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Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > Streamlight Stylus Pro > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron
Streamlight Stylus Pro
Initial Report: Oct 5 2007
Field Report: Jan 3 2008
Long Term Report: Feb 15 2008
Picture from Streamlight.com website
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Height: 1.7 m (5' 8")
Weight: 68 kg (150 lb)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC, USA
Brief Background: I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ miles (2000+ km) of the Appalachian Trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25 lbs (11 kg) with two days of food and 16 oz (0.5 L) of water. I have recently started getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.
MSRP: not given
Material: LED light, 2AAA batteries, aircraft aluminum
Battery life: 7.5 hours runtime
Weight (as stated, with batteries): 1.64 oz (46.5 g)
Weight (measured, with batteries): 1.59 oz (45 g)
Weight (measured, with batteries and case): 1.89 oz (56.6 g)
Weight (measured, without batteries): 0.8 oz (22.5 g)
Colour: Matte Black
October 5th 2007
The Streamlight Stylus Pro is a thin pen light with a two-way top button. The button can either be held down for temporary light or to flash. Alternatively, the button can be fully depressed to keep the light on and to be used in constant or hands-free mode. The stylus comes with a carry case that has a belt loop and is made from webbing. The stylus is made form light-weight airplane aluminum and is corrosion and abrasion resistant. The top of the stylus is o-ring sealed and screws in to hold two AAA batteries which were included with the stylus (Panasonic batteries included). The screw threads are quite fine and the top can be a little difficult to re-screw back on with the pocket clip hanging down. No extra bulbs were supplied as the LED light is supposed to last for 30,000 hours, which amounts to about 3 years of on life.
My initial impression of this stylus is how light and bright it is. I like the overall matte finish, and I really like the grooves located near the top and bottom of the stylus. I am interested in seeing if the grooves combined with the matte finish will help with holding onto the stylus while wet. The pocket clip is very firm and appears to snap onto the stylus. Although it seems to snap on, I gave it a tug and it doesn't seem to want to come off easily. Which is good as I plan on hanging the stylus from that pocket clip. The top button is easy to use and takes up most of the top of the stylus. The button is made of rubber and is textured giving it a non-slip surface. I did notice that the top button can be a little difficult to fully depress to get the light to stay on. I found that it is a little easier to fully depress with a finger tip than with the thumb.
My test plan will be to use this stylus on all overnight trips. I will also be using the stylus on my evening Thursday paddling when I need a light. I will also carry the stylus on daytrips in case of emergencies.
January 3rd 2008
I have taken this stylus on overnight camping trips and twice on kayaking trips. The kayaking trips take place in the evenings around dusk and were for 2 hours at least. The trips are just along the Potomac from the Key Bridge to the Chain Bridge. With dusk getting earlier, having a light is very important and required by law. The waterproof nature of this stylus makes it ideal for me to use while kayaking as I don't have to worry about getting it wet. In fact, at one point, the light ended up underwater by accident while it was on and it still worked well during and after the submersion. The light was actually dunked in the river while I was holding the light. The stylus continued to function while underwater, which was pretty cool, and there was no sign of water having penetrated the inner casing. The stylus only has one light setting but this is plenty bright enough. While kayaking, I used the stylus to light up further ahead to determine if there were rocks in front of me. There were and the stylus saved me from paddling into the shore.
The stylus is easy to use both as a mini spotlight and as a flashlight. As a mini spotlight, I use my thumb to hold the button down for the duration that I need the light. I generally hold the stylus in my fist with my thumb over the button holding the light up near my face. As a flashlight, I use my finger to depress the button completely down and can then hold the light loosely or hang it from a loop in the top of my tent. I have used the stylus on at least two overnight hikes as well as two kayaking trips. I have not noticed any decrease in light output due to dying batteries. I am still using the original batteries provided with the stylus.
Both overnight backpacking trips were to the same shelter at the northern edge of the Shenandoah National Park near Front Royal. The total mileage was about 6 miles (about 10 km) and the weather was about 50 F (11 C) during the day. The temperatures dropped to about freezing that night. The cold weather did not affect the light output of the stylus in any way. I used the attic loops in my tent to hang the stylus for handsfree lighting. This worked relatively well but the lit area was not wide enough to read by but was enough to change by.
The stylus is well made and has held up to being in my pack and hanging from my lifejacket. I have seen no signs of wear either on the metal grip or on the top rubber button. I keep the stylus stored in the webbing belt holder provided. I used the pen clip on the top of the stylus to clip it to the side pocket of my life jacket, within easy reach. I have not had any issues with the stylus at this point and will continue to evaluate long term durability to being in a pack. The light is small enough that I also carry it in my work pack for when I walk home, which lately has been after sunset. The stylus does a great job of lighting up the mini but very rocky trail I follow to get home.
Long Term Report:
February 24th 2008
The stylus has seen lots of use, about four overnight trips and three evening paddles. I have used the stylus both with gloves and without, in cold weather and in warm and it has functioned nicely under all the conditions I have thrown at it. The stylus has a good focused beam which makes it a great spotlight. I have been very pleased with the way it lights up the trail or water way ahead of me. I have been happy using this stylus and see this becoming a permanent part of my gear bag both for kayaking and backpacking.
I have taken the stylus out on another evening paddling trip. I don't use this light as my primary light as it is hard to hold it in position in front of me and continue to paddle. I find, instead, that this works great as a spotlight, just to light up an area and check for rocks and ensure direction is on course. The stylus works great this way as I can either hold the button down partially depressed for a quick look ahead, or I can fully depress the button and use the stylus for a longer look or to light someone else's way up.
I have taken the stylus on two one night backpacking trips. The trip started with a night hike in then an early morning departure time. The temperatures on this trip were down just below freezing with a gentle wind. With the cold weather, the stylus was great as a hand-free light source that I hung from the top attic loop on my tent. In this fashion, I was able to light up most of the tent and this left me free to set up my pad and sleeping bag and change into sleeping clothes without worries of knocking off a headlamp. I did knock my head on the hanging stylus once, but to no detriment either to the light or my head. The pen clip on the side made this setup work really well. This also worked well when my hiking partner joined me in the tent. This was one light source and we were not threatening to blind each other when looking in each others direction. On the second trip, same location and temperatures, different mileage, the stylus was again used to light up the tent from one of the attic loops. This greatly aids in setting up for the night.
The stylus has performed very well in both the warmer months and over the last few trips which were down to the freezing mark. I have not noticed any decrease in light quality or brightness and I am still using the original batteries provided. My only complaint would be that the button is hard to depress enough to click the light on. It is easy to hold the button down for intermittent light but in order to get a steady light source, the button needs to be depressed completely. I can't do this easily with my thumb, I have to use the tip of my index finger. The same goes with thin gloves, I can hold down easily and with more difficulty, I can depress the button but I have to use my index finger.
I haven't really used the belt holder on my belt. When I first got the stylus, I stored it in the belt holder but I tossed the whole thing into a pocket. It wasn't immediately useful for me. Over the last few outings, I tried to find ways to more fully utilize the belt loop holder. I did so in two ways. The first was that I hung the belt loop from a carabiner on my life-jacket so the stylus was in easy reach but wasn't going to get knocked off my life-jacket into the water. This worked great. The stylus was both within reach and easily pushed out of the way. I also used the belt loop through an outer buckle on my back so the stylus was within easy reach both while I was wearing the pack and when I took my pack off it was easily found.
This concludes my report series on the Streamlight Stylus Pro. Thank you for following this report series. I hope you have found this report useful.
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