If you need a torch (flashlight) that’s rugged and robust for your security guard, law enforcement, military, or outdoor camping applications, then pay close attention to this guide. It will assist you in finding the right torch or tactical flashlight for your specific needs. Ordinary cheap flashlights tend to break down or break apart from the pressure of whatever heavy duty activity you’re indulging in. As such, when it comes to finding the best tactical flashlight for you, you should know what makes a well-made tough tactical flashlight tic.
These useful gadgets will consistently give you a bright beam of light while at the same time maximizing the lifespans of their batteries. Pricing differences between torches happen due to the light source, which can either be a xenon bulb, halogen bulb, or a cluster of LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes. The strength of the light is measured in lumen, typically in the 100-1,000 lumen range.
When buying a torch or a tactical flashlight, you should also check out the construction of the flashlight in question, particularly when it comes to whether it has a waterproof switch gear, anodized finish, and an aluminum body, among other considerations. If they don’t have at least one of these features, chances are they’re not the tough and long-lasting torchlight you want to bring with you on your camping trip.
Obviously, portability is an important metric or standard when shopping for the best small flashlight as well. The smaller, the better isn’t necessarily the case, but in certain situations and applications, that’s your best bet (like if you want a powerful spare flashlight you can put inside your pocket while having a main torch during those pitch-black nights in the great outdoors). A good flashlight is built to withstand a harsh environment and rough treatment. Quality torches shouldn’t only be waterproof but shockproof as well.
Best Tactical Flashlights Reviews
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Tactical Flashlights Reviews
- 2 Features and Accessories of a Tactical Flashlight
- 3 The Light Source
- 4 Who Benefits from a Tactical Flashlight?
- 5 The Bottom Line
Fenix PD35 2015 TAC Edition Tactical Flashlight
This one has quite the amazing Amazon.com title that summarizes what it brings to the table. It’s the FenixPD35 2015 TAC Edition 1000 Lumen LED Tactical Flashlight. According to many a tactical flashlight review, The FenixPD35 specifically enjoys 850 to 1,000 lumens (maximum) of brightness or light power, three ounces of weight, and a clip mount.
This tactical edition flashlight also utilizes Cree XP-L (V5) LED as a bulb and an 18650 Li-Ion rechargeable battery as a power source. It can also take twin 3VCR123A lithium batteries. It even has a momentary-on function and a tactical tail switch to boot. Long story short, it’s a large, bright flashlight.
It’s one of the most dependable tactical torches on the market for sure. It has great dimensions with its 3.1 ounces or 87-gram weight (batteries not included), a length of 5.5 inches or 139 millimeters, and a diameter of one inch or 25.4 millimeters. The bundle includes an EdisonBrightBBX3 battery carry case and two EdisonBrightCR123A lithium batteries.
Fenix is a quality flashlight maker, and the PD35 850 Lumen CREE XM-L2 is a quality model of flashlight with a bright light. It, however, doesn’t have any way to narrow or adjust the beam. This is a floodlight torch, essentially. Fair warning, you can’t focus it into a beam, though. If you want something that can blast through the veil of darkness, then this is the torch for you. Read our detailed review of the Fenix PD35 2015 Tac Edition here.
Streamlight 88040 Protac Tactical Flashlight 2L with White LED
If you want white-hot LED (regarding brightness intensity, not literal temperature) for your torch, then your best bet is to avail of the Streamlight 88040 ProTAC HL High Lumen Professional Tactical Light. This product even comes in many other color variants, if you wish to make it more unique.This
This tactical flashlight truly delivers the goods with its C4 LED technology for extreme brightness and its LED-based Solid State Power Regulation that delivers the fullest and brightest light output possible throughout its battery life. It even outdoes all the other flashlights in the list by being waterproof, which makes it ideal for military and hunting usage at the swamp or through rainy conditions. It’s quite versatile as well with its three operating modes and anti-roll face cap.
The Streamlight 88040 ProTAC is everything you’ve been searching for in a torch and more. In particular, it’s perfect for patrolling the shadiest parts of a city when you’re working on security detail. You can go momentary, variable intensity, or strobe mode depending on what you’re searching for in the darkness.
It’s also one of the most consistent torches around. This is up there with the best all-around tactical flashlights ever made because of its consistency, especially when your life depends on having a flashlight that consistently shines its bright lights without dimming or going on the fritz for whatever reason. A standard flashlight might break under pressure during sensitive or dangerous activities, like firefighting or in the middle of war. There are even tactical torches that might not make it with those kinds of jobs. You need something as rugged as the Streamlight 88040 ProTAC. Read our detailed review of the Streamlight 88040 Protac here.
Streamlight 88031 ProTacTactical Flashlight
The black-colored Streamlight 88031 Protac Tactical Flashlight 2L with White LED includes 2 CR123A Lithium Batteries and a Nylon Holster. It’s not just a tactical torchlight; it’s also a full package of sorts with an impressive 50,000 hour lifetime and C4 LED technology. It also has three modes like the Streamlight 883040, which includes the momentary, variable intensity, or strobe mode. Indeed, as far as tactical lights go, this is one of the best.
Indeed, as far as tactical lights go, this is one of the best. Its momentary mode saves energy, and variable intensity allows you to go bright or dim, and strobe mode is for emergencies, like an SOS type of light. What’s more, you can operate this torch with one hand, which means you can hold on your other hand supplies or a weapon for self-defense depending on your activity. That’s to be expected with its IPX7 rated design.
It’s also waterproof enough to survive submersion into a meter of water for 30 minutes. It also has a removable pocket clip in case you want to holster it onto your belt or pocket as well as an anti-roll face cap so that it stays put wherever it is without rolling on the ground or under your car seat. Instead of buying separate batteries to power it up, the package includes the two CR123A lithium batteries.
Everything about the Streamlight 88031 Protac Tactical Flashlight is delivered to you with your convenience in mind. This is why this is the choice of professionals as far as quality torches are concerned. It passes with flying colors and then some as far as civilian and military applications are concerned, from farmers to the police. Even though it’s a pocket light for sure, the brightness of its C4 LED cannot be denied. READ our detailed review of the Streamlight 88031 here.
SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 Professional Series
It weighs only five ounces, yet it delivers over 1,200 lumens of brightness. You’ve never seen something so small to be so useful since the invention of the smartphone, perhaps. That’s what the SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight Kit brings to the table. You’re not just getting a flashlight with this product; you’re getting the whole shebang.
With this in mind, this is truly the tactical light of choice. The 1,200 lumens is the maximum brightness achievable with the Solaray thanks to its best and brightest LED bulbs that are all rechargeable. It also comes with nonstandard but welcome features like a zoom lens, five modes of operation, and rugged construction. That’s right; the Solaray ProZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight has five modes to choose from—variable intensity mode, floodlight mode, distance mode, bright tactical intruder strobe, and SOS emergency signal mode.
Instead of using a strobe for your SOS mode, there’s a separate mode for that. At any rate, there’s no denying the quality of the Solaray PRO ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight Kit, particularly when you list down the specs and the benefits you can get from them.
For instance, its battery charger has no cords, and you can directly plug it into the socket, making it less of a mess to charge your torch. What’s more, the package comes complete with the SOLARAY 18650 3.7v3000mAh lithium-ion battery and the 18650 Plastic 18650 Battery Sleeve. You can even receive a bonus LED solar-powered keychain and flashlight combo, such that on top of the main torch, you can get a pocket torch thrown in for good measure. The SOLARAY Pro Flashlight Kit does include everything you’ll ever need from a tactical torch. READ our detailed review of the SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 here.
Surefire P2X Fury Defender Tactical Flashlight
For the Surefire P2X Fury Defender Tactical LED Flashlight, this below $200 wonder comes complete with a durable all-black construction, 500 lumens of maximum output for 1.5 hours and 126 lumens of regular output, a LED emitter that’s virtually indestructible in order to maximize your runtime and light output, and a precision micro-textured reflector. The best pocket flashlight might have better portability, but it usually has smaller lumens due to the smaller bulb.
What’s more the Surefire P2X is capable of making a beam of light versus the floodlight capabilities of the FenixPD35 2015 TAC Edition. If you want a flashlight that pierces through the darkness with a ray of sunshine instead of blasting it away, then the Surefire P2X Fury Defender Tactical LED Flashlight and its smooth, optimized beam are for you.
The P2XD-A Surefire P2X Fury Defender is the single-output variant of the dual-output Fury searchlight that’s also pocket-sized to boot. Even its bezel is made to impress, what with it being crenelated and all. In an emergency, you can utilize this torch’s bezel as an emergency line of defense. Meanwhile, the reflector shapes the beam of the LED because it’s micro-textured and capable of concentrating all that light into a single ray.
This is one of the best tactical flashlights around for sure. If you don’t want floodlight torches for your flashlight activities and instead require light intensity and less light wastage, then this is the product you’ve seen searching for all this time. A beam is more far-reaching than a floodlight, at that. You have a brighter light with the Surefire P2X. in case you’re combing the area for details and small objects. Read our detailed review of the Surefire P2X Fury Defender here.
Features and Accessories of a Tactical Flashlight
There are many features you should take note of when purchasing a tactical flashlight. Refer to this awesome labels of the Flashlights:
The metal that surrounds the lens at the front of your flashlight. It’s the container of the lens that keeps it into place, essentially. The bezel can be unscrewed when you need to replace with a different color (you might need red lenses for nocturnal operations) or clean up your flashlight lens.
The lens, next to the bulb, is the most important part of the flashlight since it allows you a measure of control over the light produced by your torch. Lenses help focus the light so that you can have a more intense beam of it to shine on through the darkness that pierces right through it. A lens that’s efficient ensures no light is wasted at all. You can change lenses to shift colors depending on the circumstances.
It can either be a bulb or a diode (that is, a LED). It’s the electrical component of the flashlight that generates its light. It’s arguably the heart of the device. Halogen bulbs last long but waste energy. Xenon lasts longer than halogen but has too much glare. LEDs are smaller and consume less energy but cost more to produce.
The internal surface of the torch has a shiny plastic or metal surface that assists in making the light be more concentrated and intense by reflecting the light into one direction instead of letting it diffuse all over the place. Like the lens, a reflector is supposed to make efficient use of the light.
Mounting and Storage
It depends on the flashlight. You can get a weapon mount that locks into place on standard-size rails on a rifle to a simple clip that you can fit in your pocket. Your mount allows you to have easy access to your flashlight for rifle mounting or ready portable storage purposes.
The Light Source
The trending light source nowadays is the LED. The Light-Emitting Diode is a cost-efficient light source regarding overall energy usage. It has advanced quite superbly since the Seventies and Eighties. They’re not just for Christmas lights any longer. They’ve become some of the most powerful, dependable, and purest light sources around. Compared to incandescent or traditional filament bulbs, LEDs last longer, use up less energy or battery life, and their output is impressively powerful enough for all your lighting needs. If you don’t have any LED flashlights available, then you can go with alternatives such as xenon and halogen light sources. They’re also quite powerful, pure, and bright, but not as much as LEDs. The hierarchy of brightness and power efficiency are as follows—Halogen, followed by xenon, followed by LEDs. These bulbs are so powerful that they’re also used in the headlights of vehicles.
LEDs are more dependable for tactical torch usage because they don’t make use of glass bulbs or heated filaments, which means they’re less likely to break, overheat, or otherwise burn themselves out after a certain temperature is reached. They also can get hot, but not as hot as a filament bulb, which to this day is being used by poultry farms to keep eggs warm enough to hatch sans the assistance of a mother hen sitting on them and using her body weight to assist their development. The ability of LEDs to shine brightly yet keep itself at manageable temperatures to avoid burnout is what makes them less prone to shock and impact damage compared to glass-based units. If you wish to have a tactical flashlight on hand that you can rely on, then you should make sure it’s a LED before going for the xenon and halogen alternatives. The advantages of LEDs cannot be denied.
Who Benefits from a Tactical Flashlight?
Spend your money wisely when buying a top-quality flashlight. They’re most certainly not cheap. If you do any of the jobs or activities mentioned below, then you should go with the best professional-grade torch and not a cheap one that breaks easily.
If you love hunting, fishing, camping, and trekking, then you should keep yourself safe with the assistance of a topnotch flashlight. In particular, if you’re a hunter, you can even mount your torch onto your rifle to make it easier to spot and shoot your game (unless you’d rather go stealth mode with night vision technology). Ditto when it comes to seeing at night when you’re trekking, camping, or fishing. Pair your light with a good pocket knife, and you’ll be fine 🙂
As for the military, engaging the enemy also requires extensive flashlight use. They can’t always turn on their night vision equipment when crawling through enemy terrain. There are times when they should mount their flashlights on their weapons to enable them to intimidate and see enemies with their glaring torches before engaging them. They also have to traverse encampments, jungles, and caves with these torches on hand.
Whether you’re a security guard, a mall cop, or a police officer, the flashlight is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. You won’t be allowed to make use of your gun willy-nilly at the mall or as a security guard and coppers require flashlights to be able to see at night since they’re usually not equipped with standard-issue night vision equipment.
Many workers depend on durable flashlights that last long and won’t stop functioning when dropped for a living, from the truck driver who has to look through his truck at night for maintenance reasons to farmers who have to check on their livestock for weasels and thieves. Firefighters definitely should have flashlights handy during emergency rescue operations.
The Ordinary Everyday Citizen
Even if you’re not part of law enforcement, the military, the farmer and truck driver workforce, or the outdoor enthusiast scene, you might want at least a small LED-based torch by your bedside table.
So the best tactical flashlights are:
- Fenix PD35 2015 TAC Edition Tactical Flashlight
- Surefire P2X Fury Defender Tactical Flashlight
- Streamlight 88040 Protac Tactical Flashlight 2L with White LED
- Streamlight 88031 ProTacTactical Flashlight
- SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 Professional Series
The Bottom Line
When it comes to specialist tasks, nothing beats the tactical, high-performance flashlight. When purchasing a tactical flashlight or torch, you should buy a LED one, followed by a xenon torch then a halogen torch. What’s more, your flashlight should have a light output power of at least 100 lumens and have a light spread that should have a center beam with peripheral lighting that’s super-efficient.
Furthermore, make sure that flashlight is constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum like a rifle-scope to ensure that it lasts long, and it’s truly durable as advertised. The anodized coating for your torch should be of the Type III Hard variety as well. Finally, the power source or battery of your flashlight should beCR123A, RCR123A or 18650. You should never compromise when it comes to torches because, for many professionals, they can’t afford to have their flashlights die on them.
Don’t settle for anything less when it comes to pro-grade torches or else it’s a waste of money. Curiously enough, many of the top torchlight manufacturers are also great riflescope makers. They have many different models with a broad range of specs for sure. If you feel confused by all this, don’t worry. Just follow the reviews above and go with the flashlight that makes the most sense to you financially (the prices tend to change, so it’s best that you check them online through a quick Google search).
Don’t let the different features confuse you and focus on the metrics and features outlined in this guide, particularly regarding which flashlight burns brightest and most efficiently and which one of them are the right size for your needs. Once you separate the wheat from the chaff as far as information goes, it becomes quite easy to find the right tactical flashlight for you.
Last update on 2020-10-14 at 22:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. More info.