Light Relief: The 11 Best Tactical Flashlights – Reviews

A tactical flashlight is an oftentimes overlooked everyday carry essential.

Much like a pocket knife, or even a tactical pen, you’re here because you’re wanting a flashlight that just becomes something you carry without really thinking about it.

You probably already have a flashlight or two hidden under the kitchen sink or in your vehicle, but if you were confronted with an attacker would you trust it to help save your life? All the tactical flashlights below are equipped to exceed all your candlepower requirements, giving you the ability to stun an attacker; but also, are built rugged enough to aid in your self-defense should things turn physical. You’re already one step closer to feeling just a little bit safer.

The Best Tactical Flashlights

j5 hyper v

JV Hyper V Tactical Flashlight

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This small, but intense flashlight can cast out a 400 lumen light over 250 yards. You can adjust the focus of the beam to make it larger or smaller depending on your needs. You can easily switch from a floodlight to a spotlight. Turning the JV Hyper V off and on is a snap using a tail-cap press. Half-press the tail-cap to change the beam from high to low to strobe. The strobe feature is particularly good for disorienting attackers. The attack head on the flashlight also helps in self-defense situations. Be aware that, after turning the light off and then on again, the flashlight will advance to the next light setting from the one you previously used. This can be a bit annoying. At only 5 inches long by 1.25 inches wide, the Hyper V is perfect for carrying in a pocket or a purse and also comes with a clip to attach to a belt.
Fenix PD35 TAC 1000

Fenix PD35 TAC

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If you are searching for a heavy-duty tactical flashlight with lots of features, the Fenix PD35 is an excellent choice. While not as inexpensive as some of the other tactical flashlights out there, the Fenix compensates with several high-quality features. The Fenix is constructed from aircraft quality aluminum, and the lens is toughened ultra-clear glass with an anti-reflective coating. The flashlight has five “outdoor” modes: Turbo, High, Mid, Low, and Eco, plus a strobe mode. The Tactical setting has three simplified modes-Turbo, Strobe, and Low, as well as a momentary-on activation of 1000 lumens. Battery life ranges from little over an hour in the Turbo mode to 140 hours in the Eco mode. You can use one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries. The throw on the light is a long 656 feet and is a wide throw as well. The light does get hot if left on the higher-level settings for an extended period of time.
Ghost Vapor GVX-8700

Ghost Vapor GVX-8700

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The Ghost Vaper is a great value in tactical flashlights, offering you 1000 lumens on its high setting for a good price. The high beam can go out to 150 yards and beyond. (You must use a 18650 battery to reach 1000 lumens). It comes with five levels of illumination-low, medium, high, strobe, and SOS. The flashlight operates on 3X AAA batteries or an 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery. (Which must be purchased separately). The flashlight is constructed out of aircraft grade aluminum, and features a self-defense attack bezel surrounding the lens. It is 5.5 inches long and 1.8 inches wide. You can attach at lanyard to the flashlight.
eastshine tactical

Eastshine T25 CREE XP-L HI V3

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The Eastshine T25 packs a lot of features in a small package. Only 5.5 inches long by 1 inches wide, the T25 gives you four different light settings. You have 60 lumen low setting, a 1000 lumen high setting, a 1000 lumen strobe setting, and a 1 lumen moonlight setting. The high setting illuminates out to a distance of 350 yards. The moonlight setting is great for giving you a bit of light while you try not to disturb people sleeping nearby. The 1000 lumen strobe light will certainly disorient any would-be attacker. The T25 also has a number of other useful features. It has a memory function so that when turning your flashlight back on, it remembers your previous setting. It also has a power indicator which lets you know how much battery life you have left. The T25 also comes with several accessories such as tactical ring, clip, lanyard, holster, and spare O-ring. Unfortunately, it does not come with a battery or a battery charger, which you will have to purchase separately.
Prosvet E6 1200

Prosvet E6 1200 Cree-XML T6

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The Prosvet E6 comes with a free lantern dome, which makes the flashlight especially useful when camping. You can cycle through five modes with the flashlight: High, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. The light is powered by either three AAA batteries or one 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which must be purchased separately. The E6 will be brighter with the 18650 battery than the AAAs, but can be used with both. The light is 5.1 inches long and 1.5 inches wide at its widest point, and is made out of an aluminum alloy. The E6 is listed at 1200 lumens, but in actuality does not seem to really reach that level. Still, it does provide good illumination at a reasonable price.
R1 Lawman

Surefire R1 Lawman

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Designed for law enforcement professionals, the Lawman is a flashlight which can be enjoyed by everyone who wishes an elevated level of performance. The flashlight can throw out 1000 lumens on its high setting with a lithium-ion battery. The Lawman can also run on 123A cells, but the maximum lumens in this setting is 500 and runtime is reduced by about a quarter. The light also has a medium, low, and strobe setting, as well as a momentary output function in tactical mode. You can program the different settings from the head switch or the tailcap switch. The construction is aerospace aluminum hard-adonized to military specifications for durability and toughness. O-rings and gaskets keep out dust, dirt and moisture. The li-ion battery is rechargeable, and the Lawman comes with a charger. It is difficult to acquire another li-ion battery to fit this flashlight, so if you use your light on high power without a nearby charger you might have battery issues. It is an expensive flashlight as well, so if you are looking to save your pocketbook there are better options out there.
5.11 Tactical XBT

5.11 Tactical XBT

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This is a longer tactical flashlight, measuring over 12 inches long with a 2.5- inch head. It uses three Cree XMLB LEDs and three D batteries to throw an impressive 1231lumen output on high power. The beam shines out over 620 feet in length. The lends is constructed from quality polycarbonate, and a crenelated bezel provides extra protection if needed. The casing is built from aerospace grade aluminum, and is tough, sturdy, and water and impact resistant. Runtime varies from 2 hours on high power to 72 hours on low. Low power will still get you 100 lumens of output. You also get a momentary on lighting mode. The XBT D3 is a heavier flashlight, weighing in at two pounds, including the D batteries.
Smith & Wesson mp12

Smith & Wesson MP12

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The MP12 is a small flashlight that packs a lot of punch. At only 5.6 inches long, the MP12 throws out 875 lumens of output 800 feet away on high power. Or convert to low power to get 43 hours of battery life while still enjoying a 100-foot beam. It also has a strobe mode for personal protection. Double O ring sealing makes the MP12 waterproof down to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in depth. The matte black, hard-adonized aluminum case with an anti-reflective coating is sleek and sturdy. You get lots of accessories when purchasing-the MP12 comes with two CR123 batteries, a clip, a holster, and a lanyard. Be careful-the light can get hot if left on high power for an extended period.
surefire dominator

SureFire Dominator

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When you need to a light with the power of the sun, go with the SureFire Dominator. It throws an incredible 2400 lumens of output. You can easily see the center of the beam on targets more than 600 yards away. That is more than a third of a mile. The flashlight is perfect for those in rural areas who need to know quickly if that sound they hear outside their house is the dog, another animal, or an intruder. It is also useful for first responders, maritime search-and-rescue, and other similar activities. Power like this does not come cheap-either in batteries or in dollars. Like many tactical flashlights, the Dominator can be run on either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or on 12 123A disposable batteries. You do get more than just a powerful beam with the Dominator, though. You can cycle through nine different output levels-ranging from 14 to 2400 lumens, plus a strobe mode. The case is hard-adonized matte finish on aluminum, and it comes with a battery status LED.
EagleTac T25C2

EagleTac T25C2 XM-L2

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The EagleTac is a powerful smaller flashlight with a couple of interesting features. First-this flashlight can throw a bright beam almost 300 yards. At the high setting, hits 1180 lumens of output. It uses the latest CREE Lamp XM-L2 LED to reach this level of production. The regular mode gives you three brightness levels plus a strobe, while the tactical mode gives you two brightness levels plus a strobe. The strobe can be set to disorient, flash on high for an SOS, or flash as a beacon. You can stand this flashlight on its tail thanks to its tail-stand rubber boot, and its soft cigar grip makes it easy to carry. The T25 operates on a lithium-ion battery or on CR123A batteries. A tailcap battery stabilizer keeps the batteries from moving inside the battery tube. This is a useful flashlight with several interesting features, but you might need to take a couple of minutes to understand how to operate it.
gerber blades

Gerber Blades Cortex

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The Gerber Blades Cortex offers versatility in its power options. You can run it off three lithium CR123 batteries or two easy to obtain AA batteries. The lithium batteries provide more power for the flashlight, but it is nice to be able to use regular batteries to power the flashlight if you need to. With the lithium batteries, the Cortex throws out 30 lumens at low power and 675 lumens at high power. Runtime on high power with the lithium battery is 1.5 hours, and you get 40 hours of use out of the flashlight at low power. You also get a strobe setting for personal defense or for signaling. You activate the flashlight using a tail cap switch, and can attach the light to your pocket or belt using a pocket clip.

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