Top 5 Best Camping Flashlights (2022 Guide)
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One of the most important camping inventory items is a flashlight, since it helps guide you through the wilderness at night, whether you’re going on a short walk before bed, getting up in the night to use the restroom, or playing a board game with your camping trip mates.
After in-depth research, combing through dozens of options on the market, we provide our expert advice on the best camping flashlights to choose from to help you decide which one to buy, including options for value shoppers, premium shoppers, or those looking for unique choices.
Compare Camping Flashlight Options
Best Premium Option
Best Flashlight-Lantern Combo
Best Rechargeable Flashlight
Top 5 Camping Flashlights
#1. GearLight LED Flashlight
This flashlight is an ideal choice for campers looking for a trustworthy, tactical flashlight with zooming capabilities, multiple light modes, and an impressively high max brightness.
- Max brightness: 1040 lumens
- Battery: 1 AAA
- Weight: 5.12 ounces
✔ Includes two flashlights in one pack
✔ Made from military-grade aluminum to withstand up to 10-foot drops
✔ Includes a holder case for the flashlight
✘ Doesn’t shine as bright as the maximum lumen rating suggests, according to some reviews saying it maxes at around 600–800 lumens
✘ Isn’t rechargeable like many other competing options
Takeaway: The GearLight LED Flashlight gets our vote for Best Overall, as it impressed us with its combination of affordability, durability, portable size, and high brightness. If you’re looking for an easy, reliable option to take on your trip that includes a backup with the purchase, we recommend going with this camping flashlight.
#2. Dorcy Floating Flashlight
If you’re planning on camping near water—on a river, on a lake, or at the beach—you might consider finding an option that’s waterproof and floats in case you drop it in the water. That’s where this Dorcy flashlight shines.
- Highest brightness: 55 lumens
- Battery: 3 AAA
- Weight: 4.48 ounces
✔ Lasts up to 8.75 hours
✔ Comes in various color choices, including yellow, pink, purple, green, and blue
✔ Features a carabiner clip on the tail cap that can attach to your hiking pack or belt
✘ Has a considerably lower max brightness than many other flashlight options
✘ Has a heavy-duty rubber grip that can snag on fabric inside tight spaces or pockets
Takeaway: We recommend the Dorcy Floating Flashlight for campers who want a cheap camping flashlight that’s long-lasting and waterproof. Not to mention, it has a flashy design that comes in multiple bright colors. However, this option isn’t the best for campers who want a more tactical flashlight for their camping or hiking trips.
#3. AlpsWolf Rechargeable Flashlight
Premium shoppers will be drawn to this flashlight for its rechargeability and unique features, including acting as a power bank for your phone and other devices and shining bright light as far as 850 yards.
- Highest brightness: 1200 lumens
- Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries
- Weight: 1.23 pounds
✔ Can be used as a power bank, charging your phone or other rechargeable devices
✔ Lasts up to 20 hours
✔ Comes with a lifetime guarantee
✘ Is considerably heavier than other flashlights in this review
✘ Has a larger size, making it hard to fit into hiking packs
Takeaway: If you’re looking for a high-end option that’s heavy-duty, bright, and high-quality compared to other camping flashlights on the market, we recommend AlpsWolf Rechargeable Flashlight. Although, it’s not best for those who want a compact flashlight that’s easy to carry around.
#4. LE LED Camping Lantern
This camping flashlight can double as a lantern to help light up your campsite or tent in the dark. It’s rechargeable, has five lighting brightness modes, and can last up to 12 hours on lower brightness settings.
- Highest brightness: 1000 lumens
- Battery: Rechargeable
- Weight: 1.81 pounds
✔ Has an official IPX4 water resistant rating
✔ Comes with a 12-month warranty
✔ Can shine up to 545 feet, which is only slightly shorter than our Best for Premium Shoppers option, the AlpsWolf Flashlight
✘ Is the heaviest camping flashlight we reviewed
✘ Doesn’t last as long between charges as it’s supposed to, according to some reviews
Takeaway: While it can be convenient to have a larger lantern-flashlight combo with power bank capabilities, like the LE LED Camping Lantern, it’s not the best for longer hiking trips, since it weighs more than other options.
#5. EverBright LED Rechargeable Flashlight
This flashlight is one of the most durable rechargeable options on the market that’s been impact tested and can withstand up to a 5-foot drop and 6 feet of water. Plus, it can be fully recharged in just 3–4 hours.
- Highest brightness: 750 lumens
- Battery: Rechargeable
- Weight: 7.5 ounces
✔ Features SOS and strobe light modes for emergency situations
✔ Has an IP44 waterproof rating that can withstand up to six feet of water
✔ Has a useful pocket clip on the handle for easy carry on pocket or belt
✘ Heavier than camping flashlights of a comparable size
✘ Doesn’t have zoom capabilities unlike other top options we reviewed
Takeaway: The EverBright LED Rechargeable Flashlight is the perfect fit for those looking for a small, weighty flashlight with an ergonomic feel, strong brightness, and easy rechargeability. However, it’s not the best fit if you want a flashlight with a bit more capabilities, such as zoom and 1000+ lumens of brightness.
Buyer’s Guide for Choosing the Best Camping Flashlight
Before choosing your camping flashlight, there are a few factors to consider to help ensure you select the best one for your needs. Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about picking a camping flashlight.
Types of Camping Flashlights
- Standard: The basic flashlight typically had AA or AAA batteries that slide into the tube handle, an on and off switch with a few brightness and flashing modes, and varying lens sizes.
- Rechargeable: Rechargeable flashlights can be a great choice so you never have to worry about replacing batteries unexpectedly. Plus, if you’re car camping, you can use your car to charge it up while on your trip.
- Flood lights: These types of flashlights have large, wide lenses for a thick and bright beam. They’re a good pick for those going on night hikes and want to see as much in front of them as possible.
- Lanterns: These lights are mostly for you to use around your campsite, shining light around your eating and sleeping areas before you go to bed. Some flashlights, such as the LE LED Camping Lantern, double as a flood-light style flashlight and a lantern.
- Headlamps: These are flashlights that you strap to your head. Camping headlamps are another great option for those planning to hike at night, since it can give you visibility in the dark without you needing to carry it.
In addition to different styles of camping lights, there are also varying brightness levels that can help you choose which one is best for your situation. Lumens are the way that companies measure the brightness levels of the flashlight.
Camping flashlights with more than 1000 lumens are great for campers who want visibility at great distances and need stronger light beams.
However, they’re not the best for those who don’t need that much brightness power, since they can be more expensive, require more battery power, and have a shorter life between charges.
Camping Flashlight Cost
In general, you can expect your flashlight for camping to cost somewhere between $10 and $60, depending on how strong you need the light beam and how many capabilities you prefer.
While lights with lower lumens using AA or AAA batteries tend to be cheaper, you can get more reliability and use out of rechargeable flashlights with higher lumens by paying a bit more.
There are a few additional factors you should think about before buying your flashlight for your camping or hiking trip, such as:
- Emergency light modes: If you’re going on a secluded trip in the wilderness, you might consider getting a flashlight with SOS or strobe light flashing modes so that your more recognizable in an emergency, stranded situation.
- Additional functions: Some lights can double as other camping tools, whether it includes a compass on the flashlight’s cap or it features a fire starter on the slide of the handle, you might look to its extra functionality to help compare it to other options on the market.
- Grip or handle: You’ll want to make sure your flashlight is comfortable and easy to handle. Look to lights with well-designed, ergonomic handles, but be careful purchasing a light with too much rubber on the handle, since its stickiness can get caught in your hiking pack or pant pockets.
Frequently Asked Questions About Camping Flashlights
How many lumens should a camping flashlight have?
The amount of lumens you need for your flashlight can depend on how far you’ll need to see and how strong you prefer your light beam to be. We recommend choosing a flashlight with more than 700 lumens of maximum brightness if you’re planning on going camping in especially dark, secluded areas.
What flashlights are used by the Navy Seals?
In general, the US Military uses standard flashlights with 1000–3000 lumens of maximum brightness to retain the most visibility possible in dark environments.
Do I need a flashlight when I go camping?
Yes, you should always bring a flashlight when going camping—it’s an essential part of your camping supplies inventory so that you’re not stranded in the dark and can be aware of any potential camping dangers you may face during the night.
When should I replace my camping flashlight?
If your light bulbs are running low, even after changing the batteries or recharging the flashlight, it may be time to get a new flashlight. Some flashlights also have bulbs that can be replaced to give your flashlight a longer lifespan.
Before You Leave: Summary
Shopping for camping supplies can often be overwhelming, especially when it’s for an essential part of your gear, such as your flashlight. Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you to help you through that process, and we found that the GearLight LED Flashlight—which comes in a pack of two so you have a backup—is the Best Overall option on the market.
However, if you’re a value-shopping camper or hiker looking for a lightweight and inexpensive flashlight, we recommend the Dorcy Floating Flashlight. On the other hand, if you’re a premium shopper looking for the top-of-the-line flashlight with multiple functions, regardless of its price point, we’d go with the AlpsWolf Rechargeable flashlight.