Streamlight Macrostream USB flashlight
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Every Dad need to carry a light. It’s a must-have part of everyone’s EDC gear. Period. The size and power of that light will differ depending on your dad and his needs and habits. That’s why we’ve given you a range of choices from small and functional to bigger lights that produce more output at various brightness levels. Some are standard battery-powered and some are rechargeable, but whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong.

5.11 EDC PL 1AAA

Mini in size, the EDC PL1AAA flashlight offers maximum convenience and pocketability. It puts out 55 lumens and features a runtime of just under 4 hours.

Price = $24.00

Streamlight Pocket Mate Rechargeable

This handy little light has its own clip and gives you two brightness levels, 45 lumens or 325 lumens. Run time is 1 hour on low and 20 minutes on high.

Price = $24.88

ThruNite Archer Pro Rechargeable 

Four brightness settings from .4 to 1000 lumens using a rechargeable 18650 battery.

Price = $24.99

Fenix E12 V2.0 1AA 

Three brightness levels: 5, 30 or 160 lumens on one AA battery. Run time of 70, thanks 13, or one hour.

Price = $30.45


Streamlight Macrostream Rechargeable

Two brightness modes of either 50 or 500 lumens of output with either 8 or 2 hours of run time depending on brightness.

Price = $53.01

5.11 Rapid L2

The Rapid L2 generates as much as 523 lumens on 2 CR123 batteries and gives you over two hours of run time on high.

Price = $54.00

Surefire Stiletto Rechargeable

Slim for easy pocket carry and built like a tank, the Stiletto gives you three output settings of 5, 250 or 650 lumens. Run times of 30, 2 and 1.75 hours.

Price = $139.23

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  1. For me, I’ll stick with my mini-mag rechargeable.

    As to Father’s Day, he would likely get more use from a full size rechargeable Maglight.

    • Maglight became irrelevant when their CEO made the executive decision that LEDs weren’t going to take off; they’ve been circling the bowl since. There are better options out there.

      People with inside knowledge about how Maglight became popular know that it certainly wasn’t quality.

      Streamlight, Fenix, and Coast lights are all great.
      SureFire is equal in quality, but overpriced due to domestic manufacturing.
      5.11 and Nebo are decent.
      ThruNight is the only one on the list I haven’t tested.

      There’s a ton of other brands that come to mind (RoxyVon, Olight, etc.) that are all fine, too.

      If I had to pick one from this list, it would be the Streamlight Macrostream (or any of the similar stylus models). The Wedge isn’t listed, but after tearing one down and seeing the internal construction, it wins for EDC, hands-down.

      • I’ve been carrying an Olight i3T in my pocket as my EDC (and its slightly bigger brother i5T for shift duty) for a few years now. No issues ever.

      • That’s interesting considering that I’ve never had a Minimag that wasn’t LED and I’ve had many.

        I do own Streamlight products and are satisfied with those choices too. They just aren’t EDC.

        • I know! I have two full-sized MagLights that I converted to LED some years ago. I don’t know, some kits I bought either off Amazon or from Bass Pro. So I don’t know what everybody’s on about Mag not having LED technology. They do.

          The problem with them is that they take 4 D-Cell batteries, and NOBODY makes a proper full-capacity heavy-as-a-dumbell D-Cell battery anymore. If you’re lucky, you get a D-Cell that’s like 25% capacity of what a D-Cell should be, and it only weighs 25% too.

          If you’re UN-lucky, you get a D-Cell-sized “carrier” that holds a lousy C-Cell in it. What the hell?

          If I ever have to swing that MagLite at somebody’s cranium, I want them to feel it. Or feel nothing.

      • “but overpriced due to domestic manufacturing”

        You’re right about MagLite but this kind of attitude is why the economy is circling the drain and everything’s made in China.

        • Patriots are buying NOT “Made in Chicomland”. Much mfg is moving out of that cesspool to other locations with lower cost labor and/or lower transportation cost to the US.

          READ THE LABEL.

        • How does moving the manufacturing to another country help the US?

          It doesn’t.

          And again, the attitude expressed is why loads of companies that used to do US manufacturing no longer do. Craftsman and Husky being good examples in the hand-tool space.

  2. 15K per month to spam blogs and forums? Apparently, I’m in the wrong line of work, or you’re a liar. Need only one guess to figure out which it is.

    • Youse guys, the one time I reply to one of those spammers, and you pull it and leave me hanging…

    • It was a liar and they get paid based on the number of reply they get. Regardless of whether the response is positive or negative. So by replying you help to get them paid.

    • If our resident trolls get paid by the number of replies they generate, it’s entirely possible.

  3. I carry a rechargeable Fenix. This little thing throws a beam that gives my 3 D-cell Maglight a run for its money, even with an LED module in place of the standard bulb, and it’s just the size of my index finger. I like these new flashlights.

    • Same. I have a half-dozen Fenix lights, love ’em all. I live on expansive wooded acreage, sometimes you need to see what’s lurking out there that the Dogo and GSDs won’t mess with.

    • THIS dad got his own crap for Father’s Day. Gotta Maverick88 at a Gunshop & an assisted opening knife at my favorite pawnshop today. 2 different states. Got lotsa flashlights already🙄

    • +5 on the Fenix lights. They work well enough and they don’t grow legs like a Surefire does.

      And, if they do, you don’t much care at the price point.

        • For my current purposes I run the E18R most of the time.

          It comes with a rechargeable 123A battery but if that dies in a pinch you can just drop a regular 123A in and if you’re rocking lights with that battery you probably have a Store-A-Cell with 4x reloads on you anyway. At least I do.

          Surefire also makes rechargeable 123A’s.

  4. Stylus Pros are an awesome add on to this. Had a couple of them, wore em to the point the anodizing was gone. Good stuff.

    Any more I’m carrying an Emisar D4V2. A bit overkill in comparison to the simplicity of the Stylus Pro admittedly.

  5. jetbeam rrt01-v2.
    infinitely variable rotary.
    does not hit the advertised lumen peak, tested to about 750ish so, more than you need.
    and for a super narrow beam thrower look in lep’s. “laser excited phosphor,” they are the new distance champs. like, a record album spot on a car a block away.

    • @TBSjr:
      I’m reluctant to argue with your correct assessment of the spot size dude, but most people younger than us don’t know what a 33 1/3 RPM Record Album is. (It’s a 33 1/3 revolutions per minute recording on a vinyl disc that has a serpentine groove that the audio message (compilation of closely related songs) is cut into it by wiggling the cutter to faithfully engrave the sound mechanically onto the disc for later playback).

      Maybe telling them a more scientifically accurate representation of modern measure would be appropriate:

      “A spot the size of Joy Behar’s head” would be metrologically correct.

      Just jumping in, trying to help the younger crowd. Think I nailed it…

    • The LEPs are *seriously* impressive lights. It’s a lot like a beam expanded white laser light in its throw.

      If they get down in the 150-dollar range, I’ll likely pick one up.

      Strych would like what those things can do…

  6. Pro tip: Do not use alkaline batteries in these smaller flashlights; when they leak they can ruin the flashlight. Use lithium batteries.

    • Alkalines are fine as long as you actually use the light from time to time and deplete the battery, then replace it in a reasonable timeframe. Just don’t store a flashlight away with alkalines for an emergency “some day” and forget about it…that’s when the problems happen. You open the drawer a few years down the road and push the button to find the light no longer works. You remove the cap to inspect the batter(ies) and find a bunch of bluish-white crud all over the contacts.

      • This depends on the light in question.

        If the electronics in the light are shit and you crank up the lumens for more than a few minutes the rapid drain and heating of an alkaline battery can produce enough internal gas to burst the battery and cause it to leak. It’s more common near the end of the battery’s life but it can happen pretty quick with a real high-drain device that produces significant heat itself, especially if it draws power inconsistently from the battery.

        The crud is potassium carbonate (and maybe some bicarb) from KOH reacting with CO2 in the air. It forms a hydrate that will flow a bit before drying out. Alternating rises of alcohol and water will remove it. Wear gloves, don’t eat it and don’t wipe your face. Wash your hands. If it didn’t get into the electronics the light’s probably fine, it just got wash from a base which might form a little aluminum hydroxide to boot.

        If AlOH has frozen the battery in place that’s a bit harder to deal with but it shouldn’t be a problem since it’s soluble in alkaline and acidic solutions and you should have made one when you re-hydrolyzed the K2CO3.

        Unless of course, it’s a cheap light. Then just toss it.

        • Thank you. Your timing is impeccable. I had a battery pack resting over a couple of hard drive enclosures, and now I have battery guts that ran down the (outside only, I hope) of the enclosures. I’m not ready to EOL them, so I’ll use your advice to clean them up.

    • yea u gotta rotate those batteries and not buy the cheap alkalines. But I do agree… for the cost. ow days, no reason to not invest in good batteries all around.

      • Lithium-ion batteries have very nasty habit of dying if you store them fully-charged up for long periods without using them. I’ve personally experienced this several times now, an will not trust them for that type of use anymore.

        What I will trust are the *dry* lithium batteries with a rated 10-year lifespan, yeah, the expensive ones.

        As I understand it, ‘pouch’ or cylindrical Lithium ions require some very specific charge profiles that aren’t intuitive. Something along the lines of never charge them over 80-odd percent to maximize their lifespan.

        What I would *really* like is a very smart charger that can determine what its capacity is and not over-charge it. Take it to that sweet spot of 80 percent and stop charging. I’ve also heard the newer Fe-ion batteries in brands like Bieneo (?) are the new greatest thing since sliced bread, but that may be marketing hype. I do know, however, the batteries and charging circuitry in Teslas does a good job in getting maximum lifespan out of those batteries (thousands of charge cycles), so it clearly can be done…

        • Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries mostly deserve the reputation that they have.

          They’re expensive in comparison to other techs and they’re also a bit heavy in comparison. But they do cycle well. They certainly rival lead-acid batteries for cyclic lifespan but without the downsides of strong acid and lead.

  7. I’m trying out pen lights. I have an olight pen pro something or other with a green laser, it’s a new design, that’ll be here tomorrow. Battery life seems good, light seems good – especially for a pen, so we’ll see how it works out. Downside is that my experience with olight has not been positive compared to brands like streamlight. But certain lights have their place and some do better than others in certain situations, so that is how I treat olight. They are very good at niche things. So maybe the pen light will be one of them? Expensive though. $70 fricken bucks. So if it sucks, I’ll send it back and try the $30 or $40 Fenix version. Both actually seem pretty good.

    Something to consider, since battery life and LEDs are getting better and better, these pen lights seem fun and promising. I was skeptical about going to the USB side of things but since I have, they’ve consumed my product line. Everything about them is easier. Check charges every so often, rotate batteries if they are interchangeable and I’ve cut down on the cost and need of traditional batteries. Don’t overspend because failure can happen, but I personally have not had a single bad experience with rechargeables across any spectrum. Live within your means but also don’t be afraid to venture out when it comes to the EDC stuff. We are at a point now where most people have very efficient EDCs, and quality is long lasting, so a switch up that doesn’t break the bank is still a fun thing to explore every so often.

    Happy fathers day all. Just carry.

  8. You never see any reviews on Nitecore tactical flashlights. Not cheap as most are in the $100 range, but well worth the price. Lumens 1200 to 1800 in a EDC size. I have carried one for several years.

  9. I keep a Microstream Coyote and PocketMate in my pockets at all times (2 is 1, yadda yadda). They throw a lot of light for their form factors.

  10. You’re not keeping up Banana. LPs are back in fashion big time (a several year trend where mfg are huge backlogs (not due to the chicom flu)). Analog being kool vs digital.

    Apparently now cassettes are also back in. I’m not sure the logic there.

  11. @NEIowa:
    I’ve spent the past three days cleaning up and repacking my tube collection and some RF PA’s. I prefer to design in Analog, but am pretty formidable in Small Scale Integration and up Digital. My hearing aids are crap, so I’ve been designing and prototyping analog hearing amplifiers, but they will be two-pockets of stuff minimum.
    NOTHING is going to replace good analog design in my lifetime. I’m even rehabbing some 70 year old B24 transmitters, but with high stab oscillators and low spurious emissions.
    BTW, the “elcassette” was probably the most highly engineered product since the plain old telephone. 8-tracks were, to me, far superior. It was all about market takeover, just like the squashing of the Sony Betamax.
    Thank you for your gentle “correction”.
    I appreciate your genteel manner. I don’t see any immediate need for argument on this site. Some truly great minds dabble here. I come to learn from others.
    My Best, 05B.

  12. @Strych9:
    Are you a Chemistry Professor?
    Asking for a friend.
    BTW, I much appreciate your explanations of the battery chemistries. I need to research the charging profiles. Note that these days, charge controller chips are being designed to do that job, and will sample the voltage, current and indicators; like temperature and change in voltage (delta). Some chips allow adjustment of the “we’re done here” voltage. My point is:
    You can easily build the charge controller into the flashlight. Then, any available source of electricity can safely charge your battery. Been doing this for over thirty years, usually preferring voltage limiting to charge controlling. Look at MAXIM chips.

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