Are you looking for the best survival flashlights on the market?
When it comes to survival, you want to have a bullet proof plan and solid gear. Being able to operate at night in the darkness is a crucial tactical requirement, so it makes sense to have a great flashlight in your gear.
However, not only is an awesome handheld necessary, but also backup lights as well. A handheld is useful for activities like investigation, searching, blinding an aggressor, or scaring off an animal.
Since most of your other night time activities will require your hands, you also need a secondary headlamp that you can wear and keep your hands free to do important tasks.
A third backup is a small light that you can hook to your bug out bag for quick lighting needs.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the criteria that we need in a flashlight.
Then, we are going to review the top 3 handheld flashlights for survival, as well as the top headlamp and small flashlights.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Now let's look at the criteria for a good flashlight.
Best Survival Flashlight Criteria
There are 5 key factors that we are looking for in a good flashlight.
A flashlight needs to be durable so that it doesn't break when we need it most. It is wise to go with a proven flashlight that many reviewers have used over time and given feedback on how well it holds up.
We want a bulb that will last a very long time. LED bulbs are the way to go for longevity and power efficiency.
Light brightness is measured in Lumens, and it is a good idea to get a brighter handheld flashlight to be able to perform a variety of tasks.
If you aren't familiar with what Lumens are, check out the video below that has a great explanation.
For survival, a lot of thought goes into putting together a bug out bag, and weight is one of the primary variables. Therefore, we need flashlights that are lightweight so that we can keep the overall weight of our gear under control.
We also need to choose flashlights based on planning of what batteries might be available to us.
There is a lot of debate out there on Alkaline versus Lithium, and whether or not to go with a rechargeable battery.
In reality, there are pros and cons to every side of this debate. We must realize though that the most common available battery out there is disposable Alkaline, which means we would have the best access to this type of battery in a survival situation.
The J5 Tactical V1-PRO is a great handheld flashlight. It is a durable, heavy duty option that will last for a very long time.
It has an LED bulb with over 300 Lumens of light output. It weighs in at 2.4 ounces, which makes it an ideal choice.
The battery scheme allows for 1 AA battery, or also a 14500 rechargeable option to give you flexibility.
That way, you can use the 14500 for normal use, and if you find yourself in a situation where you can't charge, then a fall back is a single AA battery.
The flashlight is 8 inches long and 1 inch in circumference. Reviewers rave about how awesome this flashlight is. For the price, this is the absolute best AA flashlight.
The Hausbell Cree is very similar to the J5 Tactical V1-PRO and is typically a little cheaper. It has a LED bulb with 300 Lumen output. It is slightly less in weight at 2.2 ounces.
It also supports 1 AA battery and an optional 14500.
This flashlight is 6 inches long and 1 inch circumference, so just a little smaller.
3. Refun XML-T6
If you are looking for more light output, then the Refun XML-T6 is a good choice. With over 600 Lumen output, its LED is very bright. It is also very rugged and durable.
It has a different battery scheme, where it supports 3 AAA batteries or a rechargeable 18650 battery.
Depending on what other battery types are covered in your survival gear, this might provide a better match if you are going for a single battery type.
If you select a flashlight that uses an 18650 battery, you will want to choose a good one. You can find an awesome guide on selecting the best one here.
The flashlight is 5.6 inches in length and 1.5 inches in circumference. It is a bit heavier than the other two, weighing 4 ounces.
To accomplish most of your night time survival activities, you will need your hands. That is why a headlamp is a necessity.
The best headlamp on the market is the Vitchelo V800. It has two red LEDs for signaling and a bright white LED that outputs 168 Lumens for regular illumination.
It is waterproof and highly durable. The flashlight comes with a comfortable elastic headband and only weighs 2.1 ounces.
The Vitchelo V800 Headlamp is powered by 3 AAA batteries which can last 120 hours.
There are many other headlamps out there on the market, but none of them even come close to the features and performance of the V800.
Sometimes you just need a quick light to see something and your handheld is not out and you don't have your headlamp on your head.
That is where a smaller light comes in. You can strap it to the outside of your bug out bag and always have light available.
The best choice here is the Streamlight Nano. Weighing only 0.3 ounces, it is tiny. However, don't let its size fool you. It claims to output 10 Lumens, but reviewers rave about how bright it really is.
It is highly recommended that you get one of these to chain to the outside of your bag. You might even want a second one to carry in your pocket. If you are looking for more options for the keychain, we found the best ones out there.
Putting it all together, we looked at why a good flashlight plan is crucial for survival. While a handheld flashlight is perfect for many situations, you also need a headband and small light.
We next looked at the criteria that matters when selecting a flashlight.
Then, we looked at the top 3 handheld flashlights on the market for survival situations. We also checked out the top headband, which stands far above its competitors. Finally, we looked at a great small light available.
Putting the handheld, headband, and small flashlights together gives you the ultimate power over the different obstacles that might come up in dangerous survival situations.
Go ahead and put together your flashlight arsenal today. Another option that did not make this is nearly bullet proof. Check it out here.
Don't forget that you can also use a good fire to to help illuminate a wide area.
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