The Best Maglite Flashlights – Really Tough Illumination

When you hear the word “Maglite,” you probably picture a black, shiny, and very simple flashlight that would probably knock you unconscious if it hit you in the head. These flashlights are good at being solid and don’t break easily, which is a statement for any flashlight, but Maglite may take it a little too seriously.

Maglite was started in 1979 by Anthony Maglica (that last name is no coincidence) and created flashlights based on those of the Kel-Lite brand. Kel-Lite specialized in heavy-duty flashlights designed to be used in place of police batons, and Maglite definitely inherited some of that tenacity.

If like the idea of having a flashlight that can be tough enough to be used as a weapon, then you’re in the right place. Anyways, enough yammering—it’s time to go through some of the best Maglite flashlights for lighting up the dark (or hitting yourself on the head).

Maglite XL50 Tactical LED Flashlight

SIZE
WEIGHT

What looks like your standard tail-end-activated flashlight is actually a little more versatile than you think. Although it is pretty basic and only has two light modes, it comes with a removable clip and a few different-colored lenses that can be secured with an anti-roll cap.

Different colors of light can be good when you don’t want too much oomph from your flashlight, such as when you’re star-gazing and don’t want to disrupt your night-acclimated vision. This is definitely one of the most dynamic Maglite flashlights and is good if you don’t want to settle for any one feature.

Max Brightness:
Light Modes:
Length:
Runtime on Highest Setting:
Batteries:

200 lumens
low, high
4.8 inches
6 hours
three AAA’s (included)

Maglite Solitaire LED Keychain Flashlight

Size
WEIGHT

This is a pretty small and simple model, which is what you’d expect from a keychain flashlight. However, it’s doesn’t compromise in the slightest when it comes to quality, and that includes Maglite’s trademark adjustable beam.

The biggest downer with the Solitaire is it’s questionable runtime. At only two hours of light, you’d think it’d be pumping out at least a couple hundred lumens, but it somehow only breaks fifty. If you don’t use a flashlight that often, though, then this would be a great option if you want to get it and forget it—and you really can’t argue with the price.

Max Brightness:
Light Modes:
Length:
Runtime on Highest Setting:
Batteries:

50 lumens
none
3.2 inches
2 hours
one AAA (included)

Maglite Mini LED Flashlight

Size
Weight

This “mini” Maglite flashlight isn’t actually the smallest one on this list, but that by no means renders it obsolete. What it has besides its competent lumen count is a sheer simplicity that almost puts the reflexive property to shame. You twist the head one way to turn it on and twist it the other way to turn it off; enough said.

If you’re not looking for the smallest thing out there and want your flashlight boiled down to its basics, then you may have found yourself what you’re looking for.

Max Brightness:
Light Modes:
Length:
Runtime on Highest Setting:
Batteries:

110 lumens
none
6.6 inches
7 hours
two AAA’s (included)

Maglite Mag-Tac Tactical LED Flashlight

Size
Weight

This definitely doesn’t look like your typical Maglite considering it has checkered knurling and a removeable clip (which actually makes it look a bit like a hand grenade). As far as tactical flashlights go, this one is as rugged as ever. It’s almost like Maglite squared.

You have the option to choose a crowned bezel or a plain bezel, depending on what you want (I suppose the main difference is that the crowned bezel would be better at breaking things). If you have a higher budget and want to get something that can withstand a good beating, then this is the flashlight for you.

Max Brightness:
Light Modes:
Length:
Runtime on Highest Setting:
Batteries:

310 lumens
momentary, high, strobe
5.2 inches
4 hours
two CR123’s (included)

Maglite Mini Pro LED Flashlight

Size
Weight

What you see here is basically the same thing as the Maglite Mini except brighter and heavier (and more expensive). It comes in a few different colors including camo, which would be good if you like camo. It also comes in black and gray.

Once again, this is a very simple model with no lights modes except on and off. You might consider this one if you thought the regular Maglite Mini just didn’t have enough of a punch.

Max Brightness:
Light Modes:
Length:
Runtime on Highest Setting:
Batteries:

270 lumens
none
6.6 inches
2 hours
two AA’s (included)

Maglite Solitaire Spectrum LED Flashlight (Red)

Size
Weight

This is an interesting take on the Solitaire—it’s basically the same light except red. Because it’s exclusively red, it would really only be good for nighttime activities when you want to protect your night-acclimated vision.

It comes in a nifty case, which doesn’t really have much practical value unless you like to keep your flashlight in pristine condition. If you don’t need a flashlight for anything other than very specific night activities that require you to see what you’re doing, then give this one a shot.

Max Brightness:
Light Modes:
Length:
Runtime on Highest Setting:
Batteries:

50 lumens
none
3.2 inches
4 hours
one AA (included)

Those have been some of the best Maglite flashlights on the globe. If you ever find yourself in need of some self-defense, then you’ll have just the tool for the job whether you need stun someone with the flashlight or just the light (you could also tie two Maglites together to get a pair of nunchaku). Of course, the ones on this list are probably too small to work as batons, but you could at least throw them instead of swinging them. Or maybe you could just use them as flashlights.

Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or concerns (or just want to type something), then be sure to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

21 thoughts on “The Best Maglite Flashlights – Really Tough Illumination

  1. Hi, these are some really nice looking flashlights.  I am looking for something that would offer both self defense, and fit in my pocket. As well I would want it to be durable.

    I know that these kinds flashlights will offer lots of these options. 

    I am guessing that’s pretty common for police and security. They of all people need to have  top quality gear. 

    Price is also important for me. I do not want to spend a lot, and I want a good battery that will last a long time. I also want durability so that it wont break when it is banging up against my keys.

    Thanks

    1. Most of the flashlights on this list fit all the criteria you listed. The Maglite Mini might be a good choice if you want a longer runtime and don’t want to spend too much. Also, if a Maglite was being whacked with keys, I’d be more worried about the keys than the Maglite.

  2. Yeah! I could remembered  when we went for mountain tour we all took  Maglite Solitaire Spectrum LED Flashlight , it a very pocketable torch,very tiny that we inserted it into our heads and banded al through it’s very light and bright,trust me this torches is something everyone should have at home thanks  alot for this great post and recommendations 

    1. That’s interesting that you would use the colored Maglite Solitaire for a mountain tour. Did the tour take place at night? If so, having a colored light would be doubly important if there are lots of people so that nobody accidentally blinds someone else.

  3. This is rather an interesting one to see and well worth it I must say. To see such flashlights and their portability and seeing them being like this, with so much powers and performances, this is just great. I like their portability and the fact that they can be useful for more, it is just okay. Thank you so much for sharing all these details here. Thumbs up to you.

    1. There aren’t very many Maglites that are as portable as the ones on this list. Most of them are foot-long brick things that really weren’t made for carrying around. They do last a very long time, though.

  4. I thought all flashlights were basically then same. Excuse me for my ignorance. But going threw the article and reading the durability had me thinking back on all the cheap easy broken flashlights I had. I just want a flashlight that’s dependable and won’t die on me when I really need it. Thanks for the read.

    1. Most name-brand flashlights will be very dependable and will last you quite a while, but, like you mentioned, there are a lot of cheap flashlights that would probably break if you dropped them on carpeted ground. It’s important to get a flashlight that isn’t garbage if you want it to be of use.

  5. Hi,

    Nice post on pocket flashlights. I like your idea at the end to tie two maglites together for self-defensee lol.

    I do find the description for each type helpful especially the types of batteries and the maximum brightness. This is important especially when going camping, it can be challenging to find the right batteries sometimes. And these are very practical in terms of size as it helps not forget them when they are in your pockets.

    It would’ve helped to see the prices without having to click each time to get to the amazon link (just me being lazy lol).

    Cheers,

    1. It’s important to consider the batteries for flashlights especially regarding how easy they are to replace. You can find AA’s and AAA’s almost everywhere, but a CR123A isn’t super common. And batteries will be even more important when camping.

  6. While I was reading your article I was surprised to see that these started being sold back in the 70s, I thought they were made in the early 90s. Growing up I remember my mother used to have one of these because where we live it’s really dangerous when it comes to storms and hurricanes. That flashlight lasted about 5 years, which is insane! My dad is currently looking for affordable flashlights, I will make sure to show him your article. I have a question though, do any of these can be powered by the sun rays? 

    1. As far as I am aware, there are no solar-powered Maglites. If you ever get a Maglite for emergencies, just be sure to stock some extra batteries. It sounds like the flashlight your mother had was very determined. Five years is a long time!

  7. Ive been looking for some non-lethal ways for self defense and tactical flashlights came up. I know some of these flashlights are tough and can be used to hit someone with, but the fact that they can be used to temporarily blind someone is a new concept for me. I’ve heard that it works incredibly well at night, but not so much in the day time. If I need something for day and night, is there a flashlight with enough lumen that works well even during the day time?

    1. If you just want something to blind someone, I would recommend the Aurora A3 keychain flashlight. It’s crazy small and can pump out 550 lumens for 15 seconds before dropping down to a lower brightness. If you have a bigger budget, then the Acebeam H30 Headlight would be a more sustainable option. It can produce up to 4000 lumens and is also remarkably small. Hope that helps.

  8. Well, Isaac, this post was both fun and informative.

    These flashlights are compact (even the 6″ ones) and versatile.  I have had a couple of Maglites over the years and still have a Mini that I use when in tight spots.  They’re easy to hold even in my mouth when I need both hands and they are easy to focus as well.

    The actual twisting of the head makes the beam wider or narrower as well which makes it more versatile than others.  The only drawback is the brightness.  Amazon says 97 lumens.  

    I would want something a lot brighter if I was walking the trail at night so I would probably choose the Maglite Mag-Tac Tactical.  It may be small but it packs a whole lot more light punch at 310 lumens.  Plenty bright enough for the trails and walking around the streets at night.

    The Maglite Pro would be another great choice for those dark nights.

    These are all good sturdy flashlights and the prices are very reasonable as well.

    Wayne

    1. One hundred lumens is actually pretty bright as long as it’s focused properly, which Maglites do well. However, I would agree with you that something brighter would be better for things like walking on a trail at night. Of course, it all boils down to preference.

      1. You’re right, of course. Everyone has a different need/preference when it comes to choosing a flashlight. That’s one reason why I like Maglites. Different strokes for different folks. Different likes and dislikes. 🙂

  9. Hey, I haven’t heard of Maglite Flashlight before, until now. From the information you’re giving, I’d love to get one for myself. The truth is, I am a fan of torchlight and I take mine with me anywhere; my friends call me “Security man” 😆

    The story of the Maglite Flashlight is quite straightforward and impressive. 

    1. Who knew flashlights could double as weapons? I used to carry a Maglite Mini with me when I was little because I always wanted to be ready, but I never got a nickname. “Security Man” sounds like someone you wouldn’t want to mess around with, which doesn’t quite describe myself (I was more like a little Boy Scout).

  10. The Maglite brand is quite impressive. I love all the torchlight you have listed here but my favourite among all of these is the Maglite Mag-Tac Tactical LED Flashlight. I love it’s ruggedity and look just like a hand grenade, I also love the fact that it is strong and most importantly the battery life of 4hrs is cool.

    Good Vibes!

    1. Yeah, the Mac-Tac really packs a punch. I think that was my favorite too and the runtime is pretty good, especially given its brightness. Glad you enjoyed this list!

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