The Baldr Mini is Olight’s newest addition to the pistol weapon light family and is considered an update to the PL Mini 2 Valkyrie.
It has one new key feature that makes it stand apart from the Mini light series from Olight: An integrated green laser tucked up right under the barrel for greater accuracy.
Since I have owned the PL Mini 2 Valkyrie for years, I was curious to see how this new version compared.
I had the opportunity to get my hands on this light and put it through it’s paces so here’s a little bit about Olight before we dive into the Baldr Mini review.
Olight got its start in 2006 and initially broke into the European market with a focus on outdoor flashlights.
With success there, they tapped into the tactical market where their products quickly gained popularity with law enforcement and government agencies.
From there, they expanded sales into North America and elsewhere as their products surged in popularity after reaching several milestones.
For example, the M series lights by improved upon light output, features, and durability to make it stand out from it’s competitors. Then, SR line of searchlights made a debut with the super compact S Baton series, and the X6 Marauder.
The pace of innovation has not slowed as Olight has continued to lead the market with innovate products powered by clever patented magnetic rechargeable battery packs, CR123A lithium batteries, standard AAA and AA alkaline batteries.
|3.7v Rechargeable Li-ion
Balder Mini Size and Pistol Compatibility
With the design of Baldr Mini being similar to the PL Mini 2, it will work on many sub-compact pistols that have a rail. The light comes equipped with the GL smaller insert but can be swapped out with the 1913 size insert, depending on the pistol you have.
As you can see in the below image, the Baldr Mini is slightly larger than the PL Mini. The wight difference is 72 grams vs 87 grams for the Baldr Mini.
Not much, but if you are a conceal carry user this can make a big difference in how it feels on your hip as well as how it balances in your grip.
If you carry a sub-compact the increase in size could be deal breaker if you’re used ti the PL Mini 2. The Baldr is also slightly bulkier, being roughly 5mm longer and 4 mm taller.
Again, not much unless you’re a sub-compact concealer. Additionally, if you use a light specific kydex holster molded to the PL Mini 2, this light will not fit and you must purchase another holster for the Bladr Mini.
Magnetic Charger Cable and Mount
It also uses the same magnetic USB charger as the PL Mini 2 that says Special on it. This makes it handy if you already have the PL Mini 2, as they are interchangeable, and you will have a backup if you have a work and home computer or if one ever fails.
The charger has a solid, hefty feel to it, and there is something satisfying with way it magnetically snaps to the light’s charging port followed by a green (charged) or red (charging) light indicator.
It was a smart move to use USB as the charging medium rather than a standard outlet charger since most folks have one or more computers, or a cell charger with a removable USB cable.
The drawback of this setup is outlets are arguably more universal than USB charging ports since not everyone carries a computer or phone charger around.
The way the light mounts on the rail is the same as well. I personally like the design of the mounting system because of its spring loaded locking mechanism that holds it tight to the rail.
Most of Olights weapon lights have the same proven mounting design that I have always found to tolerate the harshest recoil after hundreds of rounds and stay secure and zeroed.
It is also fast and easy to mount and remove the light to switch lights or to a lighter carry option by simply flipping the spring loaded lever and pulling forward on the light, away from the barrel end.
This removes the light from the light’s rail while leaving the Olight rlight rail to the pistol rail. This makes it easy change the position of the light on the rail from front to rear to make the reach for your length of features the light toggles easier.
Removal is also easy for charging, switching out for compatible lights, or removing the light altogether for lighter carrying
Light Toggle & Switch Interface
First, the on/off toggles are located in the same place on the Balder as the PL Mini 2 where they are within easy reach from either the right or left side when gripping your pistol.
The light that the toggles activate will depend on the position of the of the laser/light switch, which is cleverly mounted in a sleek, ergonomically thoughtful location between two the on/off toggles at the bottom of the light.
The laser/light switch has three light type positions which can be activated by the L/R toggles:
- Light only
- Laser only
- Light and laser
One thing I appreciated about the light toggles is how the “action” behaves the same way as the PL Mini 2 to activate the lights, but on the Baldr Mini it applies to each of the three light type settings.
Here’s how the action works: One quick press and release will hold the light on until quick pressed again, and a long hold will hold the light on until released.
Green Integrated Laser
Laser lights on pistol mounted weapon lights don’t have the best reputation due to lack of accuracy and not staying zeroed for long if at all.
This may be due in part to the inherent compact size of the pistols they are mounted on, compounded by the compact size of the light and it internal components. Either way, these issues seem to be something Olight has (at least partially) mitigated.
The accuracy issue has been improved by integrating the laser into the standard light housing between the light and the barrel. This allows the light to better align with the barrel and trajectory of the round.
Additionally, the zeroing screws for the laser are located at the top right of the light which allows them to snug the bottom of the barrel thus, thus reducing some recoil impact and vibration on internal adjuster rails.
This helps to maintain the zeroing of the laser over longer periods of time without needing additional zeroing.
Upon testing the laser at the range, I was able to get it zeroed so the rounds were hitting within a 0.5-1″ group at 5 yards, and around a 1.5 to 2″” group at 7 yards. Not sure if it really improved my accuracy as a whole, but it was fun to see the rounds punching holes near on or near the green dots at it zeroed in.
To zero the laser you turn the rear screw to adjust the horizontal (left/right) alignment, and the front screw for the vertical (up/down) alighnment.
One area I feel lasers are a helpful tool is to reference your laser position aim with actual shot placement to see how much your grip is interfering with accuracy.
Light Brightness, Throw & Runtime
Both the Baldr Mini and PL Mini 2 are rated at 600 lumen and upon testing both look nearly identical at the same distance from the target. On the Baldr there may be a slightly wider light diameter.
This may be due to the reflective housing being maybe 50% larger on the Bladr than the Mini due to the laser integration. However, I did not notice much of a difference in illumination and throw.
I will say, on both lights it is a bright and crisp white light of full 600 lumen – no skimping there. The max rated throw of 130 meters is also nearly same, and actually does a good job of illuminating a large swath of area at that range, at maybe around 40-50 meters wide.
The power at that distance is less of course, and will depend on the ambient light from your surroundings. In a very dark setting, such as in the woods and away from street lights, signs, etc, it is quite substantial.
Lastly, the light seems to hold up to it’s claims of lasting 40 min of a full charge. It will be interesting to see how long the battery will stay fresh after dozes of additional charge cycles. Given the quality of components Olight seems to use, my guess is it will last dozens of charge cycles.
Power curve of light without the green laser
- 600 Lumen for 1 min at 100% then, 39 min for 17%, then 10% until dead
Power curve of light with the green laser on
- 600 Lumen for 1 min at 100% then, 29 min for 17%, then 10% until dead
In conclusion, the Balder Mini makes for a solid and compact weapon light, especially if you are looking for a more accurate laser integration, more compact size and lighter weight.
It looks great on any size pistol and color. Don’t forget it’s available in three colors to custom match your weapon. Black, Gunmetal Grey, and Desert Tan.