Hey folks – how about a gadget that isn’t full of shame and disappointment?
Streamlight recently sent me one of their new Wedge flashlights to evaluate for whether it might be useful for my followers. I didn’t pay for the light, but I also wasn’t required to write any review at all. My opinions, as always, are my own.
My initial impression of the light is that it’s a very unique shape: long, skinny, and sleek, more like a rectangular pen light than most tactical flashlights. The idea is that it’s easier to carry in your hand and stick into a pocket, much like the Surefire Stiletto and Stiletto Pro. In fact, the Wedge is positioned from a price and performance perspective to be a direct competitor to the standard Stiletto. That flatness does make a big difference, especially if you don’t want to have lumpy pockets. However, the nearly 5.5-inch length may be too long for the relatively few pockets that do exist in women’s clothing and can be uncomfortable when clipped onto the waistband if you’re wearing low-riders or have your light up front between your hipbones. It’s perfectly sized for men’s regular and cargo pockets though, and would take up almost no room at all in a purse. I also like the fact that there are almost no external features that break up the outside surface: just a removable pocket clip, the recharging port (no cover, but the unit is still rated as waterproof to 1m), and a single switch.
The light is operated entirely that round rocker switch on the side: roll forward one click for regular beam and roll and press all the way forward for high beam. Since the pocket clip is reversible, you can set it up so that as you pull the light out with whatever hand you prefer, the switch is right under your thumb. The regular beam is rated at 300 lumens and I found it to be rather floodlight-like. It’s bright for walking around at night or in dark areas, but not utterly blinding. The high beam is rated at 1000 lumens and it throws more broadly than far. No matter how long you have the switch fully forward, the high beam will only run for about 35 seconds maximum before you have to rock back to the regular beam and forward again high. It’s bright enough that if it’s not broad daylight outside and you are within a couple yards, the light will be unpleasant if aimed directly into someone’s face and eyes and it will likely even prevent them from seeing past or around your miniature handheld sun, but it won’t injure them in any way. While I like having a “momentary” style switch where I have to continue taking a positive action to get my brightest light, I don’t like like that there’s no direct access to the most intense light the Wedge has to offer because you have to cycle through the regular beam because I prefer my flashlights to be able to go blinding bright immediately. Folks who were forever skipping through the regular beam on “gas pedal” style button switches like on the Surefire EDCL1-T and EDCL2-T might like this though, because instead of soft press for regular and hard press for high, the tactile feeling of the rocker switch makes it easier to pause on one while a hard roll forward gets you to the next.
From a personal protection perspective, though, the Wedge fits my basic criteria of being able to peer into shadowy corners to make it harder for someone to hide from you until you are very close to them, and allowing you to create a sort of temporary blindness in someone who you see starting to get too close. That super bright light in the eyes is disruptive for people of both good and ill intent, and their reaction to being hit with your flashlight beam in the face can tell you a lot about what that intent may be. Generally speaking, the only people who start moving aggressively towards someone holding a flashlight like that are ones who aren’t planning to give you a friendly hug. Meanwhile, you are also making it harder or even impossible for them to see what you’re doing with your other hand like, for instance, holding a canister of pepper spray at the ready. Most people, however, will respond in some way between cowering away from the light – sometimes crankily but often not physically aggressively – or running away from it entirely.
I’ll be honest, the Wedge isn’t the brightest or most focused light that I have, and it doesn’t shine its light as far as I’d personally like to see, especially when the environment isn’t pitch black. It also doesn’t let me have a dim setting for simple tasks like checking the back of my mailbox at night or finding things that have rolled under the couch. However, it’s easily rechargeable and simple to use while still being bright and focused enough for what most people could want or need. Its form factor has a lot of potential plus sides, depending on your individual build, clothing choices, and what else you carry. If you already have a Surefire Stiletto, it may not be worth the upgrade for you unless the much skinnier but longer shape and sleek look are attractive to you, along with the upgraded charging port (from USB micro to USB-C). If you don’t, and are deciding between the two or other, similar lights, it’s absolutely worth a look. My personal flashlight preferences and the way I carry lights means it won’t go into rotation as a regular carry light for me, but I’m definitely keeping it as a light I will use and my boyfriend has already stolen this one for himself.
Interested in your own? You can preorder now from Amazon (affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2S9IbDe) or keep an eye on this page. Shortly after On Her Own hits 2500 likes, I’ll sneak a giveaway into one of my regular posts. We’re at nearly 2100 right now, and the faster we get there, the faster I’ll be able to send a black Streamlight Wedge to one of you. Last I checked, it’s due to be publicly released in June or July, so let’s see if we can beat that time line? In the meantime, don’t forget, OHO patches and stickers are available at https://www.penntacticalsolutions.com/onherown!