Whether it’s for pitching up your tent in the dark, finding your way back to the campsite after a long day on the trail, spotting nocturnal animals, or for simply avoiding guy ropes when you pop out for a wee at night, a flashlight is an essential bit of kit for any camping trip.
However, not all flashlights were created equal, and some of them carry pretty hefty price tags. To help you separate the good from the bad, we’ve searched high and low to bring you this list of the best flashlights for camping. We’ve also weighed up the pros and cons of each and given you some pointers on what to look out for when making that all-important decision.
At A Glance:
Whether it’s portability, affordability, or durability you’re after (or all three!), there’s a flashlight out there with your name on it!
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Best For Brightness
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Best For Backpacking
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Kicking off our list of the best camping flashlights around is the Anker Bolder LC130. This sturdy little flashlight offers a fantastic amount of power at a surprisingly reasonable price.
Emitting 1300 lumens of light, and with a beam reaching as far as 250m away, you’ll be able to navigate your way around the campsite no problem with this flashlight in your hand. This does mean the run time on full beam isn’t as long as some of the other flashlights on the market, but the good news is that you don’t have to keep spending money on new batteries because this torch runs off rechargeable ones too. Plus, if you really want to save some juice, you can always switch to a dimmer mode.
Make sure you pack a screwkit though because you’ll need one to change the batteries… although this is a tad annoying, this secure casing means that no water can enter the flashlight, and it can be submerged in a meter of water for half an hour before anything goes wrong – so it can definitely handle some rainy camping trips!
We also like that the flashlight can be placed on its tail end if you need to illuminate an area while your hands are busy (like when you’re brushing your teeth). It also features SOS and morse code modes, making it a great flashlight to have with you in an outdoor emergency.
The beam itself can’t be focused, which limits this torch slightly for tactical purposes, and it’s also a little heavier than we expected. Overall, however, it’s a fantastic little light that packs a powerful punch yet doesn’t break the bank.
The BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Searchlight is a cheerful, easy-to-use flashlight that will brighten up any campsite.
The ergonomic handle is a dream to hold and we love that it comes with a shoulder strap too so you can always have your trusty light by your side. Despite its large dimensions, it’s also surprisingly light weight, yet it maintains its durability thanks to the impact-resistant materials used. On top of that, it also features a rubber plug and can withstand even the heaviest of rainfall.
But now for the real selling point… this friendly-looking light emits a whopping 6000 lumens and it can do so for an incredible run time of 20 hours (or longer if you switch to the second, dimmer setting). Plus, the beam has a great reach of 800m so you can spot any nocturnal animals or light up the path in front to avoid trips and slips.
By using the rechargeable battery you can avoid constantly buying environmentally harmful disposable batteries (although they can be used as a back-up when you need them). Another cool feature is that you can use this flashlight to charge your phone (or other gadgets) in case there’s a power outage on your campsite or you need to make an emergency call.
Our major concern with this flashlight is that a small portion of the flashlights produced feature a soldering issue. The producer is more than willing to replace these with functioning flashlights, but it would be a pain to order a flashlight just in time for a camping trip and then find out you have a dodgy one… so make sure you purchase well in advance!
Overall, this is one intuitive, affordable, and super bright flashlight that makes a great companion for your outdoor adventures!
Ever been left in the dark because you forgot to charge your flashlight? Well, no more, thanks to the Goal Zero Flashlight.
This nifty little light features a rechargeable battery, solar panel, AND a hand crank to make sure there’s always some light close at hand (no matter how forgetful you are!). Plus, it doubles up as a powerbank, so you can leave it out in the daytime to power up off the sun and charge up your phone by night, perfect. Just make sure it doesn’t get caught in a shower while charging off solar, as this flashlight is NOT waterproof.
The main drawback of this flashlight, aside from its slightly high price tag, is its brightness. Emitting just 250 lumens of light, this is the dimmest flashlight on our list. However, it does feature multiple output modes, can run from 7-48 hrs (depending on the setting), and is good for the environment too. So, unless you’re after the brightest of the bright, then we think it’s a decent trade-off.
Light weight and compact, this flashlight/power bank combo is a great option for any backpackers heading for off-grid adventures.
The Streamlight 88052 ProTac offers a fantastic blend of power and portability.
On high mode, this flashlight emits 1000 lumens of light, but you can switch it to low if you want to save some juice – it can keep going for 23 hours on the lowest setting. There’s also a strobe mode in case you get into trouble in the wilderness and need to attract attention. Powered by USB, this is one eco-friendly option, but you can take disposable batteries with you as a back-up just in case. Plus, we love that it has a battery level indicator so you know when it’s fully charged.
This flashlight is one of the lightest on our list, and it has pretty small dimensions too, making it a great choice for backpacking adventures or to throw in your bag for ‘just in case’. We also love that it comes with a removable pocket clip and nylon holster to keep it handy.
It doesn’t have the highest waterproof rating we’ve seen, but it can certainly withstand some splashes – just make sure it doesn’t get left outside on any soggy nights. It’s also more expensive than some of the options we’ve looked at but, if you’re after a high-quality ultra-portable flashlight perfect for camping events, then this is the one.
The MagLite ML300LX is a great all-round camping flashlight that has taken the marketplace by storm.
One of its best features has to be its eco mode, which allows an incredible run time of more than 5 days! On top of that, it has momentary, high, low, and strobe outputs that are super easy to switch between (just click the button at the end).
The beam itself, at 625 lumens on the highest mode, is by no means the highest we’ve seen. Although this might make it less useful for tactical purposes or extreme camping conditions, for your average campsite missions, this is still plenty of light. Plus, we love that a simple twist of the handle focuses the beam – so you can choose between a spotlight or flood light or anything in between!
One thing we don’t like is that it runs off disposable batteries (which aren’t included) although you can still make the personal choice to invest in old-school rechargeable batteries. constructed of durable anodized aluminum seals and resistant to water too, this is one flashlight that won’t let you down (although we’d expect that at this price).
Dependable, durable, and with tonnes of easily-adjustable settings, this flashlight has worked its way into our hearts. Oh – and did we mention that it comes in pastel oink as well as the usual black?
The Super Bright Handheld Flashlight is another larger, handheld flashlight that we’ve come to know and love.
Its powerful 6000-lumen beam stretches as far as 800m away, which, combined with its floodlight feature, make this a great flashlight to light up the way through the darkness – no more tripping over guy lines, yay. Even on the highest setting, this powerful light can run for up to 10 hours, but if you want to save juice there are dimer settings too… there are even red, blue, and strobe settings in case you fancy partying down in your tents one evening (or signaling during an emergency we guess…).
It might be a tad bulky, but the weight isn’t too bad and at least it doubles up as powerbank so you save some space by not packing one of those (and is powered by rechargeable batteries) and features mechanisms to protect against power surges. It comes with an included shoulder strap and is tripod mountable too giving you plenty of options for set-up. It’s also fairly water-resistant so you don’t need to worry about any showers and it comes with a very reasonable price tag, winning.
We just can’t get enough of the Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC flashlight thanks to its perfect blend of durability, portability, and functionality.
Pocket-sized and with a weight of just over 3 ounces (minus the batteries), you really can pop this in your bag and barely know it’s there. Despite its minuscule size, this flashlight emits up to 1000 lumens of light and the beam reaches as far as 200m ahead (although it can’t be focused), but don’t worry if this is too bright for you – there are four dimmer settings (plus a strobe) so you don’t have to dazzle yourself.
The lower settings also allow you to conserve battery (sadly disposable and not included), and the lowest has an impressive run time of 140 hours – that’s almost 6 days! On top of that, it has the best waterproof rating of all the flashlights on our list and can withstand submersion in 2m of water for half an hour – so you definitely don’t need to worry about rain damage – as well as being constructed from ultra-durable aluminum and toughened glass.
We were pleasantly surprised
If you’re on a budget but looking for a compact and affordable light to take with you for camping emergencies, then the Maglite Mini PRO is a great shout.
Constructed of durable anodized aluminum and pocket-sized, you can leave this flashlight knocking around for times of need. Despite its no-frills approach, the beam can be switched from spotlight to flashlight in just a simple twist of the head and there are two brightness settings. Plus, it even comes with a holster so that you’ll never be left in the dark.
It may be lacking fancier features, such as numerous light settings, multiple charging options (it runs off old-fashioned disposable batteries, and there’s a pair included), and an ultra-bright output, but it gets the job done, fits in the smallest of packs, and won’t break the bank either.
So, there you have it, our list of the best camping flashlights. Still struggling to decide? Here are some things to bear in mind:
In case you were wondering, lumens are how we measure brightness – the more lumens, the brighter the light. If you just want a flashlight for scrambling around in your tent at night, then you don’t need to spend loads on the brightest light going – a low-lumen, an affordable option will do just fine.
Alternatively, if you’ll be using your flashlight for nature spotting at night, then it’s worth investing in something brighter.
In terms of the beam, if your flashlight is mainly for interior use, then you’ll want one that has a floodlight setting to spread out the light, rather than a single focused beam. Alternatively, if you want a flashlight to find your way home at night, you’ll want it to reach further ahead.
How important this is will depend on the type of trip you’re planning. For backpacking trips, you’ll want something as light and compact as possible, but be aware that this may come at the cost of some extra features (and it can crank up the price too).
Alternatively, if you’re planning some vehicle-based camping, a lighter more compact flashlight will be handy for out on the trail but, for hanging around camp, a heavier, bulkier option will be just fine and might save you some dollars.
Ideally, you want more than one power source so that you’re never caught out in the dark Rechargeable batteries are great for your wallet and the environment, but it’s always a good idea to take a few disposables with you too as back-ups. Similarly, solar and hand-crank options aren’t always practical options for days of camping, but they’re a great power source for emergencies.
But which flashlights have made their way to the top spots? Let’s take a look.
Our best flashlight for brightness has to be the Super Bright Handheld Flashlight (the clue is in the name really).
With 6000 lumens of light behind a beam that can stretch 800m away, nothing will trip you up in the darkness.
On top of that, it features heaps of output, including some jazzy colors and a strobe, is waterproof, and even comes with a handy shoulder strap… what a bargain!
Our top flashlight for backpacking camping adventures has to be the Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC. Not only is it pocket-sized to save you precious space in your pack, but it’s ultra-lightweight too.
It can handle a few bumps and scrapes too thanks to its durable construction, and we love that it’s ultra-waterproof so no worries if the weather catches you out. It also has great battery life, which is perfect if you’ll be going off-grid on your travels – what a winner.
Finally, our number one camping flashlight is the Anker Bolder LC130.
It’s powerful, has heaps of output modes, and can even balance on its tail-end when your hands are busy.
On top of that, it’s highly waterproof, runs off rechargeable batteries, and won’t break the bank either – what more could you ask for?