With its start in light switch controls, Cloud Defensive released the REIN 2.0 weapon light in early 2022, and it builds upon the initial version of the REIN using knowledge and experience gained in producing some of the most durable lights on the market.
The REIN (aka the Rail-Mounted Environmental IllumiNator) 2.0 has two designs; a full-sized body (featured in this review) and a “micro” variant with a smaller length tube. Much like the original, the standard-sized REIN 2.0 is made mostly from certified 6061-T6 aluminum and has an overall length of 5.9” (6% smaller than the REIN), with the largest diameter of 1.2” at the bezel/head (a reduction of 15% in size). And while the REIN 2.0 can be run independently via its push-button tail switch, the 2.75” polymer remote switch can be mounted to any picatinny rail. The switch also has a profile of just 0.5” off the top of the rail itself, with a slight reduction in bulk along the side plates for a more ergonomic fit.
The REIN 2.0 consists of three parts; the head, body and tailcap—with each component being fully backwards compatible to the previous REIN. Each is machined to precise specifications, and then anodized to meet ANSI/PLATO FL-1 impact resistance standards with a black satin exterior (although other finishes are available). All segments are sealed via silicone rings to ensure against water and dust penetration. As such the REIN 2.0 (switch included) has been certified in IPX8 immersion testing for use while under 100’ of water for up to 24 hours.
At the head, the REIN 2.0 High Candela (HC) light element (18650 series) produces an emission of 71,000 candela/1,100 lumens of warm-toned light. Alternatively, if end-users select the micro REIN 2.0 version they will still receive the HC light element (but have the option of getting the Every Day Carry (EDC) light element (18350 series) that produces 63,000 candela/950 lumens) separately. This is due to the combination of the electroformed reflector, power supply, and warmer LED emission that allows the REIN 2.0 to project light further than many competitors. It is important to note that lumens are a measure of the potential light during performance. However, without an efficient focal point to concentrate the beam, lumens quickly disperse over an ever widening range. In contrast, candela is the measure of light that is focused sufficiently to reach the target at a specific distance. While the REIN does have an impressive 1,100 lumens (a common industry metric of measure), its crushing 71,000 candela is greater than the REIN or OWL and allows for greater penetration of useable light through photonic barriers (such as smoke, dust, or opposing light sources). This allows end-users to recognize targets at a greater range.
The light element also includes a redesigned and more streamlined bezel made from the same 6061-T6 aluminum as the body. This bezel secures a military-grade 3mm thick glass that while robust, is the principle sacrificial element to the light . The glass is described by Cloud Defensive as low-iron glass, with 98% light transmission that was 40% thicker than other market competitors.
The body of the REIN 2.0 is made from a single piece milled aluminum. It includes the standard Surefire Scout mounting pattern for cross-compatibility with any number of aftermarket mounting accessories. The 2.0 does include a standard picatinny rail mount, that attaches via screw into the body’s mounting points. In addition, the interior of the body includes a patented adjustable battery jack that allows for adjustment/minimization between the space of the included full-sized 18650 rechargeable battery (or 18350 for the micro), and the tailcap so there is less risk of movement or contact separation. The full-sized 18650 power cell itself will provide for 130 minutes of continual runtime on a single charge, or 35 minutes of continual runtime for the micro’s 18350.
The REIN 2.0 employs the same unique tailcap design as its predecessor which includes; the segmented four-way slotted base, the push button/remote switch module (which includes a fixed cable to the rail-mounted switch), and the retaining ring. This design allows for the ON/OFF push button to be independently operated from the rail-mounted remote switch. It also allows for redundancy if one were to go down. Additionally, the user can remove the switch module and adjust the cable output to any of the four slot positions from the 2.0 body that best suits not only the user’s needs, but weapon configuration as well.
Affixed to the switch module, the rail-mounted push button/remote switch includes several features. Primarily, the remote switch has a momentary ON/OFF pressure switch, as well as a separate continual ON/OFF switch with an audible/tactile feel. The new 2.0 switch also includes a slightly raised ridgeline around 2/3s of each button to prevent inadvertent actioning of the light. The removable sides are redesigned but still channeled to allow for the cable to be run along either sides, as well as a midway “early out” port that allow the user to maximize cable management.
The REIN 2.0 is currently only available in Black (featured), Clear Anodized, Flat Dark Earth, and OD Green. It also includes a charging unit for the 18650 battery that comes with a UBS power cable. It also comes in two models, the full-sized REIN 2.0 (18650 series) and the micro (18350 series).
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): With its list price of $379.99 the REIN 2.0 represents the current efforts of Cloud Defensive to offer a leading 1,100 lumen product to the weapon light industry, and an advancement in the original REIN design. It incorporates many of the design features and functions that are long held as the “gold standard” for such accessories. The materials and tail switch technology, combined with the included rail switch (that many sell separate), translate to the REIN 2.0 being at a good price point within the market. In comparison:
- The original Cloud Defnsive REIN: $279.99 w/included rail switch @1,400 lumen
- The Surefire 600U Scout Light, w/SR07 rail switch: $481 @1,000 lumen
- The Modlite PLHv2-18650, w/Surefire Tailcap (sold separately), and Modlite rail switch (also sold separately): $443 @1,350 lumen
- The Streamlight Protac Rail Mount HL-X Long Gun Light: $129.99 w/included rail switch @1,000 lumen
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The 2.0 threw a warm-toned 1,100 lumens that, unlike the blinding “white” light from other weapon lights, the 2.0’s emissivity didn’t flood a room, hallway, nor blind the user going back to them in an enclosed environment. In contrast to the REIN, the 2.0 did throw a whiter light that some end users may find more preferable over the warmer tone. However, the result for both the REIN and 2.0 was a lower intensity on the eyes in dark environments, but still illuminated the space or target(s) at a greater distance. The rail-mount switch also had a comfortable tactile delineation between the buttons for the momentary ON/OFF pad, and the continual ON/OFF pad that could be easily recognized without looking. Users should note installation of the rail-mount switch was a bit tricky because the cable is thicker and somewhat stiffer than other brands, but by utilizing the early out or full cable channel—a comfortable medium was found. The tailcap switch of the 2.0 is similar to the original design in that it combined the momentary ON/OFF halfway down, and then the continual ON/OFF audible/tangible click at the bottom that was easily manipulated in conjunction with, or as a backup to, the rail-mount switch. However, the use of the 2.0’s picatinny rail mount put the weapon light exclusively at a direct 3 or 9 o’clock position only which could prove a reach for some users to operate the tailcap switch. Aftermarket rail mounts are available that can place the REIN 2.0 in a more comfortable position, but sold separately. One added feature of the REIN 2.0 was that the components, specifically the light emitter, are backwards compatible to the original REIN and thus allowed the end-user to find a comfortable outlet level that best worked with them and their needs.
- Durability – Average (3/5): From a durability aspect, the REIN 2.0 was made from the same 6061-T6 aluminum as the original. And with Cloud Defensive’s lifetime warrantee, the 2.0 had an overall excellent level of strength to resist impact and abrasion (also reflected in its ANSI/PLATO FL-1 shock testing and IPX8 waterproofing). The weakest point of the actual 2.0 design itself was the 3mm-thick sacrificial emitter lens that can not be replaced without replacing the complete front light element. The REIN 2.0 unit was repeatedly dropped from a height of approximately 6’ onto raw concrete. The objective was to evaluate the 2.0 against impacts it may encounter in the field. That said, the bezel of the REIN 2.0’s light head was what took a majority of the drop-impact against the concrete, with only minimal surface marring—none of which penetrated the lower layers of metal. The switch module itself was made from a proprietary glass-filled nylon and epoxy blend that made it resistant to impact. However, research has shown that the switch mounting hardware for the 2.0 was modified slightly from the previous version (the 2.0’s switch sides are a slightly thinner polymer). This design change (combined with improper mounting by the end-user) resulted in some individuals damaging the sides of the switch mount by overtightening (the recommend spec torque is 8lb.) using improper tools resulting in the hardware (specifically the nut) dug into the polymer sides and warped (or “bowed”)—thus allowing the switch to easily pop off the rail. Increasing the thickness of the sides, or providing aluminum side bars would allative the issues for those who may want that added level of security and would be a suggested point of improvement to Cloud Defensive for future designs.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the REIN 2.0 offered a number of improvements from its predecessor based on the customer feedback. The biggest functional difference was in the more streamline light emitter head. This design, while lower in lumen than the original REIN, was higher in candela and allowed the light wavelength to penetrate ambient photonic barriers (lights at/between/behind the target) and interference (smoke/fog/debris) to better effect. Other aspects like in-line mounting with a rear-facing pressure switch, and the rail-mounted control switch were more consistent aspects that end-users would find appropriate for its design. One notable element was that the 2.0 had a solid central illumination point, but the radius of diffused light around it had a definitive, controled boundary/hard line and didn’t simply spill outward in all directions (as opposed to the performance of a Surefire that floods an area). While this meant that all the available light was directional and would only illuminate what you wanted, it also meant that anything on the periphery wouldn’t—so something for end users to be aware of. Meanwhile, from a completely dead battery, the 18650 battery took approximately six hours to fully charge. The ability to adjust the cable output, both on the tail cap and on the rail switch, translated to a very clean and adjustable cable management with no excess, and no need for handguard bands. It should be noted that the retention ring for the rear switch module of the REIN 2.0 does not share the same threading size as the original REIN, and thus is not cross-compatible.
- Weight – Good (4/5): Overall, the complete REIN 2.0 kit (Light, battery, mount, and rail switch) weighed in at 7.25 ounces (while providing 1,100 lumens). In the case of the REIN 2.0 its weight was negligibly noticeable, but neither distracting nor pulled on the front end of the rifle during recoil impulse. In contrast, the original REIN (8.54 ounces for 1400 lumens) was the only alternative weapon light that weighted more than the REIN 2.0. The Surefire 600U Scout Light (4.8 ounces), the Modlite PLHv2-18650 (5.03 ounces), and the Streamlight Protac Rail Mount HL-X Long Gun Light (6.09 ounces) weighed in less than the REIN 2.0. Most of these market alternatives did not come with an included rail mount and showed that while the REIN does offer superior light output, it does so at a slightly heavier weight.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
Product Link: https://www.clouddefensive.com/product/rein-2-0/
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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