Best Tactical Flashlight Under $100 – 2017 Buying Guide

These little devices are a worthy companion for anyone who hates the darkness. Nobody likes the uneasy feeling of walking through pitch black without being able to see your surroundings. The market is packed with flashlights in so many forms, shapes and sizes. So, how do you know which tactical flashlight is the right one for you? The key word here is tactical. It isn't like any other flash light, right? A tactical lifestyle is one which rarely has a dull moment. It's action packed, it's arduous, it's grueling, it's rough. The best tactical flashlight under $100 has got to be up to this kind of lifestyle.

It needs to be durable.

And when I say durable, I mean it has got to handle constant abuse but still emerge unscathed. It needs to be resistant to the vagaries of nature. No one wants a tactical flashlight that breaks after a brief challenging encounter. So what you're looking at is the build of the flashlight. Is is sturdy enough? What kind of material is it made of? Does it scratch easily? Do you hear creaking sounds when you shake it?

That sort of thing.

Product NameModesBatteriesLight RangeStar RatingPrice
J5 Tactical V1-PRO33 AAA Batteries800 feet4.5Check Price
PeakPlus Super Bright LED51 AAA Lithium Battery1640 feet4.5Check Price
J5 Hyper V33 AAA Batteries800 feet4.5Check Price
Outlite A100 Rechargable53 AAA Batteries600 feet4.5Check Price
Outlite A100 Portable53 AAA Batteries600 feet4.5Check Price

It's also got to be small and light, big is a no no. It scores more points if it's easy to use with one hand. Then, very important, is it a bright little contraption. LED is the way to go for any flashlight so if the light emitter isn't LED, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Mercifully, all tactical flashlights come with LED light emitters so, worry not. This LED needs to be bright enough to shine a light unto your path.

The point is, the beam needs to have a wide range. The best lights are the white ones. And, finally, cost. Yes, cheap is expensive but look at what the tactical flashlight offers vis a vis your needs. There are really costly flashlights that offer no more value than their cheaper counter parts. So, you don't have to sell your kidneys to own a flash light, an affordable one could also do.

All right, enough small talk, let's get to the juicy part. We have scoured the world of tactical flashlights and put together this list . And at the end, you'll know what our pick is for the best rated tactical flashlight.

Here we go!

J5 TACTICAL V1 PRO

The guys at J5 Tactical bring us this little flashlight. It costs a reasonable price on Amazon. The first impression of its look is that its small. Hold on, let me review my statement. It's tiny. It measures a meager 1.02 inches by 3.7 inches by 1.02 inches and weighs in at 2.2 ounces.

The body is a nice black with fine texture giving it an excellent grip. So, no need to worry about it sneaking out of your hand. And, it's excellent for carrying around in the pocket and whip it out when in need of it. The body of the V1 PRO is sturdy and very rugged.

Made from aluminum, you feel the confidence that it can withstand those moments of impact without uttering any complaint. At the tail, there is a bright red switch very conveniently placed. At this position, you can operate the flashlight using a single hand leaving the other hand free to do other tactical things.

It's super bright, just like J5 Tactical claims it to be. Its maximum output is 300 lumens that shoots a beam up to a distance of 600 feet. You can also adjust this focus by zooming in to get an intense beam our out for a wider illumination. Simply pull on the end of the flashlight to zoom in or out.

To power the bright LED, you can either use a single AA battery or a rechargeable 14500 lithium ion battery. It comes bundled with the AA battery which work great, until it doesn't. The AA battery can last you about 2 weeks if you moderately use it on low light. Of course, pump up the power and you'll reduce the life you get out of them However, they can still do about 1 week if you're on high light. My advice, get the rechargeable lithium battery as well, having more versatility could come in handy.

PEAK PLUS TACTICAL

The Peak Plus is a tactical flashlight that's clad in a black aluminum alloy body. It retails at 19.99 on Amazon. So, is it durable? Well, being an alloy aluminum material encasing it, you certainly expect it to be strong, don't you? And it most certainly is.

It is able to resist the general abuse that is the life of a tactical flashlight quite easily. This flashlight is anti abrasive meaning you're most likely to get years of service from it.

The guys at Peak Plus tell us that it is water resistant, yet warn us against dunking it in water. This is my issue. Water resistant has got to mean water resistant. I would have loved it to be able to handle being submerged for a couple of minutes. Anyway, looking at its price point, I say you can't have it all. But here's something they did do right, the brightness. It has a powerful LED that is enhanced with a X2000 zoom to illuminate distant objects.

This flashlight can transform from a spotlight to a floodlight at a touch. Its beam range can reach 500 meters. Not too bad, right? Giving this LED life, is a 18650 rechargeable lithium battery that's included with the flashlight. This battery can top up in about 6 hours giving you an average of 4 to 5 hours on the maximum brightness.

You could also use 3 AAA batteries, probably as spares in case the Lithium runs out of juice and you don't have time to top it up. It is fair to say that Peak Plus is one of the best tactical flashlight brands you will come across.

J5 HYPER V

Here's another one from J5 tactical, the Hyper V flashlight. Retailing at $19.95 on Amazon, this little baby looks and feels pretty rugged. As always, J5 didn't go wrong with the fine textured patterns on the body. This enhances grip tremendously.

It's encased in a compact aluminum alloy that is excellent for resisting the strains and stresses of the outdoors. It should last you a long time even in an action packed environment. The Hyper V weighs in at 4 ounces making it nice and light.

So, when it comes to portability, this tactical flashlight scores points. With the attached belt clip, you can safely secure it in your pocket or on your side, within reach. J5 Tactical are known for fitting powerful LEDs in their tactical flashlights and they didn't leave the Hyper V out. This flashlight emits 400 lumens of light. The bright beam shoots to a distance of 800 feet on a clear night. Now, that's something. You also get an adjustable focus to zoom in or zoom out. Unfortunately, with this one, you only have the option of using three AAA standard batteries.

For light home use, it should last some time, however, if you're an outdoor junkie and will get some heavy use out of this flashlight, then this will be a deal breaker. The battery only lasts 1 hour when on high mode. Also, our friends at J5 Tactical don't sell this flashlight with the batteries, you'll have to buy them separately.

OUTLITE A100 Rechargable

This flashlight has a nice feel in the hand. Putting it in my palm I feel the rugged nature and the grippy texture. The A100 is constructed of a sturdy aluminum material that, as we already know, gives it great durability. So for you active adventurers, that's a plus. It's bigger than the other tactical flashlights on this list. It measures 6.8 inches by 4.5 inches by 1.9 inches and weighs in at 12 ounces.

The size, however, doesn't impact much on portability as it can still be easily carried around and used with one hand. For light, it's fitted with a powerful LED chip that produces a bright Tac light. The Tac light technology is popular with the military and law enforcement for its super brightness.

Also, its design makes it capable of standing up securely on a flat surface, just like a candle.

Pretty handy, right?

Anyway, powering the light is a 3.7V 18650 rechargeable battery. You also have the option of using three AAA batteries. Now, here's a downer, the battery tends to rattle, when shaken, whilst inside the flashlight. It comes with a sleeve so secure it though. Also, the battery tends to be rather cheap quality. It loses power quickly, after about 25 to 30 minutes of maximum output. That means you have to recharge it quite often. Then, the flashlight isn't current controlled, so when the power of the battery goes down, you notice the light getting dimmer.

OUTLITE A100 PORTABLE

The A100's little brother, the A100 Portable is smaller and lighter than the A100 that retails at $12.99. It measures in at 6.1 inches by 1.6 inches by 1 inch. It is lighter too, measuring just 5.3 ounces, more than half the weight of the A100. So, it's smaller and lighter, but does it outshine its bigger sibling?

Well, to start with, this one too, is made of the same high quality 6061T aluminum alloy as the A100. It gives the flash light a strong, rugged feel. This underscores the durability factor that we need in tactical flashlights. And, it's more than durable. Outlite tell us that it's water resistant.

Now, understand, water resistance in these models doesn't mean dunking them in water. It means, when you get caught out in the rain, they'll survive the slight dampness. Submerge it in water and, you'll have declared its demise. The design has got nice texture so it that gives it a skid proof quality.

The on/ off button is at the base of the flashlight, conveniently placed to allow you use it with one hand. And you get five light modes; high, mid, low, strobe and SOS.
In the A100 you also get a bright LED light, as in the bigger A100, that has the ability to illuminate up to 600 feet.

Powering this LED is an 18650 lithium battery that can be recharged. And, yes, there's also the option of using 3 AAA batteries instead. All the battery problems that plague the A100 are also in this portable version. You have a quick battery drain, making you recharge it constantly. The light will also begin to lose its enthusiasm with a loss of battery power, which isn't great at all.

THE VERDICT

So, we have three of the most popular, budget tactical flashlights in the market. It's now time to crown the king of them all. What you're looking at is affordability coupled with functionality. You're looking for a tactical flashlight that will emit a bright light, but still retain battery power for some time. And if the flashlight is versatile enough to use more than one kind of battery, points to it. Definitely, portability and durability are key.

So here we go.

Drum roll please…

The best tactical flashlight under 100 is the J5 Tactical V1 Pro. This flashlight is nice and compact. In fact, it's the smallest of the lot. The LED emitter is bright enough for tactical use whilst the build of the flashlight is sturdy and rugged enough to resist the vagaries of the outdoors. With all its qualities, it's still the most affordable in the list. So, there you have it, cheap is not always expensive. For your daily home use or the rough outdoor world, the J5 Tactical V1 Pro won't let you down.

Sources:

ThePrepperJournal.com​

ArtofManliness.com

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