SureFire® SideKick® Initial Review


The first of SureFire flashlights from the Try-Out Haul to be evaluated was the SideKick® It arrived in a battery depleted state but was quickly recharged via the supplied USB cable.

It has proven to be useful and yet relatively unobtrusive on my keychain.

The carabiner attachment has been handy for removing and reattaching the light to the keychain. When setting the light down as an impromptu worklight, the flat shape is much better than a round light, even one with a limited roll aspect.

The switch has two options, which are an improvement over some of the complicated switching patterns often found on tactical lights. Pressing the switch and leaving it puts the light in the High mode. If the switch is pressed a few seconds later the light turns off. The variability of output is controlled by quickly pressing the switch multiple times. Mine cycles from High (300 lumens) to Medium (60 lumens) to Low (5 lumens) and then Off in order. The literature says this is the opposite order of the factory order setting but that’s how it came. The order can be reprogrammed during the recharging process.

Comparing the SideKick to the 6P LED showed some noticeable differences. SureFire’s website says:

MaxVision Beam® floods your boundaries with light; triple output: 300, 60 and 5 lumens

The throw pattern is clearly different than the 6P LED. The 6P has very bright center spot with a less intense spill surrounding it. The SideKick throws a much wider pattern that is much more even throughout.

The Target ID test for it was on a prototype Recognition Primed Decision training target at 10 feet. This showed that both High and Medium modes would provide more than adequate illumination to make the Don’t Shoot/Shoot decision. The Low mode’s usability for this would depend on the user’s eyesight but that’s probably irrelevant for this usage.

One thing the SideKick doesn’t do as well as the 6P is function as a shooting assist light. Because of its size and switch location, none of the commonly taught flashlight shooting techniques will work with it. That’s not the SideKick’s intended role but if it were pressed into service for that purpose, the user would have to be very careful not to get the hand holding the flashlight in front of the gun muzzle.

When I have the opportunity, I’ll have someone shine the SideKick in my face to see if it’s as blinding as the 6P is. That’s another good testing criterion for a flashlight.

As a reminder, the flashlight shooting chapter of my book Indoor Range Practice Sessions is free to download. If you own a pistol for personal protection, you should know how to use a flashlight along with it. Your flashlight should be as close or closer to your bed as your pistol is.

Flashlight Chapter of Indoor Range Practice Sessions Free

Indoor Range Practice Sessions Not Free

FTC Notice: The SureFire products were sent to me gratis but I receive no compensation for writing about them.

One response

  1. Chuck Haggard

    I find this light to be a great option for admin stuff like navigation, finding dropped keys, or things like changing a tire. The size and shape is also good for hands free use as it allows the light to be used as a “bite light” rather easily.

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