Rick is a former news reporter who decided that the corporate world wasn't for him and took off to travel the world. He's been to every continent (yes, even Antarctica!) and has tried out a multitude of outdoor gear along the way. From tents to hiking boots, he's probably tested it all. Now, he's one of our full-time product testers and experts.
Bryan is one of our leading experts since he's got a vast expertise in practically everything connected to the outdoors. He's been hiking since he was a young boy, was an organizer of kayaking tours which later led to another passion of his - kayak fishing. Now, he's a part-time expert consultant involved in our multiple product tests and topic research.
Last updated: April 03, 2022
Outdoorspedia is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Camping can be a stressful endeavor, especially after the sun goes down. After the fall of night, it’s important to be as equipped as possible. Whether you need to locate your socks in the dark or walk from point A to point B without finding your way into a ditch, a quality flashlight will quickly become your best friend. Due to the immense variety of these devices on the market, selecting the best camping flashlight can be an interesting journey.
We took the time to explore the market and identified the key features that we believe every quality flashlight needs. Design, price and longevity are some of the areas we found importance in. We’re pleased to report that the camping flashlight market offers something for everyone, regardless of size restriction or budget. The reality is there are a lot of sticky situations you may encounter while camping. Investing in a quality camping flashlight is one way to be better prepared for absolutely anything.
We’ve narrowed our list down to our top nine picks for you to use in selecting the best flashlight for camping. Each contender’s review includes a comprehensive break down of the product followed by a list of the most noteworthy pros and cons. Make use of these detailed reviews when selecting your number one. For a swifter overview, the comparison table of each product will tell you everything worth knowing in a more condensed version. We then suggest you head over to our buyer’s guide. We’ve taken the personal accounts of previously satisfied customers and used them to compile fact-based advice on shopping for your flashlight. No doubt all of this will guide you toward the best flashlight selection for your trip.
Extra features: military-grade waterproof design, comes with battery, flashlight holster, charging seat
The WissBlue camping flashlight is our pick for the best all-around product in this lineup – and for good reason. The WissBlue is a military grade flashlight only recently made available to the public. Military-made devices are naturally much more durable and longer lasting than conventional market products.
With a beam distance of over 3200ft, the WissBlue lumen count is exceptionally high. The device emits an LED light ray that can be used to light over both short and long distances. The body of the flashlight is known as its “military shell” due to its incredible infallible design. It’s resistant to the elements and fully waterproof; Therefore it’s suitable for both camping and diving trips.
The batteries are lithium and removable. The unit comes with a charger. The batteries last an impressive four to five days at full charge so you won’t be left in the dark easily.
The WissBlue has the ability to switch between regular mode and something they call flashing mode. Being a military designed unit, flashing mode is more of a security feature than anything else. In the event of needing to shine a light on an intruder, the flashing mode should be used. It’s distracting and overwhelming for the eyes of the perpetrator and puts you the user at an immediate advantage. This can be equally as handy in the event of encountering wild animals while camping. In addition to this, the flashlight has a strobe function built in as well. The strobe light can be used at levels of low, medium or high voltage.
WissBlue will give you a one year warranty on your purchase, though with the durability of this device it’s unlikely you’ll need to use it. Don’t overlook our pick for the best all-around unit for camping flashlights.
Extra features: rechargeable – 96 hours per charge, rapid focus, transportation lock prevents light from accidentally turning on, comes with wrist strap
Some flashlights have handsfree abilities, and others need to be held by you in order to be used. The Ledlenser is one of the latter and is our pick for the best handheld flashlight for camping.
The body of this flashlight is what makes it so interesting. Though seemingly bulky it’s actually incredibly lightweight and comfortable to grip for long periods of time.
The Ledlenser is an exceptionally powerful light device with an output level of 3000 lumens. This is almost 30 times the ability of most entry-level flashlights. Because of the powerful nature of this flashlight, there’s a security feature that prevents the unit from being turned on accidentally.
The battery life need also be mentioned. At full charge, the Ledlenser will deliver 96 hours of continuous light. After that, it only needs four hours to recharge again. This can be done with a regular wall socket or a USB cable.
The device is equipped with rapid focus technology that has the ability to quickly zoom in on objects both near and far. When camping this is a great feature to make use of. Night hikes are particularly enjoyable with the accompaniment of this flashlight as there’s nothing you can’t see. It may be ideal if you’re prone to get nervous in the dark.
The Ledlenser is our pick for the best handheld flashlight both because of its comfortable design and its impressive performance. We believe it to be an asset in the hand of any camper. With a five-year product guarantee there’s probably nothing more we need to say.
Extra features: multi-functional: comes with head strap to be used as headlamp, rechargeable, low battery warning, magnetic cable for easy charging
For everyone who doesn’t want to hold their flashlights, there are handsfree options on the market. The Olight H2R is our winner as the best handsfree camping flashlight available.
This device is a versatile one as it can be used as both a handheld and a handsfree unit. The flashlight is most effective when connected to its headpiece gear that sits on top of the user’s head. The flashlight fits into the gear horizontally and will beam light directly ahead of the wearer for an illuminated path. The flashlight also comes with a pocket clip that can turn the light into a different sort of handsfree flashlight where the light comes from your hip area instead.
The lumen ability is a maximum of 2300 units, give or take depending on the tone of the light that you choose. Cool blue light and white light tend to differ in lumen output. Regardless, this is a powerful flashlight that will light quite a large area given its compact size. The price tag is also surprising when you consider its ability.
Handsfree flashlights are hugely beneficial when camping. Almost all activities while camping require full use of both hands wherever possible. From setting up camp, to cooking to navigating distances; there’s no better way to do so than with light sources that you don’t have to hold. Having the device attached to a head strap also reduces the likelihood of misplacing the flashlight.
The Olight is our winner for the best handsfree flashlight for obvious reasons. You really can’t go wrong with this unit.
Extra features: anti-slip shaft, comes with wrist strap
Camping or not, a pocket-sized flashlight is a device that every individual should consider owning at one point or another. The phrase “pocket-sized” refers to the extremely compact nature of these devices. This Anker Bolder flashlight is our winner for the best pocket flashlight available. This has a lot to do with the simple, sleek design of the flashlight’s exterior. It’s not too bulky and will sit in one’s pocket without being noticed or it bothering you.
For such a compact device it’s impressive that it features a 400-lumen ability. This can span across almost 100m give or take. With disposable batteries, the flashlight will last up to four hours of consecutive usage. With rechargeable batteries, this lifespan is extended up to six hours.
One thing we love about this device is its ability to stand upright on its own. This allows it to turn into a handsfree unit that can be used to light a central space as a stand-alone torch. You also have the option of mounting this flashlight to a bike and using it as a night-ride companion.
All in all, pocket flashlights are great to have laying around as you never know when you may need one. The Anker comes with an attached wrist strap so that when you do make use of the device, it’s always at the ready. In situations requiring quick movement, the anti-slip shaft will come in handy and prevent you from losing touch with your flashlight in the chaos. This device was also a strong contender for our budget pick. However, the pocket-sized nature of it was simply more impressive.
Extra features: rechargeable, USB power output port for external charging of devices, built-in tripod and work light, 15 hours per charge for emergency blinking mode
Some people just prefer the experience of a spotlight to a flashlight while camping. These devices provide a lot of intense, long-range light and reduce the need for smaller flashlights altogether. The Rugged Camp Titan is a rechargeable spotlight with a lumen ability of 1000. This spotlight can be set up to project light over a target area, though it must be noted that direct contact with human eyes is best avoided.
The most notable feature of this Rugged Camp unit is that it doubles as a USB charger where necessary. Users can connect cellular devices to the spotlight for direct charging abilities.
At full charge, this spotlight will perform for a solid two hours on spot mode, and eight hours on regular light mode. Spotlight mode is intense light and not usually needed unless circumstances call for it while camping. Regular mode will come in handy in far more situations. To recharge this device, you have a number of options. Use a regular wall outlet, a car cigarette lighter or a USB powered outlet to get your spotlight back to full capacity.
Although these devices may seem like the more fixed type of unit, they’re surprisingly portable as well. Use the handle to carry the spotlight wherever you need to go, the same way you would a regular handheld device. It’s lightweight and not uncomfortable to take around with you.
These high power devices are assets to the serious camper. Their range of brightness abilities will ensure you’re never without the right light in your campsite.
Extra features: 50000-hour lifespan, rechargeable – 6 hours per charge, comes with microUSB cable for charging, zoomable beam, non-slip grooves, aluminum body, water-resistant
This flashlight by Tacklife is our winner for the best budget pick in the lineup of nine camping flashlights. The affordable nature of this device shouldn’t let you doubt its impressive abilities.
At full charge, the Tacklife flashlight will deliver six consecutive hours of light before needing to be recharged. The recharge process takes another six hours. Recharging is done using a convenient USB cable based charger that can connect to any power bank or energy source.
The body of the flashlight is of notable quality considering its low price tag. The unit is incredibly durable and is able to withstand even the heaviest rain. It’s also fully shock resistant.
The flashlight features six modes of function that can be alternated between using the main button in the rear. They’re high, medium, low, fast flash, slow flash, and SOS.
The unit is compact enough to be on your person at all times during your trip as it can slide into your pocket or be attached using the included lanyard. It’s a lightweight unit so you’ll never feel bogged down by its presence.
This is a great camping flashlight for any beginner looking to get started in accumulating quality gear to take along. For such a compact unit the lumen emission is higher than other units this size; 900 lumens of output light at normal mode.
The great thing about this flashlight is that it comes with a standard 24-month warranty upon purchase. This is not common in products of such affordable nature and is a welcome benefit to this investment. It’s clear to see why the Tacklife is our pick for the best budget pick in this roundup and an industry favorite.
Extra features: 360-degree coverage, inbuilt USB battery bank for portable device charging, lifetime guarantee
We love this lantern flashlight by Blazin’ Bison! It’s our winner of the title of best long life flashlight and for very good reasons. Somehow this lantern has the ability to stretch hundreds of hours of usage out of a single charge. This is not common in units of such affordable nature.
At its maximum output of 400 lumens, it can provide light for 24 hours. As we lower the lumen value, the lifespan gets longer and longer. 165 lumen will last 75 hours and 40 lumens at 400 hours. The red mode at 10 lumens will also last 400 hours.
The carry handle doubles as a clip and the unit can be hung from overhead quite easily. This is great for camping as it gives the illusion of roof lighting. It’s drop proof up to five feet, and fully weather resistant so heavy duty handling won’t ruin your new gadget.
Another flashlight with lighting abilities, the Bison can charge your cellphone or speakers through a USB charging cable. Another handy tool to have while camping.
Overall this lantern is a great investment for anyone who intends to take lengthy camping trips where electricity may be in short supply.
To top things off, you’ll receive a lifetime guarantee with your purchase — what a pleasure!
Extra features: 360-degree coverage, 5-year warranty, water-resistant
We love a good camping lantern due to its versatility. This unit by Internova is our pick for best lantern flashlight.
Lantern flashlights are great because they can be used to light different areas of a campsite without needing to be constantly held. Once in place, the lantern will emit constant light to the vicinity until it dies out or is turned off. These lanterns can also be moved from place to place as the night progresses and light is needed in various areas. For example, the lantern may start around the campfire and later move into the tent when it’s time to sleep or read your book.
The Internova gives the option of providing bright, harsh light or a romantic, dim light. The choice is yours.
The body of the lantern is durable and water resistant, so no need to panic in the event of a rainstorm. It’s able to withstand quite harsh conditions including falls or scrapes. It’s incredibly sturdy thanks to the rubber base of the unit. It’s lightweight and can be ported around either by the handle or by the strap feature that fits onto backpacks.
At full charge, you can enjoy five hours of continuous light around your campsite before needing to recharge the lantern. This is usually the standard lifespan of these kinds of units due to the vast amount of power they consume once switched on.
The light has a red hue option as well. This is great for when it comes to star gazing in the evening, or should you ever need an SOS light ray. Well priced and high performing, a great unit all around.
Why is it special?
Lights a much bigger space than handheld flashlights
Extra features: rechargeable, non-slip design, memory function: turns on in the mode last used
Sometimes the big and the bulky are not the right fit for a more simplistic camper. Compact, lightweight devices have gained popularity when it comes to more conventional camping, such as during music festivals, for example. Campers don’t want to lug around heavy devices. This ThruNite flashlight is our winner for the best lightweight flashlight on the market. Weighing just 71grams, this one won’t weight your luggage down.
In spite of its compact nature, it produces an impressive output of 2300 lumens in association with a beam distance of 246m. All modes are controlled through a click of a single button, and they include low, medium, high, turbo, firefly, and strobe. With this little flashlight, you’ll be ready for any situation.
The different lumen abilities within this flashlight make the run time vastly different from mode to mode. Firefly mode, for example, can last up to 41 days before needing a recharge whereas the high power mode lasts only 90 minutes.
Most units of this size usually require new batteries once the included ones run out. The ThruNite features a rechargeable battery unit for your convenience.
With a guarantee of 20 years of performance, this unit is a worthwhile investment for anyone in need of a great compact flashlight for simple functions.
What are our favorite features?
Impressive lightweight design
Range of longevity abilities
What could be better?
Easy to lose due to small size
Things to Consider
A quality camping flashlight is both an investment in the success of your trip as well as the well being of both you and your family. Sufficient light is imperative once darkness falls. It’s important to us that you make the right flashlight selection to accompany you on your journey. This buyer’s guide offers an array of information to assist you with moving forward in your purchase.
Benefits of having a powerful camping flashlight
Purchasing a flashlight that has been specifically designed to improve your camping experience will yield a multitude of benefits:
The ability to see everything you need to once the cover of night descends on your campsite
Reassured safety for you and the rest of the campers in the event of an emergency
You’ll rest assured knowing there’s no ground you can’t cover during the night
Cooking, packing, and dressing can commence even in low light situations through the use of your flashlight
Additionally, you can enjoy games such as cards and board games well into late evening
Enjoy your camping trip for longer into the evenings
Camping flashlights also come in handy in other situations such as power outages or exploring vicinities by night, whether you’re at home or on a trip
Features to consider while choosing a flashlight for camping
All that’s left to do is make your final selection from our very competitive list of options. We know, they’re all unique and full of innovative features. It’s therefore helpful to start identifying the specific features that are most useful to your needs. The following breakdown of flashlight criteria will help you realize those features most required by you. Make use of them in order to finally select the best flashlight for camping.
Type of flashlight
The flashlight industry has been extremely creative in design areas for these products. Flashlights now come in a range of different styles that offer a variety of uses:
Lantern flashlight: These are bigger, self-standing units that emit light from a fixed position, though they can be carried around by the attached handle if need be
Pocket flashlight: Smaller, thinner units that slide easily into one’s pocket when not in use
Headset flashlight: A flashlight attached to a strap or headpiece that emits light from the forehead area for a handsfree experience
Keychain flashlight: Miniature flashlights that connect to your keychain for emergency use
Spotlight: High voltage, high energy units that light up an entire campsite
Handheld torchlight: The most common of flashlights, large enough to light the way and small enough to be carried around by hand
Beam modes are a good place to start when trying to select the right flashlight for you. It all comes down to what kind of light you believe you’ll need during your trip. Most flashlights have options for different beam modes that can be alternated between at the click of a button. These usually range between one solid beam, a flashing strobe-like beam, a wide angle beam, a narrow beam, and a significantly dimmer beam. Some flashlights will have the additional ability of emitting beams of different colors. Red is the most common as it can be used in situations where one needs to draw attention to your location. The Internova 1000 is a flashlight lantern that makes use of red light for both SOS and stargazing purposes.
Lumens refers to the total output of the light source and will generally refer to the flashlight’s brightness. Typically, your standard flashlight puts out between 50 and 100 lumens. Depending on your needs you may require your flashlight to put out significantly more or less. If your requirement is more light at a higher intensity, then you want to look at units with +100 lumen capability. If you don’t require too much brightness, then units anywhere from 15 lumens will be sufficient. Some high-end products will feature lumen ranges of up to 3000, such as the Ledlenser Handheld that we looked at earlier in the best camping flashlight reviews.
The dimensions of your flashlight will ultimately determine how easily, and how frequently, you make use of the device. It may seem exciting to buy the biggest, fanciest flashlight just because you can — but come camping time you may find you’re less eager to whip it out. Bulky flashlights tend to be left in the corner once the novelty wears off. Take into account the dimensions of the flashlight you’re considering purchasing and take note of whether it’s of a comfortable size for your own ability. Flashlights like the ThruNite are extremely compact and lightweight when compared next to a unit such as the Blazin’ Bison which is incredibly bulky. You may consider purchasing two at the end of the day. One that is used in a more permanent position and one that you use as portable.
Beam distance is important to consider when you know more about the nature of the terrain you’ll be facing in the camping grounds. Some flashlights have the ability to stream light across vast distances. If you’re going to keep track of children during the trip, or spotting animals at night, then one of these impressive flashlights would be recommended. Other flashlights may not emit a beam distance at all, but rather a circular glow from around the unit (lantern flashlights). These are better for lighting one’s immediate space or for short walks. Consider the type of beams you’re most likely to need during camping and find the flashlight that best suits this.
Almost all flashlights are powered by batteries. Some are rechargeable and others need new sets once the first ones are depleted. Some flashlight manufacturers will offer the option of purchasing an additional set of batteries that can be pre-charged and taken on the camping trip with you, so you don’t have to worry about recharging once there. There are also some higher-end, lantern style flashlights that will have dual ability of running off both batteries and power outlets. It’s not uncommon for some campsites to have plug point facilities where the dual modes work excellent. Some flashlights tend to chew through battery life when on specific modes, such as the Rugged Camp Titan’s spotlight function that eats through an entire charge in just two hours. Take note of the battery abilities of your flashlight and compare it to the resources where you’ll use it, before committing to a purchase.
Something we often forget to consider is a flashlight’s weatherproofing. Ideally, all electrical products that emit light should be weather resistant to a notable degree.
The weather while camping can be tumultuous and unpredictable. There shouldn’t be a situation in which you’re caught without light due to your flashlight not surviving some moisture.
Take note of the weather resistance of the flashlight you’re most drawn to and make sure it’s suited to your camping needs. Durability is a feature that is sometimes worth paying a few extra dollars for.
Most flashlight purchases will come with some sort of limited warranty period. While the manufacturers won’t cover you in the event of self-inflicted damage or negligence, they’ll repair or replace your unit should the fault be due to their construction of it. Because of the rough nature of camping we recommend investing in a flashlight that comes with a reputable warranty period if possible. Buying cheap products will only lead to you needing to buy more cheap products. Pay a bit extra for quality and enjoy the warranty (and longevity) that comes with it.
An obvious one but relevant nonetheless: Having a clear understanding of the budget for your flashlight will help narrow down the selection process. As we mentioned, the industry is so saturated with options it’s hard not to find something that fits perfectly into your price range. As with anything, you get what you pay for. Higher end products will come with hefty price tags but are likely to perform better and last a bit longer. Cheaper products can, of course, get the job done however their lifespans will be notably shorter due to wear and tear. It’s nevertheless entirely possible to purchase a high performing, yet low-cost unit. Our lineup’s budget pick, the Tacklife Cree is an example of this.
It really depends on the manufacturing of the unit. Some camping flashlights have the ability to recharge in just a few hours while others may require overnight charging to get back to full capacity. It all comes down to the lumens of the unit and how much energy is required to make the flashlight function.
You can. Most camping flashlights are equipped with USB cable charging ports that can be connected to power banks. This is handy for a camping trip as you’ll be able to recharge your flashlight while making use of other electronic equipment through the power bank. And you can camp where there are no electrical outlets and still have light.
Adjustable focus is essentially just a smoother way to alternate between modes and beams. Instead of using buttons, a flashlight will feature a rotating ring that can be twisted to change the beam of the unit. You can seamlessly fade between wide beam and spotlight without a sudden shift. While this is a welcome feature to any quality unit, it’s not imperative to the performance of a flashlight.
Our clear winner in this roundup remains the WissBlue Tactical flashlight. It’s our best all-rounder when it comes to camping flashlights. Being of military grade, everything about this flashlight was immediately of better quality. From the exterior to the beam ability, it doesn’t get much better.
Our runner up was the Ledlenser flashlight, that happened to also be our pick for the best handheld flashlight out of the lot. The design of this unit was what impressed us most… and the undeniably long battery life it’s able to hold!
Following on the heels of these two is a unit of similar ability, but with a less hefty price tag – the Olight H2R NW. The lumen ability, as well as its multi-functionality (it can be used as a headlamp as well as a handheld flashlight) were the most notable features of this product.
And so, we come to the end of this roundup – all that’s left to do is identify your most required features and pick the best camping flashlight for your needs.