Top Tactical LED Flashlights Reviewed

A good tactical LED flashlight is an absolute necessity for every backpacker.  Every camping or backpacking trip will require navigating the backcountry in the dark and a flashlight will become your most important tool.  The hardest part in choosing the right flashlight is knowing which one is best for your adventure.  There are tactical flashlights that are smaller and can fit in your pocket, and bigger flashlights with more lighting modes and options that work great for a more settled campsite.  No matter what your needs you can find all kinds of different flashlights that include different brightness levels, lumens, beam distance, battery life, and even colors.

For more details information on backpacking flashlights, along with tips on finding the right tactical flashlight for your adventure check out “Why A Tactical LED Flashlight Is Needed By Every Backpacker”.

For in-depth product reviews on our favorite flashlights be sure to check out our detailed product reviews below.

Of all the great camping and tactical flashlights we’ve tried, our top choice is the 1Tac TC1200 Tactical Flashlight.  For more info on this great camping flashlight check out our “1Tac TC1200 Tactical Flashlight Review

Top Tactical LED Flashlights Rankings

  1. Fenix Tactical LED Flashlights TK76 2800-Lumen Flashlight

  2. Editors Rating:
    (4.9 / 5)

    Best Overall Option

    Weight 24 oz
    Lumens 2800
    Beam Distance 1476
    Life Span 50000
    Current Price $299.95
    Pros Includes 3 LED's with 6 Different settings, Max 2800 lumens, Heavy duty body with tripod mount, ,
    Cons Too heavy for backpackers, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Fenix Tactical LED Flashlights TK76 2800-Lumen Flashlight is an absolute beast and a must have for anyone traveling at night.

    The front of the flashlight has 3 LED’s. The main Cree XM-L2 T6 neutral white LED is your throw and acts as more of a spotlight, while the other 2 Cree XM-L2 U2 LEDs are your floodlights. The 2 smaller lights contain 2 different optics. One is a neutral and one is a cool light.

    This light is a bit more complex than a smaller tactical flashlight as it has 5 separate buttons that provide a number of different settings.

    These settings give you more precise control of light power than most other flashlights on the market.

    These include:
    Power button – Instantly turns on all 3 LED’s
    Turbo Button – Gives you temporary max output. Hold 5 seconds and it stays on.
    3 LED/Reflector combination buttons – Gives control of each individual LED and you can gauge the power output by the power indicator meters on the sides.

    All the modes and settings also include memory so when you turn it on, it reverts back to the setting it was at when it was turned off.

    The 6 outputs you can get from this light include:
    Turbo-2800 lumen (1hr 15min)
    High-1200 lumen (4hr)
    Medium-450 lumen (12hr)
    Low-25 lumen (200hr)
    strobe and SOS

    The body is a monster

    Includes IPX-8 Waterproof and can withstand being submerged in water at 2 meters for 30 minutes.

    There’s a tripod mount on the bottom that comes in handy for photographers.

    The light is powered by 4 18650 batteries that rest inside a battery “cage” inside the flashlight. These batteries are not included.

    Be sure you remember to keep a Fenix TK76 in your car, garage, or trailer to ensure you’re never stuck in the dark.

    If you’re still on the fence, be sure to see how the Fenix TK76 stacks up to our choice for top tactical flashlight, the 1Tac TC1200 Tactical Flashlight 

    Read our full review of the Fenix Tactical LED Flashlights TK76 2800-Lumen Flashlight


  3. Fenix 1000 Lumen Flashlight

  4. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)

    Weight 3 oz
    Lumens 1000
    Beam Distance 820
    Life Span 430
    Current Price $80.51
    Pros Waterproof and highly durable flashlight, 1000 lumens output with 273 yards max throw distance for an extremely bright and powerful light beam., Upgraded buttons and mode variety, ,
    Cons The included battery can be a bit cheap and doesn't give amount of advertised life., , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Fenix PD35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Flashlight with Fenix 2600mAh is an updated version of the original Fenix PD35 that addresses some shortcomings of the original Fenix PD35.

    This latest version features a CREE XP-L HI V3 LED which gives 1000 lumens output with 273 yards max throw distance for an extremely bright and powerful light beam.

    The buttons have also been upgraded. While the tail click is still in place, the side button is now a stainless steel switch which is more durable than the previous version.

    On the body, the distance and placements of buttons are nice for easy, one hand gripping of both buttons. This makes switching between modes a bit easier.

    There’s a side pocket clip if you’re the type who clips flashlights to your belt, along with an anti-roll frame for more stability.

    As opposed to previous Fenix flashlight models this one does not have a beam adjustment capability. Although a nice feature, it doesn’t seem to be used by many people.

    There’s also a battery level indicator light so you know when the battery is getting close to done. Green means fully charged, red means it’s getting towards the end.

    The body itself is made from durable stainless steel and can handle most drops from several feet high with no problems. It is also IP68 rated waterproof and will work well in rain, snow, or an accidental drop in the water.

    For the price this is an excellent upgrade of an already good flashlight.

    Dont forget to compare the Fenix PD35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Flashlight with the 1Tac TC1200 Tactical Flashlight, which is our choice for best camping flashlight, to see which works best for your next adventure!

    Read our full review of the Fenix 1000 Lumen Flashlight


  5. Streamlight 88085 ProTac HL-X USB

  6. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)

    Weight 6.2
    Lumens 1000
    Beam Distance 1000
    Life Span 50000
    Current Price $81.80
    Pros TEN-TAP® Programming which includes 3 operating programs. They include: 1) high/Strobe/low; 2) high only; 3) low/medium/high, Nice array of lumen options including High: 1,000 Lumens, Medium: 400 Lumens, Low: 65 Lumens & Strobe mode., Longer head which will give you a much more precise throw, ,
    Cons Does not accept some batteries. Must be specific to the flashlight., , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Streamlight HL-X LED Flashlight is a popular flashlight with a powerful light output and incredible ease of use.

    The Streamlight HL-X LED uses lithium 2 CR-123A batteries, while this model also includes one 18650 USB Lithium-ion battery.

    There’s even a red o-ring outside the battery compartment to help you know when the battery lid is fully secure.

    This flashlight offers TEN-TAP® Programming which includes 3 operating programs. They include: 1) high/Strobe/low; 2) high only; 3) low/medium/high

    This helps to find you’re idea light setting without having to scroll through all the light settings to find your desired setting which is a major complaint amongst tactical flashlight users. Instead of having to click all the way down, you actually just half click the tail click for your desired setting. Very cool!

    The different settings offer a nice array of lumen options including High: 1,000 Lumens, Medium: 400 Lumens, Low: 65 Lumens & Strobe mode.

    You can really get a nice bright light at 1000 lumens and tone it down if you don’t need it full power.

    The body of the flashlight includes a longer head which will give you a much more precise throw versus a more blunted head which will just flood your entire area.

    There’s even an included belt clip which is great for extra security in your pocket.

    We recommend comparing the Streamlight 88085 ProTac HL-X USB to our #1 choice of best tactical flashlight, the 1Tac TC1200 tactical flashlight, to make sure you choose the best tactical flashlight for your next adventure

    Read our full review of the Streamlight 88085 ProTac HL-X USB


    Weight 13.6 oz
    Lumens 2000
    Beam Distance 950
    Life Span 50000
    Current Price $85.95
    Pros 3 different mode cycles with 6 different setting combinations including Turbo, high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS., 2 back switches and one side switch for more precise setting finder, 2000 lumen reaches almost 1000 feet, ,
    Cons Tail click seems to be a bit cheap and can break easily. , Turbo 2000 lumen mode seems a bit much and unnecessary for normal users, , ,
    Our Take:

    The Klarus XT11GT 2000 Lumens CREE XPH35 HD E4 LED 18650 Tactical Flashlight is leading the pack of newer, more compact tactical flashlights that pack a lot of brightness into a smaller package.

    The Klarus XT11GT features 3 different mode cycles with 6 different setting combinations including Turbo, high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS.

    In Turbo and strobe mode you get 2000 lumens of incredibly bright light. Of course, you can dial this back a bit to high which goes down to 400 lumens. For those nighttime backpackers, this is a lot of light to help you guide you on the trail, but can be a bit too much for most civilian uses.

    There are 2 different back switches between strobe and non-strobe modes where you can find your setting without having to cycle through all the others.
    The 2000 lumens beam to about 316 meters. Keep in mind there is no memory feature on this flashlight so when you first click it on it will default into this turbo mode. Good for law enforcement, not so much for more subtle uses.

    The side clip is good if you like to carry the light your belt. There’s also an included holster for added stowing.

    There’s IPX-8 certified waterproofing (up to meters) so you can take this out in the rain, snow, or even drop in a shallow puddle and still have it work.

    One thing to note is that the tail click seems to be a bit cheap and can break easily.

    Remember to check out our #1 choice for best camping flashlight and compare with the Klarus 2000 Lumens LED Tactical Flashlight.

    Read our full review of the Klarus 2000 Lumens LED Tactical Flashlight


    Weight 17 ox
    Lumens 2200
    Beam Distance 1000
    Life Span 50000
    Current Price $88.79
    Our Take:

    The Streamlight 88060 Pro Tac HL 4 2200 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight is a beast of a flashlight that is perfect for backpackers who need a high performing, reliable light.

    The Streamlight Pro Tac HL-4 is a beast both in size and output.

    The light itself includes a large flat lens with anti-reflective coating and a frosted TIR optic.

    You get 3 separate programming settings controlled through TEN-TAP programming which makes it easy to scroll through and find your desired setting. Settings include high, medium, low, and strobe.

    High setting gives you 2200 lumen with a 346-meter beam and runs just under 2 hours.
    Medium settings gives you 600 lumen with a 182-meter beam and runs about 4 hours
    Low setting gives you 60 lumen with a 56-meter beam and runs for 40 hours
    Strobe can run for just under 3 hours.

    No matter what setting you’re on, you’ll get a powerful, concentrated beam for more precise performance.

    The body is built from machined aircraft aluminum construction with anodized finish for a tough, durable exterior with an anti-roll face cap.

    You also get IPX7 waterproofing which can withstand any drops in puddles up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

    It comes with 4- 3 volt lithium CR123A, or you can opt for 2- rechargeable 18650 Lithium- Ion batteries.

    The batteries are all held in place with a spring that secures them in place to eliminate rattling and random power outages.

    Over time the lumens may diminish throughout the different settings, despite battery fullness.

    See how the Streamlight HL4 compares to our editor’s choice as the best tactical flashlight for camping.

    Read our full review of the Streamlight Pro Tac HL 4 2200 Professional Tactical Flashlight


    Weight 10.6 oz
    Lumens 900
    Beam Distance 1000
    Life Span 50000
    Current Price $35.99
    Pros Extra secure USB chargeable battery casing, 900 Lumen, 1000 feet, IP65 rated water proofing, ,
    Cons Must scroll through all the settings to get your desired setting, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Anker Bolder LC90 2-Cell Rechargeable Flashlight is a great flashlight for backpackers who need a reliable light that is simple, yet high performing.

    The flashlight is powered with one 18650 USB chargeable battery. The battery casing is very unique as it’s a 2-step process which helps protect the battery from any water damage and to help you from losing the battery itself.

    The charger also includes a light to tell you once it’s fully charged.

    The body is built from durable aluminum and includes an extra-long handle and scalloped-bezel in case you need it for striking. It is also shock resistant to endure any extreme drops.

    Its also IP65-rated water resistant and can handle rain, snow, and puddles.

    There are 5 light settings including High, Medium, Low, Strobe, and SOS.

    There is a memory feature to turn the light on to what you had it last. Unfortunately, you have to scroll through all the different settings to get to your desired setting if not set in memory.

    Thigh beam gives you 900 lumen of output and can provide light up to 100 feet.

    There is also an included lanyard to tie around your hand for extra security.

    For a great side by side comparison be sure to see how the Anker Bolder LC90 2-Cell Rechargeable Flashlight stacks up against our editor’s choice for the best tactical flashlight.

    Read our full review of the Anker Bolder LC90 2-Cell Rechargeable Flashlight


  7. Streamlight ProTac 350 Lumen Professional Tactical Light

  8. Editors Rating:
    (4.2 / 5)

    Best Budget Option

    Weight 4.8 oz
    Lumens 350
    Beam Distance 500
    Life Span 20000
    Current Price $41.00
    Pros Uses both CR-123A and AA batteries, Good lumen output and run time, Comes with a pocket clip, ,
    Cons Light tends to break easily, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Streamlight 88061 ProTac 1L-1AA 350 Lumen Dual Fuel Professional Tactical Light is a cool, multi-featured light that will please any gearhead’s desire for a precise tactical flashlight.

    One of the most appealing features of this light is its versatility in battery use.

    Like other Streamlight tactical flashlights, the 88061 also uses one CR-123A lithium-ion battery, however, you can also use a AA Alkaline OR AA Lithium Battery as well. The only stipulation is that you get different runtime and lumen output with the different batteries.

    Perfect for those of you who have a bunch of unused AA batteries hanging in your junk drawers.

    Keep in mind it doesn’t use rechargeable CR-123 batteries.

    This flashlight offers TEN-TAP® Programming which includes 3 operating programs. They include: 1) high/Strobe/low; 2) high only; 3) low/medium/high

    Output per battery type include:

    CR123A Lithium Battery Output
    -High: 350-lumens; 6,400-candela; 160-meter beam; runs 1.5-hours.

    -Low: 40-lumens; 720-candela; 53-meter beam; runs 14-hours.

    -Strobe for signaling or disorienting: runs 3-hours.

    AA Alkaline/Lithium Battery Output
    -High: 150-lumens; 2,750-candela; 105-meter beam; runs 1-hour 20-minutes (alkaline); runs 4.25-hours (lithium).

    -Low: 40-lumens; 720-candela; 53-meter beam; runs 7.5-hours (alkaline); runs 14-hours (lithium).

    -Strobe for signaling or disorienting: runs 3.5-hours (alkaline); runs 8-hours (lithium).

    The light also comes with a pocket clip with a nylon holster which adds to its portability and organization. The only downside is the pocket clip snaps together with velcro which makes it a little less durable than an actual button clip.

    Even though we loved the Streamlight ProTac 350 Lumen Professional Tactical Light, we encourage you to compare it to our choice for the best tactical flashlight, to make sure you get the best light for your next trip!

    Read our full review of the Streamlight ProTac 350 Lumen Professional Tactical Light


Last update on 2019-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tactical LED Flashlights Buying Guide 2019

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Nick P

Nick spent his mostly unsupervised youth raising hell in the woods and ponds of 16 Acres in Springfield, MA (AKA Hell's Acres). He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and loves hitting the northeast trails when his schedule allows and camping on his roof deck when it doesn't.

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