What To Look For In The Best Hunting Flashlight?
Hunting is one of those sports that can be done during the day or at night, but when you go will honestly depend on what it is you are hunting. If you are night hunting you will want to find the best hunting flashlight. Obviously, you are not going to hunt a nocturnal animal during the day nor will you hunt an animal that is active during the day at night.
As most hunters already know, a big part of being successful depends upon having the best equipment. What equipment a hunter carries with them though is up in the air, as some seem to think that not all equipment is needed all of the time. Having the right equipment in a hunting situation could be the most important thing for your survival.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Budget): Zanflare F1 NW
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Backup): Thrunite T10
- Best Hunting Flashlight (AA Hunting Flashlight): Nitecore EA11
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Budget Headlamp [red, high CRI]): Nitecore NU30
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Headlamp): Zebralight H600Fw MK IV
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Flashlight With Colored Lenses or LED): Nitecore SRT9
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Rifle Mounted Light): Jetbeam RRT26
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Long Throw Flashlight): Klarus XT30R
- Best Hunting Flashlight (Adjustable Focus “Zoomie”): MTN-1504 Zoomie
Hands Free Mountable Strip Light Option
We actually really like this option. It was originally designed for ultra trail runners with a 5 LED mountable strap connected to a rechargeable battery. They also sell red and green lens filters. The benefit is that you are hands-free and do not have something on your head. With the light lower around your waist or on a backpack strap your eyes will have a better depth of field.
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Now every hunter agrees that in order to be successful at hunting you need to have some type of weapon. It’s pretty obvious if you don’t have a weapon you will not be able to make any kills. Now what not all hunters agree on is if you need a flashlight for hunting during the day, but they do agree that a flashlight is a necessary item for night hunting gear.
While seeing during the day is not a problem having a good hunting flashlight with you can still come in handy, as they are used for so much more than just illuminating your surroundings.
So, while we now understand it is important to have a LED hunting flashlight, how do we know that we have the best flashlight for hunting. So, what do you need to look for to ensure you are looking at the best hunting flashlight in 2021? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the highest lumen hunting flashlight is going to be the best choice because there is so much more that goes into making LED hunting lights the best.
One of the first things you need to look at is what accessories it comes with or what accessories you can buy for it. The best hunting lights are going to support a variety of accessories, including different lenses, diffusers, gun mounts, and a remote switch just to name a few.
We are definitely not looking for a tactical flashlight here since the true sense of a tactical flashlight is a light that is best at quick high power and strobe. For a hunting light we want lots of options.
In addition to accessories, you want a light that comes with several different light modes, so you can choose the best lighting option for your hunting needs.
Different colors are also better for different things and for different animals. One common thought is that some animals can not see some colors. We answered a question we often see “can deer see green light?” in that article. So try and find something that has more than just white light.
The type of battery that you choose to use is probably one of the biggest decisions you will have to make in a flashlight. There is advantages to lights that can use disposable batteries since you will be able to find them at most stores in a pinch. But, they do not run on as high of voltage so they can not produce as much light. So first think about the battery type you want to work with.
Something else you want to look for when looking for the best hunting light is one that has a good throw.
Keep in mind even if the light you are looking at is the brightest hunting flashlight on the market that doesn’t mean it has the best throw. Opting for one with good throw is vital to night hunting, as its narrow beam will provide the best illumination even at a hundred feet away. So make sure you look at beam distance along with light output.
A lock out feature is also useful, one of the worst things that can happen while you are hunting at night is your LED hunting light turning itself on and spooking any nearby game. To prevent this from happening the best night hunting lights are going to have a lock out feature.
Last but not least is being waterproof. Depending on what you are hunting how often you come across water will be different. Hunting ducks, make sure your light is really waterproof just in case you have some random drops. If you only have to worry about water if it is raining or crossing a stream then you don’t need to worry as much.
Ways To Use A Hunting Flashlight
One thing that makes choosing the best hunting light so difficult is how many different ways it can be used. As many of you probably already know, the best night hunting light is not always going to be the overall best hunting light.
When trying to find the best led hunting lights, you need to take into consideration how you plan to use it while you are hunting.
Finding paths that animals travel is an important part of hunting, but finding these paths can be a bit difficult, which is where hunting flashlights come in. During the day animal paths can be hard to find due to the shadows cast about by trees and shrubs, the right hunting flashlight will help you find even the most hard to find paths.
Hunting lights also come in handy during the day for blood tracking. Now night hunting obviously requires the use of a flashlight, but for more reasons than you might think.
The best night hunting light is going to be used for reading maps, finding paths, and dressing the kill. However, they can also be used for eye spotting, as well as preserving your night vision, which is where the use of different lenses comes into play.
The Best Hunting Flashlight in 2021 by Category
Best Hunting Flashlight (Budget):
The Zanflare F1 NW utilizes a CREE XP-L V6 LED to emit a very bright 1240 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 252m. The Zanflare F1 NW offers a dual switch design. The tail switch turns the light on and off. The aluminum side switch cycles through the four brightness levels with a single tap. A double tap provides access to a 30-second flare mode. Strobe and SOS modes are accessed by pressing and holding the side switch. To prevent the light from overheating the Zanflare F1 NW will automatically reduce the brightness level as needed.
The material it is made from is military standard aluminum alloy with an anodized finish the IPX8 rated Zanflare F1 NW is reliable and long-lasting. The charging port is located under the collar of the light to help block dust and grime from entering the light. To determine if the light is charging look for a red indicator light. If there is no red light you will need to click the tail button to start the charging process. Charging should be complete within four hours. A low voltage reminder will flash regularly once the battery reaches below 2.8v. The light will automatically shut off once the battery reaches critical levels.
- Memory function
- Micro-USB charging
- Indicator light
- Beam is on the narrow side
- Weight: 3.17 oz. without battery
- Dimensions: 5.35 inches long and 1.1-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 550 hours
- Highest Setting: 1240 lumens for 50 minutes
Best Hunting Flashlight (Backup):
Powered by a 1.2v AA battery, the Thrunite T10 features a CREE XP-L V6 LED that has the ability to emit a maximum of 252 lumens. Users can expect a maximum beam distance of 65m with a peak beam intensity of 1,062 candelas. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum with a premium type III hard anodized finish the Thrunite T10 is impact resistant up to 1m and features an IPX-8 rating. The ultra-clear glass lens has an anti-reflective coating with an OP reflector to provide a perfect flood style light.
The Thrunite T10 uses a tail switch to power the light on and off. The tail switch is recessed enough to allow the Thrunite T10 the ability to tail stand. Switching between the three brightness levels offered can be done by halfway pressing the tail switch. The Thrunite T10 also features a twisty head design that powers the light and allows users another option to cycle through modes. A reversible clip allows you to clip the light to whatever is convenient. Mode memory allows the light to be turned on in the last mode used.
- Reverse polarity protection
- Tail stand capable
- Reversible clip
- Switch is sensitive
- Weight: 1.13 oz without battery
- Dimensions: 3.54 inches long a0.73-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 0.2 lumens for 240 hours
- Highest Setting: 252 lumens for 1 hour 30 minutes
Best Hunting Flashlight (AA Hunting Flashlight):
The Nitecore EA11 uses a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED to emit a maximum of 900 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 190m with a peak beam intensity of 9,000 candelas. The Nitecore EA11 is compatible with two battery types, an ordinary AA or an IMR14500. The IMR14500 is the same size as an ordinary AA but delivers a higher output and longer runtimes. With the included IMR14500 users can expect a maximum runtime of 12 hours at 1 lumen. The ordinary AA lasts for 10 hours at one lumen.
The Nitecore EA11 offers 5 regular brightness modes and three special modes that are ideal for emergencies. The EA11 is one of the easiest lights to use thanks to its dual-switch interface. The light is powered off and on by one switch, while the other allows you to switch between brightness levels. The Nitecore EA11 offers an independent red light LED. The red light illuminations serve three unique purposes, preserve night vision, use as a signal light, and use to locate the EA11 in the dark when it is not powered on.
- Dual switch interface
- Red and white output modes
- One-handed operation
- No lockout mode
- Weight: 1.87 oz. without battery
- Dimensions: 3.62 inches long and 1-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 12 hours
- Highest Setting: 900 lumens for 30 minutes
Best Hunting Flashlight (Budget Headlamp [red, high CRI]):
The Nitecore NU30 offers a high-performance rechargeable headlamp with an excellent beam throw. The Nitecore NU30 uses CREE XP-G2 S3 LEDs for outstanding outputs. The Nitecore NU30 can emit up to 400 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 121m with a peak beam intensity of 3,700 candelas. The built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery has a maximum runtime of 330 hours. The battery’s performance is equivalent to that of 9 ordinary AAA batteries.
To protect against dust and water ingression the Nitecore NU30 uses a rubber cover over the built-in port to provide an airtight seal. The headlamp offers uninterrupted illumination. Once the battery has died the lamp can be connected to a USB power source to continue providing light. The built-in power indicator located behind the dual switches alerts users to remaining battery level. The Nitecore NU30 provides multiple light sources, including a primary white LED, red light illumination, and high CRI auxiliary LEDs. The primary white LED offers four brightness levels and two special modes.
- 50% lighter than similar headlamps
- High CRI Auxilia LEDs
- Lockout mode
- Hinge loosens over time
- Weight: 2.9 oz. with batteries
- Dimensions: 2.48 inches long and 1.71-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 330 hours
- Highest Setting: 400 lumens for 1 hour and 15 minutes
Best Hunting Flashlight (Headlamp):
The Zebralight H600Fw MK IV uses a CREE XHP35 Neutral White LED to emit a maximum of 1358 lumens. The headlamp beam from the CREE XHP35 LED matched with the frosted lens offers an 90 degree spill with little hotspot. The Zebralight H600Fw MK IV offers selectable levels. The three main brightness levels can be further programmed to one of two sub-levels. The second sub-level of each main level can also be further programmed to various brightness levels. The Zebralight H600Fw MK IV also features a beacon and strobe mode for emergencies.
Powered by a single 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery the Zebralight H600Fw MK IV can run up to 18 days at 2.8 lumens. Regardless of brightness level selected the Zebralight H600Fw MK IV offers PID thermal regulated outputs to maintain brightness. To prolong battery life the light automatically steps down brightness levels as the battery level gets low. Clicky switch located on the right side of the headlamp provides access to the Zebralight H600Fw MK IV’s smart user interface.
- Over discharging protection
- IPX-8 rating
- Light has a bluish tint at times
- Weight: 4.4 oz. with battery and headband
- Dimensions: 3.85 inches long and 0.95-inch diameter
- Lowest Output: 0.07 lumens for 4 months
- Highest Output: 1358 lumens for 2.8 hours
Best Hunting Flashlight (Flashlight With Colored Lenses or LED):
The Nitecore SRT9 features a CREE XHP50 LED to provide a maximum beam distance of 246m with a peak beam intensity of 15,100 candelas. Powered by two 18650 li-ion rechargeable batteries or 4 disposable CR123 lithium batteries the Nitecore SRT7 can emit anywhere from 0.1 lumens up to 2150 lumens. Runtime and output levels will vary based on batteries used. For optimal performance Nitecore strongly recommends using two 18650 batteries. A blue power indicator light will blink every two seconds when power levels reach 50%. Rapid blinking indicates low power levels.
Equipped with multiple auxiliary lights (RGB light, UV light, police warning light, and beacon light) the Nitecore SRT9 can be used in several different environments. The Nitecore SRT9 uses the third generation smart selector ring to rapidly switch between the various modes. The seamless die-cast body ensures heat is distributed evenly. Advanced Temperature Regulation technology regulates the lights output and automatically adjusts the light to its ambient environment.
- Multiple light sources
- Die cast body
- Infinite brightness adjustment
- Tail standing is tricky
- Weight: 7.91 oz. without batteries
- Dimensions: 5.83 inches long and 1.57-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 0.1 lumens for 250 hours
- Highest Setting: 2150 lumens for 1 hour
Best Hunting Flashlight (Rifle Mounted Light):
The Jetbeam RRT26 was recently upgraded to provide an improved version of an amazing light. The new version of the RRT26 offers a CREE XP-L LED to provide you with more lumens and a longer throw. Using the new LEDs the Jetbeam RRT26 can emit a maximum of 1080 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 320m. The Jetbeam RRT26 also provides users with secondary red, green, and blue LEDs, along with a strobe mode and a hidden police strobe mode. A tactical forward click switch provides users with momentary on. Brightness levels are selected using the RRT magnetic control ring.
The Jetbeam RRT26 is powered by two CR123A/RCR123A batteries or a single 18650 battery. A tri-colored power indicator alerts you to the batteries current state. A green light indicates a fully charged battery, a blue light indicates power levels are at 50%, and a red light means you need to charge the battery. The head of the light is protected by a stainless steel bezel that can be removed when needed. A flat tail end allows the Jetbeam RRT26 to be used in candle mode.
- Magnetic control ring
- Intelligent memory
- Tail stand capable
- Ring travel can be improved
- Weight: 5.85 oz. without batteries
- Dimensions: 5.9 inches long and 1.5-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 120 hours
- Highest Setting: 1080 lumens for 30 minutes
Best Hunting Flashlight (Long Throw Flashlight):
Designed specifically for hunting and searching the Klarus XT30R features a super-bright CREE XHP-35 HI D4 LED that can emit a maximum of 1800 lumens with a 820m maximum beam distance. The Klarus XT30R offers two preset modes allowing users to program the light to the specific task at hand. Tactical setting is ideal for self-defense and law enforcement applications as it provides instant access to strobe and turbo modes. The hunting setting provides hunters with instant access to both low and turbo modes, as well as various brightness levels, SOS, and mode memory.
Powered by two 18650 Li-ion batteries the Klarus XT30R uses a patented triple independent switch design. The primary switch and mode switch are both located on the tail end of the light, while the third switch is a conveniently located side switch. Whether you prefer the side switch or tail cap switch the Klarus XT30R offers one-hand tactical control with an enlarged contact area for easy use when wearing gloves. The 18650 batteries are recharged using the patented magnetic charging system, which is self-locating and touch activated.
- Compatible with all 1” rail mounts
- Memory function
- Lock out function
- Tail stand can be tricky
- Weight: 12.49 oz without battery
- Dimensions: 9.85 inches long and 2.28-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 10 lumens for 155 hours
- Highest Setting: 1800 lumens for 2 hours and 3 minutes
Best Hunting Flashlight (Adjustable Focus “Zoomie”):
The MTN-1504 Zoomie is one of the most versatile lights in the market. It offers a versatile flood light and offers an excellent throw. The MTN-1504 offers the best throw for a light that fits inside a jacket pocket. The MTN-1504 Zoomie features a twist to zoom head. This allows users to focus the light into a laserbeam with a long throw or zoom out to create a wide, smooth beam ideal for up close work. The MTN-1504 Zoomie is available with color and white LEDs with guppydrv firmware that offers 24 built-in mode groups.
With the MTN-1504 Zoomie users have the choice of batteries as the tube is long enough to fit both protected 5200mAh 26650 and 26700 cells. The light also comes equipped with an 18650 adapter. If opting for the XHP50 model only 26350 batteries can be used. The MTN-1504 Zoomie offers low voltage protection. When using 1S cells the light will start stepping down around 2.8v under load. 2S drivers will automatically step down around 6V under load. The light will never shut off completely, but will run at a moonlight level.
- Multiple options
- Low voltage protection
- Memory not available in all mode groups
- Dimensions: 6.30 inches long and 2.79-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: Moonlight mode
- Highest Setting: 2500 lumens
Final Thoughts On The Best Hunting Flashlight
If you are like other hunters, you might have found that with a great flashlight hunting is a whole lot easier than it used to be.
The problem is finding the best one that suits your needs.
Whether you are looking for a night hunting flashlight or a hunting light that can also be used during the day, you want to make sure the light includes certain features.
With hunting lights, LED is normal, but sometimes they can put out too much light, so you want to make sure you can purchase different lenses for the flashlight to help preserve your night vision.
You might want a light with a lock-out feature to prevent the flashlight from accidentally being turned on; after all, turning on a super bright light by accident is going to scare off any nearby game.
Other things to look for include various operating modes that are easily accessible to the hunter and it must be pretty waterproof in case of the random water splashes.
But, honestly, what makes a flashlight the best hunting light is the different accessories, such as diffusers, lenses, and gun mounts. Either a great hunting light is going to come with all of the accessories that make hunting easier or you will have the option to purchase them separately.
Regardless on what you think is the best hunting flashlight we want to take time to thank you for reading our “Best Hunting Flashlight” article and while you are here take a look at our other Best Flashlight articles.
All of the best hunting flashlights we included in this article were deemed so after a thorough review of each hunting light. All of the information provided on these hunting flashlights is so you can easily compare what each of these hunting lights have to offer, so that you can find a good hunting flashlight to use.
We have also included a handy Flashlight Comparison Guide, which can help easily narrow down the best hunting flashlights based on certain specifications. Even if you are looking for a flashlight for hunting that doesn’t mean you are experienced in the flashlight world or necessarily understand everything we have talked about in this article on the best hunting lights.
If you need help understanding some of the vocabulary used in this article, head on over to our flashlights 101 resource, where you will find definitions to some commonly used flashlight terms. And, please, if you like any one of the hunting lights that we have mentioned on this page, please follow one of our links to Amazon, where you can buy any one of these best hunting flashlights.