While there is no need to sell anyone on the merits of carrying a flashlight as a regular part of your EDC gear, there is much debate as to what you should look for in a light. It needs to be comfortable, yet powerful. It needs to be affordable, yet of high-quality. In my humble opinion, the Streamlight MicroStream walks a fine line between all of these, making it a regular piece of my EDC. Continue reading for an in-depth review of the Streamlight MicroStream.
After reviewing the Streamlight MicroStream, I’m certain of a few things. The MicroStream is an affordable and extremely reliable option in the AAA EDC category. It has a robust design, simple operation, and can handle pretty much any utility task you can throw at it. The batteries are cheap to replace, it disappears in a pocket, and is always there when you need it.
Let’s dig a little deeper!
Specifications and Features
- Lumens: 45
- Runtime: 2.25 hours
- Beam Distance: 41 meters
- Pocket Clip: Removable
- Length: 3.6” overall
- Weight: 1.1 ounces
- Metal: Anodized aircraft aluminum
- Battery: (1) AAA
- Activation: Tail switch can be pressed for momentary-on; clicked for constant-on
- Finish: Matte black or red
- Warranty: Limited lifetime
- MSRP: $19.95
- Street Price: $14.95
Basics of Use
As with most flashlights, the Streamlight MicroStream is incredibly simple to operate. It features a tail switch that has two functions. For momentary-on mode, simply apply pressure to the tail switch without clicking it all the way in. For constant-on mode, push the button in until you feel it click. This dual function switch is incredibly useful, as in most instances where you use a flashlight, you don’t need it on for more than a few seconds.
There is also a pocket clip that is friction-fit to the aluminum frame of the light. This clip is excellent, as it retains very nicely in the pocket and even features a hat brim clip for no-hands operation. The included lanyard can also be attached in a variety of ways, depending on the user’s personal preference. All in all, the Microstream is a simple flashlight to operate.
In the Field
While Streamlight claims the MicroStream has a 45 lumen output, I question that number a bit. While it certainly throws a lot of light for the price and size, 45 lumens probably is not the most accurate number. I am sure that when new batteries are used and conditions are right, it reaches 45 lumens, but not once you have used it for a while. While it might not be the most bright light, it has served me very well. I have had all the light I needed on every occasion I have used it.
The MicroStream is easily one of the most portable and comfortable flashlights I have ever carried. It clips securely to my pocket and is out of the way of my knife, wallet, and whatever other object is in my pocket. The clip is built very well and I have no concerns whatsoever about its strength and ability to stay tight in my pocket without slipping out.
The construction of this flashlight is excellent. It is lightweight, while still feeling like a really strong and rugged metal construction. The anodized finish has not worn off at all on my light and I think it will be a long time before it does. The lens on my Streamlight Microstream is great, with no scratches or blemishes. I was really impressed with the fit and finish of this light at its cheap price.
The tail switch is one of my favorite features of this light. I love the momentary on feature, as the switch makes it all too easy. That being said, you have to apply quite a bit of pressure to get this light to click on to the constant on mode. It is nothing terrible, but it takes a little bit more force than you would expect. A lot of folks see this as a good thing because it prevents accidental pocket activations.
The Good and the Bad
The price of the Streamlight MicroStream is probably its most attractive feature, as it can be around the $15 price range. While you may be able to find better flashlights out there, this price is unbeatable for the quality you are receiving.
Fit and Finish
While some people complain of receiving lights with sloppy construction, mine was perfect from the moment I received it. Not only was it perfect, but it has remained perfect, even with the wear that comes from being a part of my EDC, the functionality of the light has not been affected.
Many of the more expensive flashlights you run across will have many more features than the Microstream. This light’s momentary-on and constant-on modes make it super simple to run. You don’t have to fumble to get the right function with this light. It works when you need it.
While Streamlight claims it throws 45 lumens, that may be a bit of a stretch. Like most lights, the max output is often immediately after installing fresh batteries. This is not unique to Streamlight.
While the output has never inconvenienced me, there could be scenarios where brighter is better. That being said, with a $15 light, it’s not too bad at all.0
The MicroStream has a runtime of around 2.25 hours. This really is not too big of a deal, but the last thing you want is for your EDC light to die when you need it. Changing batteries once in a while is a simple remedy to this malady. Besides, AAA batteries are really cheap.
While many flashlight aficionados may turn up their nose at the Streamlight MicroStream, it really does represent a great value for an EDC flashlight. Whether you don’t have too much to spend on an EDC light or are looking for a compact backup, this light will perform well for you. For around $15, you are receiving Streamlight’s quality and affordability in a compact, easy to carry package.