Concealed carry guns have reached an interesting intersection of size, capacity, and capability. It feels like we’ve reached the perfect size and capacity compromise with guns like the P365, the Hellcat, the Ruger Max 9, and the like. These little micro compacts pack at least ten rounds of 9mm, are often optic-compatible, and even come with some form of a rail system. Attaching a light to these guns is possible, but little lights are rare. Two of the main competitors on the market are Olight and Streamlight. Today we are doing a little head-to-head competition with the Olight Mini Valkyrie 2 vs. the Streamlight TLR 7 Sub.
Olight was first and the scene with the Mini Valkyrie series being designed specifically for little guns. Streamlight followed up last year with a mini light of their own. Our Mini Valkyrie 2 vs. Streamlight TLR 7 Sub showdown will allow us to examine their size and weight, their mounting options, their raw power, and even their batteries and battery life.
Since these are small lights made for small guns, let’s start with the general dimensions of these lights. They gotta be small to be effective, right?
The Mini Valkyrie 2 Vs. The TLR 7 Sub A Battle of Sizes
Size matters. Well, power matters more, but size does matter when it comes to a light on a concealed carry gun. Especially if that light is designed for a small concealed carry gun. Size and also weight are critical factors in choosing an accessory, and we plan to do a healthy comparison between these two lights.
The Mini Valkyrie 2 does pull in a win in the length department. It’s only 2/07 inches long versus the TLR 7 Sub’s 2.51-inch length. Yet, the Streamlight TLR 7 Sub is a lighter and skinnier light. It’s a tall supermodel, and the Mini Valkyrie is a squat little dude that doesn’t stand a chance. The TLR 7 Sub weighs 2.39 ounces vs. the Valkyrie’s 2.57 ounces. The Valkyrie is also 1.26 inches wide, whereas the TLR 7 Sub is 1.16 inches wide.
The Sub might be a little longer, but it scores high in the other departments when it comes down to size in our Mini Valkyrie 2 Vs. TLR 7 Sub the TLR 7 wins.
It’s tough to declare a clear winner in mounting options because you also have to take into account your individual firearm.
With that said, the Mini Valkyrie 2 utilizes a standard Picatinny rail mount and comes with multiple locking bars for different rails. This works well for a wide variety of firearms but doesn’t fit guns like the SIG P365 or Glock 43X without an adapter, which adds even more size.
The TLR-7 Sub comes in various configurations that include a standard 1913 short rail system. Streamlight also produces light options with adapters for things like the P365 and Glock 43X, and Glock 48 MOS series. The TLR 7 Sub offers more mounting options total, and to me, it’s a winner, but if you have a standard 1913 rail, it won’t really matter.
Here is where things get twisted and can be a bit of a hazard if you don’t fully understand each light. I will say outright that in this Mini Valkyrie 2 vs. Streamlight TLR 7 Sub contest, power is one of the most important considerations. Small lights are kind of weak when it comes to power, but in this section, there is a very clear winner.
Let’s start with the Mini Valkyrie 2. It boasts 600 lumens! That is 100 lumens more than the TLR 7 Sub, so it must be the winner! Well, no, for two reasons. First, Olight likes to advertise that they have so and so many lumens, but what they don’t tell you is that the max lumen count is 600 for about a minute before it steps down and eventually arrives at 60 lumens.
The TLR 7 Sub is 500 lumens and stays that until about the time the battery gets extremely low. The second reason the Streamlight TLR 7 Sub cleans the clock of the Mini Valkyrie 2 is in candela. Lumens are great, but candela is critical. The Mini Valkyrie 2 packs only 2,500 candela, whereas the TLR 7 Sub comes with 5,000 candela.
Candela allows all those lumens to move forward and increases the illumination range of the light. It also helps the user overcome photonic barriers. Candela is critical, and the Mini Valkyrie 2 just doesn’t have it.
The battery options between these two lights are another user preference, so it’s tough to declare a winner in this section of our Mini Valkyrie 2 vs. TLR 7 Sub. I personally prefer the Sub’s CR123 setup. This makes it easy to swap batteries when it gets low.
Like most Olight’s, the Mini Valkyrie 2 uses a rechargeable magnetic port. A USB-compatible charger makes it easy to charge on the nightstand or in a vehicle should the need arise. The QD mount makes it easy to detach and charge.
When it comes to battery life, the Streamlight TLR 7 sub wins with 90 minutes of power versus the Mini’s 60 minutes of power. Also, the Mini Valkyrie 2 often has a parasitic drain issue that means the battery drains even when not in use. This means it needs to be on the charger nightly.
The Other Stuff
The TLR 7 Sub can be submerged in water, and the Mini Valkyrie cannot. Both have ambidextrous switches that are easy to engage and function well. I have no ergonomic issues with either light. I’ve done a number of drop tests with both lights, and neither failed to function after being dropped at multiple angles.
Price-wise, the Mini Valkyrie 2 comes in cheaper, but that’s to be expected. In my opinion, the Mini Valkyrie 2 simply doesn’t deliver and isn’t on par with the TLR 7 Sub. The TLR 7 Sub dominates the light with multiple mounting options, superior power, a mostly smaller size, and is even more waterproof. Paying a little extra for the TLR-7 Sub is the right move.
What say you? To me, there is a clear winner, but am I missing something? Let me know below what you think.