A good flashlight probably seems like a given when it comes to camping essentials, but you’d be surprised how often they get overlooked. Besides, that old green flashlight in the back of your truck from ten years ago will do just fine, right?
Maybe, but a reliable light source is the only thing between you and total darkness — after all, there aren’t any street lights or lamps in the woods. There are hundreds of flashlights to choose from if you go to an outdoor equipment store and even more if you look online. We’ve done the research for you and picked the best camping flashlights on the market.
Our Top Picks: Best Flashlight for Camping
If you’re in a rush, here’s the bottom line:
- Best Overall: Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC90. With 900 lumens and a beam range of 1000 feet, this compact, durable, water-resistant, rechargeable flashlight is everything you want at a price you won’t believe.
- Best Eco-Friendly: ThruNite Archer 2A V3. If the planet is on your mind, check out this long-lasting flashlight that offers a max run time of 28 days and a durable aluminum construction built to last.
- Best Budget: BINWO LED Tactical Flashlight. This two-for-the-price-of-one deal comes with a respectable 300 lumens in a durable, water-resistant chassis.
- Best Budget Runner-Up: GearLight LED Tactical S1000 Flashlight. We’re just as surprised as you are that there’s a runner up in the budget category, but for just $1 more, you can upgrade your two-pack to 1000 lumens with a 1000-foot beam range.
- Best Tactical: J5 Tactical V1-Pro. The J5 Tactical V1-Pro wins our best tactical flashlight award with its rugged design, durable materials, and field-ready features.
- Best Versatile: Goal Zero Torch 250. This flashlight doubles as an ambient light lantern and USB charging hub. Power it with batteries, a USB charger, solar power, or a manual hand crank.
- Best Compact: Maglite Mini Pro LED. This small flashlight exchanged excessive fancy features for a slim, compact size that you can bring with you anywhere.
1. Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC90
The best flashlight for camping overall
Manufacturer: Anker | Lumens: 900 | Beam: 1000 Feet | Modes: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS | Price: 💰💰
This small, hand-held flashlight is nothing short of a powerhouse, with a reliable 900-lumen output and a beam reaching up to 1,000 feet away. Five different beam modes let you cater your light source to your needs, be it higher power for distance viewing, or an SOS mode that blinks out for help in Morse code.
Where other flashlights need to have their batteries replaced seemingly after every camping trip, the Anker Bolder LC90 comes equipped with a rechargeable 3350mAh battery. Unscrew the back end and plug in the flashlight to a micro USB charger. On Medium mode, you can expect an average of 6 consecutive hours of light before needing to recharge, and charging takes a mere 6 hours to reach full capacity. The compact chassis is lightweight and easy to carry. Anker uses durable, water-resistant materials rated to IP65 for use in extreme weather conditions.
- All-metal enclosure is durable and water-resistant
- LED camping flashlight offers thousands of hours of life
- Whopping 900 lumens offer bright, white light with magnification to reach up to 1,000 feet away
- On/off button cycles through different modes before actually turning on/off
- You have to unscrew the handle to access the charging port (to maintain the high water-resistance rating)
2. ThruNite Archer 2A V3
The best long-lasting camping flashlight for the eco-conscience
Manufacturer: ThruNite | Lumens: 500 | Beam: 355 Feet | Modes: High, Medium, Low, Firefly, Strobe | Price: 💰💰
Flashlights aren’t exactly known for their detrimental carbon footprints, but they do run through a lot of batteries and usually end up in landfills once they die out. So if you’re worried about adding flashlights to your environmental legacy, look no further than the ThruNite Archer 2A V3. This slim and sleek flashlight runs on only two AA batteries with a max run time of 28 days, blowing every other flashlight we’ve seen out of the water. Plus, the lightweight aluminum chassis is aircraft-grade to last a lifetime, so you won’t have to worry about constant replacements.
In addition to these eco-friendly features, the Archer 2A V3 comes with an integrated clip, is waterproof when immersed up to 1.5 meters, and a dual-switch activation prevents accidental turning on in your pocket or bag.
- High-quality build, performance, and features at a reasonable price
- Sleek design is comfortable to hold and fits comfortably in a pocket
- Its 500 lumens are more than enough to illuminate anything you could possibly need
- A few reviewers disliked the dual-switch activation
- Some reviewers found the placement of the built-in clip awkward
3. BINWO LED Tactical Flashlight
The best flashlight for camping on a budget
Manufacturer: BINWO | Lumens: 300 | Beam: 656 Feet | Modes: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS | Price: 💰
Pretty much every flashlight on our list is reasonably priced, but the BINWO LED Tactical Flashlight gives you two for the price of one. Though the 300-lumen output isn’t as high as some others, it’s still plenty to get the job done and can reliably illuminate over 650 feet away. A simple sliding mechanism lets you zoom up to 2000x, so you can transition smoothly from a wide floodlight to a focused pinpoint with ease. These flashlights also save you money on batteries, as both only require a single 18650 battery to operate at full power (or you can use three AAA batteries).
Choose from five different light modes to suit your needs — and with the memory function, the flashlight will turn back on to the same mode it was on when you last used it. The durable aluminum chassis is incredibly lightweight and water-resistant enough to handle some rain and accidental spills.
- Durable and long-lasting for an unbeatable price
- Its 300 lumens are more than enough for startlingly bright light
- Compact size is perfect for one-handed use, and the sliding magnification can be operated with the thumb and forefinger
- Batteries not included
- Not ideal for backpackers, due to lack of waterproofing
4. GearLight LED Tactical S1000 Flashlight
The best flashlight for camping on a budget runner-up
Manufacturer: GearLight | Lumens: 1000 | Beam: 1000 Feet | Modes: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS | Price: 💰
Camping flashlight reviews rarely feature more than one budget pick, but we had to make an exception this time. Just like the BINWO LED Tactical Flashlight, the GearLight S1000 comes in a two-pack. Along with all the great features of the BINWO, GearLight can put out a maximum of 1000 lumens (depending on your battery choices) and can throw light up to 1000 feet away, all for only $1 more.
This set also comes with two canvas holsters (one for each flashlight), as well as two lanyards, two battery converters so you can choose between AAA batteries or rechargeable ones, and two battery holders for protecting backup power sources.
- Comes with great accessories
- Water- and shock-resistant aluminum chassis for long lasting durability
- Crazy-high lumen output is one of the brightest flashlights available, at an unbeatable price
- Gets hot after several minutes of use
- Many users noted that the flashlights can more accurately only put out 1000 lumens with a fully-charged 18650 battery.
5. J5 Tactical V1-Pro
The best tactical flashlight for camping
Manufacturer: J5 | Lumens: 300 | Beam: 600 Feet | Modes: High, Low, Strobe | Price: 💰💰
With a respectable 300 lumens and beam reach of up to 600 feet, what makes the J5 Tactical V1-Pro stand out is how genuinely indestructible it is. The aluminum-alloy construction is built to survive 9-foot drops with ease, and is both temperature- and water-resistant for use in all kinds of weather. Many reviewers have put this to the test, freezing their flashlights and even running them over with a car! The rugged design includes an attack head, integrated belt clip, and cooling fins to prevent overheating. Choose from a single AA battery or a rechargeable 14500 battery for power.
- Incredibly bright for just 300 lumens, all on a single AA battery
- Compact design is easy to hold or store in your pocket without sacrificing durability
- Black, blue/green camo, and tan forest camo color options to suit your preference and intended use
- A little pricier than some of the other options on our list
- Strobe setting is in-between the high and low beams, which can disrupt night vision
6. Goal Zero Torch 250
The most versatile camping flashlight
Manufacturer: Goal Zero | Lumens: 250 | Beam: 300 Feet | Modes: Bright, Half-Bright | Price: 💰💰💰
What’s better than a high-powered, long-lasting camping flashlight? A camping flashlight that doubles as an ambient light lantern and can recharge itself and your USB-compatible devices with a USB charger, solar power, or a manual hand crank. The long-lasting lithium 3300mAh battery can run for up to 48 hours on low power, and 7 full hours at maximum output capacity (including charging another device).
All these extra capabilities don’t sacrifice on the flashlight part, though. A solid 250 lumens and a beam reach of up to 300 feet is nothing to sneeze at. Choose from bright and half-bright modes for both the ambient light lantern and flashlight, so you can light up your tent or an entire room as needed.
- Water-resistant, durable chassis built to handle wherever you go
- Triangular shape stays securely where you put it and can’t tip over
- Can be used to charge your phone or tablet via solar power and/or a manual hand crank for reliable power no matter where you are
- The manual charging is helpful but requires cranking consistently and pretty quickly, which gets tiring
- The USB recharger cable integrates into the device, so if that cable wears out, the USB recharging function no longer works
7. Maglite Mini Pro LED
The best compact flashlight for camping
Manufacturer: Maglite | Lumens: 332 | Beam: 565 Feet | Modes: N/A | Price: 💰💰
If you’re looking for something small and nondescript, consider the Maglite Mini Pro. At just 6.5 inches long and an inch in diameter, this skinny flashlight still packs a punch with 332 lumens and a 565-foot beam. The simple twist mechanism lets you focus the light from a broader beam to a targeted point. A small, integrated threading hole allows you to attach the flashlight to a carabiner, keyring, lanyard, or other carrying apparatus. As a bonus, the batteries are (for once) included, and there are three color options to choose from.
- Water- and impact-resistant
- High lumen output for such a small chassis
- Not as fancy as some other options, but long-lasting and reliable
- Only one brightness setting (on and off)
- The screw threads for the tail cap (what you unscrew to change the battery) are plastic, and some users had issues with these eventually wearing out.
What to Look for in the Best Flashlight for Camping
You’ve got your choices laid out before you, but what actually makes for a good camping flashlight? Here are a few points to keep in mind as you decide:
Brightness. The sole purpose of any flashlight is to provide you some light, and it’s no use to you if it doesn’t actually light the way. In technical terms, the unit of measurement is lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the light. On average, you probably want somewhere around 150 to 300 to get the job done, though more is always appreciated.
Beam Distance. Some flashlights can throw light thousands of feet in the distance so that you can see anything and everything in front of you. These are great for night hikers and those liable to exploring the wilderness in the dark. Low-beam flashlights are better for functional lighting, like when you need to do the dishes after dinner or can’t find your socks before bed.
Light Modes. Nowadays, most flashlights will offer more than just full brightness. They’ll have a few different output settings, so you can gently light up your tent or the page of your book without blinding yourself and everyone around you.
Run Time. Brightness is important, but if your flashlight only runs for an hour at a time between charges (or battery changes), then it’s not actually all that functional.
Durability. Camping is a rough-and-tumble outdoor activity, so you need a flashlight that can stand up to the environment. Water-resistant, impact-resistant, scratch-resistant… you get the idea.
Size. While smaller flashlights are great for pocketing and carrying on you, larger ones may help with ambient light for your tent or for illuminating longer distances. Weight is also an important consideration, especially if you’re a backpacker where every ounce matters.
Power Source. Most flashlights are battery powered, but some are rechargeable with a power cord (or even a hand crank).
For this guide on flashlights for camping, our team spent # hours researching the most popular options from over # brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about # user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each flashlight. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 camping flashlights on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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