What crosses your mind when you see the term survival flashlight? Well, just as the name suggests, this is a tool that is a crucial part of your survival.

From campsites and hikes, whereby you are likely to have a hard time finding your way around to more extreme circumstances such as earthquakes and hurricanes, a survival flashlight is vital in ensuring that you go through difficult situations with ease.

For some, all flashlights look the same, but in essence, there are differences between the different models available.

In this article, we are going to take you through the best survival flashlights so that you know how to find the best one for you.

For instance, we are going to guide you on the factors to look out for in such a product, and they include:

  • The brightness
  • Ease of use
  • Portability
  • Durability and materials, among others

Top Flashlights For Survival in 2020

If you lack time to do wholesome research on flashlights, you’ll find this section helpful as it contains some of the most popular survival flashlights available out there in the world.

Whether pricey or budget-friendly, an option that you choose is certainly not going to disappoint.

Product Name

Price

Rating


Streamlight 88031

$$

Nitecore P12

$$

Thrunite TN12

$$$

Lifelight

$$

Coast PS600

$

Streamlight 90540

$$

Smith & Wesson Delta Force

$

Elezetta

$$$

Fenix PD36R

$$$

Olight S30R

$$

1. Streamlight 88031

With anodized aluminum construction, this is a survival flashlight that is built to last due to the impact-resistance that the material gives it.


The flashlight also features different modes, which include strobe, momentary, and variable intensity modes, all of which should be of some benefit in the various situations that you may find yourself in.


Another notable feature is the IPX7 rating that makes the device waterproof up to one meter for around half an hour. 


We also liked the removable pocket clip that allows you to attach the flashlight to your belt for easy transportation. Further, it features an anti-roll face cap to ensure the flashlight stays in one position when you place it down.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Built to last
  • Has three modes for use in different circumstances

Cons

  • Weak pocket clip

2. Nitecore P12

Another survival flashlight that you may think about is the Nitecore P12 2015 version, which may seem small but is quite powerful. With a high-intensity beam of 13500cd and a throw of 232m, this is a flashlight that would be ideal for any survival situation that may arise.


We liked how easy it is to operate courtesy of the side-switch interface that allows for one-handed operation.


You may also appreciate the intelligent memory function that enables you to store your preferred brightness setting. 


And to top up on its suitability for EDC, the Nitecore flashlight is a lightweight and compact unit that is easy to move around with.

Pros

  • Well-made for durability
  • Extremely bright
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • High battery consumption

3. Thrunite TN12

If you ever need a flashlight for any outdoor situation, the Thrunite TN12 is what you need. Let’s start with the aircraft-grade aluminum construction that makes this flashlight a sturdy unit.


Also worth mentioning is the upgraded stainless steel side switch to make the operation to be more sensitive.


Do not worry about having a difficult time differentiating between the different brightness modes since the improved circuit design aims to make this situation less complicated.


The centralized position of the LED bulb is vital in giving you a better beam focus.

And to prove the TN12’s reliability for everyday use, it is quite popular among law enforcement agents, security personnel, the military, among others.

Pros

  • Well-made
  • Extremely bright
  • Gives a perfect central beam

Cons

  • Heats up fast when on turbo mode

4. Lifelight

Are you looking for a multipurpose survival flashlight? Well, the emergency crank flashlight would be a reasonable pick in such a case. Besides being a flashlight, the device could also serve as a compass, seat belt cutter, or a window breaker.


Still, on its use, the flashlight is suited for different environments such as camping trips, hiking expeditions, and long walks in the forests.


The Lifelight flashlight is extremely powerful with a 500mcd LED light while you could use four magnets to attach the light to the top of your car so that you could easily capture the attention of the rescue crew.


We liked the ergonomic and anti-slip body that offers a secure grip, and this translates to ease of use. Further, the body is designed to be water and shock resistant to withstand different climatic conditions.


An outstanding feature of this device is that you could use it to recharge any USB-powered item in your possession, such as a smartphone or iPod.

Pros

  • Bright
  • Powered by rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • Ideal for outdoor use

Cons

  • Not comfortable to travel with

5. Coast PS600

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to spy on someone in the wild from a distance, the PS600 flashlight would be perfect for the job. With its powerful beam, the flashlight lights up the wilderness with maximum ease.


The runtime that ranges between fifteen and fifty one hours, depending on the mode you choose, is crucial in ensuring that the flashlight never dies down on you when you need it most.


Let’s also mention the impact and water-resistant casing that makes the flashlight durable and ideal for use in different environments.


And if you have ever experienced the disturbing incident of your flashlight rolling off an uneven surface, the anti-roll tailcap ensures that you never go through such a situation again.


Lastly, the product is backed by a manufacturer's lifetime warranty against defects in artistry and materials to give you peace of mind.

Pros

  • Has an impact and weather-resistant casing
  • Backed by a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty
  • Decent runtime

Cons

  • Gives out an annoying rattle

6. Streamlight 90540

If you know that you are going to find yourself in extremely cold areas such as snowy places, the Streamlight 90540 would be your perfect companion. This is because it was designed for ease of use, especially when you have gloves on. 


This flashlight clips easily to the belt or strap, and this one of the reasons for its popularity among law enforcers.


You may also like its runtime of 13-hours on NiCD battery and 15-hours on alkaline batteries.


We have little to complain about the construction as the sturdy nylon casing and the Lexan lens with anti-scratch coating ensure that you are dealing with an item that would not break apart easily.


The unit is also water-resistant to enable it to withstand different weather conditions.

Pros

  • Easy to operate with gloves on
  • Clips to the belt easily
  • Well-built

Cons

  • A bit dull

7. Smith & Wesson Delta Force

The Smith & Wesson Delta Force is another top pick for law enforcement agents as well as astronomers. We could attribute this preference to the red light mode that is perfect for lighting up the darkest areas such as forests. 


Additionally, with this flashlight, the person that you may be trying to spot may have a hard time locating the source of the light.


The construction on its part is also quite impressive with the anodized aerospace aluminum making the flashlight sturdy and durable. On top of that, the galaxy flashlight is waterproof up to 1-meter.


Do not worry about difficulty in use since the patented dual-switch system allows you to switch between the white and red beam modes effortlessly.


Lastly, the diamond cut knurling ensures this flashlight stays firmly in your hands.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Has a firm and secure grip

Cons

  • Short battery life

8. Elezetta

The Elezetta Bravo may not be the brightest flashlight that you may come across, but it is packed with other impressive features that make it an ideal survival device.


First, it has a sturdy construction to ensure that it serves you for a long time to come. Further, all the circuit boards are sealed to ensure there are no loose wires on the unit.


Then, the fact that the flashlight is powered by non-rechargeable CR123A batteries is one of the reasons why it is best for emergencies.


We also liked its emission of about 650 lumens for over an hour.


Lastly, it is easy to use with a simple push of the tailcap button to power the flashlight on or off.

Pros

  • Built to last
  • Powered by non-rechargeable batteries
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Finding replacement batteries could be complicated

9. Fenix PD36R

Made in the USA, the PD36R flashlight is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum to make it a solid unit that would not fall apart that easily.


We liked how the brightness is not affected by the battery levels, and this is due to a digitally-regulated output.


Besides the five brightness levels, the flashlight also has a lockout feature that prevents the accidental activation of the light.


There is also the intelligent overheat protection that ensures the light does not obtain a high surface temperature.

Pros

  • Has five levels of brightness
  • Has a user-friendly interface
  • Comes with a BBX4 battery case

Cons

  • The belt case has a flimsy construction

10. Olight S30R

The last item on our list is not inferior to the rest on the list since it is also packed with several impressive features.


To start with, it is a rechargeable unit, which is all you could ask for in an emergency flashlight. Also, it comes with a magnet USB charger for the job.


We liked the constant color brightness, and we could attribute this to the powerful electronics. 


You could also forget about a low battery level catching you off-guard since there is a warning indication to alert you of draining power.


The last bit is the total sealing that keeps out water and dust from penetrating the light.

Pros

  • Rechargeable
  • The indicator alerts you on the battery levels
  • Full dust and water sealing

Cons

  • The 3-piece design may confuse some users

Flashlight Buying Guide For Beginners

With all the options available in the market, your search may prove to be more confusing than you would have liked. A smart way of narrowing down your search is by paying particular attention to several factors.

We have discussed them below.

1. The Brightness

Your surroundings and circumstances should determine the brightness level that would serve you best. For instance, the ideal outdoor flashlight has lumens ranging from 45 to 200. This level would be perfect for just about any type of situation that you may find yourself in.

Also, multiple brightness levels would be ideal, plus you should ensure that the brightness does not drain the battery too fast.

2. Ease of use

We all liked advanced features in any device. However, these features should not be sophisticated such that would confuse the user.

Check out for built-in emergency features such as emergency strobes, which would be helpful in dire situations.

3. Portability

A portable flashlight that you could easily toss into your backpack in case of an emergency is less inconvenient in emergencies.  

Therefore, the perfect combination of size and weight should be a maximum of 8-inches and 8oz and below, respectively.

4. Durability and materials

We all know that your survival may involve the worst conditions. Therefore, the perfect flashlight is one that would survive whichever situation you expose it to.

The material used in making the flashlight is what determines how long it would serve you. The best materials include anodized aluminum and rubberized plastic.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We faced some queries during our research on the appropriate survival flashlight to invest in. We have included their answers as well to boost your knowledge of the topic.

Why do most survivalists prefer rechargeable batteries over alkaline ones?

There are several reasons for this preference. For starters, alkaline batteries have a shorter shelf life, whereby they start losing power after a short duration.

Further, the alkaline models are prone to leaks, and this could be hazardous to you and other items you may be having.

Besides lighting up the area, what else could I use a survival flashlight for?

There are several other uses of a survival flashlight. For instance, you could use it for reading the map in the dark.  Also, you could use it for self-defense against wild animals or bandits in the wild.

And if you get lost in the dark, you could use the flashlight to signal the search party.

How do I get the perfect survival flashlight for the job?

You could do so by looking out for certain factors during your search. These include portability, the build quality, user-friendliness, the brightness level, just to mention a few.

If the flashlight ticks most or all of the boxes, then you can relax knowing that you have invested in a high-quality product.

Final Thoughts

In an unpredictable world, having the right survival flashlight could be the difference between life and death. Therefore, you need to pull all stops to invest in the right product.

In the end, we settled on the Streamlight 88031 Professional Flashlight as the best survival flashlight overall. It is well-made and has an anti-roll feature, which ensures it does not roll when you place it on an uneven surface. 

We hope that our article has given you all the information you need to make the right choice. The only other thing we could do is wish you all the best in your search.