Many don’t consider water resistance when purchasing a tactical flashlight, but if you’re the survivalist type, or in the military, or a policeman, or a fireman, you inevitably going to be put to the test in wet conditions, be it rain, swamp or fire hose, there is going to be water around at some point.
You need to be prepared for this. Come unprepared to an flight or fight survival situation, the last thing you need is a flashlight that is water damaged; fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The water resistance of a flashlight comes in three grades: IPX4, IPX7 and IPX 8.
IPX4 means that your flashlight is water resistant at the most basic level; splash level, in fact. This may be all well and good for a kiddy camp out in the back garden, or as a toy for a young teenager just getting into the great outdoors, but it’s not going to help you when you’re lost in the wilderness for four days, searching for a route back home.
IPX7 is a little more reliable and is up to 1 meter of submersion water resistant. This is ideal for the survivalist who might be catching trout from a flowing river. You can rest assured that if a flashlight of IPX7 is lost in the foliage at some point, it will survive the morning dew as well. This is a more reliable flashlight altogether. It will even survive the relentless spray of a fire hose if it happens to come into the direct line of fire. This is a much more reliable level of water resistance.
IPX8 is the most reliable water resistance level. If can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for over four hours. This essentially makes it completely waterproof. The length of time in the water is not truly of concern, but the pressure created by the depth is. Spearfishing at 8 meters for 20 minutes would give the same results as 1 meter for 4 hours, and so a tactical flashlight with an IPX8 marking is going to be an extremely reliable flashlight in wet circumstances, such as a boat at rough sea.