One of the most versatile pieces of every day carry you should have on your person – or close at hand – on a regular basis, a tactical flashlight is not just something that you will only be able to use at night or in lowlight situations.
Sure, it can be used in conjunction with a firearm to help you when it comes to more accurate target identification, especially in a lowlight or nighttime situation but there’s also a lot more that you will be able to get out of a quality tactical flashlight. It is often used while hunting, while scuba diving, while out on open water, while camping, while hiking, and even while taking the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood after the sun has gone down. Here, our goal is to help you find the best tactical flashlight in no time flat!
Things To Consider Before Buying
• Light Bulb – There are really only two options that you should even seriously consider – xenon bulbs and LED bulbs. Xenon lights are going to be incredibly bright (brighter than pretty much anything else out there), but they are going to chew through battery life and have to be replaced a lot more frequently than LED. Today, LEDs offer incredible illumination with next to no power drain and also have lifecycles that can last for up to 100,000 hours of use or more. If you are looking for the best tactical flashlight, LED is the way to go.
• Brightness – Between 500 and 1000 lumens is really the way to go, as that offers you the highest brightness level to battery power ratio and is more than enough to blind and disorient an attacker while providing you with accurate target acquisition. After a certain level, the amount of lumens that you get out of a flashlight is inconsequential.
• Battery – If you are only ever going to be using your tactical flashlight in emergency situations, non-rechargeable batteries (good old-fashioned AA’s or AAA’s, for example) are perfectly fine. This is ideal for those that don’t anticipate using their flashlight on a regular basis and aren’t afraid of carrying around some extra batteries every once in a while should their flashlight die. If, on the other hand, you’re going to be using your flashlight on a routine basis and really make it a part of your EDC kit you’ll want to be sure that you have a rechargeable flashlight that you can throw on the charger every day to “top off” without any ill effects. It may cost you a little bit more up front, but you’ll save a bundle on batteries and convenience.
• Price – As a general rule of thumb, any tactical flashlight that isn’t at least $50 probably doesn’t have the best construction materials or engineering going on behind the scenes. Sure, a $20 flashlight designed to be tactical can work in a pinch and may be okay for household tasks, but expect to spend at least $100 or more on a real quality piece of technology. At the same time, a $300 flashlight isn’t going to be filled with all kinds of bells and whistles that make it all that more valuable than a cheaper one. $200 is really the “high-end” that you should be looking at.
Best Tactical Flashlights – Our Reviews
Hopefully now you have a much better idea of how to get your hands on a fantastic tactical flashlight for your specific needs and situation! Today, we’re going to talk about five options which really hit the target with consumers. Each one is affordable and comes from a trusted manufacturer.
1. SureFire P3X Fury Tactical
This is the best tactical flashlight on our list. It has a mid-range price tag and it’s designed to offer plenty of durability and features. This particular model features one high output level which offers one thousand lumens in order to provide the most light possible.
As well, this design is equipped with an LED emitter which is built to stand the test of time. The LED emitter is regulated, so it will maximize run-time and light output.
In addition, this design comes with a click switch of the “tail-cap” type. Press it part way in order to access the “on” setting for a short period of time, or push it down more, to the point where it clicks, in order to access a continual “on” setting.
When you choose this model, which comes from a trusted brand name, you’ll access a reflector which is micro-textured with precision. The reflector will create a beam which is optimal and very smooth.
Its body is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s “hard anodized” to Mil-Spec (United States military standard) in order to provide the ultimate in durability.
SureFire has been around since 1979 and it’s an American company which specializes in manufacturing weapon-mounted lights and other forms of portable lighting (as well as laser sights).
2. Fenix PD35 TAC
When you choose this impressive tactical flashlight from Fenix, you’ll access one thousand lumens, via LED (Cree XP-L V5). The LED light will run for fifty thousand hours. You may power this flashlight with a Lithium ion battery which is rechargeable (18650 battery), or utilize a couple of lithium batteries (3V CR123A).
Practical and quite affordable, this black flashlight features a tail switch which offers a “momentarily on” setting. Batteries will be included with your order.
One key selling point of this model is that it’s sized to fit into a pocket, while still delivering high performance. It is less than five and half inches in length, but offers the same lumen output as bigger, longer tactical flashlights. Its beam distance is up to six hundred and fifty-six feet.
When this flashlight is set to its “outdoor mode”, there will be a group of six subcategories of output modes. In the “tactical mode” setting, flashlight performance will be stronger, simpler and faster. Perfect for law enforcement personnel or usage out of doors, this sensible product offers power in a compact format, for a lower-than-average price (prices may vary).
3. Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Rail-Mounted
One of the best tactical flashlights on the market today, it offers a peak beam (candela) intensity of eight hundred lumens, via C4 LED. This is a bit less intensity than some of the other models on our list. However, it still produces a lot of clear and directional light. It is designed to snugly fit a variety of weapons.
When you choose this model, which is a best-seller online and features a mid-range price tag, you’ll access a style which may be snapped on and tightened with one hand. Your hands won’t be near your gun muzzle as you attach or remove the illumination tool.
This device has a body which is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a finish that is anodized. Also, it is equipped with a glass lens which is shock-mounted (TIR optic glass lens) and it will produce a beam which is concentrated, that produces optimum peripheral light.
4. Anker Bolder LC130
If you want ultra-bright performance from a tactical flashlight, without needing to spend a bundle, you’ll probably love this design from Anker. It’s a budget-priced design and offers thirteen hundred lumens of lighting output via a trio of Cree-brand LED lights. When you use this flashlight, you’ll have the power to sweep the brightest light beyond eight hundred and twenty feet, which is the length of a couple of football fields!
It’s actually possible to illuminate up to twelve hundred feet with this compact model.
When you choose this flashlight, you’ll access five settings which are adaptable. Choose SOS, strobe, low, medium or high.
This design offers a maximum of six hours of steady brightness which is non-diminishing. It utilizes 5000mAh batteries which are of superb quality and rechargeable. As well, the lifespan of this unit’s LED lights is fifty thousand hours. It takes eight hours to charge this tactical flashlight fully. You’ll need to buy a 1A adapter. The flashlight does come with a USB-style cable.
This model is rated at IP67 for water resistance. It is crafted with an aluminum body and it’s shock-resistant. As you can see, this flashlight offers tons of features for a low price, so it provides buyers with optimal ROI (return on investment).
5. Klarus XT11GT
This tactical flashlight is rechargeable and it’s very compact. It’s also light in weight and provides super-bright performance. Its LED light comes from Cree (XHP35 HD E4) and it delivers a maximum output of two thousand lumens. Equipped with a tail switch which is a dual style, it’s designed to be simple to use with one hand. As well, it features a switch on the side which assists with advanced operation.
This flashlight has a range of practical functions. For example, it is rechargeable via USB, it has an indicator for battery capacity, it comes with a side-switch lock function, it has a smart temp control system (ITS), it is equipped with memorized function ability, straight to strobe capability and so much more!
This model features a trio of operating settings, including outdoor setting, tactical setting and advanced tactical setting. It’s also extremely easy to charge up.
When you order, you’ll receive a super bundle which includes a lanyard, a charging cable (USB type), an extra o-ring, a lanyard, a battery (18650 rechargeable), a car charger, a holster, a pocket clip, a mini USB light and a wall adapter.
Best Tactical Flashlights – Our Ratings
|SureFire||5.0 / 5|
|Fenix||4.5 / 5|
|Streamlight||4.5 / 5|
|Anker||4.0 / 5|
|Klarus||4.0 / 5|