6+ Best Rechargeable Tactical Flashlights Reviews & Buying Guide (2018)
Your flashlight won’t do you any good if it doesn’t run. And it’s not economical if you can’t recharge the batteries. That’s why prefer those models that can operate both on rechargeable batteries and commonly-found disposables.
With the XT808 by Primitive Survivors, for example, you can use an 18650 battery that you can charge over and over again or three AAAs. It also offers a brightness of 800 Lumens and a visibility distance of 550 yards. With SOS and strobe mode, four focus points, and three intensity settings, it has everything you need.
Keep reading for more details on this and other models worth considering.
Our Top Choices On The Market
Top 7 Models On The Market
1. Primitive Survivors XT808
The XT808 isn’t the brightest model around, but it goes the distance at 550 yards. You can send 800 Lumens that far using three AAA batteries or the included 18650 rechargeable battery. It also comes with a wall charger.
We recommend buying and charging a few extra 18650s to keep on hand. That way, you can use your XT808 longer without having to burn through a bunch of disposable batteries. Still, the time might come when you can’t charge anything for an extended period, and the ability to use the old standbys will prove useful.
It features the longest lasting bulb, has four focus settings, variable light intensities, strobe, and SOS. It also features the useful front-end beveling and comes with a carrying case to keep all your essentials together.
This unit is waterproof for heavy rain and temporary submersion. You can pick it up for less than $45.
2. Evolution Outdoors Military
Do you see all the charging adapters that come with the Outdoors Evolution Military Tactical LED Flashlight?
Not only do you get the charging station for the included 18650 batteries, but you get multiple ways to power it. You get the wall adapter, a car adapter, and a USB cord. Keep ‘em all in the case and charge wherever you are!
But even if you don’t have access to power, you can use regular AAAs to keep the light shining.
It’s also a highly durable model that comes with all the features you’ll need: 800-Lumen brightness, three power settings, SOS and strobe modes, a beveled edge, belt clip, and lanyard.
It’s also water-resistant. We don’t recommend going swimming with it, but you can use it in the rain without a problem.
The price tag for the whole package is only $15. That’s a win in our book.
3. Nitecore EC23
When you want bright, you want the Nitecore EC23. It shines a blinding 1800 Lumens out 278 yards. And you only need one 18650 battery to keep it blazing that bright for a half hour. Of course, you can turn it down 980, 300, or 55 Lumens to conserve power. If you want to keep yourself in super stealth mode, you can even run it on 1 Lumen.
Besides being bright, this model is also waterproof to a depth of 6 feet. You can literally bury this unit in water and watch it keep shining the whole time.
For safety, it comes with SOS, beacon, and strobe modes. There’s no beveled edge on this one, but it is incredibly strong and can take (or give) a beating. It also comes with a lanyard to help you keep your grip on it.
You can get it for approximately $55.
4. SkybenKlarus XT11GT
The XT11GT is quickly becoming one of our favorite options. It casts 2000 Lumens 345 yards. It also uses USB to charge two 18650 batteries at the same time. Besides the rechargeable batteries, it can also run on CR123As.
On the highest setting, they will last nearly an hour. On low mode, they’ll last 170 hours.
It features a low light setting, SOS, and strobe. It’s even rated IPX8 waterproof. That means that you can submerge it 6 feet before it starts to leak.
It has an extremely painful front edge if you need to use it for such purposes. It also comes with a lanyard and nylon holster besides the attached belt clip.
With a length of 5.5 inches and a weight of 15 ounces, it’s not the smallest model. Still, you might like the extra length and weight if you do need to swing it at something.
The XT11GT costs about $90.
5. Soonfire VS50
The VS50 is a simple unit with a waterproof rating of IPX8. You can keep it under 6 feet of water for up to 5 hours without the pressure causing any leaks. It comes with an 18650 battery, but you can also use two CR123A batteries to keep it running.
The maximum brightness is 1000 Lumens with a 280-yard throw distance. If you want to keep a low profile, you can turn it to low, which will only shine 8 Lumens.
As you would expect, this model also comes with a strobe mode for disorienting your target and an SOS mode for times when you might feel disoriented. You can use the shaped edge as an impromptu weapon, and the lanyard will keep it firmly in hand.
It also has a belt clip and Velcro holster to keep on your pants, bag, or other gear when you’re not using it.
You can buy the VS50 for around $50.
6. ShadowHawk X800
The J5 might be one of the highest rated, but the ShadowHawk is the most frequently copied. Here why other companies try so hard to emulate it.
We should note, however, that the visibility mostly applies to the SOS mode. People will be able to see your signal from 2 miles away. Unless you have a scope, you won’t be able to see 2 miles yourself.
This is also the model with the most focus settings. Others have larger gaps between settings, so this one will give you more flexibility.
Besides that, it runs on AAA rechargeable or disposable batteries. As long as you have spare AAAs on hand, you’ll never be without light.
For security, it comes with a wrist strap and features a beveled edge. It’s also incredibly inexpensive with a price tag of only $13.
7. J5 V1 Pro
The J5 V1 Pro is one of the highest rated options available. It uses a single AA or 14500 rechargeable battery to produce 300 Lumens for a solid hour. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a charger or battery.
Besides the two power options, this model also features low light and strobe mode.
You’ll also enjoy the pull-out focus that will let you change the width of the beam of light. Use the narrowest setting as a laser pointer to find your aim or the broadest setting to light up the entire area. On the highest setting, the light will extend 600 feet in front of you.
Use the beveled edge as a weapon and don’t worry about dropping it in a puddle for a minute or two. At only 4 inches long and a weight of 2.29 ounces, this is a solid buy in a small package. Best of all, it only costs about $15.
Final Verdict: Our Top Choice for Your Money
Primitive Survivors XT808
Not all products are made equal.
You can find some that are brighter or smaller and some that have more accessories. But if you’re looking for a solidly-built unit that will give you versatility without tying you up with a bunch of extras, the Primitive Survivors XT808 is your best bet.
Let’s look at the high points again.
If you have a budget of at least $45, this is the model for you.
If you want to read more reviews, you can check out TC 1200 review here.