Last week my wife and I slipped out on a weeknight for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. It was a dark, rainy night, and we just wanted to get out of the house for a bit. I, of course, was packing my usual EDC gear (Springfield XDs 9mm in a Crossbreed MiniTuck, the Streamlight ProTac HL flashlight that’s been filling EDC duty after my 5.11 ATAC PLx died, keys, wallet, etc.)
While we were eating the rain picked up, and it started to storm a bit harder. The lights flickered in the restaurant a couple of times but nobody thought much of it. After a couple more minutes though thunder cracked, and all of the lights in the restaurant went black.
People screamed. Literally screamed at the top of their lungs.
We sat in the dark for a second assessing the situation, and then I pulled out the ProTac HL, clicked the tail cap, and set it on the table aimed at the ceiling. The entire dining room was lit up enough that I could see other people at other tables, and most importantly my fajitas.
No more screaming.
We ate under the cool LED glow from the ProTac HL for a few minutes before the lights came back on.
In an entire restaurant full of people on a busy Friday night, I was the only person in the place with a flashlight. I’ve been quoted in the past saying that if I had to choose between carrying my pocket knife and flashlight or my pistol, I’d take the knife and flashlight every time, and I still stand by that.
I use my flashlight for something every single day. The current generation of small LED pen lights put out tons of light, and carry in the pocket without any trouble. I can’t recommend the 5.11 ATAC PLx or the Streamlight Stylus Pro highly enough. I did only get a years use out of the PLx before it died, but for a $30 light that got carried every single day, I’m okay with that.