Want to enjoy a hike in the silence and calm of the nearby woods with your friends? Well, amidst the silence and dark, comes a lot of danger and that is why a good flashlight can be a game changer or in other words, even a lifesaver.

But has the wide array of flashlights and features available left you scratching your head?

When it comes to flashlights durability, the convenience of use and most importantly brightness play the most important role but you don’t have to go testing out 100’s of models to make the right pick.

Here at Outdoor Gear Guru, our job is to make these decisions easier for you (let us do the hard work). So our team of experts did the research and picked out the best tactical flashlight in 2018 based on your needs and your budget.

1SOG Dark Energy 750A Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight


SOG Dark Energy 750A Rechargeable Flashlight is an absolute beast when it comes to functionality and durability and here’s why.

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2Pelican 7600 Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight


There is a reason the Pelican is the professional’s favorite. From firefighters, military to even aerospace, if it’s good enough for them it’s got be good enough for you as well.

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3J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight


If you’re looking for a flashlight on a low budget for occasional use, the J5 V1-Pro is just perfect. It’s cheap and comes with all basic features to keep you safe and sound.

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SOG Dark Energy 750 A Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight

Being a Cree LED Flashlight, we guarantee you the SOG is capable of delivering blinding bright light that can stretch to about 800 feet so nothing in the surrounding goes unnoticed, ever (even in the darkest of nights).

And giving you absolute control over that brightness are the 4 modes which include reading, 100% brightness, strobe and flash mode to startle your enemies. All of which can be adjusted with the flick of a single button in seconds.

Also, though the SOG recharges quickly what if you didn’t want to carry the extra batteries or the charger etc. Or what if you’re simply forgetful like me? Well, put your aside your worries, on a single charge, this badass flashlight can run for a whopping 4-5 days.

Plus, it’s durability is top-notch which stems mainly from its anodized aluminum body but that’s not all. The flashlight also has an IPX7 water-resistance level which means it can remain underwater for 20-25 minutes without any trouble (told you, it’s a beast).

And to top it all off, the light is small and light enough to fit even in your pocket for on the go access (carrying a flashlight doesn’t get any easier than this).

The only real drawback of the SOG is its price of $100+ but the question is if it were cheap, would it really be this good?

What we liked

  • Comes with 4 brightness modes for different purposes like reading, flash etc.
  • It can be submerged in water for 20-25 minutes
  • The batteries run for about 4-5 hours on a single charge
  • The compact and lightweight build mean it can fit into your pocket
  • It’s also highly durable and can even take a few falls and bumps

What we disliked

  • It’s on the expensive side

Bottom Line

Is safety in the woods paramount to you? Then you would not want to settle for anything less than the very best, right? Well, the SOG Rechargeable Flashlight is an absolute beast when it comes to functionality and durability and here’s why.

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Pelican 7600 Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight

One of the main reasons this flashlight is the professional’s favorite is because of its IPX8 water-resistance clearance. Forget rain and snow, this one can even remain underwater for hours without any issues.

Apart from that, it not only has 3 modes so you can vary the brightness as needed but also comes with 3 color options (red, white, and green). That means from the worst case tactical situations to finding your lost keys in the basement, the pelican is perfect for it all.

The batteries runtime can vary from 3 hours on high to even 24 hours on low. And so you can keep track of the charge, the flashlight also has a battery indicator. But in case you do run out of battery, they recharge in a matter of just 2-3 hours.

Giving it a rock-solid build is the use of anodized aluminum which means this bad boy can handle a few drops and pops without any cracks or malfunction (no wonder it’s a soldier’s favorite).

The Pelican is slightly bigger and heavier than the SOG and thus is not the most comfortable to be carried in your pockets.

Also, when compared to the SOG, the battery life is quite less which means you will need to carry either extra batters or the charger at all times.

But apart from that, the Pelican offers the same durability and top-notch features at a lower price range and thus is worth a consideration.

What we liked

  • The Pelican is entirely waterproof
  • It is one of the most versatile flashlights as it comes with 4 modes and 3 colors
  • With the battery indicator, you will know exactly when to charge
  • It is highly durable due to the anodized aluminum build
  • You also get a lifetime guarantee

What we disliked

  • Uncomfortable to be carried in a pocket due to its larger dimensions and weight
  • Battery life is lesser compared to the SOG

Bottom Line

There is a reason the Pelican is the professional’s favorite. From firefighters, military to even aerospace, if it’s good enough for them it’s got be good enough for you as well.

Check it on Amazon →


J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

Firstly, the V1-PRO is capable of generating about 300 lumens. Yes, it’s low compared to others on the list but depending on the conditions the light has a reach of about 600 feet.

And further giving you control over this illumination are the 3 modes i.e. High – Low – Strobe. The strobe function means you can easily blind any attackers or threats for few minutes.

Also, helping the flashlight face the rigors of the wild are its weatherproof and rock-solid build (you can drop it from 9 feet or even submerge it completely for some time).

What didn’t impress us about the V1-Pro was its low battery life but considering it uses only 1 AA battery, it’s decent enough and can last you for weeks with occasional use.

Secondly, it only generates 300 lumens which although low, performs well enough in most places like your backyard etc.

Lastly, while it is water-resistant, you don’t want to leave it in there for too long.

Cons aside, for a flashlight costing you less than $15, the V1-Pro is a no-brainer pick and by far the best tactical flashlight for budget buyers.

What we liked

  • Lights up objects 600 feet away during ideal conditions
  • Solidly built and is also water resistant
  • 3 Modes help adjust brightness
  • It’s cheap

What we disliked

  • Low battery life
  • Can’t be submerged in water for too long
  • Generates only 300 lumens thus brightness is lower and varies as per the conditions

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a flashlight on a low budget for occasional use, the J5 V1-Pro is just perfect. It’s cheap and comes with all basic features to keep you safe and sound.

Check it on Amazon →


Olight M1X1000 Lumens Tactical Flashlight

Even with its compact design, the Olight packs a punch and is capable of delivering a beam up to 190m with the help of a 1000 lumens. You have complete control over the brightness as it comes with 5 levels and also a strobe mode to disorient any threat.

With the Olight you can kiss goodbye to long hours of charging and say hello to long hours of uninterrupted light as the batteries can run for an astonishing 360 hours. They also take no more than a couple of hours to be recharged if need be.

The shockproof build and tempered glass of the flashlight mean it can be dropped from a height of 1.5 meters without any harm. Plus, it is also waterproof which makes it the ideal flashlight for light rains or snow.

And lastly, it comes with an armband to safely secure the flashlight in your hands. And since it’s super compact and lightweight, you won’t ever feel the weight of it (it’s the pocket-friendly flashlight).

Not much to fault about the Olight except that the batteries aren’t rechargeable which means you will need to carry extra on your outings.

Also, batteries aren’t included in the purchase which adds to the overall cost.

But all in all, considering the rest of the features, the Olight is an excellent purchase.

What we liked

  • It delivers a beam to about 190m
  • You get 5 brightness modes and emergency strobe mode
  • It can be dropped from a height of 1.5 meters due to the shockproof build
  • And it is also waterproof thus can be used in rain and snow as well
  • Comes with a hand strap and is easy to carry around

What we disliked

  • Batteries are not included with the purchase
  • Also, the batteries are not rechargeable

Bottom Line

When it comes to flashlights, the Olight M1X1000 personifies sleek and sexy but it is more than just a compact tactical flashlight.

Check it on Amazon →


SureFire G2X Series LED Flashlight

With SureFire, there’s one thing you can be absolutely sure of and that’s durability which mainly comes from the Nitrolon construction and the Anodized aluminum bezel.

This means it can easily handle the rigors of any tactical situation or even the clumsy you. Apart from that, the flashlight is perfect for use even in light rainfalls or snow

Using the switch on the tail cap you also toggle between a constant or partial mode which, in turn, will save you precious battery time. And with the Precision Reflector in action, the beam has an excellent reach lighting up everything in the surrounding.

Lastly, the SureFire is smaller than the size of your hand which makes it easy to grip and super easy to carry on the rough rocky terrains.

One of the few drawbacks of the flashlight is that it comes with only 2 modes which give you lesser control over the brightness.

Secondly, you will have to carry some additional batteries as it does not come with rechargeable ones.

But if durability and compact size are the features you’re looking for in a flashlight, the SureFire G2X series is just what you need.

What we liked

  • The nitrolon body makes the flashlight impact and weather-resistant
  • It also comes with a constant or partial mode which helps save battery
  • The small and compact design makes the flashlight easy to carry
  • With the precision reflector, you get a smooth and long-distanced beam

What we disliked

  • It does not come with rechargeable batteries
  • You get only 2 brightness modes

Bottom Line

SureFire is mainly known for its weapon flashlights and if they can get that right, it’s no surprise the G2X series is such a hit as well.

Check it on Amazon →


Klarus Upgraded XT11GT

Firstly, as I mentioned above, it’s bright and I mean freaking bright. That’s because the CREE XHP35 HD E4 LED’s produce 2000 lumens of light (yup, 2000).

And helping you manage that brightness is the 3 modes which adjust the light as per the surroundings and situation (so you get light just the way you want it).

Also, making the Klarus a flashlight for all situations as it features a Straight 2 Strobe, Instant Turbo, Instant Low-light, Memorized Function Ability, SOS and more.

And with the dual tail switch light, you can use the flashlight with either of your hands while the side switch, used for other features is also conveniently placed.

Lastly, with USB charging you won’t no longer have to worry about carrying a charger or batteries (now, charge on the go).

On the downside, the multiple functions and modes make using the flashlight cumbersome for newbies but that’s where the detailed manual comes in handy.

Also, the XT11GT isn’t waterproof but for features like the ones mentioned above, it’s a buy you’ll never regret.

What we liked

  • Multiple modes for brightness control
  • Has handy features like SOS, memory function, Strobe light etc.
  • Can be charged using a USB
  • Easy turn on/off with either hand
  • Generates 2000 lumens so there’s plenty of brightness
  • Built to resist shocks and falls

What we disliked

  • Modes and features can be difficult to understand at first
  • It’s not waterproof

Bottom Line

Need more light? The Klarus is one of the brightest flashlights on the list but there’s more to like about it as well.

Check it on Amazon →


Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL

The 750 lumens of white light generated by the C4 LED’s is good enough to penetrate through the darkness of the night as any high-end model should.

Putting you in charge of the brightness levels are the 3 levels which can be easily toggled using the tail switch. The positioning of the switch means the light is suited for both right and left-handed users.

Also, with the Deep-dish parabolic reflector, you get a straight, concentrated beam which makes it easy to view at a distance without compromising on peripheral vision.

Another standout feature of the flashlight is its long runtime i.e. 1.5 hours at the highest setting and may increase depending on the use (it can go on for weeks).

The Aircraft-grade aluminum construction guarantees a long-lasting flashlight. Plus, it’s water-resistant up to 1 meter for about 25 minutes and thus ideal for use even during rains or swims.

While the flashlight may heat up when used for long and it’s charging speed is relatively slower, the cons aren’t real deal breakers of what is an otherwise excellent product.

What we liked

  • Excellent build for durability
  • Water-resistant for about 25 minutes
  • C4 LED’s are durable and generate enough brightness
  • Long runtime i.e. 1.5 hours on full setting

What we disliked

  • Heats up when used for long
  • Slow recharge

Bottom Line

Like with weapon flashlights, Streamlight never fails to amaze and their 88040 ProTack HL has kept up well with those expectations.

Check it on Amazon →


Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC

The 6 modes mean you can vary the brightness as per any situation which, in turn, also helps save battery. And with the memory function at play, you don’t have to toggle through every mode each time.

Its compact design means it also fits into your pocket and it weighs a mere 3 ounces so carrying it should be hassle-free. Making it even easier is the belt loop.

And while compact and lightweight, the anodized aluminum build makes the PD35 as durable as any flashlight on the list so this one’s here to stay.

Lastly, for easy operation, there’s a side switch and a tail switch. Preventing accidental turn on/off during tactical situations is the auto lock feature of the side switch. You can change the modes with the tail switch in that case.

As for the negatives, it’s not the ideal flashlight for heavy rains since it’s not waterproof but apart from that, the PD35 for sure covers all ends.

What we liked

  • Has 6 Output modes for all situations
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to operate with the tail and side switch
  • The anodized aluminum build makes it durable
  • 1000 lumens give plenty of illumination

What we disliked

  • Not waterproof

Bottom Line

The 1000 lumens of the Fenix PD 35 can cover up to 200 meters without compromising on the surrounding light so you won’t miss out on any threat or objects in the dark.

Check it on Amazon →


EcoGear FX TK120

The aircraft grade gives the flashlight excellent durability, enough to withstand all kinds of shocks and abrasions of the outdoors (and it’s water-resistant too).

Giving you the ability to adjust the beam to focus on near or far objects is the zoom feature of the TK120 with which it produces a maximum of 1200 lumens of bright light.

This in tandem with the 5 modes (which also includes a blinding strobe and SOS) means there’s no situation you’d not be ready for.

The conveniently placed switch means you can toggle between these modes or turn the flashlight on/off within sends irrespective of your hand.

For all its upsides, TK120 has a few flaws as well. Users have reported the light heating up when used for a continuous period.

Also, the power button tends to give trouble and may need regular repair with time but considering the low price point and features, it’s still a worthy buy.

What we liked

  • Comes with batteries and rapid charger
  • Durable build
  • It’s water-resistant
  • 5 Modes and zoom function to help adjust brightness

What we disliked

  • Heats up quickly
  • Power button fails after few uses

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a solid mid-range buy, the EcoGear checks all the boxes. Here you not only get the flashlight but also rechargeable batteries and a rapid charge for quick, hassle-free charging (this one’s the complete package).

Check it on Amazon →


EASTSHINE T25 CREE XP-L HI V3 LED Flashlight

Giving you bright light even in the darkest of spaces are the CREE XP-L HI V3 LEDs that generate 1000 lumens capable of covering about 350 yards.

With the tail switch, you can choose momentary/constant light while the side switch lets you toggle between the multiple modes. This ensures there’s plenty of light anytime anywhere and allows usage from either hand

But the stand out feature of the T25 is got to be its ability to auto-adapt to surrounding temperature so it remains cool even when used for long hours.

Plus, with the memory function won’t have to waste time toggling through to get the ideal settings. It saves the previous settings for on the go use.

Also, the aero grade aluminum alloy teamed with the HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish means it can be dropped from a height of 1.5 meters without a scratch.

Lastly, it’s waterproof too but you don’t want to leave it in there for too long.

As for the other downsides, you’ll need to purchase the battery separately which adds to the overall cost.

Also, the distance of the beam may vary as per the conditions around and thus may not exactly reach 350 yards at all times but all in all, it’s still an excellent flashlight.

What we liked

  • Strong build
  • Long range i.e. 350 yards under clear conditions
  • Auto-adapts to surrounding temperature and thus remains cool
  • Memory function saves previously used settings

What we disliked

  • Not fully water-resistant (don’t leave it too long)
  • Range varies as per conditions around

Bottom Line

Last but not the least comes with Eastshine T25 and while not the most popular brand, their durable and feature-rich range of products are sure to catch the eye soon.

Check it on Amazon →


How to Choose the Best Tactical Flashlight – Buying Guide

Buying the tactical flashlight comes down to it having the right features. So here’s a list of the features that we based our reviews on and you should look for too in any tactical flashlight.

Brightness

If your flashlight isn’t bright even do you even have a flashlight? But how much brightness is bright enough? Well, that comes down to the lumens. Most of the top flashlights have around 400-2000 lumens.

Secondly, these flashlights come with various modes like High, Low or strobe. These modes help control the illumination and thus save battery.

Also, you can go from blinding white light (strobe mode) to a low-level mode in seconds with just a press of a switch either on the side or tail of the flashlight

Lastly, while a higher lumen count is great news it doesn’t always guarantee brightness at a long range.

For that, features like the TIR Lens (Total Internal Reflection) is handy as it ensures a concentrated beam without compromising on surrounding light.

Battery Life

Next up, it’s important for a flashlight to have long runtimes. You don’t want them to turn off at the most crucial of points, right? Most of the high-end flashlights guarantee runtimes of 1.5-2 hours at the highest setting.

Also, the top models have lithium-ion batteries which means they can be recharged easily. With the cheaper models, you might have to buy them separately.

Secondly, while not mandatory it’s always good to have a flashlight that can also run on alkaline batteries as a backup (so don’t forget to carry a few on your hikes and treks).

Lastly, nothing puts a smile on our faces than quick recharge times. Be it our phones, laptop or even flashlight, a quick recharge is always a welcome bonus.

Water Resistance

While a flashlight doesn’t necessarily have to be submersible (though it’s always handy if it is), it’s sure got be able to handle rains, ice etc.

The water resistance levels of a flashlight can be determined by the following 3 ratings.

IPX4: This means the flashlight is suited for use during rains or light drizzles.

IPX7: These flashlights can remain submerged in about 3-4 feet of water for 20-25 minutes without it going off. But any longer and it might render the flashlight useless.

IPX8: A flashlight with an IPX8 rating is just what you need in case you plan to take long swims or need a flashlight to stick by you in case of an emergency. IPX8 flashlights can go deeper than 4-5 feet and run for up to 5 hours even when submerged.

Durability

To handle the rough and unpredictable nature of the wild or a combat situation a tactical flashlight’s got to be solidly built.

That’s why most of our picks are built using aircraft grade aluminum alloy (if it’s good for the giant planes, it’s sure as hell got to be good enough for flashlights, right?).

A strong build will also ensure that the flashlight is shock resistant and anti abrasive. The best builds can handle drops from a height of about 4-5 feet without even a scratch.

Other Features

If you’re ready to spend the big bucks, you can easily score a flashlight with fancy frills and thrills. These can range from memory function which saves the previously used settings to even laser lights for accurate aims.

Some tactical flashlights can also be charged using USB while others include a rechargeable battery, charger etc. like the EcoGear FX TK120.

Conclusion

In the end, choosing the best tactical flashlight mainly comes down to personal preferences, budget and the purpose you need the flashlight for. So choose wisely and stay safe.

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