New BALDR Mini RL from Olight – Full Review

The new BALDR Mini RL (Red Laser) from Olight.

Olight has been manufacturing lights for over 15 years and is always on the leading edge of innovation. I’ve been using an S1R Baton as my EDC light for the past 5 years with no issues. My PL-Mini 2 weapon light holds a charge for months and is the only pistol weapon light I currently use. It fits on almost all my pistols and requires no tools to switch over. The features, light output, durability, and price point set Olight apart from the competition.

The BALDR Mini can be adjusted to fit a wide range of pistols and features a quick detach design.

Late last year, Olight added the BALDR Mini to its lineup of pistol mounted weapon lights. Olight took the successful PL-Mini 2 design and integrated a green laser to create the BALDR Mini. This year they added a red laser option, and it comes in black or desert tan.

From full-size to sub compact, the BALDR Mini fits most pistols.

Specs:

Light Output – 600 Lumens
Max. throw distance – 130 meters
Weight – 92 grams
Max. run time – 40 minutes
Battery – Integrated 3.7 V 230mAh Li-Po
IPX4 Water Resistant Rating – Able to withstand splashes from all directions
Dimensions (mm) – 57 x 33 x 36

The BALDR Mini has a similar footprint as the PL-Mini 2 and it should work on the same sub-compact pistols with a standard picatinny or Glock rail. Below is a list of compatible pistols:

There could be others that the BALDR Mini works with – these are the most common.

The BALDR Mini comes with the Glock rail adapter pre-installed, and an additional 1913 picatinny rail adapter with the tools needed to switch it out. Olight also includes their signature magnetic charging cable with built in charging indicator (red for charging, green for fully charged). This is the same cable the PL-Mini 2 uses, but it is not the same used to charge Olight flashlights – the polarity is reversed, and it won’t work with your flashlights. The magnetic charger is so easy to use. It effortlessly snaps to the bottom of the light and it’s nice not having to plug a cable into the flashlight itself to charge. The magnetic charging port keeps the flashlight body sealed and helps with water resistance. On the left side of the light itself is a low battery indicator that comes on when the battery is less than 10%.

First Impressions & Use

Out of the box, the BALDR Mini feels and looks like a quality product. The housing and adjustable base is made from solid Aluminum. The activation switches and selector switch are the only plastic parts on it. All the edges are smooth, rounded, and the overall footprint is exceptionally small for being a combination light. Coming from the PL-Mini 2 the BALDR Mini is slightly bigger and heavier.

The BALDR Mini is about 4 mm longer and 5 mm taller than the PL Mini 2.
The reflector is also larger than the PL Mini 2.

There are some lighter combination lights available from other manufacturers, but none come close to the performance or versatility the BALDR Mini is offering. Not many weapon lights can fit on a subcompact and a full-size pistol like the BALDR Mini or PL-Mini 2.

I wanted to test the run time, so I fully charged the BALDR Mini and then turned on both the laser and light. With the light and laser on I was able to get just under 35 min. of run time. A full recharge took 54 minutes. Now with just the light on, I was able to get 40 min. of run time. It’s important to note with all flashlights that the specified light output rating is only sustainable for 1 or 2 minutes max. and then power tapers off until the battery drains.

The magnetic charging cables snaps into place and turns green when fully charged.

Two toggle activation switches sit at the rear of the BALDR Mini. Both switches can be easily reached with your trigger index finger or thumb on your supporting hand. The switches are activated by a downward depress. A quick depress makes the light stay on continuously. A press and hold will be a “momentary” on until released and then it will turn off. I prefer the downward motion of activating the switch vs. a side press button – I can stay on target better.

The activation switch feels natural to operate and lands at the tip of my finger.
The activation switch is also easily manipulated by the support hand thumb. The mode selector switch can be accessed here too.

The laser/light mode switch is located on the bottom of the BALDR Mini and has 3 settings:

  1. Light Only
  2. Light & Laser
  3. Laser Only
The selector switch on the bottom has 3 positions and color coded.

One thing I really like about the mode selector switch is the positive engagement. When switching between the different modes, the selector makes a loud audible click as it seats in position. The switch is easy to operate yet holds firm in position, and it sits flush with the rest of the light. I’m not concerned with bumping it to a different mode.

On the right side of the BALDR Mini are the windage and elevation adjustments for the laser. Olight stacked the laser right on top of the LED which makes sense. Being directly under the barrel, it’s better aligned with the rounds going down range.

The quick detach feature on the BALDR Mini makes for a tool-less install.

The Olight quick detach mount is by far the easiest and fastest way to mount a light to your pistol. It takes just seconds to install or move it to another pistol. Just open the lever, put it on the rail, adjust the light to your liking and close the lever. There is no horizontal play when it’s locked on the rail. However, there is a very small amount of up and down movement. At 15 ft. the dot moved up and down approximately 4 inches. This is an issue if you’re using the momentary on setting while using the laser for aiming. The dot will dance around and you won’t be as accurate. In a home defense situation, you’ll still be on target. I’d like to see Olight get this dialed in a bit more.

Before I went to the range, I zeroed the laser to my red dot on my office wall at about 10 feet. At the range I was on paper at 7 feet and made a couple tweaks to get where I wanted at 25 feet. Adjusting the laser is easy but requires some fine motor skills to get the dot precisely where you want it.  I removed and replaced the BALDR Mini to see if it held zero and surprisingly had no issues at the range. Time will tell if it holds zero. The laser dot itself is crisp and doesn’t appear “fuzzy” at all.

These photos were taken around 9:30 at night. 100 feet from the garage.

Here are the beam shots at 25 feet.

The light output is impressive and almost identical to the PL-Mini 2 performance. The color temperature seems to be a bit cooler than the PL-Mini 2 and is best described as a bright white. Beam pattern is good at 100 ft. and has plenty of spill to be able to identify targets out to about 35 feet wide. It will easily illuminate any room in the house.

In conclusion, the Olight BALDR Mini seems like a top contender in combination light/laser weapon lights. It’s compact size, versatility, light output, rechargeable battery, and price make it an attractive option compared to other manufacturers. I don’t think any weapon light could be described as perfect, but the BALDR Mini comes pretty close. A list of holster manufacturers for the BALDR Mini can be found on Olight’s website. MSRP is $109.95 and you can get them for 30% off during the occasional flash sale.

Use code “gunsamerica” for 10% off site-wide at Olight* (Excluding items already on sale and the X9R)

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Manny B May 8, 2021, 9:35 am

    Sorry to hear that. For me, “Jimmy Rigging” an aiming device for a defense weapon is not acceptable.

  • Manny B May 8, 2021, 9:32 am

    I purchased the Baldr RL Mini during the flash sale, attached it to my S&W M&P 9Shield EZ, and took it to the range to zero it. It does not hold zero. Laser shifts after the first shot.

  • Bill May 4, 2021, 7:57 am

    The article said 600 Lumens for 1-2 minutes and then tapers off until the battery is drained. What? Paying that amount of money to get a light that only lasts so short a time certainly doesn’t not sound like a good light to me!! Give me a break!!

  • Hank May 3, 2021, 8:03 am

    I have the BALDR w/ green laser and also had problems w/ the “wiggle”. I was able to use some brass shim stock between the base and light body and the “wiggle” is gone.

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