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Olympia RG850 - Lighting the Hidden Path



Olympia RG850 - Lighting the Hidden Path

Clint Taylor

In the market of lights, there are many different options. You can choose a lantern, spot light, flood light, flashlight, headlamp, glow stick, and many other different types of lights. I particularly have a strong use for flashlights and headlamps.  Flashlights allow me to scout out an area before I launch my kayak into the water before the sun rises. They also work great for having light around the campsite, having an emergency light in your car, and even for carrying around in your day pack or back pack. Although there are a wide spectrum of flashlights to choose from, one in particular caught my eye - the Olympia RG850. Below is a glimpse at some of the major dimensions and specifications of the RG850:

Cost: $89.99

Length: 5.7" (145.3 mm)

Diameter: 1.3" (34.1 mm)

Weight w/o batteries: 4.2 ounces (118.2 g)

Working Voltage Range: 3-9.2V

5 light settings: High→Middle→Low→Strobe→SOS

Maximum Lumen Output: 850 Lumens

Waterproof Rating: IPX-8 (Submersible to 2 meters)

Impact Resistance: 1.5 meters

One major downfall to high performance flashlights is the cost. Many flashlights that have a high output light are well over one hundred dollars. The RG850 is under one hundred dollars at $89.99. This is a very reasonable price for how much performance the RG850 offers in so many different fields. The RG850 also helps to save any additional costs by having a rechargeable battery. However, as with any good design, the RG850 allows a user to have the option of using two CR123A batteries as well. In order to better understand some of the features of RG850, lets look at each of the aspects the RG850 has to offer.

Design and Quality

It will be hard to find a flashlight on the market that has as much quality as the RG850, especially for the cost. Every angle of the RG850 has clean lines and very exceptional craftsmanship. One aspect that I appreciate very much about the RG850 is the size and weight. At only 4.2 ounces without batteries and 5.7" long, the RG850 is pretty small and lightweight for the amount of power output that is produced. Aircraft grade aluminum is a major contributor to the sleek and lightweight design of the RG850. Many flashlights that are above 200 lumens begin to get larger and larger. The RG850 doesn't follow this trend though, as Olympia has produced a very clean and minimal package for a flashlight that has 850 lumens. This is possible in large to the CREE LED technology that the RG850 utilizes.  

Some features that add to the overall design of the RG850 are a belt clip, location for a lanyard attachment, and most notably the grip. The grip is an anti-freeze anti-slip design for the use in any condition. The design is also compatible with gloves due to the textured body and a large operation button. The RG850 really is compatible in any condition due to the waterproofing and impact resistance. With waterproofing for up to two meters submerged under water and a drop height of one and a half meters, the RG850 can take some abuse and keep going. This is incredible to imagine such a powerful flashlight with the amount of protection it has for under one hundred dollars.

Without a doubt the design and quality of the RG850 meet my expectations for a flashlight and far exceed them. Waterproofing, impact resistance, a light weight design, and a very powerful lumen output make the RG850 in a very elite class.


A crucial piece of any operating device is how well it performs. I touched on the waterproofing, impact resistance, and lumen output as far as specifications on paper, but how does it perform in the field and in the real world. Having tested the waterproofing first hand, I can say that the RG850 will definitely perform well if you are in a wet environment like I am. Being a kayak fisherman, I am constantly in and out of water. It would be extremely risky, difficult, or more so impossible to carry a non-waterproof flashlight with me out on the water for coming back late from a good day of fishing or for getting out on the water especially early. Although I try to take care of my equipment as good as I can, the RG850 has touched water a few times and it has come back each time with 850 lumens at my disposal.

I also try to not drop my flashlight, or anything for that matter (except some lures into the water), but the RG850 has me insured with the one and a half meter impact resistance rating. I hope to keep my RG850 off the ground as much as possible, and luckily I have so far, but I am sure there will come a day when the RG850 is accidentally dropped. No need to worry though because of the rugged design for a wide variety of environments.

The performance of the RG850 in the actual lighting department is something truly astonishing. If you have not caught on yet, the 850 in the RG850 stands for 850 lumens. This is an extremely large amount of lumens for any flashlight, especially such a sleek flashlight. The RG850 has five different lighting modes, as can be seen below:

High ----> 850 Lumens ----> 1.1 Hour Run Time

Mid----> 360 Lumens ----> 3 Hour Run Time

Low----> 20 Lumens ----> 65 Hour Run time

Strobe ----> 9 Hz

SOS ----> Standard SOS lighting pattern

I typically use the RG850 in the high mode, but the mid mode works great when you need to conserve a little battery. The low mode is extremely useful for inside a tent when you only need to light up a smaller area close to you. If you are looking for a tactical flashlight or a flashlight to catch the attention of others, the strobe mode works great. SOS mode is always a nice feature to have that you hope you never actually need to use, but nonetheless a great feature of the RG850.

In all of the constant on modes (High, Mid, Low), the RG850 has a great pattern with a large flood pattern combined with a spot light right dead center. This is a very well designed pattern, as you can see both a very wide viewing range due to the flood pattern, but also very far and clearly due to the spot pattern in the center. All you have to decide upon is your choice of 850 Lumens, 360 Lumens, or 20 Lumens.

Battery life is an important aspect to any electronic device. From my tests with the RG850, battery life is as advertised. I haven't had the RG850 on high continuously for more than ten minutes, but I do not find myself having to constantly recharge the battery over and over again like many other rechargeable flashlights on the market.

The only notable performance feature to watch out for is the actual glass and head of the flashlight. After continuous use at a high output the glass and head of the flashlight can get a little hot.

Functioning and Operation

It does not take much to learn how to operate the RG850 effectively. All of the RG850's lighting modes are operated by a single button in the rear of the flashlight. To turn on the light you have two possible methods. You can press the button down just barely (before the button is depressed fully to a click) to turn on the light for what would be called 'momentary-on lighting', and once you are ready to turn the light off you simply release your finger from the button. You can also choose to press down the tail button all the way until it clicks and the flashlight will remain on even if you remove your finger from the button for what would be called 'continuous lighting'. To turn it off, simply press the button to a click again and the light turns off.

So how do you go to each mode? This is one of the key aspects of the RG850. To switch between modes you simply turn the light on and off several times. As long as you turn the light back on within a second or so the next mode will be accessed. This works for both the momentary-on lighting and continuous lighting. In its simplest forms, you are accessing an internal menu for the RG850 when you turn the flashlight on and off more than one time, with the interval between on and off being less than a few seconds. What is neat is that the RG850 will memorize the last mode you were in, as long as you are in it for at least three seconds. What this means is if you were in Mid mode when you turn the light off it will be in Mid mode when it is turned back on. The same goes for any of the five possible lighting modes (High->Mid->Low->Strobe->SOS) - whichever mode you are in last will be the mode that is used when you turn back on the flashlight. The way the modes are accessed is one of my favorite features about the RG850 that really sets it apart from other lights. It is quick, easy, and it will memorize what mode you were in last.

The performance of the RG850 is one of its strong points. With the ability to produce a blinding 850 Lumens all the way down to a inside the tent brightness of 20 Lumens, the RG850 has you covered. Once again, the way the RG850 operates is so simple and easy and it really performs extremely well.

Final Word

The Olympia RG850 is one elite flashlight. Whether you are looking for a good all around flashlight, one for the water, an emergency kit, the car, or for your bedside table, the RG850 is so versatile that it can fit into any of these roles. The option of having two CR123A batteries is a bonus, as it allows you to have multiple batteries ready to install if you would need that capability. The light output is definitely not lacking, and neither is the ruggedness of the RG850. It will be seeing quite a bit of use from me on my expeditions and also in my everyday life. I highly recommend trying out the RG850 for your next flashlight and for any additional information, please go to