High End Flashlights

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
I'm curious as to what high end flashlights you guys use. I have been happy with my Streamlight Twin Task units. Sells for about $33, probably considered a mid-price unit.

0.9A high pressure adjustable focus xenon bulb provides 72 lumens
3 ultra-bright, 100,000-hour-life green LEDs deliver 10 lumens
Well never mend then. I will keep on bothering them :D

You question is a good one. I got trapped by a thunderstorm one afternoon this season five miles up a canyon on the Manti and had to walk out in the rain and dark on a trail that sidehilled 20 to 30 foot drops and one bad step would have been very hurtfull. One cheap flashlight keep flickering off, one regular bulb flashlight burned up the batteries and the LED head lamp batteries began wearing low.

Better quality flashlights is an item on my "gear improvement" list.
The purpose of this thread is to gain insight into a line of flashlights to add to the LRH Gear Shop. Not everyone wants to pay for the best so I will probably offer a pretty darn good one and also one that is much better than that.
I dont know your criteria for the site but I have 2 of the new Surefire LED's and they are pretty darn nice. They of course have much more run time than the bulbed units and twice the lumens to boot. Headlamps are nice but really need a third strap that would go over the top of your head to really keep them in place.

Great idea, more useful and important stuff for the LRH Gear Shop.
I know you look at every thread in the page, but anyway these two threads have been informative for me in this matter:

Watchmaker seems to know a lot about flashlights. He is probably somebody that can give you a good advice on what models are the most useful for us.
Hope this helps.
Take care and happy new year!!!
this is a really nice light weight and versatile light that I bought. It has multiple colors, brightness levels, strobe, and rotation, along with a handy clip. The price is decent but not cheap. The best thing for me - normal AA batteries!!

Streamlight Sidewinder Flashlight White, Red, Blue and Green LEDs with Batteries (AA Alkaline) Polymer Olive Drab - MidwayUSA

Sidewinder, the most versatile military light in the world. Twenty flashlights in one! Each LED features 4 levels of output intensities: Low (5%), Medium (20%), Medium-High (50%), High (100%) plus a Strobe function (100%)
One switch for On-Off, dimming and mode selection functions.
Pull-to-turn locking rotary color(4)selector knob with tactile indicator for easy operation with gloves
Double click button to initiate strobe function from (Off) position
Push and hold button for light output levels from (Off) position
Powered by 2 (AA) batteries. Full run time chart in DOCS/INFO
Also accepts 2 (AA) lithium batteries, which allow extended operation, or extreme temperatures (-40?F - 150?F)
Mounts to MOLLE or ACH for hands-free use
High-impact, super-tough nylon case; drop-test verified from 30 feet
Battery polarity indicators for easy replacement in the dark
Unbreakable, gasket-sealed polycarbonate lens with scratch-resistant coating
O-ring sealed for waterproof operation. Meets MIL-STD-810F, Method 512.4
Tethered tailcap to prevent loss
Cord attachment hole supports up to 25 lbs
Articulating 185? rotating head
Spring steel clip attaches to MOLLE or belt
Clip can be mounted on either side of the light
Dimensions: 4.63" High; 2.31" Wide
Weight: 4.96 ounces
US and foreign patents pending
One year limited warranty
Just like rifles, I wanted the perfect flashlight. Just like rifles, ONE single perfect light doesn't exist. Having spent WAY too much money on flashlights in the last 10 years or so, (probably enough to have purchased one of Shawn's and one of Kirby's finest!), I have developed some pretty good ideas about what I like.

Starting at the top, both quality and cost wise, are Surefires. Surefire incandescents are still at the top of the heap when it comes to the best lights of their type. Surefire also makes great LED's, though they are not cutting edge in that market. They supply the .gov agencies and the military, and thus their products take some time to develop and come to market. The LED world is changing so fast that they simply can't have the latest, brightest, most efficient LED's in their lights. Their lights are bulletproof, (literally, in some cases) and if you absolutely, positively MUST have a light that works, then you want a Surefire. MOST Surefires are based on use of the CR123 Lithium battery, and though it is a very efficient cell, it is also more expensive in most cases than alkalines.

Streamlight makes great "bang for the buck" lights, and has a wide variety of lights available. They aren't cutting edge, but they are solid, and the choice of many fire departments and police departments because they are cost effective. The finish is below that of the Surefires, but the cost is too. Streamlight offers lights powered by just about every battery type known.

Both Surefire and Streamlight are US based manufacturers, though it is possible that Streamlight is making some lights outside the US now, I'm not sure.

For more cutting edge lights, smaller makers like Fenix are coming on strong. They are more able to take advantage of the rapid advances in LED technology, and they are now making lights powered by CR123 cells, AA cells, AAA cells, and possibly others.

Tigerlight makes a very interesting and well built rechargeable light with a built in pepperspray unit. It is favored by some police agencies, and would be a great camp light anywhere that pepperspray might be useful.

As for headlights, Stenlight is at the top of the heap. However, Surefire now makes a headlight, and Fenix does too, so they may be reasonable alternatives.

There are lots of other makers out there, but those three stick out.

Len we use artifical light on an everday ocurrance in our jobs. The mines work all night long every night. At our mine the most common midpriced flashlight is in fact streamlight.

I have a surefire and it's very nice! I also got one of the new mag-lites with the led for christmas and it was plenty bright to follow a blood trail the day after newyears, and it held up to sub-zero conditions :) the maglite is like a lot cheaper, but it's like three times the size too...
I carry a Sure Fire in my pack and one of the LED hat lights. Not sure who made the hat light. Both are great though.
Warning! This thread is more than 15 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.