Tactical flashlights are an important piece of kit in any home security or camping setup. There are old school, heavy-duty tactical flashlights that can double up as a weapon, and then there are miniature ones you can hold in your mouth while changing the car battery at night.
Read on to find out the top twelve best tactical flashlights on the market today. If you’re looking for information about UV flashlights, feel free to visit OuterOptics.com where you can find comprehensive and useful articles. Remember to keep a flashlight handy in multiple areas around your home and vehicle.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Tactical Flashlight
A tactical flashlight is a tool for emergency and general use. The image most people have in mind when thinking about a flashlight of this kind is the old-style 6-battery cell Maglites that you could use as a club. Modern LED technology has moved the tactical flashlight beyond being hefted around like a weapon.
The light provided by these tactical tools can blind and disorient anyone in its path. The new LED flashlight’s power comes from its illumination, and all packed into a size that only weighs a few ounces. Plus, they can hook or clip onto a belt for easy access.
With this in mind, let’s run through the best tactical flashlights on the market today. For those of you who are in a rush, our top pick for best tactical flashlight overall for 2019 is the Streamlight-69260TLR Weapon-Mount.
1. Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount: Top Pick Overall
With so many tactical flashlights launched on the market every year, standing out as our top pick overall is quite an accomplishment. It’s safe to say that the Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight is more than just a bright light with staying power.
- 800 lumens w/ strobe
- Beam distance=225 meters/246 yards
- Aluminum body
- 2 x CR123A batteries included
- Fits a wide range of weapons securely
- Limited lifetime guarantee
- 2 ounces/119 grams
- Easy to use
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Cannot fit Glocks not equipped with factory-fitted rails
- Practice needed to toggle through to strobe
The Streamlight-69260TLR-1HL-WeaponMount is slightly over 8,5 cm/3 inches long with an approximate 3 cm/1.4 inch diameter. During use, the strobe takes two paddle hits to activate. With a beam that penetrates up to 225 meters/246 yards into the distance and great spotlight and intense beam concentration, the Streamlight-69260TLR-1HL-WeaponMount has more than enough strength to render any intruder blind or illuminate the darkest alley. The rail clamp can be attached or detached quickly on your weapon. It also handily converts to use without a weapon as well. 5/5 rating.
2. J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight: Best Under $50
The J5 Tactical V1-PRO Original 300-lumen Ultrabright is the best long-range tactical flashlight on the market in its price bracket. The diameter in the bezel is larger, and this allows the light to concentrate into a strong beam downrange. If you have an expansive backyard or ranch, this is the tactical flashlight for you.
- Max 300 lumens
- Compact + intense
- 182m/600′ beam distance
- Incredible strength to size ratio
- Only 1 x lithium battery required
- Battery not included in the pack
The J5-V1-PRO-Original 300-lumen Ultrabright has an adaptive low light setting so you can stay low profile. If you detect anything you want to see far downrange, you can switch to the intense beam light that projects up to 2 football field lengths into the distance. You can toggle between the 3 light settings easily by twisting the light casing in opposite directions. The J5-V1-PRO can fit on a bike with the strobe flashing or blind an intruder with its beam intensity. The 1 x battery will provide you with 1 x hour solid light.
3. Outlite A100 Portable Bright Handheld LED: Best Features
The Outlite A100 Portable Bright Handheld LED has got a wide appeal and taking one look at it, you will be able to see why. It might be compact, but it houses a high-range lumen pit bull inside.
- 5 brightness modes
- The lowest setting of 8 lumens
- Tactical/universal bright settings
- Compact and lightweight
- Bright, tight spotlight beam/circle floodlight
- Long runtime
- Slightly longer than other models in the category
- Takes time to learn how to use
The Outlite A 100 Portable Bright Handheld LED flashlight kit comes with 1 x rechargeable lithium battery + sleeve, 1 x lithium-ion battery charger, 1 x AAA battery holder, and 1 x easy to understand manual included in the price. For the price, this is a worthwhile addition to your outdoor kit.
4. SureFire G2X Series LED: Toughest Flashlight
You might not think you need to take durability into consideration when you have mobile devices being used for lighting emergencies nowadays. However, you never know when you will need to see where you are going for extended periods and need a flashlight strong and durable enough to handle any accident that comes its way. And the SureFire G2X Series LED will still be working long after other flashlights or devices have broken or, even worse, broken down.
- 2 x modes (high with max output and low 15 lumens)
- Tail-cap click switch
- Tough (Nitrolon body-anodized indestructible aluminum bezel)
- LED regulated emitter
- Super-fast click switch
- Great runtime
- Not compact enough for a pocket
The handy high and low settings mean you can keep it bright for illumination or defense or low for stealth and night visibility. The dual output tail-cap click-switch is pressed once for a quick low flash and requires a longer click for a constant beam. The longer the use it, the easier the settings working will become. If rock climbing is going to be part of your trip, this is the flashlight to take with you.
5. EASTSHINE T25 CREE XP-L HI V3: Best Package
The new upgraded EASTSHINE T25 CREE XP-L HI V3 has a host of cool accessories that come with it in the package. The quality of the EASTSHINE-T25 is impressive in itself. No intruder is ever likely to forget if you zap them in the eyes with one of these upgraded models, yet is light and portable enough to be easily carried around the camp at night.
- 1000 lumen flashlight
- Outdoor portable
- 350 yards/320 meters
- 2 x modes (constant + temporary)
- Very bright
- Great package
- Battery not included
- Not water resistant
- Lacks beam range
The EASTSHINE T25 CREE XP-L HI V3 package comes with a holster, tactical ring, O-Ring, clip lanyard, happy card, and 24-month warranty with lifetime maintenance. The smart package accessories more than compensate for a beam that is slightly less broad than the other tactical flashlights in this list.
6. Solaray Pro ZX-2 LED Flashlight: Best for Camping
The Solaray Superbright ZX2 has the most brand recognition when it comes to modern flashlights. They have managed to translate that success into the LED market very well. The Solaray Pro ZX2 is rugged and compact and fits perfectly into any normal-size pocket. This makes it ideal for use during outdoor activities.
- High/320 lumens
- Tight beam
- Small, compact, lightweight
- Very tough
- Memory light
- Adjustable zoom-focus lens
- Well priced
- No accessories
- Batteries not included
Solaray Pro ZX2 deserves in longstanding client base. The ZX2 fills the niche market for super light and portable perfectly. Only 12,7 cm/5 inches long with a tight 2,2 cm/1 inch diameter bezel, and weighing 113g/4 ounces, this tough flashlight is not a piece of equipment to pass over.
7. Helotex G2 CREE LED Tactical EDC Flashlight: Best Basic
The Helotex G2 CREE LED Flashlight is mini but mighty. It has a tight beam and one of the furthest ranges in this list in its price range. Helotex G2 CREE LED EDC has long been known as an industry leader, providing a compact, lightweight, multipurpose tactical flashlights to campers, cyclists, and homeowners.
- 120 lumen
- 3 modes
- 250 meter/270 yards beam distance
- Also good for close-up work
- Uses Cree XR-E-LED
- The bright, tight beam
- Compact and lightweight
- 1 x AA/CR123 battery use
- Not really bright enough to be used for tactical defense
- Battery not included
The Helotex G2 CREE LED Tactical EDC Flashlight has a tiny 5”x1”/3 ounce (12,7cmx2,2cm/85 grams) casing. The clip casing makes it easy to use on a cycle or keep accessible on a belt.
8. Refun E6 High-Powered Water-Resistant Package: Most Popular
If you see a Refun E6 in stock anywhere, stick it into your shopping cart before someone else does. This package is extremely popular with campers and hikers across the globe. Despite its high-powered, environmentally friendly tactical flashlight, it is still energy efficient with bulbs guaranteed to last more than 100,000 hours. Refun is so sure you will be satisfied with your purchase that they back it up with a 100 percent satisfaction or your money-back guarantee.
- Adjustable focus
- 5 x mode
- Strobe + emergency signal
- Compact and portable
- Aircraft-grade aluminum
- Compact size
- Very easy to learn to use
- Not always in stock because of this model’s popularity
The Refun E6 High-Powered Water Resistant Handheld Flashlight is a highly desirable piece of kit. If you want a tactical flashlight that crosses over from home use to outdoor activities, this is the one for you.
9. HAUSBELL 7W Mini LED Flashlight: Best Buy
Hausbell is rapidly making a name for itself on the tactical flashlight market since its launch in 2012. 1 million 7W-mini units have shifted since the model was first put on the market. Homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts alike have been known to buy half a dozen Hausbell-7W-minis in one go. The reason why? The ultra-cool and convenient Luminous Ring; you can see it in the dark.
- Luminous Ring
- 3 x adjustable modes
- 200 meter/218 yards beam brightness distance
- Weather-resistant, shock resistant
- 5 x more heavy-duty than other models in its class
- Ergonomic design
- X-treme small and light
- Easy to use
- Luminous Ring
- 3 x adjustable modes
- Battery not included
The Hausbell-7W-Mini has an easy-grasp design making it ideal for use in challenging weather conditions. It is the perfect size to keep for home, hiking, camping, and fishing activities. It is powered by 1 x AA/ 14500 battery. Hausbell encourages their customers to give them feedback on how they like their products.
10. Fenix FX-PD35TAC 1000 Lumen: Most Trusted
The 1000 lumen makes the Fenix-FX-PD35TAC one of the most trusted tactical flashlights on the market for home defense. It has a verified 200 meters/ 656 feet maximum distance with an IPX-8 standard rating of 6..5 feet/2 meters for 30 minutes. The glass lens is coated with anti-reflective materials and the model comes in at an extremely portable 89 grams/ 3.1 ounces.
- 6 x output modes
- 1000 lumens
- Anti-abrasive finish aluminum
- Side clip for belt or bike
- Great runtime
- Bright, long-distance beam
- Not as budget friendly as other models in its class
The Fenix FX-PD35TAC is solidly made, durable, and contains enough power in its beam to stun the vision of even the most determined intruder. Despite the fact that it can light up a sizeable section of any forest, it is still lightweight enough to throw into a backpack and hit the road.
11. Anker Ultra-Bright with 1300 Lumens: Brightest
In the Anker Ultra-Bright package, you get the reliable Anker Bolder-LC130 tactical flashlight with 1300-lumens, rechargeable battery, and more (please see key features). For the price, this is the brightest tactical flashlight you can get with the best accessories.
- 1300 lumens
- Rechargeable battery
- Micro USB cable
- Wrist strap
- 18-month warranty
- Easy to contact customer service
- Welcome guide
- Anti-slip coating
- Can be stood on end w/ no hands
- 50,000 LED lifespan
- Not recommended if you are on a tight budget
The Anker UltraBright Bolder-LC130 stands out as the tactical flashlight for people who take illumination seriously. The reach of the beam extends to beyond the length of two football fields and comes with the all-important 5 adaptable modes: Hi/medium/low and strobe/SOS settings. If you find yourself in situations where you need over 6 hours of full-strength, non-diminishing brightness, then this is the model for you. Tough, water-resistant, and recharges back to full-strength in 8 hours.
12. Klarus Upgraded XT11GT 2000 Lumens: Best Bundle
Make sure you look at all the accessories they provide in the Klarus Upgraded XT11GT 2000 bundle before you look at the price tag because when you do, everything will begin to make sense. The bragging rights alone are worth owning this tactical flashlight.
- Compact, lightweight, bright
- Easy, one-hand use
- Side-switch for advanced operation
- Straight 2-strobe
- Instant turbo/low light for use against intruders
- Function memory
- Lock function
- Battery use indicator
- USB rechargeable
- ITS smart-temperature control
- Tactical/conventional/outdoor use
- Lightweight + compact
- Powerful flash w/ long beam throw
- USB rechargeable
- Battery capacity indication
- 3-programmable setting
- Long lifespan
- Waterproof + impact resistant
- Challenging to learn how to use
- Manual has to be read to learn how to use advanced settings
- Instructions difficult to understand
- Cumbersome tail switch
- The battery tends to overheat
The Klarus XT11GT functions include instant hi or low outdoor switch and one-touch turbo strobe mode for tactical use. The direct recharging function allows the user to plug a standard micro-USB cable into the port directly. You are able to keep an eye on how much power you have left by looking at the battery capacity indicator. The Klarus XT11GT wins the best bundle title because it comes with: USB charging cable; lanyard; spare O-ring; rechargeable 18650 (battery); holster; pocket clip; wall adapter; car charger; mini-USB nightlight/emergency light.
FAQs for Tactical Flashlights
It’s not all about the lumens when it comes to tactical flashlights. Although brightness is important, a bright light is no good if it keeps fading because the battery is giving out. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about tactical flashlights.
What Are Lumens?
Lumens are a measurement of light your flashlight gives out. It has nothing to do with light intensity. Lumens and brightness are related but different.
For example, a flashlight making a small spot that is bright, and another that makes a big spot that is slightly dimmer, can have the same lumen rating. It’s the difference between a spray bottle is on the “full mist spray” or “single jet spray” settings.
What is a Beam Pattern?
When you see information about how narrow or wide the light is, this is the beam pattern. It can be set wide for a less intense light, or narrow for super-intense.
What is Runtime?
A flashlight that runs off lithium batteries will operate longer than one that runs off alkaline batteries. The drawback is that they cost more. The more intense/higher the mode is, the shorter the battery life will be.
What is Bezel?
The bezel is part of the tactical flashlight construction. It is manufactured to be sharp and hard to be used as a weapon to strike someone, but also durable so that it doesn’t fracture. Realistically, a tactical flashlight is too small to be used as a weapon. A good way to see if your flashlight is shaped for self-defense is to look at the size of the bezel.
Things You Should Consider Before You Buy a Tactical Flashlight for Yourself
Obviously, a flashlight that is sold on its own with no bells and whistles, is going to cost less than one that comes with a fully loaded bundle. Before deciding on the cheapest option if you are on a tight budget, remember to factor in such items as the price of batteries and holster.
Also, don’t forget the environment where you will be using your flashlight the most. If you plan on going fishing or duck hunting with your flashlight, then it’s best to stick with water-resistant models or even better, completely waterproof.
What is the Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant?
This is a good question. If you want a flashlight that isn’t affected when used during a downpour, then a water-resistant one is perfect for the job. However, if you want a flashlight that you can drop in the water, completely submerge, or look for something you have already dropped in the water, then waterproof is what you are looking for.
What is the Most Important Feature to Look for in a Tactical Flashlight?
It really depends on the conditions to which you believe you could be exposed. If you are going to be using it for camping, then having an SOS feature on your flashlight would be highly practical. But if you plan on doing a lot of reading at night in your sleeping bag, then you should look for extended low-light battery life.
If you want to be prepared for any emergency or situation, you should ideally have a flashlight on hand or within easy access wherever you go. That’s why all tactical flashlights come equipped with straps, clips, and holsters. There’s not much point in spending your budget on a state of the art flashlight and then leaving it the kitchen drawer at home. The best place for an emergency light is with you at all times.
A tactical flashlight is a standard piece of gear in many professions and outdoor pastimes. Most flashlights are priced to be something found in everyone’s back pocket or backpack. Tactical flashlights are handy, tough, and capable of being a game-changer in many circumstances. Our advice is to never leave the house or car without one.