Review

5 Best Flashlights For Camping (Compact and Bright) – Decide Outside – Making Adventure Happen

best flashlight for camping

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best flashlights for camping are, then we recommend the Fenix Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight.

Camping can be incredibly fun. However, it can also get very dark outside and that results in a big problem if you aren’t able to see in the dark. Since most of us are not X-Men, you’re going to need a good flashlight before you leave for your next camping trip.

Some may assume that their cell phone flashlight will be more than enough. However, to those crazy people…we must make a few important points. First off, you do not want to abuse your cell phone battery when camping. Who knows if you’ll need to make a call, right?

These flashlights are specially made to use their energy efficiently. A cell phone does this a lot with things like calls as well as applications. However, the flashlight portion of the device is one of the few areas that most cell phones do not properly use energy. Meaning, your battery will be out before you know it.

Plus, if you drop that thing while trying to see around you…which even the best phone lights cannot properly do anyway, then you’re out of luck for the entire trip. There aren’t any outlets to recharge the thing outdoors either.

We have found some of the best flashlights for camping around. Before we get to those, we wanted to point out some key things to look for in a great flashlight.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top 3 Picks…

Description

Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L LED Tactical Flashlight with Two EdisonBright CR123A Lithium Batteries

STREAMLIGHT – 88040 Streamlight ProTac Professional Handheld Flashlight – 750 Lumen with High/Low/Strobe Black

SureFire G2X Pro Dual-Output LED Flashlight with click switch, Yellow

Top Pick

Preview

Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L LED Tactical Flashlight with Two EdisonBright CR123A Lithium Batteries

Description

Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L LED Tactical Flashlight with Two EdisonBright CR123A Lithium Batteries

Preview

STREAMLIGHT - 88040 Streamlight ProTac Professional Handheld Flashlight - 750 Lumen with High/Low/Strobe Black

Description

STREAMLIGHT – 88040 Streamlight ProTac Professional Handheld Flashlight – 750 Lumen with High/Low/Strobe Black

Preview

SureFire G2X Pro Dual-Output LED Flashlight with click switch, Yellow

Description

SureFire G2X Pro Dual-Output LED Flashlight with click switch, Yellow


How to Choose a Good Flashlight for Camping

flashlights

Battery Life

Some of the best flashlights for camping are made with specialized batteries that allow them to last for several hours. Some can be on for 10 to 24 hours, with some lasting even longer than that. You want to find the ones that last the longest if possible.

However, a light that can last for 10 hours is by no means a bad flashlight in our book.

Some flashlights use normal batteries that you might get at your local store. Yet they will last very well in the best flashlights because the lights are made to use energy well. In fact, those made to accept various battery types are often the ones that last the longest.

Brightness

While brightness may not seem important to some people, it is actually a massively important thing to have. The best flashlights for camping will actually have different settings too. This may be anything from a low to high setting to things with a low, medium, high, very high, and more type of setting base.

Truthfully, it is all in the manufacturer as well as the price you’re paying for the flashlight. Yet all tend to have a low to high setting. Some may also include a strobe or SOS type of light too. Those are often found in tactical lights more than regular flashlights, however.

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The big thing to look for here is the “Lumens.” This will be how bright a particular light can go. Therefore, the higher the lumen count, the brighter the light.

Size

When it comes to the size of a flashlight, this is all depending on what you’re using it for. Those who are using them ONLY for camping may not really have to care about the size. If you’re going to hike a lot, however, then you may need to worry.

Those using a flashlight for tactical reasons may also want something smaller. However, a common trend among most flashlight users is that they do not like the big or bulky type. Thus, most of the newer flashlights tend to be relatively small and/or light.

Ruggedness

It is clear that size is important, but does size mean that a flashlight is tough? Not at all! In fact, some of the biggest flashlights you’ll find can be pretty weak. Therefore, you need to buy one that can handle drops, throws, or falls.

The ruggedness, more than most traits, can be of vast importance. You never know how much you need a flashlight until you need a freakin flashlight. Breaking one is just not in the cards, so you want to make sure the one you buy is made to last.

Our list will have a few lights that contain the word “tactical” in them. It seems that it is mostly the tactical line of flashlights that ends up being the toughest. Thus, this could help you determine what you might need just from the name. However, we recommend giving them all a look.

Review: Best Flashlights For Camping


Fenix Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight

Fenix is one of the leaders in the world of flashlights. They make numerous different types of flashlights too, including rechargeable flashlights. They also tend to be great at creating the perfect flashlight for the scenario they are built for.

In this case, the Fenix Tactical Flashlight is made to really handle itself well in the tactical field. Yet the best thing about anything tactical is that this meshes well in essentially a crossover with camping and other outdoor activities. That makes this one of the best flashlights for camping as a result.

This flashlight reaches 1,000 Lumens for its max brightness, which seems to be utilized quite well. It appears Fenix managed to use every lumen to properly light a large surface area.

This flashlight is not very large, allowing you to take it pretty much anywhere. It is also made for tactical purposes, so it’s incredibly durable. There is even a function called the “Tactical tail switch” which offers a momentary-on function.

The brightness might be utilized well, but the energy is perfectly used. The flashlight uses Cree XP-L V5 LED technology, which offers a 50,000 lifespan for the total time period this light will have before it needs to be replaced.

Fenix did well by offering two different battery types. It uses one rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries. The rechargeable version is the best buy for obvious reasons but both battery types are great.

Upon purchase, Fenix offers two EdisonBright CR123A lithium batteries, so you can either replace these when the time comes or simply opt to purchase the rechargeable version.

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Streamlight Professional Tactical Flashlight

This flashlight option from Streamlight seems to offer quite a lot of different lights under one banner. Therefore, it can be tough to navigate which you’d prefer in the type they have. This includes anything from a rail-mounted light for a gun to regular flashlights.

Clearly, we’re not looking for the rail-mounted version but they do have numerous types of regular flashlights in here too. It may end up being hard to figure out the type you want but we can help with this.

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Anything under 600 Lumens for a maximum flashlight is often not worth it. So, eliminate all the options that are under this. The best of the bunch is the Protac HL USB, Protac HL 3, & the Protac HL 4.

These are 850, 1,000, and 2,200 lumens respectively. The USB version is well-liked by many as it tends to use a rechargeable battery, which is where the USB comes into play. The others either use specific batteries or also possess a rechargable type.

Most of them come with C4 LED technology to offer extreme brightness while the LED itself allows for power regulation. This is what gives you a brighter experience. On top of this, a deep-dish parabolic reflector is also in play with a few. This offers a concentrated beam with optimal peripheral illumination.

All are made with a great, durable anodized aluminum construction with knurled body for proper gripping. The runtime, as well as other features, will differ depending on the version you buy.

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SureFire G2X Series LED Flashlight

SureFire G2X Pro Dual-Output LED Flashlight with click switch, Yellow

SureFire G2X Pro Dual-Output LED Flashlight with click switch, Yellow

  • Virtually indestructible LED emitter regulated to maximize light output and runtime
  • Two output levels – high of 600 lumens for maximum light, and low of 15 lumens for extended runtime
  • Dual-output tailcap click switch–press for momentary-on low, click for constant-on low, return to off then press or click again for high
  • Precision micro-textured reflector creates smooth, optimized beam
  • Tough Nitrolon body, anodized aluminum bezel

SureFire is another company that delivers some of the best flashlights for camping and other purposes. They truly can deliver great lights for the tactical world, but outdoor needs overall seem to be their bread and butter.

The G2X Series Flashlight is another in their impressive collection. It has a virtually indestructible LED emitter, which is regulated to maximize the light output and overall runtime. The design itself is also made to be tough and durable, allowing it to be capable of anything.

It is made out of Nitrolon hard plastic and adonized aluminum bezel. 

Meanwhile, it also employs a precision micro-textured reflector, which creates a smooth yet optimized beam. This allows it to reach up to 600 Lumens for its maximum light yet it’ll also go to a low of 15 Lumens to extend runtime.

Of course, it uses a dual-output tail cap with click switch-press design. It’ll operate on momentary-on, constant-on low, return to off mode, and then a click to high beam mode.

Overall, it is a terrific flashlight for camping. However, several EMTs among other first responders have had a lot of success with it too. Therefore, it’s multi-use and that means you’ll get more out of it.

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J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight

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This particular flashlight happens to be the official flashlight of the Joe Gibbs Racing Team. It is also on the #19 ARRIS Toyota Camry, which is driven by team member Carl Edwards. If it is good enough for the NASCAR team, then we feel it is great for you too.

There is a good and bad scenario with a flashlight like this. The NASCAR team likely uses this flashlight to see in their vehicles. However, there will also be a great deal of other light that they will have when doing so. It likely won’t be pitch-black.

Thus, the Lumen strength is not as needed but it could likely be a need for someone who is in the middle of the woods camping. The 300 max Lumen strength hurts it a bit. However, this Lumen count is exploited pretty well due to the LED bulbs.

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They allow for the flashlight to shine with a really bright light in spite of the 300 max lumens. We’d clear it to use for cycling, hunting, fishing, and camping….depending on the style of camping you’re doing. 

The intelligent high, low, and strobe mode makes it a light that can have some terrific use for you. Plus, at the price asked for it, this flashlight could be very good for your needs.

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Anker Rechargeable

Anker Super Bright Tactical Flashlight, Rechargeable (18650 Battery Included), Zoomable, IP65 Water-Resistant, 900 Lumens CREE LED, 5 Light Modes for Camping and Hiking, Bolder LC90

Anker Super Bright Tactical Flashlight, Rechargeable (18650 Battery Included), Zoomable, IP65 Water-Resistant, 900 Lumens CREE LED, 5 Light Modes for Camping and Hiking, Bolder LC90

  • SUPER-BRIGHT: 900-lumen (max) Cree LED sweeps bright light over the length of about two football fields (660 ft / 200 m) and reaches nearly 1000 ft. Fully zoomable from wide to narrow beam. Features 5 adaptable settings: High / Medium / Low / Strobe / SOS.
  • LONG-LASTING: Up to 6 hours (Medium-beam mode) of powerful, non-diminishing brightness from the included premium rechargeable 3350mAh battery. LEDs boast an extended 50000-hour lifespan. Recharge in just 6 hours with a 1A adapter (not included) and the included Micro USB cable.
  • TOUGH & RELIABLE: IPX5-rated water resistant and designed for use in heavy rain. Its durable aluminum body and shock-resistance endure rough handling.
  • SMART DESIGN: A pocket-friendly compact chassis with an anti-slip finish holds fast in your hand or stands on-end as an emergency lamp.
  • WHAT YOU GET: Anker Bolder LC90 Flashlight, 18650 3350mAh rechargeable battery, Micro USB cable, wrist strap, welcome guide, and our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.

Anker is one of the top brands in the technology world. They are most known for their sound tech but they eventually got into flashlights and have quickly become a top player in the market. 

The hardest thing people have trouble with when it comes to making flashlights is the cost it takes to make them. This results in a higher or lower asking price for the customer. Anker has always been known for its lower prices due to knowing how to make their tech efficiently.

The upfront cost for their tech is often minimized as a result, giving us a powerful flashlight for only $30. Anker was able to pack 900 Lumens into this flashlight, so why would they go below standard market value for this lumen strength? The battery.

Typically, Anker knows how to make great batteries. However, they made this version rechargeable with a 3,350 mAh battery. Of course, this mAh strength can be great in a lot of devices but in a flashlight, it cuts runtime down to 6 hours.

This is not a bad runtime, especially for a rechargable battery. However, it is not as impressive as some of the others we’ve mentioned thus far. The flashlight itself is spectacular, however, using terrific Cree LED technology that offers 900 lumens, capable of 1,000 feet of exposure.

Battery life is saved somewhat if you keep it at the lower settings, but medium-beam mode and up will keep it in the 6-hour range. You can always recharge the battery easily using its USB connection.

We have 5 featured adaptable settings in this flashlight. That’s High, Medium, Low, Strobe, and SOS. The beams are also zoomable, making this a really useful tool to have.

The smart design of this option from Anker makes it one of the best flashlights for camping that we’ve seen. It’s pocket-friendly, made with an anti-slip finish, and incredibly durable. It also offers an LED life of 50,000 hours.

If all of this is not enough to excite you, Anker also offers an 18-month warranty for the flashlight. To us, offering 18 months for a $30 flashlight is impressive. It also goes to show how confident Anker is in their product.

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Conclusion

When it comes to the best flashlights for camping, we feel we highlighted quite a few amazing options for you to choose from. It is hard to narrow down a favorite for us from the list, as all do a great job for the needs many of us might have.

We feel the best overall option is likely the Fenix flashlight. It is tough, has 1,000 lumens packed into it, and has two battery option types. Meanwhile, the Streamlight version has an option of several different flashlight types. Thus, it hard to say one of them could not work for at least a few needs.

Meanwhile, the J5 has a NASCAR team that praises it. This flashlight is likely one you could take on smaller camping trips, like ones with your kids.

Yet the Anker and Surefire options are made by two tremendous companies and both get very bright and are also quite durable. To top it off, there is a confidence in them that people will have due to what all they are capable of. 

Thus, they may end up being your flashlight for all purposes. However, all are terrific and well worth trying. Due to how fairly priced they are, it cannot hurt to play with them all and see what works best!

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