Police Product Test: Streamlight Sidewinder Light

Streamlight's Sidewinder is like the right angle light made famous by the military but with numerous improvements.

Scott Smith Bio Headshot

Streamlight's Sidewinder is like the right angle light made famous by the military but with numerous improvements. First, this compact light uses AA instead of D-cell batteries, which vastly reduces both its size and weight.

The next improvement is that the angle of the head can be adjusted. This allows you to mount the light on a belt, tactical harness, or even on a helmet with an optional bracket. With its flat base, you can even set the Sidewinder on a level surface for hands-free use and it won't roll away.

Lastly, the Sidewinder offers several lighting options. You have the traditional white light when you need to clearly see what you are looking for. To preserve night sight, rotate the bracket around the on/off button and you can have a red, green, or blue light. To further enhance the versatility of the Sidewinder, if you double-click the on/off switch the lights will strobe, making this a good signal light.

The Sidewinder from Streamlight is one of those handy gadgets that will even survive going for a swim in a puddle or a drop from over 20 feet. It sounds like Streamlight took into consideration those accidents that occur on duty. Check out the Sidewinder to supplement your handheld tactical light.

Need more info? Visit Streamlight online.



Rain Jacket

Mocean has been making uniforms for bicycle cops for years. My local police bike patrol uses Mocean's shirts and bike shorts. The guys swear by them. This past year at the SHOT Show I noticed that Mocean also offers some nifty outerwear.

I decided to check out a lightweight rain coat from Mocean because getting soaked in the summer rain makes for long days. The Mocean Metro Jacket seemed like a good option for spring/summer/fall wear because it is a simple lightweight waterproof jacket. This seemed ideal because you can always slip a sweater on under it if you get chilly. The jacket is also designed to accept an optional zip-in fleece liner.

The jacket is packed with a multitude of great features. The sides of the jacket zipper from the hem to the elbows with double zippers: to either vent heat or to secure around your sidearm and radio. The zippers have a Velcro tunnel to protect the zipper and act as a rain barrier. The front zipper also has a snap and Velcro close storm flap that will allow you to leave the jacket unzipped and keep the rain off of you.

For safety, the Metro has numerous Scotchlite strips: one strip on each chest pocket, one across the back vent, and one centered below the back collar. This will allow you to be seen from all angles.

A nice feature on the shoulders is the microphone loops that run front to back instead of along the shoulder. This keeps your mic handier and out of the way, especially when directing traffic.

I was fortunate that Mother Nature gave me several opportunities to test out the Metro on duty. I can report it has kept me dry in some heavy downpours. The Metro's scoop tail allows rain to run off the butt as it drapes over duty gear instead of dripping right onto it. I found the Metro to be an excellent rain coat that you can easily fits into a duty bag.

Need more info?  Visit Mocean online.


5.11 Tactical

BQM Multi-Flexx Pants

One of the larger and best stocked catalog/Internet operations I have dealt with over the years is Brigade Quartermaster. This operation out of Kennesaw, Ga., has been supplying cops, soldiers, EMS workers, and outdoors people for as long as I can remember. Today Brigade is a powerhouse operation and has teamed up with another major player, 5.11 Tactical, to create the BQM exclusive 5.11 Tactical Multi-Flexx Pants.

You may already own a pair of 5.11 Tactical Pants, but these have several different features that I really like. Most notable is the way the thigh pockets wrap over the thigh straps of a drop holster. This is really a great feature considering you normally can't access the pockets with a drop holster—a major pain in the butt if you want to store partially loaded magazines or other small gear.

The cargo pockets are also designed to be standard cargoes with outside pockets that carry an AR15 magazine. This makes these pockets most useful in a tactical environment, as well as when heading to the mall or on a hike. You can carry a small camera, your cell phone, glasses case, and energy bar in an organized manner so you don't have to search the big cargo pocket.

Slash pockets are reinforced at the lower edge so your favorite clip-it knife doesn't wear them out. The rear pockets have a smaller pocket, designed for your wallet. I think they are also ideal for a cell phone or MP3 player. I am certain you can find a number of uses for the small pockets from phones to a small pocket pistol.

Overall, the BQM 5.11 Multi-Flexx pants make an already popular pair of pants even better. If you like traditional 5.11s, these should be a hit with you.

Need FREEInfo?  Visit 5.11 Tactical and Brigade Quartermaster online.

About the Author
Scott Smith Bio Headshot
Retired Army MP
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