Tactical Flashlight Review – When You Need A Torch You Can Rely On

Whether you’re a serving soldier, you work in law enforcement, or you’re a fireman, whether you’re a survivalist, prepper, a hunter or a serious backpacker, you always need the best, most reliable equipment – and that includes your choice of flashlight.

Here are my tactical flashlight reviews to help decide if you need a tactical flashlight and how to choose the best one for your needs. When you’re in a dangerous or critical situation, you don’t want your equipment to let you down. With this guide, you can choose a flashlight you can rely on.

**You'll find our more detailed reviews below, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Reviews

Editor's Choice

147th Force 1 - Tactical Flashlight with Power Bank

47th Force 1 - Tactical Flashlight with Power Bank

This is a 1000 lumens rechargeable flashlight with five light modes including low, medium, high, strobe and SOS. It is made of aviation-grade aluminum alloy and is water resistant.

This is a powerful tactical flashlight with a strong beam that would certainly dazzle an intruder if it were suddenly shone in their face. For the quality of the product, the price is very reasonable and this is also a tough flashlight you can rely on in a pinch.

I have two gripes to mention. First is that it doesn’t charge quickly which could be a problem in emergency situations. Second, you have to cycle through every light mode in order to return to the one you need. Again, not practical in dangerous situations where you have no time to lose.

Overall, this is an excellent pick for a tactical flashlight that does everything you need from it. It is tough, the beam is powerful and it is a reliable flashlight making this my top all-round pick for best tactical flashlight.

Pros

  • Bright light and strong beam
  • Tough and reliable
  • Reasonable price
  • Aviation-grade aluminum alloy

Cons

  • Slow to charge
  • Need to cycle through all light modes each time

Runner Up

ALKAI Apollo Tactical Flashlight

ALKAI Apollo Tactical Flashlight

This is a 1200-lumen LED tactical flashlight with five light modes and zoom capability. It is water a shock resistant and uses three AAA batteries or one 18650 battery – which need to be bought separately. It weighs in at 5.9oz and is small enough to carry in a pocket.

This tactical flashlight represents excellent value. It is small and inexpensive but can still produce a very powerful beam which can reach up to over 1600ft, much further than many other flashlights in this price range. It is tough, reliable and versatile.

If I have to find anything wrong with it, it would be that it needs three batteries so you have to carry lots of extra batteries with you if you need spares – but that’s where the power comes from. It is also a little on the heavy side but often weight means quality and that’s a reasonable trade off.

Overall, this is a great option for someone looking for a tactical flashlight at a reasonable price that doesn’t want to compromise on performance. It is a basic flashlight and may not be the right option for someone looking for high-end equipment.

Pros

  • Super-powerful beam
  • Amazing value
  • Small and practical
  • Tough and reliable

Cons

  • Needs three batteries (but this gives extra power)
  • Heavy for the size

Budget Pick

J5 Tactical V1-PRO

J5 Tactical V1-PRO 300 Lumen Ultra Bright Flashlight

The V1-PRO is a 300-lumen LED tactical flashlight with a 600ft beam that runs off a single AA battery. One single battery can give up to an hour of continuous use. It is also compatible with rechargeable batteries, giving flexibility of use.

I really like how small this flashlight is. It hardly weighs anything and is so easy to carry around. However, it is still very powerful for a small, inexpensive flashlight. It’s also pretty tough for the price and should be able to stand up to rigorous use.

My main problem with this as a tactical flashlight is its power. Although it is bright for the size and price, if you need a truly powerful flashlight, you may wish to consider spending more money for something with higher performance.

Overall, a good pick for someone looking for a tactical flashlight on a tight budget but maybe not the right one for someone looking for a flashlight with top-end performance for life and death moments.

Pros

  • Tiny size and light weight
  • Only needs one single battery
  • Reasonable price
  • Good power for the price

Cons

  • Not as powerful as more expensive models
  • Low price reflected in manufacturing quality

Upgrade Pick

Streamlight 88052 ProTac

Streamlight 88052 ProTac HL USB 850 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight

This is a high-quality and well-made tactical flashlight that weighs 9oz with 850-lumen output. It also includes several different light settings including low, high and strobe.

The outstanding feature of this flashlight is that it is extremely bright and should meet all your requirements in terms of illumination. Moreover, it is clearly a tough and durable piece of kit that won’t let you down when you need it.

One problem with this flashlight is that it is a little awkward switching between light modes – which means you could lose valuable seconds in an emergency situation. It also isn’t cheap and if you want a quality flashlight like this, you will need to be willing to pay for it.

This is a good choice for someone who is willing to spend the money for a superior flashlight. It probably isn’t the right option for someone on a budget since more inexpensive options are available.

Pros

  • High-quality flashlight
  • Lightweight
  • Tough and reliable
  • Extremely bright beam

Cons

  • Expensive – but you pay for quality
  • Awkward switching between light modes

Best Multicolor Flashlight

ROKKES LED Rechargeable Handheld Flashlight

ROKKES LED Rechargeable Handheld Flashlight

This ROKKES model is a 1500-lumen tri-color tactical flashlight with three LEDs. It is zoomable, boasts battery life of up to six hours, is tough and water resistant and weighs in at only 3.2oz.

What I love about this flashlight is that even though it is small, light and affordable, it still packs a punch with 1500 lumens. It can be recharged or used with standard AAA batteries and the tri-color function is excellent.

The only problem with this flashlight is that it is at the lower end of the price range and this is reflected slightly in the quality. If you want a higher-end flashlight, you will probably have to expect to pay more than the price of this model. Also, there is no blue light setting.

Overall, a great, inexpensive option for someone looking for a multicolor flashlight. If you want a top-end model you should look elsewhere and if you need blue light for tracking blood trails, this is not suitable.

Pros

  • Super-powerful beam
  • Lightweight and small
  • Affordable price tag
  • Easy multicolor functionality

Cons

  • Cheaper manufacturing quality
  • No blue light

Buyer's Guide

Flashlight On Military Camouflage Backpack

First of all, what is a tactical flashlight? In essence, ‘tactical’ refers to equipment made to military specifications. In general, tactical equipment is a higher quality than civilian equipment, it is more durable and is more reliable in difficult situations although the price is correspondingly higher.

So, who needs a tactical flashlight? Obviously, anyone serving in the military requires military-grade equipment as do police officers or firemen. Tactical flashlights are also often preferred by survivalists and preppers as well as hunters. Some backpackers and others may also opt for tactical equipment.

Do you need one? This depends on your requirements. If you value durability, practicality of use and certain other features and are willing to pay the higher price, a tactical flashlight could be the right choice.

However, if you engage in activities where you often need to use both hands such as climbing or caving or even just regular camping, a headtorch might be a better choice. If you just need a lamp for family camping trips, a cheaper regular flashlight will probably suffice.

Some of the important features to look for on tactical flashlights are as follows:

Durability

Tactical Flashlight On A Backpack Coloring Khaki

One of the first things you should look at when choosing a tactical flashlight is how tough it is. It is likely to receive much rougher treatment than in regular civilian situations and you don’t want it letting you down in what could turn out to be life and death situations.

Beam Power

If you are looking for a tactical flashlight, you will want to choose one with a powerful beam. When you need to illuminate your surroundings, you want a torch that can provide as much light as possible. In a defensive scenario, you need a torch that can dazzle and confuse attackers.

Battery System And Life

Full Set Compact Tactical Flashlight With Charger And Battery

You need to consider the type of situations you will be taking your flashlight into and you need to choose the appropriate battery system. Some tactical flashlights are rechargeable which gives you the advantage of not carrying extra batteries. However, opportunities to recharge may be limited.

Flashlights using batteries generally last longer. They are more suitable for longer trips or operations. Flashlights that take common batteries like AAs or AAAs are preferred by preppers because in an apocalypse situation they will be easier to find.

Weight

Tactical flashlights are usually smaller and lighter for ease of carrying and stowing while at the same time offering the same performance levels of much larger civilian models.

Lumens

Military Tactical Flashlight In Hand

Lumen’ refers to the amount of light a flashlight is capable of producing. The higher the lumens, the more powerful the beam.

​A tactical flashlight should be at least 120 lumens of light to blind an attackers or a bear temporary.

Light Filters

Something that may be important to you, depending on the intended use is light filters. Some tactical flashlights have the ability to change between a regular white beam and red, green or blue beams. If you need this, you should choose a flashlight that can switch beams easily.

Red light is used when you need to retain your night vision, blue light is useful when following blood trails at night and green is good for illuminating things when there is already a certain amount of light. If you think these might be useful for you, you may consider a flashlight with this capability.

Tail Switch

Black Tactical Flashlight With Orange Tail Switch

A tail switch – an on/off button on the end – gives you the ability to switch the beam on and off quickly. This might be important if you need to hide quickly of if you want to dazzle an intruder in your camp. Flashlights you twist on and off do not offer this capability.

Lanyard And Pocket Clip

Having a lanyard and pocket clip makes it easier to carry the flashlight while keeping your hands free when you need them.

Water Resistance

Flashlight Water Resistant In Drops

If you are looking for a tactical flashlight, you will probably need at least some degree of waterproofing. Some models are more water resistant than others and you should check this out before buying.

Strike Bezel

Wowtac A1S BSS TAC V2 LED Flashlight With Strike Bezel

LED Flashlight With Strike Bezel

If you are likely to find yourself in self-defense situations, any sturdy flashlight can be used as a weapon. However, some are specifically designed to produce the maximum damage when used to strike an enemy and if you think this is relevant to you, you may wish to consider it.

Conclusion

There are many tactical flashlights on the market to suit all requirements and budgets. I have chosen the best multicolor model, the best budget model and the best high-end model. My runner up, with its all-round functionality and reliability, was the ALKAI Apollo flashlight.

After looking at different flashlights and writing these five tactical flashlight reviews, my top flashlight and final winner, with its powerful beam, tough housing and reasonable price, is the 147th Force 1 model and this is my recommended tactical flashlight.

Do you have a tactical flashlight? Which functions and features do you think are most important? What do you use it for? Please write me a comment to let me know – and if you enjoyed this article, please don’t forget to share!

Julie McClain
 

Chief editor here at Outdoorzer. I’m an outdoor lover and ever since I was a little girl, I’ve worked hard to learn all I could from my Dad about Camping, Hiking, RVs and surviving in the woods.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: