Updated: March 12, 2017
Best Military Grade Flashlights Buyer’s Guide:
As I use more of the best military grade flashlights in my day-to-day life, I am consistently impressed with their superior performance. Whether you’re planning a hiking trip and need a resilient and long-lasting beam, or wake up at night to a strange noise, having the right light makes all the difference.
My research has confirmed that quality military grade flashlights drastically outperform any budget flashlight on the market. My guides are here to help you sift through the many options available to find the best of the best! Remember to check back for updates.
There are many things to consider when picking out your new light. I should also mention that if you need a light for more than one kind of use, you should consider the best choice for each use and then compare the trade-off’s. If finances allow it, having the right tool for the right job can give you a serious edge. Low quality and cheaply made torches can’t handle the wear and tear of a well-made military light. Good quality parts cost money. This is an investment in your hobby, your profession, or your personal safety. In the long run, investing in the right military style tactical flashlight will be cheaper and smarter.
Below you’ll find my roundup of 10 military grade flashlight reviews. I compared them on many different features to help you make the best decision.
I also included the kit and bundle extras in my comparison. This lets you know exactly what you are getting with each military flashlight as well as the value those extras add. A few of these are simple, no frill options. The extreme hobbyist and casual enthusiasts alike will find something that suits them.
Some of the add-on’s, flashlights and features I compared are not a necessity for me. For example, I prefer a lighter weight, but I don’t mind carrying more if a flashlight is truly the superior choice. Also, while I agree strobe and S.O.S. settings are handy in certain situations, these settings are not deal breakers for me depending on the usage I intended the flashlight for.
During high stress situations, you are more often than not just happy to have the light. Worrying about the mode or having to cycle through too many modes to get what you need could be problematic when time is critical. For that reason, I recommend taking careful considerations of your needs.
If you plan to use this primarily for personal self-defense, you may find the strobe mode perfect for disorienting an attacker. If you’re more interested in bringing this along hiking, a strobe setting may be considered extraneous, but adequate weatherproofing and durability move up on your list. All of these features come down to personal preference. For a more detailed breakdown of things you should look for with specific uses in mind, check out the end of my first review of military flashlights.
I have broken down your needs into two categories. The professional use category contains further suggestions for law enforcement, SWAT, security officer, and military personnel needs. The personal use category contains more for hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, or home defense. Optional accessories like a good quality mount and adequate striking bezels are also important to take into consideration.
So read on below to find out what will work best for you!
Top 5 Flashlights – Comparison Chart
PRODUCT REVIEWS - TOP 5 FLASHLIGHTS
This compact and effective military grade flashlight is the perfect buy. For right around the $50 mark, its brightness is unmatched. With a beam distance of up to 242 meters, this little guy is seriously powerful. I got about 2.5 hours of battery life at the high setting, and considering how bright that was, I’ll have to say it has a good battery life.
I tested this one on a recent hunting trip and was blown away by its performance. With its waterproofing and shatterproof tempered glass lens, I didn’t worry for a second about inclement weather or the rough terrain. It is also very easy to mount to a rifle with a 1 inch ring mount which I personally found to be a benefit. At a solid 6 ounces, it is still one of the lighter flashlights I reviewed this time around, and it’s clear that its sturdy construction packs a punch.
All around, it was my favorite from this round of reviews. The power and durability of this military flashlight is above and beyond its small package and price point. No matter what your needs, this one delivers.
The Limited Lifetime Warranty from Smith & Wesson guarantees this product—definitely a perk.
- CREE XML-U2 LED Lens
- High, low, and strobe settings
- Waterproof up to 1m
- Exceptionally bright 875 lumens
- Belt holster, pocket clip, lanyard and batteries included
- Housing is made of strong anodized aluminum
- Compact and light
- Good light settings
- Nice accessories for ease of use
- Impact resistant
- Extreme weather and corrosion resistance
- Battery cost if replacements bought
This is a well-made product delivered in a well-made gift package. At 1600 lumens, this device is certainly bright. You will be paying just a little more for all that extra brightness and it is worth it. I was impressed with the zoom lens on this military grade flashlight as well. It’s easy to use and very smooth.
The wide beam flood option lit a surprisingly large area more efficiently than many of my torches without this feature. The zoom has also remained taut throughout my testing, which speaks highly of its superior craftsmanship. The rechargeable batteries included in the package are also a plus, as the max runtime of 18 hours could potentially eat through batteries quickly.
The solid construction and quality gift packaging makes this my second pick. I’d recommend it as a great gift for anyone looking for a good quality, easy to hold and use military grade flashlight. The Mini-Pro included in the gift set is perfect to throw in the car or keep on the bedside table in a pinch. It also has an adjustable focus zoom lens like its companion, but you will need to provide your own AA battery.
All in all this is a fantastic torch that I would be proud to have with me no matter if I am hiking or on active duty.
- Throw and flood modes
- A whopping 1600 lumens
- Includes 2 x 18650 3.7v lithium-ion batteries
- Rapid battery charger
- Adjustable focus zoom lens
- Well-built and durable
- Zoom lens is smooth
- Great gift package
- 5 different light modes
- Comparable flashlights at lower costs
- I’d prefer a holster to the provided clip
Though this one is a little smaller than I expected for its weight, it’s still more than bright enough at 700 lumens. It is definitely capable of filling a room with bright light easily. The hard case, LED keychain, belt holster, wall charger, car charger, 2 lithium batteries, and instruction manual all included in this kit will appease even the most obsessed accessories fan.
The G700 itself is small and can be worn comfortably on your belt for ease of access and transportation during even the most stressful operations. It has a fast battery recharge time and a small hard case that makes storage easy. With a maximum run time of approx. 12 hours, I feel that this flashlight is best used in bursts.
I was not as impressed with its zoom function range, and that drops it down to my #3 choice in this list, but its five light modes make it a versatile option nonetheless. High, medium, low, S.O.S., and strobe are all easily cycled through with a click of a button. The included car charger makes this a great option for travelling needs. I’m also pleased with the rigid point construction on this, making it a serious contender for self-defense situations. All in all, it is a great flashlight for everyday carry, due to its reliability and versatility.
- Wall charger and car charger included
- 700 Lumens
- Visibility up to 220 yards
- 5 light modes
- 5 to 7 hours quick charge time
- Nice for all around use
- Hard case for storage
- Compact and bright
- Water resistant
- Quick charge feature
- Tons of accessories
- Little bit small for those with larger hands
Right out of the gate let me say that this military grade flashlight is made from anodized aluminum, which feels fantastically well machined. With the two included O-ring replacements, the water resistance from this one is a safe bet. You won’t have to worry about rain if you get caught out, or even falling into the nearest body of water. I don’t find myself underwater often, but if I happened to, this military grade flashlight would be fine!
It is suitable to be submerged up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes. If that isn’t enough, there is a whole kit of extras.
This is a great kit too, with a rapid wall charger included for the two rechargeable 18650 Lithium-Ion batteries, a 3xAAA battery holder if you’d prefer that option, the O-ring replacements, nylon belt carrying case, and solar powered LED keychain, you’ll have everything you need with just one order. I was surprised by the keychain’s power and have already put it on my keyring. Also surprising with this kit was the bezel on the NGPRO-12. It has a good weight behind it, and so I’ll say it is also a good choice for self-defense needs. At a comparable price to my #1 pick, I suggest carefully considering your needs.
The NGPRO-12 has the 5 light modes (high, medium, low, strobe, and S.O.S.), and is capable of filling entire rooms and reaching great distances at night.
- 1200 lumens
- 2 ounces
- Anodized type III aluminum
- 14 hours maximum runtime
- IPX-7 Waterproof Rating
- Very good waterproofing
- Withstands extreme weather conditions
- Powerful beam
- Rapid wall charger
- Battery options
- Big pack of accessories
- Heavy and big
- Capable of putting out enough light to potentially damage eyes
This one is a little heavier than the other military flashlights in this review, for some that may be a disqualifying factor. At 8 ounces, there is no doubt that it is well-made and constructed with durability in mind. And at 700 lumens, it will get the job done. However, it lacks a case and does not come with the AAA batteries it requires, so go ahead and order those with it. A simple choice, if you’re looking for a standalone, ready to use flashlight without the fuss.
Its 5 light settings are easy to cycle through and will contribute to the fact that this is a great allrounder. It has enough power to for all of your needs and is sturdy enough to keep up with you. This is an easy and simple choice.
- 3xAAA batteries
- 5 modes (High, Medium, Low, Strobe, S.O.S.)
- Zoomable from 1 – 2000x
- Max 700 lumens
- Powered by 3 AAA batteries (not included)
- Sturdy build
- 5 different light settings for all situations
- No case or batteries included
Other Flashlights To Consider
This is a fantastic, no frills kind of military grade flashlight. The mode switch is located on the side instead of being a half decompression of the power button.
I’m happy to say it is not easy to accidentally trigger the side switch thanks to the way it was constructed, and after getting used to the placement, it works better than some of the tail switches I have tested in the past. It is very bright and does come with all the bits you need—besides the battery.
Its versatility made up for that though I will say, and I used a CR123A lithium rechargeable I already had handy. It worked like a charm. I tested both the belt clip and lanyard each on a quick hike. Both were easily accessible and well balanced.
The firefly mode is a great setting for those moments you don’t want to alert everyone near you or as a way to retain your night vision and not blind yourself as well as extending the battery lifetime tremendously. The 5 year warranty is a nice perk as well.
- Anodized Aluminum
- 1200 hour runtime on firefly (Not tested by me)
- 4 ounces
- CR123A lithium battery
- Tail and side switch
- 5 year warranty
- Bright beam
- Long beam distance
- Great battery life
- Does not include batteries
- Side switch does take a little getting used to
Light in weight but mighty in performance. Its 1200 lumens light up a room with ease and truly makes this military grade. The adjustable zoom takes that light and focuses it very far. My buddy uses this one in his boat. He says on a clear night on the pitch black water it gets quite the range. The all-weather durability means he doesn’t worry about the damp conditions. A great choice for hunting, special operations, hiking, and apparently boating. The small, compact design fits comfortably in my hand and is easy to store away.
You won’t get much in the terms of extras with this one, but if you’ve had a decent military grade flashlight and are looking for the next upgrade, I’d suggest really taking a look at this one.
- Rechargeable battery
- 1200 Lumens
- 8 hour runtime
- 3 ounces
- Small and robust
- Easy to hold
- Fits on belt
- Adjustable Zoom
- Very bright
- May be the wrong size for your needs
- Relatively short battery life
I really like the fact that this one comes with a USB charging cable. The USB connection opens up a lot of options on the go such as charging this in my car.
The bundle I purchased did include the KLARUS 18650 battery, and that is the only one you can charge while in the flashlight according to the manufacturer. Any other 18650 and the two CR123A batteries cannot be charged inside, but at 15 hours runtime, I didn’t have any trouble with running out of power.
This XT12 is bigger than the Klarus XT11 and I am convinced it’s an improvement. I’ve used the XT11 before, but the XT12 feels better in my hand. It has a very large and effective striking bezel, as do most in the Klarus tactical line. The tactical military grade swivel ring is a nice inclusion in this bundle. All in all, it’s worth the small price increase for this superior quality torch.
The beam power is also unmatched at this price level. The toughened, ultra-clear glass of the lens provides a clarity I rarely see from other flashlights. The IPX-8 waterproof rating also means it can withstand submersion up to 2 meters for extended periods of time. While I don’t suggest giving your flashlight a bath, it is nice to know inclement weather won’t be a problem at all.
- Multiple battery options
- 930 Lumens
- 9 ounces
- Magnetic charging USB cable
- 15 hours battery life
- Military grade durability
- Any 18650 or CR123A battery works
- Extremely well-made
- USB makes charging easy
- Very clear
- Can’t use 16340 battery
This is one very bright military grade flashlight. It needs to be stated twice. This one is very bright, potentially blindingly bright. That makes it a fantastic choice for outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, and camping or even police or special operations usage. I suggest this flashlight for anyone who finds themselves needing that extra brightness for sure. It is O-ring sealed, so suitable for rainy weather.
Though I would not drop this one in water as the manufacturer hasn’t cleared it for submersion. The high, medium, low, strobe, and S.O.S. settings are easily switched with the on/off button located in the end cap. The zoom options go up to x2000, with lower settings at x1000, x500 and x250. The zoom is also very smooth to operate. I’m not convinced that the 5000 Lumens is necessary for every use, and so can’t suggest this one for every user. For an avid hunter,
It is O-ring sealed, so suitable for rainy weather. Though I would not drop this one in water as the manufacturer hasn’t cleared it for submersion. The high, medium, low, strobe, and S.O.S. settings are easily switched with the on/off button located in the end cap. The zoom options go up to x2000, with lower settings at x1000, x500 and x250. The zoom is also very smooth to operate. I’m not convinced that the 5000 Lumens is necessary for every use, and so can’t suggest this one for every user. For an avid hunter, caver, or hiker looking for that extra edge, this will fit the bill.
- Shocking 5000+ Lumens
- 1 x 18650 or 3xAAA batteries
- 2-22 hours runtime
- Super bright XM-L T6 LED
- Blindingly bright
- Easy to use
- Easily recharged
- Very bright and potentially damaging
With so many great options, I don’t feel right trying to justify the price for you because I am not sure it is, not even for this military grade beast.
Easy to use, my two included 18650 batteries came charged and ready to use. This one looks like it means business. It is larger than most I’ve looked at, but still fits comfortably in my hand. I would prefer a holster with it, as the clip doesn’t provide the support I’m looking for.
The military light automatically turns on at the highest setting. If you wanted bypass the other 4 modes and get back to high, you could very quickly turn it off and back. The flat black aluminum alloy finish gives this one a very professional rugged appearance. The ridged striking bezel looks promising. I’ve yet to need it. I have dropped this one a few times already, and it has held up very well.
I do miss the adjustable zoom options. A fixed focal range is not always a negative, but after experiencing the versatility available in an adjustable zoom lens, I’m not sure this is worth the price without a few more options. I’d wait to pick this one up on sale.
- 950 Lumens in power
- 4 ounces
- Rechargeable lithium battery
- Waterproof casing
- Charger included
- Great in any weather
- Puts out a lot of light
- 5 modes
- Great design
- Price Price Price
For me, the Smith & Wesson Military & Police MP12 Military Flashlight outshined the rest. Its durability and performance in all conditions really impressed me. There are other spectacular options for those of you looking for more brightness, such as the SOLARAY PRO ZX-1XL or EM-C7.
The firefly mode on the Night Provision TX11 also impressed me with its shockingly long battery life. There are situations when I don’t need a full power beam of light and this got the job done. Knowing that a long battery life is only a click away is a great bonus.
The durability of the Klarus XT12 stood out. I expected good things, but this one exceeded those expectations. You can really feel the quality of craftsmanship. The innovative magnetic USB charging option also makes this one worth taking another look at.
I did choose a variety of battery and rechargeable power sources in this list of the best military units. While there was some difference in quality, this variation wasn’t enough to single out one best choice over the others. The charge time varied a bit as well. So this will depend on your preferences and needs.
Again, helping you find the best military grade flashlight for your needs is my goal. Take your personal preferences into account and carefully consider exactly what you’re buying for. You can’t go wrong with any of these.
Knowing I have a dependable and highly effective military quality light source takes some of the worry out of my personal and professional life. I don’t ever want to be caught camping or working with a cheap torch that won’t survive the night. I’m sure you don’t either. Having the right tool in the moment is worth the investment.
These are some great choices for your tactical flashlight needs. Follow the links next to each one to read more reviews and remember to check back here for more updates as I update these guides all the time.