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Thread: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Mar 2015
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    Default better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    Hi, this is my first post to this forum ... I hope I'm in the proper sub-forum.

    I've owned a Streamlight Sidewinder for many years and I love it, have never had any problems with its operation, durability, etc.
    I don't remember what exactly I paid for this one many years ago...I'm guessing around $60-80. I do know that it's not a powerful light but what I like about it is the multiple light colors (w-r-g-b), intensity adjustability, strobe feature, and the pivoting head, all in a relatively small package.
    My question is : is there a newer more powerful/advanced version of this light(or very similar) on the market today from Streamlight or anyone else ? I'd be looking for something very similar in size/weight if possible, and I don't mind if the price is higher than what I paid for this one, as long as it's worth the expenditure.

    Thanx in advance for all advice & feedback !

  2. #2

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    I have a sidewinder too. I like most things about it, but it drains batteries when sitting unused so I don't use it much any more. Not bright enough for my liking either. It is also a bit too large for comfortable everyday carry. One other thing I've noticed about it is that a lot of people react negatively to its military appearance, the OD rugged ribbed plastic and angle head just screams "Army" to people somehow.

    For a substitute, the Nitecore SRT7 and Surefire Kroma are probably the only lites that will give you all the modes, but they don't have an adjustable angle head - almost nothing does though. Other lights that come close are another Nitecore model (I forget the designation), the Nitecore Chameleon I think, and a multi-emitter light from Rayus (the A10). Eagletac also makes 2 RGB emitter multi-level output lights, the D25LC2 Color and the T25C2 with RGB drop-in module. Both pricy, but available. The Quark RGB, on the otherhand, is not. For the ultimate in cost and bulk, there's the Surefire Kroma - I carried one for a few weeks then sold it - just too big.

    There are a whole bunch of 3-AAA "Lenser" type lights with multiple 5mm emitters and battery carriers, they are all worthless for the most part.

    If you only need red and white, there are a few options, my favorite is the Sunwayman C21C Thunderhammer. I tried the Photon Proton pro for a while, but it drained batteries like crazy and the switch wore out faster than any other lite I've ever owned.

    My current carry for this purpose is the Nitecore SRT5, which gives me enough red to read and navigate with, and a completely worthless gimmicky blue emitter. I'll be replacing the SRT5 with a SRT3 soon - the SRT5 is just slightly too large for me and my pockets..

    Good luck with your search!

  3. #3

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    I have a Sunwayman C21c Thunder hammer and D20A Gemini. They're both really great lights in red/white. I like them both. The C21C has the edge of higher white and red output, the D20A has the edge of eating common AA/LSD-NiMH. The D20A gets extra style points from me for being just plain unusual.

    I have a Bushnell TRKR AAx1 light that's white, red, and "blood track." It suffers from each light color being single-mode only. I still really like the light, though the anodizing is a touch thin on mine. With barely any pocket carry, it dinged each ridge on the tailcap through to the aluminum. I must have played with it a lot to look past this and still like the light.

    I also have the Nitecore Chameleon CG6 (power white, power green, auxiliary 5mm RGB.) I really, really like the light. Low mode runtimes are very excellent. It's one of my favorite multicolors. The only downside that I can see is that it's kind of big. I like it for winter EDC in a jacket or vest.

    I really like the Eagletac D25LC2 (red, blue, green, white,) but the beam pattern and flood-only may be a turn off to some. It has the advantage of being more compact than the above-mentioned lights, except for the Bushnell TRKR AAx1. It's also pretty lightweight for what it is. I don't care at all for the disco-seizure modes that it has, but they are hidden and you must go out of your way to activate them. You can select brightness before activation. Color select is a touch clunky, but what do you expect for one main tail switch and head-tight/head-loose? The D25LC2 is also small enough to get away with pocket carry, pants or shirt. It comes with a holster that is 100% overkill. I suspect my holster will outlive the light. If you want a multicolor mule, this light is as close as it gets right now, AFAIK.

    There were some small custom runs of RGBW P60 modules, but can't find one currently available to recommend. Too bad, I feel I need one right now.

    I love RGB/RGBW lights. I need more!
    Last edited by more_vampires; 03-25-2015 at 02:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Aug 2010
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    Utah
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    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    The Firstlight-USA Torq is now available, with three levels of white, red, green, and blue, plus a strobe function. It runs on a pair on AAs, and is US made. It starts at $99, and is available in coyote brown or grey. I've been enjoying mine.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    The FirstLight-USA TORQ is a MUST-BUY if you are a RT Angle light fan as well as a DEFINITELY GET ONE for everyone else here. The TORQ is a under advertised light with the swivel head and never roll away square shape it's the Torq's time to shine. I was a huge fan of the Original Tomahawk and had the MC and NV. Now I have the T-Max NV and Torq NV these are a well designed and still top quality upgrade from the Original. Firstlight didn't skimp on the quality and it shows

  6. #6

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    Are there any outdoor beamshots of FirstLight USA lights? I'm especially curious how the secondary colored LEDs perform. Too bad none of these lights look to support rechargeable options, escept maybe the AA version?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    The T-Max lights support rechargeable CR123s that aren't over 8 volts combined as printed in the T-MAX owners manual I've used a 17670 in my Tomahawks also in a pinch. As for the secondary lights, if you need bright secondary leds the T-max series and likely the new tomahawk series are MUCH brighter than the original Tomahawk and the TORQ series lights.

  8. #8

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsr View Post
    The Firstlight-USA Torq is now available, with three levels of white, red, green, and blue, plus a strobe function. It runs on a pair on AAs, and is US made. It starts at $99, and is available in coyote brown or grey. I've been enjoying mine.
    That is freaking cool.


    @ OP what about the Streamlight Polytac 90?

  9. #9

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    Resurrecting this thread because I have the same question as the OP and a few more years have gone by.

    In short, is there a newer/better alternative to the Streamlight Sidewinder from the perspective of a multi-color option?

  10. #10

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    Quote Originally Posted by PapaJB View Post
    In short, is there a newer/better alternative to the Streamlight Sidewinder from the perspective of a multi-color option?
    Are there any other constraints/preferences that matter? e.g. does it need to be a headlamp, is the battery type important, and do you need RGB or is red/white okay?

    For RGB headlamps, I quite like the Sidewinder Compact II and the Petzl Strix, and Princeton Tec's got some that might be worth looking at too.
    Parametrek is a great place to start your search, too: http://flashlights.parametrek.com/in...?led_color=RGB.

  11. #11

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    Sidewinder Compact II is basically an updated/more compact version of the original sidewinder, runs on 1 AA or one CR123A, will also run on a single AAA in a pinch.

  12. #12

    Default Re: better alternative to Streamlight Sidewinder ?

    I've had several Sidewinders over the years, the Compact II is the best version IMO. There's also a cheaper clone from Russia they made part of their Ratnik program - the 6e2.

    If I needed colors options today I'd get a RGWB light like the skilhunt H03C RC: https://www.skilhunt.com/product-det...-led-headlamp/

    https://zeroair.org/2019/01/16/skilh...adlamp-review/

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