Stinger 2020: Like Looking Into the Sun

Revised for its release, the 2020 version of the Stinger line is one of the brightest handheld lights offered by Streamlight. It features improved ergonomics, electronics, and rechargeable batteries that make it an excellent addition at home or on the job.

With its 7.67” overall length and diameter of 1.62”, the Stinger 2020 comprises of an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy body with an anti-roll design, and ergonomic features (such as a notched body and rubberized grip panels) that help maintain a solid hold.

The Stinger 2020 has dual ON/OFF power switches (one on the head, and one on the tail cap) with a selectable output switch of Low, Medium, High. The external Function switch has a set-it-and-forget-it feature where the selected output remains selected until the user changes it.

Producing up to 2,000 lumens of light, the emitter in the Stinger 2020 can be adjusted based on the individual’s needs; Low (100 lumens) with a 70m beam, Medium (850 lumens) with a 200m beam, or High (2,000 lumens) with a 315m beam. The emitter itself is protected behind a high-temperature tempered Borofloat® glass lens with the internals sealed against moisture (with an IPX7 immersion rating) and corrosion behind a single body design and rubberized gaskets at all access points.

The power source for the Stinger is a SL-B26 USB rechargeable battery pack, which can be integrated with pre-existing Stinger smart chargers (while the battery is inside the light), or with USB power cables or a Li-ion battery bank charger. Depending on the selected output, the SL-B26 battery will provide varying runtimes between 24 hours of continual use on Low, or up to 2 hours of continual use on High. The Stinger also has a strobe feature (High burst) with a runtime of 3.25 hours.

The Stinger 2020 also includes a wall-mounted charging station that connects to the SL-B26 via through-current connection points and ensures that the handheld light is always ready for use. Included is a separate charging cable specifically to charge the SL-B26 batteries directly.

The Stinger 2020 is available in only in Black (featured).

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Average (3/5): With an MSRP at $150.30, the Stinger 2020 offers a 2,000 lumen output in a robust handheld light for personal or field use. The material makes the new Stinger flashlight extremely resistant to impact, while its rechargeable power source offers a number of ways to ensure the light is always ready for use. Market alternatives for similar handheld lights would be the ML150LRS(X) @819 lumens ($124) by Maglite, or the MH40GTR @1200 lumens ($129) by Nitecore. So, it is a balance whereby the Stinger 2020 offers some of the highest lumen output for a handheld of its size and function, but its recent release with newer technology makes it one of the more expensive at an appropriate (or average) price point amid the current market, and one the consumer should consider as an equal balance.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the Stinger carried well—not being excessively heavy nor under/over balanced on either end. The notched and rail body features allowed for the Stinger to be comfortably carried, and gave good purchase for positive control while using. The textured rubberized grip panels along the side of the body also added in positive control by giving the hand a rougher surface to feel and hold. The ON/OFF and Function switches had a clear tactile and audible sensation by which it was easy to recognize what setting was currently in use. The adjustable light output helped prevent the light from being over powering, and potentially blinding when use in hours of darkness, in the field, or on the family camping trip. It should be noted, that the strobe feature was effective in momentarily blinding an individual when they looked at the light source.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The Stinger was made from the usual aluminum alloy body and bezel as other Streamlight products, and it survived the drop test (five drops from varying angles) just fine and sustained only superficial marring to the body, edges, and bezel. The thick Borofloat® glass lens is widely used throughout Streamlight’s products and continued to hold up well against impacts directly to the emitter. While the ON/OFF switches did give good tactile feel through the rubberized protective material, over use/time/sun exposure it is likely this will be the first element of the flashlight to fail—something common to that kind of design. 
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Stinger 2020 was great in performance and lumen emission. Used on the range and in camping trips, the light’s high output easily cut through dust and other photonic barriers. The light did come out as a brighter “white” light vice “warmer” tactical lights that often penetrate those barriers to a further extent. But the variable function switch proved invaluable in situations requiring less light and the ability to switch between the three settings really was an advantage. While its overall length was comfortable as a handheld flashlight, the rear ON/OFF button couldn’t be comfortably reached when used single-handed in a tactical setting so the rear button’s location wasn’t used nearly as frequently as the alternative closer to the front of the light. One minor issue included the wall-mounted charging station that came with the Stinger 2020. It readily provided a full charge to the flashlight quickly, but the retaining prongs that engaged and retained the flashlight’s body while mounted were very tight, making quick removal difficult when needed. Obviously this was a tradeoff in keeping the light secure and connected to the recharging prongs, but something to be aware of in contrast to other wall mounts that maybe keep a looser hold. Perhaps one feature recommended to Streamlight in future versions of the Stinger would be a focal adjustment feature whereby the user can adjust between a focused point of the light’s output, and a wide-angle dispersal for broader throw of coverage, as is the Stinger offers only a focused point. Additionally, it might be nice if the Stinger 2020 came with a rudimentary belt loop, clip, or other accessory for mounting it (aside from the wall mount)—as is the nearly 8” flashlight didn’t come with any means of retention.
  • Weight – Average (3/5): Weighing in at 12.30 ounces (with battery pack installed) the Stinger did have a little heft to its feel. This is directly attributed to the volume of aluminum used and normal within the market of similar lights. The weight however wasn’t significantly uncomfortable enough by itself to detract a waist packs or worn on a belt. In contrast to the noted market alternatives above, the ML150LRS(X) @819 lumens (11.2 ounces) by Maglite, or the MH40GTR @1200 lumens (13 ounces) by Nitecore show that the Stinger is well within the appropriate (or average) weight range for similar products.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

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I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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