In the world of high-end tactical flashlights, there are hundreds of offerings from scores of makers. Streamlight has long been a household name when it comes to these types of lights and their new 600 lumen Protac HL is something very special indeed.
The light overall
The Protac is a small (under six inch), handheld flashlight that is high quality without being heavy. It uses anodized aircraft grade aluminum construction that gives the light a solid heft without it being too beefy. If you shop around these can be found for well under $100, which for a light that produces 600 lumens is almost the best price out there.
(The ProTac HL ships with the nylon pouch shown)
To put that in perspective, the classic Mini-Maglite puts out about 12 lumens. The sun, when fully overcast, produces about 40 lumens of light per square foot. With that in comparison, 600 lumens in bright, giving the Protac some 16,000 candlepower. This comes from a Cree XM-L LED with an aluminum reflector that has a lifespan of 50,000 hours. With such candlepower at the ready, its well within the Protac's ability to stun anything in its path, be it a human, chupacabra, or Bigfoot.
With a rubberized pushbutton rear switch, the Protac has three different settings The 16,000 candlepower/600 lumen high beam with a 1.25-hour battery life for those moments when you want to touch up your tan. The 800 candlepower/33 lumen low beam that will last 18 hours on a set of new batteries. Finally the massively disruptive strobe light that will scatter lightning for 2.5 hours if needed.
The Ten-Tap programmable switch is super neat, allowing the user to vary the order settings to best suit their needs. Don't get me wrong, if you just pull it out of the package and start playing with it without reading in instructions, (like I did) then you are going to be confused. Trust me, take the time, and read them, it will only take a minute. If you throw yours away, Streamlight has them for free online
The Surefire G2 compared to the Streamlight ProTac HL. The lights are deadringers in size, but the Streamlight is some 3x brighter.
In the world of under $130 MSRP tactical flashlights, the Protac HL stands large. For reference, Streamlight's offering brings a 600 lumen light to the party at a total weight of 5.6-ounces and length of 5.4-inches. The similarly sized but slightly lighter (plastic body) Surefire G2 shines at a puny 80 Lumens (or 200 if you hack it). The 5.11 Tactical ATAC R1 is both slightly larger and heavier (6.7-oz/5.9-inches) but produces only 216 lumens. Ironically, their closest competitor seems to be the $126 MSRP Streamlight Strion LED that adds the capability of being rechargeable yet is still only 250 lumens.
A flashlight with accessories
Talk about value added, unlike some makers who shall go nameless, Streamlight sends the Protac HL with a whole kit of gear. This includes a brand new set of Duracell Ultra CR 123 batteries, a strong (and removable) spring clip for attaching on the inside of pocket walls, and a nice little codura nylon holder. The holder is a little flimsy for harsh duty use but with a wide (2-inches) hook and loop belt closure and top cover, it will work on a duty belt for those with LE or security needs or a tool belt for those with a working need for an extremely bright flashlight. A thick rubber O-ring gives the light the ability to remain submerged up to 3-feet deep for up to a half hour, which means that if you drop it in a puddle, or it rolls off into a mud hole, your light isn't a goner.
(Should the black nylon pouch not work for you, the Streamlight
ProTac fits well in a Molle type single magazine pouch to attach on your
- Output: 600 lumens high, 35 lumens low
- Intensity: 16,000 candelas
- Runtime: 1h 15min high, 18hours on low setting
- Battery: 2 x 123A
- Length: 5.4″
- Diameter: 1.5″ bezel, 1.0″ body
- Weight with Batteries: 5.6 oz.
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- MSRP: $130, although can be found on multiple online outlets for $70-ish new.
Overall, its one rugged, lightweight flashlight that will not break your wallet or the pocket you put it in while being both practical and tactical.
(I modded mine with ten feet of OD 550-paracord with a nice wrist lanyard.)