As a first responder, you know how vital it is to have a good, reliable flashlight with you at all times. Many units or departments supply a flashlight as part of your gear, but if they do, it’s usually a cheap, AA-powered flashlight that’s basically worthless and doesn’t suit the real-world situations of a law enforcement officer, EMT, or firefighter.
You want to invest in a tough, durable, and powerful flashlight that you can rely on in both emergency and non-emergency times. We carry high-quality flashlights from trusted brands like SureFire and Streamlight, and we’re going to compare two such flashlights here – the SureFire G2X Pro and the Streamlight Strion LED Rechargeable flashlights.
Let’s take a look at some of their characteristics:
SureFire G2X Pro
Streamlight Strion LED
As mentioned, both flashlights come from industry leaders and trusted brand names. They’re also both advertised as compact, with the Streamlight being just a little heavier and a little longer, so just a bit bigger, overall. You can fit both flashlights in the palm of your hand.
The SureFire is touted as rugged and the perfect torch for emergency preparedness kits and camping, therefore it would also be perfect for an EMT’s jump bag, or for police and firefighters to carry with them. Because its body is made of aluminum and polymer, it can withstand being dropped or getting hit by something.
The SureFire uses a high-efficiency LED which makes it virtually immune to failure since there’s no filament to burn out or break.
What are the differences?
The Streamlight Strion comes with more bells and whistles than its counterpart, the SureFire G2X, but there are three fundamental differences between the two.
Batteries & Runtime
The SureFire uses two 123A lithium batteries which need to be changed periodically, while the Streamlight uses a 3.75V lithium ion rechargeable battery. Their runtimes on high are similar, at between roughly two and three hours, but the difference in runtime on low is quite different, with a runtime of about 45 hours for the SureFire and just 7.5 hours for the Streamlight.
When making a decision, take into account your daily activities and duties, and whether you have the ability to charge your flashlight when needed, or if it would be better to go with the SureFire and carry extra batteries instead.
For instance, if you’re a firefighter and spend a good deal of time at the fire station and can charge your flashlight when there, the Streamlight may be the better option for you. Conversely, if you’re a police officer and spend most of your time patrolling in your cruiser or on foot, perhaps you can’t afford to worry about keeping your flashlight charged, and the SureFire and a few extra batteries is the more logical option.
Light Output Levels
A major difference between the SureFire and Streamlight is the amount of light output offered by each. The SureFire has only two output levels – low and high. High offers maximum light, while low prolongs battery life. The lower setting is perfect for situations where you’re far from civilization and have no way of refreshing your batteries. The low setting is also great for police officers who need to see in cars when making traffic stops at night.
The Streamlight offers three light output levels, as well as a strobe setting. The strobe setting could prove invaluable for emergency personnel or police when assisting with a situation near a busy road or if they are lost and need to draw attention to themselves.
The SureFire and Streamlight differ in the way users switch them on and off. The SureFire offers a dual-output, tail-cap click switch. Press it for momentary-on low or click for constant-on low. Return the switch to off and press or click it again for high intensity.
The Streamlight comes with a one-handed mode of operation, which allows users to operate it with momentary, variable intensities (low, medium, high, or strobe). This makes it extremely easy to use in a tight situation, especially one where you have your hands full – for example, a service weapon in one hand. This feature could be highly desirable for law enforcement personnel who are often trying to do multiple tasks at one time.
The SureFire G2X and the Streamlight Strion offer durability, quality, and are both great choices for an everyday flashlight for police, fire, and EMTs. As you’ve read, there are distinct differences between the two, including the price tag, with the SureFire G2X Pro running just under $60 and the Streamlight Strion running right around $130. All things being equal, your budget may play a significant role in your decision.
Police officers will benefit from the added features of the Streamlight Strion, including the strobe setting, one-handed switch operation, and grooved barrel which adapts to a long-gun mount. The downside? The rechargeable battery may not be for everyone. However, with the right charger, you can charge the flashlight when not in use in your police cruiser. The Streamlight Strion makes a great choice for law enforcement personnel.
As with police, the one-handed switch operation can be a great asset to a firefighter who may be searching for a person while also carrying firefighting equipment. The fact that you can charge the phone at the fire station while not on a call makes the rechargeable, long-lasting battery another asset. The rugged construction of the aircraft aluminum means the flashlight is rugged and can take some punishment, which it’s likely to see when on a firefighting call. The Streamlight Strion is a smart choice for firefighters.
EMTs are called upon for many different situations, so they need a simple, durable, no-nonsense flashlight that’s easy to carry in a crowded jump bag. Whether it’s tending to a head wound or helping someone who’s fallen down a dark set of stairs, a compact, rugged flashlight is a go-to piece of equipment. The SureFire G2X is just such a flashlight, and will serve any EMT well.