Purpose built lights have been on the decline lately, with everyone trying to provide one light to meet every need simultaneously, but there’s something to be said for those lights that just do one thing, and do it well.
Meat and Potatoes
The Olight M2X Javelot is a thrower. That’s it. Wrap it up. This review is done. Honestly, I don’t know if anything more needs to be said than that. Anyone who’s been hanging around the blog for any period of time can glean from that one statement everything that really needs to be known about this torch. I guess for the newcomers I should probably expound upon that a bit, though. Here goes.
Olight has once again iterated their M series of lights into another sub-model. The Javelot shares a huge heritage with the Warrior line of lights, many of whom have been guests here over the years. Simple 3 mode output, with mode memory via loosening and re-tightening the head. Olight has included their quick access to the highest output through a simple double click (this is just a little tricky with the forward clicky button, requiring a half press on the first activation), and a full brightness strobe is available with a triple click. This makes for a fairly versatile UI, though as you’ll see later, you may simply end up keeping the light in High mode full time.
Build quality as well is classic Olight. Stylistically it is instantly recognizable as a worthy Warrior. It shares the same thick aluminum sidewalls, the same larger rectangular knurling, all the same basic machinework actually. It remains absolutely free of tool marks and has all the expected rounded, chamfered, and beveled edges I’ve come to expect from this bloodline. This is a pedigree light, and no mistake. It’s not something that is well suited to EDC, with its ungainly dimensions, but that isn’t Olight’s intent.
Olight has chosen to take a slightly off-the-rails approach with the light source in this torch. Instead of taking a standard LED like so many other flashlights on the market, Olight has used a customized de-domed Cree XM-L2 LED. This makes for a smaller apparent diode chip that works in tandem with the giant 2+ inch parabolic reflector to create one of the tightest focused beams I have ever seen in portable illumination. This light is purpose built to light up objects at significant distance. Also, when I speak of High mode, I mean REALLY high. Olight quotes 1020 lumens at the top level. I can attest that this drops a bit as the power source depletes, but if you are running 18650 Li-ion cells, that is a small matter to reconcile. Simply charge extra cells often and swap them out.
This concentrated power makes for a higher hotspot than I have ever seen in a light, up to this point. I was able to see the benefits that it provides first hand, during the very maiden expedition where the Javelot joined me. I was once again walking my dog, late at night (the only time that seems to be available to me, and coincidentally very conducive to flashlight evaluation) and I had already noticed some benefits the tight beam offered. If I walk by a dark alleyway and touch off the torch, I am able to clearly see everything down the center of the driving lane, while avoiding disturbing any of the homes that frame the street with light overspray. Toward the middle of our usual pathway, we were accosted by a large dog that was unchained and decided we were a threat credible enough to need to defend the homestead. She came charging at me with full snarl and bared teeth. My initial reaction has always been to direct my flashlight to any disturbance at all even just as a threat assessment. Being hit with over a kilolumen directly in the eyes at a short distance was enough to make this large golden retriever pull up short as if I had struck it in the face. It caused an instant reevaluation of priorities in this dog and she allowed herself to be called back by her mortified owner (who hasn’t left her out unchained during my walks since then).
This is a hard light to critique. Most of my gripes are simply part of the inherent downfalls of the intent that drives this light. Because of the tremendously tight focus, I have never seen a light that gives worse tunnel vision than this. You clearly see what is lit up in the well-defined spot, but the spillbeam is so dim that your eyes wash it out entirely and you only see dark. Sweeping a field to look for potential threats is slightly frustrating because despite lighting it up to its extreme borders, you have to carefully sweep each location because nothing it visible outside that spot.
There is one nagging frustration however that haunts many lights of this caliber. My old nemesis, multipurpose tailcaps. Once again the excellently protruding tactical capable forward clicky is partially shrouded by sharp, narrow crenelations. These seem to be even more dual purpose than usual, not only providing a weak tailstanding option, but also a potential strike bezel designed for pain compliance. Honestly, if you let anything get close enough to you to hit it with this flashlight, you are using it wrong. This light would be much better served by a true protruding tailcap switch, possibly including a removable tailstand cover if necessary, because ceiling bounce is really the only viable method to use the Javelot indoors with that overwhelming spot.
What do you want in your light? Do you want one light to basically cover any task, this is not your light. If you love floody, close-range torches, this is not your light. If you’re looking for one of the most powerful throw monsters you can find, especially in this 2-cell size, this fits the bill exactly. Purpose built, and good at what it does. Just don’t try to use it to check on the baby in the middle of the night.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Going Gear.