When you sleep under the stars, a flashlight is critical for being able to see in the darkness of the night. So, a quality camping flashlight is one of the most important pieces of gear for an outdoor adventure.
With so many options to choose from, though, we understand how tricky it can be to find just the right camping flashlight for your needs. Thus, to ensure that you can get out and enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer, we’ve created this guide to the best camping flashlights.
Coming up, we’ve got a great list of some of the top flashlights for your next adventure. Plus, we even have a compilation of the most important features you need to consider while shopping around.
If you don't have time for the details, here are our picks for the best rated camping flashlight:
- 1Best Small Flashlight For Camping - Nitecore Thumb
- 2Best LED Flashlight For Camping - OLIGHT S1 Baton
- 3Best Tactical Flashlight For Camping - OxyLED MD50 Tactical
- 4Best Fenix Flashlight For Camping - Fenix E12
- 5Best Rechargeable Flashlight For Camping - Anker Bolder
- 6Best Flashlight For Backpacking - ThruNite Ti3 CW
- 7Best Lightweight Flashlight For Camping - Anker Bolder Lightweight
- 8Best Budget Flashlight For Camping - Nite Ize Radiant
- 9Best Waterproof Flashlight For Camping - ALPS Mountaineering Spark 240
- 10Best Durable Flashlight For Camping - Nitecore MH23
Table of Contents
- Best Flashlight for Camping on the Market Reviews
- 1. Best Small Flashlight for Camping - Nitecore Thumb
- 2. Best LED Flashlight for Camping - OLIGHT S1 Baton
- 3. Best Tactical Flashlight for Camping - OxyLED MD50 Tactical
- 4. Best Fenix Flashlight for Camping - Fenix E12
- 5. Best Rechargeable Flashlight for Camping - Anker Bolder
- 6. Best Flashlight for Backpacking - ThruNite Ti3 CW
- 7. Best Lightweight Flashlight for Camping - Anker Bolder Lightweight
- 8. Best Budget Flashlight for Camping - Nite Ize Radiant
- 9. Best Waterproof Flashlight for Camping - ALPS Mountaineering Spark 240
- 10. Best Durable Flashlight for Camping - Nitecore MH23
- Camping Flashlight Buyer’s Guide
- The Verdict
Best Flashlight for Camping on the Market Reviews
Here are our reviews of the best rated camping flashlights on the market today:
1. Best Small Flashlight for Camping - Nitecore Thumb
Tiny, yet oh-so powerful, the Nitecore Thumb is a super small flashlight for all your camping needs. This keychain-sized light is a lightweight yet highly versatile way to illuminate your world while you’re outdoors.
The Thumb has 85 lumens of lighting power, which can be used in three different brightness levels. In addition to high, medium, and low settings, the Thumb also has a red light mode that is ideal for maintaining your natural night vision.
Designed specifically with one-handed operation in mind, the Thumb is small enough to fit right in the palm of your hand for ease of use. It’s made from a very durable polycarbonate material that can withstand falls up to 4.9ft (1.5m) and is water-resistant. Plus, it’s easily rechargeable via micro-USB for long-term use.
2. Best LED Flashlight for Camping - OLIGHT S1 Baton
As one of the smallest high-powered LED flashlights on the market today, the OLIGHT S1 Baton is a great option for people that want plenty of functionality without added bulk or weight. The SI Baton can pump out 500 lumens of light with a 120 yard (109.7m) beam length.
With the S1 baton, you can choose between three different brightness levels. There’s even a 0.5-lumen “moonlight mode,” which provides a small amount of illumination to help you transition from the dark of night to the flashlight’s beam.
The flashlight is pocket-sized, so it’s the perfect companion on most outdoor adventures. IT also has an impressive 25-day maximum run time when used on its lowest setting, making the S1 baton a useful tool for longer camping expeditions.
3. Best Tactical Flashlight for Camping - OxyLED MD50 Tactical
For durable, tactical-level performance in a flashlight, it’s hard to beat the OxyLED MD50 Tactical. This ultra-bright flashlight produces an impressive 900 lumens of light using its built-in LEDs. So, the MD50 Tactical is a solid choice for anyone that won’t settle for second best.
The MD50 Tactical has five light modes so you can customize the beam to suit your needs. With high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS modes, the MD50 Tactical has a good option for any situation. It also has an adjustable beam, so you can quickly zoom from wide to narrow based on the demands of the current situation.
As a pocket-sized flashlight, the MD50 Tactical is easy to pack for any outdoor pursuit. It also uses a premium rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can fully charge in just 4 hours. Oh, and the MD50 Tactical has an IPX6 rating, so it will function even in heavy rain.
4. Best Fenix Flashlight for Camping - Fenix E12
The Fenix E12 is a small flashlight that packs a big punch. This tiny flashlight uses a single AA battery but is capable of 130 lumens of light at its highest setting. It can also be adjusted to medium and low settings to better fit the needs of the current conditions.
The Fenix E12 is built with a Cree XP-E2 LED that has a lifespan of about 50,000 hours. With a built-in digitally-regulated output control system, the Fenix E12 maintains a constant level of brightness even as the battery starts to run out of juice.
It features a slightly recessed switch which helps prevent accidental illumination when it’s in your pack. Plus, the Fenix E12 is made from a type of durable aircraft-grade aluminum with a hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish which means the entire design is fully waterproof up to 6.5ft (2m) in depth.
5. Best Rechargeable Flashlight for Camping - Anker Bolder
Bright and compact, the Anker Bolder is a fully-featured rechargeable flashlight for year-round camping. This flashlight uses a quality Cree LED XM-L2 chip that can deliver 900 lumens of brightness for years on end.
The Bolder has a rechargeable battery with built-in advanced technology, which helps to prevent over or undercharging. Additionally, it has 5 different light settings, including high, medium, low, high-visibility strobe, and emergency SOS.
Since it’s built with high-quality components, the Bolder also features an IP65 water-resistant rating. Plus, the Anker Bolder is backed by the company’s 18-month warranty for ease of mind with your purchase.
6. Best Flashlight for Backpacking - ThruNite Ti3 CW
Sleek and fantastically lightweight, the ThruNite Ti3 CW is a backpacker’s best friend. This compact flashlight can fit on a keychain but is still able to create 120 lumens of light with a 50m maximum beam distance.
The flashlight has multiple light modes, including high, low, strobe, extra strobe, and firefly/moonlight so it’s highly versatile. With a weight of just 0.42oz (11.9g), the Ti3 Cw is so light, it’s hard to notice that it’s even in your pack in the first place.
Specifically crafted to be an every day carry penlight, the Ti3 CW is economical, yet effective. It’s fully waterproof up to 6.5ft (2m) in depth and can withstand 3.9ft (1.2m) drops. Finally, the Ti3 CW has a 2-way reverse clip that allows it to be secured in a pocket or attached to the brim of a cap for hands-free use.
7. Best Lightweight Flashlight for Camping - Anker Bolder Lightweight
For a high-quality flashlight that doesn’t weigh you down, the Anker Bolder Lightweight is a solid choice. The Bolder Lightweight has a slim design that can fit easily inside a pocket.
Its robust aluminum body is durable enough to withstand the rigors of regular hiking adventures. Additionally, the Bolder Lightweight is IPX5 rated for water-resistance in heavy rain, so it’s a great tool for outdoor adventures.
The flashlight gets a solid 5.5 hours of battery life off of one charge, which is perfect for a weekend camping trip. The Bolder Lightweight is also easy to use with its single ergonomic push button that can quickly flip between the flashlights’ high and low settings.
8. Best Budget Flashlight for Camping - Nite Ize Radiant
Built with overall versatility in mind, the Nite Ize Radiant is a 3-in-1 mini flashlight for all your outdoor excursions. This tiny flashlight has 80 lumens of lighting power packed into its 4.5 inch (11.43cm) frame.
Fully-featured, the Radiant can be operated on either high or low modes for regular use on the trail. By sliding up the end, though, you can quickly turn the Radiant into a lantern, which is perfect for use around camp. Finally, the bottom of the flashlight has a red safety light with glow, flash, and SOS modes for use during an emergency.
As far as durability is concerned, the Radiant can withstand heavy rain. It can also handle drops of up to 3.2ft (1m), thanks to its durable, machine-crafted aluminum body. Oh, and with a maximum beam length of 164ft (50m) there’s nothing the Radiant can’t do.
9. Best Waterproof Flashlight for Camping - ALPS Mountaineering Spark 240
Crafted for the true adventurer, the ALPS Mountaineering Spark 240 is a burly, yet convenient flashlight for frequent use in the mountains. This flashlight runs on 2 AA batteries and can provide up to 240 lumens of light.
The light can be adjusted to function on high, low, strobe, and SOS modes. Or, you can adjust the beam to different widths, from 15º to 45º. The beam on the Spark can also reach an impressive 131 yards (120m) for maximum effectiveness on the trail.
When it comes to durability, the Spark doesn’t disappoint. This flashlight is IPX7 rated, so it can withstand being submerged in 3.2ft (1m) of water for up to 30 minutes at a time. But, unlike some heavy-duty flashlights, the Spark tips the scales at just 4.6oz (130g), so it’s lightweight and durable.
10. Best Durable Flashlight for Camping - Nitecore MH23
If you need a flashlight that can truly handle whatever you throw at it, the Nitecore MH23 just might be your answer. This high-powered flashlight creates a truly impressive 1800 lumens of light, which is enough to illuminate all of your surroundings.
With a maximum beam distance of 964.5ft (294m), the Nitecore HM23 is great for those late-night hikes or for emergency use in the mountains. It also has a staggering 330 hours of run time, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery in the middle of the woods.
At just 3.39oz (96.2g), the Nitecore HM23 is also quite lightweight. But it can operate at temperatures as low as 40ºF (40ºC) or be submerged in up to 6.7ft (2m) of water. You can even drop the flashlight from 3.2ft (1m) in the air without causing a single issue with functionality. What could be better?
Camping Flashlight Buyer’s Guide
Since you have so many different flashlight options available to you at any given time, it’s important that you know what to look for when you’re shopping around. So, here are some of the top features to consider when doing your research:
A lumen is a measure of the overall light output from a light source, like a lamp. Most flashlights will create between 80-2000 lumens on their highest setting.
When you’re camping, you want a decent amount of lumens. But, unless you plan to do a lot of night hiking, you probably don’t need a high-powered flashlight for reading in your tent at night.
So, most people will find that an 80-250 lumen flashlight will be more than sufficient for their needs. Others will want a higher-powered light source for nighttime hiking and other activities.
Most flashlights will have multiple light modes that you can choose from. Generally, a flashlight will have at least a high and a low beam. However, the highest quality flashlights will also have a strobe mode, a red light mode, and potentially an SOS mode for emergency use.
No one likes to buy a new piece of gear only to have it break after a few uses. This is especially true when it comes to important pieces of gear, like a flashlight, which you need for safety reasons. So, durable flashlights that are water-resistant and shock-resistant are very useful.
Battery Run Time
If you have a flashlight with dead batteries, it’s not very useful. This is why it’s important to know your camping flashlight’s battery run time - how long it will last with fresh batteries or a full charge.
Of course, flashlights with longer battery run times are going to be more versatile than ones that only last a couple of hours. But, you should expect to pay more for flashlights that can operate for longer on a single charge.
Modern camping flashlights will either run off of disposable AA and AAA batteries or they’ll be rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries have the benefit of being more environmentally and economically friendly.
But, if you run out of juice in your rechargeable batteries in the middle of a trip, you’ll need to have a power bank with you to charge your flashlight. With disposable batteries, however, you can simply swap out your dead batteries for fresh ones and immediately use the flashlight again.
There are quite literally thousands of flashlights available to you at any given moment. But, not all of them are great for camping. Indeed, the perfect camping flashlight is a good mix of lightweight, durable, bright, and compact. So, when shopping for the best camping flashlight, keep these considerations in mind.