Last Updated: June 29, 2020

Best Survival Flashlights in 2020 – Never Forget Yours

Do you have a survival kit at home and in your vehicle? If not, now is the time to put one together. And one of the most important items to include in your survival kit is a flashlight. However, don’t use just any flashlight.

A survival flashlight has special features that make them best in an emergency whether the power goes out in a storm or you’re stranded on a dark highway. As a plus, a survival flashlight is perfect to take with you on camping trips.

For emergencies, accessories make the difference between a survival flashlight and an ordinary one. Battery options, lighting modes, and safety features are just a few of the many features to consider when choosing a tactical flashlight. You should also consider how you’ll use the emergency flashlight.

Our Top Picks

Different features make them better for potential disasters, emergencies, or the campsite. As you consider the items in our list of the best survival flashlights, you may find you need to purchase more than one. 

Top Product Overview

GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 [2 PACK] - High Lumen, Zoomable, 5 Modes, Water Resistant, Handheld Light - Best Camping, Outdoor, Emergency, Everyday Flashlights
  • survives extreme conditions
  • five useful modes
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LUMINTOP TOOL AA 2.0 EDC Flashlight, Pocket-sized Keychain Flashlight, Super Bright 650 Lumens, 5 Modes with Mode Memory, IP68 Waterproof, Powered by One AA or 14500, for Camping Hiking Emergency
  • compact size
  • stands on end
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Streamlight 88033 ProTac 2AA 250 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight with High/Low/Strobe w/ 2 x AA Batteries - 250 Lumens
  • compact size
  • unbreakable pocket clip
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NITECORE P12 2015 Version 1000 Lumens Precise Tactical Flashlight CREE XM-L2 U2 LED Waterproof Flashlight
  • brightness level of 1000 lumens
  • compact and lightweight
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EdisonBright Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE LED Tactical Flashlight (Camo) with Fenix USB Rechargeable 18650 ARB-L18-3500U Li-ion Battery BBX3 Battery case
  • highly-durable
  • several useful features
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NITECORE MT20A 360 Lumens 2x AA White/Red LED Flashlight Penlight with a Keychain Light
  • can operate on AA batteries
  • five brightness levels
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ThruNite TN4A 1150Lumen Single CREE XP-L V6 LED Flashlight/Powered by 4 AA batteries - Neutral White
Best for Power Outages
  • output of up to 1150 lumens
  • low setting for lengthy blackouts
SEE ON AMAZON →
Fenix UC35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight 3500mAh Battery and 2X Lumen Tactical CR123A Backup Batteries
  • five brightness settings plus strobe
  • includes battery and USB charger
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SureFire E2D Defender Ultra Dual-Output Flashlight with Dual-output tailcap click switch, Black
  • features crenelated strike bezel
  • enhances peripheral vision
SEE ON AMAZON →
LED Emergency Flashlight Car Window Breaker and Seatbelt Cutter - Hand Crank Charger Water Resistant Multi-Purpose Hand Crank Flashlight, Emergency Car Escape Toolkit, Flashlights
Best for Roadside Breakdowns
  • useful for multiple emergencies
  • hand crank for battery recharging
SEE ON AMAZON →

Find Your Best Survival Flashlight


GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000

GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000 [2 PACK] - High Lumen, Zoomable, 5 Modes, Water Resistant, Handheld Light - Best Camping, Outdoor, Emergency, Everyday Flashlights

The GearLight LED tactical flashlight shines 10 times brighter than an incandescent lightbulb with a maximum output of 1040 lumens. During power outages, it will light an entire room. Outdoors, the beam focuses on objects up to 1000 feet away. Get ultrabright, longlasting light using three AAA batteries or a single 18650 lithium battery.

The Gearlight emergency flashlight is one of the most durable available. Built for rough handling; it’s water-resistant, can withstand total submergence temporarily and survive snow and extremely cold temperatures. It will also survive a 10-foot drop and withstand being accidentally run over with a large truck.

The survival flashlight features an adjustable focus and five useful modes: high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. The beam zoom ranges from wide to narrow. Adjust it for different activities such as dog walking, around the house, or camping. It’s compact enough to fit in your pocket, purse, or backpack giving you quick access. The GearLight comes with a holster pouch for safe storage and a one-year warranty, no questions asked.

Overall, the GearLight LED emergency tactical flashlight ranks high in brightness and durability.

 

Pros

  • survives extreme conditions
  • five useful modes
  • compact for easy access

Cons

  • report of weak light in a few months
  • report of top coming loose frequently
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Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 Keychain Flashlight

LUMINTOP TOOL AA 2.0 EDC Flashlight, Pocket-sized Keychain Flashlight, Super Bright 650 Lumens, 5 Modes with Mode Memory, IP68 Waterproof, Powered by One AA or 14500, for Camping Hiking Emergency

The Lumintop AA 2.0 pumps out 650 lumens of brightness when on high mode on a single 14500 cell with a lifespan of 50,000 hours and has a beam distance of 127 meters. Use a readily available AA battery for 60 hours runtime on low mode. The IP68 waterproof certification gives it the ability to survive when submerged in water up to 6.5 feet. It’s impact resistant up to 5 feet and can withstand extreme temps of -4 and 131 degrees F.

The compact-size keychain flashlight is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a military-grade anodized surface. Exclusive no-slip knurling helps you hold on to it in extreme conditions. The Lumintop has four light settings, strobe, and mode memory. When turned off and on again, it returns to the last mode used. Stand the flashlight on its end to light rooms and tents.

Use the Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 as a backup light at home, night walking and camping. It comes with extra silicone O-rings, diffuser cap, lanyard, and a 5-year repair guarantee.

Pros

  • compact size
  • stands on end
  • withstands rough conditions

Cons

  • one report of dim light
  • no battery or charger included
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Streamlight 88033 Tactical Flashlight

Streamlight 88033 ProTac 2AA 250 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight with High/Low/Strobe w/ 2 x AA Batteries - 250 Lumens

The Streamlight 88033 tactical flashlight is the size of a marker and has three settings, high, medium, and strobe. It puts out 250 lumens of LED white light on the high setting, has a 130-meter beam and a runtime of two hours. For a longer run time (43 hrs.) the low setting gives 18 lumens with a 40-meter beam and a run time of two hours. The strobe setting runs four hours. It uses C4 LED technology to produce a bright white light and comes with two alkaline batteries.

Built to last, the Streamlight 88033 is made of aircraft aluminum with an anodized finish. The tempered glass lens is impact resistant at two meters and waterproof when submerged in one meter for 30 minutes. The pocket clip is unbreakable. It’s suitable for personal use and in security and law enforcement professions.

 

 

Pros

  • compact size
  • unbreakable pocket clip
  • batteries included

Cons

  • no low battery indicator
  • overly sensitive tail cap switch
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NITECORE P12 Tactical Flashlight

NITECORE P12 2015 Version 1000 Lumens Precise Tactical Flashlight CREE XM-L2 U2 LED Waterproof Flashlight

The NITECORE P12 tactical flashlight 2015 version uses the latest Cree LED technology to emit an impressive 1000 lumens and a high beam throw of up to 253 yards on the highest mode for a runtime of one hour and 15 minutes. It operates with one 18650 battery or two CR 123 batteries. A side button gives ease in changing output levels and functions.

Four brightness levels range from ultra-bright to a long-lasting lower mode. The medium mode puts out 240 lumens for six hours. On low, it emits 70 lumens for 28 hours, and the very lowest mode gives one lumen for 520 hours. A side button lets you easily change output levels and functions. Preset your favorite mode while changing to the function you need. Turn to strobe, location beam, and SOS mode by pressing and holding the mode switch.

The NITECORE is compact and lightweight at 5.47 inches and 3.1 ounces so it packs easily in your pack, purse, or backpack. It includes a holster, clip, and tactical ring for 3-way carry in your hand or pocket or on your belt. It’s impact resistant up to 1.5 meters and waterproof when submerged 2 meters.

Carry the NITECORE survival flashlight to camp or use professionally for security and law enforcement.

 

 

Pros

  • brightness level of 1000 lumens
  • compact and lightweight
  • 3-way carry

Cons

  • report of facing brightness over time
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Best for Camping

EdisonBright Fenix PD 35 Flashlight

EdisonBright Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE LED Tactical Flashlight (Camo) with Fenix USB Rechargeable 18650 ARB-L18-3500U Li-ion Battery BBX3 Battery case

The EdisonBright Fenix PD 35 is a tactical emergency flashlight that uses Cree XP-L(V5) LED to give a maximum output of 1000 lumens. It features tactical and outdoor modes with output and run times ranging from Turbo (1000 lumens) for one hour and ten minutes to Eco mode with eight lumens for 140 hours. The strobe flashes at 1000 lumens in both tactical and outdoor mode.

Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum, the EdisonBright has an anti-slip, anti-roll body design. The glass lens is ultra-clear and treated with anti-reflective coating and the finish is anti-abrasive. This model is waterproof up to 6 and 1/2 feet.

Several features add functionality to the EdisonBright. When turned on, mode memory automatically goes to last-used mode. The tactical tail switch has a momentary-on function. Another great feature is reverse polarity for protection against incorrect battery installation, and it has a low voltage indicator.

Your order includes a number of accessories include a clip, lanyard, rubber boot, O-ring, and camouflage carrying pouch. A USB Li-ion battery is included. This survival flashlight will also operate on 2 3V CR123A lithium batteries. Overall, the EdisonBright has features that make it suitable for multiple uses from power outages to camping.

Pros

  • highly-durable
  • several useful features
  • tactical and outdoor modes

Cons

  • Report of flicker on first use
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NITECORE MT20A LED Flashlight

NITECORE MT20A 360 Lumens 2x AA White/Red LED Flashlight Penlight with a Keychain Light

The NITECORE MT20A s a powerful AA-powered penlight with a 360 lumens output and a beam distance of 175 yards. A side mode switch gives five brightness levels that range from turbo to ultra-low with one lumen and a run time of 180 hours. The turbo (360 lumens) lasts for one hour and 45 minutes. Press the mode switch to adjust the brightness level. Memory stores it for the next time the survival flashlight is turned NITECORE MT20A Red/White LED Flashlight

A second red light on this model preserves night vision for map reading and stargazing and can be set to blink for signaling in emergencies. A tail switch makes it easy to turn off and on. For momentary light, half-press the tail switch.

The NITECORE MT20A clips to your pocket or belt, or use the included lanyard. It’s a good choice to keep in your car for roadside emergencies and for camping and hiking. It’s waterproof at two meters submersion.

Pros

  • can operate on AA batteries
  • five brightness levels
  • second red light preserves night vision
  • red light strobes for emergencies

Cons

  • report of not durable outdoors
  • report of failed settings button
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Best for Power Outages

ThruNite TN4A LED Flashlight

ThruNite TN4A 1150Lumen Single CREE XP-L V6 LED Flashlight/Powered by 4 AA batteries - Neutral White

The ThruNite TN4A Survival Flashlight uses the latest Cree LED technology for an output of 1150 lumens for neutral white light. Six modes range from turbo to high, medium, low, and firefly for longer running dim light. The turbo setting has a run time of 56 minutes and the firefly setting puts out 0.5 lumens to maneuver around a dark home for 80 days. The strobe setting gives 1050 lumens for 150 minutes. It uses four readily available AA batteries.

The Thrunite survival flashlight is made of lightweight aluminum and has a tempered glass lens with an anti-reflective coating. Intelligent temperature control technology prevents any damage from overheating. An ergonomic side switch operates easily and silently with one hand to cycle through modes. Memory returns it to the last used mode, and it has a low voltage indicator. Accessories with your order include a holster, two spare O-rings, battery carrier and lanyard.

Overall, the ThruNite TN4A has a good range of settings for a variety of uses from camping to long-lasting light in lengthy power outages at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • output of up to 1150 lumens
  • low setting for lengthy blackouts
  • good value for price

Cons

  • only uses AA batteries
  • report of switch issues
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Fenix UC35 V2.0 Tactical Flashlight

Fenix UC35 V2.0 1000 Lumen Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight 3500mAh Battery and 2X Lumen Tactical CR123A Backup Batteries

Upgraded from the UC35, the Fenix V2.0 Tactical Flashlight has a maximum output of 1000 lumens and a beam distance of 291 yards. The on/off switch is on the tactical tail cap and a stainless steel side switch cycles through five brightness levels plus strobe. The turbo setting has a runtime of two hours 15 minutes and an 800-hour one-lumen moonlight mode for reading and long power outages. The low setting delivers 50 lumens for a little over 28 hours.

With an anti-roll and anti-slip body design, the Fenix Tactical Flashlight is submergible at two meters without damage. It has a built-in USB charger with charging indicator light and includes a 3500mAh Li-ion battery. Your order includes two backup batteries, a USB charging cable, two spare O-rings, a spare rubber boot, holster, and lanyard.

Use the Fenix Tactical Flashlight for night walking, camping, and extreme power outages

 

Pros

  • five brightness settings plus strobe
  • includes battery and USB charger

Cons

  • report of dimming when fully charged
  • pricier than others of equal quality
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Best for Self Defense

Surefire Defender Series Flashlight

SureFire E2D Defender Ultra Dual-Output Flashlight with Dual-output tailcap click switch, Black

Survival flashlights aren’t only for surviving power outages or staying safe while camping. The  Surefire Defender Series Flashlight features a crenelated strike bezel for fighting off an attacker as well as delivering a blast of 600 lumens of disorienting bright white light. The TIR lens enhances peripheral vision by producing tight beams for adequate surround light.

The Surefire Defender is powered by one 123A lithium battery. This type of battery has a shelf life of 10 years. Two output levels of 600 lumens and five lumens for extending battery life and a dual-output tail cap switch make this flashlight easy to use in an emergency. One press releases the high beam and a second press takes it to the battery-saving beam.

Made of extra-strong aerospace aluminum, the Surefire is hard-anodized for extra durability. The coated tempered window maximizes light and is impact-resistance. An innovative pocket clip lets you clip the flashlight to almost any surface, bezel up or down.

The Surefire Defender is an excellent choice as an EDC flashlight for personal safety. It comes with a 90-day warranty.

Pros

  • features crenelated strike bezel
  • enhances peripheral vision
  • easy to operate in emergencies

Cons

  • report of switch problem.
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Best for Roadside Breakdowns

Cynergy Lifelight Emergency Flashlight

LED Emergency Flashlight Car Window Breaker and Seatbelt Cutter - Hand Crank Charger Water Resistant Multi-Purpose Hand Crank Flashlight, Emergency Car Escape Toolkit, Flashlights

The Cynergy LED Emergency Flashlight is a multipurpose survival tool in addition to a powerful light for hunting, camping, and emergency home use. It features a mini-hammer car window breaker and seatbelt cutter for a reassuring addition to your auto survival kit. Four strong magnets attach it to the top of the car for using the powerful LED flasher beacon light.

An easy-to-use hand crank recharges the built-in li-ion battery assures you will never be without power. You can even use it to charge your cellphone or any USB powered device. Hikers and campers will appreciate the accurately calibrated compass.

The Lifeline is made of shock and water-resistant sturdy plastic and features an ergonomic easy-grip design and is a good choice for multiple emergencies.

Pros

  • useful for multiple emergencies
  • hand crank for battery recharging
  • beacon light attaches to car roof

Cons

  • no warranty
SEE ON AMAZON

What to Look For

Survival or emergency flashlights put your mind at ease and are an important part of your survival gear or a disaster kit. Survival flashlights make camping and night walking safer. They’re extremely useful for safe lighting during power outages and for roadside breakdowns. When deciding on a survival flashlight, think about what you’ll be using it for. Look for the level of brightness, run time, battery type, durability, and functions that best meet your needs.

Brightness and Runtime

The lumen is a measure of how much illumination a light provides. The higher the number, the more brightness the light emits. Throw or beam distance refers to how far the light reaches. Throw also increases with more lumens. You need at least 100 lumens for general purposes and around 200 for outdoors. Lumens over 1000 are used for search and rescue operations. But the higher the lumens, the shorter the run time. All of the survival flashlights in our collection are bright, energy-saving LEDs, and most have multiple settings that let you increase or decrease output according to your needs.

Battery Type

Different battery types have advantages and disadvantages. Some are more powerful than others but may be harder to find. Certain battery types may be prone to leak and others have a short shelf life. Some in our collection come with the flashlight and are rechargeable. Others use easy-to-find AA batteries, lithium batteries, alkaline batteries, and Li-ion varieties. Some require only one type while others may be usable with other types of batteries. Be sure to consider carefully the type of battery each survival flashlight requires and choose the one you can live with.

Durability

Durability is often related to price, and you usually get what you pay for. But smart shopping can result in a quality flashlight at a reasonable price. Durability features to look for include what the flashlight and components are constructed of. Look for things like aircraft-grade aluminum, anodized coatings, and tempered glass lenses. Also, consider impact and water resistance.

Functions

The survival flashlights in our collection have features and functions that range from strobe lights to car window breakers and seatbelt slashers. Lumens of 300 will cause an attacker temporary blindness, and survival flashlights are available that can be used as a billy club.

Our Picks

Best for Power Outages

The Thrunight TN4A Survival Flashlight is our pick as Best for Power Outages. Six modes let you adjust from 56 minutes of 1150 lumens down to 0.5 lumens, enough light to maneuver around a dark home for 80 days.

Best for Roadside Breakdowns

The Cynergy LED Emergency Flashlight features a mini-hammer car window breaker and seatbelt slasher. Magnets attach a flashing beacon to the top of your car.

Best for Self Defense

The Surefire Defender Series Flashlight with its blast of 600 lumens and a strike bezel is our choice as Best for Self Defense.

Best for Camping

The EdisonBright Emergency Flashlight featuring tactical and outdoor modes with a turbo mode of 1000 lumens for one hour is our choice for Best for Camping.