Best Tactical Flashlights In 2022
Those who’ve waited patiently for the flashlight to catch up with the times need wait no longer. The tactical flashlight is here to answer your emergency light source prayers. And we’re here to take a look at the 12 best that the market has to offer. So serve notice to that overweight club of a torch that’s taking up half your toolbox or making your everyday carry un-carryable, it’s time for a new generation of tactical flashlights to take center stage.
The Best Tactical Flashlight
1J5 Tactical V1-PRO 300 Lumen Ultra Bright
The V1-Pro flash light is capable of running for hours on a single charge of its L-i battery or off of a single AA battery. Its compact form makes it one of the easiest to conceal and easiest to tote around. The V1-Pro is also a joy to hold and, with its wrist band in place, impossible to lose. The high intensity LED bulb will project copious light down the road around the campsite or in an assailant’s face, providing you time to effect an escape.
The J5 V1-Pro is ideal for first responders or roadside assistance pros. It’s also done the rounds in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and is answering the call for special ops in Syria as we write this. There is no doubt a more powerful tactical flashlight out there and others that offer a greater number of operational modes but none that pack so much punch for so little green. Value is an overused word today but is perfectly appropriate when it comes to describing the J5 tactical V1-Pro flashlight. It should definitely be part of your emergency survival kit.
300-lumen maximum light output
600-foot maximum beam distance
Fully adjustable zoom focus
3 user-selectable light modes: low, high, and strobe
Dual power source: 14500 rechargeable battery or AA battery
Tail switch mechanism
- BrandJ5 Tactical
- ModelV1-Pro Black
- Weight2.4 ounces
2Streamlight ProTac HL 750 Flashlight
The Streamlight ProTac HL750 tactical flashlight is a solid piece of survival and tactical gear that produces an impressive 750 lumens of night-defeating LED light when set to the maximum of its 3 output levels. The light is weather resistant so you won’t have to worry about using it in the rain or snow and highly impact resistant whether you drop it or slam it bezel-first into a would be assailant. When set to ‘low’ output the HL750 will run for a commendable 18 hours.
The HL750 will no doubt bring all the light you need to bear on a rescue situation, can be seen from miles away if you’re stranded in the wilderness and is a remarkably effective defensive tool with its rock solid bezel and a disorienting strobe feature. If you drop it while crossing a stream don’t worry. It can withstand up to half an hour submerged without any problems. This iteration of the ProTac HL packs more illumination punch than its predecessor; up to a headache inducing 750 lumens.
It’s a versatile, lightweight, durable piece of tactical or survival kit that won’t back down from the weather and provides myriad carry options. The tail cap on/off switch means you don’t have to change your hold to activate the light and the anti-roll designs ensure it won’t roll away if you need to set it down. One-handed, tactical flashlight versatility at its best.
10-tap programming technology
User-selectable programs: low/high, high/strobe/low, and high only
50000-hour C4 LED lifetime
Shock-proof LED technology
Light output: maximum 750 lumen, minimum 35 lumen
Beam distance: maximum 295 yards, minimum 65 yards
- Weight5.6 ounces
3SureFire G2X Tactical Flashlight
With the G2X SureFire has created a tough, dependable, compact LED tactical flashlight with a corrosion and scratch resistant body and bold, bright output. The grip on the G2X is firm and comfortable, the bezel discreet but potentially devastating to wannabe assailants and the overall size is compact enough to fit comfortably in one of the pockets of your tactical hiking pants or in one of the pouches of your MOLLE compliant backpack.
The G2X also features a tail cap on/off button as well as “always on” mode for those times you need uninterrupted light brought to bear on a perp or an emergency situation. The mil-spec anodized aluminum head is tough as nails, the body is sealed against water, dust, and debris and the whole thing fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Whether you’re a mountaineer or a member of a SWAT team you’ll find the G2X to be the perfect companion on those dark nights or when you’re heading down those dark alleys.
The SureFire G2X tactical flashlight is a compact flashlight that brings intense, clear LED light to bear on the situation at hand whether that situation is navigating your way back to camp in the middle of the night or searching a car for suspected contraband. It’s extremely comfortable to hold, extremely affordable, reliable, durable and handsome. And you’ll find yourself using the “always on” feature more than you imagined.
Indestructible precision-engineered LED emitter for maximum runtime and light output
Two-level light output: maximum 320 lumen and minimum 15 lumen
Parabolic reflector for more optimized beam, surround light, and reach
Impact-resistant polycarbonate window
Gasket-sealed and O-ring weatherproofing
Power source: 2 pieces SureFire 123A lithium batteries
- Weight4.5 ounces
4Hausbell 7W Mini
Who says the days of a great deal are over? For about 10 bucks you can pick up not 1 but 2 Hausbell miniature tactical flashlights. And these are no worthless plastic knockoffs that are going to fall apart after a month. The Hausbell 7W is made from tough, aircraft grade aluminum and is both water and shock resistant. It also features a removable clip so you can stow your light just about anywhere and a crystal clear LED bulb that produces 300 lumens.
1 Hausbell 7W would be an incredible deal all by itself for this price but the fact that you get 2 of these durable high performance tactical flashlights for this price is just insane. Keep one at the ready and one as a backup and you’re good to go in any situation. Police, firefighters, EMTs, rescue workers, general contractors, electricians and any do-it-yourselfer worthy of the title should have these in their tool box, on their belt or in the glove compartment. It’s hard to overstate the value represented here by the Hausbell 7W tactical flashlight.
These are sturdy, dependable, versatile tactical/survival tools that allow you to zoom in on your target as you would with the most expensive tactical flashlight or to effectively blind and then fight off any would be assailant utilizing the rock hard bezel. At 65 grams the light can be carried in your shirt pocket if you wish or simply clipped to the inside of your pants pocket. You’ll barely notice it’s there; until you need it. Then you’ll realize it may be the smartest 10 bucks you ever spent.
7W LED module
Tactical-grade, premium quality aluminum alloy construction
Waterproof, skid-proof, rugged construction
Glow-in-the-dark luminous adjustment ring
Fully detachable torch head
Fully adjustable focus: zoom to wide angle
- Weight2.24 ounces
5GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000
If you’re looking for an affordable tactical flashlight, there are few better than the GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight. You get two in the pack, so you’ve always got a spare, and they cost less than $20, which is remarkably good value. The ultra-bright LED bulb can illuminate objects up to 1000 feet in the distance. That’s about 10 times brighter than old-school incandescent lights, so you’ll really notice the difference if you’ve been carrying the same old torch around for the last 20 years.
It’s powered by three AAA batteries or one rechargeable battery and it’ll last for hours. There’s no actual information on how long it will last but we reckon you’re good for multiple hours of continuous use. Probably the most impressive feature on this tactical flashlight is the virtually indestructible housing. You can drop it from 10-feet, submerge it underwater, and even run over it with a truck. If it’s durability and value you’re after, this two-pack of GearLight LED Tactical Flashlights is the way to go.
Pack of two
Illuminates 1000 feet in the distance
Powered by AAA batteries or rechargeable batteries
Two bonus cases included
- Weight5.1 ounces
6Helotex G2 CREE LED Flashlight
The Helotex G2 exists at the lower end of the tactical flashlight universe as far as lumens go but in all other respects, it’s an outstanding value given the price. It’s made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum, has a detachable clip that provides myriad carry options, provides a comfortable grip in all conditions and the whole thing is effectively sealed against the elements.
As long as you don’t need to project blinding light 100 meters down the roadway the Helotex G2 should fulfill all your basic tactical flashlight needs, including those of self-defense. Toggle easily between the different intensity modes and turn the light off quickly with just a touch of the on/off switch at the tail cap.
The fact that this tactical flashlight will also accept 2 different battery types is another major plus you don’t expect in such an affordable device. You can spend a lot more on a tactical flashlight but unless you have a compelling need for intense light (and plenty of people do) then the Helotex G2 should fulfill your needs just fine. It also works just fine as a backup to your main tactical flashlight and since it weighs almost nothing it won’t be a drain to carry it around for backup purposes. For the price, it’s hard to beat and it.
Dual power source: CR123 battery or AA battery
130-lumen XRE-Q4 CREE LED module
50000-hour LED life
Tail switch mechanism
3 user-selectable light modes: low, high, and strobe
Aircraft-grade anodize 6063-T6 aluminum alloy construction
Glass lens with O-ring gasket seal
- Weight2.4 ounces
Tactical Flashlight Buyers Guide & FAQ
Q: What Is A Tactical Flashlight?
A: The modern tactical flashlight is an offshoot of the standard flashlight. Responding to the needs the armed forces, police departments and security firms engineers applied advanced design and fabrication techniques to fashion a multipurpose unit that is tough, dependable and able to bring intense light to bear on targets near and far. These flashlights are either water-resistant or waterproof, made of aircraft grade aluminum and nearly all run on Lithium-ion batteries (with alkaline battery backup capability).
But a tactical flashlight is more than just a beacon in the dark, it’s also a self-defense item that’s capable of blinding would be assailants with high intensity strobes so you can escape and many can be used to physically subdue perps.
Q: What Are The Parts Of A Tactical Flashlight?
A: From front to back a tactical flashlight consists of:
- A striking bezel which screws onto the front of the light and is used for self-defense.
- Next is the flashlight head which encloses the reflector.
- Moving on the battery tube is next. This will house the Lithium-ion battery and/or the alkaline substitutes.
- Inside the battery tube is the battery magazine which actually holds the batteries.
- Next is where the removable clip is usually attached.
- Last is the tail clip which often encloses the switch mechanism and also often contains a loop for attaching a wristband or other failsafe device.
Things To Consider When Buying A Tactical Flashlight
While most of today’s lights will serve some useful purpose it pays to consider a few things before purchasing one, including:
Your Budget – While there are some real steals available today in the tactical flashlight market (see above) you’ll still want to consider whether a $19 flashlight or a $99 tactical flashlight unit that’s loaded with options is right for you.
Your Needs – If you’re an avid duck hunter you might want a model that’s genuinely waterproof. If however, you mostly use the tactical flashlight to carve out a safe passage through the parking lot a waterproof flashlight won’t be so important. Likewise, if you’re about to ship out to Kandahar you might want something with all the bells and whistles.
Lumens – A lumen is the measure of energy emitted by your tactical flashlight. Simply put the higher the lumens the more intense the light. However the higher the lumens the higher the heat generated by the flashlight as well. So unless you think you’re going to need to need the brightest tactical flashlight on the market you might want a less powerful tactical flashlight.
Size – This also speaks to need. If you plan on carrying the tactical light in your purse strictly for emergencies you’ll want something 5” long or less. A compact flashlight can also move easily from the purse to the pocket and then to the glove compartment or the fanny pack in the blink of an eye.
Power Source – The typical tactical light is powered, as we said previously, by Lithium-ion batteries. In case your L-i battery is drained and you are not in a position to recharge it the average tactical flashlight will also allow for standard alkaline battery power. You’ll want to always have adequate alkaline backups on hand just in case.
Zoom or Not – One of the most popular features of the tactical flashlight is the ability to zoom in and out with the beam becoming wide angle in close and more focused for distances. Not every LED torch light offers this feature though so if the ability to zoom in and out isn’t critical to your needs you might want to skip it.
Battery Life – As mentioned most tactical lights are powered by Lithium-ion batteries and use alkaline batteries as backups. That said energy consumption rates vary from flashlight to flashlight. The greater the lumens the greater the battery consumption while the more robust the battery the longer it will last under any circumstances.
Water-resistant vs Waterproof – Water resistance basically means that you can hold your flashlight in the rain for short periods of time and it shouldn’t be bothered. However, if you drop it in a puddle and it takes more than a few seconds to find it you could have problems. With a waterproof flashlight, you can drop it in the puddle and go get lunch. It will still be there working when you get back. Which type you need will depend on your projected use.
Water Resistance Explained
Explaining water resistance on any device gets a bit tricky. It seems like everything has its own way of measuring what is and what is not waterproof, and to what degree. The most common and useful system is the IPX rating. Let’s explain:
IPX4 – you’ll be able to use this flashlight in a rainy environment. If it’s drizzling out or the rain is coming down hard, you’ll want to survey the area. The harsher the conditions, the more likely an assailant is lurking nearby. This is perfect for getting to the source of the potential problem without ruining your flashlight.
IPX7 – If, for whatever reason, you find yourself three or four feet underwater, this rating ensures that you can use your flashlight for a straight half-hour without running into a problem. Depth and pressure play into this, but if you end up getting trapped in a car that’s accruing water, this is your ideal way to show rescuers where you are.
IPX8 – You can use this underwater for up to four hours, which is immensely useful beyond the four-feet deep rule. While it’s not clear how deep you can go and how it affects the usable time, it is guaranteed to function for quite some time when fully submerged in adverse conditions.
Q: Who Makes The Best Tactical Flashlight?
A: You’ll find as many answers to this question as you’ll find manufacturers and reviewers, but we’ll throw in our 2 cents anyway.
Streamlight – For tactical lights geared toward weaponry Streamlight is a company we have a lot of respect for. They produce an array of fine products at reasonable prices that are as reliable as they are functional.
Outlite – Outlite produces some of the best lights on the market. They are considered leaders in the industry because of their dedication to outstanding design and build quality and their commitment to keeping things affordable.
J5 – J5 is based in Utah USA and has high profile affiliations with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. They make a wide variety of tactical flashlights in every imaginable finish and are widely distributed. Their commitment to innovation is a standout attribute.
The most useful and distracting feature on your tactical flashlight is easily the SOS mode, yet many users aren’t utilizing this. Having a tactical flashlight is all about be prepared for whatever comes you way, whether it’s a blackout, being out of gas in a strange place, or whatever you can conjure up in your head. The other feeling that comes along with being prepared is being a bit worried, being in an environment and situation that isn’t exactly comforting. That’s when you need to have a tactical flashlight the most.
SOS mode is a strobe feature that renders your attacker useless. When you’re in the heat of a potential assailant attack, you’re not looking at a way to counter-assault them. You just want to be safe, and get out of harm’s way, especially if you have someone with you that you are responsible for. In this instance, you want to use SOS mode—this releases a strobe light that paralyzes your enemy. Now, paralysis is a wide and strong term. When you use a strobe light on someone, this is what happens:
Your brainwaves operate on certain hertz, or Hz. Brainwaves jump around between one and twenty Hz for various reasons, and strobe lights force those brainwaves to hit the highest Hz level possible without becoming lethal to the assailant. This can induce seizures, force the assailant to actually fall to their knees, and in most cases, put their hands over their ears as if a sound were pulsating in their eardrums. It sets off an array of problems, allowing you to get away quickly. In most cases, if someone is trying to sneak up on you and harm you or a loved one, they’ve looked at all the possible ways it can go wrong. A strobe light also tells them not to mess with you, because you bring EDC and come prepared.
Self Defense Measures With A Tactical Flashlight
We know that SOS mode can help you in a pinch. It can disorient attackers, make them confused, and bring them pain without you ever having to get close to them. The closer, the better for disorienting them, but you want the most lumens in your light output to ensure maximum distance, and maximum disorientation power.
These are some of the best ways to defend yourself using a tactical flashlight:
Striking Tool – Most tactical flashlights will come with a bezel that’s serrated or edges enough to cause some serious damage to an assailant. Ideally, you would use your flashlight to shine it in their eyes. Whether or not you’re using SOS mode, anything over 120 lumens is going to seriously mess with their vision, confuse and disorient them, and bring them a whole lot of migraine-like pain. However, this person could be after your possessions, your loved ones, or your life—you can never be too careful. Use that edged bezel and hit them in the face as hard as you possibly can while they are disoriented. This will send them to the ground, and deliver pain alongside mass confusion, allowing you and your loved ones enough time to escape and call the police.
Alert of Your Surrounding – Criminals often tend to strike on the unsuspecting. People who are listening to music on their own at night, and especially those returning to their car in a mostly-empty carport or carpark garage. It’s not just a movie cliché for nothing—people actually do this. It’s not a bad idea to enter the area with your flashlight already on, shining it around to look for potential assailants. Look as far as you’d like, or as far as your flashlight will allow, because you can never be too careful. This is going to tell the assailant that their chances have been slashed in half, because you’re ready for anything, and you’re not afraid to show it. You can avert anything from happening with a little proactivity.
Light ‘Em Up – In most situations, you will be with someone when you’re out-and-about. For those taking their wife/girlfriend out for the night, or the family to a show or a night of fun, you’re a huge risk factor. Why? Assailants know that you have something to lose, and they will use that as leverage in any confrontation. If it’s you and your girl, you should both have a tactical flashlight handy, and practice the precautions in step number two. Light up every possible area at once, rapidly moving between them. You’ll have a map of your surroundings in no time flat, and you’ll be safe enough to get into your car or continue on your path with no worries.
A great tactical flashlight is the kind of must-have kit that practically anyone could use today. Homeowners, campers, hunters, soldiers, first responders, mountain rescue teams and long distance sailors will all benefit from having a first-class tactical flashlight handy. Trying to determine the best tactical torch is not easy as there are so many on the market today but we feel you can’t lose with the 12 we’ve decided to highlight in this flashlight buying guide. We hope you enjoyed this tactical flashlight review and make sure you check back often for more valuable and informative product review guides.