Streamlight Sidewinder IR Flashlight Review

The great thing about the Streamlight Sidewinder is that it is truly an all in one flashlight!  The Sidewinder Military Model boasts two navigation LEDs (Red/Blue), a dedicated IR LED and the main white light LED.  All four LEDs are variable output and can be quickly set to your desired brightness by depressing a rubber actuator switch.  All four LEDs activate at a low 5% and progressively increase through four brightness settings to 100%.  Additionally, double tapping the rubber actuator switch, immediately, puts the selected LED into 100% bright strobe mode. Selecting the type of light output is easily accomplished by feel even when wearing gloves.

The Streamlight Sidewinder comes in two form factors (Compact/Full Size) and four models:

  • Military Model (IR)
  • Aviation Model
  • Medical Model
  • Sportsman Model

The main white light LED in Streamlight’s current generation is the C4 LED.

The Streamlight Sidewinder features an articulating bezel that allows the user to direct the selected light output in the preferred direction.

Both form factors have the same light output but the compact model is much smaller and is powered by either a single AA or 3V CR123 batteries. Batteries are easily changed in low light with gloves (Both Models). Furthermore, both include a built in clip, which is great for hands free mounting of the light on Molle gear or a helmet with the optional adapter.  I have had to occasionally tighten the clip but a little locktight would probably solve that issue.

Currently, my Streamlight Sidewinder serves as my IR strobe and counter-weight for nighttime operations. Also, the unit reviewed is a first generation model and I recommend Streamlight’s newest models which have a considerably brighter white light LED and can be found on their website.  The Streamlight Sidewinder comes in two colors (Coyote/OD Green) and pricing ranges between $60-100 USD. The helmet is a basic PT helmet that was purchased from the good folks at Tactical Night Vision Company.

You can follow Streamlight on Facebook and Twitter @Streamlight.


Streamlight CompactStreamlight Compact


IR Flashlight

IR Tactical Light


Molle Light

Molle IR Light






You can see the full sized photos here.

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– Will

Buying Options:


Streamlight 14032 Sidewinder Military Tactical Flashlight with Articulating Head White, Includes Batteries, Coyote

Compact II
Streamlight 14512 Sidewinder Compact II Military Model Angle Head Flashlight, Headstrap and Helmet Mount Kit

2 thoughts on “Streamlight Sidewinder IR Flashlight Review”

  1. Thanks for this expert review. This is a very useful and tough tactical flashlight. I have the Sportsman model so it has a green LED in place of the IR one in the military version. Seems to last forever and its bright enough for its intended use. Its form factor makes it incredibly useful on a helmet, off a molle strap, belt clip or in your hand or nighttable.

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