Have you ever held a flashlight to illuminate your workspace, only to fumble with it and wish you had an extra pair of hands? Most of us have encountered this frustrating situation at one time or another. You could try setting the light down somewhere, but that's impossible if you're on the move. Alternatively, you could get a headlamp, but it could interfere with certain headgear. Plus, they don't fit as conveniently in a pants pocket as a flashlight and can make you look like Spencer Spelunker.

What you could really use is a device that bridges the gap between flashlight and headlamp. Fortunately, such a tool already exists: the angle-head flashlight.

The key benefit of an angle-head flashlight is its ability to clip onto your existing gear, whether that's a belt, shirt pocket, backpack strap, or tactical vest. This enables you to keep moving and work freely with both hands. No more slobbering as you hold a flashlight in your mouth and curse under your breath — angle-head lights are truly hands-free. It's for this reason that they're used extensively by firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other search-and-rescue professionals.

For this issue's HighLights, we've collected five different angle-head flashlights to test and compare. Read on to see which ones bend to your wants and needs.

Angle-Head Flashlights

  • Fenix MC11

    Make & Model - Fenix MC11
    Max Lumen Output - 155
    Max Runtime - 100 hrs.
    Overall Length - 3.9 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 3.1 oz.
    Battery Type - AA (one, included)
    Controls - Push-button switch with on/off and momentary modes
    Output Modes - High, medium, low, burst
    MSRP - $40
    URL - www.fenixlight.com

    The Fenix MC11 is a compact and affordable angle-head flashlight. Its head is mounted at a 90-degree angle to the anodized-aluminum body, and can pivot an additional 45 degrees up or down.

  • First Light T-Max LE

    Make & Model - First Light T-Max LE
    Max Lumen Output - 700
    Max Runtime - 60 hrs.
    Overall Length - 3.4 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 5.9 oz.
    Battery Type - CR123 (two, included)
    Controls - Dual push-button switches for white and color LEDs, momentary button, lockout mode
    Output Modes - White, red, blue, green, red/green (each with high, medium, low modes), white strobe, safety beacon (red/white/blue strobe)
    MSRP - $280
    URL - http://www.firstlight-usa.com

    The T-Max LE tactical light is both intensely powerful and versatile. It features a max output of 700 lumens, three power levels, four LED colors, red-green mode for highlighting blood spatter, and even a red-white-blue safety beacon strobe.

  • Pelican 3715PL

    Make & Model - Pelican 3715PL
    Max Lumen Output - 233
    Max Runtime - 31 hrs.
    Overall Length - 5.4 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 14.4 oz.
    Battery Type - AA (four, included)
    Controls - Push-button switch
    Output Modes - High, low, downcast, flashing
    MSRP - $163
    URL - http://www.pelican.com

    Pelican's 3715 line of angle lights was recently updated, increasing max output by nearly 60 lumens.

  • Streamlight PolyTac 90

    Make & Model - Streamlight PolyTac 90
    Max Lumen Output - 170
    Max Runtime - 30 hrs.
    Overall Length - 4.4 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 4.1 oz.
    Battery Type - CR123 (two, included)
    Controls - Push-button switch with on-off and momentary modes
    Output Modes - High, low, strobe
    MSRP - $88
    URL - http://www.streamlight.com

    The Streamlight PolyTac 90 is contained in a tough, impact-tested, waterproof nylon polymer housing.

  • Tuff T180

    Make & Model - Tuff T180
    Max Lumen Output - 170 with CR123 battery, 120 with AA
    Max Runtime - Unlisted for low mode (approx. 40 hrs. with CR123)
    Overall Length - 3.7 in. with CR123, 4.5 in. with AA (head at 90 degrees)
    Weight with Batteries - 2.7 oz. with CR123, 3.2 oz. with AA
    Battery Type - CR123 (one, included) or AA (one, included)
    Controls - Push-button switch
    Output Modes - High, low, strobe
    MSRP - $70
    URL - http://www.tuffproducts.com

    Tuff's T180 name indicates its biggest advantage — the light's head pivots a full 180 degrees in 20-degree increments.


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