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Every well-equipped home has a flashlight or three. They’re incredibly useful when a power cut happens, when we’re camping, and when the kids decide to camp out in the back yard at night.
Your average garden-variety flashlight isn’t much use in a torrential downpour or if you’re out boating, though. For that, you need a dedicated waterproof model.
Here, we go over the best waterproof flashlights for a range of activities and situations. Whether you’re a diver or you need a flashlight for tactical purposes, we’ve got you covered.
The Best Waterproof Flashlights Reviewed:
- Underwater Kinetics SL4 eLED (L1) Dive Light
- Stanley Fatmax FL5W10 LED Flashlight
- UltraTac K18 Powerful Keychain Flashlight
- Pelican 7600 Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
- Olight S2R II LED Flashlight
- Nitecore TM36 SBT-70 LED Rechargeable Searchlight
- Nitecore MT21C Multifunctional 90-Degree Adjustable Flashlight
- Nitecore MT06MD Nichia LED Medical Penlight
- Nitecore EC11 XM-L2 U2 LED Flashlight
- Nitecore CU6 365nm Ultraviolet LED Flashlight
- Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC Flashlight
- Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
What to Look for in the Best Waterproof Flashlights
Waterproof flashlights come in a variety of types and each has its own specific use. Despite the diversity, there are general considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best waterproof flashlight for you. Let’s take a look at those now.
Water resistance is the single most important factor since we’re talking about waterproof flashlights. You should pay attention to the IPX system that defines and grades water resistance in flashlights.
Flashlights with a higher IPX are more water-resistant than lower-numbered IPX models. How water-resistant you need the flashlight to depends on what you’re using it for. Scuba divers need an absolutely water-tight model while hunters might just want a torch that can handle the rain (or being dropped in a creek) with ease.
How durable is it? What does IPX6 mean? Read our Ultimate Guide to the ANSI/PLATO FL1 Standard symbols!
Battery Type and Life
Without a doubt, the kind of batteries your flashlight uses and how long they last is significant. Flashlight batteries are either rechargeable or replaceable. Batteries also differ in capacity, which is measured in milliampere-hours (mAH).
While batteries with higher capacities last longer, their life is also affected by your flashlight’s output.
Learn everything you need to know about Batteries with our Ultimate Guide to Batteries!
What will your waterproof flashlight be used for? Perhaps your vocation involves using flashlights or you frequently run into situations where a flashlight is handy. Either way, decide which attributes matter in a flashlight and let that guide your choice.
After all, it’s pointless getting the wrong flashlight and then finding it’s not up to the task at hand.
This is a general measure of how much light your flashlight projects. The unit used to measure this output is lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the flashlight and the further it projects the light.
Just bear in mind that a flashlight with high lumens may mean a shorter battery life.
This measures how far light travels before it diminishes and is given meters. Some flashlights can project light as far as 200 meters or even more.
Although flashlights with more light output can have a higher beam distance, this is not the only factor involved. The type of beam also comes into play, typically, a wide beam offers less distance than a focused beam.
Size and Weight
How big and heavy the flashlight ultimately comes down to personal preference. But the flashlight’s purpose also matters. Generally speaking, powerful flashlights are heavier and larger than weaker options. They also have room for larger batteries.
Read our Ultimate Guide to Flashlights to learn what to look for when finding the best flashlight for your needs
Best Waterproof Flashlights on the Market
Now that we’ve gone over some generalities, let’s look at the flashlights themselves, starting with a diving option.
Best Waterproof Flashlight for Diving
A great option for scuba divers and freedivers alike, the SLR4 L1 dive light by Underwater Kinetics shines at a 400-lumen brightness which it can maintain for 10 hours. As it’s designed specifically for divers, it is fully waterproof.
It features a machined reflector that produces a bright central spot in the beam. This quality makes the torch highly effective at lighting up any dark and murky places underwater.
Additionally, an easy to use switch means one-handed operation is possible—super handy if you’re helping your buddy into the water or carrying extra equipment. It also comes with a spacious room for 4 C batteries.
- Bright central spot provides penetrating light
- Can be easily used with one hand
- Has a long run time
- Can fit into your BCD’s pocket
- It does not use rechargeable batteries. Divers will need to replace these every three dives, assuming an average dive time of 40 minutes.
Best Waterproof Flashlight for Boating
If you like to go camping or boating often, thenSTANLEY FATMAX FL5W10 Rechargeable 520... is a great choice. The flashlight has an output of up to 520 lumens and an operating time of up to 14 hours.
It can handle being submerged to 6 feet so it’s safe to a quick dip won’t hurt this flashlight. We like that it floats face-up, making it easy to find if you’re dropped it in the drink.
Additionally, it features a pistol-like grip handle and a trigger switch. This makes it very easy to handle and to keep a firm grip on your torch.
It comes with rechargeable batteries and adapters so you can charge up at home or in your vessel.
- A comfortable and easy-to-handle grip
- Floats face-up
- Water-resistant to six feet
- Rechargeable batteries
- Can keep running for more than half a day
- Some issues noted with the product’s durability
Best Waterproof USB Flashlight
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One of the more versatile waterproof flashlights out there, the shines at an impressive 1000 lumens and up to a distance of 232 meters. Plus it has strobe and SOS modes. All in all, it’s a great asset in case of emergency.
Additionally, it offers several brightness levels. The corresponding runtimes go from 75 minutes to a whopping 520 hours.
It also features rechargeable batteries with a USB charging port, so charging it should be a breeze. The flashlight’s side switch is easy to use and triggers its different functions.
Moreover, the flashlight has a power indicator which lets you know exactly how much power you have left. Its lightweight nature, tubular body, clip, and compact size makes it easy to carry and move around with. Furthermore, it can handle itself well in water up to 6.5 feet deep and can cope with a fall from 1.5 meters without suffering major damage.
- Great for emergencies and tactical work
- Comfortably portable
- Projects powerful light with a high output
- Can last for three weeks when set to low brightness
- Optional accessories and filters
- The switch can sometimes be problematic
Best Waterproof Keychain Flashlight
If you’ve never had a keychain flashlight, UltraTac K18's is a great way to add an essential tool for your keys. Highly versatile, it can also be used as a standing light on any flat surface, kind of like a futuristic candle.
The flashlight offers 370 lumens and a beam distance of 88 meters, impressive for its small size. It features a USB port so you won’t have to worry about buying new batteries. It can continue running for a period of up to 14 hours.
It also comes with a side switch that is easy to use with one hand. An extra lock-out feature (double-click the button) allows you to lock the flashlight and prevent accidental activation.
Despite its diminutive size, it does not compromise on sturdiness and boasts an impact resistance of 1.5 meters. We also like that it’s waterproof to 2 meters. Additionally, it features a strobe mode, which is handy in tough situations.
The reverse polarity protection ensures safety from incorrect battery use. You can also be alerted when the battery is low via the flashlight’s power indicator.
- Can stand on its tail
- Lightweight and small so perfect for your pocket
- Can be locked to avoid misuse
- Protection from improper battery placement
- Shines brighter than similarly sized flashlights
- The flashlight’s durability can be lower than expected
Best Waterproof 18650 Flashlight
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One of the best choices for waterproof flashlights that run on 18650 batteries, is suitable in a variety of settings from law enforcement to outdoor hiking and camping and everything in between.
It features several lighting modes, including a strobe. The maximum output of 1100 lumens and a beam distance of 240 meters are both impressive. This makes it deal not for search efforts as well as tactical self-defense.
It has a micro USB charging port with an additional safety mechanism against overcharging.
Additionally, it comes with a temperature control system that prevents damage from overheating as well as reverse polarity protection to inhibit any damage if you put your batteries in the wrong way.
Both the side switch and the tail switch in the flashlight allow for easy use, be it tactical or otherwise.
The lightweight and compact body provides a firm grip and boasts a one-meter impact rating. There’s a clip attached as well, making the flashlight an easy carry.
If it falls in a paddle or a stream, the flashlight should be fine as it’s water-resistant to two meters.
- Protection from overcharging
- Does not wear from overheating
- High beam distance
- Has a memory function
- Easy to carry
- Two switches for easier change between modes
- Recharging the flashlight can be slightly confusing at first
Best Waterproof 2-Cell AA Flashlight
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A cousin to the last flashlight on our list, the is designed to work with AA batteries. Like the rechargeable version, it’s versatile and durable.
Expect good visibility with a light output of 500 lumens and five modes including a strobe function—always useful in case of emergency. It has the ability to store these modes (with the exception of strobe) into its memory.
This ThruNite model runs for a minimum of 96 minutes and a maximum of almost an entire month depending on which setting/mode you’re using.
The dual-switch system in the side and tail prevents any accidental activation and allows for more convenient use. The body features a clip as well as a tubular and compact design that provides a good grip and easy carrying.
As for impact resistance, it holds itself well and can sustain a drop of 1.5 meters. Its waterproof credentials mean it’s capable of submersion to 2 meters.
- Compatible with easily available batteries
- Protection from overheating
- Handy in an emergency
- Contains a memory function
- Sturdy against fall damage
- No recharging port
- Issues noted with its lifespan
Best Waterproof Flashlight for First Responders
A great choice for those who work in law enforcement, the Pelican 7600 flashlight comes with an array of features but still keeps to the basics of a waterproof flashlight intended for police use.
The flashlight features several modes and a strobe. Pelican’s popular flashlight hits a maximum of 944 lumens. The different modes are personalized in five different programs that you can choose from.
Additionally, it features three different LED colors: white, green, and red. This makes it useful in situations where you need to preserve your night vision or use traffic control.
Moreover, it has a USB charging port but can also work with disposable CR123 batteries, but not rechargeable CR123s. This makes it handy even when power is unavailable.
An indicator keeps you aware of how much battery life is remaining. Depending on how you’re using it, expect battery times from 3 hours and 15 minutes up until 29 hours.
The flashlight is not hard to carry around by virtue of its pocket clip. The clip can also be removed to provide a more comfortable grip when using it for extended periods of time.
It’s waterproof up to a meter in depth.
- Comes with different LED color options
- Works with both rechargeable and disposable batteries
- Removable pocket clip for easier extended handling
- Provides programs for personalized use
- Long runtime at high brightness
- No knurling, which could make it more likely to slip
Best Waterproof Flashlight for EDC
A fantastic choice if you’re looking for an everyday flashlight, the Olight S2R II features a very compact body with a high-quality easy grip for comfort when you’re carrying it around.
It is able to provide a maximum light output of 1150 lumens, lighting up your field of view as far as 135 meters away with its wide beam. The beam features a hotspot at its center for excellent visibility.
It also features five different lighting modes, including strobe, which is activated via an accessible side switch.
This Olight product is powered by rechargeable batteries with a runtime of up to two months. It also comes with an indicator to let you know when charging is needed.
Recharging occurs through a magnetic system in its tail cap which makes the process go faster. This magnet also allows for hands-free use; you can just stick it onto any ferromagnetic surface and free your hands to do whatever you need to do.
In addition to its compact size, the flashlight comes with a bidirectional pocket clip which makes it very easy to carry around.
Furthermore, being underwater up to a depth of 2 meters has no negative effect on it and no damage is suffered from falls as high as 1.5 meters.
- Magnetic tail cap for fast recharging and hands-free use
- Extremely easy to carry around which EDC proponents will appreciate
- Has a very high brightness that is long-lasting
- Useful for self-defense
- Comes with accessories
- A couple of problems with durability have been noted
Best Waterproof Searchlight
If there’s anything that can slice through the darkness, it’s this waterproof searchlight. The Nitecore TM36, despite its now limited availability, remains a magnificent choice in search and rescue efforts, exploration, and similar high-intensity situations.
It features a very powerful light output that goes up to 1800 lumens, covering a very long beam distance of 1100 meters. It can work in several modes, including SOS and strobe.
Countering the resultant heat from its extreme brightness, the flashlight is designed with fins that aid heat loss as well as a temperature sensor. This minimizes the risk of any damage from overheating and stops the flashlight from becoming too hot.
A multi-functional single switch allows for easy use and choice between modes. We love the OLED display which provides information on the flashlight’s current setting and temperature.
The flashlight is powered up by a unique set of rechargeable batteries which give it a very long runtime at high brightness, lasting as long as 67 hours. All its contact plates are plated with gold, which improves conductivity and enhances durability.
Furthermore, it does not slack when it comes to hardiness, with an impact resistance of 1.5 meters and water resistance up to 2 meters.
- Extremely high light output
- Excellent heat dissipation
- OLED display easily provides important information
- Gold-plated contacts are more durable and better conductors
- Can be a burden to carry around
- Does not use commonly available batteries
Best Waterproof 90-Degree Flashlight
Not all waterproof flashlights have the capability to tilt their heads to a 90-degree angle. This, however, is an excellent choice for a waterproof flashlight that can.
The Nitecore MT21C is capable of producing a non-flickering light output that reaches 1000 lumens, with its beam reaching a distance as far as 184 meters.
It can remain on for periods lasting from a single hour to aa much as a 700-hour runtime. The power indicator lets you know how much juice you have left. When it’s time to top up, the rechargeable 18650 or CR123 batteries make it easy.
The head tilt and a clever metal loop, which allows you to suspend the flashlight, make it extremely suited to use as a work light. The body is lightweight and compact in size with a magnetic base and a pocket clip.
Different modes and levels of power, including strobe and SOS, are easy to select via the multi-functional side switch.
An advanced temperature regulation system keeps the flashlight’s temperature at optimum levels. Additionally, its reverse polarity protection system ensures no damage from misplaced batteries.
Furthermore, the product is robust and can handle an impact of up to 1 meter and is waterproof to 2 meters.
- Metal loop allows for hands-free use
- Compatible with more than one battery type
- Tiltable head allows for angled use
- Light does not pulsate hence easier on the eyes
- The head can become quite hot
Best Waterproof Medical Pen Light
An amazing choice for paramedics and medical personnel seeking a waterproof flashlight, the Nitecore MT06MD is designed to imitate sunlight as much as possible. This provides good visibility and high-quality color rendering.
The product’s default low-mode setting, at just four lumens of brightness, as well as a lack of blue light makes it very safe for pupil inspection.
Additionally, it provides a maximum light output of 180 lumens in an effective beam distance of 58 meters with a high CRI (color-rendering index). This prevents the distortion of colors.
Operating on two AAA batteries and providing a runtime of 35 hours, it should last long enough to finish your shift, even if it’s a relatively long one.
Its lightweight and compact body with a metal clip allows it to fit in your pocket with ease. A tail switch is present for easy one-handed use.
Moreover, it has a good impact resistance of 1 meter and can handle being submerged in water up to 2 meters deep.
And, like all other medical equipment, it can be cleaned and sterilized with alcohol.
- Does not produce blue light
- Turns on at low brightness by default
- Neutral light that does not compromise on color nor detail
- Can be sterilized with alcohol
- Perfect weight for pocket carry
- Liable to overheat if used for long periods
- The clip can be a bit loose
Best Waterproof Mini Flashlight
Of the many flashlights small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Nitecore EC11 stands out. It is designed to provide excellent size-to-output performance.
With several modes, strobe, and SOS functions plus a maximum output of 900 lumens and a beam distance of 190 meters, it packs a lot into its little body.
It also provides red light, preserving night vision, which also serves as a location beacon when the flashlight is on standby.
A clip and the anti-roll design mean handling is stable and it’s extremely easy to carry around no matter whether it’s in your palm, purse, or pocket. It has an impact resistance of 1 meter and a water resistance of 2 meters.
We like the dual-switch system which covers all of the flashlight’s functions. Furthermore, there are two lock-out modes which can be triggered to avoid accidental activation.
The flashlight supports two types of rechargeable batteries, however, the batteries are charged separately using an adaptor.
- Has red-colored LED with different lighting modes
- Anti-roll design prevents the flashlight from slipping from your hand
- Lock-out mechanism prevents accidental use
- Has strobe and SOS lighting modes
- Lightweight and comfortable to carry
- Powerful for its size
- No USB charging port
Best Waterproof UV Light Flashlight
The Nitecore CU6 makes for the perfect choice when it comes to a waterproof flashlight that can emit UV (ultraviolet).
It features a dual-beam system. One beam is made up of UV light which is great for inspection and forensics. The other beam comes from our visible light and includes three colored LEDs (red, blue, and green) in addition to the normal white.
A light output that maxes out at 440 lumens can stay on for as many as 260 hours. Rechargeable 18650 or CR123 batteries make it easy to top up.
Strobe and SOS modes are present as well. Additionally, a dual-switch system allows for easy switches between modes.
This UV flashlight is impact-resistant to 1 meter and waterproof to 2 meters depth.
- Has both UV and visible light
- Colored LEDs
- Contains strobe and SOS modes
- Compatible with more than one battery type
- Good battery runtimes
- Beams do not seem to be circular or centered.
Best Waterproof Tactical Flashlight
Designed for tactical use, the Fenix FX-PD35 boasts the right design choices for people working in the military or law enforcement.
The product features a maximum output of 1000 lumens with an effective beam distance of nearly 200 meters.
It comes with two general modes: tactical and outdoor. The tactical mode allows for faster and simpler operation. Other modes of lighting are also present including SOS and strobe functions.
Additionally, Fenix’s flashlight features a digital regulation mechanism which keeps the brightness constant. An intelligent memory circuit allows the flashlight to remember the last mode it used before being switched off.
The lightweight and compact body demonstrates a slip-resistant design with a clip for better holding and securing. The side switch changes setting during outdoor, whereas the tail switch works to adjust settings when in tactical mode.
It is compatible with 18650 and CR123 rechargeable batteries but has no USB port. The runtime can be extended to reach 160 hours.
Furthermore, it can handle being 2 meters submerged for up to 30 minutes.
- Has a specialized tactical mode for faster use
- Compatible with more than one battery type
- Easy to carry around
- Constant brightness when set
- Excellent range of features
- Intuitive switch designs
- No USB charging port
Best Waterproof Headlamp
The most sound choice for a waterproof headlamp, Black Diamond Storm will suit everybody who likes to keep their hands free during exploration or work.
It is capable of a max output of 350 lumens with a beam distance of 85 meters. Several lighting modes, including strobe, can be stored in its memory bank.
The head is also designed to provide more peripheral lighting, which is reliable when engaging in close-range activities.
Additionally, it comes with colored LEDs that have their own strobe and brightness settings. It operates on 4 AAA batteries which can last for 120 hours tops.
The headlamp’s casing is water-resistant to 1.5 meters.
- Colored LEDs that also have different modes
- Works with commonly found batteries
- Provides more peripheral lighting than similar headlamps
- Strobe mode
- Decent runtime of 120 hours
- It can feel a bit bulky
Which of the Best Waterproof Flashlights is for You?
We’ve looked over some of the main criteria you should consider before buying a new waterproof flashlight and explored a list of the best waterproof flashlights in all circumstances.
Whether you’re an adventurer who likes to go out hiking, hunting, or cave diving or someone who likes to set up camp far away from artificial lights, you can find what you need from our selection. Of course, we haven’t forgotten our law enforcers, several of our choices were perfect for tactical use.
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