Let me share my experience with finding the perfect replacement for my old Anker Bolden flashlight, which unfortunately stopped working after faithfully serving me for over 3 years. It was a USB-rechargeable flashlight with a slim and sleek profile, making it an essential part of my everyday carry. Sadly, Anker discontinued the Bolden brand, leaving me no choice to go on the hunt for a new option.
Unlike some people who constantly buy cheap flashlights, I prefer to take a different approach. I believe in doing thorough research, spending a bit more money, and buying a high-quality product that will stand the test of time. After all, I'd rather make a one-time purchase and have a superior product. With that in mind, I established a set of requirements for my new flashlight:
- First and foremost, it had to be USB-C rechargeable. I've fully embraced the "one cable to rule them all" concept and wanted to eliminate the hassle of dealing with MicroUSB cables, which seem to be slowly fading away.
- Additionally, the flashlight had to feature a belt clip and a slim design. As an everyday carry item, it would primarily reside in my pocket when I'm out and about, and in my desk cupholder when I'm at home.
- Brightness was also a crucial factor. I needed a flashlight that could reach at least 1,000 lumens. While it's relatively easy to find larger flashlights with such brightness, slim penlight form factors rarely offer this level of illumination.
- To ensure durability and longevity, I insisted on a flashlight with a metal construction, avoiding any cheap plastic materials.
- Lastly, I wanted a flashlight that not only fulfilled its practical functions but also looked aesthetically pleasing. I follow Marie Kondo's philosophy, which states that every object I own should spark joy. Therefore, I desired a flashlight that I could truly be proud of.
With these requirements in mind, I embarked on hours of research into small everyday carry flashlights. Throughout my search, one name consistently appeared in reviews: Streamlight. Intrigued, I decided to explore their offerings on Amazon. However, I must admit that I wasn't initially impressed with the appearance of their products. It seemed like I might have to continue my search elsewhere.
Just as I was about to click away and explore other options, something caught my eye—a small ad for Streamlight's new model, the Streamlight Wedge. The moment I saw it, I was captivated by its beautiful design. Intrigued, I clicked through to compare its specifications with other flashlights.
However, my excitement was dampened when I discovered that the Streamlight Wedge had a significantly lower lumen count compared to my old flashlight, providing a mere 300 lumens. Other brands were offering flashlights with 1,000 lumens at a lower price point. Disappointed, I was about to give up on the Wedge and proceed with purchasing another model.
While on another manufactures page, I was bout to checkout when I decided to check the reviews one last time before making a final decision. And I'm so glad I did. One reviewer mentioned a crucial detail that the marketing material failed to highlight: despite being advertised as a 1,000-lumen flashlight, the model I was looking at could only maintain that brightness for 30 seconds before automatically defaulting back to 300 lumens. I found this to be quite deceptive. Suddenly, it dawned on me that this might be a common issue with the other flashlights I had been considering. Determined to uncover the truth, I meticulously checked the specifications of the other three flashlights I had shortlisted. To my dismay, I discovered that they all listed their peak brightness as the general brightness level. Clearly, I had stumbled upon a widespread industry practice.
Armed with this newfound knowledge, I revisited the Streamlight Wedge. Though it was advertised as a 300-lumen flashlight, I wondered if it had the capacity to go higher. To my delight, I discovered that it could! While the default setting was indeed 300 lumens, pushing the switch mechanism forward would unlock the full potential of the Wedge, illuminating the surroundings with an impressive 1,000 lumens. I was thoroughly impressed with Streamlight's honesty and transparency, so without hesitation, I added the Wedge to my cart.
Today, the eagerly anticipated Streamlight Wedge arrived at my doorstep. The model I received is the "Coyote" color variant, and I must say, it looks even better in person than in the pictures.
Examining the flashlight from the rear, you can see an accessible USB-C port and a sturdy metal belt clip that ensures secure attachment.
Moving on to the innovative switch mechanism, which I admit initially disappointed me when I discovered it was made of plastic. However, upon further exploration, I realized that the switch houses a colored light inside, serving as a charging status indicator. I hope this design choice doesn't compromise its durability.
The switch has three modes: off (completely back), middle (on), and pushing it forward to activate what Streamlight refers to as "Thro" mode—a momentary boost to 1,000 lumens for increased brightness.
To provide a sense of scale, I have included additional images below.
Despite my time with the Streamlight Wedge being brief, it has already proven to be an exceptional flashlight that meets all my requirements and sparks joy—something raer in a flashlight. Its ability to deliver 1,000 lumens, even if momentarily, sets it apart from many of it’s competitors in the slim penlight category. The Wedge's thoughtful design choices, such as the accessible USB-C port and the sturdy metal belt clip, further enhance its practicality and overall user experience.
If you're in search of a high-quality, USB-C rechargeable flashlight that combines functionality and aesthetics, I highly recommend considering the Streamlight Wedge. I will update here if I encounter any negatives or have further thoughts.