Top Rated Flashlight Brands of 2018 - Flashlights in Focus

Best Flashlight Brands of 2018 - Tested and 
Reviewed

5 BEST RECHARGEABLE FLASHLIGHTS

Fenix FX-PD35TAC pricing
  • Fenix FX-PD35TAC
  • Brightness: 8-1000 Lumens
  • Runtime: 1-140 h
NiteCore P12 pricing
  • NiteCore P12
  • Brightness: 1-1000 Lumens
  • Runtime: 1h 15min-520 h
Streamlight 66118 pricing
  • Streamlight 66118
  • Brightness: 5-90 Lumens
  • Runtime: 6h 30min-11 h
SureFire G2X pricing
  • SureFire G2X
  • Brightness: 15-600 Lumens
  • Runtime: 1h 30min-52h
Olight S2R pricing
  • Olight S2R
  • Brightness: 0.5-1020 Lumens
  • Runtime: 3h 10min-60days

Finding a high-quality flashlight seems simple enough, but you can rest assured there are many things one should keep in mind in order to find a model that’s actually a worthy investment. This particular market is saturated with all kinds of different flashlights, and the vast majority of them aren’t any better than the regular Walmart flashlight that goes for a couple of dollars.

If you’re looking for a decent model, don’t hesitate to take a look at the ones that we have reviewed. Also, if you’re not sure about which brand to go with, refer to our brand reviews and see if you can find a suiting one. It doesn’t take much to get familiar with these units, and it helps a lot when it comes down to investing in the right things.

Fenix


Fenix is a Canadian company that is well-known for manufacturing high-quality LED flashlights. It was established back in 2004 and has been highly ranked in the business ever since. As far as diversity goes, Fenix offers over 200 models ranging from the ones for everyday use to highly-specialized military units. In other words – they have it all. In addition, this company also produces smaller lights like bicycle lights, camping lanterns, etcetera. If you’re looking for quality and reliability, Fenix is definitely a brand you should keep an eye on. High efficiency and reliable hardware is what makes this brand worth checking out.

Fenix FX-PD35TAC

This popular flashlight is definitely something you would want to have if you were an avid enthusiast. It runs on one 18650 rechargeable battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries. On top of that, it uses a Cree XP-L LED which has a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. Needless to say, this flashlight is built to last for quite a while.

Design:

The model is made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it reliable yet lightweight enough. In fact, it weighs only about 89 grams (3.1 oz.) excluding the battery, and it features an anti-roll slip-resistant design. As you can tell, it’s a great solution for both enthusiasts and professional purposes. There are two modes available – Tactical and Outdoor and switching between them is a piece of cake. A low-voltage reminder indicates when battery replacement is needed.

Battery:

The battery is pretty good, although also quite conventional. In other words, you shouldn’t expect any miraculous performance, but that doesn’t mean the batteries are bad per se. It only requires one 18650 battery which is somewhat efficient, but then again, pretty common. It’s important to remember to use quality batteries in order to get the optimal performance.

Extra Feature:

As far as the extra features go, there are plenty of them to look at. For example, this flashlight features a digitally regulated output which is responsible for maintaining consistent brightness. While it may not seem too impressive, it’s actually a useful feature because it prevents flickering and sudden loss of power. There are also six different levels of brightness available – Eco, Low, Mid, High, and Turbo mode. Each of these modes is suitable for a variety of applications including tactical purposes as well. One can also press and hold the switch when the light is turned on to activate the Strobe mode.

Fenix FX-PD35TAC product image
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NiteCore


NiteCore began manufacturing high-quality LED technology in 2007, and today they have a little over 600 models to offer. It’s important to point out that NiteCore focuses mainly on ease of use coupled with quality materials. The vast majority of their models feature the latest technological inventions, meaning they are always on-par with other brands as far as high-tech implementations go. Whether you’re looking for particularly high performance or are just looking for your next flashlight for daily use, NiteCore is a brand you should definitely check out. Apart from supreme quality, they also offer quite reasonable and affordable prices.

NiteCore P12

The P12 is a popular favorite amongst many enthusiasts thanks to its smart design and somewhat impressive brightness. In fact, it’s one of the best models for people who work in law enforcement, emergency services, security, and military. The maximum beam distance of this particular model is up to about 250 yards.

Design:

The first thing most people notice about the design is its compactness and sturdiness. This flashlight can easily fit in one’s hand as it’s not bigger than the palm of your hand. It might not seem as much, but smaller flashlights are somewhat easier to utilize in certain situations. The maximum output of this model is up to 1000 lumens thanks to the power of the Cree XM-L2 T6 LED. The clip slot is titanium-plated which significantly adds to the overall durability of this unit.

Battery:

The battery will last for quite a bit, depending on the brightness intensity and mode you choose. For example, it will run a little over an hour at max. setting of 1000 lumens, but it will run for six hours at 240 lumens as well as 28 hours at 70 lumens. The lowest setting is definitely the most efficient one as it draws incredibly low amounts of power at around 1 lumen which yields up to 520 hours of performance. The great thing about preferred brightness mode is that it is saved by the internal memory for better convenience. The flashlight runs on either one 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries.

Extra Feature:

While there aren’t many extra features per se, some things should be pointed out. For example, the P12 model features both a strobe and SOS modes which are easily activated with side-button controls. The unit also comes with a holster, pocket clip, and tactical ring included. The power indicator also has a secondary function that displays current battery voltage with an accuracy of 0.1V.

NiteCore P12 product image
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Streamlight


Streamlight is an American company established back in 1973. They have been well-known for years thanks to the quality of their products. That said, they are currently manufacturing a couple of different models for professionals who work for military and law enforcement. This company currently has a little over 900 models available on the market of which the vast majority is foreseen for casual use like automotive work, sports activities, etcetera. What makes this brand great is the responsiveness of their customer support department. In other words, they take user suggestions quite seriously and tend to listen what their clients have to say.

Streamlight 66118

The 66118 model is a great solution for people who are looking to get an affordable yet high-quality flashlight. As one can assume, it’s definitely not in the category of premium models like some others that we have covered in our reviews, but it certainly offers a sufficient amount of features to meet the expectations of an average user. In case you’re looking for a decent flashlight capable of illuminating a reasonable distance, don’t hesitate to check this one out.

Design:

The sleek pen-like design is what makes this particular model so attractive to everyday users. The reasoning behind this is pretty straightforward – you don’t have to carry a bulky piece of equipment if it’s not necessary. Now, there are some limitations such as weaker brightness output and lack of rechargeable batteries, but that’s something that is easy to overcome and get used to. The C4 LED delivers about 90 lumens with a reach of about 58 meters maximum. It also features a convenient pocket clip which is responsible for keeping the flashlight in place and safe at all times.  It’s made of Type II MIL-SPEC abrasion and corrosion-resistant anodized aircraft aluminum construction and features a scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens.

Battery:

This model runs on two AAA batteries which are included. As far as battery life goes, a quality set of batteries can power this flashlight for about 6.5 hours before a replacement is needed. The good thing here is that you can use rechargeable AAA batteries in order to cut losses and increase the overall efficiency. On the other hand, you won’t take a massive budget hit even without rechargeable batteries as most of them come at a pretty low price in the first place.

Extra Feature:

As a pretty standard-looking flashlight, the 66118 model doesn’t have any particular extra features. It is IPX4 rated for water resistance, but it features a relatively small impact resistance of only about 1 meter.

Streamlight 66118 product image
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SureFire


SureFire is a brand that was established in the year 2000, but its origins go far deeper in the past to around 1965 when they were a part of Newport Corporation which specialized in industrial applications of lasers. Nowadays, SureFire is one of the favorite brands of the military, law enforcement, and other government agencies thanks to their attention to both quality and details. They offer more than 100 models today many of which are currently in standard use by the FBI and aforementioned agencies. Apart from flashlights, this brand also manufactures hearing protection, muzzle breaks, sound suppressors, combat knives, etcetera.

SureFire G2X

The thing that makes this model somewhat special is the fact that it’s almost indestructible thanks to the sturdy and reliable design. It is, therefore, suitable for a vast variety of applications including activities like camping, sports manifestations, and even police work. The beam is quite smooth and well-optimized thanks to the micro-textured reflector behind the lens. If you’re looking for a tough yet easy to use model, this one might be a winner.

Design:

As we mentioned, one of the main selling points of this particular model is its toughness and capability to withstand quite a beating. The body is made of Nitrolon with anodized aluminum bezels. While it may not seem clear enough, you can rest assured that it’s able to cope with tough situations without breaking a sweat. It’s also quite ergonomically shaped meaning it doesn’t feel weird or unnatural in one’s hands. It features two output levels – 600 lumens at max capacity and about 15 lumens on low mode. It’s recommended that you use the low mode as much as possible and utilize the max capacity only when needed because of somewhat short battery life at maximum capacity. There are two available brightness levels – high for maximum light and low for extended runtime.

Battery:

This flashlight is powered by two 123A lithium batteries with a guaranteed 10-year shelf life. They also have a wide temperature tolerance meaning you don’t have to worry about them failing under rough conditions or sudden changes in temperature. On top of that, these batteries feature a built-in heat and fault mechanisms which provide more than enough protection from foreseeable predicaments. It’s important to point out that these batteries are made in the United States and are up to the highest standards. 

Extra Feature:

There aren’t many extra features to begin with, but the tail cap switch and the micro-textured parabolic reflector deserve to be mentioned. They aren’t necessarily extra features, but they definitely add to the overall usefulness and quality of this flashlight.

SureFire G2X product image
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Olight


Olight is a brand known for their attention to ergonomics, size, weight, and overall quality of their products. Even though they aren’t as known and famous as some of the other brands we covered, they still deserve a spot thanks to the fact that they do care about both the quality of their products and customer feedback. Global adoption is one of their main goals, and they are on a good path of getting there. In their own words –
“We are just a group of people looking to change the world one light at a time. And we want you to be a part of it.”

Olight S2R

If you’re looking for convenience coupled with pretty good build quality, the S2R kit is the thing for you. The package includes a charging cable, battery, lanyard, pouch, and an Olight patch. This flashlight is a great solution for hunting, fishing, walking, reading, cycling, and other similar activities. The max output is up to 1020 lumens which is certainly a premium feature. It weighs about 101 grams (3.6 oz.) with batteries included.

Design:

The important thing to point out as far as the design goes is the ergonomic aspect of this model. In other words, you won’t have any issues when handling this model because it’s shaped to fit well in anyone’s hands. The housing is mainly made of aluminum, although some parts are made of stainless steel. Needless to say, it’s quite lightweight yet durable enough to withstand rough conditions. It’s also IPX8 rated and is waterproof.

Battery:

The battery and the whole charging system is what makes this model a worthy purchase. The unit comes with an innovative charging solution via a USB cable that features a magnetic contact charging port. That means you can charge your flashlight any time anywhere as long as you have a computer or a charging power-bank nearby. The included battery is type 18650 (3200 mAh) and offers about 4 hours of service at the highest settings.

Extra Feature:

There are countless extra features you can count on in case you opt to purchase this particular model. For example, the innovative way of recharging the battery isn’t unique per se, but it’s definitely something that’s worth pointing out. On top of that, the magnetic tail cap allows you to put the flashlight away and stick it on any metal surface nearby. The reverse polarity protection circuits are also a notable feature as they are essential for protection against unforeseen failure.

Olight S2R product image
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The Conclusion

A quality flashlight is definitely a must-have, especially if you need one for daily use. There are dozens if not hundreds of models available on the market, but only a handful of them are actually worth investing in. We have reviewed some of the units we consider trustworthy, don’t hesitate to take a look and see if any of them meet your expectations and requirements.

People usually decide against investing any serious money into these things, but you can rest assured that cheaper units always turn out to be more expensive due to consistent failure and general lack of essential features.