The 5 Best Full-Size Flashlights to Banish the Darkness

An everyday carry flashlight.
Nor Gal/Shutterstock

Are you looking to brighten up your nights, or even the darker parts of your day? You could do worse than one of these five full-size flashlights.

Whether you thrive in the darkness like a tailless cave newt or fear it like…a horse(?), you need a flashlight. Human eyes don’t work so well at night, despite personal preference.

Before we shine a light (sorry) on these night-brighteners, I need to qualify what I mean by “full-size” flashlights. Basically, full-size is anything that isn’t a key-chain flashlight, the one on your phone, or anything else that’s really tiny. My rule of thumb is if you hold it with your hands and not your fingers, it’s eligible for this list.

I do also have a soft spot for big-stick flashlights you can hit stuff with (just in case 30 to 50 feral hogs come at ya), so those will feature heavily.

Best Overall: Streamlight ProTac HL4

Streamlight Pro Tac flashlight.

As you can glean from its name, this is a flashlight professional, tactical flashlighters use when they need flashlights. If you’re after a beefy nightstick of a torch that’s brighter than a classic Maglite, this’ll do. The LED light source can shine at up to 2,200 lumens, so the ProTac HL4 is very bright indeed—over twice as bright as some of the full-size Maglites.

It’s also adjustable, so you can dim things down to a more reasonable (and battery-friendly) brightness level. Or, if you want to make someone sick, there’s a strobe light option to help you disorient them.

Just don’t drop it in the water! Just kidding—sink it one meter deep for up to 30 minutes if you feel like it. And it’s got a “dual fuel” system, so you can use either four lithium batteries or two rechargeables.

All this is encased in a rubber sleeve, which makes it both comfortable to hold and able to stop crime (or cause it, but don’t do that). In other words, you can hit stuff with it.

Best Overall

Streamlight 88060 Pro Tac HL 4 2,200 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight with High/Low/Strobe Dual Fuel use 4x CR123A or 2 x Rechargeable Li-iON Batteries – 2200 Lumens

The ProTac HL4 is bright, rechargeable, uses an LED light source, is rubberized for grip, and you can hit stuff with it.


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