A tactical flashlight can be one of the most important survival items you can keep on hand. I’m sure we’ve all experienced loss of electricity and the first thing you do is destroy the house looking for the family flashlight only to find out the batteries are dead! This is why I always suggest keeping multiple, high-quality tactical flashlights all over the place and letting every member of the household know where they are. In fact, keep one that you only use for lights-out situations.
Tactical Flashlight VS Regular Flashlight
You may be wondering if you really need a tactical flashlight or can you just use a regular flashlight similar to the ones you may find at Walmart. Tactical flashlights are tougher, brighter and longer-lasting than regular flashlights. You can even use a tactical flashlight as a self-defense tool due to its brightness and hard outer casing. Many tactical flashlights are bright enough to incapacitate an attacker for those few seconds you need to escape.
Tactical flashlights are made to military specifications if you choose the right brands. You can also recharge most of them by plugging them into the wall so you won’t have to spend as much money on batteries.
Check out our article on the best Weapon Lights!
Best Rechargeable Flashlight
Many tactical flashlights are rechargeable and come with everything you need to plug them into the wall. This feature can save money on batteries and will ensure that you always have the power to use your tactical flashlight. Some of the smaller tactical flashlights may not have this option, but they are still useful to put in your shirt or pants pocket for when you need them. I personally carry at least 2-3 tactical flashlights and keep a few in my bag just in case.
This list will give you information on choosing tactical flashlights. These are tougher than what you will normally find in stores. Not saying those won’t work when you need a light, but you’re probably like me and want something durable, will always work and can be used in a self-defense situation.
You’ll likely see the word lumen when choosing a tactical flashlight. This is just a measure of how much light the flashlight will emit. The more lumens, the bright and more powerful the light will be.
Flashlights are one of the top items that should go in your EDC (Every Day Carry) kit. It should be right up there with a pocket knife or neck knife as far as importance. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed a flashlight and didn’t have one. Tactical flashlights are great for hunting due to their rugged design.
Here’s Why You Need a Tactical Flashlight:
- Tactical flashlights are more powerful than regular flashlights.
- They’re more durable and are made with high-density materials that can take a beating and continue working.
- Tactical flashlights are bright enough to be used for self-defense situations.
- Many tactical flashlights are nearly impossible to break even with heavy-duty use.
- Tactical flashlights are compact and far more powerful than your everyday flashlight.
- You can mount them to a firearm by using a tactical flashlight mount.
You’ve probably read a ton of tactical flashlight reviews trying to find the best product out there. We’ve compiled a list of the best tactical flashlights on the market:
Olight Seeker 3 Pro 4200 Lumens
Olight makes amazing tactical flashlights and the Seeker 3 Pro is one of the best. It’s designed to be extremely bright and is perfect for hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, search and rescue and for around the house. This Olight flashlight comes equipped with 4 cool white LEDs that are extremely powerful and have an output of 4,200 lumens that will light up your target. It can throw a beam up to 250 meters so you can see what’s in front of you.
The Olight Seeker 3 Pro is rechargeable and easy to use. The rotary knob on top allows you to choose from 5 levels of brightness depending on how much power you need. It even has battery level indicators so that you know exactly how much power you have left. The last thing you want is for your flashlight to go out when you really need it and the Olight Seeker 3 Pro lets you know when it’s time to charge the batteries.
One feature that we love about this Olight flashlight is that it has built-in proximity and a thermal sensor that prevents overheating. You can run this powerful LED flashlight for up to 15 days on a charge and you can easily recharge the battery. We think the Olight Seeker 3 Pro is one of the best tactical flashlights out there due to many factors such as brightness, ease of use, safety features and the 5 brightness levels.
You can check out other Olight flashlights HERE.
WUBEN C3 1200 Lumens Flashlight EDC
The WUBEN C3 flashlight makes a great addition to any EDC loadout. Many people shop for the biggest, brightest flashlights they can find, but in reality, most people can get more use from a compact, yet bright flashlight that’s easy to carry. The WUBEN C3 delivers a whopping 1200 lumens which are perfect for an EDC flashlight. You don’t want a flashlight that’s too big or it could be overkill. You can throw a light 179 meters on average with the C3 and it has 6 modes for any activity: low, med, high, Eco, strobe and SOS.
Not only is this tactical flashlight extremely powerful for the size, but it’s also ultra-lightweight and can easily fit in your pocket or can be clipped to your MOLLE bag. If you spend time outdoors, you need a flashlight that can handle anything that life throws at you. The WUBEN C3 is rated for heavy-duty use thanks to the design choices and the fact that it’s made with aircraft-grade alumina alloy. It can also survive underwater for a short amount of time. If you’re looking for a tough, compact, and powerful little flashlight, the WUBAN C3 is a great place to start.
SureFire Fury Dual-Fuel Series
This pocket-sized tactical flashlight uses a super high efficiency LED to produce either 15 or 500 lumens of focused and powerful light. It has a click-type tail cap switch that allows the user quick access without fumbling around for the switch.
The body of the tactical flashlight Surefire Fury is made from aerospace aluminum and is anodized to military specifications. This makes it tougher than your average flashlight and resistant to cracks, corrosion and dents. You can run it a long time on the battery; the 500-lumen high setting will give you 1.5 hours of light and the lower setting at 15-lumens will run for a whopping 46 hours! That’s plenty of time to get where you need to go.
The Surfire Fury is fairly small and easily fits in your pocket. It measures 5.4″ and weighs only 5.7 ounces including batteries. This is the perfect hunting flashlight because it’s small and powerful. It’s easy to attach to a MOLLE bag for quick access.
We like the SureFire Fury tactical flashlight because it’s compact, bright and is easy to carry.
Olight Warrior X Pro 2100 Lumens
The Olight Warrior X Pro is super bright and reliable. It makes a great tactical flashlight for search and rescue, law enforcement, hunting, fishing, camping and patrolling. It produces up to 2100 lumens that will light up your world and can throw a beam 500 meters in front of you. If you need an incredibly powerful flashlight then the Olight Warrior X Pro is perfect.
This is a rechargeable flashlight that has a powerful battery that can run up to 8-hours. It gives you the option between high/low mode by simply pressing the tail switch to choose. We like the grip and texture of this tactical flashlight because it prevents you from accidentally dropping it and you can attach your flashlight to a strap for safekeeping.
Rechargeable flashlights save you a ton of money on batteries and the Olight Warrior X Pro features a super-fast charging cable. The flashlight itself will vibrate when the power gets low so you will know when you need to recharge it.
We highly recommend this Olight tactical flashlight because it’s designed heavy-duty with an IPX8-rated aluminum alloy body, it’s super bright and charges fast.
Streamlight 88031 ProTac Tactical Flashlight 2L
The ProTac brand was created for trade professionals and law enforcement. It’s a small, but powerful light and offers 3 different programs which consist of high/strobe/low (factory default), high only and low/high. It has a push button tactical tail switch which we always recommend on tactical flashlights. You can easily work it with one hand while your other is on your weapon. You would have a hard time wearing this beast out as it has a 50,000 hour lifetime. It projects 850 lumens. Remember, lumens is how powerful the light is.
The Streamlight 88031 is probably the best tactical flashlight under $50 and makes a great flashlight for hunting, camping or as you everyday carry.
Pelican 7620 Tactical Flashlight
The Pelican 7620 is one of the larger tactical flashlights Pelican makes. It’s tough, rugged and perfect for anyone looking for a dependable flashlight. It produces up to 1124 Lumens that will light up your world. This Pelican flashlight can be powered by either 2 AAs, a CR123, 3.CR123 or Pelican rechargeable batteries for more options.
The great thing about the Pelican 7620 is the fact that it’s programmable and has five selectable programs. You can choose between low, high, medium and strobe depending on the circumstances. This is a tough Pelican tactical flashlight that has a type III hard-anodized finish that will last a long time.
Pelican 7600 Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight 944 Lumens
The Pelican 7600 is one of the best rechargeable tactical flashlights on the market. It’s compact, extremely powerful and has multiple modes. It has 944 lumens in high mode, 479 lumens in medium mode and 37 lumens in low mode. The Pelican 7600 has a beam distance of up to 225 meters which is more than most flashlights can handle.
The aluminum body has an anodized finish that makes this flashlight tough and rugged enough for the harshest conditions. A tactical flashlight with rechargeable batteries is a great way to save money in the long run. It has a long run time that makes it great for emergencies or as your everyday flashlight. The battery level indicator lets you know when it’s time to recharge.
The Pelican 7600 tactical flashlight has 3 LED colors (green, white and red) and has 4 modes including strobe. We like this tactical flashlight because it gives you tons of options, modes and colors that can be used for different activities.
Nitecore P20iX 4000 Lumen USB-C Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
The Nitecore P20iX tactical flashlight has an output of 4,000 Lumens that’s extremely bright and will light up your path. It can easily reach 241 yards with a powerful beam. The Nitecore flashlight features 4 brightness levels for different tasks or missions. The strobe function is a great tool to have for self-defense situations as it can produce dizzying effects in an attacker. It even has a glass-breaking tool for extreme emergencies such as getting trapped in your vehicle.
You never know what type of conditions you will encounter so it’s a great idea to have a waterproof tactical flashlight. The Nitecore P20iX is IP68 waterproof and features impact protection in the event you drop or bump your flashlight. We like the fact that you can quickly recharge via a USB-C port. A full charge will give you up to 350 hours of runtime on the low setting and a half-hour of 4,000 Lumens turbo setting.
Here’s what you get: The Nitecore P20iX tactical flashlight, CR123 battery magazine, NL2150HPi 5000mAh battery, USB-C charging cable, NTH20 holster, spare O-ring, lanyard, clip and the LumenTac battery organizer. This is one of the best rechargeable tactical flashlight kits you will find.
Fenix FX-PD35TAC Tactical Flashlight
The Fenix FX-PD35TAC is one of the most powerful tactical flashlights in its class. It has an output of 1000 Lumens and 6 different modes to give you plenty of options. It comes equipped with 5 regular settings plus a strobe for when you need it.
This is an incredibly rugged tactical flashlight that will last for years through heavy-duty use. The body is made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it tough but lightweight. It only weighs 3.1 oz and is easy to attach to a MOLLE bag or simply put it in your pocket.
The battery is powerful and can last up to 140 hours on the low setting and an hour and 10 minutes on the highest setting. That’s plenty of time to get back to civilization or to work on your vehicle on the side of the road.
We like the Fenix FX-PD35TAC because it’s dependable, easy to carry and has tons of options and modes.
Pelican 1910 Flashlight
The Pelican 1910 flashlight is a no-nonsense flashlight that gets the job done. It has both high and low modes that can produce up to 106 lumens which is plenty for most tasks. It’s powered by a single AAA battery and has an easy-to-use on/off switch. This flashlight is different from many other tactical flashlights on the market because it doesn’t have complicated buttons, switches or multiple features that you simply don’t need.
This is a super bright flashlight that will light up a large area and fits in the palm of your hand. You would be surprised that this small flashlight by Pelican actually outperforms many expensive tactical flashlights you may find out there. Pelican products are well-known for being tough and affordable and the 1910 flashlight is a great choice. It’s also ingress protected IPX7 and is perfect for all types of tasks or jobs. The Pelican 1910 flashlight comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee from Pelican.
SOG Dark Energy 750A Tactical Flashlight
I’m sure almost everyone has heard of SOG. They make dependable products at a respectable price. The Dark Energy line of flashlights are high quality. This particular one emits 687 lumens, which puts it near the top of our list and has 5 modes to give you options; 100%, 40%, reading level, tactical strobe and momentary one settings. It’s 6 inches long and weighs 6.6 ounces which makes it one of the brightest in its class. The battery can run for more than 4 days on the lowest level. It’s waterproof and SOG will consider repairs and replacements for your gear as long as you properly maintain it.
Tactical flashlight rechargeable batteries can be helpful if you hate buying batteries all the time.
Thrunite TN12 2016 XP-L
The ThruNite is one of the best tactical flashlights you can buy. This brute put out a max 1100 lumens with one 18659 battery. Small, yet powerful and can fit in your pocket with ease. Great for hiking, camping, law enforcement, military, hunting and any other outdoor activities. Also great for home use.
The only thing we didn’t like about this entry is the side switch. I prefer to have the button on the butt of my tactical flashlight, this one is on the side. Not a big issue, but it feels easier to hit the button on the bottom and not the side. This option also comes with various modes to give you more use for this cool little tactical flashlight.
The Thrunite is a tough little flashlight that’s easy to carry and makes a great flashlight for hunting, fishing, camping and more.
The Best Tactical Flashlights Under $25
Yifeng XML T6 (2-Pack) Tactical Flashlights
These run for around $15 for a package of two. Almost disposable tactical flashlights due to their price. Obviously, they aren’t as high powered as other entries on this tactical flashlight list, but they’re bright and you get two in a package. They will do the trick for hiking, camping and home use. These have 5 modes; 3 brightness levels and 2 security design modes. They can provide spotlight for up to 600 feet and circle floodlight to illuminate a large area. They use either 1×18650 Li-on Rechargeable Battery or you can use 3x AAA batteries.
GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 (2-Pack)
Here’s another 2-pack that can light up your world and not break the bank. These are under $20 for 2. They are zoomable, 5 modes of function, LED light source and just above 5 ounces. Cheap enough to lose on a hiking trail.
Tactical flashlight LED bulbs are extremely powerful and are perfect for around the house, camping, hiking, hunting and other outdoor activities.
Outlite High Lumens Tactical Flashlight
This tactical flashlight comes with an adjustable focus for long range viewing up to 600 feet. It takes 1×18650 lithium-ion battery or 3x AAA batteries. Five light modes which include 3 brightness levels and strobe, plus an SOS emergency mode. It has a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours or more and is waterproof. (Don’t put it directly into the water).
Streamlight 66121 Stylus Pro Penlight 90 Lumens
We decided to include something a little fun in this list of tactical flashlights; the StreamLight Stylus Pro Penlight Tactical Flashlight Pen. It’s the size of a pen and can fit in your shirt pocket. Corrosion and water resistant designed from machined aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and produces 90 lumens. Tough as nails!
The polycarbonate lens on this tactical flashlight pen is virtually unbreakable. It has a rechargeable battery and charges via USB power sources. We strongly believe in having multiple flashlights in your home, vehicle, camper and anywhere else you may find yourself. Tactical flashlight pens are easy to attach to your MOLLE bag or hunting backpack for when you need extra light.
The Streamlight tactical flashlight pen a highly rated piece of gear that’s cheap enough to buy extras just in case.
Tactical Flashlight FAQ
Tactical Flashlight Vs. Normal Flashlight
A tactical flashlight is basically one that’s been designed for tactical uses. They are usually smaller than a regular household flashlight and emit a more powerful light. Tactical flashlights are tougher and made of weapon-grade materials to ensure they won’t fail or break.
Some of the best flashlights for hunting are tactical flashlights because they’re made from extremely durable materials that won’t break when you need them. They’re also extremely bright and can help you get out of the woods.
Tactical Flashlights are More Durable and Resistant
Tactical flashlights are made from a high-grade aluminum that is extremely tough and lightweight. They’re also weather-resistant and are designed to be able to handle all types of weather including rain. They’re also resistant to drops, shocks, scrapes and corrosion.
Tactical Flashlights are Far Brighter
There isn’t much competition between tactical flashlights and normal flashlights when it comes to lumens. You can hold them side-by-side and the difference is extremely obvious.
A regular flashlight will only illuminate a small space and give you approximately 15 feet of brightness if you’re lucky. There will also be dark spots where you have to move your flashlight back and forth to see properly. You don’t have that issue with tactical flashlights as they illuminate a large space and allow you to see much further.
Tactical Flashlights Have More Features
Normal flashlights usually have one simple function which is basic light. Tactical flashlights have multiple settings that give you other options such as strobe and SOS.
Tactical flashlights serve different purposes than basic household flashlights. Many of these were designed for police or military use, but you can purchase them as well.
They’re usually smaller in size than regular everyday flashlights that you’d find at Walmart. They also produce more light and are made tougher.
Tactical Flashlights Can Be Used for Self-Defense
Tactical flashlights are designed to be tough enough to be used for self-defense. You may not consider using a tactical flashlight for self-defense, but they’ve been known to pack quite a punch!
The majority of tactical flashlights on the market are made from weapon-grade aluminum and have a tail switch to turn on and off. This allows you to quickly activate it without fumbling around with switches. This is helpful if you’re facing down a home intruder and will give you the upper hand. A blast of light can blind and confuse an attacker. The high-powered beam from a tactical flashlight can take an attacker’s vision away for up to 4 seconds, which is long enough for you to run or fight. It can give you a chance to grab your family and escape a dangerous situation.
You can also use a tactical flashlight as a striking weapon.
Can a Tactical Flashlight be Used as a Weapon?
Yes, you can use a tactical flashlight as a weapon in a dangerous situation. They are usually made from weapon-grade aluminum and can easily inflict damage. The light itself can be used to temporarily stun an aggressor, allowing you time to escape. Tactical flashlights are bright enough to cause temporary blindness in an attacker and can disorient and confuse someone trying to hurt you.
How Many Lumens Do You Need to Blind an Attacker?
You can momentarily blind an attacker with 150 or more lumens at night or roughly 300 lumens to blind an attacker in the daylight. This won’t cause permanent blindness but will give you enough time to escape or put up a fight.
Can You Mount a Tactical Flashlight to A Gun?
Yes, in most cases. Read about the tactical flashlight you intend to purchase to make sure this is possible. Many of them are designed to be attached to a firearm for shooting. They can be extremely beneficial in allowing you to aim a weapon and light up a target at the same time. Tactical flashlights are perfect for low-light target identification.
Are Tactical Flashlights Legal?
Tactical flashlights are completely legal. You don’t have to be in law enforcement or the military to purchase them. You don’t have to worry about carrying a tactical flashlight because they are legal to carry everywhere including planes. Many people carry a tactical flashlight everywhere they go because of the fact they can be taken into places where guns or knives are illegal. A bright tactical flashlight can be used as a self-defense tactic if you have no other options.
Where Can I Buy the Best Tactical Flashlights?
You can find a huge selection of tactical flashlights on Amazon or other online retailers. It’s possible to find a few tactical flashlights in your local sporting goods store, but their selection will likely be limited and more expensive.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.