Best Tactical Flashlights of May 2017: Reviews & Buyer Guide

It’s always a great time to buy a good flashlight. Adventures abound and life continues to happen all around us. Carrying around the best tactical flashlight is one of the easiest ways to stay prepared and to remain safe on a day-to-day basis.

In this article we will answer some of the most basic and frequently asked questions, look at some LED flashlight reviews, fill you in on the info you need to understand and properly use a tactical flashlight and look at 5 of the top rated tactical flashlight reviews from 2016.

Why use a tactical flashlight

Tactical flashlights are reliable, strong, concise and consistent. They are built for high impact use and are made out of the best aerospace grade aluminum making them durable to natural elements like water, corrosion from wind and resistance to wear and tear by normal, every day use.

Tactical flashlights have many great uses. If you are a cop or a civilian or a camper, tactical flashlights are for you. Tactical torches are some of the best pocket lights out there. Tactical flashlights can be used for:

  • Camping/backpacking
  • Outdoor adventures
  • Safety, survival and self defense
  • Emergencies (flooding, power outages, natural disasters)
  • All things military
  • Day-to-day activities
  • As a backup or spare lighting source

What makes a flashlight a tactical flashlight

Unlike normal flashlights, a tactical flashlight is designed with more in mind than just being able to see something. A tactical flashlight is designed with your safety in mind. They are strong enough to blind attackers and reliable enough to carry with you into the woods. They’re great for emergency situations like power outages and flooding because they are very durable and waterproof.

Tactical flashlights are always handheld, ranging from 4 to 10 inches in length and are equipped with a no-slip, steady-grip handle allowing you to access it and control it with ease. They are made for self defense and are great protection devices because of the brightness of the light and also because of their ability to do damage or cause pain upon contact. One other significant difference is that most tactical lights are designed to be attached to a rifle and contain a gun mount holster while normal flashlights are not.

Finally, one other significant difference between tactical flashlights and regular flashlights is the type of light that is used in each device. Most tactical flashlights use an LED bulb which is less likely to break upon contact and overall able to withstand far more wear and tear, whereas most regular flashlights use a rather fragile incandescent bulb.

Top 5 tactical flashlights

Fenix PD32 2016 Ultimate Edition – Best Value Option

Fenix PD32 2016 Ultimate EditionThe 2016 edition of the Fenix PD32 is definitely a worthwhile investment. This torch light has a lifespan of 50,000 hours which means you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries or ending up stranded on an outdoor adventure without light. This flashlight uses two 3V CR123A lithium batteries but can also function with a single 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery. Two EdisonBright CR123A batteries are included with your purchase.

This high-performance and pocket-size Fenix flashlight is compact and powerful. This light comes with 5 different settings and uses as well as an SOS setting. A simple press of a button takes you to the next level and allows you to see with a different amount of lumens: turbo – 900 lumens, high – 400 lumens, mid – 150 lumens, low – 50 lumens, eco – 5 lumens.

This flashlight has a built-in memory system and automatically switches on to the last used brightness level. It also has a built-in and digitally regulated system to maintain constant and consistent brightness making it a near-perfect self defense survival device.

  • Length: 5.10 inches (129.5 mm)
  • Diameter: 0.90 inches (22.6 mm)
  • Weight: 2.72 ounces (77 g) (excluding batteries)

  • Waterproof
  • extremely bright featuring 740 lumens of light
  • small and easy to transport; anti-roll and slip-resistant design
  • made of durable, long-lasting, aircraft-grade aluminum
  • super strong, ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating.

  • Fragile tailcap and LED head unit that doesn’t withstand a whole lot of abuse
  • More costly than other LED lights.

SureFire P3X Fury

SureFire P3X Fury reviewThis SureFire P3X is available for purchase in two different sizes: 1000 lumens for maximum light or 600 lumens. The P3X features a specialized precision micro-reflector creates a smooth and clear beam of light and is made of aerospace aluminium that can withstand mild to aggressive abuse.

Is best used for seeing in close to medium distances and takes three lithium 123A batteries. The body of this SureFire has a slip-free grip and is coated with a Mil-Spec hard-anodized finish making it extremely resistant to scratches, harsh weather and regular wear and tear from usage. This 1000 lumen tactical flashlight is a pocket-size searchlight that provides intense and extremely bright light. This is definitely one of the best SureFire flashlights out there.

  • Extremely bright light
  • Rugged construction
  • Well-focussed and far reaching light beam
  • Phenomenal self-defense tool that would blind an attacker in an instant.

  • It’s a bit heavier than most LED lights, weighting 11.2 ounces
  • Only lasts for about 2 hours on the high setting
  • Is slightly larger than other LED flashlight models

Elite Tactical Pro 300 – Best Budget Option

Elite Tactical Pro 300 reviewThis super powerful flashlight has 1200 lumens of power making it the best military flashlight on the market. It’s one of the most powerful lights on the market. It’s also one of the most precise lights on the market as it includes a zoomable lens making it easier for you to focus in certain objects.

The Elite Tactical Pro is extremely efficient and comes with an energy efficient rechargeable battery. It is also extremely durable. In one test it withstood the pressure of a 4 ton plane and functioned perfectly fine afterwards. Change the lens and make it a red lens flashlight.

This cree tactical is a small and powerful flashlight making it perfect for camping trips, power outages, emergencies and self-defense. Keep it in your cupboard, in the draw next to your bed or in the bathroom for quick and easy access.

  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Easy to carry & use
  • Affordable
  • Extremely strong and bright
  • Highest lumen on our list

  • Is not easily attached to a rifle or other sporting devices,
  • The charging cables are quite short limiting your choices as to where you can charge the battery

Vipertek VTS-T03

Vipertek VTS-T03 reviewThis flashlight is one of the longest-lasting lights on the market, providing up to 100,000 hours of bulb illumination. It is constructed out of the highest quality aluminum and features an internal rechargeable battery, which means you don’t have to keep buying expensive batteries and watch your money go to waste.

It’s a convenient size, coming in at just under 7 inches. Includes a lifetime warranty. That fact alone makes it a good purchase. The perk of this “flashlight” is that it is also a stun gun making this a great option for self defense and protection. Even shooting this electrical shock into the air is enough to stop an attacker in his or her tracks. If nothing else it is great for men and women who want an added level of protection while out on their own.

  • Light is so bright it is blinding and super sturdy
  • The stun gun has 3 modes; packs a great punch for such a small price.

  • Functions well as a flashlight but not as a stun gun
  • Shock seems quite weak and does not hurt very much

PeakPlus Brightest LED Tactical Flashlight

61ntui1pzl-_sl1000_This flashlight comes as a kit that includes: an extremely bright professional grade LED flashlight, 1 rechargeable lithium ion battery and case. The kit comes with an optional purchase of a AAA battery holder as a back up for a burnt out lithium battery. If you’re thinking about heading into the woods or the deep wilderness this isn’t a bad idea to have on hand.

The body of the PeakPlus flashlight is made of aluminum alloy and is coated with a rubber grip hold making it both sturdy and easy to hold and use, especially in rainy or harsh weather. There are 5 lighting modes to choose from and a zoomable lighting function for narrow or wider views.

The product weights 0.31 pounds and is 5.3 inches in length. It takes about 6 hours to fully charge the battery. Once it is fully charged the battery will last hours and can shine over 100 yards.

  • Very bright
  • Excellent customer service
  • Well made, reliable, powerful
  • Great value for the money.

  • Too small to use as a self-defense weapon.

Who would benefit from using a tactical flashlight

The short answer is, believe it or not, everyone. Police, law enforcement, people who like to go hunting and fishing, outdoor enthusiasts, everyday citizens. There’s no one who wouldn’t benefit from a reliable, trusted and powerful light source. Besides staying warm and keeping yourself hydrated and well-fed, there isn’t much more that one needs to survive besides a constant light source.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my tactical flashlight fit into a 1” gun mount?
Most tactical flashlights are intentionally built to fit into a 1” gun mount, however, not all of them do. It is best to check with the manufacturer or browse some of the frequently asked questions on Amazon before purchasing a tactical flashlight to ensure that it does.
Does a “waterproof” tactical flashlight mean that it is fully submersible?
No, it does not. This can be slightly deceiving because most people would think that labelling something as “waterproof” would mean that it can withstand any type of water activity. This is not true. Only flashlights that are designated and specifically designated as IPX-8 are submersible. Most brands will state that they are “waterproof” as a marketing gimmick or tactic, however, this only means that they have to withstand getting wet, usually just by a light rain.
I know my tactical flashlight says it is strong and durable but what does that mean, exactly?
Tactical flashlights are designed and made with the highest quality of durable aerospace grade aluminum. They are made for intense wear and tear and can withstand incredible amounts of pressure. What does that mean? Most tactical flashlights are able to withstand up to 4 tons of pressure and still function perfectly fine afterwards. In other words, you could run over a tactical flashlight with an airplane and it would turn on and work just fine. If you’re looking for a dependable and study flashlight, go tactical. It’s the best.
Russ Kannigan

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