J5 Tactical V1 Pro
While it doesn't have all the fancy features that some flashlights have, it has the ones that count
Ease of Use
Click to turn it on, click to turn it off, repeat to cycle through modes. Pretty simple
It's less than $15 and works like a flashlight 3 times its price
- Quality build
- Good price
- Great battery life
- Only 300 lumens
- Not IPX8 rated (fully waterproof)
The J5 Tactical V1 Pro Tactical Flashlight
When it comes to choosing the best tactical flashlight, there’s a few different things we should look for including a strike bezel, high light output, great materials, and a tail switch. These factors ensure that the flashlight will come in handy during a whole variety of situations we might find ourselves in.
Another major factor that affects most of us is price. For example, if we need a tactical flashlight that we can carry everyday for self defense, we often will invest a little more money to get higher reliability for critical moments.
Sometimes, we just need an extra tactical style flashlight for the kitchen or a vehicle. In these cases, we may choose to spend less. However, we at least want a flashlight that will work and last a decent amount of time.
A great example of where it’s important to have a tactical flashlight is in your bug out bag (BOB) gear. For survival situations, you typically need great performance in all of the factors that make a good tactical flashlight.
The biggest factors for choosing a tactical flashlight for a bug out bag come down to functionality, weight, and price. You need a flashlight that will meet the basic requirements and be rugged enough to get you through some tough situations.
Weight is a big concern, which means the flashlight materials must be top notch. Even more important is price. Typically, most bug out bags will have more than 100 items in them.
For example, my BOB load out at Trek Warrior shows just how many items it takes to cover your needs. If you think about average price of each item at 100+ items, you are looking at a BOB that costs over $1000, and even several thousand dollars if you get the top quality for every item.
My BOB item list focuses on paying more for the ultra critical items like the backpack, knife, and poncho/tarp. Then, finding the perfect tradeoff of quality versus price for other less serious items.
In this article, we are going to review one of the best of the cheaper flashlights, the J5 Tactical V1 Pro. We will show how for the price, it is one of the best choices for a bug out bag flashlight, as well as camping, hunting, vehicle, or home spare flashlights.
For true everyday carry self defense, it makes sense to invest in the more expensive options. In these types of situations, you won’t have all of the gear on you that you would in a bugging out scenario.
Let’s jump right into the review.
J5 Tactical V1 Pro Specifications
- Aluminum alloy body casing
- Strike bezel
- Sturdy belt clip
- 300 Lumen output
- Tail switch
- 3 Modes: high, low, and strobe
- Runs on one AA or one 14500 battery
- Water resistant
J5 Tactical V1 Pro Review
Being in the under $15 category of tactical flashlights, the J5 Tactical V1 Pro stands way above the other flashlights in this price range.
When it is first taken out of the box, a person can easily feel the quality of the flashlight and its overall balance. The weight of the flashlight is 2.3 ounces by itself, and with one AA battery installed, the total weight is 3.5 ounces. The flashlight feels light, but handles heavy, so my opinion is that it is near the perfect weight balance and feels amazing in the hand.
The aircraft grade aluminum body has great rugged ridges that create a nice grip. There are also heat cooling fins to keep the unit functioning well. I ran my flashlight for over 30 minutes on high mode with an AA battery and the casing still felt cool to the touch. The strike bezel on the front end has a pretty good crown cutout for tactical striking.
There is a sturdy belt clip fastened to the body by two screws. The belt clip is very rigged and if you put the flashlight in your pocket and use the clip to fasten it to your pocket, the flashlight tail will poke out of your pocket by about 0.5 inch, with the red button tail switch visible.
The light output is 300 Lumens. This is quite a bit of light, especially when you focus the light beam as tight as it will go. The zoom slide works as a free floating front lens bezel where moving the bezel forward tightens the beam and moving it backward (toward the tail switch) widens the beam.
The tail switch is a nice sized red rubberized button that has a nice level of resistance with a very audible click to it. There are 3 modes as stated before. They are high, low, and strobe. It is a simple on/off press operation. Press once and the light comes on, press again and the light goes off. You can cycle through the modes by going through this same process three times in a row.
The battery compartment fits one AA battery or one 14500 battery. Given that a AA battery is 1.5 Volts and a 14500 battery is 3.6 Volts, there is some circuitry involved to handle the different input voltages. We will get into operation length and measurements in the next section.
Many flashlights claim to be water resistant. I took as much of this flashlight apart that I could without destroying it and found a high quality design. For the tail end cap, there is an o-ring seal protecting the battery compartment from water intrusion. On the front lens bezel, there is also another o-ring seal protecting the LED from water. These are great signs for water resistance.
Between user reviews and the manufacturer’s information, it wasn’t clear just how long this flashlight would last on one battery. I personally have AA batteries available at home and do not have a 14500 battery. So I set out to determine the run length of this flashlight on one AA battery.
Flashlights are pretty simple devices. With my multi-meter in hand and some alligator clips, I set up an experiment to measure how much current is pulled in the 3 different modes. That way, I could use these measurements along with the known battery capacities to determine an operating time.
After measuring the current drain on the AA battery in each of the 3 modes, here are the results:
- High mode = 0.37 Amps
- Low mode = 0.12 Amps
- Strobe mode = 0.20 Amps
When it comes to batteries, the math can get a little tricky when you realize that the more current drain the battery experiences, the less overall power it can deliver over the long term. Doing some rough calculations while looking at common battery manufacturer’s data sheets, here are the findings:
- High mode duration – Duracell/Energizer AA = 4 hours
- Low mode duration – Duracell/Energizer AA = 20 hours
- Strobe mode duration – Duracell/Energizer AA = 9.5 hours
These numbers are pretty darn good performance coming from just a single AA battery.
To wrap up the review, the J1 Tactical V1 Pro flashlight excels in many of the areas that we look for in a tactical flashlight. Given its relatively cheap price tag, the quality is multiple times greater than other flashlights in the same price range.
The quality build, low cost, low weight, single AA operation, and 300 Lumen output make this flashlight a top choice for survival, camping, hunting, vehicle bag, and home spare. As discussed over at Trek Warrior, when it comes to survival, this flashlight works great as a primary teamed up with a headlamp and keychain light to give you overall coverage of needs.
About The Author
Tom Sheppard is an engineer by trade and survivalist by hobby. He likes spending a lot of his free time out in the woods in Northeast Texas. Tom does a lot of tinkering with survival gear and loves researching the newest and latest thing on the topic. He often contributes survival articles at Trek Warrior. Follow Trek Warrior on Facebook and Twitter.