Choosing the best flashlight for hunting at night 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.
- 1 What defines a hunting flashlight?
- 2 What to look for in a hunting flashlight
- 3 Top 10 Best Flashlight For Hunting at Night
- 4 Best Flashlight For Hunting at Night Reviewed
- 5 4 Common Flashlight Holster Styles
What defines a hunting 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.
Security Guard Flashlight A security guard, who is a tactical flashlight enthusiast, describes what he believes defines a tactical flashlight:
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 the best flashlight for hunting at night :
What to look for in a hunting 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.
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 10 Best Flashlight For Hunting at Night
|Hunting Flashlight||Weight (oz)||Length (in)||Hours @ Max Ouput||Max output (Lumens)||Price|
|Fenix TK15 Cree XP-G S2 400Lumen||5.4||5.7||2||400|
|Fenix TK35 LED||9||6.45||1.37||860|
|Klarus ST11 LED||5.15||5.55||2.3||900|
|Olight M20SX-L2 Edition Warrior LED||4.37||5.5||1.3||550|
|Pelican 7060 LED||10.4||8.65||2.25||164|
|Streamlight Stinger Classic LED||11.1||7.65||1.45||390|
|Streamlight TLR-3 LED||4.8||2.7||1.5||125|
|Streamlight UltraStinger Xenon Bulb Rechargeable||16.1||11.75||1.1||230|
|Surefire 6P Defender LED||5.1||5.5||3||80|
|Surefire 6PX Tactical LED||5.2||5.2||2||320|
Best Flashlight For Hunting at Night Reviewed
Fenix TK15 S2 LED– Best Hog Hunting Lights
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.
Pelican 7060 LED – Best Coyote Hunting Lights
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.
The Pelican 7060 is one of the most popular Police tactical flashlights available on the market. Known for its reliability and durability, the LED flashlight is one of the most highly rated tactical flashlights around.
What sets it apart from the variety of it’s competitors is Pelican’s collaboration with LAPD to create a refined flashlight which is now the standard issue for officers for tactical/patrol purposes.
The Pelican features momentary functions on both switches (one on the side near the front, one on the tailcap) to facilitate a diverse range of uses for tactical purposes such as spotting and/or blinding intruders, not to mention when wielding a gun.
While the machined aluminum sink draws heat away from the LED to keep the 7060 running at it’s best operating temperature, the flashlight is bright enough to rival the best producing 164 lumens of white light. It is durable and lightweight, and has a grenade grip (see pictures above) to prevent slipping especially in wet situations, while it is also water-resistant up to three feet for three hours.
Fitted with a serrated lens shroud, it’s easy to balance on it’s head and also it becomes immediately obvious if the tactical flashlight has been turned off or not, preventing you from wasting your precious battery life. But when the time comes to charge, the highly rated Pelican flashes to indicate it’s time for a recharge – very handy. There’s nothing worse then turning on a dead flashlight especially in tense situations.
Assembled in the USA, so you know you get the BEST. Not to mention the lifetime guarantee under normal usage.
For the tactically minded users, this is a serious contender.
Streamlight TLR-3 LED – Best Weapon Mounted Hunting Light
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.
Streamlight’s top rated tactical gun mount model TLR-3 is lightweight, compact and affordable. The C4 LED emitter produces a substantial 125 lumens for 1.5 hours from a single lithium battery, not bad at all.
The TLR-3 is the more compact and lightweight of Streamlight’s TLR series, and is constructed with a impact-resistant polymer casing to minimize weight and cost, but maintain durability.
Shining bright with 125 lumens, the flashlight can be equipped to fit compact and sub-compact handguns, as well as most full-sized handguns with rails. The TLR-3 comes with a key kit included for mounting, while the rail clamp can rapidly attach/detach from the gun.
The TLR-3 features an ambidextrous momentary/steady On-Off switch, requiring just a single 3V CR2 lithium battery that is included. The tactical light is reliable and with an IPX7 rating, meaning it is able to be waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
The TLR-3 makes our list of the best flashlight for hunting at night, and it’s the flashlights affordability that helps set it apart from it’s rivals. Streamlight’s TLR-3 ticks all the boxes.
4 Common Flashlight Holster Styles
One of the must have accessories to equip yourself with is a flashlight holster. In many tactical situations, having a flashlight quickly and easily accessible is a necessity while being able to store it close by and in a safe location. There are a number of types of holsters and sheaths that can suit the different needs you may require. They provide protection for your flashlight and are usually constructed using polymers, nylon, leather or sometimes even aluminum for the more heavy duty requirements.
We’ve collated a list of a few of the main and readily available styles to help give you a guideline of what path to follow. Here are some popular examples:
More often than not, people will usually be wearing a belt whether it’s while on duty or casually.
Often people in tactical situations will be equipped with a gun, mag and other equipment that have various belt attachments, so a specific belt holster for your flashlight is a no brainer.
There are different styles, some have a simple strap-like shape that provides sufficient coverage to secure the flashlight, while others provide a fully enclosed pouch. If you are more interested in protecting your flashlight rather than focused on being able to draw it out of a holster quickly, then a closed pouch may be the best option for you.
Generally the designs are to suit 2.25″ (58mm) belts but also 2″ (50mm) or 3″ (76mm) too. Need a spot for your mag or another piece of equipment? There are also a range of multi-holsters that primarily can hold mags on your belt alongside your flashlight for tactical situations.
The general key difference between a sheath and a holster is the style and the fabric it’s made from – usually a woven fabric to create a slim profile case to provide protection and save on space.
Available in a wide range of colors including camouflage, sheaths are a thing of pride for tactical enthusiasts and often handmade by the dedicated hobbyists.
They are available a range of sizes and shapes to suit almost any flashlight and enable easy fixing to your belt.
A leg strap allows a hands-free fully adjustable holster to suit anyone after a tactical style. Suitable to hold the likes of Streamlight Stinger, a leg holster can be hidden underneath clothes and provide plenty of protection for your flashlight.
These are certainly not the most common of holster styles but are something to consider if you are unlikely to be wearing a belt and require a safe, discrete spot to store your flashlight.
The leg holster is not necessarily for everyone should you want the ability to draw it quickly, but is a consideration for certain situations.
Clip on holster
A clip on holster allows easy release of the flashlight and can be fixed onto belts or clothes with it’s polymer or metallic clip.
It’s a great hands-free, simple solution with the added benefit of easy, quick access to your flashlight.
The only downside is that it’s not as permanently fixed as a belt holster, but is useful for more temporary measures.
Other uses for your holster
Should you chose not to carry a flashlight on a particular day or have a spare holster, you can still put it to good use. You can hold your Leatherman, Inhalers, other types of knifes or perhaps Hunting Calls in your pouch.
There are a range of holsters that are compatible with the most common tactical flashlights such as the Surefire 6P and Streamlight Stinger ranges, not to mention the Pelican 7060. We recommend going with a manufacturer specific design, e.g. If you have the money, buying a Surefire branded holster for your 6P is always the best way to go.
Here is a fantastic hunting flashlight holster made by Surefire to suit a range of their best lights:
I hope you will be able to choose the best flashlight for hunting at night with our awesome buying guide. Having the best flashlight will ensure you spot game properly without missing your target.