Choosing the best tactical flashlight for your needs is no easy feat, there are plenty of brands and models available on the market and the best flashlight for you may be different for someone else.
When it comes down to reliability it is hard to look past manufacturers such as SureFire, Fenix and Streamlight, but there are other well respected manufacturers such as HDS and 4sevens that are a less commonly known but are highly recommended.
Whether you require high intensity brightness for law enforcement or security, long lasting battery for camping or a small sized flashlight for everyday carry the helpful responsive comparison chart we have devised lists 15 of the top tactical flashlights. You can sort them in order of weight, length, battery type, lamp type and more to find the best flashlight for your needs.
Hours @ Max Output
Max Output (Lumens)
|Fenix TK15 S2 LED||5.4||5.7||2||400||$$$||5|
|Fenix TK35 LED||9||6.45||1.37||860||$$$$||4.5|
|Foursevens Quark Tactical QT2L LED||1.8||4.5||2||230||$||4|
|HDS EDC-T1B-120 LED||3.6||3.8||1.25||120||$$$||N/A|
|Klarus ST11 LED||5.15||5.55||2.3||900||$$||4.5|
|Olight M20SX-L2 Edition Warrior LED||4.37||5.5||1.3||550||$$||4.5|
|Olight M22 Warrior LED||5.15||5.67||1||950||$$$||5|
|Olight T20 LED||2.05||4.84||2.5||380||$||4.5|
|Pelican 7060 LED||10.4||8.65||2.25||164||$$$$||4.5|
|Streamlight Stinger Classic LED||11.1||7.65||1.45||390||$$$$||N/A|
|Streamlight TLR-3 LED||4.8||2.7||1.5||125||$$||4.5|
|Streamlight UltraStinger Xenon Bulb Rechargeable||16.1||11.75||1.1||230||$$$||4.5|
|Surefire 6P Defender LED||5.1||5.5||3||80||$$||4.5|
|Surefire 6PX Tactical LED||5.2||5.2||2||320||$$$||5|
|Surefire G2 Nitrolon LED||4.1||5.1||1||65||$||4.5|
|Surefire G2X Tactical LED (Nylon Polymer)||4.4||5.2||2||320||$$$||4.5|
|Surefire LX2 LumaMax LED||4.2||5.4||2||120||$$$$||4.5|
|Surefire X400 U LED+TIR||4.9||3.8||2.5||500||$$$$$||5|
Included in the matrix are 8 columns:
- Flashlight brand and name/model – (click to view more details or to purchase) with image
- Weight – flashlight weight in ounces
- Length – overall flashlight length from tip of bezel to bottom of tail in inches
- Power – type and amount of batteries used to power flashlight
- Bulb – type of bulb
- Hours @ Max Output – approximate duration of time the flashlight can last while on maximum brightness in hours
- Max Output – approximate total amount of visible light flashlight is capable of emitting in lumens
- Price – These are approximate prices on Amazon.com. These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more. But generally speaking: $= $1-50, $$= $51-75, $$$= $76-100, $$$$= $101-150, $$$$$= $151+
- Rating – The average user rating on Amazon.com out of 5. This can be very helpful in deciding if people are satisfied with their purchase
*Click on any of the columns to sort the data to help make your decision easier
What defines a tactical flashlight?
There are several key features that makes a flashlight ‘tactical’, although the term is open to interpretation, here are the elements that defines a tactical flashlight:
– A high lumen, powerful bulb (min 65 lumens)
– Solidity and durability
– Quality construction
– Usually powered by multiple 123A batteries
– Silent, forward switch with momentary function
– Adaptable to accessories such as a lanyard, weapon mount.
– Water resistant
There are many common uses for tactical flashlights, whether it is for law enforcement, security, fire and rescue, used in an industrial environment or for more personal uses such as backpacking, camping, safety at night or everyday carry.
Some of these situations demand further features from a tactical flashlight, such as the ability to:
– Be mountable to a gun or held in tandem with a firearms.
– Be used in close combat, double as a weapon e.g. heavy and solid as a rock
– Be used to disorientate either through sheer brightness or strobe settting
– Stand upright with crenulated bezel
– Have multiple brightness levels and settings.
Anything above 65 lumens minimum with a silent, forward clicky (with your thumb), durable, metallic aluminium casing and a light fits securely into your hand with a runtime of at least an hour.
Here is a helpful video explaining the essentials of a tactical flashlight:
What to look for in a tactical flashlight
For most applications, there are certain specifications you should guarantee your tactical flashlight has to make sure you have a quality light on hand.
We recommend a flashlight with a hard anodized aluminum casing as it offers a lightweight feel without sacrificing strength and durability.
One of the most durable grades of anodized aluminum finishes is the Mil-A-8625 Type III Class 2 military specification finish that is used by many of the top brands. It is also known as Type-III hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum.
Of course not all situations demand a metallic flashlight, some people may prefer a softer plastic casing such as a nylon polymer which is even lighter than aluminum and more comfortable to hold in cold weather. SureFire offer a fantastic Nitrolon Polymer range.
The flashlight glass must also have a high resistance to impacts preferably with sapphire coating to prevent damage when dropped or in sticky situations.
Depending upon your use, generally speaking the higher IPX rating the better. This measures the level of weather tightness and susceptibility to corrosion. The flashlights listed above have an IPX rating of 4 and above so they are water resistant, however mostly are IPX7/8 which means they are protected against water submersion to at least 1.0m.
LED, or light emitting diodes, are now essentially the standard for flashlights. Not only do LED bulbs offer superior brightness and power efficiency, they have become very affordable and have a far longer life than their predecessors the incandescent or halogen bulbs. But there are still plenty of non-LED flashlights on the market should you have a specific need.
Top rated Tactical Flashlights
Foursevens Quark Tactical QT2L LED
Size is everything for Everyday Carry and weight, this tidy Foursevens number weighs in at a mere 1.8 oz and is just 4.5″ but produces a powerful 230 lumens at an affordable price. The waterproof Quark Tactical comes with a lanyard and keychain attachment to mention a few of the included accessories and is the pick of the bunch for tactical Everday Carry.
Review to follow..
Fenix TK15 S2 LED
When camping, a lengthy battery life and durability is a must, not to mention weather tightness. The TK15 has a large variety of different functions, allowing four different power settings from the full on Turbo setting (2 hours @ 400 lumens) down to the Low 171 hours @ 6 lumens).
The TK15 is designed for the harsh outdoor conditions and is suitable for a variety of outdoor activities from camping, hunting and rescue searches.
Review to follow..
The Pelican 7060 LED flashlight, designed to specifications outlined by LAPD, produces a solid 164 lumens for a max 2.25 hours utilizing a rechargeable Li-ion battery. Despite it’s solid construction and generous length of 8.65″, the Pelican is a lightweight 10 oz making it the ideal law enforcement companion.
Check out our Pelican 7060 review here.
The TLR-3 Weapon Mounted Tactical Light is a lightweight and compact LED tactical flashlight that can produce 125 lumens for 1.5 hours from a single lithium battery. Built with C4 LED technology, the weapon mounted flashlight also has a IPX7 rated design meaning it is waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes and is capable of fitting on a wide variety of weapons suitable for your needs. The affordable Streamlight ticks all the boxes.
Review to follow..