Streamlight The Siege Review
Cons: Can't fully adjust the amount of light output, limited to four settings, small
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This tiny but tough lantern stands up to heavy use. It has a handle at the top and a carabiner at the bottom so it can hang it from either end. It's waterproof, floats has great impact resistance, as well as magnets that can secure it to other magnetic surfaces like a car hood or refrigerator.
The polycarbonate globe/cover casts a nice non-glaring light. It is removable if you need it to be extra bright and concentrated (though this also makes it uncomfortable to look at directly, so if you take the cover off, we recommend hanging it overhead). It puts out 200 lumens on high, 100 on medium and 50 lumens on its lowest setting. In red mode, its a gentle 0.7 lumens in both the non-flashing and flashing SOS mode. The red mode is useful if you need to illuminate an area while also keeping your eyes adjusted to the darkness. We liked to leave it on at the campsite at night so when we were finished visiting friends down the way, we had a beacon to guide us home in unfamiliar campsites. The highest setting is pretty bright for such a small lantern but it is not very diffuse — you get a lot of light up front, but the shine radius isn't huge.
It takes three AA batteries with run times of 7 hours on high, 15.5 hours on medium and 37 hours on low for the white LEDs, and 192 hours in the red mode and 298 hours on flashing SOS mode.
The Siege is tough because it is buoyant and waterproof. It has a moisture IP (ingress protection) rating of 7 (out of 8), which means that it is waterproof when it is submerged up to one meter. It is constructed from durable polymer plastic and is rubberized at the top, bottom and midsection. The textured rubber also provides an excellent non-slip grip. Streamlight claims that The Siege is impact resistant up to 6.5 feet. We dropped it from five, six and seven feet onto hard-packed dirt just to make sure. The lantern survived unscathed without any scratches or signs of impact other than a little bit of dirt.
The light cover is the most brittle portion of the exterior casing. Even so, we never had an issue with it.
This product has high, medium and low settings on white mode and low and SOS strobe in red modes. To switch from white mode to red mode, simply hold down the power button. It has a handle at the top that enables it to hang from a tree branch and a sturdy, retractable carabiner on the bottom for suspending from a rope or cable. The carabiner is made from metal which we found to be very sturdy. The outer globe/lid comes off which provides a concentrated stream of light. It has some safety yellow highlights against an otherwise black case, which just makes it easier to spot in low light.
The Siege is waterproof up to just over three feet and it floats — a pretty cool feature if you happen to be using it for boating or fishing. This product has a recessed power button that prevents it from accidentally getting turned on if it gets tossed around in your camp box or trunk. The power button also doubles as a battery level indicator. It changes color from green, to yellow, to red to flashing red to let you know when the lantern is about to run out of power.
The magnets come in handy too. This model is a great addition to a vehicle emergency kit. If you have to change a tire in the dark, or just need to stick it to something metal to be able to keep your hands free, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that the light is not going anywhere because the magnets stick very strongly.
Ease of Use
This light is a breeze to use. To change the batteries, simply unscrew the bottom, place three AAs inside and screw the bottom back on. The battery lid has a teardrop-shaped center post that slides into the middle of the battery compartment to help you orient the cover correctly, which is especially helpful when you have to screw it back on in the dark.
This product weighs just over half a pound with batteries installed. It measures up at just under 5 1/2 inches tall and a couple of inches wide, meaning that it is small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. We really like its size-to-brightness ratio.
We think this product is a great value, especially if you need a lantern for a variety of uses like boating or fishing before or after the sun is up. It is less expensive than a handful of other models and offers the durability to back up the investment and we love how many different uses we found for it.
This product is a sturdy little workhorse. We love that it is waterproof and floats. When we tested its durability by dropping it from a height, it didn't let us down. It still works perfectly after we put it to the test with all kinds of abuse. It is a Top Pick Award winner for its versatility and durability.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch and Valentine Cullen