If you find that the flashlights you buy from the store never seem bright enough, you might want to look into buying a tactical flashlight. You can get a fairly inexpensive tactical flashlight that will last you for years, whether you’re using it around the house or taking it camping or hunting with you. Or, if your tactical flashlight needs are more demanding than simple, everyday use, you can splurge and get a tactical flashlight full of cool features.
What is a tactical flashlight?
A tactical flashlight differs from a regular flashlight in brightness, durability, and the ability to use it for self-defense. Tactical lights can be especially useful for hunters and hikers who need to be able to illuminate long distances. But even if you’re not a hiker or a hunter, a tactical flashlight can still be of a lot of use to you in your everyday life. We’ve done the research, found the best flashlight brands, and rounded up the six best tactical flashlights you can buy right now.
Best tactical flashlights
- Feyachi FL11-MB
- Internova Guardian 1300XL
- Fenix PD35 TAC
- ThruNite TN 12 2016 XP-L
- Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL
- Streamlight 88060 ProTac HL 4
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best tactical flashlights regularly as new ones launch.
The Feyachi FL11-MB tactical flashlight is the most inexpensive option on the list, but it still has fantastic features. It generates 1200 lumens of white light that can illuminate up to 200 meters for four hours.
It’s extremely durable; its aircraft-grade aluminum alloy is coated with a black anodized finish, which helps make it shockproof in addition to being durable. The flashlight can be used in the rain due to waterproof O-rings with anti-abrasive coating around the head of the flashlight. For hunters, the offset mount can be quickly attached or detached in seconds.
Also, for self-defense purposes, the Feyachi FL11-MB has grooves at the head of the flashlight that you can attack a perpetrator with. Plus, this tactical flashlight definitely gets bright enough to temporarily blind an attacker.
Internova Guardian 1300XL
The Internova Guardian 1300XL is rated at 1300 lumens and can illuminate the distance of about three football fields. This tactical flashlight has five different modes – high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS – and BrightStart Memory technology, which means when you turn it on, it will turn on in the mode you last used it in. It also features grooves at the head of the flashlight that you can use for self-defense or to break out a window.
It has a brushed aircraft-grade aluminum alloy finish and a waterproof casing. These two features make the Internova Guardian 1300XL able to handle rainy weather and small, accidental drops. Though it has a textured, anti-slip handle to ensure you rarely drop the flashlight, even in rainy weather.
Fenix PD35 TAC
The Fenix PD35 TAC is a lightweight and compact option, but it still packs quite the punch when it comes to brightness. Excluding the battery, this tactical flashlight weights 3.1 oz, so it barely adds any weight to your backpack while hiking or camping. It has a 1000 lumen maximum and boasts that its Cree XP-L LED has a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
This flashlight, similar to the Internova Guardian 1300XL, has an intelligent memory circuit that remembers and uses the light mode you were last using. One of the awesome things about the Fenix PD35 TAC is Eco mode. In Eco mode, you still get plenty of brightness, but the flashlight’s battery will last you 150 hours. Eco mode is great for more generic flashlight needs like hiking, use during power outages, etc. The flashlight also has Turbo mode though, which is bright enough to be used as a stun weapon or to illuminate a considerable distance in front of you.
ThruNite TN 12 2016 XP-L
ThruNite’s TN 12 2016 XP-L tactical flashlight is the brightest version of any flashlights in the ThruNite tactical series. At the highest brightness, the flashlight can generate 1100 lumen. However, it has various modes, all with different lumen settings. One of the more useful modes is Firefly mode. In this mode, there is a 0.4 lumen setting that mimics moonlight; this gives you a small amount of light to allow you to protect your eyes when reading a map or a book at night.
The flashlight is made of anodized aluminum construction; after being tested, it was found to have a 1.5-meter impact resistance. It’s also waterproof in water up to 2-meters deep for as long as 30 minutes. Its circuit design has also been improved so that you can visually tell the difference between High and Max modes.
The TN 12 2016 XP-L weighs 3 oz without a battery and measures 4.25 inches in length. If you’re looking for an ultra-compact tactical flashlight that won’t cost too much, this is a great option.
Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL
If you’re looking for a tactical flashlight to attach to a weapon, go with the Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL. It mounts directly to a variety of weapons, including weapon-like devices like paintball guns in some cases. The one-handed “snap-on and tighten” interface keeps your hands away from the muzzle when attaching and detaching the tactical light.
The Streamlight 69260 is durably made with aircraft aluminum and produces 800 lumen with C4 LED light technology. Its TIR optic generates a concentrated beam of light that can reach up to 283 meters. The HL, or High Lumen, series of Streamlight tactical flashlights provides maximum illumination for smaller areas in which you need a lot of light, but you don’t need to see a super long distance away. The battery has an estimated 1.75 hour run time.
Streamlight 88060 ProTac HL 4
Similar to the other Streamlight flashlight, the 88060 ProTac HL4 also utilizes C4 LED technology to power its concentrated beam of light. However, whereas the 69260 TLR-1 HL produces 800 lumen, the 88060 ProTac HL4 produces up to 2200 lumen. Depending on which mode you use the flashlight in, the battery can last you anywhere from 1.5 hours to 40 hours.
Speaking of the battery, there’s something really unique about the 88060 ProTac HL4’s battery situation. In this tactical flashlight, you can use either four 3-volt CR123A lithium batteries or two rechargeable lithium batteries. The battery cradle is self-adjusting to fit many different battery sizes. One of the main differences between Streamlight’s two tactical flashlights on this list is that the 88060 ProTac HL4 is essentially a rechargeable tactical flashlight.
Like most of the flashlights on this list, it’s made of aluminum and is quite durable. It also has a corrosion-proof polymer resin. It is waterproof up to 1-meter for 30 minutes as well as impact-resistant up to 1-meter. The main difference between the other tactical flashlights and this one is the sheer power of the light produced.