If you’re a hunter who’s out any time before daybreak or after the sun goes down, we’d call you a dedicated hunter. Any serious hunter’s normal hunting routine involves staying out late to follow their prey and make a clean, humane kill. We are also often late field dressing our game and then making the trip to get back to the truck.
As a hunter, you already know the essence of having a reliable light source when you’re in the dark. While many things might influence your choice of hunting equipment, a flashlight is non-negotiable.
Here at RangerExpert we researched, listed down, and reviewed today’s best hunting flashlights. See which model works for you best!
A Quick View of Our Favorites Hunting Flashlights
|Pick Name||Thumbnail||Product Name||Price|
|Editor’s Choice||Streamlight 88066 ProTac||$120 at Amazon|
|Runner-Up Choice||Streamlight 69266 TLR-1-HL||$147 at Amazon|
|The Brightest Choice||Streamlight 69265 TLR-2||$323 at Amazon|
|4th||GearLight High-Powered LED S1200||$30 at Amazon|
|5th||J5 Tactical V1 PRO||$30 at Amazon|
|6th||Maglite LED 3-Cell D||$65 at Amazon|
|7th||Surfire X300 Ultra Series LED WeaponLights||$310 at Amazon|
|8th||Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC90 LED Flashlight||$30 at Amazon|
|9th||Streamlight 69420 TLR-7||$139 at Amazon|
|10th||Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie||$90 at Amazon|
Our Selected Best Hunting Flashlights
1 Streamlight 88066 ProTac (Editor’s Choice)
When it comes to performance and durability, the Streamlight 88066 is your go-to choice. It features a C4 LED bulb generating a maximum brightness of 1000 lumens for up to 50,000 hours. It’d underwent a live-fire test and found to hold up against shock and vibration on most firearms.
It can run on both CR123A and rechargeable Li-Ion batteries with three user-selectable modes of strobes, high, and low. Strobe is essential in distress calls and runs for at least 2.5 hours on either CR123A or Li-Ion batteries. The high mode produces a maximum illumination of 1000 lumen with a beam distance of 332m for the perfect night view. Also, you can enjoy 22 hours of runtime when using the low light mode producing 60 lumens and beam distance of 80m.
Still, it’s equipped with a chip that regulates the light output providing uniform brightness and beam throughout the battery life. What’s more, it has a machined aircraft aluminum build with shock-resistant tempered glass lens making it durable and useable in diverse conditions. Again, it can function under a temperature range of -40°F to +120°F. It has both IPX7 and IPX4 ratings which imply its ability to withstand water splashes and 30 minutes’ immersion in water.
This model features a tool-less rail clamp which allows you to easily attach or detach on handguns and rifles. It uses a standard push button and a remote switch for both momentary and constant operation. Again, it’s compliant with the European Community and RoHS directives.
- Long-lasting battery life
- Quality build
- Multiple lighting modes
- Easy to attach and detach
- Can work with two battery types
- High-performance LED
- Allows customized lighting
- Doesn’t come with batteries
This flashlight deserves to be part of your night hunting equipment. It accommodates both CR123A and Li-Ion batteries with a maximum runtime of 25 hours and a C4 LED of 50,000 hours’ lifetime. It’s compact, easy to mount and unmount on guns with switches by the sides for easy operation. It can function for 30 minutes in the water and give the same output irrespective of the battery life.
2 Streamlight 69266 TLR-1-HL (Runner-Up Choice)
The Streamlight 69266 TLR-1-HL gives 800 lumens of light to meet your regular illumination needs. It provides a wide beam pattern for easy identification of objects in the environment. It weighs 4.18 ounces and can operate between -40°F to +120°F with a solid-state current regulation for consistent illumination across the battery levels.
It features an aluminum sealed construction with an anodized finish to prevent rust and corrosion. It has an IPX7 rating that makes it safe against water immersion and minor splashes. Also, it features the latest shock-proof C4 LED technology with 50000 hours of lighting and a Boro Float glass lens for the perfect illumination.
This compact flashlight uses two 3V CR123 lithium batteries running for 1.75 hours at 800 lumens and the battery can last for 10 years. There is a rail grabber which mounts quickly on handguns with Picatinny and Glock style rails. Also, you can switch to the strobe mode for signaling by double tapping the push button in quick succession.
Another feature you’ll like in this model is its tethered battery door with a latch mechanism to prevent battery door loss. In short, this is an excellent all-around choice for both vermin and varmint hunting.
- Wide beam pattern for better identification of the object
- Ideal for security and hunting applications
- Versatile rail grip clamp
- User programmable strobe
- Wide operating temperature
- Water, corrosion, and rust-resistant
- Impervious to shock
- Only strobe and high lighting modes
This top-rated flashlight is well built with a muted gold color to enhance its looks, though we would’ve liked it camouflaged. It has an aluminum housing an anodized finish to enhance its durability.
The strobe function is activated by operating the switch in rapid succession and a technologically advanced C4 LED produces 800 lumens glowing to a distance of 245m. It can be mounted on different gun types and features and suitable for both emergency and hunting conditions.
3 Streamlight 69265 TLR-2 (The Brightest Choice)
The Streamlight 69256 TLR-2 features an 800 lumen LED bulb producing powerful blinding light for inspection in the woods, clearing rooms, and easy identification of people and objects.
As a light and laser combo, it features a green laser for high-visibility and long range targeting. The two 3V CR123 Li-Ion batteries last for 1.75 hours on light mode and 17 hours on laser only mode. Still, it operates on four modes which are: LED/laser, LED only, laser, and a user-programmable strobe mode.
It has a durable, anodized aluminum construction with a black finish and an impact/chemical resistant housing. The engineered reflector creates an intense beam that makes you see clearly in the dark even to a distance of 245 meters. This model features windage and elevation screws for better target acquisition and zeroing, thanks to its brass bushing base.
The single hand snap-on and screw interface allows you to attach and detach without touching the muzzle. It comes with rail-locking keys for easy mounting on Glock and Picatinny style rails. This is a great choice to hunt predators like coyotes, skunks, raccoons, foxes, wolves, feral dogs, weasels, bears, mountain lions or cougars, and bobcats. You can easily mount it on your revolver.
- High lumen output
- Effective beam distance up to 245m
- Ability to use laser and light function simultaneously
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Wide operating temperature range
- Long distance target acquisition
- Sealed aluminum build
- Not rechargeable
This is an amazing flashlight with a combination of intense brightness LED and laser. The green laser is useful for sighting objects in both day and night hunting. It’s excellent on zeroing and provides accurate image despite repeated mounting and unmounting.
This modern device has a wide operating temperature range with a live-fire impact resistance build. The fast and easy rail clamp makes it suitable for use in a variety of weapons.
4 GearLight High-Powered LED S1200
This powerful and mid-size flashlight is the perfect gift for hunting and other applications. It features a tough aluminum body making it fit for extreme indoors and outdoors conditions. It’s a reliable unit for use during earthquake, storms, power outages, floods, and other forms of emergency.
It features an LED bulb which is 12 times brighter than incandescent generating a beam that effortlessly illuminates the surrounding. It uses 3 AAs battery and is also compatible with 18650 and 26650 rechargeable batteries. It consumes less power allowing you to enjoy longer usage and comes in a compact size that fits well in range bags.
Another exciting feature in this model is its ability to zoom in or out on objects covering a longer distance. Also, there are 5 mode settings that remove the need to buy many flashlights; thus, enhancing its versatility.
This model is made of aluminum which is light and can survive a fall from a 10-feet height. Besides, it can withstand raindrops and snow. Yet, it can survive in the water for a few minutes. Its durability and weight offer a feel of security and confidence when held in the hand. Again, it comes with a tail switch allowing you to handle and operate with one hand.
However, this is handheld and if you want a flashlight to mount on guns, you have to look elsewhere.
- Weighty and durable
- Ideal for general purpose use
- Highly affordable
- Weather, water, and shock-resistant
- Adjustable zoom
- Low battery consumption and multiple battery adaptability
- Not for mounting on guns
This is a great choice in terms of affordability and performance. It’s rugged, weighty, reliable, and durable. One of its greatest assets is the multiple settings that allow you to use it in diverse situations. It can zoom in and out making it easy to aim at both distant and near objects. The LED is very powerful and functions with both disposable and rechargeable batteries.
So, if you want a cheap flashlight with cutting-edge features, this is the product to buy.
5 J5 Tactical V1 PRO
The J5 Tactical V1 Pro is your go-to LED flashlight choice that offers great value for money. The beam can light up an area of about two football fields or approximately 600 feet. It produces maximum lighting of 300 lumens with strong brightness even though there’s a single AA battery.
It’s made of aircraft aluminum weighing 1.6 ounces with threaded finish giving it toughness and slip-free grip. What’s more, this compact flashlight can withstand a 10-foot fall and a few splashes of water.
This device comes with 3 useful settings featuring high, low, and strobe with an adjustable beam for use in dog walk or fishing. It measures 3.7 x 1.02 x 1.02 inches, making it fit in pockets, purse, or backpack. You’ll appreciate its 1-year warranty with a user-friendly support team to settle your issues on time.
- Ultra-bright LED
- Adjustable focus
- Compact design
- Uses a single AA battery
- 3 light modes for all situations
- Good impact and water-resistance rating
- High maintenance cost with disposable battery
This is a reliable flashlight with a sturdy and compact design making it easy to handle. It generates 300 lumens with a single AA battery that lasts for a few days on occasional use. The body is threaded to ensure that you enjoy a good grip anytime, no wonder why it has made its position amidst the world’s best flashlights. This is simply a great choice for the money spent on it.
6 Maglite LED 3-Cell D
So many gun and bow hunters prefer the MagLite LED 2-Cell D for its premium quality, durability, and reliability. This unit is built on high-tech engineering designs which are common in with all Maglite flashlights.
It has an aluminum body that makes it lightweight and reliable; with an anodized finish to improve its resistance against corrosion. It’s sealed to prevent dust and water from reaching the components inside. The diamond knurl design gives it a secure grip so you can focus the beam without wavering.
You can project the beam by simply rotating the head making it suitable for hunting, camping, fishing, and climbing. This model is built to last a lifetime; thanks to its advanced Mag-LED technology. It uses a high-performance 3-cell D battery which can last for two years before the need to replace. Again, being built in the USA, you have more confidence as it’s made following top-quality production standards and regulations.
This model is one of the most favorite among rescue officers, military and other law enforcement agencies in emergency situations. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which means you’ll get a replacement if it fails while on daily use.
- Top-quality craftsmanship and compact design
- Latest LED technology for excellent user experience
- Customizable focus and easy beam adjustment
- Diamond knurled body for better grips
- Shockproof and water-resistant
- Strong and light aluminum body
- Not rechargeable
The Maglite LED is durable and meets all needs for general purpose applications. It features a sealed and anodized aluminum construction making it impervious to water, dust, and shock. It’s powered by a 3-cell D battery with the ability to create a maximum brightness of 168 lumens for 80 hours. It’s manufactured in the USA with strict adherence to industry practices and regulations.
7 Surfire X300 Ultra Series LED WeaponLights
The Surfire X300 is an excellent mounting flashlight that you can try. Its high-performance LED produces 600 lumens with the specialized green/yellow spectrum, which is ideal for human vision. Besides, it features a precision TIR lens that creates a smooth and regular beam for peripheral lighting.
It’s IPX7 rated which indicate its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. You can activate it using either the right or left hand by pressing the switch located at the rear. For momentary on, press the switch on either side while flipping up or down to get a constant ON.
This model can attach to pistols or long firearms using its customized locking mechanism which is compatible with universal or Picatinny rails. It’s made from strong aluminum which is anodized to prevent rust or corrosion.
This model comes with a disposable CR123A battery but the rechargeable battery and adapter are sold differently. It’s very efficient when blood trailing a fleeing deer since the blood glows under the light while the battery will last long enough for the task.
- Good battery life
- Easy to install and remove from gun rails
- Compatible with both Glock and Picatinny rails
- Waterproof and rust-resistant
- Good impact resistance
- Yellowish and green spectrum for smooth sighting
- Ergonomic one finger switch
- Rechargeable battery and charger sold separately
This model is reliable, sturdy, and durable. Its special off-white LED generates 600 lumens via a green/yellow spectrum for safer and hitch-free vision. The beam is powerful enough to identify long distant prey while impairing their vision temporarily.
It features a new T-slot mounting system that fits most handguns and rifles with Picatinny or Glock rails. The body is made from high-grade aluminum which is light yet strong enough to withstand shocks and vibration.
8 Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC90 LED Flashlight
The Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC90 LED Tactical Flashlight boasts of a 900 lumen Cree LED that sweeps over a length 1000 feet so you can always discover what lies ahead. This is very important when hunting at night because it gives you confidence when spotting the prey.
This hunting flashlight is shipped with 3350mAh rechargeable battery, a micro USB cable and an optional 1A adapter as chargers. It’s equipped with an over-charge prevention circuit that helps prevent heat and, in turn, prolong the battery’s life. It has an IP65 rating meaning it can function in the rain.
This top-notch tactical flashlight features 5 adaptable settings of high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. Also, the LED can run for 50,000 hours with a smart circuit that ensures consistent lighting always. Still, it features a hard-anodized aluminum body which is resistant to scratches and chipping. It has a pocket-friendly design with threads on the chassis to enhance its looks and handgrip.
- Extremely bright
- Light and durable aluminum chassis
- Illuminates up to 1000 feet away
- Rechargeable battery
- User-friendly on/off switch
- 5 setting modes
- Charger adapter not included
This top model is designed to offer reliable lighting in the dark. It comes with a 900 lumen LED with 5 adjustable settings to suit diverse needs. It features a heat resistant aluminum reflector that sweeps the bright light for a distance of 1000 feet. It’s rechargeable and lasts for 6 hours on high mode. It’s sealed making it useful in heavy rain.
9 Streamlight 69420 TLR-7
The Streamlight 69420 TLR-7 carries an IPX7 rating and operates between -40°F to 140°F making it ideal for use in all outdoor conditions. So, you can use it sunny, rainy or foggy weather.
It has a save off feature that prevents accidental activation which may consume the battery. It’s compatible with different handguns using a rail clamp system that securely attaches and detaches without the need for tools. It has a durable aluminum construction that is light and resistant to weather, impact, and water.
Another important advantage of this device is the 500 lumen C4 LED that spreads a beam of 131m with a customized optic for regulated illumination. It comes with two switches which are positioned for the comfort of both right and left-hand users. You can make use of the quick press for constant operation or long-press for strobe mode.
- Suitable for left and right-hand users
- Mounts and unmounts easily on diverse guns
- Excellent illumination
- Resistant to shock and water
- Durable anodized aluminum build
- User enabled strobe function
- Battery could be difficult to maintain
This is a superior light for use in different rifles and handguns. It gives a fantastic light output with the option to remove the battery without unmounting. It’s lightweight, durable, and suitable for consistent use. It’s easy to operate by both left and right-hand users.
10 Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie
The Olight PL-MINI 2 ValKyrie flashlight features an AL6061-T6 aluminum alloy body which is resistant to shock, water, and rust. Also, it delivers an output of 600 lumens with 100 meters beam distance which is the same as seeing the whole area of a single football field.
Powered by a built-in polymer battery, this night hunting flashlight is charged via a magnetic charging contact found at the bottom. So, you wouldn’t need to remove the battery or plug in a cord before charging. The switches are properly positioned for convenient operation.
It’s equipped with a quick attach/detach mounting system compatible with Glock and Picatinny rails. With this, you can complete installation or release within a second. Still, the rail attachment is adjustable so you can slide it along your pistol’s length to get your best position.
It has an impact resistance of 1 meter and a waterproof rating of IPX6, making it ideal for use in the most difficult condition. It’s compact and light, weighing 2.56 ounces with measurement 2.1 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches making it the perfect choice for concealed carry. However, you might want to replace the already installed Glock rail adapter with a Picatinny rail to suit your firearm.
- Convenient charging without the need to plug in a cord
- Strong aluminum body
- Compatible with Glock and Picatinny rails
- Quick install and removal within one second
- Compact, portable, and lightweight
- Huge performance giving 600 lumens and 100meters beam
- The rechargeable battery isn’t removable
This is a well-built flashlight which you’ll never regret buying. It comes with the right spacers for standard Glock and Picatinny rails. It features user-friendly switches on both sides. You’ll operate the switches by moving it upward or downward to eliminate incidences of accidental triggering.
Best Hunting Flashlight Buying Guide
1. Material & Durability
Flashlights are mostly made from aluminum alloys or plastics. The ones with a stainless steel head have better impact resistance. Yet, each aluminum flashlight has its thickness level that has an impact on its durability and weight. Of course, the thicker ones will be heavier and tougher than the thinner.
2. Bulb Type
The brightest models usually feature LED bulbs. Other bulb types like krypton or incandescent are no longer popular. This is because led bub types have better brightness, runtime, efficiency, and shock resistance.
3. Beam Type & Distance
The reflector around the lens will determine its beam type and beam quality. Depending on your choice, you’ll get either flood, adjustable, or focused beam types.
The flood or fixed type has single-width beam and suitable for all applications including walking and camping. Adjustable beam-type allows the hunter to vary between focused and floodlighting to serve in the situation. The focused or spot type features a condensed single beam for better coverage making it ideal for route-finding and speed-activities.
The beam distance gives how far your eye can see through the light. It’s measured in meters and is comparable to the moon’s light. The distance may vary depending on the lighting mode.
4. Lumen Output
What are the best hunting flashlights in terms of lumen output? Your flashlight should be bright enough for your needs. The maximum brightness level of the flashlight is given by its lumen.
A quick check on the specs will help you to know its output which is often between 20 to 3500 lumens. It’s important to read the reviews from other users to get a clue of the model’s brightness since the rating might be misleading.
Many hunting torches/flashlights/spotlights/headlamps/lamps have single lighting modes and others have more, including low, medium and high. Some models feature strobes and SOS lights which is very important when signaling for help.
You’ll likely find your comfortable mode but the higher the lumen the lower your runtime. Again, the technologically advanced models have USB ports for customizing your lighting sequence via the computer.
The cycle of the battery after each complete charge is given by its runtime which is measured in hours. It measures how fast the battery output would drop to10% of its maximum rating.
This is very important as it determines the performance of the flashlight and determines how soon you’ll need to replace or recharge the battery. So, if you intend to hunt all night, it’s better to buy a model with a good runtime rating.
7. Battery Type
Another important thing to consider when buying a hunting flashlight is the type of battery that includes rechargeable, disposable, and renewable.
- Rechargeable – This type comes with a Li-ion battery which is often recharged via a USB port connected to a computer, solar panel, and other AC or DC power outlets. They have a high initial cost but this won’t be a deal-breaker since you won’t have to buy it repeatedly like the disposables.
- Disposable – The available options include AA, AAA, and CR123A types. The CR123A is the most expensive with a high voltage but are also scarce. Models like the baton-sized are powered by D batteries for higher brightness and longer life.
- Renewable – These are built-in flashlight batteries that you’ll charge via a cranking turbine from solar or wind and commonly used in emergency lightings.
8. Impact Resistance
The manufacturer will drop the product at least six times on a concrete floor to test its impact resistance which is also given in distance. This rating will help you to know if the unit will still function after an accidental fall. However, it doesn’t mean the flashlight will withstand a truck run-over or when it’s hit by a very heavy object.
9. Water Resistance
In addition to its durability and impact resistance, the water resistance feature is the next thing to look out for. This is very essential since you might not help but use it in the rain or it might drop in the water. An IPX4 rating on the flashlight indicates its ability to withstand water splashes and raindrops.
Flashlights with IPX7 specifies it can still function after a 30-minutes immersion in water while an IPX8 rating implies it’s can function in water for about 4 hours.
The introduction of LED bulbs and diverse lighting modes has enhanced the versatility of hunting flashlights. Those with SOS and strobe features always come in handy during an emergency. Besides hunting, you can use it for reading, security, fishing, and much more.
11. Blood Tracking
Blood tracker devices are often equipped with the highest-powered LEDs with specialized UV filters to make blood glow for easy tracking of the game. These are some of the coolest devices ever.
12. Size & Weight
You may wish to buy a large and heavy flashlight because of the advantage of better battery runtime since they often have battery capacity. However, heavier flashlights look clumsy making you tired before time which is why many hunters prefer lighter and compact ones.
Care & Maintenance Tips
Even if you’re lucky enough to find the best flashlight for hunting, you still need to develop the skills of caring for your new flashlight to ensure you’ll enjoy its complete useful life. In each case, you’ll clean, replace, and lubricate it on a regular basis to keep it in good condition for long.
Wipe off dirt on the outside using a pad and alcohol. If your flashlight has threads, you can remove the dirt with a soft toothbrush. It’s important to clean the lens to clear dirt which could impair the brightness. After you’d successfully cleaned the outside, next is to take out the parts to clean the inside.
Open the battery compartment, unmount it, and wipe off all visible dirt. Look at the springs to see if it’s in good condition and then clean in between the curls using an alcohol pad or Q-tip. After removing the dirt, wipe the threads to clear any leftover grease.
One of the most fragile parts of your flashlight is the O-ring which helps to prevent water from reaching the inside. To enjoy a water-resistant device, the O-ring must be in good condition. If the O-ring is worn out, then you’ll need to replace it with the same type.
Your flashlight ought to be free from rust to keep it functioning as it should. You might apply the manufacturer’s recommended lube on the body and other parts including the O-ring, springs, threads, and battery contacts.
Do You Really Need a Flashlight for Hunting?
So many night hunting enthusiasts use flashlights today to maneuver through dense bush easily and safely. some even prefer blinding their targets for an easy kill. A good hunting headlamp or flashlight will serve you as your third eye when hunting at night.
You’ll surely find these essential nighttime hunting devices beneficial for the following reasons –
- To reap maps and navigate the hunting area without getting lost
- To locate your hunting post in the dark without being loud
- To identify and track animal footprints
- To discreetly alert nearby hunters of your presence if you’re hunting in public lands
- To load, reload, and handle your loaded weapons carefully and safely in the dark and avoid damaging your property or endangering others’ lives with mishaps
- To field dress, process, and transport your freshly killed game fast and efficiently and preserve the meat
There are both hands-free and mountable options that you can attract to your forehead, compound bow or rifle. Aside from hunting, they are suitable for emergencies, camping, hiking, fishing and a lot more.
1. What color flashlight works best in deer hunting?
Ans. Deer can see blues and ultraviolet light (UL) though they’re sensitive to orange and green as well. We recommend that you try orange, red, and green since deer might perceive these colors as grass, which means they won’t be much startled by these colors.
2. What color flashlight works best for tracking blood?
Ans. Blue is the first choice but get one that filters out green and brown colors to make blood glow. White also works but it cannot make blood stand out and may spook deer.