The World's Best Torches

Forget those dim plastic pretenders — your torch needs to shout “man from special ops”. 

1. Ansmann Agent 4

As used by the police, this waterproof digital LED torch has been optimised for the great outdoors. Super-robust and with a 700m beam, the “Agent” series was created for “hard-working special agents’ daily work”. But it’s just as good for taking out the bins.(£54

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2. Surefire T1A Titan

It fits in the palm of your hand and packs a hefty 100 lumens of light; that’s a lot for something 83mm long. Waterproof and made of near-diamond-strength aerospace aluminium, it’s ideal for hiking and camping. (£225

3. 5.11 Atac A1

From a US company who proudly supply “law enforcement, military and firefighting professionals” with holsters, duty knives and something called “Stryke Pants”. This has three light modes (high,low and strobe), all silently toggle-able. (£45

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4. Ansmann Future 3D Plus

Particularly effective in low light, this beast has an adjustable focus, 40 hours of battery life and an 800m beam. And if that can’t stun a burglar, braining them with the heavy end is always a possibility. (£24

5. LED Lenser Aviator Torch

A favourite with pilots, this torch’s USP is its high-intensity red light chip, for night vision. LED Lenser are the German-engineered dons of flashlights: their patented reflector system “pumps up” light, giving a broader, richer and fuller beam. (£39

6. LED Lenser P7

With its searchlight-like beam, this is perhaps the best torch of its size for under £100. You can go from flood to spot beam in a twist. Plus you get 130 hours of power from a device that weighs under 200g, and fits in your pocket. Small, but powerful with it. (£60

Photograph by Dan Mcalister