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Customer Review

276 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet little light with a great switching system, August 20, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Streamlight 88031 Protac Tactical Flashlight 2L with White LED Includes 2 CR123A Lithium Batteries and Nylon Holster, Black (Tools & Home Improvement)
What kind of flashlight can you get at this price point? A really good one, that's what kind. This seemed to be promising too much for the dollar amount, but I gave it a try and I'm glad I did.

Firstly, though, about that 180 lumen rating -- she's bright, but 180 seems a little, um, optimistic.... My very informal and very unscientific assessment would be around 120 or so, which is still pretty darn bright. Throw is decent, and the beam is a good balance between spot and fill. Very useful.

The best part is the switching system. You switch between modes using just the pushbutton on/off click switch in the tailcap (as usual, a little pressure gives you momentary on, push in further to click it to constant on). Press once, and you've got high beam. Press twice within .4 seconds, you've got strobe. Press three times within .8 seconds and you cycle to low beam. I like the feel of the switch; there's quite a bit of travel before you hit the constant-on click. The strobe would certainly be disorienting to an attacker, and the bezel and tailcap have the mandatory crennelations (relief cuts) in case you want to, you know, strike somebody in the head or something. Hey, it is a TACTICAL light, right?

Check the dimensions: at 4.68 inches long, 0.90 inch at its largest diameter, and weighing less than 3 ounces with batteries (I'm going by Streamlight's data here, as I don't have a postal scale handy, but that feels about right), this is one small, lightweight flashlight. The head diameter is barely larger than the body, making it sleek and easy to draw from a pocket. The pocket clip seems pretty sturdy, and a nylon holster is included if you prefer that method of carry. Build quality is adequately rugged, and you've got a lifetime guarantee (excluding abuse and batteries).

Quibbles? Well, the anti-roll flats on the side of the head are mighty subtle, and not very effective on even a slight incline; thankfully the pocket clip stops a roll. The batteries rattle a bit in the body, which I can't stand, but wrapping a piece of adhesive tape around each battery will help to quiet that (not too much, you need to be able to get the batteries back out). And if you like a lanyard, you'll have to improvise, as there's no loop for attaching one. Other than that, I can't find anything to gripe about. There's a lot to like here, especially the switching system. It's so light and slim that I'm not even aware of it clipped in my left rear pocket. Great value, my friends. I'm gonna order a couple more!
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 17, 2011 7:39:50 PM PDT
mao_soup says:
You should check out 4Sevens mini123 (esp the 123x). Same price point, but blows this out of the water in brightness and only takes 1 battery. Half the size as well. I have on on me at all times.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2011 7:21:28 PM PDT
snowolf says:
Who makes the 4Sevens mini123? Jon snowolfpup@hotmail.com

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2011 6:41:46 PM PDT
mao_soup says:
4sevens, lol. just google them. Typically they will have a fifteen percent off sale and will email you when they have sales. They do not send tons of annoying emails, only for sales, typically. Also, you can check out firearmsprostore a reputable online store based here in utah.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2011 12:53:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2011 12:55:43 PM PDT
Winter says:
With the possible exception of the wafer batteries for watches and such there is nothing more expensive than CR123 batteries. In terms of power output they are comparable to a AA battery so the cost is not justified in terms of hours or use. eFilm makes a rechargeable CR123 and a charger for them but it is still a poor form factor for a battery and makes obtaining spares in the field nearly impossible. Nothing tactical about an item that cannot be readily maintained out in the field.

When the brightness is increased the LED's draw more power and run time is decreased proportionately. I see these 5 hour LED flashlights and see no improvement over much brighter Xenon bulb flashlights in terms of run time per set of batteries.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2011 1:47:23 PM PDT
mao_soup says:
@stenmen "With the possible exception of the wafer batteries for watches and such there is nothing more expensive than CR123 batteries"

I'm not sure where you are getting your info, but I purchased mine for $1 a piece (buying 40 in bulk). If you're not looking to spend $40 (I split mine with a friend) then many places on Amazon and other outlets sell reputable brands for around $2, so long as you buy 10 or so. I'm not sure how this makes them the "most expensive batteries."

"In terms of power output they are comparable to a AA battery."

Ummm.....I'm not sure how you figure this, since one is 3v and the other is 1.5v.

"Nothing tactical about an item that cannot be readily maintained out in the field."

Who ever said that an item must always be used tactically? I agree that taking your cr123 flashlight into the field may present a challenge for finding batteries. Then again, you could always take a few with you. They are lightweight and typically last up to ten years.

"I see these 5 hour LED flashlights and see no improvement over much brighter Xenon bulb flashlights in terms of run time per set of batteries."

What you see and what is actually the case in terms of brightness and runtime superiority may be two very different things. I would ask you what 2 flashlights you are comparing, what brightness settings you have them on, what kind of batteries you are using, etc. More and more xenon bulbs are a thing of the past.

I could be wrong, but you sound like someone who is probably older, retired, or otherwise unaware of the recent advancements in LED lighting technology. If this is the case, I would refer you to CPF forums where you can learn just about anything you want to know. Youtube also has some great reviews of new lights, particularly by Nutnfancy. Nutnfancy is a popular gear reviewer and you can search all his reviews on Youtube.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 7:57:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2011 7:57:39 AM PDT
TheDude17 says:
> In terms of power output they are comparable to a AA battery so the cost is not justified in terms of hours or use.

This isn't true. The CR123 offers a much higher power density. Otherwise, why would anyone use them in the flashlight since they cost more? They use them because you can make a small form factor and still get an acceptable run-time.

> I see these 5 hour LED flashlights and see no improvement over much brighter Xenon bulb flashlights in terms of run time per set of batteries.

LEDs have a very flat output over time. Most (all?) bulb based flashlights have simple circuitry and drop to 50% output rapidly. So, even if run-times are shorter in the LED flashlights, you will be getting near maximum output for the entire time. LED flashlights maintain a constant voltage using switching circuitry.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2011 2:04:13 PM PDT
A R says:
Absolutely horrible and incorrect statements there, B. Stenman.
Please do not spread this disinformation.

I'm sure you made this post during a time in which you were less informed about batteries, flashlights, and cost and such, but it must be known that the information you stated is egregiously incorrect on all fronts.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 9:47:55 PM PST
John Miller says:
Is this what you're talking about?

http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php?cPath=297_306&products_id=2686

Posted on May 4, 2012 6:48:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2012 6:49:37 PM PDT
Howard says:
I was LIKING this flashlight right up to the point where you said ¨The batteries rattle a bit in the body¨. For a STREAMLIGHT product, that is 10000000000000% NOT ACCEPTABLE. Anyone else have this problem or did you find the problem on the others you said you were going to order ?

Just wandering if this was a fluke on a production run of the body or is a standard problem for this light.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2012 8:12:51 AM PDT
gregg r. says:
I don't know where you get your CR's but that just hasn't been the case for me. The CR123's outperform AA's. That is just simply the truth. I'm not going to argue about it though because I know no one will change your opinion. The ONLY way you can know FOR A FACT is to do what me and my wife did and waste (not really wasting - - use) four to six sets and turn on the lights side by side. That's how I KNOW which is better, at least for all the lights I have. Put it this way, the only way I would use AA's is if my light took both the CR123's and the AA and I have one that does, and the light runs brighter and longer with the CR's than the AA's. I have 151 CR123's on stand by and each month I buy a case of either 12 or 24 to add, so I'm not worried about running out, I'll be fine. It's called planning.
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