Ask any law enforcement, military or first-responder personnel what their top picks for must-carry equipment choices would be, and chances are a quality handheld flashlight will be on their short list of essential gear. Although handheld flashlights come in a variety of sizes and many have truckloads of cool features and a wide range of light beam intensity classifications, what really counts is reliability. Simply put, will it deliver the goods when you need it?
ASP 4th Generation Triad
The Next Generation
The 4th Generation Triad delivers a mind-numbing 265 lumens of intense light powered by two 3V lithium batteries providing the user with 90 minutes of worry-free use. ASP thought of everything from the waterproof exterior and foam grip to the self-cleaning computer micro switch and advanced heat dissipation feature, all the way down to the built-in thermal management technology that helps keep this Triad cool to the touch. The unique multiposition clip enables the carrier to secure the light in various positions, making this flashlight a great choice for those who demand high performance from their gear.
MagLite XL50 LED
Good Things Come in Small Packages
The Maglite XL50 LED Flashlight measures less than 5 inches long and weighs less than 4 ounces when loaded with three AAA batteries. Don’t let its smaller size fool you, as this compact tactical model packs a punch. Made of corrosion-resistant high-grade anodized aluminum, this performance-oriented solid light delivers 104 lumens of light. The XL50 is easy to grip and offers three modes of power — high power, energy saving and an emergency strobe mode. Additionally, the XL50 offers a spot-to-flood adjustable LED beam as well as an intelligent Energy Source Management component that continuously monitors the power usage, prolonging battery life.
Blackhawk! Legacy X9-P
A Name You Can Trust
The Legacy X9-P flashlight falls right in line with Blackhawk’s uncompromising company standards. The Legacy X9-P provides users with critical components, such as the Xenon pre-focused premium beam of 120 lumens, and is free of shadows and unwanted artifacts. The Legacy X9-P is housed in a tough-as-nails, anti-roll polymer body with beefy textured grip. The Legacy X9-P is a hair over 6 inches, weighs 5.2 ounces and is designed with output modes to provide a worry-free light source from a name you can trust. The Legacy X9-P operates on three 3V batteries giving it a run time of one hour.
Browning Control Point
Although the Browning name is synomous for producing quality firearms, it also makes flashlights such as the Browning Tactical Hunter Control Point flashlight. The unit offers five different levels of light — the highest output at 100%, mid range output at 60%, and low output at 10%, plus three flash-strobe choices. The tactical on/off switch is ideally located on the tailcap for easy manipulation. Browning paired the latest Luxeon LED with 3V lithium batteries that power the 175 lumens. It’s manufactured from high-grade durable aluminum and sealed with an O-ring, which make the unit water resistant and an excellent choice for those who like to have control.
Streamlight Super Tac XL
Lighting the Way
The Super Tac XL model stays the course with Streamlight’s commitment to premium gear. The Super Tac XL is constructed of unbreakable polycarbonate materials with an O-ring sealed to deter moisture and corrosion. Its deep-dish parabolic reflector and C4 LED generates a long-range intense light beam. The unit offers users three modes of operation to choose from: high 40,000 candela peak beam with 200 lumens to the low-mode that offers 10 lumens and 2,000 candelas, plus an emergency strobe mode. Operated on two 3V lithium batteries and weighing about 7 ounces, this model is a great handheld option for consumers.
AE Light Mark2
Performance in Mind
AE Light designed the Mark2 LED flashlight with performance in mind. Compact yet powerfully brilliant with 230+ lumen output, the light produces a sharp beam edge-to-edge and delivers 100% brightness. Powered by a standard rechargeable lithium battery, it gives a run time of 3 hours. Additional options include an instant pulse mode, Hi-Low output and easy operation thanks to the switch located at the end of the tail cap of the unit. The Mark2 also provides the user with the confidence of knowing that the light will not illuminate during covert operations. A removable crenellated bezel gives the user a smooth head.
Sightmark SS280 Triple Duty
Tough and Intense
Sightmark’s tactical flashlight model SS280 Triple Duty boosts a superb design and lights up even the darkest of areas with its high-intensity 280 Cree LED beam of light. Designed to be as aggressive and tough as the person using it, the Triple Duty is constructed of rugged, easy-to-grip aircraft-grade aluminum and a type II military spec anodized — and it’s designed to resist corrosion and it is also waterproof. Users will appreciate the worry-free push button operation and a battery life of 1.5 hours. This tough and intense flashlight is a must-have piece of equipment.
What makes the Pelican 7060 stand out from the rest of the flock is the brilliant 160 lumens plus an intense pre-focused peak beam out to 254 meters. Pelican joined forces with the LAPD to develop a standard issue tactical/patrol flashlight, and the result of this joint venture is the superbly designed, rugged 7060. The 7060 offers users two independent on/off switches as well as a momentary mode with two-hours run time with one lithium-ion battery. An added bonus is the low battery warning feature. The unit weighs 10.5 ounces, measures 8.65 inches and comes with a charger base and belt holster.
Monster Flashlight P7D-900-5
Power and Performance
With a state-of-the-art SSC P7-D LED emitter, the Monster Flashlight P7D-900-5 combines a 900 lumens LED emitter with a waterproof body and a control system that allows its recessed tail switch to cycle through 5 different modes. The innovative power saver switch saves power by completely cutting power to the control board when you switch it off to prevent power leakage while stowed. Powered by swappable 3.7v 3600 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable power cells, the Monster is never out of service for hours of recharging. The fully accessorized P7D-900-5 set is a must-have piece for use on and off duty.
Bushnell HD Torch
Bushnell redefines the word “brilliant” with their new Square Beam HD Torch flashlight, which projects a beam made up of 165 lumens. What sets the Torch apart from conventional flashlights is the unusual square beam of light which casts a razor sharp edge that remains consistent across the scope of the entire beam. The innovative, patented radical square beam torch light gives the operator two modes of operation — high and safety-strobe for emergency use. The Torch is approximately 9 inches in length and powered by two 3V lithium batteries, yet it remains relatively lightweight at 9.8 ounces. Simply put, this unconventional light delivers brilliant high-definition performance.