A tactical flashlight is quite a valuable asset for anyone who’s into camping, cave exploring, night hiking, and other activities that require one to have a piece of quality equipment in order to have a good experience. However, the market is saturated with all kinds of flashlights including the ones that simply aren’t worth the investment. The problem here is that many people don’t know how to differentiate quality equipment from knock-offs. Consequently, many people end up buying a thing that either doesn’t meet their expectations or is simply a subpar product.
In order to avoid such scenarios, take a moment and check some of our reviews. We have covered some of the top-rated products in this particular category so that you don’t have to waste hours on researching the market yourself. Some of these products offer more while some offer less. It all comes down to what you want and need from a tactical flashlight.
Before you opt to invest in a particular model, there are some things you should consider and keep an eye on. Many people make a common mistake of buying the first thing they stumble upon which then consequently ends up being a bad purchase. In order to avoid such scenarios, take a moment and check our Buyer’s Guide as it is designed to offer you a better insight of what to look for and what to avoid.
As you may know, the light output is measured in lumens. Every flashlight manufacturer must specify the number of lumens on a particular model in order to give you a better idea of what to expect. As far as our recommendations go, the more, the merrier. Although, it all comes down to one’s personal requirements and needs. Furthermore, the vast majority of units have different modes which determine the brightness level in order to save the battery.
The beam distance is more or less closely related to the light output. In other words, it’s the measurement of the distance at which the intensity of the beam reaches 0.2 lux and is measured in meters. While this definitely isn’t a rule of thumb in this particular industry, it is a good way of roughly determining whether the distance is favorable for you. In most cases, units with a better lumen output will have a better beam distance.
This category refers to water and impact resistance. While most modern flashlights are either IPX7 or IPX8 rated, it’s always a good idea to double-check the certificates. In case you’re not familiar with these, don’t hesitate to use Google and you’ll get the idea of how these certificates are issued. It’s not a complex thing per se, but it’s definitely a tedious piece of research sometimes.
The batteries are probably the most important element of every flashlight. In simpler terms, if the model runs on subpar batteries, it will have subpar performance. Most people find the rechargeable batteries to be the best both for convenience and longevity. While this is most often true, it’s not an exclusive rule by any means. The important thing here is to find the type that offers the most convenience coupled with longevity and long runtimes. One of the advantages of rechargeable batteries over the non-rechargeable ones is the fact that you will have to buy a new set every time the former dies out.
Other than the battery, the design is also one of the fundamentals you should be focused on. For example, you should always look for ergonomic designs that offer a firm grip and ease of use. Luckily, the vast majority of units are designed to offer such benefits. Furthermore, the materials used in production is also an important part of the whole verdict. You should always aim for models made of lightweight metals such as aluminum. In fact, aluminum is a perfect material because it offers both durability and light weight. Some models do have parts made of hard plastic, but those are usually internal parts that are most often safe from outside influences.
If you’re looking for a versatile flashlight, light modes is the thing you should be paying attention to. Most modern models come with low, mid, high modes already included. However, you should also aim for strobe and SOS modes, especially if you’re planning on using the model for tactical purposes or self-defense.
Try to avoid particularly complex units that require training if you’re aiming for a model for everyday use. On the other hand, in case you’re looking for something with a lot of features, complexity is to be expected.
As far as we are concerned, the Streamlight 88052 model is what we would recommend to most people who aren’t sure what they want or need. It’s a great flashlight with a good battery and a pretty decent brightness output. On top of that, it’s quite affordable meaning you don’t have to worry about damaging your budget too much. The design is ergonomic and durable and it offers a pretty safe and secure grip. It is USB rechargeable and has a 100,000 hour lifetime. The max. output is about 850 lumens which is not the highest on our list, but it’s definitely sufficient for the vast majority of applications.