As you scroll through Amazon or any other retailer these days, the number of flashlights offered can be downright overwhelming. Since we have to test, use, and abuse flashlights while designing our SwitchBack® products, we thought we might share our top picks. Each one of these lights has held up well through duty, training, adventure race, and/or EDC use. Hit us up on Facebook if you need further recommendations!
Elzetta’s Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie lights are definitely the most durable lights we’ve used. This is likely due to their build quality that includes fully potting the LED electronics in epoxy. Added bonus: you can also custom-configure a light to your exact needs on their website.
Blending high output & innovative brightness control, the SureFire Intellibeam series lives up to its name. On the normal setting, the light level auto adjusts based on the flashlight’s light sensor but can be quickly overridden for full output with an additional tailcap press.
Providing 1000 lumens out of 2 CR123 cells, the Streamlight HL-X provides a lot of horsepower per dollar and includes a programmable tailcap. Example: we use this feature to turn off the strobe mode on all our lights.
The G2X-series lights from SureFire are reasonably priced, durable lights available in a selection of colors and tail-cap configurations. We especially like the normal click-switch for daily camping tasks, and the tactical, momentary-only version for duty use.
The EB1 and the E1BMV are two of our favorite pint-sized powerhouses. Although their small size means output and beam shape aren’t as optimized as their bigger brothers, we find it a whole lot easier to work these lights into our civilian wardrobe.
“Two is one and one is none.” When we go camping we always bring a couple of lights and the Black Diamond Storm headlamp matched with a Fenix PD35Tac do a great job of bracketing our needs. The Storm held up through a GORUCK Tough Mogadishu Mile event earning it a place of honor in our backpack. Outside the tent, the tunable brightness of the PD35Tac helps us manage batteries while giving us a much more useful long-range beam shape for searching.
After training with Freddy Osuna and Greenside Training, we were able to use a multitude of lights for night tracking. In the end, the G2X-MV came out on top by a wide margin. In addition to having a more natural color temperature (more yellow, less blue), the uniform beam shape and 800 lumen output helped us see the detail in tracks while still punching through the darkness at longer distances.
Whether you’re finding your car keys or conducting a building search, be sure to check out the SwitchBack flashlight rings we offer. The added pocket clip keeps your light accessible and the finger ring provides a repeatable grip while enhancing retention. You can purchase them at Thyrm.com, your local dealer, or Amazon.