You can’t help but have a laugh (or scare) when flashlights seem to always fail at the worst possible moments in movies. But although the functional failure is an important part of the thriller, it is not something you want to happen to you in a real-life situation. Even if you are using one for recreational purposes only, it can be a pain in the wrong place when your flashlight fails or just doesn’t serve you well.
Granted, tactical flashlights by default are supposed to help you acquire targets in low-light situations. They are brighter than standard flashlights with lights that travel much farther, too. They’re also supposed to be more resilient for use under tough conditions.
Our Picks for the Best Rated Tactical Flashlights in 2017:
But, not all tactical flashlights are created the same…and different tactical flashlights work best for different purposes and under different conditions. And we know that whatever your intention, you want the best tactical flashlight for that purpose. And so we have drawn up a list of some of the top-rated tactical flashlights out there for different uses.
Step away from the paid and spammed reviews and let us provide you with objective and proven information that will help you make the right purchase decision.
We find this to be one of the most practical tactical flashlights around. First, it has a clip which you can use to hold the light onto your belt or any harness. Then there are the three light settings, which mind you are all bright by tactical flashlight standards. But the different light settings are great because you will not always want it so bright.
The J5 is very tough, it won’t let you down even if you drop it on hard concrete…or use it for self-defense. It is waterproof, too, so don’t worry about taking it out into a storm. This light, tactical flashlight uses a single AA alkaline battery for power, and is our top choice for most standard situations.
But, there are concerns that the belt clip may be a bit too loose for many practical situations. If you can work around this, the J5 V1 is worth a try.
The Atomic Beam tactical flashlight is one of the best-rated tactical flashlights in any sphere. This superlight flashlight is so tough it works just fine after being dropped from heights, held in ice and put in very hot oil. Being just 5 inches long and weighing 1.5 pounds, the Atomic Beam epitomizes the proverbial “pocket Hercules”.
The Atomic Beam has 5 light settings, all of which are very practical. The S.O.S mode as the name suggests is handy when you need help. The strobe mode produces a short, bright beam that is great for signal or self-defense situations. The other settings – Low, Medium and High – can be used as your lighting requirements change. It also has a wonderful zoom feature that allows you to zoom out up to 2,000x.
This flashlight is ecofriendly, comes with a practical, knurled grip and does not cost nearly as much as it really should.
It has no clip or pocket grip but you can buy one and attach to it.
If your primary focus is brightness, the Streamlight 88040 is what you want to go for. This tactical flashlight is so powerful it can burn your skin if directly exposed for a considerable period. It uses LED Solid Power Regulation to maximize power efficiency, giving you the best possible value for money in its category.
It is made from durable aircraft aluminum so unless you actually throw it onto a hard surface, it will not break on contact. Ideally. The 88040 is also tested and proven to be thoroughly waterproof so rest assured in that area.
It has 3 light modes which you can adjust as required by your situation or purpose. This tactical flashlight operates on a battery, so be sure to bring replacements along as it lasts about 1.5h with continuous use. You can also recharge the battery if you have power supply around.
This flashlight is the one of the closest you can get to tactical. It is military grade in terms of design material and accessories. The TC1200 is very tough and durable with a steel and carbon fiber base: it can withstand hard impact over a long period of time. It has a very convenient 5-hand grip making it extremely portable.
Just like the Atomic Beam, it has 5 light settings which you can use for different situations. The powerful batteries last about 100,000 lamp hours and the light can be zoomed to as much as 2000x. This light is safe for humans and pets, too.
The TC1200 comes with a handy kit including a battery holder, a rechargeable battery, a car charger, a wall charger and a holster. For all its features, it is quite small and easy-to-use.
Affordable, practical, durable and reliable, you can hardly go wrong with this military-inspired tactical flashlight.
This flashlight is a favorite among lawmen because of its small size, blinding light and sturdiness. The Shadowhawx X800 is made from aircraft and military-grade aluminum, making it both tough and lightweight. It is also weather proof and can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without being damaged.
Its Lithium battery is rechargeable and can last up to 100,000 hours before needing replacement. The 800-lumen light can be zoomed up to 2000x making it one of the brightest fluorescent, tactical flashlights in the market. It has a multi-mode operation (5 settings) which you can adjust to your purpose.
For extra protection against impact, the Shadowhawx X800 comes with a padded case. The case also makes for easier handling.
The flashlight is still new in the market and the price may discourage you. But you can enjoy great deals on bulk purchases from top retailers. Other than price concerns, this flashlight comes highly recommended.
This tactical flashlight finds the perfect balance between aesthetics, durability and functionality. The attractive G700 is made from tough aircraft aluminum and is known to withstand extremely-hard impact. If you’re an ocean diver, you will want to use this flashlight as well because it is completely waterproof for any length of time. The lamp glass is made from some of the toughest materials available and can last 120,000h. In fact, it can be used in any environment and under any condition. It’s an outdoor person’s joy.
You don’t need replacement batteries with this flashlight, the battery is rechargeable and lasts several hours before you need to recharge. The G700 has zoom functionality and 6 focus modes including telescopic and sphere. It also has S.O.S and blink signals for emergencies.
With its sleek design, toughness and versatility, you would wish buying one is easy. It isn’t. You can only get them online and they’re not always available even so.
This is another tactical light that works when you need it most. It is a no-nonsense product that will work for you through any physical and environmental condition. It withstands heavy impact, works underwater and is not damaged by ice or extreme heat. Taclight is also ecofriendly as it does not emit harmful rays.
The flashlight is handy, about 6 inches long and has a 5-hand grip which make it portable and easy to use over long periods of time.
The Taclight is reliable and is powered by 1 or 2 long-lasting AA batteries. It produces 700 lumens of fluorescent light, making it one of the brightest in its category. It is also very affordable. However, you will want to be careful to not lose it because of its small size. Also, the light is very bright and can be dangerous to the eyes – it’s not something you want to play around with.
When a product is so good, you often hear grand stories about it. We don’t know if this flashlight is truly what Navy Seals use, but it sure meets the standard. The X700 is an extremely tough tactical flashlight which can be used under any physical and environmental condition. It is made of tough steel and carbon fiber, and remains fully functional if run over by several Humvees, placed in boiling water or held under ice.
The X700 also comes with a very powerful 700 lumen flashlight and can focus objects several miles away. It has the 5 light operation modes making it handy for any situation. The flashlight also comes with other great, unique features including self-defense mode, LED emitter, and superior zoom functionality. The battery is non-rechargeable but it lasts several hours.
The X700 is light, easy to handle with a 5-hand grip, and does not emit harmful rays. This durable flashlight is a bit pricey but considering its capabilities, you may find it worth the cost.
While most other flashlights focus on durability of the body and brightness, the Fenix gives unprecedented attention to the sturdiness and functionality of the glass lens. The glass is so tough it does not crack even under very sever conditions. It also has some of the best lens focus capabilities in its category, you cannot feel shortchanged.
It does not come with a 5-hand grip but the design and texture make it easy to handle for long periods. The flashlight is also waterproof and dustproof making it a tough and durable companion for the outdoors.
Now about those moments in movies where the flashlight goes out when needed the most? Can’t happen with the Fenix. It is digitally regulated which guarantees power and light whenever you need it. Ideally. For good measure, it has a low power warning so you know in good time when you need to change the batteries.
With multiple output modes and a turbo mode for when power is low, the Fenix wins the practicality battle.
Our Flashlights Review Criteria
We review flashlights based on many factors but the key ones are brightness and toughness. This is because we believe that tactical flashlights must meet these basic standards for being called tactical, otherwise they may just as well be kitchen and garage torches. We have therefore made sure to present you only with products that we have tested and proven to be powerful and sturdy enough to give you good value for your money. All of the flashlights we have reviewed can withstand rough handling and extreme environmental conditions to varying levels. Your choice should be guided by your purpose and general activities. Which takes us to the next factor we have taken into consideration:
Use. As we said in the beginning of the review, different tactical flashlights work best for different purposes. The x700 is best for military use and use in extreme weather conditions. The Fenix is best for spending long periods in the outdoor. The Shadowhawx X800 is great for lawmen. The Lumitact G700 is excellent for underwater activities for long periods at a time. And so on.
Some users have more than one flashlight to serve different purposes. The important thing to note is that you must try get the best in its category, and that’s what we have tried to help you do with this review.
Price is another very key factor we have considered. Many of the tactical flashlight products we have reviewed have costlier alternatives but these alternatives do not provide any significant advantages to warrant a mention. We seek to help you find the perfect balance of affordability, functionality and durability.
Other very important factors we have taken into consideration include power source (read reliability) and portability. All of these factors form our checklist for reviewing tactical flashlights. If you want to purchase a tactical flashlight that is guaranteed to serve your purpose, we have provided you with some of the best options around.
Tactical flashlights are a very important part of the gear for both outdoor and indoor activities. There are several tactical flashlights available in the market, even by a single brand. It is easy to get carried away by singular factors such as design, brightness or a dazzling demonstration of toughness. But if you do not know what to look out for, you may end up buying a product that isn’t really what you need.
Expert advice: When buying a tactical flashlight, the fundamental thing to consider is what you need it for. With this in mind, you can then try to find the right balance of all the other key factors such as price, portability, ease of use, durability, brightness, power source. You can hardly go wrong with this practice.