10 Best Survival Flashlights: Our Recommended Picks for 2019

Benjamin Roussey

Table of Contents

Introduction

From providing light when it is dark or if the lights go out, to enabling you to find a missing item in your kit, to helping you find your way back to your campsite, not many tools are as useful and essential as the flashlight – certainly when the sun retires for the night. You never know when you might be in need of one, so it is important to have one handy at all times.

It is also critical to make sure that you choose the best survival flashlight you can get your hands on. But how do you pick one when there are thousands on the market? In this article, we will share with you all the things you need to consider to make a wise decision when purchasing a flashlight for survival.

Our Top Survival Flashlights Recommendations

Here is a comparison chart of our recommended survival flashlights to guide you in your buying decision to get the right flashlight for your needs:

At a Glance: Our Choices for The Top 10 Survival Flashlights

Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each flashlight.

top-10-flashlights-for-survival

1. Streamlight 88033 ProTac Tactical Flashlight

Streamlight-88033-ProTac-Tactical-FlashlightThis is a high-quality survival flashlight with C4 LED technology and lifetime of 50,000 hours. It is made of anodized aluminum and is built to be impact-resistant. You can operate the ProTac in three modes – strobe, variable intensity, and momentary. With an IPX-7-rated design, this flashlight is waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. It is powered by two CR123A lithium batteries and comes with a removable pocket clip and anti-roll facecap. This is one of the best flashlights to have for any emergency or survival situation.

Opinion: Users love the ProTac and we do too. It comes with sagacious features that make it a great buy. We like its solid construction and that it is durable. Another great feature is its compact size and light weight, which makes it easy to carry around. An excellent aspect of this flashlight that we believe is worth mentioning is the anodized aluminum construction, which makes it a well-built survival flashlight, and also its brightness. For these reasons, we believe that the ProTac is a wonderful flashlight for everyday carry.

If we could change one thing, it would be the size. It is a tad small for some users, but apart from this, there are no valid complaints. We believe that the ProTac is a marvelous flashlight worth checking out.

Pros Cons
(+) Stellar design with outstanding additional features (-) Weak pocket clip
(+) Multiple modes which come in handy for different situations (-) Slightly small for some users
(+) Easy-to-use 10 tap system
Features Description
Our Rating: 5.0 stars
LED Type: C4 LED
Lumens: 260
Light Modes: High, Low, Strobe
Battery Types: 2 x CR123A
Battery Duration: High: 3h Low: 50h
Length: 4.7 inches
Weight (no batteries): 2.8 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-7

2. SureFire G2X Pro

SureFire-G2X-ProThe G2X Pro is a well-built survival flashlight with a tough Nitrolon body and anodized aluminum bezel. It is compact and sturdy. It uses LEDs for high efficiency and brightness. The Nitrolon body also provides a secure, comfortable grip as well as resistance to abrasion, corrosion, and scratches. It has a pre-focused beam of 320 lumens and a low-output setting of 15 lumens that allows you extended battery life. Powerful, strong, and durable, the G2X Pro is definitely a great flashlight you should consider if you are looking for a high-quality one.

Opinion: We believe that the G2X Pro is an excellent option for a survival flashlight. We like the brightness and how easy it is to adjust it. Another great thing is its quality, this is a very sturdily built flashlight, and is a must for any bug out bag or emergency kit. We also like the fact that although it is incredibly bright, it does not use up batteries fast, which is a huge thumbs-up for everyone. We also love the two-beam system which works fantastically. We recommend this flashlight to anyone looking for one.

If there is an area where SureFire could improve this flashlight, it would on the low mode. we believe it should be slightly brighter than it is; that would make it more practical. All in all, this is a well-built flashlight and we have no problem recommending it for those who want one for EDC or survival.

Pros Cons
(+) Sturdy construction with polymer body, meaning durability (-) Slightly expensive
(+) Super bright (-) Low mode a little disappointing since it is a tad too low for real functionality
(+) Perfect size for everyday use
Features Description
Our Rating: 5.0 stars
LED Type: N/A
Lumens: 320
Light Modes: High, Low
Battery Types: 2 x CR123A
Battery Duration: High: 2.75h Low: 45h
Length: 5.2 inches
Weight (no batteries): 3.2 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-4

3. NITECORE P12 2015

NITECORE-P12-2015The P12 is a high-quality survival flashlight that gives 1,000 lumens with CREE XM-L2 U2 LED. It produces a high-intensity 13,500cd beam with a throw of 232 meters. It has a side-switch interface that provides one-handed operation and you can easily access all functions with this convenient feature.

The secondary function of the power indicator displays battery voltage. With the intelligent memory function, you can store your preferred brightness setting. This is a powerful flashlight that offers marvelous features, making it incredible for EDC and survival situations.

Opinion: We really like the P12 for its brightness and standout features. The way how the tail cap turns the light on and off is a fantastic feature to have. We also like that it is compact and portable, making it great for EDC. We can surely say that it is a really good option as a survival flashlight or for any bug out bag.

We think that this flashlight could benefit from one small improvement – slower battery consumption. Apart from this, there are no complaints. A solid option to keep in mind if you are considering getting one.

Pros Cons
(+) Small but powerful (-) Mode button needs improving
(+) Incredible brightness with 1,000 lumens (-) Consumes battery life fast
(+) High quality, ensuring durability
Features Description
Our Rating: 5.0 stars
LED Type: CREE XM-L2 U2
Lumens: 1000
Light Modes: High, Medium Low, Lower, SOS, Strobe
Battery Types: 1×18650 or 2xCR123A
Battery Duration: High: 1.25h Medium: 6h Low: 28h Lower: 520h
Length: 5.47 inches
Weight (no batteries): 3.10 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-8

4. Fenix PD35 TAC

Fenix-PD35-TACThe PD35 TAC is a fantastic flashlight to consider for survival purposes. It has a 1,000 lumen brightness using Cree XP-L (V5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours. This flashlight uses two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries or one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery. It has a tactical tail switch with a function for momentary-on. It has a slip-resistant, anti-roll body design. This is a highly durable flashlight made of aircraft-grade aluminum. The PD35 TAC is definitely one you shouldn’t ignore if you are in the market for one.

Opinion: This is another flashlight that gets high praise from us. We love the sturdy construction and slip resistant and waterproof body. We can say that we would recommend the PD35 TAC to any serious outdoorsman. We like the fact that it is highly durable and powerful. All these features make it a wonderful option if you want one as your go-to survival flashlight.

The only thing that we believe should be improved is the battery consumption. Batteries run out too fast with this flashlight. However, we really think it is a great product, you just have to use it carefully to avoid running out of batteries or pack an extra pair if you are going to use it for an extended period of time.

Pros Cons
(+) 50,000 hours lifespan with Cree XP-L (V5) LED (-) Low quality case
(+) Waterproof up to 6 ½ feet for 30 minutes (-) Batteries run out quickly
(+) Super bright with profound spot and flood modes
Features Description
Our Rating: 4.8 stars
LED Type: CREE XP-L
Lumens: 1000
Light Modes: Turbo, High, Medium, Low, Eco, Strobe
Battery Types: 1×18650 or 2xCR123A
Battery Duration: Turbo: 1.17h High: 2.92h Medium: 8.5h Low: 29.25 Eco: 140h
Length: 5.4 inches
Weight (no batteries): 3.1 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-8

5. TerraLUX Lightstar 300

TerraLUX-Lightstar-300The Lightstar 300 is a well-made survival flashlight that comes with a recessed tail cap switch. It has 2 brightness levels so you can have the light you want for any situation. It has a 300-lumen output and runs on 2 AA batteries. The beam pattern is uniform, wide spill light. This high-quality flashlight is water resistant, has great battery life and uses LEDs instead of halogen lights. The Lightstar 300 is made of aircraft grade anodized aluminum which makes it sturdy and durable.

Opinion: We like the Lightstar 300 for all the great features that it has. We believe that it is a high-quality TerraLUX product and a really good survival flashlight. We consider it a very good choice for any survival kit or bug out bag. We also like how comfortable it is to use and bright enough to help in any situation. We believe this is a good pick at a very affordable price.

One aspect that could be improved is the weight, we believe it would be better if it was a little lighter, especially for EDC. This is the only thing that we would like to change but at such great price is still is a wonderful flashlight to check out if you want one for your emergency kit.

Pros Cons
(+) Very durable (-) Issues with on/off button
(+) Excellent mechanical and electrical designs (-) Slightly heavy
(+) Push button makes it easy for one-hand operation
Features Description
Our Rating: 4.6 stars
LED Type: N/A
Lumens: 300
Light Modes: High, Low
Battery Types: 2xAA
Battery Duration: High: 3h Low: 24h
Length: 6 inches
Weight (no batteries): 3.68 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-4

6. Coast HP1

Coast-HP1This is a 190-lumen survival flashlight that is made of high-quality materials. It is light and compact, making it convenient for everyday carry. It provides a whopping 1 hour and 15-minute runtime thanks to its li-ion battery. It also has a patented focusing system that renders superior beam output.

It is both water and impact resistant. It has a lightweight aluminum casing that resists both corrosion and rust. The HP1 can be powered on 1 AA alkaline, 14,500 lithium, and NiMH rechargeable batteries. It also has a removable pocket clip that you can use to keep your flashlight close when you need it.

Opinion: We like the Coast HP1 for its light and compact design. Another good thing is that it has a long battery life and is highly durable. We also like its brightness. We would recommend this flashlight thanks to its battery duration that can last the whole night when working on 8-hour shifts. We can say that all around, the Coast HP1 is a great option for an EDC or survival flashlight.

An area that needs improvement is the switch, we find it a little tough to push when you need to turn it on. Apart from this, there are no complaints. Overall, we can finally say that it is a really good flashlight.

Pros Cons
(+) Excellent tail cap switch (-) Small switch which is too tight and stiff to push
(+) Strong removable clip (-) Low quality compared to some other flashlights
(+) Perfect balance of length and diameter
Features Description
Our Rating: 4.5 stars
LED Type: N/A
Lumens: 190
Light Modes: High, Low
Battery Types: 1xAA 1xNiMH 1×14500
Battery Duration: High: 3.5h
Length: 4.1 inches
Weight (no batteries): 0.3 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-4

7. ThruNite TN12

ThruNite-TN12The TN12 is an ideal flashlight for any survival or outdoor situation. It is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and has an upgraded stainless steel side switch to provide a more sensitive operation. It also has an improved circuit design that makes the difference in high and max brightness modes more obvious. It has a more centralized LED bulb in the head so you get better beam focus. This is a reliable flashlight for everyday carry and is ideal for law enforcement, military, emergency, security, camping, and hunting applications.

Opinion: We like everything about the TN12. We can say that it has fantastic features that makes it a must-have in any emergency or outdoor situation. We believe that it is a great primary flashlight for both survival kit usage and work. We really think this flashlight can meet all your needs for job duties. We also like its portability and affordability. We are sure that if you pick a TN12 you have a versatile flashlight that can be used for EDC or your bug out bag.

A thing to note is that the turbo mode is a little problematic as the flashlight heats up. Although it does not stay that way long, it does make it a little uncomfortable in the hand. Apart from this, the ThruNite TN12 still is a salient choice for everyone that needs a flashlight for EDC or their survival kit.

Pros Cons
(+) Extremely bright (-) Gets hot for a few minutes when on turbo mode
(+) Well constructed (-) End cap switch slightly tough to actuate with thumb
(+) Great light/battery/charger combo
Features Description
Our Rating: 4.5 stars
LED Type: CREE XM-L2 U2
Lumens: 1050
Light Modes: Turbo High Medium Low Firefly Strobe
Battery Types: 1×18650 or 2xCR123A
Battery Duration: Turbo: 90min High: 1.5h Medium: 5h Low: 74h Firefly: 1585h
Length: 5.63 inches
Weight (no batteries): 2.89 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-8

8. Fenix LD09

Fenix-LD09The LD09 is a powerful yet handy 220 lumen LED tactical flashlight that has many poignant features, making it a great flashlight for its price. Lightweight and compact, it is the ideal choice for work, recreational use like camping, hunting, etc. and is a must include in any survival kit. It has digitally regulated output, which helps in maintaining constant brightness.

It also comes with a multi-function tactical tail switch that allows you choose between constant-on or momentary-on and output selection. It is waterproof to a rating of IPX-8 and can withstand a depth of 6.5 ft for 30 minutes. This is a fabulous flashlight if you need a well-made one that comes at an affordable price.

Opinion: We really like the compact and light design of the LD09, it is a surprisingly good and affordable flashlight. We think that it is bright and is efficient in many situations. It is an excellent option to carry it every day and highly recommended to everyone. We like the fact that it has an outstanding build quality and that it is one of the most well-designed pocket flashlights you can find in its category.

One small thing that would make this flashlight better is the heat when it is on the highest setting. It makes it a little uncomfortable to use, especially if it is needed on that setting for more than just a few minutes. All in all, this is a flashlight with a stellar build quality and an excellent pocket flashlight to carry with you.

Pros Cons
(+) Powerful and durable (-) Heats quickly on highest setting
(+) Comes with a nice set of accessories (-) Erratic tail switch
(+) Compact and super bright
Features Description
Our Rating: 4.4 stars
LED Type: N/A
Lumens: 220
Light Modes: Low Medium High  SOS
Battery Types: 1xAA or 14500 rechargeable
Battery Duration: Low: 43h Medium: 5h High: 50min
Length: 3.7 inches
Weight (no batteries): 1.2 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-8

9. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools DE-02 Dark Energy 247A

SOG-DE-02-Dark-Energy-247AThe Dark Energy is an incredibly well-designed survival flashlight that comes with a number of great features. The flashlight has a Cree R5 LED bulb (Cool White) with a textured aluminum reflector and high-grade optical grade polycarbonate lens. It has a waterproof rating of IPX-7 to protect at a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. It is bright and comes with a tactical strobe.

It is powered by two CR123A batteries. This is a high-quality flashlight that is a magnificent choice for any application, whether at work, camping, or any other situation.

Opinion: We believe that the Dark Energy is a really good pick if you’re looking for a survival flashlight despite being more expensive compared to others. Bright, powerful and sturdily constructed, we think that it has great utility and is a tough flashlight. We like its weight as it is light and allows the user to carry comfortably in their pocket. Overall the Dark Energy is a well-designed, well-built flashlight with good features but a bit overpriced for its category.

One thing we would like to mention is that the lighting modes are a little complicated to figure out. It is not a major problem but could be simplified to make the flashlight easier to use.  If you have the extra money to spend, this is reliable flashlight packed with excellent features and a great companion for your bug out bag.

Pros Cons
(+) Outstandingly bright LED (-) A little hard to figure out lighting modes and how to use them
(+) Nice grip (-) Expensive batteries
(+) Tough and durable
Features Description
Our Rating: 4.3 stars
LED Type: Cree R5
Lumens: 263
Light Modes: Momentary on, full on, low, strobe
Battery Types: 2xCR123A
Battery Duration: High: 2.41h Low: 8.08h
Length: 5.1 inches
Weight (no batteries): 4.10 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-7

10. Nitecore MT2A LED Flashlight

Nitecore MT2A 345 LumensThe Nitecore MT2A is a quality LED flashlight that features Cree XP-G2 R5 LED. With 345 lumens, it is bright and has a focused beam that reaches 166 yards. It comes with three brightness adjustments along with SoS and strobe, making it useful for a variety of scenarios. The MT2A also has integrated memory function that meets the varying requirements of users. Compact and lightweight, it is a salient survival flashlight.

The MT2A is powered by the commonly available 2x AA batteries. This is a high-quality flashlight that is a top choice for all types of application, from hiking to law enforcement.

Opinion: We recommend the Nitecore MT2A to anyone looking for a quality flashlight. One thing that we like about it is its brightness. We also like its lightweight and compact design, making it fit really well in the hand. Regarding the built quality, we think is not good enough as it burns out faster than many other flashlights on the market. This is one thing we believe the manufacturer should work on to make it an even better product. Separate from this, there were no other complaints. We think that anyone who needs a well-made flashlight, whether it is for outdoor activities or work, would be impressed with the sturdy Nitecore MT2A.

Pros Cons
(+) Compact, lightweight, and powerful (-) A little tricky to use alternative user settings
(+) Excellent light output (-) Burns out faster than some flashlights
(+) Easy to use
Features Description
Our Rating: 4.1 stars
LED Type: CREE XP-G 2
Lumens: 192
Light Modes:  Low, Medium, High, Strobe, SOS, Beacon (Hi), Beacon (Lo)
Battery Types: 2xAAA
Battery Duration: High: 1h, Medium: 3h, Low: 20h
Length: 5 inches
Weight (no batteries): 0.8 Ounces
Water Resistant Grade: IPX-8

How to Choose a Good Survival Flashlight

Type of Battery – One of the first things to consider when choosing a flashlight is the batteries it will run on. Most run on AA or AAA batteries, but there are also a few that use 9-volt, C or D batteries. Other flashlights run on lithium batteries, which are the ideal choice as they are better for long-term storage and do not leak. They also operate better in cold conditions.

You should choose a flashlight that runs on lithium batteries – make sure you check the product details or packaging to ensure that the flashlight can accept them. You should also make sure that you choose a flashlight with a minimum battery life of 8 hours at 50 lumens.

Brightness – Different flashlights have different brightness levels. The one you choose depends on what you will be using it for. You should choose a survival flashlight with 45 to 200 lumens. This is ideal for general outdoor use, camping, hiking as well as tactical applications. This means that you have just the right brightness level to handle any type of survival situation.

You will have enough light to help you in the dark and also, will not drain your battery as more powerful lights tend to do. You should also choose a flashlight that comes with multiple brightness settings. You can adjust the brightness according to your needs and save power as well.

Durability – You need to make sure that you choose a durable flashlight. This is because it is likely that a survival flashlight will be exposed to the worst conditions, whether it is natural or man-made. Obviously, you will have to choose one that is waterproof and impact-resistant. For basic water resistance, it should be waterproof IPX-4 but if you want a flashlight that can be submerged in water, it should be IPX-7 or 8. To ensure that the survival flashlight you choose is durable, you should check the materials it is made out of.

Type of Light Bulb – When it comes to bulbs for survival flashlights, there are quite a few options available. The main ones are LED and incandescent. Incandescent light bulbs are tried and true while when it comes to flashlight technology, LEDS are newcomers. LEDs are the best option as they are significantly brighter than incandescent bulbs and use less energy. They are also durable and last much longer. Clearly, a survival flashlight with LED bulbs is the best choice.

Materials – You should choose a survival flashlight that is made of either metal or a combination of metal and intense rubberized plastic.

The best metal is anodized aluminum. Metal protects sensitive electronics which is important if you want to make sure that your flashlight functions properly when you need it. It does not crack under pressure and can withstand abuse. Rubberized flashlights can absorb the impact of being mishandled and they are an ideal choice as they have an external rubber layer around a metal frame, so you get the best of both worlds.

Function and Features – A survival flashlight is not an item that you will pick up from the hardware store for small tasks around the house. They are designed specifically to function in emergency and survival situations. This is why it is crucial that you choose one that has built-in emergency features. Emergency strobes are the most common built-in features in survival flashlights. There are a variety of strobe patterns, but one of the most useful ones to have is the SOS strobe. Other features to look for include:

  • On/Off switches made of rubber – These are comfortable, durable and waterproof, making them awesome for repetitive use.
  • Clips or key rings – A flashlight that has a clip on the side is handy as it allows you to clip it inside your pocket or belt like a knife or a pen. With a key ring, you can attach it to your backpack or keychain for immediate access. Other accessories include a lanyard and diffusers and lens filters to give you lighting options.

Portability – The survival flashlight you choose needs to be portable so that you can easily pack it in your survival kit or bug out bag without it being an inconvenience. One thing to consider is the weight. Generally, you should look for a flashlight that weighs 8oz. or less. You may even find a flashlight that meets all your needs and weighs less than 4oz. Size is another factor and the ideal size to choose is 8 inches or less.

Affordability – It is important to find a balance between quality and features. You do not need to spend a large sum of money to find a high-quality flashlight that has all the features you need. Survival flashlights come in different prices, so you will find one that suits your budget perfectly. You are sure to find a fantastic survival flashlight with the most essential features for a reasonable price.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to survival flashlights, there are many excellent options available on the market. No matter what your needs are, you are sure to find the ideal one. You will find a variety of high-quality flashlights in different prices – and with the tips provided, you can make sure that you choose the best survival flashlight.

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