Time passes and electronic devices are shrinking. This seems to be the natural progression. Gone are the days of brick-sized cellphones, 20-pound laptops, and TVs that are thicker than they are wide. Despite the smaller sizes, today’s gadgets have more capabilities than ever before. The same holds true for flashlights — with modern battery technology and high-output LEDs, you can get an astonishing amount of power from a tiny light.

However, small flashlights have some substantial downsides. They’re easy to drop or misplace, they have limited battery life, and they’re often fragile. Also, in a self-defense scenario, these miniature lights have limited use in fending off an attacker. Conversely, large flashlights excel in all these areas, making them a top choice for law enforcement, military, and security professionals.

Traditionally, large flashlights used three or more C- or D-cell alkaline batteries. Some lights are still available in that configuration today, but there’s also a growing variety of models with rechargeable lithium-ion and nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) cells. Whatever the power source, these big-battery flashlights offer long run time, potent light output, and sturdy construction — a combination you can rely on whether you’re at home, at work, or in a survival setting.

We took a look at six big-battery flashlights from leading manufacturers, so read on to see which one fits your needs.

Big-Battery Flashlights

  • Coast HP17

    Make & Model - Coast HP17
    Max Lumen Output - 970
    Max Runtime - 200 hrs.
    Overall Length - 13.1 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 2 lbs.
    Battery Type - D (three, included)
    Controls - Push-button switch with constant-on and momentary modes
    Output Modes - High, medium, low
    Special Features - Slide focus with twist-lock, anti-roll tail cap, lifetime warranty
    MSRP - $110
    URL - http://www.coastportland.com

    Coast's Long Range Focusing System allows adjustment of the beam pattern from flood to spot by sliding the light's head forward or backward.

  • Fenix RC40 2016 Edition

    Make & Model - Fenix RC40 2016 Edition
    Max Lumen Output - 6,000
    Max Runtime - 125 hrs.
    Overall Length - 10.7 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 2.7 lbs.
    Battery Type - 7.4V 7800mAh lithium-ion (one, included)
    Controls - Dual push-button switches with 0.5-second delay. Left controls strobe/SOS, right controls power and output level. Hold both buttons to toggle lockout.
    Output Modes - Turbo, high, medium, low, eco, strobe, SOS
    Special Features - Rechargeable via wall outlet or cigarette lighter adapter, USB output port, 4-LED power gauge, IPX8 waterproof to 2 meters, shoulder strap, spare O-ring and dust covers
    MSRP - $221
    URL - http://www.fenixlight.com

    This light is a monster, with extra-large dimensions and staggering light output.

  • LED Lenser P17.2

    Make & Model - LED Lenser P17.2
    Max Lumen Output - 450
    Max Runtime - 300 hrs.
    Overall Length - 12.1 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 1.7 lbs.
    Battery Type - D (three, included)
    Controls - Push-button switch with constant-on and momentary modes
    Output Modes - High, low
    Special Features - Slide focus, belt holster, IPX4 water-resistant
    MSRP - $110
    URL - http://www.ledlenserusa.com

    With its patented Advanced Focus System that combines a reflector and a sliding lens, the P17.2 produces a beam pattern that's crystal-clear and smooth.

  • Maglite ML300LX 3-Cell

    Make & Model - Maglite ML300LX 3-Cell
    Max Lumen Output - 625
    Max Runtime - 117 hrs.
    Overall Length - 11.7 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 1.6 lbs.
    Battery Type - D (three, not included)
    Controls - Low-profile push-button switch with constant-on and momentary modes
    Output Modes - High, low, eco, strobe; four selectable activity-based function sets
    Special Features - Twist focus, three available matte finishes (black, urban gray, foliage green), IPX4 water-resistant
    MSRP - $76
    URL - http://www.maglite.com

    Maglite is one of the pioneers of this category; the company produced its first D-cell flashlight in 1979. The ML300LX still resembles that original design, but with a modern LED and digital internals.

  • Pelican 8060 LED

    Make & Model - Pelican 8060 LED
    Max Lumen Output - 803
    Max Runtime - 69 hrs.
    Overall Length - 12.6 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 1.5 lbs. Battery Type
    Controls - Push-button switch with constant-on and momentary modes
    Output Modes - High, medium, low, strobe, flashing; four selectable mode sets
    Special Features - Rechargeable via cradle and wall outlet, optional 12V cigarette lighter adapter and hardwire kit available; polymer body with aluminum head, low-battery indicator LED, IPX4 water-resistant
    MSRP - $241
    URL - http://www.pelican.com

    This light features a tough Xenoy polymer body attached to an aluminum head; the combination of materials keeps weight at a minimum.

  • Streamlight UltraStinger LED

    Make & Model - Streamlight UltraStinger LED
    Max Lumen Output - 1,100
    Max Runtime - 16 hrs.
    Overall Length - 11.8 in.
    Weight with Batteries - 1.3 lbs.
    Battery Type - 6V 2200mAh NiMH (one, included)
    Controls - Push-button switch with constant-on and momentary modes
    Output Modes - High, medium, low, strobe; three selectable mode sets
    Special Features - Rechargeable via two included cradles and wall outlet or cigarette lighter adapter, optional 2.5-hour 120V fast-charger available; IPX4 water-resistant, 3-meter impact resistant
    MSRP - $261
    URL - http://www.streamlight.com

    As the saying goes, ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain; this is an attractive choice for those who are looking to reduce the load of a daily carry pack or duty belt.


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