Field test and review – Olight Baton 3 Pro Max
A hiking torch can offer a range of benefits. One of the most obvious is improved visibility, especially when hiking in low-light conditions such as at dawn, dusk, or at night. A good hiking torch can illuminate the trail ahead, helping you avoid obstacles and navigate challenging terrain safely. A hiking torch can also increase your sense of security and confidence, as it can help you spot potential hazards such as wildlife or natural dangers. Another benefit of a hiking torch is that it can help you extend your outdoor adventures into the evening, early morning or overnight.
If you become lost or injured, a hiking torch can be used as a signalling device to make you more visible to rescuers or other hikers who might be searching for you. This can greatly increase your chances of being found quickly and returned home safely.
Hiking torches are often lightweight, compact, and easy to carry, making them an essential piece of gear for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re a seasoned multi-day hiker or a casual day-tripper, a good hiking torch can make all the difference to your outdoor experience, providing you with the light you need to stay safe, confident, and connected to the natural world around you.
Recently I was sent an Olight Baton 3 Pro Max to field test and review. Before I get into what I thought, here’s a few features according to Olight.
Baton 3 Pro Max features
- The Olight Baton 3 Pro Max is a powerful EDC Flashlight: With a maximum output of 2,500 lumens, it has the power required for even the darkest of nights.
- Upgraded Proximity Sensor: The optical system has been optimised, allowing the hidden proximity sensor to help protect you without being oversensitive or affecting the light’ s beam pattern and you can disable the sensor temporarily or permanently. It’s possible to disable the sensor temporarily or permanently and re-enable as desired.
- Shake to Awake Battery Indicator: Give the Baton 3 Pro Max a quick shake to activate its battery indicator, eliminating the need to turn it on to check and illuminating the side switch to make it even easier to find and operate in the dark.
- Long Runtime: Its included 5000mAh battery provides a runtime of up to 60 days in moonlight mode (1 lumen), and close to 6 hours in high mode. Plenty of lighting power for your hiking adventures or use around the home. Easily charge with Olight’ s signature magnetic USB charging cable.
- More User-friendly Interface: The enlarged and recessed side switch is now even easier to operate while simultaneously reducing the chance of accidental activation, providing an improved user experience.
- Convenient storage: An L-shape stand (included), made from magnetic stainless steel with an adhesive backing, provides a convenient storage solution at home.
Following are some of the tech specs. you can find a great deal more on the Olight website.
- Maximum Performance: 2,500 lumens
- Beam Distance: 145 metres
- Battery: Customized 5000mAh 3.6V 21700 Rechargeable lithium-ion Battery
- Charge type: MCC3 Charging Cable
- Body Diameter: 26mm
- Length: 114mm
- Weight: Black Batton 3 (as tested). 148 grams (Including Battery)
- Weight: Magnesium Batton 3. 134 grams (Including Battery)
- Waterproof: IPX8
How did the Baton 3 Pro Max perform?
The Batton 3 Pro has a maximum output of 2,500 lumens. So, what are lumens? Lumens are a unit of measurement for the total amount of visible light emitted by a light source. In simpler terms, lumens are a measure of the brightness of a light source. The more lumens a light source has, the brighter it will appear. 2,500 sounds pretty good right?
The Batton 3 Pro Max has six different light modes that are easily accessed by pressing and holding the side switch in a range of combinations. All these modes have different lumens levels and run time duration. Here’s a quick overview of the output and estimated run time for each level:
Moonlight mode: When the torch is off, you can press and hold the switch to activate moonlight mode which has an output of 1 lumen. This mode is perfect in situations where you don’t want to light up the world and are finding your way around a campsite, your tent or at home when you don’t want to wake the rest of the family. With such a low output, you should expect a fully charged battery to last for 60 days when using this mode alone.
Low mode: This mode is perfect when you need more light on the trail or around the campsite. With an output of 15 lumens and a run time of 180 hours, the torch could easily last for a weeklong multi-day hike on a single charge.
Medium mode: For darker nights, when the moon is hiding, the medium mode will help light up your surroundings a little bit better with an output of 120 lumens. The only drawback when you start increasing the brightness is that your run time decreases. using this mode alone will see your battery depleted in less than 24 hours.
High mode: Due to the decreased run time of this mode, I would recommend using it on short evening hikes, when you are specifically searching for something, or need to use the torch as a signalling device. High mode will output 800 lumens for around 4 hours before dropping to an output of 120 lumens for around 1.5 hours.
Turbo: As the name suggests, this is the brightest mode. Double pressing the switch within 5 seconds will activate this mode. Wow, does it throw some light. You can easily illuminate objects at 145m away so if you are searching for wildlife or signalling for help, this is the mode to use. Do bear in mind though that this mode, at 2,500 lumens, will last for 1 minute of run time before dropping automatically to an output of 800 lumens (high mode) for around 4 hours. The head of the torch can also get quite hot in this mode so be careful where you place your hands. It is worth noting that the Baton 3 Pro Max, while marketed as a 2,500 lumens torch, in a practical sense it really should be considered an 800 lumens torch given the limited run time at the maximum output.
Strobe: Having a torch to signal for help can mean the difference between life and death or, at the very least, the difference between sleeping in a warm bed or outside in the cold until you are found the next day. When it comes to signalling, there are internationally recognised techniques such as SOS where you flash the light rapidly three times, slowly three times, then rapidly three times. Some torches have this SOS mode built in, but the Baton 3 Pro Max doesn’t. Instead, it has a strobe mode that flashes brightly and rapidly. If you did need to signal using the recognised SOS technique, a simple thing to do it turn the torch onto high or turbo mode, point it in the direction you are signalling and cover the lens with you hand (rapidly three times, slowly three times, then rapidly three times).
Design and comfort
The torch is a great size for hiking. Compact, at 114mm, and light weight, at 148 grams, it is easy to carry and fits neatly into your pocket or pack. The torch also comes with a removable two-way clip so you can easily secure it to your belt or on the outside of your pack. I found the knurling pattern on the grip to be comfortable and even when my hands were wet, I was able to grip the surface well.
For anyone used to torches with an adjustable beam focus, the Baton 3 Pro Max dos not have this feature. The beam width is always fixed but you do have great control by utilising the various lighting levels. The torch has an inbuilt proximity sensor that will automatically reduce the lighting level to medium when the lens gets close to objects or the lens becomes obstructed. This is particularly useful when in your tent at night or when searching through your hiking pack when higher lighting levels are not needed. This feature is turned on by default but can be deactivated if its not needed.
The Baton 3 Pro Max also has a lockout function that will prevent the torch from accidentally being turned on. This is really useful when hiking as I’ve had torches accidentally switch on while in my pack, only to find the battery drained when I needed to use it. By pressing and holding the switch for 1-2 seconds, the torch is locked, preventing these accident from occurring.
The Baton 3 Pro Max has an IPX8 rating. What does that mean? An IPX8 rating is a waterproof rating given to electronic devices and gadgets that are designed to be submerged in water. The “IP” in IPX8 stands for “Ingress Protection,” which is a measure of a device’s ability to resist intrusion from water and other foreign objects. In particular, the “X” in IPX8 means that the device has not been rated for protection against solid particles such as dust or sand, but the “8” indicates that the device can withstand continuous immersion in water beyond 1 meter depth. Olight’s website claims the Baton 3 Pro Max is rated to withstand being submerged in up to 2m of water for 30 minutes. I guess one day I will test it out, as I don’t feel like falling in any rivers right now. It’s too cold in Victoria now for that.
I have to say, I love the easy of charging with the magnetic USB charging cable. USB is handy because nearly all my power outlets at home have USB plugs stuck in them and when I’m on the trail, I generally have a power-bank with USB ports stuffed in my pack. While I do like torches that have easily replaceable AA or AAA batteries, the knowledge I can recharge this torch while out in the bush is certainly great peace of mind. I will have to test my power-bank though to see just how much of this is drained to charge a torch battery that is completely flat. Oh, and don’t forget to take the cable with you as you won’t be able to use a generic one. One great benefit of the magnetic charging base is the knowledge I don’t have to be concerned about dust, dirt and sand getting stuck in a charging socket.
With a maximum output of 2,500 lumens (for short bursts), and a more acceptable run time at 800 lumens, this torch has the power and battery capacity required for even the darkest of nights on the trail. The acceptable weight, compact size, durable materials, and comfortable grip are well suited to harsh outdoor environments. Whether you are looking for a powerful and versatile torch for around the home, in your car or out on the trail, the Olight Baton 3 Pro Max is certainly worth checking out.
You can buy the Baton 3 Pro Max direct from Olight for $154.95 (as of May 2023)
My reviews are based on my own on-trail field tests and I provide an unbiased account of the gear I use. Often, reviewers won’t take gear into the field but search online for existing reviews and collate them to form a conclusion. If you’re a retailer or manufacturer, I’d love to field-test your gear. If you are keen to hear how your gear performs, please get in touch.