The M20 Warrior lights from Olight are their entry into the heavily saturated 2xCR123A / 18650 powered tactical light market. Unique however, is the skill with which they pull it off.
Meat and Potatoes
The Olight M20 provides you with an initial impression purely of its quality construction. From its beautiful stainless steel bezel ring to its quality square knurling, the M20’s fit and finish is impeccable. The light gives off an aura of extreme durability, both visually and in its solid tactile feel. Ease of (dis)assembly is the order of the day as well, with every part I tried to access fully threaded with o-ring seals (usually double) at every junction. Thankfully the standard anti-roll tactical grip ring is also removable like other similar lights (with an included threaded smooth ring to replace it) because though it assists with the “Cigar Grip” technique, in my opinion it drastically hampers the more common “Ice Pick” method that I prefer. This however is a personal preference and I applaud Olight for allowing each individual user to decide this for themselves.
Olight seems to have taken great pains to develop a simple user interface that combines several adjustable output selections while retaining a fully capable momentary forward clicky switch. Normally the inclusion of one precludes the other. The simple loosen and re-tighten the head to change modes allows you to balance your brightness needs with your desired runtime. As usual with an LED light, the lower output levels provide a substantial gain in runtime allowing the M20 to run for very extended periods in its lowest mode.
The beam of the Warrior is quite nearly flawless and is capable of putting out immense quantities of light. Any artifacts have been very adequately smoothed out by a nicely textured reflector. As an added plus, the M20 does not seem to utilize any PWM, even on its lowest output. The beam is focused into an already very tight spot, allowing excellent distance illumination even with the stock textured reflector, but for those who desire even more distance, a smooth one is also available. I have not had the opportunity to try out that extra so I cannot say anything about what concessions will have to be made in beam quality to do so, but knowing the history of the Cree XR-E, I suspect that my personal choice will always be textured.
While the UI of the Olight technically falls under the category of a “multi-mode” light, it appears to me to be a more accurate description to call it a “selectable single-mode”. The only method to choose between the widely spaced outputs is to cycle through them in order while the light is on. This is especially annoying if you find yourself needing just a little less light. You are forced to travel up, through the strobe to start again at the bottom. This is not a major concern by any stretch, because of the role that this light is intended to perform, but I personally prefer UI’s where you can somehow pre-select the output before turning the light on, at least to some degree.
Olight has included with this light a large number of light retention options. Standard with the light are the tactical grip ring, a lanyard, pocket clip, and a holster. Most of these are surprisingly useful (excepting my opinion of the tactical grip ring). The pocket clip especially appears durable and stable. The holster however is where I take exception. While the construction appears as high quality as the remainder of the inclusions, the design could stand to be re-thought. The holster is especially wide with strange cutouts at the bottom and in the top flap. My next thought was that the holster looked particularly short for this light and that possibly a mistake had been made. I was proven wrong however when I discovered that the tail of the light is intended to protrude through the flap’s cutout and that the bottom cutout appears to be designed around the bezel window. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that it is designed so you are not “required” to remove the light from the holster before using it. I can see no reason for this and all that results is that the light is far too easy to accidentally activate whilst holstered. Thankfully, just because it’s included doesn’t mean I am required to use it, so I don’t.
Through my testing of this light, I have been impressed with the quality of workmanship that has gone into it. It may not be the ideal UI for everyone, but it definitely has its niche. I had a couple of issues during the testing, however I attribute those to my own curiosity and plenty of disassembly during the review. In all the M20 Warrior Premium is an excellent light. In my mind, the “O” in Olight must stand for “Options”.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Olight.