Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

What is it? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip is a keychain light.

NiteCore Tube is a lightweight, compact yet very bright key chain light. It is also rechargeable with a built-in rechargeable battery.

Surefire Sidekick is an ultra-compact, powerful LED illuminator created so it could be carried and used by everyone.

Tip CRI is a metallic construction keychain light.


What does it do? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip produces 360 lumens of brightness with four brightness levels. It offers over 80 yards of visibility at night! Despite all of this power, the TIP weighs less than 1oz while featuring a rear suspension ring that can hold up to 66 lbs! The built-in Li-ion battery provides up to 90 minutes at 150 lumens and the USB charging port offers convenient power access. All of these incredibly convenient features and unprecedented brightness makes this light the brightest keychain light.

Tube is the latest innovation from Nitecore. NiteCore Tube is a lightweight, compact yet very bright key chain light. It is also rechargeable with built-in rechargeable battery and USB charger. (USB to Micro USB charging wire is not included in the package.)

Surefire Sidekick is rechargeable and was designed to attach to keys so it’s always available and, most importantly, ready for everyday use and emergencies. It features a high-performance LED and special faceted reflector produce broad, and smooth MaxVision Beam optimized for the human eye.

Tip CRI key light uses a micro USB charging cable, not included in the factory package. TIP CRI is fitted with a Nichia 219B LED, CRI90 and Integrated Precision Digital Optics Technology provides extreme reflector performance.


Luminosity? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – Turbo: 360 Lumens

Tube– 45 lumens

Surefire Sidekick – 300-lumen

Tip CRI – 240 lumens


Safety Features? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – Some users have reported that the TIP light stops working. In 99.9% of such cases, the users accidentally activated the “Lockout” mode. To unlock/reset the light, press and hold down both switch buttons for 3-5 seconds or until the light flashes. The light shall resume working. (Please check the manual for details about this function.)

Lockout/Unlock – With Tube turned on, press and hold the switch for three seconds. Tube will lock out after a flash of the LED to avoid accidental activation during carry. To unlock, press and hold the switch for three seconds again.

Surefire Sidekick
Always accessible light provides countless utility uses, including emergency preparedness.

Lockout/Unlock – Hold down the main switches until the main led flashes once to enter lockout mode – the product will be rendered inoperative to prevent accidental activation.


Max Beam Distance? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – 81 Yards (74m)

Tube – 24 m

Surefire Sidekick – 66 meters

Tip CRI – 56 m


Max Beam Intensity? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – 1400cd

Tube – 150cd

Surefire Sidekick – Not found

Tip CRI – 810 cd


Max Run time? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – Up to 90 minutes at 150 lumens and over 46 hours on lower mode

Tube – Up to 48 hours

Surefire Sidekick
High – 300 lumens, 1.25 hours runtime
Medium – 60 lumens, 4 hours runtime
Low – 5 lumens, 45 hours runtime

Tip CRI – 46 h 0 m / 1.92 d


Type of LED? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – CREE XP-G2

Tube – High performance LED

Surefire Sidekick – Not found

Tip CRI – Nichia 219B LED


Battery? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip, Tube, Surefire Sidekick and Tip CRI have a built-in Li-ion battery.


Modes? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip

Turbo: 360 Lumens / 30 min
High: 150 Lumens / 1 hr 30 min
Mid: 35 Lumens / 6 hr 30 min
Low: 1 Lumens / 46 hr


Low Output – With the light turned off, press the button to enter low output. Press once again after 3 seconds of use to turn the light off.

High Output – With the light turned off, press the button twice in quick successions to enter high output.

Surefire Sidekick

High – 300 lumens,
Medium – 60 lumens
Low – 5 lumens


4 brightness levels with direct access to ultralow and turbo outputs

Turbo: 360 Lumens / 30 min
High – 150 lumens,
Medium – 35lumens
Low – 1 lumen


Dimensions? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – 2.4 x 0.5 x 1 inches

Tube – 2.22” x 0.83” x 0.31” (56.5mm x 21mm x 8mm)

Surefire Sidekick – 0.6 x 0.1 x 2.5 inches

Tip CRI – 2.39 0.96 0.53(60.8mm24.5mm13.8mm)


Price? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip – $29.95

Tube – $9.95

Surefire Sidekick – $75.00

Tip CRI – $34.95


Compare REVIEWS? Nitecore Tip vs Tube vs Surefire Sidekick vs Tip CRI

Nitecore Tip REVIEW

Nitecore Tip reviews say that the battery for each charge of the Nitecore Tip doesn’t last and the light randomly shuts off. The click does lock. Each click doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do and the light intensity levels don’t work properly.

Nitecore Tip died after about 15 minutes of use. Recharged the Nitecore Tip and the green charge LED indicates it’s fully charged. However, the light will not turn on. Noticed the LED makes a rattling noise when you shake it. There’s a reason why this Nitecore Tip light costs so little compared to the competition.

After a couple weeks the charge started to die on the Nitecore Tip flashlight every few days even if it was not being used. And now after a month of owning the Nitecore Tip, it is now completely dead. Lockout mode of the Nitecore Tip does not work.

The lockout function (that is supposed to keep it from turning on in your pocket) drains the Nitecore Tip battery in a few days.

Even with a full charge the Nitecore Tip battery life is poor. Not sure if the lockout feature works properly because on at least three occasions when the light was needed the light was dead.

Running down the charge and melting stuff in the pack because it gets so hot! No cover on the micro USB port of the Nitecore Tip which is a drawback.

The light switch locks when both buttons are depressed at the same time so it shouldn’t come on in your pocket. To unlock, you press both buttons simultaneously. Great idea, but it doesn’t always work that way. The light has unlocked in the pocket and completely discharged on three occasions in the last couple of months. Moved it to several different configurations on the key chain with no luck.

The Nitecore Tip light received had a sharp metal edge at the USB recharge. This requires you to take care not to cut yourself while handling/using the Nitecore Tip light. The design of the switch is such that the light gets accidentally turned on quite easily when carried in the pants pocket.

One of the issues with the design of the Nitecore Tip keychain lights is the prevention of the light being accidentally activated while in your pocket. This has been addressed with a lock out feature that is activated by pressing both control buttons simultaneously

The Nitecore Tip light can only maintain 360 lumens for perhaps a minute, depending on ambient temperature, before throttling down to the 150 lumen high mode.It would have been nice if they add a cover for the USB port of the Nitecore Tip to protect it.


Surefire Sidekick REVIEW

Surefire Sidekick reviews reveal that Surefire Sidekick has no cover/plug for the USB port. It is disappointing because Surefire Sidekick is meant for the pocket and built to last. Being in and out of the pocket will subject the port to dust, lint, and debris. This is really the only cause for 4 stars rather than 5.

Surefire Sidekick light blinks while charging, then remains on (low setting) when done. A simple separate small colored LED would have been ideal as a charging indicator.

High price point compared to similar sized EDC lights (Olight S1 Baton is similar in size and power and about $20 less).

There is an odd feel to the switch of the Surefire Sidekick. Understand the intent is to avoid unintentional activation while carrying, but lacks ‘feel’ to the switch.

Overall, the power for size of the Surefire Sidekick, recharging, and ease of use outweigh the cons.

The button of the Surefire Sidekick started to get harder if it would work at all.

After 9 months the Surefire Sidekick light won’t turn on. Surefire Sidekick is fully charged and illuminates and cycles when plugged into the USB but otherwise is completely dead. Surefire Sidekick is a piece of cheap garbage. Shame on Surefire for marketing such a shoddy and weak product!

After about 10 seconds the light stopped working. Charged Surefire Sidekick overnight and still nothing. The switch seems cheap. Surefire Sidekick never worked.

Light was not as bright as expected. The light would flash normally for few seconds indicating that it was charging then the light would go solid. This should mean the battery was full but that was impossible after only charging for less than a minute. Kept it charging for a couple hours and noticed the light worked but the beam would flicker. It would also shut off with the slightest shake. Now the Surefire Sidekick light doesn’t work at all.

1) Build quality is OK. 2) The power button is hard to press. 3) While charging, the Surefire Sidekick flashlight randomly flashes until it reaches full charge and then comes on steady. It has an analog feel to the charging circuit and is definitely not microprocessor controlled. For the price, it should be microprocessor controlled and have a dedicated charge indication multi color LED. Own many SureFire lights and all of them have a poor charge status lights with the exception of the SureFire Maximus and UNR Commander.

When you plug the Surefire Sidekick in for charging using the micro USB, the light turns on and does a series of blinks combined with it staying on for a long time — as if it was sending a Morse code. It sounds strange, but that’s what it does until the charging is complete and the light stays on until you unplug the micro USB. Not sure how much lamp life it uses up.

Surefire Sidekick does not have a bright white spot and not as bright as other 250-300 lumen flashlights. There is no cover on the micro USB port.

Surefire Sidekick flashes while recharging which is annoying. There should be a separate charging indicator LED.

Surefire Sidekick gets hot when on high for more than a minute or two. The button is stiff to prevent accidental activation but it could be a little less so.

Externals of the Surefire Sidekick seemed cheaply made. Surefire Sidekick seems like it will break if you don’t take care of it well. In fact this light feels much less durable than the Toyota key fob.

The plastic hook to attach to either the key fob or anything else maybe prone to break.



According to the Tube reviews the Tube turns on in the pocket all the time. So when you go to use it and need a light it’s out of juice. Need to make some kind of slider over the push button so it doesn’t come on so easy.

Got the low level light to stay on (which is very dim), but the thing failed a few seconds after getting to the high level beam. (The high beam provides excellent illumination, though.) Thought the battery might be dead, so charged it (blue light came on, a while later went off) but could never get the light to come on again. The manufacturer of Tube has quality control issues.

One note for people with weak hands: it does take a bit of strength/pressure to push down on the power button and hold it.
The Tube light was completely dead within one week. The blue light still comes on if charged, but the LED will not turn on.

Tube completely broke after a few months of very light use. Switch is unresponsive and light flickers if you tap the body of the light. Tube didn’t come with its own charging cable though.

Tube is not durable at all, not sure if the battery gets drained below minimum level and there isn’t a protection circuit so the lithium battery gets ruined or if the keys are just abused. Features of the Tube are a bit odd (don’t understand the need for a smooth-dimming light this small/weak),

There is an unwanted glare coming up from the LED. Make the LED recessed, so it doesn’t throw glare in your eyes.

Tube is very bright, but the cover on the USB charging port is hard to get off and super flimsy. Tube does not come with a Micro USB cable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *