Survival Tactical

Best Tactical Flashlight Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best tactical flashlight? Then read on as we review all the top options on the market right now with Pros & Cons.

You don’t realize just how important it is to have a flashlight until you find yourself stuck in the dark. In fact, it’s a must-have tool when hunting, camping, or even when the power goes out in the neighborhood during a heavy storm.

But, a regular old flashlight might not be enough.

That’s where tactical flashlights enter the picture. Tactical flashlights are built to be heavy-duty and extremely high-powered. They can allow you to see hundreds of yards out in the distance, can temporarily blind a potential attacker, and can even resist impact and water damage.

They’re so dependable that they’re used by law enforcement officers and military personnel.

You don’t want to impulsively buy a flashlight, especially when it comes to emergency situations or self-defense purposes. So, we’re going to be reviewing some of the best tactical flashlights on the market today. Then, we’ll discuss everything you need to think about before buying.

Top 3 Picks

Best Pick: GearLight M3 LED Tactical Flashlight

GearLight M3 LED Tactical Flashlight [2 PACK] with Belt Clip, Batteries Included - Zoomable, 3 Modes, Water Resistant, Small Mini Light - Best Everyday Carry Flashlights
  • SMALL & TACTICAL - The M3's lightweight, all-metal, and practical design makes it a perfect companion while camping, fishing, hunting or dog walking. Its small size conveniently fits in your pocket, purse, or handbag. Built-in clip attaches to your belt for easy carry and quick access.
  • BRIGHT, SUPER EFFICIENT LED - High performance LED generates up to 300 lumens and delivers up to 3 hours of non-diminishing brightness on a single AA battery. (Batteries are included).
  • ZOOMABLE | THREE OPERATING MODES - Zoom out for a wide beam that lights up an entire tent or instantly focuses in on objects a hundred feet away. 3 lighting modes offer the illumination and versatility for any situation (High, Low, and Flash/Strobe).
  • WEATHER RESISTANT | ALUMINIUM BODY - Built for rough handling, this aluminum flashlight can survive accidental drops, temporary water submersions, and perform reliably in all weather conditions. Suitable for use in heavy rain, snow, or emergencies.
  • EXCEPTIONAL VALUE | INCLUDES 2 FLASHLIGHTS - Keep one in your car, one in your home, or gift one to a friend or family member. Every purchase comes with an extended one-year return policy and friendly customer service provided by GearLight, a U.S.-based company.

Why spend a ton of money on one tactical flashlight when you can get two for a reasonably low price? What’s great about this flashlight is that it boasts an impressive 300 lumens and three light modes: High, low, and strobe. It’s extremely small, can attach to your belt loop, and is resistant to most types of weather. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth, and then some.

Premium Pick: SureFire G2X Series LED Flashlight

SureFire G2X Tactical Single-Output LED Flashlight with Tactical tailcap click switch, Black
  • Virtually indestructible LED emitter regulated to maximize light output and runtimex
  • Single high output level of 600 lumens for maximum light
  • Tactical tailcap click switch—partially press for momentary-on; push further until it clicks for constant-on
  • Precision micro-textured reflector creates smooth, optimized beam
  • Tough Nitrolon body, anodized aluminum bezel, Tough polycarbonate window resists impact

Why settle for a cheap tactical flashlight when you spend the majority of your time outdoors? What’s impressive about this flashlight is that it offers between 15 and 400 lumens of brightness, making it perfect for around the home use as well as prolonged outdoor use. You can see close to 200 meters in the distance and expect this flashlight to provide hours of continuous use.

Best Budget Pick: LLarmn LED Tactical Flashlight

LED Tactical Flashlight Portable Handheld Flashlights Adjustable Focus 5 Light Modes High Lumen (18650 Battery and Charger Included) for Emergency & Camping Hiking & Outdoor Activities
  • 5 Switch Modes: 5 light modes can be easily converted, high / middle / low / strobe / sos, suitable for various situations such as outdoor activities, tactical use, camping, hiking, fishing, home use as a powerful emergency light. This flashlight is anti-skid, wear-resistant and waterproof, making it a better experience to use.
  • Super Bright: Our flashlight uses the latest durable CREE XML T6 LED chip, offer super bright 1000Lumens, makes our flashlight much brighter than the old incandescent light.
  • Adjustable Focus: You can adjust its focus for different circumstances, stretch to adjust its focus and get the lighting effect you want. It is very suitable for long-distance observation and large-scale lighting.
  • High Quality: This flashlight is made with high quality aluminum alloy, which is sturdy and durable enough for long time daily using.It uses a standard AAA battery or a 1x18650 rechargeable button lithium ion battery(18650 Battery and Charger are Included).
  • Portable: The flashlight is small in size and easy to carry. It can be put in your pocket or backpack and you can easily bring it wherever you go. Push-button tail switch for easy one-handed operation.

Why spend a ton on a flashlight when you can get a heavy-duty choice for a fraction of the price? What’s neat about this LED flashlight is that it boasts an incredible 1,000 lumens and five unique light modes: High, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. You also have the choice between lithium-ion or AAA batteries, so you have a little more freedom based on what’s available to you.

Top 7 Reviews

Best Pick: GearLight M3 LED Tactical Flashlight

The problem with a lot of tactical flashlights is that you’re spending a ton of money on flashlights that don’t seem to stand the test of time. This product actually offers a two-pack of heavy-duty tactical flashlights for less than $20 in total. Now, you can keep a flashlight in your car in case you ever find yourself stranded and keep one on your person for emergency situations.

Just because you’re saving a ton of money on these tactical flashlights doesn’t mean you’re risking quality. With over 300 lumens of brightness, this flashlight can illuminate objects over 100 feet in the distance. Though this isn’t as impressive as some of the others on our list, this flashlight will come in handy when walking through the neighborhood or scoping out your yard.

The best part is that you don’t have to worry about this tactical flashlight falling apart any time soon. Since it’s made of high-quality aluminum, it’s both durable and resistant to all sorts of environments. That means it’ll be able to handle a little water submersion, rain, and snow. It’s definitely ready for your next camping trip.

Versatility is the highlight of this flashlight. With three different modes, you can use this tactical flashlight just about anywhere. You can take advantage of the strobe mode if you find yourself lost in the wilderness and in need of rescue.

Or, you can use the high or low modes with the zoom feature to personalize your beam and field of vision. Give yourself a wide view of your immediate surroundings or focus in on a specific object in the distance.

Pros:
  • It actually comes with batteries
  • Able to handle submersion and mild weather (rain and snow)
  • Very portable at just 4” long
  • Made of heavy-duty aluminum (high strength and durability)
  • Two-pack, so you can have one in your car and one in your toolbox
Cons:
  • Battery life might not be as long as claimed

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Premium Pick: SureFire G2X Series LED Flashlight

When you buy a cheap tactical flashlight, you can never be sure what you’re actually getting. They might work just fine for a few days or even a few months, but they might fail when you actually really need them. So, what we like most aboutthis specific tactical flashlight is that it’s truly built to last.

This tactical flashlight is labeled as being “indestructible,” and we completely understand why. First off, you have the Nitron exterior, which is built to resist all types of falls, drops, and even water damage. Plus, this tactical flashlight boasts a design that keeps all dust and water out, so you can use this flashlight in severe storms or in a dusty construction site without worry.

Even though you’re spending a little more on this flashlight, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. Not only is this flashlight designed to last for years, but it’s also completely useful in just about any situation. It boasts an impressive 400 lumens for outdoor use when camping or hiking, but also supplies a mere 15 lumens for use around the home or in the car.

So what does that mean for you? On a single charge, this flashlight can last between 1 ½ and 52 hours, though this obviously depends on the intensity of the light you’re putting out. It can also provide you with up to 200 meters of visibility with just the simple click of a button. And, given how lightweight this flashlight is, you don’t have to worry about lugging it around with you all day.

Pros:
  • Able to attach to firearms for better visibility when hunting
  • Supports up to 200 meters of visibility
  • Extremely lightweight and easy to use
  • Can last between 1 ½ and 52 hours (depending on the mode)
  • Indestructible to falls and weather
Cons:
  • At over 5”, it is a little long

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Budget Pick: LLarmn LED Tactical Flashlight

As much as a three-mode tactical flashlight sounds like a dream, it does have its limitations. That’s why you’ll want to give this tactical flashlight a try, with five unique modes: High, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. That makes it the perfect solution for outdoor use, indoor use, and even emergency use while out in the wild.

Even though not much is known about this flashlight due to a lack of user reviews, there are some key features that you’ll definitely like. First off, you’ll definitely enjoy the 1,000 lumens supported by this flashlight. That’s incredibly bright and can prove very beneficial when you’re camping or hunting and need to check out your surroundings.

This tactical flashlight is also pretty impressive when it comes to durability and strength. It’s anti-skid, waterproof, and weather-resistant. So, you can expect this tactical flashlight to hold up during a perfectly sunny day, torrential downpours, and even in more rugged environments. You don’t have to go out of your way to keep this flashlight “safe.” Just do what you normally do!

What’s also pretty cool is that this flashlight can be powered by either AAA or lithium-ion batteries. That means you don’t have to wait four or more hours for your battery to charge before you continue your journey. Be sure to pack extra AAA batteries and easily pop them in when your lithium-ion battery dies or fades.

Last but not least, you have the zoom and spotlight features. Seeing your surroundings is great, but sometimes you want to focus on a specific object way off in the distance. Just set the zoom feature on and get a little closer look at that animal, person, or object in the distance.

Pros:
  • Offers a zoom feature for more direct viewing
  • Can support both AAA and lithium-ion batteries
  • Boasts an impressive 1,000 lumens
  • Able to withstand water, weather, and all types of falls
  • Comes with a strobe and SOS feature for safety
Cons:
  • No information on battery life or distance supported

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OxyLED Rechargeable LED Tactical Flashlight

A normal everyday flashlight just won’t cut it when you spend the majority of your time outdoors. It’s time that you purchase a tactical flashlight that can handle just about any situation without letting you down. With the 900 lumen capability of this tactical flashlight, you can rest easy knowing you’re protected.

It would honestly be hard to find a tactical flashlightas durable and bright as this one. The 900 lumens of brightness can provide you with visibility well into the distance, but this feature is also substantial when it comes to blinding an attacker in an emergency situation.

What’s most substantial about this tactical flashlight is that it boasts five light modes, not the typical three modes. The high and medium modes are perfect for camping, hiking, or fighting off an attacker. The low mode is better for indoor usage or when highlighting objects, people, or animals in your immediate reach. Most importantly, this tactical flashlight has both a strobe and SOS feature, so you can depend on this flashlight to alert the authorities if you’re in danger.

Durability is also not lacking with this tactical flashlight. Made of a tough aluminum alloy, this tactical flashlight is built to withstand normal drops, bangs, and vibrations. Add that to the lack of corrosion and rust and you’ve got yourself the perfect tactical flashlight for outdoor use. The fact that it’s water-resistant makes this flashlight capable of withstanding even the heaviest storms.

What’s also pretty neat is the battery type. It comes with a lithium-ion battery that can power this flashlight for between 6 and 12 hours on a single charge, but there will be times when you need a little more battery life. If the lithium-ion battery dies while in use, you can easily swap in regular batteries and power it right back up.

Pros:
  • Five modes (low, medium, high, strobe, and SOS)
  • Offers an impressive 900 lumens for optimal brightness
  • Functions with both lithium-ion and regular batteries
  • Up to 12 hours of performance (on low) while using lithium-ion battery
  • Supports over 50,000 hours of light
Cons:
  • A little large, so might not fit all pockets

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GearLight TAC LED Tactical Flashlight

It doesn’t make sense to spend a ton of money on a tactical flashlight if you don’t plan to use it all that much. So, you’ll most definitely appreciate the affordability and durability of this flashlight. In fact, you’re actually getting two flashlights with your purchase, so you can keep one in your car or toolbox and carry another with you during your day-to-day activities.

The problem with a lot of flashlights is that they offer several modes. That means it might take you an absurd amount of time to find the setting that you’re actually looking to use. This can be extremely dangerous if you need a bright flashlight right now. With the click of the button, you’re getting one bright mode and that’s it. It doesn’t get more simple than that.

But, what you’ll probably enjoy most is just how portable this tactical flashlight is. It fits easily into the palm of your hand, that’s for sure. What’s even better is that you can attach it to your belt loop or make use of the hand straps. No matter which of these you choose to use, you’ll be sure that you have immediate access to your flashlight at all times.

Another thing we think you’ll like is that it has two power options: 3 AAA batteries or a lithium-ion battery. You can depend on the lithium-ion battery in more intense situations, but you can also pack some extra AAA batteries as a backup on particularly long adventures.

Most importantly, this flashlight can withstand just about any environment or journey. It’s able to resist damage caused by water, snow, drops and falls, rain, and even some submersion in water. That means you can use this flashlight anywhere, whether your adventure brings you to your own basement or 3 miles into the wilderness during a stormy hike.

Pros:
  • One light mode for a user-friendly experience
  • Powered by either AAA batteries or a lithium-ion battery
  • Can withstand just about any environment or occassion
  • Comes in a two pack for an even better investment
  • Attaches to your belt loops or your hands via straps
Cons:
  • Doesn’t come with batteries, so be sure to buy those separately

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LumiNRG Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight

The trouble with using regular batteries is that they die quickly and don’t seem to give you all that much power. Plus, the money you’re spending every year on batteries will become a little excessive if you use your flashlight quite often. So, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery with this tactical flashlight might be what you’re looking for.

We haven’t seen a flashlight quite as intense as this one. Most importantly, this flashlight can support up to 2,000 lumens. That means you might be able to see up to 1,200 feet into the distance without issue. But, don’t assume that means the battery life isn’t impressive. You can actually get up to four hours of use on high and 10 hours on medium, which is great.

When the battery does begin to die, you don’t have to worry about swapping out batteries and hooking them up to a charger. All you have to do is connect a microUSB charger to this flashlight and it’ll be charged before you know it.

But, it would be hard to find a flashlight that offers modes like this one. It obviously has the typical medium, high, and strobe settings like just about every other tactical flashlight out there. But, it also has a lantern mode, which can give you 360 degrees of light. Just set the flashlight on the ground when camping and you’ve got yourself a makeshift lantern and a well-lit campsite.

As if this flashlight didn’t seem great enough, there are a few more features that’ll impress you. First off, it has a magnetic base. This can allow you to attach your flashlight to your car or another magnetic surface so you can get hands-free lighting. But, it’s also 100% weatherproof, so it’ll function just fine, even if the sky above you opens up suddenly.

Pros:
  • Offers an impressive 360-degree lantern mode
  • Can be charged with the assistance of a microUSB cord
  • Up to 10 hours of runtime on medium setting
  • 100% weatherproof for versatility
  • Magnetic base for hands-free lighting anywhere
Cons:
  • Doesn’t offer removable batteries

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Streamlight 88062 ProTac 2L-X 500 lm Professional Tactical Flashlight

Though this product is the last on our list, that doesn’t at all mean that it’s not cut out for tactical uses. In fact, this flashlight offers perhaps the most impressive lifespan for its LED light at over 50,000 hours. So, you can be sure that this tactical flashlight will last you for years or even decades without issue.

With up to 500 lumens of brightness at the high setting, you can see up to 165 meters in the distance with up to 3 hours of support. That means you can see across a field, across a river, or even across your farm without a problem. The low setting offers a mere 40 lumens and 49 meters of visibility for up to 30 hours of power. This is perfect for indoor use if you plan to leave your flashlight in your toolbox.

What’s definitely worth mentioning is how this tactical flashlight is actually powered. You have two rechargeable options: USB or lithium-ion. That gives you a little more freedom with how you use your flashlight depending on what’s actually available to you. Just keep in mind that it might take up to five hours to charge your battery, so leave yourself some time to recharge it prior.

Durability is definitely one of the speaking points of this tactical flashlight. It’s resistant to corrosion and normal drops and falls, so you can be sure that this flashlight will survive just about any adventure. But, what’s most notable is how waterproof it is. This flashlight can actually survive being submerged in up to 2 meters of water, perfect for hiking or camping.

And, you definitely don’t have to be worried about safety when it comes to this tactical flashlight. Most importantly, it can support strobe lighting for over four hours, which will definitely come in handy if you get lost or stranded while on a hike or injured outdoors.

Pros:
  • Can also be attached to firearms as well
  • Supports four hours of strobe lighting on a charge
  • Lasts for up to 30 hours on a low setting
  • USB or lithium-ion battery
  • 500 lumens of brightness is pretty decent
Cons:
  • Five hours to recharge is a little long
  • Doesn’t have the option to pair with AA or AAA batteries

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Other Best Selling Options

Bestseller No. 1
GearLight TAC LED Tactical Flashlight [2 PACK] - Single Mode, High Lumen, Zoomable, Water Resistant, Flash Light - Camping Accessories, Emergency Gear, Flashlights with Clip
  • POWERFUL COMPACT FLASHLIGHT - The TAC upgraded LED casts a wide beam that effortlessly illuminates a whole room or backyard, yet remains small enough for every day carry (EDC). Conveniently powered for hours with 3 AAA batteries or a single 18650 rechargeable battery. (Batteries not included.)
  • ONE MODE OPERATION WITH ADJUSTABLE FOCUS - No more cycling through endless modes! With one simple touch, this flash light will deliver a powerful beam where you need it. Use the adjustable zoom to focus in on faraway objects or zoom out to light up a wide area.
  • ANTISLIP ALL-METAL BODY WITH REMOVABLE CLIP - The knurled design and tough military grade metal body make it a reliable choice for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, or in tactical situations. The built-in removable clip conveniently attaches to your tool belt or pocket for quick access.
  • WEATHER & SHOCK RESISTANT - Made for rough handling, this flashlight will endure an earthquake, heavy rain, snow, and other extreme weather. Tough enough to withstand accidental drops and temporary water submersions, you can count on this light during power outages, roadside repairs, and safety emergencies.
  • EXCEPTIONAL VALUE I INCLUDES 2 FLASHLIGHTS - Keep one in your car, one in your home, or gift one to a friend or family member.
Bestseller No. 2
LETMY LED Tactical Flashlight, Ultra Bright 2000 Lumen XML T6 LED Flashlights With 5 Modes, Zoomable and Water Resistant for Camping Biking Hiking Home Emergency, 2 Pack
  • 【BRIGHTEST & LONG-LASTING】 LETMY high lumens flashlights use the BEST XML T6 LED Chip, not other cheap XML T6 ones, emit 2000 lumens, 70% brighter than basic LED flashlight. High performance LED flashlight with high quality of 50,000 hours working life.
  • 【ADJUSTABLE FOCUS & FIVE MODES】 Powerful LED generates a brilliant large area floodlight or a perfectly focused spotlight. Adjustable focus with 5 modes: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS. A full-press to switch on and off and a half-press to cycle through lighting modes (a rapid off-on press also cycles lighting modes). Convenient for your using.
  • 【WATERPROOF & HIGH QUALITY FLASHLIGHTS】IPX6 Waterproof, LETMY flash light can waterproof from splashing water from any angle and heatproof. Made of aluminum alloy and rubber. Durable military grade aluminum alloy crust, abrasion resistance. Conveniently takes 3 AAA batteries or one 18650 rechargeable battery. (Batteries not included)
  • 【UPGRADED NEW DESIGN】The flashlight tail adopts the newest design, making it more comfortable to press and more convenient to use. A pocket-friendly belt clip make it easy to carry, anti-slip finish holds fast in your hand and hand strip stands on-end as an emergency light.
  • 【EXCEPTIONAL VALUE】Include 2 tactical flashlights, keep one in your car, one in your home, or gift one to a friend or family member, great idea as a Christmas gift. Every genuine LETMY flash lights comes with a 2-year replacement warranty and friendly customer service by LETMY, a U.S.-based company.
Bestseller No. 3
Vont 'Blaze' Tactical Flashlight (2 PACK) LED Flashlights, Extremely Bright Flash Light, High Lumen, Adjustable Beam, Water-resistant, Gear & Accessories for Hiking, Camping, Survival, Emergency
  • BRILLIANTLY BRIGHT & VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE – Ultra High-powered proprietary vLEDs can VIVIDLY light up an entire road or mountain on the darkest of nights. INCREDIBLE BATTERY capacity gives you 2x the beam time competitors can. BUILT TO LAST and SURVIVE ABUSE. Testing includes freezing, underwater submersion and running the Blaze over with a full-sized truck!
  • ULTRA LIGHT & ULTRA PORTABLE – Amazingly easy to carry around. ALWAYS THERE when you need it the most. The same 5 TACTICAL Light settings that the U.S. Special Forces Use! (SOS | LOW | MEDIUM | HIGH | STROBE). Fully ADJUSTABLE BEAM WIDTH.
  • RAVE REVIEWS – The Blaze Flashlight is an INCREDIBLE HIT with campers, trekkers and outdoor enthusiasts. “The Dream Flashlight”, “A MUST have”, “Couldn’t Survive without One” – Just some of the things our emphatic customers have said. 2 FREE HOLSTERS are included with every purchase!
  • THE ULTIMATE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST GIFT! – Have a family member or friend who can’t wait to go out on their next trek or camping adventure? Gift them the Blaze Flashlight and watch their FACE LIGHT UP in JOY! Supports rechargeable batteries.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY – The Blaze Flashlight will BLOW YOU AWAY with its brightness, build quality, durability, performance and battery life. And it’s all BACKED BY A LIFETIME WARRANTY. Unhappy with your purchase? Just write to us and get a FULL, NO QUESTIONS ASKED REFUND! Lifetime Warranty & Service provided by Vont.

Tactical Flashlight Buyer’s Guide

Buying a flashlight seems easy enough, but you don’t want to be impulsive with your purchase when it comes to purchasing a flashlight that could potentially save your life. After all, the last thing you want is for your flashlight to fail or be rendered useless when you’re in a life-or-death situation. That’s why we’re going to review the most important things you need to think about before buying a tactical flashlight.

Price

No matter what your budget is, there are dozens of tactical flashlights within your price range.

On the lower end, you can definitely find pretty decent tactical flashlights for less than $20. If you’re on a really tight budget, you might be able to find a few options for less than $10 if you do more thorough research.

This type of tactical flashlight is best if you plan to use it sparingly. So, it’s a great addition to any toolbox for emergency situations (i.e. Power outages or quick repairs). But, low-budget tactical flashlights are often less bright (lumens), have a less impressive battery life, and don’t hold up too well when exposed to water.

On the upper end, you might be spending closer to $50 (or even above $100, in some cases). When you spend a bit more on a tactical flashlight, you’re usually getting a more durable product that you can depend on for years.

You’ll want to bump your budget up if you plan to carry your tactical flashlight with you at all times for self-defense, camping, hiking, or hunting.

Water Resistance & Waterproof

Though the terms “water resistance” and “waterproof” are often used interchangeably in society, they’re two very different concepts. And, not understanding the difference between the two can leave you in a situation where your tactical flashlight is rendered useless.

Water-resistant means a tactical flashlight should be able to withstand light rain and snow. It’ll wick away the water droplets and resist penetration for as long as it possibly can. If you plan to use your tactical flashlight indoors only, water-resistant will be just fine.

Waterproof, on the other hand, means a tactical flashlight can withstand water in practically any sense. It’s more than capable of handling rain and snow and can even be submerged in water (puddles, pools, etc.) for several minutes up to a certain depth. This will come in handy if you’re a hiker, camper, or hunter and spend loads of time outside and around water.

Size & Shape

Whether you’re simply keeping your tactical flashlight in your toolkit or bringing it with you on your journeys, you want to make sure that it’s not too bulky or heavy. That’s especially the case if you plan to hook your tactical flashlight to your waistband or store it in your pocket throughout the day.

If you’re looking for a tactical flashlight that’s more portable, you’ll want to choose a variety that’s between 4” and 5”, or less (if possible). These will do in a pinch and serve a great purpose in emergency or self-defense situations.

If you want to carry your flashlight with you wherever you go, you might want to get a flashlight that has an attached belt clip or even a lanyard that you can use to keep it in your hand. This gives you immediate access to your flashlight wherever you go, without having to fumble with it to get it out of your pocket or your purse in an emergency.

You might want to go a little bigger if you plan to use your flashlight much more often, especially if you hike, camp, or hunt.

Durability

In the perfect world, you would only need your tactical flashlight during power outages or when making minor repairs around the house. But, you might find yourself in a high-intensity emergency situation instead.

That means you might be unable to control the damage that your tactical flashlight takes. It might end up being dropped, knocked into another object, or even run over by a vehicle. So, the material that your tactical flashlight is made of will be extremely important.

If you want your tactical flashlight to last for years, you’ll want to choose one that’s made of some type of aluminum. Not only is this resistant to impact and damage, but it can also hold off rust and other minor damages.

Lumens

The lumens of a tactical flashlight describes just how bright the light produced really is. For household purposes, you don’t need a flashlight with more than 150 lumens. When it comes to using your tactical flashlight outdoors and providing yourself with visibility way off into the distance, you won’t want anything lower than 250 lumens.

Just how far in the distance you can see with your tactical flashlight depends on the width of the beam and the lumens in your flashlight. The exact distance will vary based on the manufacturer, so be sure to look for specifics when looking over product listings.

Lifespan of Battery

You’ll find that most tactical flashlights are powered by some form of battery.

In most of the higher end tactical flashlights, you’ll see that they’re powered by high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. Not only do these provide much better lighting and last longer while in use, but they can be recharged. This is what you’re looking for if you plan to use your flashlight often and want to save money on batteries.

Lithium ion batteries can provide well over 12 hours of use per charge. And, some are able to charge with the help of a USB or microUSB capable, which means you don’t have to worry about losing your batteries when you go to charge them. Just plug in the flashlight and charging will start!

Simplistic tactical flashlights are powered by AA or AAA batteries instead. Though they definitely are more convenient since you don’t have to wait several hours to recharge them, they usually have a shorter lifespan and are significantly less powerful

One AA battery might only last a few hours before needing to be replaced.

It’s also important to point out that some tactical flashlights can actually support several types of batteries. You’ll want to use your lithium-ion battery whenever possible for the ideal experience, but you might be able to swap in some AA or AAA batteries if your lithium-ion battery dies before your journey is over.

The good news is that there are ways to extend your battery life a little. Using your tactical flashlight at a lower power setting will drain your battery much less, which can give you several more hours of use before needing to recharge or replace the battery. So, only use high-output settings when you’re in dire situations.

Modes

As simple as regular flashlights are, tactical flashlights usually have more than one mode or setting that gives you plenty of ways to use them.

For example, most good tactical flashlights have different light intensities. So, you can switch between high, medium, and low depending on the situation. High would be best if you need to see far out into the distance while outdoors. Low and medium are better if you need short distance illumination, likely most useful when inside.

But, you absolutely need the flash/strobe settings if you plan to use your tactical flashlight when outdoors. This will cause your flashlight to blink (sometimes even in an SOS pattern), which can help to draw the attention of those nearby. This can alert people that you’re in danger and need assistance when hiking, camping, or hunting.

Zoom Features

You might be looking for a tactical flashlight to give you a little visibility when you’re outdoors. But, there might be times when you need a little more focus on certain things off in the distance. That’s where you’ll want a flashlight that has a zoom feature.

With the simple click of a button, you can narrow the width of the beam to get a little more clarity on a specific object or person. You won’t necessarily need this feature, but it does come in handy if you plan to hunt or camp.

Other Features

In addition to the basics, there are some other things you’ll want to look for when making your purchase. So, here’s a look at some other things you might want in your flashlight.

  • Two-pack: You don’t need two flashlights, but it’s always nice to have a back-up if one happens to die. Plus, you can keep one in your car or your toolbox and one on your person so you always have a flashlight no matter where you go.
  • Magnetic base: This comes in handy if you’re planning to use this flashlight to work on your car. Just attach the magnetic base beneath the hood or to the side of your car and you have hands-free lighting.
  • Firearm attachment: Quite a few tactical flashlights out there can actually be installed on your firearms to give you better visibility when hunting at night. But, not all flashlights can double as a firearm light, so read the fine print.

Keep in mind that our top choice might not be best for your needs. So, consider what you’re truly looking for in a tactical flashlight and begin narrowing down the options.

Tactical Flashlight FAQ

What makes a flashlight tactical?

Tactical flashlights are ideal in emergency situations and self-defense scenarios. They’re extremely high-powered, provide an incredible amount of brightness, last for sometimes up to 12 hours on a single charge, and offer several light modes. They’re reliable and go much further than the typical home flashlight. That’s exactly why they’re a core piece of equipment for military personnel, firefighters, and police officers.

How many lumens is a tactical flashlight?

There’s a huge range when it comes to the lumens offered in a tactical flashlight. For use indoors and in tight spaces, a tactical flashlight with around 150 lumens is just fine. When you plan to use your flashlight while adventuring outdoors, 250 lumens or more is better. The higher the lumen count, the further you can see into the distance, so that’s important to consider.

What is a tactical flashlight used for?

A tactical flashlight is much more advanced than a regular at-home flashlight. Though you definitely can store your tactical flashlight in a toolbox for emergencies at home, that’s not really what they’re meant for. They can help you to be aware of your surroundings when outdoors, which can be helpful for self-defense or avoiding dangers in your path.

How far can you see with a tactical flashlight?

The distance you can see will depend on how many lumens the flashlight boasts. The higher the lumens, the further you can see. Some flashlights will provide you with up to ½ mile of visibility. Others are more suitable for seeing a few hundred feet ahead of you.

How much does a tactical flashlight cost?

The price range really depends on what you’re looking for. In some cases, you can buy a tactical flashlight for less than $10, which is perfect if you plan to store your tactical flashlight in your car or purse for emergency situations. When you plan to carry your tactical flashlight with you everywhere, you’ll probably be spending $50 or more for a flashlight that’s durable, long-lasting, and high-powered.

Conclusion

When you’re in the market for a brand new tactical flashlight, you want to make sure that you’re doing your research before finally buying a product. You first need to think about how you’ll use it, when you’ll use it, and how dependable you want your flashlight to be.

Our top choice for tactical flashlight goes to the GearLight M3 LED Tactical Flashlight. There’s nothing about this flashlight that you won’t love. It boasts three different light modes for optimal safety, 300 lumens of brightness for incredible illumination in the distance, and a weather-resistant design that makes this tactical flashlight perfect in any environment.

Better yet, it comes with two flashlights in a package for a very reasonable price. You can easily keep one in your car for emergency situations while storing another one on your person as you go about your day.

Jake

Jake is an explorer, he loves all types of outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing & hiking. Jake has been a full-time writer & blogger for many years now and he's here to share his passions with the BeActiveOutdoors readers. Contact Jake@beactiveoutdoors.com

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