Do you consider yourself among the ranks of those who are outdoorsman? Ranging from fishing and hunting, camping, climbing or hiking, or working in the outdoors, there is one thing most people who spend their time outdoors can agree on; Preparedness is crucial to having a safe and fun experience.
Some items come to mind immediately like food, water, basic supplies for your adventure, and first aid items. Was a flashlight on your immediate list? While unlikely you’ve considered it much until you’re in desperate need of one, a flashlight can make or break a trip.
Whether you spend a lot of time in the early morning hours or plan to be home by dark, a flashlight is equally important in order to ensure a successful hunting trip. In this article, we’ll focus primarily on the hunter however this information will be helpful to anyone involved in outdoor activities during early morning or late evening hours.
If you’re an experienced hunter, you likely already know the importance of having good gear. While basic, the flashlight is one of the most invaluable tools that you absolutely must have.
Have you dropped your keys? Flashlight.
Caught a hatch and stayed out on the river too late? The flashlight will guide you home.
Something moving and you need to see what you’re hunting without scaring it away? A flashlight that has multiple color modes can let you get a view.
Depending on your needs, the best flashlight for you may be different. While not complicated as a concept, choosing the right flashlight for your situation can make your experience 1000x better than just grabbing the first available.
In this article we will break down what are considered to be the top 7 flashlights, and talk about the benefits and deficits of each one.
Quick Picks: Top Flashlights for Hunting
JETBeam 9007113 Rrt26
Odepro KL52Plus Zoomable
J5 Tactical V1-Pro
GearLight High-Powered S1200
Streamlight 88040 ProTac
Review of the Best Hunting Flashlights
The Odeprop KL52Plus Zoomable is a great choice for the budget minded consumer who still wants an effective and resilient flashlight. This flashlight is made of enhanced aircraft aluminum and is designed for rugged outdoor use. It can handle an unexpected downpour and still guide you true with weather, water, and shock resistance.
This flashlight has a number of really cool features. The focus is adjustable, allowing you to use it as a spotlight reaching up to 1350 feet when High is enabled and have a great wide view when searching for targets.
You won’t scare your prey away with the 4 interchangeable color modes. Depending on what your target is, you can use the appropriate spectrum that won’t catch their eyes. Red, White, Green, and IR850nm light are all included in the hunting set, and switching modes is easy to do on the go.
This flashlight is mountable with two separate mounts including a high strength aluminum mount for shotguns with a Pitcanny rail, and the durable POM quick release mount can fit multiple scope sizes. It actually has a smart remote switch, so if your hands are full you can depress the button with a knee or foot, to flash the light on where you need it.
J5 Tactical is among the best for brand reputation in the industry. They are at the top of the trusted list among those involved with outdoor activities for designing flashlights known for being high performance, durable, reliable, and versatile, and their products back them up time and time again.
Their products are known for being able to back up their advertising with a “What you see is truly what you get.”
The J5 Tactical V1-Pro is one of the best selling flashlights produced by J5 Tactical. It comes with High, low, and strobe modes making it versatile depending whether you need a small focused light or to scope out a larger area.
With a brightness output of 300 lumens, you’ll have enough light to get you in or out of any situation. With LED bulbs, you end up with a long bulb life that makes this an economical choice.
The entire flashlight is powered by a single AA Battery, and it’s light doesn’t fade unlike the reputation battery powered flashlights can have.
If you’re looking for something budget friendly that will do just what you need it to reliably, you will want to consider the Gearlight High-Powered S1200. With an output of up to 500 lumens, you won’t be short on light when you need it.
With 5 modes including High output, Medium output, Low output, flash/disruptor, and SOS you get a bit of versatility with this product in getting just the light you need. It even includes a zoom mode to make scanning from a distance easier.
This product was designed for durability, and is made from high-performance cast aluminum. It can survive a fall from up to 10 feet, and is both water and shock resistant.
Powered by AA batteries that are easy to keep extra on hand, this product has record battery life because of the LED bulbs, allowing for hours of continual use. It’s lightweight and an easy size to keep handy in your pack for when the time calls.
Sometimes, it’s worth investing in the right product that you know will last and do everything you need it to. The Streamlight 88040 ProTac is an all-around solid product, that while not on the cheaper end makes up for it with quality. This is a high end flashlight known to be durable and able to withstand the forces over time.
It’s made of durable aluminum construction and a design allowing for optimal solid grip. It has a glass lens sealed with an o-ring, allowing for waterproof protection up to 1 meter of submersion for 30 minutes. It can be dropped from 1 meter without breaking.
When it comes to adequate lighting, this product won’t let you down. This flashlight boasts C4 LED technology which is known for extreme brightness, and has an output of 750 lumens! It’s beam reaches up to 750 meters with deep dish parabolic reflectors that keep the beam concentrated.
It has LED solid-state power regulation, ensuring that throughout battery life you achieve maximum light output and don’t experience dimming. The run time is even regulated, so that your battery life has consistent performance throughout the battery life.
This flashlight is also designed for ease of use. The three output modes, high, strobe, and low, can be interchanged with only one handed use. The head of it has anti-roll protection, so that you can set it down without it rolling away or even out of the tree stand. It includes a removable pocket clip and a nylon holster for convenience as well.
Thrunite’s T10 CW XP-L model is a fan-favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. What makes it such a popular choice? Sometimes, you just need a flashlight. You don’t need to see hundreds of feet away, or have 4 different color modes with a zoom. All those extra features add weight and bulk to flashlights, and increase the price tag. If you need them it’s worth the notch in convenience, but if you don’t? It just seems unnecessary.
This flashlight is designed for the person who wants the basic light to get the job done. With a 252 lumen output you’re not as impressed by the amount of light, but you don’t always want to be walking through the woods with your high beams on anyway.
It does have a low output, high output, and strobe mode so you’ll have protection for yourself and be able to see the way. You can choose between these by using the twisting head or rubber tail-switch, allowing you to quickly do whatever is most convenient in a pinch, quietly.
This product is very lightweight, with an aircraft-grade aluminum body built to be durable. The power only requires one AA battery, and in low mode can last up to 40 hours. It can stand on it’s tail, and comes with a diffuser so that it can be used as more of a lantern or candle when there is no power. It also comes with a pocket clip for added carrying convenience.
We discussed the base model from Thrunite with the last review, now let’s discuss the amped up model! The Thrunite TN42 2000 Lumen Cree XHP 35 Hi LED flashlight comes packed with al the power and features one could need. If you want to get everything done in one powerful and versatile light, look no further.
This flashlight boasts a 2150 lumen beam, using CrEE XHP35 Hi LEDs to pack a powerful force behind it’s maximum beam distance of 1550 meters! This flashlight does require four 18650 batteries, that can’t be over 68mm, and unfortunately no batteries are included with this model.
This flashlight has a user-friendly “intelligent” interface that makes switching between light modes easy to do. It has green, red, and blue spectrum light modes, making it incredibly versatile and a tactical choice for tracking and hunting without attracting unwanted attention.
This Thrunite model comes with a holster, a removable clip, a lanyard, a tail-cap, rubber cushion, and even a spare o-ring. The o-ring fitting around the lens protects this model for up to 2 meters of full water submersion giving it an IPX-8 waterproof level. It protects itself from overheating with ITC technology that will lower the current when it gets too hot. It has memory, and will turn on in the last light mode that was used.
This model from Jetbeam is one of the most powerful and versatile LED lights on the market. With this light you’ll be equipped for any situation a hunter or avid outdoorsman would encounter.
The body of this durable flashlight is constructed from Type III hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum, and can withstand a fall from up to 1.5 meters without being damaged. The finish is anti-abrasive, so it’s both easy to hold and doesn’t catch fitting into your pack. This flashlight is rated for up to 2 meters of complete water submersion, so if you drop it wading through streams or water after your prized hunt you don’t have to worry.
This light is powered by XM-L2 LED, the latest from the trusted CREE line. It has a twisting mechanism, allowing you to go from 0 ranging all the way up to it’s 980 maximum lumen output. It has 7 modes including green, blue, red, turbo mode, strobe, police strobe, and standby indicator mode. It has an RRT magnetic control ring that allows for ease of function between modes and power, and IRT memory recalls the last settings that you used so that you won’t be surprised by the output.
This flashlight allows for use of either two CR123A/RCR123A batteries, or to just use one 18650 battery instead. It can stand on the tail, so you are able to use it as a candle. It can be mounted to a shotgun or rifle, and the head is stainless steel so that it can be used in a defensive situation.
Conclusion: Which Flashlight is Best for Hunting?
There are a ton of flashlights on the market, ranging from expensive and high tech, all the way down to the basic durable flashlight you can count on. Which one is right for you depends on your ultimate plans for use. If you don’t plan to be around many bodies of water, the waterproof feature won’t be as useful. If you’re an outdoorsman and not carrying a weapon, mountability won’t matter.
Some features however can’t be ignored for an outdoor enthusiast or hunter. LED technology has led to an increase in lumen output, as well as ability to change output levels to conserve battery life. If you’re on the hunt, you don’t want a light that is more like a spotlight, and some of these flashlights had zoom features to change the cone shape of illumination, allowing adaptability for exactly what you need to look at. Extended battery life or ease of replacement can make a large difference in whether your flashlight will be there for you when you need it most.
Our overall best choice flashlight for the hunter who’s serious about what they want goes to the JETBeam 9007113 Rrt26. With more than adequate lumen output, the most versatile for light spectrum modes as well as choice in batteries, and extended protection for drops and water submersion, this flashlight did extremely well in all categories. Be sure to follow the product links in the article to get up to date pricing information.
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