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Quick Review - Streamlight ProTac HL

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Moonduck, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Moonduck

    Moonduck Loaded Pockets

    Oct 4, 2011
    Likes Received:
    So I've carried a Streamlight ProTac 2L for about a year now. Been nothing but happy with the light. Yes, many 2x CR123a lights put out more light, have more modes, etc. The ProTac 2L hits the magic intersect between "Does exactly what I want and NOTHING more", "Doesn't cost an arm and a leg," and "Is reliable." It puts out circa 140 lumens with hi/strobe/lo clicky tailcap from a fairly small package, especially for 2x CR123a. And, as mentioned, didn't cost a mint. So, all around, I'm very happy with the light.

    Anyway, Streamlight recently announced the newest addition to the ProTac line - the HL. The HL is a brute of a light, getting 600 lumens out of 2 CR123a batteries just my my 2L, and, well, I decided I needed it more than I needed the (reasonable) amount of money it would cost me. So, I ordered it. The vendor was back-ordered, but it finally came in, and I swooped into the store to pick it up.

    First impression is that this is NOT a small light. It's a brute, in fact, at least when compared to my little 2L. Size-wise, it's on par with my Surefire G2LED, being perhaps a third of an inch longer or so. The body is roughly the same diameter, with the bezel being slightly wider. So, overall, on par in the size category. Weight-wise, it's not light either. Body and bezel are aluminum and with two cells, it's not light, but, again, I'm comparing it to my 2L and the G2LED, a plastic bodied light. I'd say the weight was comparable to my venerable Surefire 6P, roughly.

    It comes with a competent clip designed similarly to the 2L clips, which I've found to be very grippy. In a year, I think the 2L has snagged out of my pocket all of once ever. The checkering on the body is, well, mellow. It's moderately grippy, but won't tear a hole in your pokcet. I'm not convinced that it will be grippy enough in a wet situation, but my 6P wasn't particularly grippy either. And my 2L has no checkering at all, relying on the geometry of the body for grip. The bezel has some fairly deep grooves which will help, as well as a pretty serious shoulder from body to bezel. There are some flats on these grooves that are for anti-roll purposes I assume, but, well, they're not particularly useful there. The clip does a better job of keeping it in place. It is also tail-standable, with little ears to help prevent accidently hitting the switch.

    But let's talk light, eh? That's what it's all about, right? The light is 600 lumens, as mentioned, with hi/strobe/lo mode as standard, and can be programmed to hi only, or lo/hi, by means of tapping the switch ten times, holding on the tenth. Simple enough, and not something you're likely to do accidently.

    The light itself has a strong central beam with good spill to the side. I don't see a lot of artefacts in the beam, but I'm not super-picky on that front. The important part is this torch is bloody bright. Yes, there are stronger lights out there, but, for the price, she's a beast. Runtime is not bad for the output, and you can hit Streamlight's site for that info.


    Overall, it's too big for me to pocket carry, though I knew that coming in and didn't buy it for that purpose. This light is off a size with other classic duty lights like the Surefire 6P that I carried on my duty belt for years, and I consider the HL to be an excellent choice for that sort of work. No, it's not a Surefire, but Streamlight still has a solid rep when it comes to reliability, with many PD's running the snot out of Stingers and the like for many many years.

    For now, with me not having had a reason to wear a duty belt for many years, this light will become a go-to for serious lighting. I have not decided if it will live in my mostlyEDC bag yet or no. We'll see. It may see more use as a utility light. She just lights up the room when that button is pressed, and I like that. I've given thought to replacing my bump-in-the-night light with it, as 600 lumens will do a number on your eyes, but, again, not decided yet. I'm leaning that way, but my old duty 6P has been in that slot for, oh, going on twenty years now. That's some serious inertia to work against.

    Anyway, I'm seeing it online for $70-ish dollars. For the money, I think it's a helluva buy with serious output. Runtime's not super at 1.25 hours on high, but what do you expect with 600 lumens out of 2 CR123a cells? Overall, I consider it well worth the money, and now just need to find what slot I want to fill with it.

    Note - This is a first impression. I've had it less than 24 hours and have not used it, so it is in no way a complete review. I am also not taking photos as, well, it's a flashlight, and not some sexy copper-bodied one that really deserves pics. See the link above. Mine looks just like that.

    It comes with a holster, by the way. It's a simple thing made from nylon strapping. Not great, not awful, but I would not be likely to use it on a duty belt. There's better choices out there. But it does come with the light, so it's better than a sharp stick in the eye certainly.
    batteryguru, keith1234 and Sniperx7 like this.
  2. dansciurus

    dansciurus Loaded Pockets

    Feb 1, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Alright. I am on the extreme verge of buying this light. I have edc a 2l for about a year. It was perfect until I started driving tow truck night shift. I would love to know whether or not the strobe is brighter overall.(strobe 2l has saved my :censored: many times on the side of the dark freeways during a tow call) I have seen the numbers but would love to see some far and close beam shot comparisons between the 2l and the hl. I won't give up my 2l but keep thinking how much brighter is it realistically. The reflector is dimpled. I love the throw and spill of the 2l. Please finish the review ;)
    I really think I need this light help me convince my wife I need it too.

    Sent from my Nexus S
  3. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

    Dec 7, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I love Streamlights. Really. Anyway, I don't want to buy any CR123 lights, but I really want a Protac. I've thought about getting an AA version, but it's so similar to my Fenix LD20 that I can't really convince myself to do it. What a quandry! :(
  4. CSM-101
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CSM-101 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Sep 25, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Yep. Got 2 of them, they have replaced the Surefire 6P and G2 in my Maxped bags. Highly recommend.