A couple months ago I was with my son visiting the storefront of the Warrior Training Group (WTG). While in the store I came across the Streamlight ProTac 1AA flashlight. It was a handy looking little light, the price was right and I was in need of a new pocket light. The one I had previously been carrying somehow ended up on my son’s Civil Air Patrol Search & Rescue vest. So I bought the ProTac 1AA (PT1AA).
I haven’t been disappointed. In fact, I was relatively surprised at some of the functionality I had found, especially since I’d have been happy just to have the light function reliably when I turned it on. I don’t have big needs or expectations from pocket-sized single-cell lights. In this case I should have had bigger expectations. They still would have been met.
The PT1AA uses a single AA battery to power the C4 LED lamp. It has two power settings which you can choose from by way of manipulating the push-button switch in the tailcap. On high power (first push/click of the button) you get 50 lumens of light. From the 1AA battery you can get that 50 lumens of light for almost two hours. On low power (third click in one second or less) you get 6 lumens of light. From the 1AA battery you can get that 6 lumens for almost a full day – 22 hours.
Now, how much use can 6 lumens of light be? In a dark structure, 6 lumens of light is enough to see to navigate your way out of the building. It’s enough t look in your trunk for your jumper cables when your car battery is dead. It’s enough to look around your shed for the axe so you can split some kindling. It’s enough to look around your tent to find your socks because your feet are still cold, even inside your sleeping bag. In case you’re not getting the message, 6 lumens of light is plenty for a variety of uses.
The PT1AA measures under 4” long with a lamp diameter under 1” and the body diameter just over ½”. The on/off switch is a multi-function push-button tailcap which, if you read carefully earlier you noticed, has three “clicks.”
- First push / click gets you high power.
- Second push / click in less than one second gets you a strobe at 50 lumens. I don’t know the strobe rate but it’s pretty fast.
- Third push / click in less than one second gets you low power.
I wrote “push / click” for each one because the tailcap is pressure sensitive. You can just push it enough to activate the light without actually clicking it hard on. That means when you let go the light goes out –which is handy when you’re trying to hide in the dark in a hurry. The whole thing, including the battery, weighs less than 3 ounces; that’s less than 1/5 of a pound.
The two things I really like about this light are its size and the fact that it uses a common battery. I’ve worked in places where every person around had a “tactical flashlight” and every one of them required CR123 3V lithium batteries. Where we were, and under the circumstances that existed, getting those 3V batteries took near an act of God. AA batteries, on the other hand, were in abundance. I’d wager that in most any emergency situation, especially due to a manmade or natural disaster, AA batteries will always be more available and certainly less expensive than 3V batteries.
The light is equipped with a steel pocket clip that clips onto the light’s barrel body and is removable. The lamp bezel is crenulated and can be used as an improvised impact weapon for defense purposes if need be. I can’t find an MSRP for the light but a Google search located some for sale online at less than $43. That’s an even better price than what I paid for mine, but anything under $60-$65 would be a good price for this light in today’s market.
So... need a new pocket light?