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Some serve and face danger everyday to protect others. Others hunt at night. And then there are those who work search and rescue. What do they all have in common? Answer, they need a good flashlight.
For these demanding situations, there are a wide selection of tactical flashlights to choose from. But they are pricey and you want to be sure to pick the one that is right for you. The features and quality do vary, so doing your homework is a must.
Lucky for you, we did the research and compiled a summary of the 10 best tactical flashlights to simplify your process of finding the best one for you.
No Time to Read the Entire List?
If you want the best overall, then you want the Olight Warrior X Pro. It is bright, durable, and throws its beam 600 meters. It is the most expensive, but it has lots of features and customization options for those who rely on a quality flashlight to safely get things done.
Need more of a bargain buy? Then look at the Nitecore P12, which is more affordable. It is bright and rechargeable. Plus, it is small and light, very easy to carry around.
For those who need a weapon mounted tactical flashlight, check out the Streamlight 69110 TLR-1. It mounts to most weapons quickly using no tools. It has a wide bright beam and can take a beating.
For a trustworthy everyday carry flashlight, or a backup, the Fenix FX-PD35-TAC is a good choice. It is slim, 5.5 inches long, and weighs only 3.1 ounces. In addition, it is bright, built to last, offers good run time, and doesn’t break the bank.
We researched the market and cut through all the sales jargon to find the 10 best tactical flashlights just for you. Plus, we summarized all of them below.
Brightness: 2,250 Lumens︱Batteries: (1) INR21700 (included)︱Rechargeable: Yes︱Price: $$
For some, the flashlight is one of the most important pieces of equipment they carry. For hunters, search and rescue personnel, or those who are on duty, a quality flashlight is indispensable.
Olight makes the Warrior X Pro for all of those people. It is designed to be bright and throw light a long way, up to an impressive 600 meters. The 21700 battery is also rated for 5000 mAh, so that means long run times between charges.
Even the switch is well thought out. It is found on the butt of the light and is raised for a more intuitive experience. They also increased the “aggressiveness” of the grip, making it easier to hold and operate the switch.
You can set the light to three brightness levels, 300, 1000, and 2250 lumens. Simply press the switch with different levels of firmness. Hard is brighter, soft is dimmer.
Inside, the light uses a long lasting 21700 lithium battery and it is rechargeable. The light can run 8 hours at 300 lumens in “level 2.” The Warrior X Pro even vibrates when the battery gets low to warn you before things go dark.
If you are worried about your gear getting wet, this Olight flashlight is IPX8 rated. That means it is rated for 30 minutes of water immersion at 2 meters.
To carry this torch around, the flashlight does come with a holster. It is just under 6 inches long and weighs 8.43 ounces. So it might be carried in a larger pocket or backpack, too.
We could go on listing details. But overall this is a great flashlight with many features. You will pay for that quality. However, for those who rely on a flashlight to be safe, or to save lives, this bright, durable light has all the features you need. And then some.
Brightness: 600 Lumens︱Batteries: (2) CR123A (included)︱Rechargeable: No︱Price: $$$
The word tactical gets tacked onto products carelessly at times. But that is not the case with the Surefire PX2 Fury. It is designed for those who “go into harm’s way.”
For that, you want a reliable, durable torch. The aluminum body of the P2X is tough with a knurled handle for a secure grip. The flashlight is made weatherproof with O-ring and gasket seals.
But what makes this light special is the Intellibeam technology. When you turn the light on, it has a computer inside that adjusts the brightness levels from 15 to 600 lumens as needed. So, you can see clearly and not be blinded by glare.
Police officers claim they can more easily write down information with this light because of the “right” amount of light being emitted. But when needed, it has a max power mode to see through tinted windows.
If you need full power, simply press the switch within one second of turning it on for full brightness. The tail cap switch is easy to operate, but hard to accidentally turn on when in a bag or pouch.
This torch is expensive, but some feel the self adjusting light technology is worth the price.
Brightness: 1,000 Lumens︱Batteries: (1) 18650 or (2) CR123A (not included)︱Rechargeable: Depends on battery used︱Price: $
Some jobs require owning multiple tactical flashlights. And that means finding products that are affordable, but still get the job done.
Enter the Fenix FX-PD35-TAC. It is priced competitively, but offers a nice set of features. Like the body made from aircraft grade aluminum and the LED rated for 50,000 hours.
It also has 6 output modes; 5 brightness levels and a strobe. To use the various settings you have a tail and side switch. The side switch performs various functions depending on if you are in outdoor or tactical mode.
On top of that, this torch sports a IPX-8 waterproof rating. To earn that rating, it was tested under 2 meters of water for 30 minutes.
The PD35-TAC also has reverse polarity protection. Put the batteries in wrong, and you do not harm the flashlight.
Other design touches like the anti-roll body and low voltage reminder round out the features. The affordable cost and features make it a good everyday carry (EDC) or a spare flashlight for outdoorsmen, professionals, security, & law enforcement.
Brightness: 850 Lumens︱Batteries: (1) Streamlight 74175 or (1) 18650 or (2) CR123A (not included)︱Rechargeable: depends on battery used︱Price: $
Need a good flashlight but don’t want to pay $200? Then the Streamlight ProTac HL will be of interest to you.
For starters, you get a body made with aircraft aluminum. Then there are the dual 100,000 hour lifetime high intensity LEDs. The ProTac HL is built for long term use.
When using the torch, you have three lumen or brightness levels (lumens): high (1000), medium (380), and low (65) along with a strobe function. You also get three “modes,” depending on how you like to use the high, medium, low, and strobe features.
For power, this light is rechargeable with the 74175 battery. You can use a wall charger with a USB port, or a port on your computer. If you need to use an alternate or disposable battery, you have two different options to keep your seeing in the dark.
A nice touch is the anti-roll head. If you put this light down on a flat but tilted surface, the shape of the flashlight head is designed to keep it from rolling off.
While the battery must be purchased separately, this is still a good value compared to the other tactical flashlights on the market. If you need an everyday carry (“EDC””) torch on budget, take a look at the ProTac HL.
Brightness: 4,000 Lumens︱Batteries: (1) 21700 (included)︱Rechargeable: Yes︱Price: $$
If bright is at the top of your wish list, then check out this tactical flashlight. Using a CREE XHP70.2 P2 LED, this torch puts out a blinding 4,000 lumens of light. It also can throw up to 350 yards.
To operate, you will find two switches, on the tail and side. This allows for simple operation of the various modes and brightness levels
The flashlight operates in outdoor or tactical mode. You also can select from five different brightness settings; 4,000, 1,200, 400, 100, and 5 lumens. That is a wide range to choose from and it allows you to choose the right amount of light for the situation.
On the “low” setting, you get 63 hours run time (this is the 100 lumen setting) versus 1.2 hours at the 4,000 lumen turbo setting. Not surprisingly, the highest setting burns a lot of juice.
But if the electricity does run, don’t worry. This is a rechargeable flashlight. Just plug into a USB to fill your battery again. And the micro-USB cable comes with the flashlight.
The electronics inside include overcurrent, overcharging, thermal, impact, reverse polarity, and overcurrent protection. It even monitors the temperature and adjusts output levels accordingly.
With an included holster and battery, you get everything you need to start using this product right out the box. It even includes a bonus USB light.
Positioned in the middle of the price range, this product will appeal to those who want a complete package in one box, including a flashlight with lots of features and bright light.
Brightness: 944 Lumens︱Batteries: (1) 18650 (included) or (2) CR123 (not included)︱Rechargeable: Yes︱Price: $$
You may know Pelican from other products, like high-end protective cases. It actually makes sense that they would also make tactical flashlights, too. For both applications you need a hard, durable shell to protect the contents inside.
If you have used Pelican cases, you know they are indeed durable. This flashlight follows that legacy and incorporates an anodized aluminum shell to house the electronics. It also touts an IPX-8 waterproof rating.
With a strobe setting and three brightness levels (944, 479, and 37 lumens), you can set the light to suit your needs. It will run 3.25 hours on high and 29 hours on low brightness. For those who might be wondering, the throw is rated at 250 yards.
There are also 5 different programs for you to set. You are not stuck with factory settings. Use the features in a manner that makes sense for the way you work.
You also have 3 different LED colors, red, green, and of course white. The colors aid in night vision preservation and traffic control. Versatility in an everyday carry flashlight is always welcome.
Priced mid-pack, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Pelican states it as “you break it, we replace it.” With a nice set of desirable features, those who are familiar with Pelican products will have a hard time passing this torch by.
Brightness: 687 Lumens︱Batteries: (1) 18650 (included)︱Rechargeable: Yes︱Price: $$
SOG makes knives and multitools. If you are an outdoorsman, you likely know that. But they also make some fine flashlights as well.
The Dark Energy DE-06 is only 6 inches long. But it can produce just under 700 lumens in max mode. Speaking of modes, you get 5; max, 40%, reading, strobe, and momentary on or off.
As for run time, the 2600 mAh 18650 gets you 97 hours of reading light on a single charge. That’s pretty good for a light this small. With max mode, you’ll find about 98 minute of use.
The body is aluminum with a knurled grip. And it is rated as IPX-7 Class II. Or it withstands being submerged 1 meter for 30 minutes.
The head and tail have a unique spiral cut to it that helps to keep it from rolling. It also makes it easy to handle, even if you are wearing gloves. Plue, it just looks good.
The switch is in the tail, literally. It is recessed so you can stand the light on its butt if you need to.
Overall, this light is well designed for those who like to carry a light in their pocket. It is small enough to fit, but powerful enough to truly be called a tactical flashlight.
Brightness: 1,000 Lumens︱Batteries: (2) CR123A (not included), or (1) 18650 (included)︱Rechargeable: Yes︱Price: $
Anyone who has bought a tactical flashlight knows they are not cheap. So, when there is a bright, well built light offered at a lower price, you might ask if it is worth the risk?
Well, you don’t take a risk with the Nitecore P12. It has the quality to hold on to every day drops. Plus, it is less than 5 ½ inches long and only 3.1 ounces. That is a good start for a light that doesn’t break the bank..
It does not skimp on the body, either. You still get an aluminum body. One that carries an IPX-8 waterproof rating. That’s on par with far more expensive torches.
Then there’s the run time. At 70 lumens, the P12s low setting, you get 28 hours of run time. At 1000 lumens, high, you have 75 minutes of use. That’s not the longest, but it’s not bad either.
It can throw up to 253 yards. And you get four brightness levels; max, medium, low, and lower (1000, 240, 70, and 1 lumens respectively). Plus you get 3 modes; strobe, location beacon, and SOS.
You have options with the battery. It comes with a rechargeable 18650, rated at 2600 mAh. Or, you can use 2 CR123A disposable batteries. It’s up to you.
To use, you turn it on off, or use the momentary function, with the tail switch. To select brightness you use the side switch. If you hole the side switch, you enter the “flashing” modes.
The package contains a holster and lanyard. That is because Nitecore designed this to be an everyday carry torch. In your pocket, backpack, or hanging on your belt, you can take it with you on the go.
So the P12 definitely earned a spot on our list with its features. What makes it stand out is the very affordable price. Service professionals, hunters, outdoor sports, and search and rescue personnel all will appreciate what this tactical flashlight has to offer.
Brightness: 300 Lumens︱Batteries: (2) CR123 (included)︱Rechargeable: No︱Price: $$$
A tactical flashlight list would not be complete without at least one product that can be weapon mounted. So, we give you the Streamlight 69110 TLR-1.
Included in your purchase, you get rail locating keys for Glock or universal rails, 1913 Picatinny, S&W 99/TSW, and Beretta 90. So, it comes ready to install on a number of rails.
Plus, the installation doesn’t require tools to mount it. There is also a spring loaded thumb screw to fine tune the fit.
The tail mounted ambidextrous, toggle style switch lets you easily turn the light on continuously or just for a moment, as you require. It is also easy to operate, no pressing necessary. You flick up or down with a single finger.
The beam is focused to give you a bright hot spot, but also optimizes the periphery. You want to see more than just right in front of you, and this light is designed to allow you to see what is off to the side.
This flashlight is built to last. That starts with an aircraft grade aluminum body, which is durable. Then they sealed it against water and it does have a IPX-7 waterproof rating. It was tested under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
The Streamlight 69110 TLR-1 also has a C4 LED, which is shockproof and rated to last 50,000 hours. There is also solid state current regulation to provide a consistent level of light.
Streamlight even thought about the battery door. They tethered it to the body, so you cannot lose it while changing batteries. That is handy if you should have to swap batteries out in the field, in the dark.
If you need a true tactical flashlight for your weapon, the Streamlight 69110 TLR-1 is a light with a wide, bright beam you should consider. It is a bit pricey, but is durable and can be mounted to most weapons with no tools.
Brightness: 1338 Lumens︱Batteries: (1) 18650 (included)︱Rechargeable: Yes︱Price: $$$
Some people feel a tactical flashlight should be easy to use. But too many products require multiple buttons and clicks to get what you want. That is not what you need when you are facing a threat.
The EagleTac T25C2 keeps it simple. The tail switch turns it on or off, or you can get momentary light with a soft press. To adjust your brightness level, simply turn the head of the flashlight.
And with the new XP-L HD LED, you do have some light levels to choose from; 1338, 608, 111, and 9 lumens. As for run time, you get 1.8 hours at high (1138 lumens) and 21 hours on low (111 lumens).
There are also flash settings. SOS and strobe are ready for when you need them in an emergency.
Plus, this torch is only 5.7 inches long and it weighs 4.6 ounces. It is definitely something you could put in a pocket.
However, you do get a lanyard and holster if keeping your torch in your pocket is not your style. Small and light make it easy to carry around with you everyday however you choose.
Also, the T25C2 can accept aftermarket accessories. Add a wand or lens filter to customize your light source. We just wish the accessories were easier to find.
The T25C2 is not the cheapest on our list, but it is not the most expensive either. You get a nice set of accessories in the box, including an 18650 battery and charger. For the outdoorsman or the professional, there is a lot to like with this product
Modern tactical flashlights are more than a simple tool that brightens up a dark path. It is also a self-defense tool that is capable of forcing an assailant to rethink his decision.
Since tactical flashlights have become extremely popular, and plenty of companies are in the game, the quality has deteriorated.
You need to learn a couple of things before you can make an educated purchase. We have decided to gather all of the useful information to save your time and teach you how to choose the best tactical flashlight for your needs.
Not all tactical flashlights are created equal. While there are plenty of models that will suit your needs, there are others that are a waste of money. You should familiarize yourself with the features that a tactical flashlight needs to have to be considered useful.
There are a couple more features that are useful, but not a must-have. Some tactical flashlights come with an ultraviolet light that can help you detect counterfeit money bills. Some have built-in radios, compasses, ultrasonic repellents, tactical laser pointers, and more.
Before you choose a tactical flashlight, you need to know more about the batteries inside of them. The way you want to use your flashlight will, most likely, dictate the type of batteries you will be using.
The higher the Lumens number, the higher the light power. But, with a greater light power comes greater requirement of battery power. Keep these things in mind when figuring out how many Lumens you want in your tactical flashlight.
Models with 150-300 Lumens are enough to light up a large room or a backyard. Those models can disorient someone, albeit not for long. Models with 300-700 Lumens are more than enough for an amateur. They can light up a large area, and cause great disorientation for a would-be assailant.
If you are into survival and/or bushcraft, then you could think about models that go over 700 Lumens. Search and rescue operatives carry tactical flashlights with over 700 Lumens, and that should tell you a lot about the light power. Those flashlights have no problem at illuminating large areas. If you are not a professional who requires great light power, then models with over 700 Lumens might be an overkill. On the other hand, if you don’t require a flashlight that can illuminate the entire neighborhood, then the models with 150-300 Lumens could be enough.
Water resistance ratings tell you how much water punishment a tactical flashlight can take. All of the flashlights are given one of the following three ratings.