A soothing ambiance, the soft crackling of a campfire, and glistering flames making their way to the sleepy clouds. Plus, a blissful night’s rest under the night stars. These are some of the reasons I go camping during my long vacations. They are things I love to experience without much recourse to using a camping flashlight. However, the not-so-fancy activities I dislike about camping, such as repairing guy-lines and doing the dishes at night, make owning a reliable flashlight necessary. And the loads of unexpected moments when flashlights come in handy.
Days when you stay behind to enjoy the sunset and need to return to your campsite in the dark. Evenings when you down too many cans of beer before trudging onto your sleeping bed — staggering about and hitting your toe on a stump is when you realize how important a reliable flashlight is. Not forgetting helping to find your way during emergencies. This is not to overemphasize how important a good flashlight is for camping, but having a reliable one can be a lifesaver when things go south.
Hopefully, at this point, you are wondering what is the best camping flashlight to depend on. You are probably inundated with options in your local store, but if you need dependable products, these are my top picks.
Best camping flashlight for 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons
I conducted dozens of flashlight head-to-head tests. After using some personally during camping, field testing, double-checking products, and reading reviews, these are the 7 best camping flashlights on the market today.
|Image||Brand||Lumens||Beam distance||Rechargeable||Water-proof Level||Details|
|Maglite||168||412 m||No||IPX4||Check price|
|Anker||900||660 ft (200 m)||Yes||IPX5||Check price|
|Geprosma||6000||800 yards(800 meters)||Yes||IPX6||Check price|
|GearLight||High lumen||1000 feet||Yes||IPX5||Check price|
|EdisonBright||1000||656 feet||Yes||IPX-8||Check price|
1. Maglite 3-Cell D Flashlight
My top-rated camping flashlight is the heavy-duty, durable, shock-resistant, and energy-efficient Maglite Flashlight. This highly-rated flashlight is the product of choice for many police and military officers. Thanks to the rugged construction, water-resistant ability, and excellent all-around performance.
This as a head-up, the Maglite Flashlight is among one of the heaviest flashlights that I tested. It weighs 23oz with batteries. So this might be a little less suitable for backpackers and hikers but perfect if you do not plan to carry your flashlight in a daypack all day throughout the adventure. Having said that, this product has excellent customer reviews and is readily available.
The Maglite Flashlight is powered by 3 D-Cell Alkaline batteries and has a superb runtime of approx. 80 hours on one full charge before needing replacement. It beams 168-lumens of light that is surprisingly powerful and super-bright during a field test. With a coverage distance of 412m, this flashlight comes with enough light intensity, perfect for an average camper.
Another excellent feature of note is the durable aluminum body construction complemented by a watertight seal, ergonomic grip, and a non-slip knurl finish. Though this flashlight comes with only one operating mode, it comes with an adjustable beam focus. You only need to rotate the head to switch between floodlight and spot focus.
2. Anker Bolder LC90 Rechargeable Flashlight
This is one of my favorite flashlights — a workhorse. The Anker LC90 is powered by a 6700mAh rechargeable built-in battery. Which recharges fully in 11 hours using a USB cable connected to a 1A adapter power source. The run time at the medium-beam mode is up to 13 hours, making it an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient choice.
Apart from being energy-efficient, this flashlight also comes with many superb functionalities. First, it is a 900-lumen bright light that reaches nearly 660 ft., perfect for campers needing a flashlight with super-bright capabilities. Don’t worry; it also comes with a dimmer for dim lighting needs. With five light modes, you will find an intensity that suits your situation. The Anker LC90 also has an adjustable zoom, providing options for focused spotlight and sweeping illumination settings.
Unlike other flashlights I tested, the Anker LC90 is proudly labeled as IPX-5 water-resistant. This means the flashlight can withstand a consistent low-pressure water spray. In camping terms, it simply means I can use this flashlight under wet and rainy conditions without worries. It also comes with an anodized aluminum body that is corrosion and water-resistant. With this flashlight, you are guaranteed long-term use of enjoyment with little or no issues.
3. BINWO Store LED Tactical Flashlight
At $16.99, the BINWO LED Tactical Flashlight is my best value flashlight. It is an Amazon Choice product that sells two flashlights at the price of one. This product is the smallest in this review but exceptionally durable. I feel comfortable with them during camping as it beams 2000 lumens of light and covers up to 656ft/200m of wilderness.
This product is designed with comfort in mind. It allows seamless switching between 5 light modes and adjusting or zooming the flashlight focus range.
The BINWO LED Tactical Flashlight is constructed from high-quality aluminum alloy materials, making them super durable and long-lasting. In addition, they are slip-resistant, water-resistant which are important characteristics to consider in the best camping flashlight.
Although the smallest on this list, the size is a plus. You can carry them in your hand or pocket without becoming weary. With its easy one-handed operation, this flashlight is what you need if you are on the lookout for a small, powerful, but discreet traveling companion.
4. Super Bright Handheld Led Spotlight Flashlight — Best rechargeable
Rated 6000 light lumens and a beaming distance of up to 800 yards, this flashlight is one of the best camping flashlights for all adventures. It is versatile, comes with lantern mode that illuminates an entire tent in an instant.
This flashlight is super-bright, thanks to its powerful CREE XHP-70.2 LED lights. Worried that there is too much brightness for one tent don’t be! I find the dim mode far more relaxing. It also saves the flashlight juice for longer hours of use.
The Super Bright Handheld Led Spotlight Flashlight comes with four rechargeable batteries. As such, you will enjoy long hours of use up to 30 hours for low light and 10 hours when running at high light settings.
In addition, this camping flashlight comes with a USB port and can double as a power bank to charge your phone in the wilderness. It also comes with an overcharge and a discharge prevention feature when plugged into a power main.
Another superb feature is that it is completely waterproof. It can also be mounted on a stand and adapted for various uses. One drawback during testing is the weight. At 1.20 lbs, it is one of the heaviest on this list, although easy to grip. I also find it easy to hang and carry everywhere, making it portable. In all, this camping flashlight is a great choice.
5. GearLight S1000 LED Tactical Flashlight — Best shock resistant
This is another outstanding flashlight that offers excellent value for money. Like the BINWO Store LED Tactical Flashlight, you will also get two flashlights for the price of one. It is a budget-friendly option that ensures you do not have to part with a premium price before enjoying the superb performance. Furthermore, this flashlight is shock-resistant, water-resistant, highly durable, and has powerful light intensity.
The GearLight S1000 LED Tactical Flashlight is crafted from military-grade aluminum materials giving it unrivaled durability and strength. Although sturdy, it has a streamlined body that makes it comfortable to slide in and out of your pocket. It also comes with an impressive feature list that includes 5 light modes and an adaptable wide-to-narrow beam zoom mode.
This camping flashlight can focus on an object about 1000 feet away and will survive when temporarily immersed in water. It will also remain unscathed when dropped from 10 feet – this flashlight is almost indestructible.
According to GearLight Store, this flashlight can still function even if it is run over by a truck – although I will advise not to try this experiment at home.
6. Fenix PD35 LED Tactical Flashlight — Best tactical design
This camping flashlight is similar to the Anker Bolder LC90 Rechargeable Flashlight in many ways. However, they vary slightly. The Fenix PD35 LED Tactical Flashlight comes with two EdisonBright CR123A batteries and can be powered by one Li-ion rechargeable battery.
I love the tactical design of this flashlight, with the power-on button fitted on its tail for instant activation. It is rated 1000 lumens (100 lumens more than the Anker Bolder), and LED lights have a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
The Fenix PD35 LED Tactical Flashlight is designed with comfort in mind. It fits perfectly in the backpack, hand, or pocket. Crated from aircraft-grade aluminum, you will be using this light for years. Nonetheless, this camping flashlight is also lightweight at 89-gram of weight. As such, it is portable and can be transported anywhere with no noticeable addition to your gear weight.
In addition, it comes with a low battery indicator to notify you when the batteries are red. This is an important feature you won’t find in many flashlights. With this power indicator, you can quickly plan for recharging or replacement batteries without being caught off-guard.
7. ThruNite LED Flashlight – Best for strobe light
The ThruNite LED Flashlight is a unique product different from others on this list. It features a very dim “firefly” mode that beams 0.2 lumens of light. No other camping flashlight on this list can rival such a level of dimness. This is an important feature for pitch-black night times, helping you with your chores without making you uncomfortable. After your eyes have adjusted to the eerie dark, you wouldn’t want to be temporarily blinded by high light intensity.
In addition, the “firefly” mode can also help you settle into a tent without bothering your tent mates, and help you read a map without causing your eyes pain. Another vital feature it comes with is the strobe light. The ThruNite LED Flashlight can beam a throbbing 500 lumens light intensity. A lifesaver during an emergency when you need to beckon for help.
Aside from these excellent features, this flashlight will last for years. It comes with intuitive and simple control, having just two buttons. Go for this flashlight if you anticipate many map reading in your tent or chores at night.
Best camping flashlight: Buying Guide
When choosing the best camping flashlight — or light source — for your next adventure, you need to consider factors such as brightness, run time, type of batteries required, size, weight, etc. These factors are briefly discussed below:
The first consideration is the brightness level. How bright is the camping flashlight you are interested in? How many lumens does the flashlight emit in low mode? ThruNite LED Flashlight has a very dim “firefly” mode that beams 0.2 lumens of light. The lower the lumen in low mode, the better. One big flaw I observed in many flashlights that I tested was a dim setting that was not dim enough. These flashlights irritated my eyes while in use at night.
The next thing to consider is the brightness level in relation to the activities you will be using it for. Although you will find many flashlights product pages listing maximum lumen outputs, in my testing, these high levels of brightness were unused most of the time — they are way too bright for basic needs.
Although, a high level of brightness will come in handy for signaling during emergencies. Consider where you will be using your flashlight and if there is a need for super-bright light for this purpose.
Another important consideration is the run time. You will find this information on the flashlight product page (be aware, though some are incorrect). As such, try to ascertain the run time for the mode you are likely to use more often and confirm if it is suitable for your purpose.
If you will be using the light for a few minutes or seconds, you can opt for a short run-time flashlight. But for longer uses, go for flashlights with a long run time. For example, the Maglite Flashlight runs 80 hours on one charge before needing replacement. One factor that determines run time is the level of brightness. The brighter the flashlight, the shorter the usage hours. One advantage of a camping flashlight with a low dim mode is a higher run time.
Number and types of Batteries Required
I am no battery expert and do not know much about the intricacies of when to choose a 1-AAA flashlight over a 1-AA flashlight. But I have a sound understanding of pack weight, and my advice here is to consider the weight of the spare batteries you will take along with you.
This also means flash mode that repeatedly blinks during an emergency. It is not absolutely necessary to go for a flashlight having a strobe light. But if you might end up in an emergency situation, consider going for ThruNite LED Flashlight or BINWO Store LED Tactical Flashlight with this feature. This will help you signal for help when things go awry.
When the search goes down to two products, with one having a white strobe light and the other a red strobe light. I recommend going for the flashlight with the white strobe light. I discovered that all flashlights with white strobe lights were brighter during testing.
Size and Weight
This is a friendly reminder to ascertain the size and weight of your preferred flashlight. Of course, if you are camping in your car, there is no need to worry about weights. But campers moving around with backpacks, the lighter the gear, the easier the adventure. BINWO Store LED Tactical Flashlight weighs just 185g. It is portable and will fit well into your pocket or hand.
Red Light Mode
A red light will not shrink your pupil as white light will. So, if you plan to do map readings in your tent, I recommend going for a flashlight having a red light mode. Plus, it will not distract your tent mate from his activity. A red light is not a necessity, though. A flashlight having a dim low mode will also work fine, even if it beams white light.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many lumens of light do I need for a camping flashlight?
In general, a flashlight should beam a minimum of 100 lumens. Having said that, the best camping flashlight should produce 160 and 200 lumens. This is enough light intensity for navigating dark nights and bright enough to scare off animals, humans, and animals. If you’re camping with kids, this will be enough to make them feel safe in the dark.
Q: How many light lumens can blind a person?
80 lumens is high enough to trigger temporary flash blindness in pitch-dark conditions, and about 200 lumens can temporarily blind you during daylight. However, visible light cannot cause permanent blindness, no matter the lumen.
Q: What light lumen can trigger a fire?
Given that other conditions are right, it will take about 2300 lumens and more to get an LED light hot enough to trigger a fire. Note, a lumen is not a measure of heat intensity.
There are many gears vital for exploring the outdoor world, and one very important one is the camping flashlight. However, before making a buying decision, consider the buying guide above, and settle for the best camping flashlight that suits your needs.
The products in this review are currently the top products on the market today. Whether it is something lightweight, super-bright, or low dim for reading in your tent, you will find one that fits perfectly.