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.

Polymer-Bodied Flashlights

  • 5.11 Tactical TPT R5 14 Flashlight

    Make & Model - 5.11 Tactical TPT R5 14 Flashlight
    Max. Lumen Output - 301
    Max. Runtime - 86 hrs. (low mode)
    Overall Length - 9.1 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 10.4 oz.
    Battery Type - NiMH Rechargeable (included)/6 AAA (not included)
    Controls - Constant-on/momentary side button switch
    MSRP - $120
    URL - http://www.511tactical.com

    5.11's TPT R5 14 is a rechargeable duty light whose body is built from rugged PC/ABS polymer composite, and it features a squared-head design to prevent rolling and an intelligent smart switch can toggle between three light modes.

  • Coast Polysteel 400

    Make & Model - Coast Polysteel 400
    Max. Lumen Output - 300
    Max. Runtime - 15 hrs. (low mode)
    Overall Length - 5.75 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 6.4 oz.
    Battery Type - AAA (4, included)
    Controls - Constant on/momentary tail-cap push button
    MSRP - $42
    URL - http://www.coastportland.com

    Featuring a stainless steel core and a polymer outer body, the Polysteel 400 Flashlight is waterproof, drop proof, and crush proof, which makes it one durable flashlight.

  • First-Light TORQ

    Make & Model - First-Light TORQ
    Max. Lumen Output - 155
    Max. Runtime - 10 hrs. (low mode)
    Overall Length - 3.9 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 4.4 oz.
    Battery Type - AA (2, included)
    Controls - Three button constant on and mode select top switch panel
    MSRP - $100
    URL - http://www.firstlight-usa.com

    The First-Light TORQ is held upright as you would with a pistol, and has three different rubberized activation switches that are operated by the thumb.

  • Nightstick TAC-300B

    Make & Model - Nightstick TAC-300B
    Max. Lumen Output - 180
    Max. Runtime - 3 hrs.
    Overall Length - 5.5 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 4.4 oz.
    Battery Type - CR123A (2, included)
    Controls - Constant on/momentary tail-cap push-button switch
    MSRP - $34
    URL - http://www.baycoproducts.com

    The Nightstick TAC-300B features a CREE LED that is rated at 180 lumens, and it has a high-efficiency deep parabolic reflector giving the TAC-300B has an effective range of 190 meters (that's over 620 feet).

  • Pelican PM6 3320

    Make & Model - Pelican PM6 3320
    Max. Lumen Output - 81
    Max. Runtime - 1.5 hrs.
    Overall Length - 5.27 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 3.45 oz.
    Battery Type - CR123A (2, included)
    Controls - Constant on/momentary tail-cap push-button switch
    MSRP - $46
    URL - http://www.pelican.com

    The Pelican PM6 3320's body is made of Xenoy, a lightweight, corrosion-proof, and extremely strong polymer; couple the durable body with a Xenon lamp and what you get is a long-life, hard-use flashlight.

  • Streamlight PolyTac

    Make & Model - Streamlight PolyTac
    Max. Lumen Output - 275
    Max. Runtime - 65 hrs. (low mode)
    Overall Length - 5.34 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 4.2 oz.
    Battery Type - CR123A (2, included)
    Controls - Constant on/momentary tail-cap push-button switch
    MSRP - $70
    URL - http://www.streamlight.com

    Designed as an all-purpose flashlight, the versatile Streamlight PolyTac features a high-impact, super-tough nylon-polymer body that boasts an aggressive grip texture that is comfortable and slip resistant.

  • SureFire G2X LE

    Make & Model - SureFire G2X LE
    Max. Lumen Output - 400
    Max. Runtime - 45 hrs. (low mode)
    Overall Length - 5.2 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 4.4 oz.
    Battery Type - CR123A (2, included)
    Controls - Constant on/momentary tail-cap push-button switch
    MSRP - $80
    URL - http://www.surefire.com

    The SureFire G2X LE features a lightweight, durable Nitrolon polymer body that is designed to maximize grip, even in slippery situations, and it even has a hard-anodized aluminum head for durability.


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