When you hear the term tactical used in conjunction with a flashlight you’re inevitably going to be faced with some puzzled looks by those that aren’t avid hunters, hikers, or first responders.
You’ll also probably be asked a few questions as to why one’s even necessary, but if you spend a lot of time hiking through the backwoods for any reason you shouldn’t have any trouble explaining the merits of such a tool. They’re far superior to a standard flashlight.
I remember my first couple of hiking trips in the far north and while I enjoyed them, I wasn’t really prepared. Sure I had a flashlight, but it was your garden variety everyday plastic model.
It wasn’t very bright and it wasn’t meant to withstand a lot of knocks and bangs. As I learned the ropes of how to not only survive, but actually thrive in an outdoor setting far from civilization I soon realized I needed to upgrade my equipment in just about every category.
One of the first things I replaced was my flashlight with a tactical model that was designed to withstand tons of abuse and also happened to be a lot brighter than my regular flashlight. That sums up the difference between a tactical flashlight and a regular flashlight fairly well – it’s brighter, it’s more durable, and typically more compact.
If you’ve been making do with a regular flashlight it’s certainly worth the upgrade if you want a reliable light that works when you need it.
In this article we’ll take a look at some features you should be looking for in a tactical flashlight and then we’ll review our choices for the best tactical flashlight.
- 1 Reviews of the Best Tactical Flashlights
- 2 Key Features for Tactical Flashlights
- 3 An Essential Piece of Kit
Reviews of the Best Tactical Flashlights
J5 Hyper V Tactical Flashlight
The J5 Hyper V is a popular choice when it comes to tactical flashlights and for good reason – this is a high quality and durable product.
One of the most important measures of a flashlight is how bright it is and how much area it lights up. This light is pretty impressive in both regards.
The LED lights illuminate with the power of 400 lumens and are capable of reaching up to 800 feet. Unlike standard flashlights the light they provide is extremely bright allowing you to see fine details even in the dead of night.
It’s made from a strong aluminum alloy which will survive numerous impacts and continue to work with the same intensity it did when you first bought it.
The Hyper V has three different modes including a strobe mode that’s meant to effectively disorient any would be attackers.
It also has a sturdy clip so that you can snap it on your belt for easy access and it’s nice and compact so it won’t get in your way.
When you combine all these features with a moderate price tag you have a reliable tactical flashlight that’s great value for the money.
J5 Hyper V Summary:
- Highly quality and durable
- 400 lumens
- Built-in sturdy clip
- Strong aluminium alloy body
PeakPlus Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight
There’s a perception out there that you have to spend a premium amount for a quality product no matter what type of item you’re talking about. Our goal is to provide you with the best choices of outdoor survival gear for both quality and value.
Believe me, you don’t have to break the bank on a tactical flashlight and the PeakPlus Super Bright LED is a case in point.
This is a great flashlight at a great price and that’s why we’ve included it in our tactical flashlight reviews.
This flashlight has 5 different light modes so that you can control the intensity and focus of the beam. It’s made from a strong aluminum alloy that’s resistant to damage which makes it perfect for the outdoors enthusiast.
The PeakPlus also has a zoom function so that you can focus on specific points of interest at different distances. It’s also water resistant so a little bit of rain won’t slow you down either.
When you’re using a tactical flashlight you want one that you can handle with ease and this one has a textured handle for better grip and its compact in design so that you can hold it in one hand firmly.
It also comes with a 30 day full money back guarantee so you can try it worry free. This is our value pick.
PeakPlus Super Bright LED Summary:
- Zoom function
- Water resistant
- 5 different light modes
- Aluminum alloy body
Fenix PD35 TAC LED Tactical Flashlight
If you’re ready for one of the best tactical flashlights on the market and you’re not afraid to spend a little more for it the Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 should definitely be on your short list.
This is a powerful flashlight that utilizes up to 1000 lumens to shed light on any situation.
It also has a built-in voltage meter to let you know when your batteries are running low so you can change them before you run into an issue.
You can drop this product and it won’t interrupt its operation at all. It also has a stainless steel side switch to change output modes that works every time as well.
If you want to turn it on quickly to investigate something that’s caught your attention you’ll find the tactical tail switch ideal.
This Fenix flashlight may be one of the most powerful available, but it’s still a compact product that’s not much larger than the palm of your hand.
It’s got an anti-roll and slip resistant body as well, which is important for a tactical flashlight that you want to keep firmly gripped in your hand. This flashlight has earned its reputation as one of the best tactical flashlights around.
Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Summary:
- Ultra bright 1000 lumens
- Built-in voltage meter
- Aircraft grade aluminium body
- Compact and slip resistant
American Tactical ProTorch Professional Flashlight
It has an extendable body that helps to focus the beam and it comes with rechargeable batteries that you can charge directly by plugging the flashlight directly into the provided USB charger.
It also happens to be one of the more compact models on the market at 6.25 inches long when closed.
The ProTorch has five different modes including a strobe feature and one designed to be used as an SOS in emergency situations.
The body is constructed of aircraft grade aluminum that makes it highly durable and the lens has a scratch and impact resistant surface.
Most tactical flashlights are somewhat water resistant, but this one is designed to work in wet and moist conditions better than most other models on the market.
You can use this flashlight in most extreme conditions that you will face on a hunt or a long hike and you can be confident it will work when you need it. It comes with a 1 year warranty.
American Tactical ProTorch Summary:
- Extendable body
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Compact design
- Strobe light mode
Streamlight 88040 Professional Tactical Flashlight
The Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL is a great tool, but you should be prepared to pay a little more than average for this one.
It has a beam range of about 900 feet and it illuminates your surroundings with an impressive 750 lumens.
This is the type of flashlight that first responders and other emergency personal rely on every day. It truly is a military grade flashlight.
Its LED light is also equipped with power regulation technology that ensures the lights beam is always strong and reliable.
This flashlight isn’t just water resistant – it’s waterproof. It will work just as well in the pouring rain as it will on a clear summers evening, which makes it ideal when you’re hitting the trails on a long hike.
The 88040 has three different operating settings including high, low, and strobe. It’s also impervious to shocks so an impact with the ground won’t be a major issue.
It has a tactical tail switch for easy one handed operation and it’s constructed from aircraft grade aluminum. Chances are this flashlight will continue working when all others fail and that’s why it’s our pick as the best tactical led flashlight.
Streamlight 88040 ProTac Summary:
- Impressive 750 lumens
- Military grade construction
- Waterproof design
- Impact resistant
Key Features for Tactical Flashlights
Luminosity and Beam DistanceOne of the first things you’ll want to consider when shopping for a good tactical flashlight is how well it illuminates the path in front of you. The best tactical flashlights emit a surprising amount of light from a small powerful beam. The most popular light sources for these types of flashlights are LED bulbs and they’re typically rated by the amount of lumens they can put out when you turn them on. They outperform regular flashlights by quite a wide margin.
Impact ResistantWe’ve all probably dropped a flashlight at some time in our lives and in many cases they probably didn’t fair too well. Normal flashlights are designed to be used around the home in emergency situations and out in the backyard. They’re not really designed to be used in rugged environments such as camping, hiking, or hunting. Tactical flashlights are much more impact resistant and in most cases they’re made from aircraft grade aluminum. That means if you happen to drop one it probably won’t affect its ability to function at all.
Waterproof or ResistantOne of the best experiences I ever had with nature involved a 7 hour hiking, portaging, and canoeing excursion that challenged our party to the limits of our physical capabilities. We were prepared for just about everything, but the constant unrelenting rain on our way into base camp tested our metal. We did end up with some waterlogged gear, but our tactical flashlights didn’t have any problems handling the rain because they were 100 percent waterproof. This is a key feature to look for when looking for a tactical flashlight.
Extra FeaturesTactical flashlights are mainly meant to light your way on a dimly lit path, but some of them do come equipped with some extra features. Most good ones have a clip so you can easily attach it to your belt or a lanyard to tie it off. Some can be used as lamps and there are even ones with laser pointer options as well. If you can find one with a built in zoom feature that allows you to adjust the brightness of your flashlight depending on the distance in front of you it’s a nice added feature to have as well.
Use as a Tactical WeaponAs we’ve already mentioned tactical flashlights are very durable tools. That’s why they’re so popular with law enforcement. They can also be used as a weapon in an emergency situation as well as they are typically very solid. Keep in mind this isn’t really what they’re meant for, but it can come in handy on occasion.
Size and WeightCompared to standard flashlights, tactical flashlights are normally a little smaller so that they can be carried with you on your person in a pocket or attached to a belt. They’re usually quite lightweight as well and that’s another reason they’re perfect for use on a camping trip.
Higher StandardsEvery feature of a tactical flashlight is designed with convenience and usability in mind. They’re simply built with higher standards than are used in everyday flashlights. They often have extra features such as textured grips and a smaller circumference that make them easy to hold onto and handle.
An Essential Piece of Kit
A tactical flashlight is without a doubt an essential item for any survivalist, first responder, or military personnel. They are brighter, more durable, and more reliable than standard flashlights.
Remember to choose one that’s water resistant, impact resistant, and equipped with multiple operating settings for different situations. All of the products we’ve reviewed in this article meet these criteria.