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Streamlight Sidewinder tactical flashlight

Streamlight Sidewinder tactical flashlight

Streamlight? Didn’t they make those big and expensive aluminium rechargeable torches? Yes they did and yes they still do, but they have really widened their range of products if what I saw at the Tackle & Gun show is anything to go by. New and being pushed hard by importers Viking Arms Ltd is the Sidewinder.

Distinctive by its rectangular shape, swivel head and polymer construction the Sidewinder is just that bit different to the sorts of thing we are used to. At first I thought – yeah another compact light, so what’s the big deal? For me the big deal is that this little unit punches well above its weight in a number of areas.

Light Headed

The torch measures 1.75x4.5x1” and weighs 5 oz, the body is made from a tough nylon material and is drop-test verified from 30 feet. The build features a swivelling head that gives 185° of movement front to back, which allows a variety of positions that includes being attached to your clothing/webbing with the integral/reversible clip. Power is from 2x AA batteries (supplied) and the lower section is ribbed for strength/grip and has battery polarity indicators moulded in so even in the dark you can replace the cells. At the base is a lanyard hole.

The light head features four LEDs: a main ½ W/20 lumen white light and three smaller coloured bulbs, red – 630nm, blue – 470nm and green/IR 520/880nm accordingly. These are selected by a combination rotary bezel/press button switch that also adjusts the brightness.

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Pressing the rubber covered button turns the lights on and rotating the bezel allows you to select the different options. You can also adjust the brightness of each colour by a factor of four by keeping the button depressed, which will then spool through the settings: low – 5%, medium – 20%, med/high – 50% and high – 100%. A double push puts the light into strobe mode (any colour). Naturally run times will vary but as an example the white beam at low will give approx 100 hours and at high around 7, which is not too bad.

Good Kit

All well and good, but what does this mean to us? Well as I discovered it’s an effective and practical design. The ½ W white light at full power is good enough for searching for animals at night and the coloured LEDs, which I have always thought a bit of a gimmick, work well when you want more subdued colours that won’t blow your night vision. Red for example at 100% is very good, as is green, though I’m not sure about blue.

Though more for emergency use the strobe is useful if you are lost, or when you want to indicate your position, plus the ability to easily attach it to your clothing/gear is a bonus. With a one year guarantee and available in either Marine Olive Drab (green) or Coyote Tan (khaki), this is one practical and effective, hand-held illumination system.

Good stuff, well worth a look…

PRICE: £44 (inc)

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  • Streamlight Sidewinder tactical flashlight - image {image:count}

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