11 Best Camping Flashlights 2022: Go Camping Now!14 min read
It’s difficult to imagine going camping without a reliable flashlight. Lights are a crucial component of a well-rounded camping equipment set. Make sure you have a good camping flashlight on hand when night falls so you won’t get lost in the shadows. Here is a list of the 11 best camping flashlights, you can choose the one you like.
Do You Need A Camping Flashlight?
The following situation is one that you are familiar with if you have ever camped in a state park, national forest, or on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property.
You’re getting ready to go to sleep as it gets dark and the campfire has been put out. You, your kid, or your dog will decide it’s time to use the restroom at that point. You stick your head out and observe the total lack of street lights in the area. You then realize that the light from your smartphone won’t be sufficient. You require something that will illuminate the night.
How To Choose The Best Camping Flashlights?
A light that can produce 1,000, 2,000, or even more lumens at full power is undoubtedly impressive, but in many situations, such as when reading a good book under the stars or responding to the call of nature at two a.m. warrant a much lower level of illumination.
Therefore, we will concentrate on camping flashlights with multiple brightness settings, ideally with a brightness range of three orders of magnitude (e.g., 1,000 lumens to one lumen).
If you’re taking your camping flashlights, they should be able to withstand being dropped and wet. Get a waterproof flashlight if you can, and look for models that can withstand shock. Again, user reviews will provide you with a more accurate picture than company descriptions.
Waterproofing And Dustproofing
Using the Ingress Protection (IP) Code, camping flashlights are rated for dust- and waterproofness. You’ll most frequently see the following ratings:
- IP68. The number six denotes complete protection and dust tightness. The 8 indicates that there won’t be any problems if it’s submerged in water deeper than 1 meter.
- IP63. Again, it is dustproof, but only weatherproof, meaning it can withstand some rain hitting it.
- IP69K. Although it happens less frequently, it indicates that the camping flashlight is shielded from stream-jet cleaning.
The IPX68 rating, which is the same as IP68, is sometimes seen on camping flashlights. Some of the more durable waterproof tools on the market are flashlights with an aluminum anodized finish, such as the Pelican 7100.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that just because a camping flashlight is waterproof doesn’t mean you can submerge it in water. Lights that are waterproof are built to withstand torrential downpours and unintentional falls into water without suffering any damage.
You are free to select any torch you want if you are car camping. You don’t want to carry a lantern with you if you’re thru-hiking, though. Try to keep your kit as light and compact as you can whenever possible; there is no one magic torch size you must have.
However, there is no harm in bringing a small camping flashlight as a backup. Sincerely, I would never go backpacking without a head torch.
Nobody enjoys having to get new camping flashlight batteries. It’s very simple to use your camping flashlight for years without incurring any additional costs once you buy a rechargeable one.
You must understand lumens, the unit of measurement for visible light from a device, in order to comprehend the brightness of a camping flashlight. As you look for a camping flashlight, keep in mind the following breakdown of brightness and some key numbers:
- High. Usually, anything with more than 600 lumens, like the Pelican 7100, is regarded as high and is more than enough to illuminate a campsite.
- Medium. 200-500 lumens is perfect for lighting up a smaller area, like a dining table. This category includes the Goal Zero Torch 250.
- Low. 30-100 lumens is dim enough to search for something in a tent without blinding other people inside. The Maglite ML50L has a 20 lumen eco mode.
Like the Ledlenser MT18, which has a maximum brightness of 3,000 lumens, some camping flashlights have an incredibly bright option. Three campsites could be illuminated by that amount of brightness!
The best purchase you can make is a camping flashlight, as most of them offer different brightness levels by switching between different modes. Also, keep in mind that a camping flashlight will typically cost more the brighter it is.
Beam Angle And Distance
When camping, you might require a camping flashlight that can shine on objects that are not directly in front of you.
As an illustration, imagine that you are hiking back to your campsite when you hear what you believe to be a bear in some nearby trees. It would be very useful at this time to have a camping flashlight that has a long range of illumination.
When compared to new LED camping flashlights, which typically start at around 100 lumens and can reach thousands of lumens, older incandescent style camping flashlights would typically provide up to 150 lumens.
length of time that a camping flashlight can operate before requiring recharging or new batteries. While older incandescent camping flashlights could last up to 11 hours, modern LED flashlights can last more than 100 hours.
It’s critical to choose one that will serve your needs for the appropriate length of time.
Multiple brightness-focused modes are present in a good camping flashlight. However, there are some special modes that are useful in emergency situations.
- High. This is undoubtedly the camping flashlight’s brightest mode.
- Med. To avoid blinding anyone, medium lighting is suitable for use around a campsite.
- Low. This is employed to conduct a discreet search inside a bag or tent. If you want to conserve battery life, it’s also fantastic.
- Strobe. This mode is present in many camping flashlights and is designed for emergencies. If you’re stuck somewhere, people nearby could easily see a blinking strobe light.
Some camping flashlights have additional, more unusual modes. For instance, the Nitecore TM9K has a Turbo Mode that increases the brightest setting to 9,500 lumens. Having the standard high, medium, and low modes is a must, but consider whether the added cost is justified for additional modes.
Size & Weight
Packing as little as possible is one of the camping rules, and your camping flashlight is no exception. Seasoned campers know that a camping flashlight is a must-have tool that’s commonly kept in a pocket. However, there may be some compromises when it comes to size and brightness.
But that isn’t always the case. For instance, the Surefire e2T only weighs 3.5oz while offering a brightness of 800 lumens. The maker did have to include a smaller battery, though, in order to achieve that size.
Purchase two camping flashlights without hesitation. A heavier, brighter one for the campsite, followed by a lighter one that is small enough to fit in your pocket and is bright enough to help you find your way back to camp in an emergency.
11 Best Camping Flashlights
Best Design: Fenix HM61R
The flexibility of the original design is carried over into the Fenix HM61R, which can be traced back to these ancient forebears. A belt, harness, or MOLLE webbing can all be used to attach the HM61R. It is the best camping flashlight with output.
With the headband that comes with it, it can also be used as a headlamp, and the magnetic end cap lets you fasten it to any handy metallic surface.
The HM61R, which weighs less than four ounces and measures four inches in length, is a dependable small device with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and a sturdy aluminum chassis.
- Proven, flexible right-angle design
- Both white and red output
- Magnetic recharging port
- Less runtime than lights with a larger battery
- Low peak beam intensity compared to other lights
Best Value: Nitecore MH11
A capable entry-level light with excellent value for campers on a tight budget is the Nitecore MH11. The MH11 features a feature set that would have been considered top-of-the-line in previous years.
It uses a single CREE XP-L2 V6 LED and a 2,600 mAh 18,650 Li-ion battery to provide four brightness settings ranging from 1,000 to three lumens. It is the best camping flashlight with wide brightness.
The MH11 offers “dual fuel” flexibility by allowing the use of two CR123A or RCR123 batteries as well, but the light cannot recharge either of these battery types.
- Excellent performance to value
- Good output range for a variety of tasks
- Multiple battery options
- Lower-capacity battery
Best Long-Lasting: Anker Bolder LC90
The Bolder 2-cell, 900-lumen Cree LED flashlight from Anker is a fantastic camping accessory. The flashlight has a full hand grip and is a perfect size without being overly large and heavy. It is the best camping flashlight with perfect run time.
The flashlight is also waterproof and has a medium setting that lasts up to 30 hours. The flashlight has 5 different light settings and premium rechargeable 3350mAh batteries: SOS, Strobe, High, Medium, and Low.
- Awesome run time (up to 30 hours)
- Great size, not too small, not too large
- 5 light modes (High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS)
- We adore this flashlight, so there’s nothing.
Best Waterproof: Gearlight LED
Awesome tactical LED camping flashlights are included in this GearLight set. The price is even better because it is sold in sets of two. The camping flashlights have been made to be nearly indestructible, waterproof, and able to focus on objects up to 1000 feet away.
These camping flashlights can operate for up to 5 hours on just 3 AAA batteries thanks to their strong LED bulbs. It is the best camping flashlight with LED bulbs.
- Comes in a set of 2
- Military-grade aluminum body
- Comes with holsters
- Run time slightly low
- Not rechargeable
Best Quality: Maglite LED 3-cell D
The industry standard for flashlights, mag lights are among the most robust lights you can purchase. Camping is a great time to use this 3-cell D flashlight because it won’t be easy to lose. This large flashlight is not something you can easily miss.
Additionally, this camping flashlight has the longest runtime of any on our list due to its size. This flashlight has a whopping 80-hour runtime.
With 165 lumens, it may not be the brightest light, but it will still provide more than enough light for the majority of your needs and last you a very long time. It is the best camping flashlight with perfect run time.
- 80 hours of run time
- Durability & quality of build
- Only 168 lumens
- Only 1 light mode
Best For Carrying: J5 Tactical V1-Pro
When going camping, a great option is to bring this J5 Tactical V1-Pro flashlight. You won’t be without light thanks to the flashlight’s 300-lumen output. The camping flashlight is incredibly small and can be conveniently clipped to your belt, pants, or pocket.
You don’t need to worry about bringing a lot of extra batteries because this flashlight only requires one AA battery. It is the best camping flashlight with a simple battery.
- Easily fits in your pocket
- 3 light modes (High, Low, Strobe)
- Comes with an attached belt clip
- Could feel a little too small for a larger hand
- Not rechargeable
- so you will have to plan on having some extra batteries with you if you run out of power.
Best Output: Fenix LR35R
The LR35R is adaptable enough for a variety of camp and field tasks thanks to its six brightness settings, which range from full power to just 50 lumens, though it’s probably not the best option for reading a good book by the campfire. It is the best camping flashlight with good compacity.
A single switch on the light’s side, which also serves as an indicator for the battery charge, is used to select the setting. While the light is being carried or stored in a pack, a lockout feature is also available to prevent accidental activation.
- Excellent brightness and output range
- Compact form factor
- Low-power mode is too bright
Best Setting: Thrunite TT20
The tactical tail switch and a selector switch on the light’s side, which also serves as a battery charge indicator, are the two ways to operate the TT20. Holding the selector switch will cause the light to cycle smoothly from infinitely high to infinitely low, allowing you to change brightness settings.
Double-clicking the side switch or pressing the tail switch will activate turbo mode. By clicking the side switch three times, the strobe mode is engaged.
The firefly setting is accessed by long pressing the selector switch, and a lockout mode to prevent unintentional battery discharge is accessed by holding the selector switch. It is the best camping flashlight with the easiest firefly setting.
- Easy access to firefly setting
- Proprietary battery
- Not rated for dust resistance
Best For Rechargeable: Stanley FATMAX Spotlight
For those who prefer a larger spotlight feel, Stanley’s FATMAX SL10LEDS rechargeable LED spotlight is a fantastic choice. This spotlight will have plenty of light for every situation at 920 lumens.
A USB port is an added feature that enables you to charge small electronics and mobile devices right from the flashlight. It is the best camping flashlight with perfect brightness.
- Super bright 920 lumens
- Ability to charge other devices
- Low run time
- Not water resistant
Best For Usage: Nitecore P20iX
The Nitecore P20iX is a tactical best camping flashlight with an additional user profile that makes it an excellent option for outdoor activities like camping and fieldwork.
The P20iX is incredibly flexible, offering six brightness settings ranging from 4,000 lumens to just two lumens.
However, the beam intensity suffers due to a reflector design that uses four separate CREE XP-L2 V6 LEDs rather than a single larger LED and deeper reflector. As a result, at the highest brightness setting, the P20iX can only illuminate objects that are up to 220 meters away.
- Dual user profiles for both tactical and traditional use
- The dual tail cap switch allows easy access to all settings
- Low beam intensity despite 4000-lumen brightness
- No lock-out mode
Best Modes: HeroBeam LED Flashlight & Lantern Combo
Due to its many uses, HeroBeam’s LED flashlight and lantern combination makes a fantastic camping flashlight. When you need to light up a large space or room, this powerful camping flashlight also has a lantern mode.
The fact that this best camping flashlight includes batteries is a nice bonus. This flashlight comes with everything you need to use immediately, so there’s no need to stress about finding the right batteries. This is a fantastic camping flashlight option in addition to being water-resistant.
- Flashlight & lantern modes
- Batteries included
- Shorter run time
Camping Lantern, Headlamp, Or Flashlights?
You won’t go very far using the moon and a campfire. Having a mobile (and dependable!) light is essential for a camping trip, both for utility and safety. However, you might want to bring several lights depending on how long your camping trip will last.
A camping lantern usually emits a broad glow, making it ideal for illuminating a tent or picnic table. The hands-free functionality of headlamps makes them essential. However, camping flashlights provide a stronger, more dependable source of light. The best camping flashlights are durable enough to withstand any challenging outdoor adventure and are frequently shock- and water-resistant.
A good camping flashlight is an essential piece of camping equipment for practicality and safety because it is not constrained by size and weight like a wearable headlamp and has a more focused beam than a lantern.
The best camping flashlights should have a variety of brightness settings, such as an eco mode or a red light to improve night vision inside your tent, in addition to high and low modes.
Which Camping Flashlight Is The Best For You?
Your idea of camping will influence the flashlight you choose. You might only need your flashlight for nighttime dog walking if you’re camping at a site with full power and your camper. You can purchase a flashlight that is rechargeable and that you can charge during the day so that it is ready to use at night.
You will require a different type of lighting if you enjoy tent camping. You’ll need a brighter flashlight with hands-free features if you’re setting up a campsite at night. After a long day of hiking, having the right mattress when camping can make all the difference in getting a restful night’s sleep.
You will need a flashlight that is portable and always reliable if you enjoy hiking with a backpack into the middle of the forest to camp or go on wilderness survival trips. In that situation, you should have a solar-powered or long-lasting flashlight so you never have to be concerned about running out of batteries.
Whatever your idea of camping may be, the brightness and battery life of the flashlight will probably be your main deciding factors. Even though 100 lumens is the standard for most flashlights, you’ll probably discover that the best camping flashlights have more lumens.
If you enjoy hiking on forest trails, you might also want a flashlight with an SOS mode.
How Many Lumens Do I Require For A Camping Flashlight?
Although this is a personal choice, you probably only need 500 to 1000 lumens at most for the majority of camping-related tasks. If your preferred light produces 2000 Lumens or more, go for it. While more doesn’t always equal better, it’s better to have extra output and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Nowadays, the majority of the higher-quality brands (Acebeam, Lumintop, Wurkkos/Sofirn, Fenix, etc.) make flashlights that easily produce that kind of output (and a lot more).
Can You Camp In 200 Lumens Of Brightness?
200 lumens could be enough. The beam’s emission method and intended use, however, must be considered. I would probably aim for a flashlight with between 500 and 1000 lumens so it can be used for a variety of tasks. Don’t forget to put a magnet in the tail cap as well. That might be beneficial to you occasionally.
What Features Of A Tent Light Should I Look For, And How Many Lumens Does A Tent Light Need?
This is another debatable topic, but since tent lights are used in enclosed spaces, high output is not required. About 200 to 300 lumens should be produced by a tent light. Modern tent lights with adjustable brightness, such as the Olight O’Lantern, Sofirn LT1, and Wuben F5, allow you to have a little or a lot of light.
The simplest way to use a tent light is to attach a diffuser to a “regular” flashlight or a mule (a flashlight without a lens or reflector), such as the Fireflies PL09MU. In this manner, you can utilize the tent light for a variety of purposes without actually needing a specific tent light. In order to make the light more palatable to the eyes, diffusers should ideally have a warm tint.
In conclusion, camping flashlights are a crucial component of your camping equipment. It’s crucial to find one that suits your requirements so that you always have what you require at the time you require it. Although it depends on your preferences, you probably only need 500 to 1000 lumens at most for the majority of camping-related tasks.