Best Camping Flashlights

We know what it’s like to be hiking on a trail when it’s starting to get dusk. We’ve laid on the best camping hammocks, reading a good book, while it grows dark, and we’ve walked the dogs in pitch-black darkness, but a good and dependable flashlight is essential for camping. In our review, we discuss what features to look for as well as our top picks for best camping flashlight.

What to Look for in a Camping Flashlight

When you’re searching for the best camping flashlight, you want one that’s bright so it lights up the surrounding area. You also want that light to shine a long distance so you don’t suddenly come upon any wild animals. If you plan to camp in the deep woods or in a campground on an unpowered site, you should also look for a camping flashlight that has a long battery life so that it works when you need it the most. 

If your camping trip involves hiking, fishing, or hunting then you also have to look for a flashlight that’s lightweight, yet durable. 

Do You Need a Flashlight for Camping

If you’ve been camping in a state park, national forest, or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, you’re familiar with the following scenario.

It’s night time, the campfire is out, and you’re settling into sleep. That’s when you, your child, or your dog decides it’s bathroom time. You poke your head out and take in the surrounding darkness with no street lights around. That’s when you realize the light from your smartphone isn’t going to do the job. You need something that’s going to light up the night.

Preview Best Overall Premium Pick Best Value
Product Name GearLight High-Powered LED Flashlight S2000 LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Wsky LED Tactical Flashlight
Specifications
  • Price: $17.99 on Amazon
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Material: High-strength aluminum
  • Price: $37.99
  • Weight: 29.98 ounces
  • Material: Plastic
  • Price: $9.99
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Material: Military aluminum
Pros
  • Powerful bright light
  • Sturdy construction
  • Able to withstand 10-foot drops
  • Solid, weighty feel
  • Adjustable beams
  • Two-year warranty
  • Two brightness levels – 1000 lumens and 400 lumens
  • Waterproof rating of IP44, which means it’s protected from water splashing in all directions
  • Optional strap available for hands-free usage or for hanging from branches and hooks
  • Can use AAA batteries or 18650 rechargeable battery
  • Small enough to carry in your pocket
  • Anti-roll body
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Difficulty switching between modes
  • May be too bulky for some users
  • Requires a special USB cord for charging.
  • It takes 5-6 hours to charge fully.
  • The push button has been known to fail on some products
  • Plastic lens can easily get scratched
  • Doesn’t illuminate as far as other brands
Price $17.99 at Amazon $37.99 at Amazon $9.99 at Amazon
See more See the GearLight High-Powered LED Flashlight S2000 See the LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern See the Wsky LED Tactical Flashlight

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  • Battery Powered
  • Solar Powered

LED

Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 9/10
  • Brightness: 9/10
  • Durability: 8/10
  • Quality of material: 8/10
  • Battery life: 9/10

Bottom Line

The Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight lights up areas up to 1330 feet away and can change its focus from flood to spot with a slight turn of the head. It’s water-resistant and drop resistant from heights of 1m. It has three settings: Full Power, Low Power, and Eco Mode. It’s easy to change between modes with its “Quick-Click” system.

It has weather-resistant seals and is anodized both inside and outside to resist battery corrosion. Mag Instruments also uses Intelligent Energy Source Management to balance the light’s brightness and efficient battery power. It has a lanyard so you can hang it from a hook for when you need hands-free lighting.

An Eco Mode runtime of 117 hours means that it will last through-out your camping trip without dying. It’s also durable so that it will be around for several wilderness adventures. In fact, it’s tough enough to last through a lifetime of camping trips.

Specs

  • Price: $23.49
  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum alloy

product_pros

Pros Cons
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Works well in freezing temperatures
  • Built in the USA
  • The power button rubber covering may quickly come off
  • Doesn’t have a strobe setting for emergency situations
  • The sensitive button means switching between modes can be quirky sometimes.

Battery Powered

Streamlight 66323 MicroStream "AAA" Battery Powered LED Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 9/10
  • Brightness: 8/10
  • Durability: 8/10
  • Quality of material: 8/10
  • Battery life: 9/10

Bottom Line

The Streamlight 66323 MicroStream LED Flashlight is a compact, lightweight flashlight that you can slip in your pocket, so it’s always available when you need it. Even though it’s small, it puts out a bright light so you can easily find your way around in the dark.

The unbreakable, scratch-resistant lens means you won’t see any diminishing of brightness when you need it the most. The push button in the tail makes it easy to turn on and off.

This flashlight is small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and light enough so that your arm doesn’t tire out from carrying it on long hikes. It also has a detachable clip so you can attach it to your hat visor for hands-free use.

The MicroStream LED Flashlight from Streamlight is small enough that you can keep a couple in your tent and in your backpack, so you always have one when you need it.

Specs

  • Price: $21.99
  • Weight: 1.12 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum

product_pros

Pros Cons
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Unbreakable, scratch-resistant lens
  • In addition to a detachable clip, it also has a high-strength lanyard
  • The push button tail switch may be hard to press for some
  • Beam isn’t adjustable
  • Doesn’t have an SOS/Emergency flash

Solar Powered

ThorFire Solar Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 8/10
  • Brightness: 6/10
  • Durability: 9/10
  • Quality of material: 7/10
  • Battery life: 5/10

Bottom Line

The ThorFire Solar Flashlight is excellent for backpack camping or boondocking in your camper. It requires no batteries. One minute of cranking will give you light for an hour. It’s IPX6 waterproof and can be submerged in water up to 45 feet.

It has three different light modes: Low, High, and SOS Flash. It has a small, built-in solar panel. One hour of recharging in direct sunlight will allow for two hours of runtime in low mode or 140 minutes of flashing light.

Since it requires no batteries or electrical power, it’s also environmentally friendly for campers who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Even though the LED light isn’t as bright as battery-powered LED flashlights, it still does a decent job of lighting your surroundings.

Specs

  • Price: $17.60
  • Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Material: Plastic

product_pros

Pros Cons
  • Never have to worry about dead batteries
  • One year hassle-free after-sale service
  • Crank turns both ways, making it perfect for both right-handed and left-handed people
  • Too big to carry in your pocket
  • The crank handle has come off on some flashlights
  • Has no hands-free option

Editor’s Choice

GearLight High-Powered LED Flashlight S2000

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 5/10
  • Brightness: 10/10
  • Durability: 9/10
  • Quality of material: 9/10
  • Battery life: 3/10

Bottom Line

We choose the GearLight High-Powered LED Flashlight S2000 as our top choice for the best camping flashlights. With 1200 real lumens, it’s one of the brightest flashlights around. Its super bright wide beam will light up any area as if it were daytime, and the zoom action allows you to focus on objects 1000 feet away. This flashlight is also water-resistant for when you have to venture out into a rainy night.

The GearLight S2000 LED Flashlight is mid-sized and lightweight, making it easy to carry in a backpack. But don’t be fooled by its weight. The shock-resistant, all-aluminum design makes this flashlight one of the most durable flashlights you’ll ever own.

The flashlight also has a strobe and SOS mode for camping emergencies. By pressing a single button, you can adjust the brightness and mode to fit your needs.

Brightness, zoom function, SOS mode, and durability are the reasons why we chose the GearLight S2000 LED Flashlight as our choice for best camping flashlight.

Specs

  • Price: $17.99 on Amazon
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Material: High-strength aluminum
Pros Cons
  • Powerful bright light
  • Sturdy construction
  • Able to withstand 10-foot drops
  • Solid, weighty feel
  • Adjustable beams
  • Short battery life
  • Difficulty switching between modes
  • May be too bulky for some users

Premium Pick

LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 7/10
  • Brightness: 9/10
  • Durability: 8/10
  • Quality of material: 8/10
  • Battery life: 7/10

Bottom Line

The LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern is our premium pick if you’re looking for a flashlight with a few more features. It has a powerful front light and two side lights. You can use it as a work light when setting a campsite at night or use it to light the path during nighttime hikes. The flashlight can light distances up to 1650 feet. The red flashing mode on the right side can be used in emergencies or when you go biking or running.

The rechargeable battery holds a charge for 4-5 hours using the main light, and 5-12 hours using the white side light. This camping lantern is water-resistant, making it safe to use in the rain and snow.

The LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern also serves as a power bank for charging your smartphone and other mobile devices. While it may be too heavy for backpack camping, it’s an excellent choice for tent camping or camping on unpowered sites.

Specs

  • Price: $37.99
  • Weight: 29.98 ounces
  • Material: Plastic
Pros Cons
  • Two-year warranty
  • Two brightness levels – 1000 lumens and 400 lumens
  • Waterproof rating of IP44, which means it’s protected from water splashing in all directions
  • Optional strap available for hands-free usage or for hanging from branches and hooks
  • Requires a special USB cord for charging.
  • It takes 5-6 hours to charge fully.

Bang for Your Buck

Wsky LED Tactical Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 8/10
  • Brightness: 6/10
  • Durability: 9/10
  • Quality of material: 9/10
  • Battery life: 5/10

Bottom Line

If you’re on a tight budget, then the Wsky LED Tactical Flashlight is a great value. Each package contains two flashlights so you can keep one in your backpack and one in your tent or camper. This flashlight is compact and lightweight, making it easy to slip in your pocket and carry on long hikes.

The Wsky LED Tactical Flashlight outperforms other, more expensive flashlights. It has a slide zoom feature so you can light up a whole area or focus on a particular object.

It has five different lighting modes: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, and SOS/Emergency. It’s weather, water, and shock-resistant and can be used in temperatures down to 6℉/-10℃.

You have the option of using three AAA batteries or a rechargeable battery. By having a couple of extra batteries charged, you can have an expensive flashlight that is always ready to go when you need it.

Specs

  • Price: $9.99
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Material: Military aluminum
Pros Cons
  • Can use AAA batteries or 18650 rechargeable battery
  • Small enough to carry in your pocket
  • Anti-roll body
  • The push button has been known to fail on some products
  • Plastic lens can easily get scratched
  • Doesn’t illuminate as far as other brands

Rechargeable

Streamlight 66608 250 Lumen Microstream USB Rechargeable Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 8/10
  • Brightness: 7/10
  • Durability: 9/10
  • Quality of material: 5/10
  • Battery life: 4/10

Bottom Line

The Streamlight 66608 250 Lumen Microstream USB Rechargeable Flashlight is a lightweight flashlight that fits easily into the palm of your hand. It comes with a removable, multi-directional pocket clip that can attach to a hat visor for hands-free use.

The flashlight comes with a USB charging cord, and the Lithium-ion battery takes 4 hours to recharge fully and runs 1.5 hours on high and 3.5 hours on low. A metal sleeve protects the charge port with its charge indicator. It has an IPX4 water-resistant rating, and impact resistance tested at 1m. It can illuminate at 225 lumens up to 228 feet, and at 50 lumens, its illumination range is 100 feet.

This small, lightweight flashlight is amazingly bright for its size. Keep it handy for lighting your way when walking the dogs or heading to the bathroom at night.

Specs

  • Price: $40.49 (includes battery)
  • Weight: 1.2 ounces
  • Material: Anodized Machined Aircraft Aluminum
Pros Cons
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Comes with a clip for hands-free use
  • Unbreakable polycarbonate lens
  • LED light has a 30,000 hour lifetime
  • Shorter runtime means you don’t want to take it on nighttime hikes
  • Doesn’t seem to last through the 300 charges as it claims
  • Difficulty in getting the low setting to work

Kids

Melissa & Doug Flash Firefly Bug Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 10/10
  • Brightness: 7/10
  • Durability: 6/10
  • Quality of material: 6/10
  • Battery life: 8/10

Bottom Line

The Melissa & Doug Flash Firefly Bug Flashlight is the perfect choice for your child’s first flashlight. It’s lightweight and easy for small hands to hold, and it has an easy-to-use on/off switch and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Children love playing flashlight tag, exploring the outdoors, and reading under the blankets. With their very own flashlight, you don’t have to worry about them using and losing your good flashlight.

Melissa & Doug have been making products for kids for over 25 years, and this flashlight falls right in line with their mission of encouraging kids to explore their world. Whether you’re camping in the woods, your backyard, or your living room, kids will love this Firefly Bug Flashlight.

Specs

  • Price: $7.99
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Material: Plastic
Pros Cons
  • Fun colors and design that children will love
  • Sturdy design that can handle drops to the ground
  • Gender-neutral
  • No warranty
  • The end hook breaks off easily
  • No safety screw to secure the battery compartment

Waterproof

Rayovac Virtually Indestructible LED Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 9/10
  • Brightness: 8/10
  • Durability: 10/10
  • Quality of material: 10/10
  • Battery life: 8/10

Bottom Line

The Rayovac Virtually Indestructible LED Flashlight lives up to its name. It can be submerged in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes and withstand drops up to 30 feet. It comes in high and low modes with a beam distance of 550 feet when in high mode. It’s lightweight and easy to carry in one hand. This flashlight will last up to 39 hours when in low mode.

It has an aluminum body with a rubber head and tail cap for absorbing shock. It also has an ergonomic, built-in thumb area. The bright LED lights will cut through fog better than many other flashlights on the market.

With its long battery life, bright light, and indestructibility, this is an excellent choice for camping, especially if you’re going to be near streams and lakes.

Specs

  • Price: $18.99
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum
Pros Cons
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Shatterproof components
  • Compact and lightweight
  • No strap or clip to allow for hands-free usage
  • Fragile battery compartment

LED

Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 9/10
  • Brightness: 9/10
  • Durability: 8/10
  • Quality of material: 8/10
  • Battery life: 9/10

Bottom Line

The Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight lights up areas up to 1330 feet away and can change its focus from flood to spot with a slight turn of the head. It’s water-resistant and drop resistant from heights of 1m. It has three settings: Full Power, Low Power, and Eco Mode. It’s easy to change between modes with its “Quick-Click” system.

It has weather-resistant seals and is anodized both inside and outside to resist battery corrosion. Mag Instruments also uses Intelligent Energy Source Management to balance the light’s brightness and efficient battery power. It has a lanyard so you can hang it from a hook for when you need hands-free lighting.

An Eco Mode runtime of 117 hours means that it will last through-out your camping trip without dying. It’s also durable so that it will be around for several wilderness adventures. In fact, it’s tough enough to last through a lifetime of camping trips.

Specs

  • Price: $23.49
  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
Pros Cons
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Works well in freezing temperatures
  • Built in the USA
  • The power button rubber covering may quickly come off
  • Doesn’t have a strobe setting for emergency situations
  • The sensitive button means switching between modes can be quirky sometimes.

Battery Powered

Streamlight 66323 MicroStream "AAA" Battery Powered LED Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 9/10
  • Brightness: 8/10
  • Durability: 8/10
  • Quality of material: 8/10
  • Battery life: 9/10

Bottom Line

The Streamlight 66323 MicroStream LED Flashlight is a compact, lightweight flashlight that you can slip in your pocket, so it’s always available when you need it. Even though it’s small, it puts out a bright light so you can easily find your way around in the dark.

The unbreakable, scratch-resistant lens means you won’t see any diminishing of brightness when you need it the most. The push button in the tail makes it easy to turn on and off.

This flashlight is small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and light enough so that your arm doesn’t tire out from carrying it on long hikes. It also has a detachable clip so you can attach it to your hat visor for hands-free use.

The MicroStream LED Flashlight from Streamlight is small enough that you can keep a couple in your tent and in your backpack, so you always have one when you need it.

Specs

  • Price: $21.99
  • Weight: 1.12 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum
Pros Cons
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Unbreakable, scratch-resistant lens
  • In addition to a detachable clip, it also has a high-strength lanyard
  • The push button tail switch may be hard to press for some
  • Beam isn’t adjustable
  • Doesn’t have an SOS/Emergency flash

Solar Powered

ThorFire Solar Flashlight

Ratings

  • Easy to use: 8/10
  • Brightness: 6/10
  • Durability: 9/10
  • Quality of material: 7/10
  • Battery life: 5/10

Bottom Line

The ThorFire Solar Flashlight is excellent for backpack camping or boondocking in your camper. It requires no batteries. One minute of cranking will give you light for an hour. It’s IPX6 waterproof and can be submerged in water up to 45 feet.

It has three different light modes: Low, High, and SOS Flash. It has a small, built-in solar panel. One hour of recharging in direct sunlight will allow for two hours of runtime in low mode or 140 minutes of flashing light.

Since it requires no batteries or electrical power, it’s also environmentally friendly for campers who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Even though the LED light isn’t as bright as battery-powered LED flashlights, it still does a decent job of lighting your surroundings.

Specs

  • Price: $17.60
  • Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Material: Plastic
Pros Cons
  • Never have to worry about dead batteries
  • One year hassle-free after-sale service
  • Crank turns both ways, making it perfect for both right-handed and left-handed people
  • Too big to carry in your pocket
  • The crank handle has come off on some flashlights
  • Has no hands-free option

How to Choose the Best Flashlight for Camping

Choosing the best camping flashlight depends on your idea of camping. If you’re in a camper on a site with full power, you might just need your flashlight for walking the dogs at night. You can get a rechargeable flashlight that you can charge during the day, so it’s ready to go at night.

If you’re someone who likes to camp in a tent, you will have different lighting needs. Setting up a campsite at night means that you will want a brighter flashlight with hands-free options. If setting up your site also includes inflating your mattress, check out our choices of the best camping mattresses. The right mattress when you’re camping makes all the difference when you need a good night’s sleep after a day of hiking.

If you’re someone who likes to strap on a backpack and hike into the deep forest to camp or go on wilderness survival trips, you will want a flashlight that is easy to carry and always dependable. In that case, you want to make sure you have a flashlight with a long battery life or a solar-powered flashlight, so you never have to worry about running out of batteries.

No matter what your idea of camping may look like, your primary deciding factors in a flashlight are probably brightness and battery life. While 100 lumens is standard for most flashlights, you’re likely to find that the best camping flashlights come with a higher number of lumens.

If you enjoy hiking on forest trails, you might also want a flashlight with an SOS mode, which is why we were sure to include it on our top picks.

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