If you are an outdoorsy person and love to go on trips and explore raw nature, chances are you have been stuck in at least one situation in which there has been absolute darkness and your flashlight has given up. The regular, household flashlight will often give up on you when used in rough circumstances.
Enter tactical flashlights. The term has been tossed around in forums and among travel groups due to their durability and suitability for rugged use. It is one of the handiest pieces of equipment you will possess, considering it is ideal for use not just at night but also during trekking, hiking or any outdoor activity, not to mention that it can also compliment your firearm to light up your surrounding while aiming. Since most of the tactical flashlights are also water-resistant and waterproof, they are used by scuba divers.
Tactical flashlights are designed to be a lot more resilient and sturdy than the regular flashlights and offer more brightness for better visibility if used outdoors. They are also compact in size and lightweight, so they are easy to carry around. In an emergency, a robust and bright light source like a tactical flashlight can make all the difference.
[amazon box=”B007RB82CS,B00LGYHZT8,B07BH2X1JT,B00R5VM3FM,B00ZGUCIPO” template=”table” /]
Advantages Of A Tactical Flashlight
You might think when your normal flashlight does the job of illuminating, why would you need to take a step ahead and buy a tougher, sturdier version.
Here’s why a tactical flashlight should be an essential part of your camping or hiking gear and emergency kit.
- It is extremely durable and long lasting, built for high tolerance of wear and tear.
- It emits a brighter light that lasts for a longer time due to higher battery life.
- It is waterproof, impact-resistant and survives in rough and rugged conditions.
- It is compact and lightweight for easy portability.
- Ideal for use during outdoor trips or in case of self-defense and other emergency situations.
- The intensity of the light is often adjustable according to the situation at hand.
- Better grip and build for easy and efficient handling.
Factors To Consider Before Purchasing A Tactical Flashlight
Initially, tactical flashlights were mainly used by law enforcement agents. However, today, everyone from a hiker, camper, swimmer to an ordinary civilian assimilating equipment for his emergency survival kit keeps one.
Before you go ahead and make your decision to buy a tactical flashlight, there are some things you should consider.
- Battery: For the flashlight to throw a powerful beam, the battery needs to be super strong. Therefore, you should know the current the battery can deliver when fully charged. Also, there is an option between non-rechargeable and rechargeable batteries. If you are going to use the flashlight quite frequently, it is advised to buy one with the rechargeable battery.
- Lumens: More the number of lumens, the brighter the beam emitted by the flashlight is. Therefore, look at the number of lumens of the flashlight at its full battery as well as at its lowest. The ideal range is between 500 and 1,000 lumens for optimum effect.
- Build Material: The main reason for keeping a tactical flashlight is because it’s more durable and resistant. They are available in different materials, including plastic and aluminum. Make sure you go for the aluminum since they are a lot stronger and more durable.
- Size: Since a tactical flashlight is mainly meant for portable use and in emergencies, it defeats the purpose if it is too large and bulky to handle. The flashlight should be of compact size and light enough to be carried around easily.
Top Tactical Flashlights
With the number of options available in the market, it can be confusing to pick the best tactical flashlight for your purpose.
Below, we have reviewed the top 5 tactical flashlights currently in the market. Let’s check them out and see which one suits you the best.
[amazon link=”B007RB82CS” title=”Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750″ /]
[amazon box=”B007RB82CS” /]
This is one of the highest selling tactical flashlights in the market and one that offers excellent value for money. Streamlight 88040 has it all — durability, compact size, excellent brightness and a lifetime warranty.
With the capacity for emitting 750 lumens, the Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750 is ideal for use in all kinds of situations. It is compact and easily fits in your pocket, so portability is as convenient as it gets.
Here’s all you need to know about the power-packed tactical flashlight from Streamlight:
- Built using C4 LED technology to offer a powerful beam of 750 lumens.
- Offers users a choice of selection between three programs — high, strobe and low.
- Resistant to shock and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
- 3 different light output option adjustable according to the situation — low, medium and high.
- Anti-roll head to avoid the flashlight from rolling away.
- Comes with two 3V CR123A lithium batteries and a nylon holster for carrying.
- Working capacity of 50,000 hours; continuous use up to 18 hours.
- Made by aircraft aluminum material for maximum durability.
- Easy one-hand operation via the push-button tail switch.
The best part about this tactical flashlight is that it has an adjustable brightness which lets the battery run for longer hours if used at low beam where high brightness isn’t required. It is shock and impact-resistant, as well as waterproof up to 30 minutes.
Available in three different colors — black, blue and pink — making it one of the most affordable tactical flashlights.
[amazon link=”B00LGYHZT8″ title=”Fenix PD35 TAC”]
[amazon box=”B00LGYHZT8″ /]
Coming from the long-standing brand, Fenix PD35 TAC combines ultimate power with extreme durability. It offers a beam of 1,000 lumens, that’s more than enough by any standard to illuminate all dark situations.
This tactical edition flashlight is compact and highly durable due to the aluminum body with a stainless steel side switch for operation. The bulb used is Cree XP-L(V5) LED that enables a high beam of 1,000 lumens at its full capacity.
Here’s what you should you know about the Fenix PD35 TAC before purchasing:
- Choice of selection between 6 output modes — high, low, strobe, eco, low and medium.
- Two operation modes — tactical and outdoors.
- Lifetime runtime of 50,000 hours and one-time running capacity of maximum 1 hour 10 minutes when used at 1000 lumens and 29 hours 15 minutes when used at a low output of 60 lumens.
- Used CREE XP-L (V5) LED for a powerful output and a beam distance of 200 meters.
- Can use either rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries.
- IPX-8 standard waterproof with a capacity of up to 6.5 feet for 30 minutes.
- Comes in a bundle with a holster, 2 spare rings, a clip and a lanyard.
- Made from aircraft-grade aluminum for maximum durability along with anti-abrasive finish to prevent scratches.
The tactical flashlight by Fenix is sturdy and provides an excellent output with a variety of options for adjusting light intensity. It is compact and versatile. The option to switch between tactical and outdoor mode grants high flexibility of usage along with other mode adjustments.
Fenix PD35 TAC is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a durable and operationally advanced tactical flashlight that lets you control every aspect of the performance.
[amazon link=”B07BH2X1JT” title=”SureFire G2X Tactical Flashlight” /]
[amazon box=”B07BH2X1JT” /]
SureFire G2X is a series that offers multiple types of flashlights, including Tactical, Law Enforcement, CombatLight and Pro. The SureFire G2X tactical edition features a powerful beam of 600 lumens.
Made from the durable but lightweight Nitrolon Polymer, the flashlight is resilient to abrasion and scratches, along with having a comfortable and strong grip. It is also compact enough to fit in small spaces, including your pockets.
Here’s what to expect from the best selling tactical flashlight by SureFire:
- Indestructible LED emitters for maximum output and runtime.
- A Nitrolon Polymer body for a corrosion and scratch-free exterior along with a secure and comfortable hold.
- The G2X Tactical offers single output level of 600 lumens, while the Pro and the Law Enforcement editions offer dual output levels.
- Option to leave the flashlight on using the ‘always-on’ mode using the click tailcap switch.
- Built ergonomically for handy usage in outdoor and emergency situations.
- Utilizes a precision reflector for smooth and constant beam illuminating the entire area targeted along with surroundings.
- O-ring weatherproof and gasket sealed to prevent moisture and dust.
- Powered by 2 SureFire 123A lithium batteries with a 10-year shelf life.
- Anodized aluminum bezel and a sturdy, impact-resistant polycarbonate window; can be easily used as a weapon in case of self-defense.
The SureFire G2X is as tough and rugged as a tactical flashlight could be. While there are a lack of options to adjust the light output in the Tactical edition, the overall performance and durability are ideal for any adventure you plan to undertake. As a brand, SureFire has a long-standing reputation and offers a lifetime warranty on its products.
Available in 4 different colors — yellow, black, forest green and desert tan.
[amazon link=”B00R5VM3FM” title=”Outlite A100 High Powered Handheld Flashlight”]
[amazon box=”B00R5VM3FM” /]
While tactical flashlights below $50 are generally not considered to be of high quality, the Outlite A100 is a surprise edition that offers maximum features and excellent performance at an extremely low cost.
The Outlite A100 is a durable and compact size tactical flashlight that delivers brilliantly on the requirements of being a best selling piece of equipment. It can be used in a variety of situations and locations due to its adjustability and ruggedness.
Let’s see what it has to offer in terms of specific features and what makes it so popular:
- Built using aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it extremely durable and resistant to scratches.
- Adjustable focus lens which can zoom out to lighten up to 600 feet as well as short and narrow areas.
- Circle flood light to illuminate a wider surrounding area.
- The built material, aircraft-grade aluminum, is highly resistant to extreme temperatures, along with being shock and water resistant.
- Compact enough to fit in your pocket, size being 5.4 inches x 1.6 inches.
- A lifespan of 100,000 hours.
- 5 light output modes — low, medium, high, SOS and strobe.
- Extremely lightweight, weighing just 150g.
- The CREE XM-L T6 LED can emit a powerful beam up to 900 lumens, which means excellent brightness.
- Uses rechargeable batteries and can also operate on standard AAA batteries.
- A single button to change modes and other operations which is very easy to use.
The Outlite A100 compact handheld tactical flashlight offers ultimate convenience at a very low cost. It has an excellent grip, great adjustable output options that are easy to operate and is highly durable along with being water resistant. It is built in a way that you can use it hands-free by placing it upright on a flat surface. Also, the cut shape of the head prevents it from rolling off.
This tactical flashlight from Outlite is super pocket friendly and can be used during hiking, trekking, camping or even for any usual outdoor or indoor purpose.
[amazon link=”B00ZGUCIPO” title=”Helotex G4 Tactical Flashlight” /]
[amazon box=”B00ZGUCIPO” /]
Emitting a beam of 1,000 lumens, Helotex G4 is a powerful and high-performing tactical flashlight that offers maximum durability along with due quality. It is lightweight and is made of sturdy aluminum, lending it the ruggedness and resilience against wear and tear.
Helotex is a popular and reliable name in the domain, and the G4 compact tactical flashlight does not let it down. It offers great value for the price it sells at and all functionalities that a tactical flashlight should possess.
Here’ what you get when you purchase Helotex G4 Tactical Flashlight:
- Anodized 6063 T-6 aircraft aluminum body that makes it resistant to impact and ensures it’s sturdy.
- Uses CREE XM-L2 LED to emit a powerful 1,000 lumens beam.
- 3 light output modes — high, low and strobe.
- Runs on two CR123 batteries which can be replaced by one 18650 battery.
- O-rings on all parts for water-resistance.
- Maximum runtime of 2 hours 45 minutes on high intensity and more than 72 hours on low-intensity output.
- User friendly switch at the bottom of the flashlight.
- Total lifespan runtime of 50,000 hours.
- Automatically switches on the high-intensity output beam on turning on the power button.
Helotex G4 Tactical Flashlight is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-performance flashlight which is also convenient to use. The feature to operate on either a single battery or two CR123 batteries is distinct from other flashlights.
With a maximum light output of 1,000 lumens, the tactical flashlight by Helotex has ultimate power and is also highly durable and tough.
The best tactical flashlight for you will depend on your usage, whether frequent or rare and the purpose, whether you want to use it for your outdoor trails or as an additional self-defense equipment or for your survival kit, etc.
It is evident with the features of the best-selling tactical flashlights discussed above that possessing one of these is going to punch up your emergency kit or your outdoor camping or hiking gear.
In any case, the tactical flashlight you buy should be highly reliable and durable to serve its purpose. Choosing the perfect one can be confusing, but the above guide will steer you in the right direction and help you pick one that suits you the best.