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Thread: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

  1. #1

    Default Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    I am new to the forums and I have spent a LOT of time looking for suggestions. The problem is, there are so many that I became more confused than ever.

    I was intent on buying a 4D Maglite LED flashlight ($26) off Amazon. It seemed to be rugged and bright.

    Then I started reading...

    Now, I don't know what to do. It seems that the general opinion on here is that there is MUCH better for the money. I want something that is strong enough to withstand moderate usage while having tons of throw so I can see far enough. I was also hoping for something with tons of light so I can see well in the dark.

    What do you guys recommend? I'm hoping to keep it at around $40 or under, which limits me considerably...

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    A nice thrower in yuor price range, that would be avaiable locally as well, would be the Lowes Task Force 3-Watt or the Rayovac Outdoorsman 4-Watt (Sears). Both are considered "benchmark" lights based on there performance/price, and there's plenty of threads on them. Both are LED and run on C-Cells, readily available. Oh, and

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponR View Post
    I am new to the forums and I have spent a LOT of time looking for suggestions. The problem is, there are so many that I became more confused than ever.

    I was intent on buying a 4D Maglite LED flashlight ($26) off Amazon. It seemed to be rugged and bright.

    Then I started reading...

    Now, I don't know what to do. It seems that the general opinion on here is that there is MUCH better for the money. I want something that is strong enough to withstand moderate usage while having tons of throw so I can see far enough. I was also hoping for something with tons of light so I can see well in the dark.

    What do you guys recommend? I'm hoping to keep it at around $40 or under, which limits me considerably...
    For the most part I hunt deer at around dusk and dawn. Use a headlamp for getting to the stand etc. Those 4D Mags seemed a bit too big for me. Walking out with the 870 and my other junk the D cell light was just too much. Used a C cell mag for years than move up to a Surefire G2. If looking for a blood trail the Surefire worked good and at a fraction of the weight. Used my Surefire G2Z for a few seasons. Guessing this year it will be the Fenix TK20. I would go with that for the throw if the extra 15 bucks is not a deal breaker. Or maybe a Rebel LED 3C mag as it would be smaller. I upgraded my 3C mag to their stock pre Rebel LED and it was better than the Incan bulb. Never got the Rebel Upgrade or light but guessing sooner or later I will.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic sigsour's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    I started using a Fenix TK12 for going to my stand during deer hunting just this week. The modes are perfect and the ability to twist the head to 2 different levels works out well. I think any of the T series from Fenix serve this purpose well. And dont forget to consider buying at the Marketplace for getting a drawer queen at a significant discount.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    You're correct that there's many choices but there is no "best" really. For my archery hunting needs, I carry several smaller flashlights into the field. A typical example might be one thrower like the Jetbeam Raptor, a general purpose LED like the Surefire L1, a Zebralight H30 headlamp, and incandescent like the Surefire A2, and a couple of AAA sized LED lights to hand to friends if necessary. Carrying several smaller lights makes for a flexible arrangement but it's not necessary. A Jetbeam M1X might handle all of your needs but I always recommend a least on back up pocket light of some type besides your primary light.

    Look at the Olight M30 too. These lights are magnitudes brighter than a 4D mag but they're more expensive too and I'm not sure what you wanted to spend.
    Last edited by Patriot; 09-13-2009 at 09:35 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    A Fenix tk20 is only a lil over your budget, and an excellent woods/field companion. It may not throw quite as well as a 4D Mag, but few lights do. It is levels of magnitude more handy and versatile. Mine goes camping, hiking, off-roading, out for walks at night, it doesn't eat much and has never made a mess on the carpet.
    "Mostly they come out at night... Mostly."

  7. #7
    Flashaholic outersquare's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    i'm not sure i would carry a 4D mag for camping let alone hunting.
    You are already carrying a rifle or shotgun, a 4D mag would be a pain in the ass to carry.

    for a common store light, atleast the new multimode 2aa mini mag

    the streamlight polytac goes for $40, cheaper and brighter than surefire G2L/6PL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    If you can live with less throw and spend more the INOVA T2 might work.Not a true neutral or warm LED but better outdoors than typical cool white LED lights.The Malkoff M60W(neutral tint) in an appropriate host is better but costs even more.The Fenix TK20 is probably a good choice if you want to stay away from CR123 batteries.
    None of those lights are going to throw as far as the D cell Magled but they have better tints and provide more usable output in an outdoor environment than the Magled.If you really want throw the Mags are hard to beat but you would be better served with a standard 2/3C Mag and a Malkoff or TerraLUX drop-in.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* R@ndom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    A2s are going for under 100 on the marketplace. Pick up a red one because deer can't see it or a blue one for blood tracking. The main beam has adequate throw.
    Last edited by R@ndom; 09-14-2009 at 01:17 AM.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Fusion_m8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    For as little as $36.99 the SP-6 Xenon would be the best choice, for a few dollars more you can get the SP-6 LED. These lights are all based on a modular system, so upgrades like Turbo heads, higher output lamps etc... when funds are available in the future are easily done. Whats more being Surefire compatible means no shortage of upgrades on the market.

    The quality of these lights are AT LEAST as good, if not better than any reputable brand on the market.

    Looking for a light that is rugged enough for hunting with tons of throw will involve for than $40 unfortunately... unless you are willing to compromise quaility and reliabilty and go for a China-made clones available from DX, KD or ebay.
    Last edited by Fusion_m8; 09-14-2009 at 01:52 AM.
    Before we can become old and wise, first we have to be young and foolish.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    I'm gonna carry a Solarforce L2 5 mode this bow season running 18650's. Around $40.00 for the L2, two 18650's and a charger. Very bright with good throw, multi-mode for great runtime on those long night tracking jobs, compact and rechargeable batteries to keep cost down. My fellow huntclub members will still be using the 5 Seoul modded Propolys I hand out before each night tracking job. I still think the modded Propoly is the ultimate hunting torch but I'm gonna give the L2 a shot. I carry one handheld, 1 headlamp(EOS) and a very small backup light on my P.M. bowhunting adventures.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    yeah, I would never even consider hauling around a big ass maglite in the woods, might as well bring a boat anchor with you. this year I'm using my tikka headlamp (if I cant get a saint) and my surefire e2l. both are lite weight and small. If budget was a concern for me I would get a fenix pd30, I have one its an excellent light although its like 15-twenty bucks over your limit you will not regret it. it has a low mode that wont completely blind your night vision and a kick a$$ high mode that will really suprise you along with being smaller than a minimag.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    I'm a big fan of the rebel Mags, and I have a bunch of them, but I only use them in the car, boat or house. If I had to carry it for any length of time, I'[d pick something else. If you do want to go with a mag, you could reduce the weight by putting 3 C cells into a 2d body, and using the head from a 3 cell light. You could also probably run it off of lithium AA cells that had adapters in them.
    Greg

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    I thought the maglite would be good for its ruggedness and as a blunt object. As any outdoorsmen knows, having a blunt object in the woods/lake is useful for many things.

    What do you think about the romisen RC-N3 instead? It's compact and its got some fantastic reviews for a budget light. Is this going to be a good first flashlight? I'm thinking about going with a Maglite 3D LED/Romisen RC-N3 combo. The RC-N3 on my body and the Maglite in the truck.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    If you want to carry a big/bulky light in the field or in the truck, I would go for the Rayovac Cree 3C Sportsman mentioned earlier. It's very heavy duty and blows away the LED Mag in terms of brightness. You can also run this Rayovac on 3 AA's instead of C's. The RC-N3 would work fine in the field and be a decent 1st flashlight.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponR View Post
    I thought the maglite would be good for its ruggedness and as a blunt object. As any outdoorsmen knows, having a blunt object in the woods/lake is useful for many things.
    Sure, blunt objects may be used for a lot of things (hammering tent pegs, bashing Swedish backpackers,), BUT....

    ... many outdoorsmen object to the notion of CARRYING big heavy blunt objects, because,

    1) In the woods, there is typically an abundance of blunt objects to be found. I suggest using a branch of maglite 3D diameter. The perfectionist will cut this so the length exactly matches the maglite 3D. If dry enough, one end can even be set on fire to further approximate the appearance of a 3D mag...

    and 2), blunt objects, while useful, aren't really what you consider vital and required items. You can get tent pegs in place without hammering, and give that Swedish backpacker a beer instead of bashing him.



    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponR View Post
    What do you think about the romisen RC-N3 instead? It's compact and its got some fantastic reviews for a budget light. Is this going to be a good first flashlight? I'm thinking about going with a Maglite 3D LED/Romisen RC-N3 combo. The RC-N3 on my body and the Maglite in the truck.
    Sounds like a winning setup. Die-hard flashaholic will tell you what improvements there are to be gained by replacing either of those lights by whatever is in fashion for the moment. Sure, but that comes at an extra cost. At that price, your setup is a VERY good choice. Reliable, solid and plenty bright enough.


    The only difference I would suggest is getting the two-mode romisen for improved runtime and adding a backup light for your person. Fenix E01 ($15, I've seen it discounted at $12) is perfect: So small you won't notice it's there, long runtime, bright enough for most of the things you do in camp and indestructable. (IPT has another strong budget AAA candidate, but I haven't tried it.)


    Of course, I have to give my flashaholic / outdoorsman opinion as well, haven't I: Quark handheld + Zebralight headlamp. Both with your preferred battery configuration (should be the same, though) and both with warm white (neutral white, actually...) emitters.
    Last edited by jankj; 09-15-2009 at 12:21 AM.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Don't light filtered (read as coloured lenses) OR alternative light source flashlights work best for hunting (especially blood trails)?, not being a blood sport enthusiast I really couldn't say though I do have a light similar to the Streamlight Buckmaster Xenon/LED however my version now has Ultra blue LEDs instead of the Buckmaster's green which makes red show as dark patches

    For example....

    A red mentos container (incandescent)


    Blue light output (LED)


    Red light output (LED)


    FWIW the TT2L sized flashlights from Streamlight can be used with AW 17670 rechargeable lithium cells and still give relatively good output from the underdriven Xenon lamp, using rechargeables you can save in the long run from continual CR123a purchases, 18650 sized lights are also great for the very same reason... call it guilt free Lumens (light output) if you like!

    Working predominantly in dark environments I can definitely confirm blue & red lighting helps preserve your night vision and as such I'd recommend any of the small 18650/2 x CR123a sized lights which can be fitted with aftermarket colour filters should you choose to opt for a single colour LED emitter flashlight
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  18. #18

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Hunting was one of many reasons I wanted a "real" flashlight. In the end, I sacrificed a little throw and brightness to gain a smaller size and versatility, and settled on a Quark 2AA. I love this light, and honestly, I don't see where I will need any more throw than this thing gives me. The amount of light and throw this thing puts out will suprise someone who isn't accustomed to high-end lights (like me ). If you want to know how the throw compares to an *upgraded* Maglite, look at csshih's outdoor comparison:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=235171

    That said, the Quark is about $20 over your price range, but according to reviews around here the EagleTac P100A2 is comparable, if not brighter, than the Quark, for only $42.99 before shipping.

    https://www.eagletac-store.com/produ...roducts_id=716

    I also second the recommendations for the Fenix.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Ooh... that RGB filter system on the EagleTAC T20C2 sure looks nice the best of all worlds, red, blue, green & neutral white powered from an 18650 OR dual CR123a cells & selectable output from 5 upto 270Lm... sweet!
    Last edited by M@elstrom; 09-15-2009 at 05:39 AM.
    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

  20. #20
    Flashaholic outersquare's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    I thought the maglite would be good for its ruggedness and as a blunt object. As any outdoorsmen knows, having a blunt object in the woods/lake is useful for many things.
    I hope you have an ax already..

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    SureFire LX2, A2 Aviator or JetBeam M1X if you want more output and throw.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    A Surefire G2 or a Maxfire LX and both good inexpensive options for hunting. Not to mention, much easier to fit in your pack than a 4D mag.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic ironhorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    I carry a zebralight for hands free and the nitecore if I need more throw than flood.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Don't light filtered (read as coloured lenses) OR alternative light source flashlights work best for hunting (especially blood trails)?, not being a blood sport enthusiast I really couldn't say though I do have a light similar to the Streamlight Buckmaster Xenon/LED however my version now has Ultra blue LEDs instead of the Buckmaster's green which makes red show as dark patches


    FWIW the TT2L sized flashlights from Streamlight can be used with AW 17670 rechargeable lithium cells and still give relatively good output from the underdriven Xenon lamp, using rechargeables you can save in the long run from continual CR123a purchases, 18650 sized lights are also great for the very same reason... call it guilt free Lumens (light output) if you like!

    Working predominantly in dark environments I can definitely confirm blue & red lighting helps preserve your night vision and as such I'd recommend any of the small 18650/2 x CR123a sized lights which can be fitted with aftermarket colour filters should you choose to opt for a single colour LED emitter flashlight
    +2 on the color choises. Red and green are great for nightvision preservation. You may also look into an LED with a warm tint like the Q4. This LED is very close to an incan light but is much brighter and in a much smaller package. Eagletac makes a couple of lights with the Q3s and 1 with the Q4, and I have a Dereelight CL1H and a DBS I use a Q4 pill in. Outdoors, the warmer tinted LEDs make all of the color jump out and may appear to be brighter to you. There are others, of course who use this LED.
    Last edited by bkumanski; 09-15-2009 at 02:39 PM. Reason: deleted pics and corrected spelling...duh!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Quote Originally Posted by loanshark View Post
    A Fenix tk20 is only a lil over your budget, and an excellent woods/field companion.
    +1 on the TK20

    For a non-led option, a MAG85 build would suit you well I think.. (dont ask me how much they cost to put together though...)

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    The new MagLED with the Rebel LED is great for the money, but is pretty big and heavy.

    Whatever you get, get a backup as well.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Thanks guys. I picked up a Romisen RC-N3 and I am looking for a Surefire G2 or Brinkmann Maxfire as we speak. I think the two will make for some good starter el-cheapo flashlights. I can't say it'll stop there, because I am in love with the quality and look of some of these things that you all have on here! I think the next light will be a Fenix L2D after these two purchases.

    Thank you for posting that link of the lights in the backyard. I was astonished to see how the maglite performed. It's CERTAINLY not what I want in a flashlight!

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    Last year I carried a ZebraLight AA headlamp and either a 1xAA or Fenix T1 for more throw and "backup". This year I'm going lighter. I'll carry the headlamp as primary and probably just my Maratac 3mode 1xAAA. The Maratac can double as a headlamp if you reverse the clip and are wearing a ball cap and shares batteries with my FRS radio if I am carrying it. I would --highly-- recommend either the Maratac or ITP 1xAAA light. You'll forget you are carrying it and it will probably put out more/same light than/as a 4D mag. They are only 20 bucks on goinggear or shiningbeam or countycomm. The little light aside, IMO a headlamp is the only way to go. You don't have to hold the light, leaving a hand free to steady you even if you are carrying your gun. Not to mention the light source is close to your eyes so you can see reflected eyes of some game easier. Just my 2 cents

  29. #29
    Enlightened spectrak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    the rc-n3 is great i carry one every day with the 123 cell but i will take it hunting with me in 2 aa format this year and if you want a mag the 2d with rebel is actually hard to beat i got mine from wally world with price match for 19.99 and i wish i had bought more.
    ultra stinger,dorcy 220 lumen, edc p7, Malkoff md2, 6D mag, and a few others.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Best Hunting Flashlight? Maglite?

    TK40!!!

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