Today’s review will be about a flashlight that’s already become a modern classic: the Oveready BOSS. Oveready’s ecosystems are an unique thing in the flashlight world. Yes, you read that correctly: ecosystems. While Oveready may have started out predominantly using Surefire hosts, Oveready has become well-known for creating their own platforms and building upon such platforms accordingly. We first saw this with Moddoolar, BOSS is just the latest example.
Here is the official product page. The BOSS 35 HA Satin Black model will run you $392 at the time of this publication. Early runs of the BOSS 35 in 2016 were done in an exclusive raw aluminum patina. Oveready has since released the BOSS in a number of other metals including copper, brass, and titanium. Time will tell what other metals are released but Oveready has stated that HA Satin Black is the standard configuration.
Although the first run of BOSS were shipped in a neat presentation box, current runs are shipped in black foam tubes. This is to cut down on the cost to the consumer, the black tubes are simple but effective. Below is a photo of my sample.
The specifications of my sample are as follows: XP-L HI 4000K, RED SECONDARY. I have also taken the liberty of installing green tritium in the optic and installing Oveready’s aftermarket crenellated bezel.
First-hand impressions of the BOSS 35 are very good. It’s compact for an 18350 flashlight and fits in my hand almost perfectly. Notice how my fingers conform naturally to the tapers of the flashlight’s body and the divots at the head. The clip also rests securely in the palm of my hand without getting in the way. Make no mistake: the body of the BOSS 35 has been wonderfully thought out. Out of any flashlight I’ve held, the BOSS 35 reigns superior for grip, retention, and overall articulation of the flashlight. Users with larger hands may prefer the longer 70 body though.
The clip on the BOSS is excellent. It was a little tight at first but over the course of a year the tension has lessened slightly and become just right. Overall, the clip is discrete and complements the HA Satin Black body nicely.
Another critical aspect of the flashlight that aids in such ease of use and deserves mention is the Triad tailcap. Oveready pioneered a much larger version of the Triad tailcap long before scaling it down for the BOSS. This is by far the best tailcap on the market. Three raised points on the tailcap allow for rock-solid tail standing. Three recessed points of the tailcap allow for easy actuation of the switch itself.
The switch itself is a McClicky – only the best. My original McClicky in the flashlight actually failed (all moving parts will eventually fail) but this is where the beauty of both the McClicky and BOSS are observed. If your switch does happen to fail like mine did, it’s a simple matter of unscrewing the old switch and screwing in a new one. Easy and simple even for a mechanically disinclined person like myself.
I’ve gone over it before, but what you don’t see is just as important as what you do see. The build material of the HA Satin Black BOSS is 7075-T6 aluminum. I really think that this aluminum sets the standard for higher-end flashlights. Although its substantially harder to machine and work with, it’s by far superior to the conventional 6061-T6 grade. Add on that HA finish and the BOSS is one tough cookie. I’ve had my BOSS 35 for over a year now and all it has to show for it is a few minor dents in the anodization.
The business end of my BOSS 35 features a crenellated bezel. This is an aftermarket option from Oveready. Just don’t be dumb like me while installing it and forget the outer O-ring that creates a seal. I learned this the hard way when I went swimming with the flashlight and water leaked into the optic. While I don’t think I’d ever use the crenellated bezel, the stainless steel material is much more apt for soaking up drops on the ground. You can’t see it but the BOSS also has a glow-gasket in the bezel. So even if you don’t have tritium in the optic like mine does, the bezel of the flashlight will glow for easy location at night.
No flashlight review would be complete if we didn’t talk about the brightness and runtimes. And this is where the BOSS really shines (no pun intended). BOSS stands for Bright Output, Small Size. The BOSS uses quite possibly the most advanced driver currently in existence: the Lux-RC 371D. Most people know this driver for its proprietary secondary LED but there’s a ton of other features that set it apart from the pack.
Zero PWM, wireless-optical programming, active thermal control, and a bounce protection setting are just a few of the features that make this not only the most expensive driver in existence but also the best out there.
With the BOSS 35 you have the option of setting a custom mode group from the programming webpage. If you have the BOSS 70 then you can do two mode groups: one for (1) 18650 battery and another for (2) 18350 batteries. BOSS recognizes the different voltages and adjusts the mode groups accordingly. It’s a bit hard to explain but its suffice to say that if you want some specific sort of programming in your flashlight, the BOSS 35 probably has it. Programming is accomplished through a light sensor in the driver. You can even download the programming files for use when you have no internet.
Depending on the primary LEDs you have chosen, the maximum output of the BOSS 35 can range from roughly 1900 lumens (XP-L HI) and 1300 lumens (Nichia 219c). With two 18350 batteries the BOSS 70 pushes close to 3500 lumens for XP-L HI. Low outputs are whisper low too. You can go down as low as 0.18 lumens or stick with the secondary red/amber LED. That’s a ton of output and flexibility for such a small package.
The advantage of the secondary LED is that it’s discreet and won’t disrupt your night vision. Is it a gimmick? Some might say yes, but it’ll depend on your usage. I personally find it quite useful for those mid-night bathroom runs…
I started out with the BOSS 35 but have since purchased several BOSS 70s since then. This is where we get into the beauty of the “ecosystem” if you will. The BOSS system works using two main parts: the head and a body. So if for example you have a BOSS 35 then all you need purchase is a BOSS 70 body only to gain the full functionality of the BOSS 70. All BOSS bodies and heads are interchangeable so you can even swap between different types of metals to create a unique hybrid BOSS (ie. copper head and brass body).
Expanding further upon the BOSS ecosystem let’s talk accessories. Oveready has steadily brought out a number of add-ons to enhance the utility of the BOSS system. Current add-ons include a walking-wand, crenellated bezel, matching lanyard bead, Delrin body cap, and even a holster by Andy Zhu.
If I could draw a parallel, the BOSS ecosystem is not dissimilar to the one that HDS Systems has created. Where the BOSS ecosystem deviates, however, is in its simplicity. If you can’t tell already, the BOSS is a great flashlight not only because it’s a great flashlight but also because of the myriad options available to easily create the perfect configuration for most any task.
Please don’t mistake the BOSS for what it is. No, this is not a put-in-your-safe-for-storage flashlight nor is it a collector’s item in my opinion. The BOSS – to me – is the epitome of a refined workhorse not dissimilar from the HDS Executive. While secondary market values of the BOSS were initially high due to a lack of supply of the flashlight, they have since fallen dramatically as Oveready has stepped up production. This has its pros and cons but the main takeaways are this: 1) don’t buy this flashlight thinking you can flip it and 2) you might as well actually use the flashlight.
This is an image taken by Tom from Oveready of a BOSS 35 that was severely abused. The flashlight was “was dropped and thrown over 100 times, from 8-10 feet high, onto solid concrete.” The BOSS was made to take a beating so actually use it!
Oveready has a stellar warranty and makes a great team. While its not expressed directly, they have a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy. I’ve also never seen them fail to take care of a customer; Dan (the coordinator of the team) is always quick and responsive. This combined with the innovative products they bring to the table makes for an immense value.
In conclusion, I believe that the BOSS 35 is still probably the best custom-esque flashlight in production almost two years later. In the flashlight world that’s a long time. While the BOSS doesn’t shred the competition on paper so much as it does in real-world use, it’s still my favorite flashlight.
Here’s the score breakdown:
Build Quality: 10/10. I’ve noticed that there have been more BOSS flashlights with issues than one would expect but I suspect that this is also a result of production being stepped up. Keep in mind that there is also response bias. My particular sample is a clear home-run in terms of build quality.
Output/Runtime: 10/10. Because of the 371D driver, you get absurd highs and whisper lows. Runtime can be elongated further with a battery “stretch” feature available when programming the flashlight. The BOSS 35 accommodates my 1200 mAh cells easily.
Practicality: 10/10. I don’t think there’s any question here. At a price point to features ratio, the BOSS is clearly a winner in this category. There’s no other flashlight that I would rather take with me more when I go out somewhere.
Beam Quality: 10/10. I don’t think it’s hard to lose points here honestly. The Carclo 10507 optic gives a good amount of throw with spread and you can always swap out the optics if need be. Oveready is very good at choosing their LEDs, I believe Dan himself and his wife choose them. They have said themselves that their eyes are very sensitive to different color temperatures. Here is a Facebook post from the Oveready group that predicates this.
Design: 10/10. The design of this flashlight is almost futuristic (in fact, I think that this was one of Oveready’s intentions) and just fantastic all in all. One thing that I would like to see, however, is the divots at the head line up with the tapered lines. It doesn’t impact function and Dan has said this would be a logistics nightmare though.
User-Interface: 10/10. Because of the 371D, you can set the UI any which way. There’s mode memory, no mode memory, and hybrid memory. The McClicky switch’s compatibility with this flashlight is great too.
Overall: 10.0/10 A+