of your other gadgets use the older USB micro type-B connection.

The beam of the Baton 3 is fairly narrow, with only minimal peripheral illumination, so it’s not ideal for general night walking – it won’t give the kind of wide spread of light a dedicated headtorch would – and, of course, is hand-held unless you have a hat with a brim to which you can clip it.

A variable lens on the torch would have been a good addition, allowing a wider beam if needed.

Where we found it useful was in supplementing our headtorch illumination to pick out distant landforms or features. The turbo beam, though by necessity short lived, gave good illumination in a concentrated beam to help locate objects while night-navigating. We often carry a small hand-held torch in addition to a headtorch while night-walking in mountain and hill terrain, which is useful when micro-navving to provide extra light to differentiate rock features, for instance or nearby attack points. The Baton 3 is small and light enough not to add to the burden when using it for this purpose.

The low-power setting is about right for map reading, though there’s no option for a red LED if you want to try to maintain your night vision.

In most cases, the torch’s charge will last long enough for a night walk but if in any doubt, make sure you’re carrying the fully charged charging case. The Baton 3 set would work as an emergency torch to be carried in the rucksack at all times, with the one caveat that we would always prefer a headtorch for situations where a walker has become either intentionally or unintentionally benighted.

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition charging case. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition charging case. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

At camp, the Olight torch is useful, with its brighter settings useful for finding your way around the site and the lower outputs suitable for use inside the tent. The magnetic base could be useful for attaching to the inner surfaces of a campervan.

On a multi-day trek, the Baton 3 Premium kit can provide an easy way to keep the torch ready charged while away from power sources.

The Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition isn’t cheap, but quality is good. It comes with a five-year warranty.

Best uses: camping, trekking, general household, night navigation

Brightness 25/30
Functionality 15/20
Ease of use 16/20
Versatility 7/10
Quality 8/10
Value for money 7/10
Total 78/100

  • The Baton 3 Premium Edition was supplied to grough by Olight. It goes on sale on the evening of 18 March. Details are on the Olight website.

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