A hunting flashlight is usually something most people don’t put much thought into until they happen to need one. Most daytime hunters don’t really put much stock in a good flashlight, but any experienced hunter worth their salt will tell you that a good light source when you need it is a lift saver. We aren’t just talking about hunting here, it could literally save your life in certain situations.
Hunting during the day be may successful without much preparation, but for lovers of night hunting they know that you can’t leave home without a good flashlight.
The problem with choosing almost any kind of hunting gear is that there are many products to choose from. I won’t go around saying that I tested them all, because that would be a lie. But between myself and others, I can confidently say that I have seen and used enough flashlights to be able to make good recommendations that meet the needs of almost all types of hunters.
Best hunting flashlight reviewed
Streamlight UltraStinger Flashlight
I’ll start with my number one pick for a flashlight and that is the Streamlight 77553.
This premium flashlight is built out of an anodized aircraft aluminum body which makes it light but durable. The whole aluminum body is also enveloped in a non-slip rubber grip to make sure that you don’t drop it. What I like about this flashlight is that you can feel that it a quality product and that it’s well put together. It isn’t some flimsy flashlight you get from a dollar store or a gas station, it’s a well-built piece of equipment.
Specs wise, it’s probably among the brightest flashlights you can get and still be legal. As most other flashlights do, it also has a tactical strobe function should you ever need it.
- Optics – it features custom engineered optics that produce a powerful narrow beam and is optimized for peripheral illumination
- Multi-function button switch for high, medium, low, and strobe modes
- NiMH rechargeable battery
- Can produce 1,100 lumens of light coupled with some 60,000+ candela for a beam that can reach up to 510 meters.
- Almost unbreakable polycarbonate lens with a scratch-resistant coating, along with an IPX4 rated water-resistant functionality.
A bit pricey but worth the money
Extremely bright at close up or long-range
In closing, I believe that the single biggest piece of advice I can give is this: Get one for yourself, you won’t regret it. It’ll last you for a very long time if you take care of it and it will help you out when you most need it. But don’t take my words for it, try it out for yourself and see.
For what it’s worth, this is definitely one flashlight that I consider to be a very strong contender to the title of the best hunting flashlight.
Odepro KL52Plus Zoomable
Another alternative to the traditional hunting flashlight is this great piece of equipment from OdePro. This bad boy has adjustable focus and zoom so you can use it to pinpoint precision or you can zoom out and use it as a spotlight. The light from this flashlight can reach up to 450 yards (413 meters). This also comes with 4 colors LED modules – red, green, white, and IR850nn Light to meet every need you can think of out on the field. You get a red light for predator hunting, green for hogs or other varmints, IR8500nn for night vision, and white for everything else.
The hardened exterior that comes along with the rest of the package is just the icing on top of the cherry Sunday.
- Innovative design and functionality thanks to the zoom in/out ability along with 4 different color modules
- Water, weather, and shock resistance allow for ease of mind when operating in the field. You know that it will take a beating before giving up on you.
- Smart Switch – It has a quite clever pressure switch that can free up your hands when you are holding your shotgun.
Not as bright as other flashlights on this list
Easy to use and maintain
Now that we have this wrapped up, I can tell you that this is one of the best flashlights strictly for hunting. You won’t be using this on your nightly searches in the fridge because this isn’t made for that, but what it is made for is night hunting. It really is a specialized tool and it does its job exceptionally well.
ORION H30 Green or Red Premium Hunting Flashlight
What I’m about to bring to you now is another piece of specialized hunting equipment, namely a proper hunting flashlight. Similar to the OdePro, this is another long-range hunting light that promises to make hunting very efficient and fun. It features a red and green-focused beam that can hit up to 273 yards.
Built out of aviation grade aluminum and up to military grade standards this promises to keep you going when you most need it. Featuring in-house state of the art LED it emits 100% pure green and red light without loss of quality from filtering.
- Proprietary LED: Orion’s custom tech promises 100% quality when it comes to its red/green light and will most definitely deliver.
- Durability: It’s made to last thanks to its top-of-the-line build quality from aviation-grade aluminum. Thanks to its quality engineering, it’s also waterproof and impact-proof (just don’t throw it at your target).
- Power: up to 273 yards, 300 lumens, and between 4 and 120 hours of usage (depending on settings)
Only two colors filters
Price could be a bit lower
Better than average battery life
All in all, this in my book is a solid hunting flashlight and it will serve any hunter very well. Sometimes you don’t need all the bells and whistles, you just need something that you know will work and will not let you down. This piece of kit from Orion certainly does what it says on the tin.
Streamlight Tactical Light
We have here another Streamlight product (they keep showing up because they deserve to), this time a tactical flashlight. Now, this one is a bit of a mixed bag in the sense that it can be used for almost everything you need (from home defense to fridge raiding) but it’s not the best hunting flashlight you can get. That’s not because it’s bad or anything like that, it’s simply because it was not designed specifically with that in mind.
Now, intrepid hunters can and have used this here light to hunt, and they have done this successfully. It comes with the same level of quality you come to expect from a Streamlight product, meaning an anodized aluminum body, scratch-resistant lenses, and sealed bits and pieces for a waterproof build.
- Power: 775 lumens which have an effective spotting distance of around 450 feet and generate around 48,000 candelas.
- Mounting: can be mounted on a plethora of weapons, ranging from long-range hunting rifles to most home defense shotguns.
- Durability: featuring C4LED technology and the incredible build quality this flashlight is impervious to shock with an estimated lifetime of 50,000 hours.
It features non-rechargeable batteries
Extremely long-range beams
Not the best hunting flashlight
More lumens that you know what to do with
This is a flashlight that comes in a small package but packs a bit of punch. I have one that’s about two years old and still looks and functions like new even after a few mishandlings on my part. To any of you who are on the sidelines, I would say try it, you will most definitely not regret it.
Streamlight Fire Vulcan Flashlight
This funny-looking red flashlight may not look like much but it’s good quite a bit of a kick to it. First of all, it’s built using a hardened thermoplastic covering and also has a rubberized grip handle for extra traction. Along with that, we have an IPX7 rating and 8 modes of operation along with rechargeable batteries. Nifty little package wouldn’t you say?
- An ultralightweight flashlight that is still tough enough to withstand just about anything.
- C4LED technology means it will absorb massive amounts of shock damage and still function properly.
- Thanks to the deep-dish parabolic reverberator it can hit up to 1,856 feet, with around 180 lumens at 100,000 candelas.
- Quick recharge rate which can do a 0%-100% battery capacity in about 2 hours.
Diminutive size for its weight
Limited battery life
Good price for what you get
Another piece of kit that will not let you down. Small, lightweight, sturdy, and capable are all attributes of this hunting flashlight. Sure, you could ask for extras like different color lights, gun mounts, and whatnot but as things stand this is a definite buy in my book.
Nitecore P30 Hunting Flashlight
The Nitecore flashlight stands out among its peers by way of its huge battery runtime. Not often do you run across a hunting flashlight that is capable of up to 40 days of runtime and over an hour on turbo mode. Nitecore also throws in some aero-grade aluminum alloy casing and an IPX8 waterproof rating, just so you know what you are getting. I haven’t even mentioned the ease to use the tail switch with a dual usage (constant on/momentary) and a secondary switch that cycles through the settings.
- Long-range beam with 1000 lumens that can reach up to 2,027 feet.
- Top-of-the-line battery runtime that can last you for days upon days.
- Can be mounted on almost all firearms thanks to its small size and weight.
- Comes with a hunting kit that includes a pressure switch, a 50mm red filter, 50mm green filter, UI1 battery charger, offset mount, and a scope mount.
Great battery runtime
The red/green filter has to be installed/removed by hand
Additional hunting kit
Apart from the little annoyance with the red/green filter which has to be manually screwed on/removed, there is not a lot of negative press that I can give to this flashlight. I would even go as far as saying that it probably boasts the best battery capacity of all the flashlights on this list and that is saying something (hint: “It’s worth buying it”).
If the sole reason to get a flashlight would be it’s battery capacity, then this one would be the best hunting flashlight you could get.
Brinyte T28 Hunting Flashlight
The T28 is probably the easiest to use out of all of the flashlights mentioned before. It might be the most customizable as well. Why do I say that you may ask? Well, for starters it has a tri-color light source which can change between red/green/white almost instantaneously. Gone are the days of changing the filters or assembling the lamp just to get your green light started. Also, it does away with the industry standard and provides hunters with a step-less dimmers switch, which lets you adjust the brightness to any level you want between 2%-100% just by turning the tail knob. Gone are the preset brightness settings of old, and here comes the future. At this point, I’m not even going to mention that the body is made out of aircraft-grade high strength aluminum with premium Type III military hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish because you knew it was coming.
- Superb ergonomics and ease of use thanks to its well-thought-out design layout and precision execution.
- It also has a zoomable head which lets you choose the light focus. You can use it as a spotlight, narrow it down to target your prey, or anywhere in between.
- For peace of mind, it comes with overcharge, overheat, and battery-reverse protection so even the less technically inclined hunters can do no wrong.
Accessibility whenever you use it
Can’t be mounted on firearms
Decent battery for its size
Once you start using this hunting flashlight you won’t want to go anywhere without it. It is feature-rich, built to last, and at an amazing price point. If that doesn’t trigger your great deal alert then I don’t know what will.
Anyway, this is just my opinion based on what I used and what I saw other people use so don’t take my word as gospel. And for me personally, I would have no second thought about getting myself one.
FAQ and Others
Every season, we see a slew of new hunting flashlights, which boast various light emission systems, power levels, brands and models, and so on. Those are a lot of variables that can make our decision more difficult if we aren’t sure what factors we should consider. Keep this in mind for when you want to pick the best hunting flashlight for you.
Based on the source of light, we can classify the various types of flashlights available. As a result, we will identify:
Lanterns with incandescent bulbs: The “traditional” lanterns typically use a krypton bulb (which melts easily), do not illuminate very brightly, emit the classic yellowish glow, and have a low autonomy. These are your everyday trunk of your car type of flashlights, and should online be taken on the hunt if you ran out of torches.
HID flashlights: On the other end of the spectrum, we have this type of flashlight, which is both expensive and efficient. Their key advantage is undoubtedly the strength they provide; however, they are strong, bulky, and lack autonomy. Furthermore, repairs are normally costly.
LED flashlights: Without a doubt the best option; they are relatively inexpensive as compared to HID flashlights, and they provide excellent autonomy, strength, longevity, and shock resistance. In a nutshell, it’s the choice to consider. They are generally the most recommended for hunting because of their long life and low consumption.
Obviously, one of the most important factors is the flashlight’s power, so we need to know how much light it can produce and in what manner. In this regard, we must be aware of the following facts:
• Lumens: A calculation of the amount of light produced by an LED light source at its output.
• Lux: The amount of light that is measured on a lit surface.
• Candelas: The power of a light beam or luminous flux in a given direction, measured in terms of the opening angle of the beam, i.e. what is focused.
The light the flashlight emits (lumens) will be scattered further (less candela) and less light will reach the surface we’re aiming at, because the more angle of illumination the flashlight provides, the less light will reach the surface we’re aiming at (lux).
If two flashlights have the same lumen output but vary in dispersion angle, the one with the greater angle will scatter the light more evenly, resulting in fewer candles, luxes, and a shorter illumination gap. The lower angle of lighting scatters less light and allows for greater illumination distance, but at the expense of peripheral illumination.
Lighting distance and amplitude
We’ll have to pick one model or another depending on what it’ll be used for, the distance from the blind to the feeder, and so on. In this regard, we can discern the following:
• Lantern “Launchers” (throwers): These are flashlights that “throw” light a long way (150-1000 meters). At a great distance, they cast a very focused point of light.
• “Flooding” flashlights (flooders): These are flashlights that illuminate a very large strip of land over short and medium distances (they usually flood about 30 meters in width and launch at 10-20 meters at most).
• Zooming flashlights (flood to throw): These are flashlights with a “zoom” feature that we control forward or backward with our hand to change whether we want it to be “flooding” or “throwing,” that is, whether we want light at a wide angle for short distances or narrow-angle for long distances. These types of flashlights offer versatility but not the exact same performance as the previous two types.
Certain criteria must be considered when selecting our hunting flashlight. When it comes to hunting, the flashlight with the most lumens isn’t always the best option (duh). As a result, you must consider factors such as the flashlight’s weight, height, battery life (or battery life in maximum mode), performance, and other features. The following are some of the most important factors to consider:
The battery type
The size of the battery/batteries used is usually the differentiating factor. Some may be rechargeable others will not. Battery size and weight also vary drastically depending on the type you use. The most typical battery types are the following:
AAA / 10440, also known as “pocket,” is a type of AAA battery. This is the typical battery you find around your house without even trying. Light power is between 60 and 180 lumens.
AA / 14500, also known as “handheld.” Typical flashlights use AA batteries and can provide between 100 and 290 lumens of light.
25500-32500 CDs. They normally use type C or D fat alkaline batteries. They are not very manageable, and they aren’t very common. They can provide between 120 and 500 lumens of light.
CR2 / RCR123AA. They use lithium batteries. Not very widespread, some are very small, even pocket-sized, others not so much. Light power generated is between 100 and 300 lumens.
18650. They are too large to fit in your pocket. After pocket and handheld batteries, these are the ones you will use the most. They only use Li-ion batteries and have a moderate to high power output, depending on the LED, the size of the reflector, and so on. They can provide anywhere between 150 to 1500 lumens.
Contrary to popular belief, in the case of flashlights, size does matter. It’s one thing carrying along with a 10-pound flashlight on a 4-hour hunt, and another thing entirely to carry a 1–2-pound flashlight. The size of the flashlight used should be in sync with what you are using it for. Always keep that in mind when making any kind of purchase.
Modes of use and maximum time of use
In terms of flashlight modus operandi, these can have a single on/off or simple mode power switch, or up to three or more powers options (high, medium, and low), SOS mode, strobe mode, and even a red or green LED. Since it is not seen by animals and does not dazzle the hunter, the red/green light is more useful at night. The modes allow us to customize the amount of light they emit based on the setting, current needs, and how long we want the batteries to last.
Flashlight lenses and reflector
Our flashlight’s (silver) lens and reflector are also very significant. The width, distance, and consistency of the “beam” or light beam are all determined by the mirror or reflector. The farther the light “throws” the reflector, the larger and deeper it is. It will “flood” our world more if it is shallower and has a smaller diameter.
The reflector should ideally be made of metal, and if it is, the efficiency would be significantly improved. When it comes to the lens, it’s best if it’s made of glass rather than plastic for hunting.
Resistance to shocks and water
Another factor to consider is the flashlight’s resistance to shocks and water. It must be at least water-resistant so that they survive a drop in a puddle.
We’re looking for a way to easily and efficiently transfer the heat generated by the LED to the flashlight’s body. From highest to lowest conductivity, we can group the materials as follows:
• Aluminum: This is the most popular material we’ll come across. Only copper improves heat conduction, but due to its low cost and ease of fabrication, aluminum will be used in almost all lanterns.
• Titanium: Less popular due to its high cost, but much more durable than the others.
• Stainless steel: It is less expensive than titanium, but it is heavier and conducts heat poorly.
- Plastic: Usually found in less powerful flashlights because they generate less heat.
Flashlights by themselves are great, but what makes them even better are their accessories. These can go from none to an entire hunting kit which includes almost everything you could want. “Classic” accessories range from color filters to different mounts, power switches, battery chargers, etc.
Most hunters love accessories and they get giddy like little kids when they start playing with them. I know I love my flashlight accessories 😊
That pretty much sums up the thought process behind how to choose the best hunting flashlight for you. As always, it’s better to do your DD (“due diligence”) before you part ways with your hard-earned cash.