Tactical Tailor

SureFire Sidekick

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Late last month, we put up a sneak peak of the SureFire Sidekick ‘Ultra-Compact Triple-Output Keychain Light’. Now that they’re available for purchase, we got one for ourselves, and decided to give it an overview.

The packaging for the Sidekick is pretty standard for a SureFire-brand light: red background blister pack with all the technical information right on the front, while the back displays the general features. Included within the packaging is the Sidekick light, a 6″ USB cable for charging the light, and a key clip.

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The Sidekick is a triple-output light, with settings for 5, 60, and 300 lumens. It produces a wide MaxVision beam with a maximum range of 66 meters, and has an onboard rechargeable li-ion battery, and a mini-USB port to charge the battery. The Sidekick has a maximum runtime of 45 hours at 5 lumens, 4 hours at 60 lumens, and 1.25 hours at 300 lumens. It is marketed primarily as a keychain light, and as such comes with a key clip for attaching to a keychain or carabiner.

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As the Sidekick is designed as a Keychain light, its closest analogue within SureFire’s own product line is the Titan. The Titan is an ultra-compact dual-output flashlight, marketed on the packaging as “an ideal keychain light”. The model we have in our possession is the Titan-A, which has a dual output of 15 and 125 lumens; the Titan-B or Titan Plus is the triple-output model with an output of 15, 75, and 300 lumens.

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Comparing the two, you’ll quickly find that the Sidekick is arguably superior in almost every aspect. The Sidekick’s max runtime is 45 hours at its lowest setting, versus the Titan-A with a runtime of 8.5 hours and the Titan-B with a runtime of 6 hours. If you find that comparison a bit questionable given the different lumen outputs between the low settings, then it’s also worth reminding that the Sidekick has a 1.25 hour runtime at 300 lumens, versus the Titan-A’s runtime of 50 minutes at 125 lumens, and the Titan-B’s runtime of 1 hour at 300 lumens.

The Sidekick comes with a rechargeable li-ion battery and a complimentary USB charge cord. The Titan models are powered by a single AAA battery, and do come with a rechargeable AAA battery, but no method provided to recharge it. Also, while the Sidekick is roughly twice as wide as either Titan model, it also is .5″ less lengthy than the Titan-A, and .875″ less lengthy than the Titan-B. Not to mention the Sidekick has an MSRP that is comparable to the Titan-A, and costs less than the Titan-B.

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The Sidekick is a powerful light for its relatively-diminutive size, however it’s also roughly the size of a key fob. While that doesn’t take away from how small it is for its capability, it will definitely take up some real estate on your keychain, if you choose to carry it as intended. Still, with three output modes, a max output of 300 lumens with a range of 66 meters, and a rechargeable li-ion battery, the Sidekick is a good choice for an EDC light, and since you’re likely to have it with your keys, you’re also more likely to always have it on you.

We do have to note that the Sidekick is an Amazon-exclusive product. On one hand, this does potentially open up SureFire to a wider customer base. On the other hand, through this deal SureFire has locked out their established distributors and retailers from carrying what is honestly a solid product.

You can get the Sidekick at the following link: www.amazon.com/SureFire-Sidekick-Compact-Keychain-Flashlight/dp/B0177H4S5Q

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16 Responses to “SureFire Sidekick”

  1. mark says:

    What is the user interface for the light? For example, is it low–> med –> High? And can the light be switched off in-between modes, or does it have to be cycled through all the modes to turn off?

    I’m thinking of buying one for my mom for christmas, but want to make sure it’s something she could figure out.

    • It is low – med – high. And it doesn’t have to be fully cycled to shut it off; if you leave the switch idol for a second or two, it’ll shut off from the current power setting when pressed again.

      • mark says:

        Thanks, that’s perfect. I was worried it would be High first, and have my mom fry her retinas out with the backsplash of 300 lumens while looking through her purse.

        Looks like I’ll be snagging one off Amazon.

  2. Jason says:

    How is the battery charge retention when it’s just sitting there?

  3. Ross says:

    Is that a Subaru key-fob!!?

  4. charlie taylor says:

    A $69 price point is actually…not bad. The only concern i have is this thing constantly being activated in my pocket, draining the battery and heating up my pocket. Is there some sort of lock out switch?

    • No, I do not believe there is a lockout switch. The manual makes no mention of a feature like that, and there’s no indication for one on the light itself.

  5. jbgleason says:

    I find the decision to go with only Amazon… Odd. I am really not sure if SF thinks things through these days or if they are just throwing stuff at the wall hoping something will stick. Amazon isn’t exactly the high-end tactical marketplace. I went on to look at buying one and ended up buying TWO 300 lumen LED pocket lights for $9!?! I am certain they are Chinese crap but at $4.50 each, assuming I get a couple of months use out of them, I really can’t go wrong. Amazon cost SF a sale this go around. And before someone whips out the “buy once, cry once” or “buy American” lines, I have a drawer full of SF lights. I have just lost faith lately since the wrist light debacle and that ultimate flashlight they marketed but then never put into production. Best thing coming out of there these days are Barry’s silencers.

  6. Mandingo says:

    I hope other dealers are taking note of this Amazon-only decision. We see it as a real F-you to dealers.

    It was a (now fired) VP that left us all with product on the shelves after giving Amazon ridiculously low pricing.

    I, for one, will be focusing on other illumination companies some time in the next oh… 38 days.

    Surefire is a mess internally, I wish they could get it together.

  7. Kerbert says:

    $69 for a keychain light is beyond ridiculous. I have 6 Surefire lights and appreciate the quality and service but this one is as goofy as their watch light.

  8. AGL Bob says:

    Their keychain light product line may go the way of their knives, too many similar products out there. I would like to see them go towards upgradable products so I don’t have to replace my $150 flashlight with another $150 light to go from 200 to 500 lumens. Or be able to customize/upgrade when I order a light, but stay with a limited number of basic models. And definitely have a small fully milspec/WP model.

    I’ll probably still “have” to get a Titan +.

  9. Greg says:

    Are you able to replace the rechargeable battery, or is it a “battery won’t hold a charge anymore, time to buy a new one” kind of thing?

  10. EzGoingKev says:

    Since this light recharges using a USB cable I think they really dicked the duck on a “missed opportunity”.

    They should have added a microSD port to it with no pricing increase.

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner. YMMV

  11. Bill says:

    The Amazon-only gambit may be a reaction to slackening .mil demand and attempting to get their brand in front of a larger audience. I’m also not sure where this would fit in the LE kit: I have Photons on key rings and rigs and velcroed on my fore-end as nav lights, streamlight utility lights for crime scene work and retina-melters for duty lights. I don’t need a light like this on the job.

    I may have to buy in for an off-duty edc. I can’t use the Titan twisty switch in a gunfight.