If you need a good flashlight for survival purposes, whether to get you through a power outage, an emergency, or even just for a camping trip too, the seemingly endless possibilities might make your head spin.
Fear not though, because we are here today with a narrowed-down list of the best survival flashlights that the market has to offer. Let’s get to it and find the best survival flashlight for you.
Best Survival Flashlights: Reviews
Lumintop 2.0 EDC Flashlight
If you need a super small pocket size flashlight, one that is built tough and designed with maximum brightness in mind, the Lumintop 2.0 EDC Flashlight is a good option to consider.
Right off the bat, one of the really cool things about this flashlight is that it allows you to use either a single AA battery or a 14500 cell to power it.
The AA battery is fine, but if you want the brightest experience with the highest possible lumens, as well as the longest runtime, using the 14500 cell is recommended.
When used on low mode, with a single battery, you can get up to 60 hours of use, which is quite impressive to say the least. When using the 14500 battery, on high mode, you can get just under 80 minutes of use out of it, and on the turbo mode you can get about 33 minutes.
Speaking of lumens, the Lumintop 2.0 EDC Flashlight is by far one of the brightest flashlights around. When using the best battery option, on turbo mode, this thing can pump out 650 lumens. For a flashlight this small, impressive is an understatement. For the record, it comes with low, medium, high, turbo, and strobe modes.
Moving onto the size of the Lumintop 2.0 EDC Flashlight, it is about half as long as a human hand, making it one of the most compact flashlights around, and it weighs less than an ounce. In terms of survival flashlights that can be stored in a small place and transported with ease, it’s a great option to consider. It also comes with a little clip so you can clip it into your belt, your pants, or any other such location.
Not only is this flashlight portable, bright, and long lasting, but it’s also built tough. This thing has a high amount of impact resistance and can be dropped from as high as five feet without worry, it can withstand both extreme heat and cold, and it has an IP68 waterproof rating as well. To top it all off, it comes with a textured grip so you can hold onto it without fear of dropping it.
What we like about the Lumintop 2.0 EDC Flashlight is that it’s just an all-around great flashlight. It’s durable, portable and compact, lightweight, and very bright too, at least with the right battery. For the low price it comes in at, we think that it’s one of the best survival flashlights out there.
One of the only drawbacks to consider with the Lumintop 2.0 EDC Flashlight is that if you are just using a single AA battery, both the brightness and runtime are going to be quite limited.
- Impact resistant
- Temperature resistant
- 14500 battery allows for a very bright beam with a long runtime
- Small, lightweight, and portable
- Good grip texture
- Great price
- Normal AA battery won’t get you too far
- Pocket clip is not all that sturdy
Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight
Here we have a slightly more expensive survival flashlight than the one above, but it does also have some really nice features that you might like. It may not look like much, but it’s definitely a top contender.
What is quite impressive about the Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight is that it can put out a maximum of 250 lumens (when set to high mode), which is not too bad at all, more than bright enough for the darkest of nights, not to mention that the beam can reach up to 130 meters, which is pretty far indeed.
It does also come with a low mode, which features a beam of 18 lumens that can reach out to 40 meters. Here you can choose from low, high, and strobe modes.
What is also pretty good about the Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight is that when on high mode, it can run for up to two hours, and when on low mode it can run for a whopping 43 hours with just two AA batteries.
In terms of the size, this flashlight is just under six inches long, and when it comes to the weight, it’s roughly 3.5 ounces. While it is not the smallest or lightest flashlight around, it’s still more than compact enough to be considered portable and to easily keep it in a jacket pocket or a backpack.
What you may like about the Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight is its high level of durability. This model is made out of anodized aircraft grade machined aluminum, which makes it very tough, not to mention that it features an impact resistant glass lens, and the whole package has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means that it can be submerged down to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes without fear of breaking.
The anti-roll front-end of it makes sure that it doesn’t roll around when you lay it down, and the removable pocket clip helps make life a little easier too.
More than anything else, we really like how the Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight is so durable. It is totally shockproof, highly impact resistant, and it can handle being submerged for a short amount of time too. Besides that, even when used on high mode, the runtime is pretty good considering that it uses basic AA batteries.
Something we don’t like about the Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight is that it doesn’t really have any texture on it, which can make it easy to drop, especially in wet conditions. Moreover, the pocket clip not the strongest either.
- Good size for survival purposes
- Solid construction
- Waterproof and shockproof
- Impact resistant
- Long runtime
- Fairly bright
- No grip
- Weak pocket clip
Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight
If you are looking for an extremely bright flashlight that can shoot a beam hundreds of meters into the distance, there might not be anything better than this Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight. In terms of lumen output, this thing is an absolute powerhouse.
Hands down the most impressive aspect of the Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight is how bright it is. On turbo mode, this thing can pump out a whopping 1,000 lumens. Not only is this a 1K lumen flashlight, but that beam of light can reach out to 253 yards, which is a very long distance no doubt.
That said, the Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight does also have other modes including the medium mode with 240 lumens, the low mode with 70 lumens, and the lowest mode with just one lumen.
In terms of battery life, when on the highest mode, this flashlight can last for about 75 minutes, on medium mode it lasts for six hours, on low mode it can last 28 hours, and on the lowest mode it can last for a whopping 520 hours.
Keep in mind that this flashlight also comes with strobe, location beacon, and SOS modes. Another related feature you might like is how this flashlight will remember your previously used setting, and will automatically switch to that setting the next time it is turned on.
In terms of the size, the Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight comes in at 5.47 inches, and weighs just over three ounces, making it a very small and lightweight option, something that you can fit in jacket pocket and completely forget about. It’s definitely something we would consider to be portable, which is also thanks to the integrated belt clip.
The Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight is also made out of some very durable materials, mainly anodized aircraft grade aluminum, and it is well-sealed too, more than enough to allow for impact resistance up to 1.5 meters, plus it’s waterproof too. To top it all off, this flashlight has a really good grip texture all along the outside, which makes it hard to drop even when slippery.
For one, we think that the Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight looks very cool. It definitely looks like a tactical flashlight. Moreover, the simple fact that this thing can pump out 1,000 lumens for well over a full hour is nothing short of impressive. It’s durable, bright, long lasting, portable, and more, and all for a decent price.
For some reason, the overall lifetime of the Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight does not appear to be very long, around two years at most. It appears to have some internal issues, some components that stop working after prolonged use.
- Super bright
- Many modes
- Far beam throw
- Great battery life
- Small and compact
- Good grip
- Decent price
- Overall lifespan is not great
ThruNite TN4A Flashlight
If the most important things you want in a flashlight are brightness and durability, then this ThruNite TN4A Flashlight is a fantastic option to consider. Now, it’s significantly more expensive than anything else reviewed here today, but that said, you get what you pay for, and here you get one heck of survival flashlight.
First off, this particular flashlight comes in at roughly 7 inches long, with a total weight of just over 13 ounces. As you might be able to tell, in terms of our list, it is so far the biggest and heaviest flashlight. While you probably can’t fit it into your jean’s pockets, we would say that it is still lightweight and small enough to be considered portable, although less so than the other flashlights reviewed today.
Now, there is a trade off that you get for that size and weight, which is functionality. As mentioned in the intro, the ThruNite TN4A Flashlight is one of the brightest flashlights around. It can pump out an astounding 1,050 lumens with a beam distance of 326 meters (turbo mode).
This is of course truly astounding. However, it does also have other modes for use, including high (577 lumens), medium (138 lumens), low (17 lumens), and moonlight mode (0.38 lumens), as well as a strobe mode.
In terms of batteries, keep in mind that the ThruNite TN4A Flashlight required 4 x AA batteries, which is quite a few, but that said, the battery life here is quite good. It can last for 67 minutes on turbo mode, for 150 minutes on high, 14 hours on medium, 93 hours on low, and for a whopping 80 days on moonlight mode.
When it comes to durability, the ThruNite TN4A Flashlight is no slouch either, as it features impact resistance up to two meters, plus it is rated IPX-8 for waterproofing, which means that can survive being underwater down to 1.5 meters for about an hour.
Finally, we do also like how this flashlight is not round, something that prevents it from rolling around, plus it also makes it easy to hold, which is also thanks to the textured grip.
The good part about the ThruNite TN4A Flashlight is that it really makes for a fantastic survival flashlight. With well over 1,000 lumens and a beam distance of 300+ meters, as well as an extremely durable and waterproof shell, this thing can survive mostly anything that you throw at it.
What’s not so great about this particular flashlight is its size and weight. Although it’s not heavay or large enough to be a dealbreaker for us, the fact of the matter is that it’s no the kind of flashlight that you can just shove in your pocket and forget about. Moreover, it is also quite wide. It kind of resembles a soda can.
- Superior durability
- Extremely bright
- Very far beam distance
- Great battery life
- Many brightness modes
- Good grip texture
- A bit heavy
Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight
Here we have what is the most expensive flashlight on the list today, coming in at just under $100. However, like we said above, you get what you pay for, and what you get here is a real powerhouse, not to mention that it comes with one super special feature that the majority of flashlights don’t have.
What really stands out about this particular flashlight is the CREE XP-L HI V3 bulb that it comes with, something that allows the Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight to put out around 1,000 lumens with a beam distance of just under 300 yards. That’s bright and that’s far.
Yes, this flashlight has various brightness levels including turbo and strobe modes (1,000 lumens), high mode (350 lumens), medium mode (150 lumens), low mode (50 lumens), and moonlight mode (1 lumen).
Now, what is really impressive about the Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight is that it comes with a rechargeable battery. Yes, that’s right, it comes with a charger, so that the included battery can be recharged. This is the super special feature we hinted at before.
In terms of battery life, this is very good too. Turbo mode allows for 2 hours and 15 minutes of use, high mode allows for 4 hours an 10 minutes, medium mode allows for 10 hours and 40 minutes, low mode allows for 28 hours and 10 minutes, and moonlight mode allows for 800 hours of use on a single charge.
Even though the Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight is super bright, it also manages to come in a small and compact package. It’s just over five inches long and weight just over three ounces, making it one of the smallest, lightest, and most portable options on our list today, not to mention that it comes complete with a handy pocket clip too. It’s also easy to hold thanks to the rough texture it has on the handle.
It is also worth noting that the Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight is super durable, as it is made out of high quality metal, and has the ability to resist a drop of one meter. Moreover, it also has a waterproof rating of IP68, so it can be submerged down to two meters for over 30 minutes without fear of breaking.
The good part about the Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight is, well, everything really. When it comes down to it, this is the best survival flashlight on the list today. It’s bright, it’s durable, it’s portable, and it has excellent battery life, not to mention that it’s rechargeable too.
One of the only downsides to the Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight is the price. No, it’s not cheap. On a side note, the pocket clip is not overly durable, but it’s no dealbreaker.
- Extremely bright
- Far throw distance
- Various brightness levels
- Great battery life
- Rechargeable battery
- Very durable
- Compact and lightweight
- Good grip
- Quite expensive
- Pocket clip could be better
Before you go out and buy just any old flashlight for survival purposes, let’s take a quick look at the main factors and features to keep an eye out for.
Brightness & Runtime
One of the most important things to look out for here is how bright the flashlight is on its highest mode. Generally speaking, the higher the lumen count the better. You want something that can put out a few hundred lumens at the very least, and if you can find a flashlight with 1,000 lumens, you’re on the right track. Just remember that the higher the lumen output, the less runtime you will get out of it. As you can see, even the best flashlights, when on turbo mode, can only last for a couple hours at the most.
When it comes to batteries, sure, disposable AA and AAA batteries are fine, but they just won’t last very long. Next you have your alkaline, lithium, and carbon-zinc batteries, which are all considered high performance (we recommend lithium). Finally, you can also go for a flashlight with a rechargeable battery, such as a NiMH or NiCd battery.
Of course, you want a survival flashlight that can handle some bumps. A good material for this kind of thing is anodized aircraft grade aluminum, as it is very strong and lightweight. Moreover, a shatterproof lens is recommended. As long as the flashlight in question can survive a drop of a couple meters, and as long as it has a decent waterproof rating, you’re on the right track.
The bulb type is going to determine how bright the flashlight is and how far the beam can reach. Lowest on the list is the incandescent bulb, then the next best thing is LED, and after that, a high intensity discharge bulb is very bright and long lasting. When it comes to tactical and survival flashlights, generally speaking, your best options are bulbs such as CREE XPL-HD LED and CREE XP-L V6 LED bulbs.
You do want your flashlight to be sealed, which means that water cannot get inside of it. Remember, water resistant means that it can handle a bit of rain, but in all reality, you want a waterproof flashlight that can handle being submerged down to at least one meter for 30 minutes.
What are Lumens?
Lumens are a measure of light output, or in other words, the intensity of the light coming from a specific source. It’s how much light a bulb can put out.
Do LED flashlights last longer?
Yes, LED flashlights do use less power than regular flashlights, and therefore you get a longer runtime out of them.
How many lumens should a good flashlight have?
If we are talking about normal flashlights, a couple hundred lumens is fine, but in terms of tactical and survival flashlights, something that can put out between 700 and 1,100 lumens is recommended.
Of you are looking for the best of the best, the number one option we recommend is the Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight.
However, if you want something a bit more affordable, that still works well, the Lumintop 2.0 EDC Flashlight makes for a fine choice as well. Whatever your choice ends up being, just remember to keep the most important purchasing factors and features in mind at all times.