Best Survival Flashlight: The Top 7 Reviewed

By Colleen •  Updated: 02/24/22 •  17 min read

A survival flashlight is one of the core supplies you need to have in your go-bag or bug-out bag as well as around the house. A tactical flashlight will have more lumens, longer battery life, and features such as being built rugged and tougher than typical ones.

Here are reviews on the top seven best survival flashlights, starting with our favorite:

Fenix PD35 Tactical Review

Our #1 recommendation as the best survival flashlight is the Fenix PD 35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L Tactical Flashlight. The Fenix PD35 is possibly the best combination of bug-out lighting and military-grade tactical equipment. It should work in any survival situation where you might be required to either be ready to move out or tactically defend yourself. A sturdy, rough-and-ready illumination tool, the PD35 will prove to be indispensable.

Fenix PD35 – See Reviews and Current Price 

The Fenix PD35’s body is constructed out of aircraft-grade aluminum, making it durable. The purposeful design is anti-roll and anti-slip, while its lens is treated with an anti-reflective coating. An everyday-carry flashlight such as the Fenix PD 35 produces 1000 lumens max while it avoids prematurely draining your battery.

It has become attractive to both the military and survival enthusiasts alike. The PD35 is flexible enough to deliver bright and forceful lighting in any emergency.

Here are more of its remarkable features:
·1,000 lumens that run up to 2.75 hours with a beam distance of 656 feet.
·It can run on one 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries.
·It contains a side switch with two modes, Outdoor Mode and Tactical Mode.
·Uses CREE XP LED- high-performance, energy-efficient LEDs with crisp lighting and low glare.
·It can run for up to 140 hours when used at a low level of 8 lumens
·Compact and light, it only weighs 4.2 ounces, batteries included
·With IPX-8 standard waterproofing of up to 6 feet, it can stay submerged to a maximum duration of 30 minutes.
·Type III reinforced super clear glass lens
·Perfect for EDC (everyday carry), measuring only 1.25 inches in diameter and 5.51 inches in length.

Fenix PD35 Pros:
·Highly durable and very bright
· You can use it with either rechargeable or regular batteries.
·Dual Mode can be advantageous

· May heat up quickly at maximum illumination
·May flicker at break-in.

This tactical survival flashlight is rugged, easy to operate, and has high-quality LEDs that can last up to 50,000 total service hours.

User Feedback Recap For The Fenix PD35:
The PD35TAC is so bright that it can light up a small area with a narrow beam and illuminate a wider area without losing its intensity in the direction it is focused on.

Other flashlights of the same category and performance are similar to Fenix PD35 Tac. However, this torch is relatively more robust, if not the strongest in its class, available at a lesser cost than its counterparts.

One complaint, however, is that it has two sliding buttons that can be confusing to operate the first few times. But as you get more familiar with it, you will discover that half-press means to do pulse light and a full press for steady light.

Overall, We chose Fenix PD35 Tac as the best survival flashlight, combining pocket-size portability, exceptional performance, durability, and the ability to bridge that distinct balance between EDC features, survival, and military-grade quality at an even surprisingly lower cost.

Nitecore EA41 960 Lumen CREE XM-L U2 LED Dual Switch Compact Flashlight
Nitecore is a company known for making gold flashlights and doing exceptional engineering. It became an award-winning outfit because of its push to maintain quality and churn out better customer service. However, they also have their survival flashlights line, which isn’t that popular but no less in quality than other brands.

Check the Nitecore EA41 prices and read reviews.

The Nitecore EA41 is second on our list because it is an excellent example of no-frills functionality, durability, and good form. Again, we go into this review with survivability in mind. Bugging out doesn’t mean you have to have an enormous amount of lumens, which could give your position away when trying to escape from a potentially dangerous situation.

With the EA41, the Nitecore company chose to address the challenge of bugging out without being noticed but still being able to see good in the dark. All that, and your torch should last longer, too. With users becoming increasingly concerned about more specialized batteries, they are now worried about not getting replacements in real survival situations.

Nitecore EA41 solved that problem using standard AA batteries for power and reserve power. No more worries about having to scrounge around specialty stores for battery replacement.

Other Nitecore features include:
·It produces CREE XM-L2 US cool white or neutral white LED.
·Has a unique and functional design made out of aluminum alloy.
·Lightweight yet sturdy
·With 1.75 hours of run time at 1020 Lumens. The EA41 has a throw distance of 376 meters.
·Has a total of eight brightness lighting modes
·Fitted with remaining battery light display
·Uses standard 4x AA batteries
·IPX-8 level waterproofing of up to 2 meters
·Holster included

Nitecore EA41 Pros
·No more exotic batteries to look for when replacing them, just the standard AA batteries
·Easy switch control with just one hand
·Very bright for a flashlight that uses regular batteries

·Regular batteries may leak when not removed after a few months
·This flashlight is not compatible with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
Nitecore EA41 User Feedback Recap
Despite its appearance, the EA41 is relatively easy to carry and is not oversized for its category. Although, it can get hot quickly at maximum lumens.

Due to minimal allowance in battery compartment space, if your battery swells up, it may get stuck and may render the flashlight unusable.

Overall, the idea of having a high-power EDC torch run on regular AA batteries is a problem that most manufacturers haven’t solved yet. Standard batteries do not have enough power to produce that ultra-bright light and longer runtime associated with specialized batteries. Fortunately, Nitecore, the maker of EA41, has already solved that issue and has even managed to offer it at a lower price, making it much more popular with users.

Gearlight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 High Lumen Zoomable
This high-powered flashlight producing a maximum of 1040 lumens, is surprisingly robust and water-resistant. Remarkably, Gearlight LED can run on either 3x AAA batteries or 18650 lithium batteries. This flashlight has the best of both worlds regarding power sourcing and the ready availability of a replacement.

See the current price and recent reviews for the Gearlight LED tactical flashlight.

“A long-lasting flashlight,” as the manufacturer claims, Gearlight LED remains to be proven by any skeptical survivalist or military tactician. Incidentally, the Gearlight S1000 box comes packed in two, which are perfect companions and add value to your money when camping and handling emergencies.

Other Gearlight LED features include:
·This flashlight can survive extreme weather, such as wet and snowy conditions at sub-zero temperatures.
·Manufacturer also claims that it can survive a 10-foot drop and remain intact even when rolled over by a large truck
· It can focus on objects up to 1000 feet away
·Light and compact, it can easily fit in your pocket or pouch for easy access
·Has five specific modes of lighting

Gearlight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 Pros
·Very durable and almost an all-in-one package
·Not only water-resistant but weather-resistant too
·Constructed from military-grade aluminum, it “virtually indestructible,” according to the maker

·Reportedly produces weaker light after a few months
Gearlight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 Feedback Recap
It looks cool, but the light is also very bright, as switching to other modes is relatively easy. It automatically switches back to a high beam after 20 seconds of turning it off, and it makes it more convenient when you don’t have to constantly cycle back to where you want to be in ultrabright settings.

Don’t be fooled by its small size. It can reach 1000 feet out in the fields. It makes for a great gift item, too!

My only complaint is it didn’t come with rechargeable batteries. You’ll have to purchase them yourself separately.

Overall, suppose you are looking for a flashlight to take with you for an outdoor adventure, military, or even in a survival situation. The Gearlight S1000 is an ideal candidate to be added to your gear for its indestructibility and high power.

LUMINTOP TOOL AA 2.0 EDC Flashlight Review
A pocket-sized keychain flashlight, the Lumintop AA 2.0 is an essential camping torch or bug-out tool that is more than easy to carry in your pocket or small purse. It is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum and can survive a 5-foot drop.

It pushes 650 lumens and works with five light modes. It also has a memory that keeps your preferred mode after shutting it off. No more manual cycling back to your preferred brightness. With a flashlight that is only as big as the palm of your hand, the Lumintop AA is a powerhouse that can light your way through outdoor darkness. Check out the recent reviews and prices.

The Lumintop works well as a backup flashlight for your house, or you may take it with you outdoors. It can be easily stored in the glovebox, your drawer, or make a necessary part of your tent accessories. It also functions and stands on one end for emergency use in case of a blackout.

Other LUMINTOP TOOL AA features include:
·Contains four lighting modes and a strobe.
·Has an IP68 waterproof rating, surviving submersion at 6.5 feet.
·It is made with an anti-slip knurling feature, as it will not easily fall off your hands when used in extreme conditions.
·Boasts of 60 hours run time on low mode.
· Twist and loosen feature on the tail end of the flashlight makes for easy switching on and off.

Pros of The LUMINTOP TOOL AA 2.0 EDC Flashlight
·Compact size for convenient EDC
·Very durable, shockproof, and water-resistant for extreme weather and other survival conditions
·Uses regular AA battery for easy replacement

·Gets hot in extended turbo mode
Recap of Lumintop User Feedback:
Run this flashlight with lithium rechargeables, and you get a longer run time as it also stays cooler in turbo mode for longer.

The Lumintop is tiny but packs a wallop. It also gets me wondering how it does it when it gets as bright as it gets. It gets a little hot, though.

Another feature I like is the diffuser silicone top that becomes extremely bright when inserted into the flashlight- it is not recommended to stare at it for long periods.

Overall, the LUMINTOP TOOL AA is an impressive penlight package that can be very useful in the woods or other emergencies.

NITECORE P12 Tactical Flashlight
The Nitecore P12 Tac flashlight is a formidable tool for camping, law enforcement, security, and possibly military applications. It is lightweight at 3.1 ounces and is measured at 5.47 in length and 1 inch in diameter. The P12 is too large to be a pocket flashlight, but then it is also too small to be a police baton.

NITECORE prices and recent reviews.

It may be somewhere between survival and tactical categories, as it is small enough to fit in your purse or pack. Very portable. Pushing 1,000 lumens max, the P12 can throw a powerful high beam of up to 253 yards while running at 1 hour and 15 minutes at peak.

More Nitecore P12 features include:
·It has a side switch interface that allows for one-handed operation and almost effortless access to all its functions
·It has a peak beam intensity of 13,500 cd at 232 meters throw distance.
· Contains memory function settings that keep your preferred brightness.
·Tactical tail cap contains a switch that allows for pulse lighting.
· Has IPX8 standard waterproofing at 2 meters.
·It is resistant to impact at 1.5 meters.
·Has four brightness levels: high, medium, low, and lower.
·Includes a holster, tactical ring, and a clip that allows for carrying 3 -ways.

Nitecore P12 Pros
·Compact and lightweight
·Ultrabright and robust
·Balanced features and functions that can double as a bug-out accessory for tactical and security/law enforcement purposes

·Brightness may fade over time

Nitecore P12 Reviews Recap
The P12 has simple yet practical four light settings which effectively cut through the dark, even at low-level lighting. Even though it has a limited throw compared to other tac lights, the Nitecore P12 serves every purpose there is for a flashlight designed for the survival category. One of them is the longer battery life that will make all the difference for a person like me who uses my light five nights a week.

It is extremely well-made and well-thought-out in construction. However, after five months of continuous use, it only lights up in low mode now for some reason.

Overall, the Nitecore P12 Tac flashlight offers versatility and portability and is designed to be an all-around tool for various applications. It, however, scores high marks as a survival tool for its simple yet four-mode settings that can prove very useful in situations where you don’t have the luxury of fumbling with switches.

ThruNite TN4A LED Flashlight output of up to 1150
Made out of aluminum, the ThruNite TN4A is reasonably lightweight and has a tempered glass lens that contains an anti-reflective coating. Right off the bat, this Thrunite model boasts of solving issues that have plagued most of its competitors in the functionality area.

Get price and read recent reviews.

The Top 3 Benefits of the ThruNite TN4A:
Solving of common tactical and survival flashlights – Overheating. The TN4A has a built-in intelligent temperature control that stops any damage from happening to the device due to excessive heat.

Having to cycle through your preferred setting all the time manually- Memory returns to your preferred setting each and every time.
Batteries running out too soon- This flashlight also features a “firefly” setting that lets the user use 0.5 lumens for 80 days. Talk about extending the life of your battery. This is especially useful for extended periods of power outages.

More Features:
·Uses CREE LED technology that puts out a max of 1150 lumens for neutral white light
·Six modes of light settings: Turbo, high, medium, low, firefly, and strobe.
·Uses four readily available AA batteries.
·Made out of Type 3 hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum
·Automatically lowers the temperature in LED to 80 degrees cent to extend the life of the flashlight.

ThruNite TN4A Pros
·Easily replaceable batteries for economy, reliability, and availability.
·Long-lasting lowest light settings for extended blackouts
·Has excellent light efficiency due to CREE XP-L V6 LED technology
·Very versatile and packed with features for a reasonable price

·Reported to have switch issues
·Only runs on AA batteries

Feedback Recap From ThruNite TN4A Users
The TN4A is hands down one of the best flashlights to own. It also makes a lovely gift to a friend or a loved one. It is pleasant to carry and is not at all heavy. It produces more light than any other flashlight that runs on AA batteries.

The power button is easy to find as it is the only flat spot on the flashlight’s body. This small detail makes a big difference in the torch’s usability.

The only downside is that the batteries can get stuck in the case., Other than that, it works fine.

Surefire E2D Defender Review
The Surefire E2D Defender Ultra flashlight has made security and self-defense its primary offering for this particular series. Looking at the grittier side of survival, suppose an attacker should approach you at any speed or force. The Surefire Defender Series E2D is fitted with a strike bezel to help you parry off; if not, strike back at your attacker.

However unsettling it is for anyone who might think about weaponizing a flashlight, being attacked is not only a possibility in a bug-out world but by simply going out of the house nowadays too. That in itself already entails some form of bodily risk. So, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to bring your trusty E2D along with you just in case things get tricky. How’s that for an immediate survival solution?

More Surefire E2D Defender Features Include:
·Tempered glass that is also coated to maximize light, as well as the best protection against any impact on the device
·Dual light output of 1,000 lumens and a low 5 lumens to extend battery life.
·Sturdy aluminum casing and hard anodized for extreme durability
·Crenellated strike bezel for practical self-defense purposes
·Indestructible LED light
·Simple tail cap click switch for temporary and constant high beam modes.

Surefire E2D Defender Pros
·Very helpful in high-stress situations such as active self-defense and practical survival applications.
·No frills operation for easy usage, and user can concentrate on survival
·Ultrabright blinding light, which can also be used to blind attackers.

·Can get hot quickly
·And is a little bit more expensive due to its tactical features
Surefire E2D Defender Review Summary
It’s relatively small, and that’s good with me. It has good battery life, and you can use the attached clip as you keep it in your pocket.
It is very well worth the higher tier in the price for the peace of mind it provides. I am happy I bought it.

It has two sets of beams, one in the center for power and intense light and peripheral beams to avoid blinding someone standing on the side. The bright light itself can cause momentary blindness that will give you the space to run and avoid your attacker.

Some complain about the strike bezel design, claiming that it makes the E2D awkward to operate. Nevertheless, if not for self-defense situations, the Surefire E2D is still sure to deliver as expected as a well-functioning survival flashlight.

Overall, this flashlight is perfect for users who are genuinely concerned about any potential bodily harm. If you don’t, at least you can relax with the thought that you are by some measure safe with an E2D in your pocket.

How Many Lumens Is A Survival Flashlight?
Anything over 30-300 lumens is very bright and is the type of flashlight used for search and rescue missions. High-end flashlights for caving or search and rescue work can exceed 1,000 lumens. EDC lamps from 35 to 100 lumens are available for general outdoor applications.

Your standard general-purpose flashlight runs from 20 to 100 lumens at home or outdoors. Most modern flashlights have an average luminous flux of about 100 lumens. Sometimes, it can reach 6000 lumens depending on what and where you will use the tactical light.

The flashlight brightness you need depends on the specifics of your survival scenario. If you need a survival flashlight for self-defense, check the flashlight’s brightness or maximum lumen output. While 100 lumens is enough to read maps and illuminate trails at night, you’ll need a higher maximum output if you need a survival light for signaling or self-defense.

What Do We Look For In a Survival Flashlight?
We must ensure we get our money’s worth on what type and brand to trust when we are out there in the dark.

So, go ahead and take note of the following criteria in choosing a good survival flashlight:

·Minimum of 1,000 Lumens (measured brightness)
·Modes and Other Important Features (must be related to survival scenarios)
·Quality of the build of the flashlight ( durability and reliability)
·Type of LED (kind and quality of LED used)
·Cost (price vs. features and quality)

What is the brightest and longest-lasting flashlight?
Any tactical flashlight over 1,000 lumens, including the Fenix PD35, is our top choice. If money is not an issue, try the Imalent M18.

To all solo survivalists, we hope you find the best flashlight for your situation that you can appreciate and use well. Let this guide help your quest, and in any case, happy hunting and good luck!


Living in a world where uncertainties can arise, Colleen has taken it upon herself to master the art of survival in the face of natural or civil disasters. With a background in outdoor activities and a keen interest in learning essential survival skills, Colleen has dedicated time to acquiring knowledge in areas such as wilderness survival, first aid, and emergency response.

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