Photos by Michael Grey
Much like leather seats in a luxury car, flashlights with metal bodies are durable and feel nice to the touch. Some can even be called elegant. As nice as they may be, however, they can act as conduits for heat and cold. Ever grabbed a steel flashlight that's been sitting in the sun? It's the same searing sensation as when your legs touch sunbaked leather seats, isn't it?
No matter if you have one as part of everyday carry or pack one away with your emergency gear, a high-quality polymer-bodied flashlight gives you the confidence to tackle any low- or no-light situation with confidence.
Polymer is less thermally conductive than metal, which makes them easier to handle in extreme temperatures. They also don't conduct electricity, making them safer to work with around live currents. Flashlights with plastic bodies are less susceptible to dents and noticeable scratching than their metal counterparts as well. More capable of absorbing shock than metal versions, polymer flashlights also tend to be lighter in weight and can be “grippier” in wet situations. They may not be as sexy as their aluminum- or steel-encased brethren, but the next time you consider your next workhorse flashlight, it's worth taking a look at the polymer variety.
To get you started, let's take a look at seven flashlights that won't sear off your fingerprints.