Best Camping Flashlights

When camping, your torch is more than a source of light. If it’s sufficiently bright, it can be used defensively to signal for help in case of an emergency.

How, then, do you pick the best camping flashlight for your needs?

We’ll cover that soon enough, but know that we consider the Anker Bolder LC90 as the best camping flashlight on the market. It particularly scores well on light intensity, water-resistance and emergency features.

Here’s the top 10 of the best camping flashlights:

Choosing the Best Camping Flashlight

The more features a unit has, the higher its cost, so don’t buy based on the number of features alone—that’s a poor financial decision.

Instead, focus on these three important features:

  • Waterproofing.
  • Above-average beam intensity.
  • Emergency features.

Waterproofing

You never know when an emergency will strike, so it’s best to have a unit that can withstand the elements.

Imagine if you had to seal your tent’s seams under a heavy downpour. You’d be up all night if your torch couldn’t withstand the torrent. That’s where the IPX rating of a unit becomes important.

The higher the rating, the more water it can withstand. Always go for units with an IPX4 rating and above.

  • IPX4: Good for average rainfall.
  • IPX5–IPX8: Fishing or when your location is in a higher-than-average rainfall area.

How durable is it? What does IPX6 mean? Read our Ultimate Guide to the ANSI/PLATO FL1 Standard symbols!

Beam Intensity

Two main units measure this:

For a flashlight, you’re more concerned with the focused intensity, so high candelas are very important. 

A high-lumen output that has a low candela rating is good for lighting up a large area, but not focusing the beam onto a spot.

Our Lumens, Lux, and Candela article is a great resource to learn more about Lumens and light output

Emergency Features

The best camping flashlights all double as tools for signaling for help.

You have the option to use the bright light as a beacon or use pre-programmed SOS features to signal for help.

If a unit doesn’t have an SOS feature, make sure it has a strobe mode. You never know when you’ll need to attract attention to your location.

Our Top 10 Camping Flashlight Options

Even when armed with the knowledge of what to look for, there are still too many products on the market to choose from.

For this, we’ve gathered the best-rated 16 camping flashlights to focus your search.

Anker Bolder LC90

You need a flashlight that’s good for all weather conditions because you never know when you’ll need it. With this in mind, the Anker Bolder LC90 has an IPX5 water-resistant rating, which makes it convenient under a heavy downpour.

The Anker Bolder LC90 has five settings:

  • SOS.
  • High.
  • Medium.
  • Low.
  • High.

On a medium beam, the power lasts through 13 hours. That’s more than enough light to see you through the night. Additionally, its 900-lumen beam is zoomable and can light up objects that are 660ft away.

This unit also has a wrist wrap and is light enough to keep on your person at all times—it weighs about 10.5 ounces. If you want something lighter, consider the Maglite Mini PRO.

Pros

  • Lasts up to 13 hours on medium beam.
  • Zoomable light.
  • IPX5 water-resistant rating.
  • Anker battery technology improves battery life.
  • 18-month warranty.
  • Durable aluminum build.
  • Can illuminate objects 660ft away.
  • Bright 900-lumen LED.

Cons

  • 1A charging adapter not included.
  • The battery isn’t replaceable.

Goal Zero 250

Goal Zero 250 has both floodlight and flashlight options; you won’t need separate light systems. 

This multipurpose torch has a runtime that ranges from 7–48 hours, depending on the brightness mode: half-bright or full-bright. Also, its 250-lumen max output is enough to light up the night without too much power consumption.

This product can be both crank or solar charged. It also has a USB port that can be used to charge your phone—an excellent option if you’re planning for a long trip. It also produces red light, which allows you to see quickly in the dark as your eyes don’t need to adjust to the light.

Pros

  • Bright 250-lumen light.
  • Red light for emergencies.
  • Up to 48 hours of runtime.
  • Solar charged.
  • Charges phones.

Cons

  • The solar panel isn’t reliable unless the sun’s very strong.

Maglite Mini PRO

This aluminum flashlight is durable, light and easy to use. For example, the beam is adjusted from flood to spot by a twist of the head—which is also how you turn it on and off.

Despite its small size, the Maglite Mini PRO is designed with water-resistant seals that make it a welcome companion during a downpour.

One major downside to this product is that it has a run time of about 2.5 hours. If you can live with that, it offers good value for the price.

Pros

  • Very light.
  • Easy to use.
  • Bright 272-lumen beam.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Fairly priced.

Cons

  • The run time could be longer.

Olight Baton Pro

A hiker needs a torch that’s light enough to carry around and powerful enough to light up the path ahead. The Olight Baton Pro offers both. It produces bright beams of about 2,000 lumens—an incredible feat considering this product weighs in at only 3.77 ounces.

Also, its 3500mAh rechargeable battery is serviced by a magnetic charging system, which keeps the charger locked in place. This makes it possible to charge the torch via a solar panel as you walk.

The Olight Baton Pro is a little pricey, however, so if you’re on a tight budget, the Maglite Mini PRO may be a better option.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Magnetic USB charging system.
  • Powerful rechargeable 3500mAh battery.
  • Thermal control to prevent heat damage.
  • Dual-directional clip for enhanced portability.
  • Visual battery display.
  • Bright 2000-lumen beam.

Cons

  • Some feel the brightness could be better.

WOWTAC A7

This light weighs in at only 8.8 ounces but packs a bright 1047-lumen beam that can light up objects 880ft away. Also, the handle is knurled for enhanced grip, making it excellent for the camper that’s always on the move.

Note that the IPX8 rating makes it ideal for all weather conditions—a standout feature! It’s also pretty durable, designed to survive drops of up to 4.92ft, but don’t go throwing it down a hill.

This torch has six beam modes:

  • Turbo.
  • High.
  • Medium.
  • Firefly.
  • Strobe.
  • Low.

Its medium beam mode is set to 65 lumens, which is pretty bright. In this mode, the unit is good for 20 hours before it needs a recharge.

Pros

  • IPX8 waterproof rating.
  • Survives falls of up to 4.92ft.
  • Small enough to accessorize equipment like rifles.
  • Six beam modes.
  • 1047-lumen capacity.
  • Light enough to carry around.
  • Throw of 880ft.
  • USB rechargeable.

Cons

  • Some users found it difficult to fix the light on their guns with the recommended 1-inch ring mounts.

Maglite XL200

This flashlight has an IPX4 rating, meaning it can survive water jets of low to medium pressure. If you’re camping where the downpour is above average, go for a higher IPX rating. The IPX8-rated Pelican 7600 or the IPX5-rated Anker Bolder LC90 would be better alternatives.

This Maglite is tested, certified, and recommended by the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA). Being the body that recommends most of the gear sported by law enforcement, NOTA recommendations carry a lot of water.

Also, the Maglite XL200 5-inch aluminum body is sufficiently strong for your camping needs, and it weighs in at only 3.52 ounces—a comfortable carry.

The torch has a 172-lumen capacity and can produce automatic SOS signals in case of an emergency. To avoid accidental signals, the feature is protected by a LockOut measure.

Pros

  • Pre-programmed SOS signals.
  • NTOA-recommended.
  • Night Lite mode for power preservation.
  • LockOut protection prevents accidental SOS signals.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Designed to fit the palm comfortably.
  • Beam distance of 453 ft.

Con

  • No recharge function.
  • Unsuitable for use in a heavy downpour.

OxyLED MD50

With an IPX6 rating, this flashlight is both protected against dust and water-resistant, making it an excellent option if you’ll be doing a little rock climbing.

The beam is fully zoomable and supports five light modes:

  • Medium.
  • High.
  • Low.
  • Strobe.
  • SOS.

On a full charge, it can fuel a 900-lumen beam for six hours. That’s impressive for a battery that’s usually fully charged in under four hours.

This unit is only 5.32 inches in length and 1.42 inches wide, making it a comfortable fit for your palm and pockets. It also has a wrist-wrap that allows you to keep your hands free while climbing, letting you keep the torch within reach for quick access.

Battery-protection technology enhances the product’s life by preventing overcharging and undercharging. You also have the option of using ordinary AAA batteries when the flashlight is low on power. However, if you want to keep your hands free and prefer a headlight, the FOXELLI MX200 is a worthy consideration.

Pros

  • Water-resistant.
  • Dust protection.
  • Battery protection.
  • Rechargeable.
  • Comfortably fits the palm or pocket.
  • 900-lumen bright beam.
  • Five light modes.
  • Excellent value for money.

Cons

  • The switch mechanism clicks a little too loud.
  • Consumes battery power fast.

Fenix PD35

This flashlight is waterproof to IPX8 standards, making it an excellent option for fishing. That means that it can be used in the heaviest of downpours and function underwater in depths of up to 6.5ft for half an hour. That should prove useful if the torch ever falls into the lake as you reel in your catch.

It also has six settings in outdoor mode and three in tactical mode:

  • Outdoor mode: Strobe, turbo, low, mid, high and eco.
  • Tactical mode: Strobe, turbo and low.

Under low settings, the beam is set to 60 lumens. That’s sufficient to help you navigate the waters without scaring away the fish. On turbo and strobe, the beam is 1,000 lumens bright and can be used as a beacon in case you need to call for help.

At 5.4 inches long and a weight of 7.2 ounces, the Fenix PD35 is light and affords you a comfortable grip. On the flip side, this light doesn’t allow for recharging; the batteries have to be recharged externally. If you’re after a rechargeable light for fishing, the WOWTAC A7 should do.

Pros

  • IPX8 waterproof standards.
  • Can be used for about half an hour underwater—at depths of 6.5 ft.
  • Two modes with a total of six different light settings.
  • Bright 1,000-lumen beam.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Batteries aren’t rechargeable.

Streamlight Stinger

At 400 lumens and 24,000 candelas, the beam from this light is very bright. Also, Its body is made of durable anodized aluminum with a polycarbonate lens that’s very hard to break. The lens also features a scratch-resistant coating, which adds to the product’s durability.

It has four light settings: Strobe, low, medium and high.

In high mode, the beam has a reach of 339 yards—1,017 ft. Note that while on high, it goes through the batteries very fast and can only be maintained for two hours on a full charge.

On a medium beam, the light is bright enough for most camping activities and has a runtime of 3.75 hours.

The lowest settings provide a 100-lumen light that has a reach of 155 meters and has a runtime of 10 hours. This setting allows you a decent view of your environment with a runtime that’ll last you through the night.

Pros

  • Durable anodized aluminum body.
  • Hard-to-break polycarbonate lens.
  • Scratch-resistant coating on the lens.
  • Four light settings.
  • Decent runtimes.

Cons

  • No wall charger with the purchase.

Streamlight ProTac HL

This torch features a multi-use tail switch that allows for one-handed operation. It also features a gasket-sealed lens for improved scratch resistance and an aircraft aluminum constructed body for durability. This unit has a 3.3 ft drop resistance, which protects it from damage after minor falls.

The Streamlight 88054 has an IPX4 rating, which means it’s waterproofed for use in a light to medium shower. If you plan to camp where the torrent is excessive, the Fenix PD35 may be better suited to your needs. 

This Streamlight model also features four light settings:

  • High: 1,000 lumens, 12,000 candelas.
  • Medium: 380 lumens, 4,420 candelas.
  • Low: 65 lumens, 700 candelas.
  • Strobe: 1,000 lumens.

For enhanced convenience, you can choose one of three pre-programmed modes:

  • High/Low/Strobe.
  • High only.
  • High/Medium/Low.

Pros

  • Four light settings and three pre-programmed selections.
  • One-hand operation.
  • IPX4 waterproof rating.
  • Aircraft aluminum durable body.
  • 3.3ft drop resistance.
  • 1,000-lumen capacity.
  • Water-resistant metal sleeve.

Cons

  • Not waterproofed enough for heavy downpours.

Pelican 7600

The 7600 can produce a 944-lumen beam with a reach of over 738ft. It also comes with three light modes: High, medium and low.

We like how this torch also offers red and green light capabilities on top of the typical white LED light. For example, red light is excellent when you want to see in the dark quickly because you don’t have to adjust to it.

The availability of multiple light colors allows a team to communicate in predetermined light signals. This is especially important for activities like hunting and fishing where noise is discouraged. If you intend to use it for fishing, you’ll appreciate the IPX8 rating, which makes it submersible under over 6ft of water for 30 minutes.

For enhanced control, five programs are available to personalize the modes to your needs. It also has a battery level indicator, but you have the option to use disposable CR123 batteries if you miss the low-battery alert.

Pros

  • IPX8 waterproof rating.
  • Can use disposable CR123 batteries.
  • Battery level indication.
  • Produces red, green and white beams.
  • 944-lumen beam capacity.
  • Five programs.
  • Lifetime guarantee.

Cons

  • Battery life could be better.

FOXELLI MX200 Headlamp

This pair of headlights give up to 40 hours of uninterrupted light on a single charge—which takes four hours to recharge.

The body is tiltable up to 45 degrees, giving you a lot of range. It also produces red light for quick night vision when you don’t have time to adjust to the brightness of white light.

The MX200 has an IPX5 rating, which means it’s protected from splashes from all angles. This makes it an excellent option for couples who enjoy running in the rain. Also, at 2.4 ounces, the weight is practically negligible, and you get two lights with every purchase.

The only downside is that the 180-lumen beam may prove insufficient if you’re looking for an ultra-bright beam. In such a case, consider the Olight H2R.

Pros

  • 2-pack purchase.
  • IPX5 rating.
  • 40 hours of light for four hours of charging.
  • 180-lumen beam.
  • Beam reach of 300 ft.
  • Ergonomic elastic band.

Cons

  • It could be brighter.

Olight H2R

This torch boasts of a 2300-lumen beam—that’s enough energy to burn through paper!

Note that when in high, turbo and medium modes, the light fades gradually to protect your eyes from slow dark adaptation—the ability to see in the dark after being exposed to sudden bright light. 

The H2R features a low battery warning that keeps you informed on the status of your reserves. 

When detached from the head strap, it can be used as a handheld flashlight, or you can stand it on the mount it comes with to light up your tent.

This torch also features a pre-programmed SOS mode in case of camping mishaps. The only downside is that it can only recharge Olight customized batteries.

Pros

  • Powerful 2,300-lumen beam.
  • Fades gradually to adapt you to the darkness.
  • Low battery warning.
  • Ergonomic head strap.
  • Magnetic mount.

Cons

  • Can only recharge Olight batteries.

ThruNite TC15

The TC15 produces a 2,300-lumen beam with a reach of 807ft. This power is contained in an easy-to-palm 8.3-ounce body. It’s also made of high-quality aluminum and has an IPX8 waterproof rating—this means you can use it under the heaviest of downpours. 

It has four modes:

  • Turbo.
  • Firefly.
  • Daily.
  • Strobe—for emergency signaling.

The turbo beam is ultra-bright and can be used defensively—to blind a threat. On firefly mode, the light is gentle enough to allow you to read in the dark without exerting undue stress on your eyes.

In effect, you get multiple flashlight functions for the price of one.

One downside, though, is that the pocket clip scratches the light’s body when detaching it from the torch.

Pros

  • IPX8 waterproof rating.
  • 2,300-lumen beam.
  • Four light modes.
  • Comfortable on the palm.
  • Anti-slip knurls render it usable with gloves.
  • 807ft beam reach.

Cons

  • The edges of the pocket clip scratch the flashlight’s coating when you detach it.

Tough Light 400-LR Lantern

This lantern is made of military-grade plastic and high-quality rubber that waterproof it to an IPX6 rating—it can be used under the rain without damaging its circuits. The 400-LR is also designed to withstand impact from a 5-foot fall.

This unit can hold power for up to nine months and will sustain a very bright 400-lumen beam for 24 hours. In low mode, which is about 40 lumens, a single charge is enough to keep the lantern going for 200 hours—that’s over 16 nights!

If, however, you find the size too big and want a more lightweight and safety-focused option, consider the Maglite XL200.

Pros

  • IPX6 waterproof rating.
  • Holds power for up to nine months if unused.
  • SOS beacon can go for 256 hours on a full charge.
  • Hazard flashing red light.
  • Withstands 5-foot falls.
  • Built with durable military-grade plastic and rubber.
  • Two-year warranty.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a charger block.

Fenix CL30R

The CL30R casts a beam of 650-lumen over a 114-foot diameter. This is enough to light up a significant portion of the camping zone.

It comes with a tripod socket to ensure easy erection of the lantern and a hanging lanyard to give more flexibility to how you light up the camp.

The IPX7 waterproof rating means it can be used under a substantial downpour. It also features a single-button operation switch to enhance usability.

The CL30R can be used to charge phones, and its internal charging system has polarity protection capability to mitigate the risks of improper battery placement.

Pros

  • 650-lumen beam capability.
  • 114-foot diameter reach.
  • Hanging lanyard and tripod socket.
  • Polarity protection.
  • Charges phones.
  • IPX7 waterproof rating.

Cons

  • Some users had trouble using it to charge rapid-charge phones.

Best Camping Flashlight for You

The title of the best camping flashlight goes to the Goal Zero 250. It‘s the only unit on the list that can be cranked to charge. It also features a USB port that can be used to charge your phone. The Zero 250 also produces red light, which is excellent for lighting up the camp without attracting insects.

If you’re more of a lantern person, we loved the Fenix CL30R. It has a 650-lumen beam that lights up a diameter north of 110ft. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can be used in all weather conditions. It also comes with a tripod socket and hanging lanyard to give you more choice in how you set up the unit.

Share on email
Share on print