Streamlight TL-3 Review

Streamlight is a major player in the tactical flashlight market selling many flashlights to law enforcement agencies.  They are lagging behind in offering flashlights with the latest LED technology, but how do their incandescent lights compare to other brands?

The Streamlight TL-3 is part of their hand-held line of flashlights.  It is 6.25" long and weighs in at 7 ounces.  The flashlight is powered by three CR123A lithium batteries.  Streamlight claims that the TL-3 has peak output of around 200 lumens.  Run time is an hour.

Let's compare that to the venerable Surefire G2.  At 5.1 inches long and weighing 4.1 ounces, the G2 is noticeable lighter and shorter.  The G2 uses two CR123A batters to power the 65 lumen output for an hour.  The 200 lumen TL-3 should be much brighter than the 65 lumen G2 with the same run times. 

In reality, when comparing the beams side by side, the G2 is actually brighter.  The discrepancy probably comes from Streamlight listing the mathematical output of the flashlight versus the actual output as Surefire does.  Brightness isn't the only consideration, however.  The beam of the TL-3 is adjustable, but no matter how adjusted, I can't get it to produce a clean, focused spot.  The fuzzy spot is reminiscent of MagLite incandescents.  The TL-3's beam does have a large amount of flood. 

The TL-3 comes equipped with a pocket clip, but given its' size, I can't believe anyone would actually carry it clipped to a pocket.  

Lastly, the TL-3 is activated similarly to a Surefire flashlight via the tail-cap. 

Street price of the TL-3 seems to be around $60 US.  Compare that to the G2 with a MSRP of $39 and the decision for me is easy.  The TL-3 is certainly better than having no flashlight at all, but there are much better lights available for less money. 


One Comment on "Streamlight TL-3 Review"

  1. Best Tactical Flashlights on Thu, 15th Apr 2010 4:50 pm 

    Surefire G2s are some of the best tactical flashlights, especially compared to “cheaper” flashlights. But it’s all in how you use it! Maybe you need longer, heavier flashlight in some cases since it has the flood.

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