It seems like Olight has been dropping a new light every other month in 2021. That is definitely something we can get behind. First it was the updated I3T, and now they are back with an updated version of the super popular Baldr Mini rail mounted light called the Baldr RL Mini. The RL doesn’t stand for anything you couldn’t guess…red laser! Yay – this version replaces (or augments) the original Baldr Mini which had the exact same specs but with a green tinted laser as opposed to the red laser on the RL.
Let’s see how it stacks up against the super popular Surefire X300 and how it performs after a day at the range…
For those who have no experience with this line of Olight flashlights, the Baldr series can be thought of in the same realm as the i series of flashlights. They’re compact, bright and super easy to carry. The Baldr RL puts out a similar LED output as the EOS i5t, and is definetly one of the smaller combination flashlight/laser set ups available on the market today.
The Baldr RL comes in 2 colors, the standard John Wick black, and the super popular FDE color – which is a limited edition release. The light uses standard Glock and Picitinny rails, meaning it can mount almost anywhere, and perfectly matches the front “grill” of my G19.
Brightness & Laser Output
The Baldr RL pumps out 4225 Caneella out of a high performance cool white led and coupled along with a red dot laser. As with any laser, it needs to be sighted in so that it can be relied on and that was a relatively easy process with this laser.
The throw of the beam is pretty wide, but also goes farther than you’d expect a little light like this, and is certainly brighter than my X300 – even with brand new batteries.
Combining a compact light of this brightness, along with a red laser is extremely convenient in this case, as most of the other offerings on the market are 2x the size or 2x the price.
The light is activated by a single vertical switch on either side of the trigger guard. Push in for momentary, push down for on. It does not work as seamlessly as the bigger switch toggles on my X300, and could certainly use some further work from Olight in the next version. The ridges are sharp(ish), and could certainly use bigger, more glove friendly options. The light quickly toggles between 3 modes: flashlight only, flashlight + red laser, and red laser only.
Charging the Baldr is as easy as any of Olight’s other modern lights. It uses the incredibly convenient MCC magnetic charger, which means you can just slight the light off, and keep it on the charger until you need it.
I have found this to be an incredibly convenient way of dealing with making sure my lights are charged, as I keep them unmounted and on the charger until I need that specific light – which is when Ill pull it off the charger and mount it.
How does it compare to the popular Surefire X300?
I have been a big fan of Surefire weapon lights for a long time. If they’re trusted by the military and LEO, they are more than good enough for me. With that being said, I have been using the X300 for years now and it was certainly time for an upgrade.
Some of the biggest differences between the X300 and the Baldr from Olight are the size, its rechargeability, and the include red laser. It is incredibly convenient not to need to worry about replacing expensive, inconvenient CR123 batteries on the Olight Baldr RL.
However, its not all better – the X300 is generally easier to mount, and does not require any hardware to do so. The Baldr slides on and off nicely, but that assumes you have mounted the included piece to your rails, where as the X300 can just slide on and off at will.
At the range or in the back yard, this light is great for targets between 20-50 feet out. Once you get beyond that, the flood light starts to fade out and the laser becomes much less visible, especially during the day.
In practice after a zeroing, the light was able to stay relatively accurate and only needed a little tweaking after about 100 shots. This is to be expected as the unit can get rattled around after too many shots, after dropping, or after holstering.
All in all, this light is certainly going to stay mounted to my G19 and the X300 has now found a nice new home inside my safe.
Zach Belmont has been working in the outdoor apparel industry in one form or another for over 20 years. During his career, he has worked at some of the most well-known adventure brands including Patagonia and The North Face in marketing, operations and product development. Zach currently lives in Wyoming with his wife and 2 kids.