As a kid who loved WWII movies, I became totally enamored with the G.I. angle-head flashlight. I remember it being featured in scenes of the Allies signaling each other during an important mission. There was just something cool about the design and how it clipped to a soldier’s gear. The original military angle light carried on through the Vietnam War, where it saw action in the hands of the bravest of the brave — the renowned “Tunnel Rats.”

The civilian version of the angle-head flashlight was also favored during the “Golden Age” of Boy Scouts. By the time I joined, however, it had become somewhat passé, and I never ended up owning one.

Compact Modern Options

I have since made up for that shortcoming by utilizing several different angle-head lights on a regular basis. The modern iterations come in the form of compact tactical lights rather than the old full-sized military-style “D” cell models. One of the newest versions of this great design is the Protac 90 Right-Angle EDC flashlight by Streamlight.

The Protac 90 has some new features that set it apart from Streamlight’s previous models. I think these updates really enhance the effectiveness of the Protac 90 as an EDC light.

One of the huge advantages of the right-angle positioning of the head is the space saved when the light is carried in a pocket. In the case of the Protac 90, this means an overall length of only 3.78 inches. If you don’t choose to carry the Protac 90 in your pocket, a removable steel belt clip is included with the light.

Streamlight Protac 90 Offers Multi-fuel Flexibility

The lumen output of the C4 LED Protac 90 is 300 lumens at full power — powerful enough for any everyday carry (EDC) application. Better yet, the Protac 90 is now a “multi-fuel” light, powered by either a CR123 lithium or AA alkaline battery. One of each is included with the light, which is a nice bonus.

With the CR123 cell:

Lumens Run Time on High Run Time on Low Beam Distance Max Candela Length Weight
300 1.75 hours 14 hours 147 meters 5,400 3.78 inches 2.8 ounces

The ability to accept two battery types without adjustment is a great advantage if emergency resupply is needed. However, there is a price to pay in terms of lumen output. The Protac 90 has a maximum output of 300 lumens when a CR123 cell is used, but that output drops to 125 lumens with AA Alkaline batteries. The runtimes vary as well. It pays to keep a stock of CR123s on hand if you always want full-power use.

Battery Type Lumens Run Time on High
CR123A 300 1.75 hours
AA Alkaline 125 2.75 hours

Switch It On

One of the biggest improvements in the Protac 90 is the placement of the activation switch. It now sits at the rear of the lamp head instead of atop it. The button is positioned at a gentle angle, making thumb activation easy. Because of the positional change of the switch, the Protac 90 can now be easily operated while inside the included nylon case. The nylon case can be affixed to the belt or used to protect the Protac while carried in the pocket.

The Protac 90 features Streamlight’s TEN-TAP programmable switch. This switch allows the user to select one of three different programs — High-Strobe-Low (factory default), High Only or Low-High. I like the default setup and have no desire to change the factory setting. The switch has both momentary and constant-on.

The Protac 90 is a very well-thought-out EDC light. The base is wide enough so that the light can be stood on the end cap for utility work too. Ergonomically, it sits well in the fist and would function well as a basic tactical light. At an online price of $39.45, it is an exceptional deal.