Surefire Sidekick — A Small, Affordable, High-Lumen, EDC Light

Surefire has been making high-quality flashlights for years and is the choice of professionals the world over, including the highest level military operators and law enforcement professionals, as well as discriminating civilians from all walks of life. They are a solid company that stands behind their products.

The Surefire Sidekick, which is the least expensive light that they offer in their product line, retails for $29.99, which makes it reasonable for just about everyone who needs a quality light. I ordered the pocket clip for the light right away ($10), which I highly recommend.

SureFire Sidekick Clip
The attached clip adds versatility. Clip it to the pocket or the bill of your hat for hands-free operation.

The clip helps the light ride in the cargo pocket of my shorts or the change pocket of my jeans, ensuring that I am never without a flashlight. The clip will also attach the light to the bill of a ball cap, which offers hands-free operation. There is a hole at the base of the light where the user can attach a ring to hook onto a key ring so the light can be attached to keys or a carabiner, or anything else you could possibly think up.

This is a very small light, weighing 1.2 ounces, so you really do not notice it until you need it. It’s also pretty small, coming in at 2.5 inches, making it unobtrusive.

The Sidekick is small in the hand. The square button is the one used to switch on the light.
The Sidekick is small in the hand. The square button switches the light on.

It’s Rechargeable!

And here’s one of my favorite aspects of the light: it is rechargeable using a micro-USB cable that comes included with the light! The very same cable that charges my phone will also charge this light in a wall plug or a vehicle plug! No more having to buy batteries! There is an integral, lithium rechargeable battery inside the light.

Surefire Sidekick charging port.

Run Times

The light has three different modes of output: 300 lumens with a run time of 1.25 hours; 60 lumens with a run time of four hours; and finally, five lumens with a run time of 45 hours! This light will keep going for a while on one charge.

Operation

Now five lumens is not a lot of light, but when I use it at night in my bedroom to find something when I don’t want to wake my wife, it is just right to give me enough light to look around, yet not blind the entire area. Also, walking around at night, five lumens is nice for providing just enough light to see the immediate area, while not ruining your night vision.

The 60-lumen setting is in the middle; not too much, not too little. As Goldi Locks would have said, it’s “Just right.”

Need more light? Then 300 lumens it shall be! This setting really illuminates the area. The beam on this model flashlight is not highly focused, but rather throws a flood of light around an area. You won’t be lighting up targets 200 yards away, but it gives you a nice, wide view. I’d say 300 lumens will light up targets a little beyond 50 yards.

If you cycle quickly through the clicks, you increase the lumens with each click. If you wait a few seconds after activating a setting and push the button again, it turns the light off. Or you can push the button through the three outputs, pushing it a fourth time to turn the light off. Also, you can program the light to shut itself off after a short period of time automatically should you desire.

Functionality?

What this light is not, is a tactical light. As mentioned, the beam is not focused. Also, the switch is not set up to be tactical, in that the button to activate the light is a small, square button on the top of the light. Hit the button once and you get five lumens. The second click of the switch activates 60 lumens, and the third click is 300 lumens.

On a tactical light, I want a high output of light instantly when I hit the switch, and I prefer it to be fairly focused to reach out. This light does not do that (to be fair, it’s not what it was designed for, and this is not a criticism of the light).

One minor gripe is that when used in the dark, as we often tend to use lights, I sometimes have to hunt a bit for the push button. It is fairly flush with the body of the light, so it does not stick out, and every now and then, I find myself hunting around for it. Not a huge issue, but noteworthy.

Durability

This light has proven durable, with a polymer body that seems to take abuse well. The core of the light is aluminum. My light has been dropped and slammed around enough to convince me that it is not going to break any time soon. It is also water-resistant. The Sidekick can be had in any color that you
like, as long as that color happens to be black.

Perfect for EDC

Overall, this is an inexpensive, lightweight, small, handy, durable light that’s always there when the user needs it. A wide range of light outputs are offered. Honestly, there is not much to dislike about this light. Surefire must have been paying attention when they dreamed this one up because they hit every single point that most EDC users could ever wish for. I use this light several times every single day. In fact, it is one of my most often used pieces of gear out of everything that I carry. This one comes highly recommended.

Two of my most used EDC items: the Sidekick and a Strider PT.
Two of my most used EDC items: the Sidekick and a Strider PT.

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