Quick Look: Streamlight Microstream

The Streamlight Microstream is a small and functional flashlight that is significantly easier to carry than many other popular options.

As I get older, injuries from overall wear and tear pile up. Coupled with the strong desire to be able to enjoy day to day activities without carrying 20 pounds of bulk with me wherever I go, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to streamline my day to day load out. I am a strong proponent of carrying some sort of white light everywhere I go. In addition to any potential “tactical” uses, I find it at least as handy from a utilitarian perspective than a folding knife. For the past couple of years, I have been carrying the Surefire E1B Backup, which has served me well. It is durable and bright, but due to its width, I still find it somewhat cumbersome to carry when wearing casual clothing that isn’t made by a brand whose name starts with a 5 and ends with an .11.

So not long ago, a buddy of mine recommended the Streamlight Microstream as an alternative. Full disclosure: this light is nowhere near as bright as what we are used to these days. At about 35 lumens, it is not going to be melting any retinas, but it is plenty of light to identify a target in most self defense situations, or get you out of a dark building in an emergency. However, it’s greatest attribute is that it is very small. at about 1/2-inch in diameter, it is half the diameter of the Backup and about a third the weight. Clipped into the corner of a pocket or even on your waistband adjacent to your holster, it disappears until you need it. Powered by a single AAA battery, you will get about 2 hours of runtime out of it and the clickie type tail cap works exactly as you might expect.

You can get one for yourself at Amazon for less than $18 shipped if you are a member of Prime.

The Microstream is small but features a nice reflector, handy two way clip, and a click type tail cap. 35 lumens is not impressive by today’s standards, but not long ago, we used to carry lights that put out less light than that, powered by five D-cells, and had a much lower quality beam.

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About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to qualified civilian, law enforcement and military personnel.

14 thoughts on “Quick Look: Streamlight Microstream

  1. I’ve carried one of these every day for work(construction) for many years. Always the perfect amount of light, and it fits in your mouth so you can work with your hands.

    It’s been through the washer/dryer at least 3 times, dropped from a ladder a couple times, subjected to dirt/sand/oil/water/drywall dust etc and never a hiccup. I bought a spare just in case couple years back, I’ve yet to open it. In short – highly recommended.

  2. It’s also light enough you can lip it on to your hat bill, which comes in handy from time to time.

  3. I’ve carried a Microstream every day for nearly 3 years. It is solid and dependable. Not only that, but Streamlight’s customer service is amazing. 3 months ago, a Duracell exploded and leaked in my beloved Microstream, corroded the inside of the tube and had snapped off the the spring contact on the tail cap. It was bad and must have been leaking for awhile. I wrote to Streamlight asking if they could fix it. I got an email back that told me to send it in. 2 weeks later I received a new light in the mail. They didn’t have to do it, as it was another company’s battery that did the damage. I wasn’t expecting that. I also have a Stylus Pro and my wife has a Twin Task. They make great lights and are a great American company.

  4. Im currently carrying the Streamlight Stylus Pro. Similar but a little longer.

  5. I agree it is a good light. Another good one is the Fenix E11. It is a single AA. A little bigger but not by much with a bit more light.

  6. +1 I usually lose my micro stream before it would ever break. I purchased the ProTac 1AAA after I lost my last one. It has roughly the same form factor with a larger bezel, but it puts out about 75 lumens.

  7. How far away can you still ID potential threats? Can it illuminate a B-27 target at 20+/- yards? That is what we use as the bench mark in our family.

    I like the idea of a good thin light. It stops the whole “is that a light in your pocket or are you just happy to see me” jokes.

  8. You should try the Streamlight 1L. It runs off of a single 123 battery, and is not too much wider than the actual battery. At 180 lumens its plenty bright, has a programable tailcap with three seetings for high, low, and strobe. Comes with a small nylon pouch and a pocket clip. I carry mine in between the buttons of my shirt, or in the watch pocket in my jeans. Small, low in weight, and plenty bright. I know Frank Proctor of Way Of The Gun also runs one of these as the weapon light on his carbine, and even makes a really nice and small mount for a railed handgaurd.

  9. I would recommend you take a look at the Streamlight 1 AAA Pro Tac. It is roughly the same size as the microstream, but gives 70 lumens for 30 minutes. Give it a look.

    • Thanks! I will check that out along with the Pelican 1910B which puts out just over 70 lumens as well. Good stuff!

  10. I have carried a micro stream for the last couple of years working Fire/EMS. It disappears in your pocket and you only notice it’s there when you need it. I finally decided to get more light and upgraded to a Protac 2L which is more bulky but has greater output.

  11. I’d like to second the vote for the Streamlight 1L. Plenty bright on high (more than sufficient for car stops, etc., at night, if your primary light goes down) good, usable amount of light on low (walking the dog). Reasonable battery life, even on high. Has taken a beating & not failed. Price point around $50.


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