The Streamlight ProTac 1AAA flashlight just came out a month or two ago and I will tell you right up front, it is my new favorite for an EDC flashlight! It packs a lot of power and features into a rather small package.
At about 4 inches long and a hair more than 1/2 inch thick, the ProTac 1AAA fits my hand perfectly. Something I really like is that the light is short enough to fit into my pants pocket without discomfort. This is perfect for me because I don’t always have a shirt with pockets and I have enough stuff clipped to my belt every day. It is nice to be able to just toss the light into my pocket and not really even notice it is there until I need it.
When clenched in my fist, my thumb naturally falls onto the rubber covered on/off button at the base of the light. The button on the tail end is just stiff enough that I’m confident there will be few if any accidental clicks while the light is in my pocket or pack. Like most similar flashlights today, it does have a momentary on feature where if you depress the button to just before it clicks, the light turns on and stays lit for as long as you hold the button.
The Streamlight ProTac 1AAA comes with three programs built in for the user to choose.
Program 1 — High/Low/Strobe (factory default)
Program 2 — High only
Program 3 — High/Low
Once programmed, the modes are changed by clicking the on/off button.
On the High setting, the ProTac 1AAA emits a 70 lumen blast of light. This is plenty bright to assist with car repairs or to see where you’re going on a nighttime hike. On Low, the light is 5 lumens, which is still enough light to keep you from barking your shins in a power outage or to read a map at night.
The ProTac 1AAA will take either alkaline or lithium batteries, which determines the approximate run times of the light. Alkalines are, of course, cheaper but they don’t last nearly as long as lithium.
Alkaline: 30 minutes on High, 11 hours on Low.
Lithium: 2.25 hours on High, 22 hours on Low.
The C4 LED bulb is rated for a ridiculously long 50,000 hours.
At just over 3 ounces, I don’t even notice the light in my pocket. But, I do find myself looking for opportunities to use the ProTac 1AAA, that’s for sure. The pocket clip is metal and feels indestructible. Between it and the specially shaped head, when you set it down, it will stay in one place rather than roll everywhere.
The light is waterproof to a meter as long as it is recovered within a half hour or so. It is impact resistant to a couple of meters. I’ve dropped mine a couple of times without any issue at all, for whatever that’s worth to you.
Currently, the Streamlight ProTac 1AAA is going for a bit less than thirty bucks on Amazon.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this little light! It is the perfect size for EDC and has plenty of power to boot. Realistically, while handheld lights emitting 700+ lumens is cool and all, I’ve found that in practice they are usually way overpowered. It can be difficult to work on an engine, for example, with that much light shining on everything. The glare can be blinding. The Streamlight ProTac 1AAA is just perfect in that regard.