Camping is a way of life for many of us. It is among those activities that refreshed your mind, broadened your vision, and help to look at the world in a different manner. Whenever you go camping, you need to be prepared for everything. One main thing people often forget is the camping flashlight. It can make your trip from better to best or from bad to worse. You need to have your own light source for the dark hours. You might think that a camping flashlight is an obvious thing but sometimes, we overlook the most obvious thing. Without the best camping flashlight, it becomes extremely dangerous to venture into the unfamiliar woods without seeing what lies ahead.
So, what type of camping flashlight should you get? Let’s dig a bit deep into this. Here, we present you with the best camping flashlights available in the market. These mentioned choices will fit easily with your gear without taking up too much space.
- 1 Best Camping Flashlight – Our Picks
- 2 Best Camping Flashlight – Product Descriptions
- 2.1 1. MagLite ST3D016 Flashlight
- 2.2 2. Fenix E12 Flashlight
- 2.3 3. GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000
- 2.4 4. Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro LED Pen Light
- 2.5 5. STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Flashlight
- 2.6 6. Anker Bolder LC90 Rechargeable Flashlight
- 2.7 7. Nitecore MH23 Compact Flashlight
- 3 Best Camping Flashlight – Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Best Camping Flashlight – FAQs
- 4.0.1 1. How many lumens of light are required for a camping flashlight?
- 4.0.2 2. What light lumen can trigger a fire?
- 4.0.3 3. What is the difference between camping flashlights and general flashlights?
- 4.0.4 4. How many camping flashlights do I need?
- 4.0.5 5. What are the benefits of a camping flashlight?
- 5 Wrapping Up
Best Camping Flashlight – Our Picks
No. of Lumens
MagLite ST3D016 FlashlightWestinghouse iGen1200 Super Quiet Generator
Fenix E12 Flashlight
GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000
Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro LED Pen Light
STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Flashlight
Anker Bolder LC90 Rechargeable Flashlight
Nitecore MH23 Compact Flashlight
Best Camping Flashlight – Product Descriptions
1. MagLite ST3D016 Flashlight
If you want to buy standard flashlights which are durable as well, you have come to the right place. This camping flashlight has been designed for both professional and consumer use. Like all other Mag flashlights, this one also has craftsmanship, engineering, and advanced technology. With all the innovative features, it is built tough enough to last a lifetime.
This LED light is virtually unbreakable and far more efficient than incandescent bulbs. It runs on 3 D-type batteries as suggested by the name that will take a while to dry out. Like all other Mag instruments, this one also has “Intelligent Energy Source Management”, which balances high brightness against extended battery life. The bright and powerful beam adjusts from spot to flood simply by rotating the head.
The ST3D016 camping flashlight has one of the longest-running time considering all flashlights. It can run for a whopping 80 hours straight. It only has 165 lumens that mean it might not be the brightest one but still, it will cover most of your needs. Its case is made from high-strength aluminum alloy that has been anodized inside and out. It provides the basis for waterproof and shock-resistance in a lightweight package.
- 15 ounces item weight
- 3 D-type batteries required
- 168 lumens
- 80 hours runtime
- 412-meter beam distance
- Drop-resistant and waterproof
- Diamond knurled design
- Powerful projecting beam
- Long-running time
- Adjust the beam focus by head rotation
- Only 1 light mode
2. Fenix E12 Flashlight
Fenix E series is designed for daily use and the same applies to this E12 flashlight. It features a simple and practical output level, easy and fast operation. It also has waterproof and impact-resistant qualities making it one of the most compact flashlights of modern times. The E12 flashlight uses a single AA battery to generate 130 lumens in its highest mode.
It provides enough illumination to light up a dark alley, a backcountry trail, and a whole campsite. Another great thing about this camping flashlight is that it fits in the palm of your hand. Unlike many other flashlights, this one doesn’t skimp on features. It provides you with the whole package when you opt to find compact flashlights. It has comfortable knurling for a secure grip and a forward-facing tail switch for activation and mode selection.
The E12 camping flashlight has 3 separate output modes and measures only 3.6 inches. You can turn on the 130 lumens when you are scanning the forest for firewood and see every last log and twig. There is a 50-lumen medium mode that you can use for avoiding the blinding glare off the rocks. There is an 8-lumen low mode that will help you in reading the map. It is a waterproof flashlight that can be submerged in up to 2 meters of water for 30 minutes.
- 3.2 ounces item weight
- 1 AA battery required
- 130 lumens
- 2 hours battery life
- 3 output modes
- 30 meters beam distance
- Waterproof flashlight
- High-intensity adjustable light beam
- High strength aluminum alloy case
- Limited lifetime guarantee
- Maintains constant brightness
- The light switch can corrode
3. GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000
If you are looking for versatility in a camping flashlight, the GearLight LED is definitely the one for you. It makes a great camping flashlight with LED and lantern combo. It is a compact flashlight offering a lantern mode for when you need to light the entire area or a room. There is a built-in magnet on the base of its handle that allows hands-free usage.
GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight has the ability to light up an entire room or focus on objects that are 1000 feet away. It means this flashlight is 10 times brighter than old incandescent lights. It is conveniently powered by 3 AAA batteries giving you longer battery life. Alternatively, you can also use a single rechargeable battery as well. You can use it around the house, dog walking, and camping with ease by its 5 useful settings and a wide-to-narrow beam zoom.
The flashlight is made compact so it can fit in your pocket, backpack, or your purse. It is built to withstand rough handling and can survive a 10-feet drop or be submerged temporarily underwater. You can even freeze it or run it over with a truck and it will still work as claimed by the manufacturer. It features a runtime of over 10 hours when used in low mode.
- 5.1 ounces item weight
- 3 AAA batteries required
- 10 hours runtime at low mode
- 1000 lumens
- 1000 feet beam distance
- Compact size
- Convenient storage
- Water-resistant and virtually indestructible
- Ultra-bright and long-lasting
- Long battery runtime
- Batteries are not included in the purchase
4. Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro LED Pen Light
When you are in a need of a small and convenient backup flashlight, the 66118 Stylus Pro is the one for you. Because it is a penlight, it is very slim and can easily fit into your pocket. It is an ideal choice for someone that needs a compact and durable flashlight to carry on a daily basis.
This flashlight has 100 lumens which seems a bit less. But, it will still produce plenty of light inside a tent or a small area. It works as a great backup flashlight for checking things like pots and pans, or anything in a close range. It is powered by 2 AAA alkaline batteries for its operation.
Streamlight 66118 flashlight also features a tail cap switch, momentary or constant-on operation, a pocket clip for convenience, amazing brightness, and high runtime for a battery of its size. The aluminum housing with Type 2 military spec anodizing helps make this light extremely durable and abrasion-resistant.
- 1.64 ounces item weight
- 2 AAA batteries required
- 100 lumens
- 8 hours runtime
- 62 meters beam distance
- Works well as a backup flashlight
- Really compact size
- Amazing brightness
- Features a tail cap switch
- Not great for outdoor operation
5. STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Flashlight
If you are one of those people who like the larger spotlight feel, Stanley’s FATMAX SL10LEDS is a great option for you. It has some added features that are not there in ordinary flashlights, for instance, there is a USB port that allows you to charge mobile devices and small electronics directly from the flashlight.
This best camping flashlight features a 10W lithium-ion rechargeable battery with an ultra-bright LED that can deliver up to 2200 lumens. Such a high lumen value allows you to illuminate even the darkest of work areas whether at home, in a vehicle, camping, power outage, or a roadside emergency.
It has a runtime of 7 hours when set on low mode and 1 hour when set on high mode. The Lithium-ion battery stays charged for up to 12 months without recharging. This spotlight has both AC and DC adaptors allowing you to recharge at different locations. Its rugged pistol handle offers a convenient and comfortable grip while the locking and pivoting stand provides a hand-free operation.
- 2.05 lbs. item weight
- 2200 lumens
- 1 10W Lithium-ion battery required
- 7 hours runtime
- 300 meters beam distance
- The battery stays charged for 12 months
- Collapsible pivoting stand
- Convenient trigger lock
- AC and DC charging adaptors included
- Ideal for different scenarios
- Low runtime at high intensity
- Not water resistant
6. Anker Bolder LC90 Rechargeable Flashlight
Anker Bolder LC90 is an awesome choice to accompany you while camping. This flashlight has a great size with a full hand grip without being too big and bulky. Its elongated handle ensures a secure grip and reliable operation wherever you go. It is encased in a waterproof aluminum body for illumination in the most extreme environments.
This flashlight is water-resistant and can last up to 30 hours in a medium setting. It comes with premium rechargeable 3350 mAh batteries and includes 5 different light settings. It has been manufactured with an adaptable combination of a zoomable super-bright light, and a scalloped bezel for striking. Its light settings make it very effective for all low-light situations.
You can cycle through the lighting modes with a single-button switch. There is a zoom adjustment slider to provide easy scaling between broad, sweeping illumination, and focused spotlight. It is powered by an advanced battery technology that prevents over and undercharging, preserving the battery’s lifespan.
- 10.06 ounces item weight
- 1 Lithium-Ion battery required
- 900 lumens
- 13 hours runtime on medium setting
- 660 feet beam distance
- Many different light settings
- Great size and grip
- Waterproof aluminum body
- Zoom adjustment slider
- Advanced battery technology
- Battery charging time is high
7. Nitecore MH23 Compact Flashlight
The Nitecore MH23 flashlight is again one of the most compact flashlights on this list. This camping flashlight offers one of the brightest outputs available in a flashlight of this size. It is a pocket-sized light that can be added to your everyday carry arsenal. At 3.39 ounces, it is perfect for travel and emergency backup without adding extra bulk.
There are no issues of complexity in this light as no complex UI and awkwardly placed buttons are there. The MH23 features a dual-stage switch that you can press firmly to turn on and press halfway to cycle modes. It can even memorize the previously used output and has shortcuts for direct access to Turbo and Ultralow.
The MH23 gives you a great runtime of 330 hours when using a 18650 battery with 8A output. There is a charging indicator that flashes every 1.5 seconds and illuminates steadily upon completion. If any error has been detected, the light will flash rapidly to alert you. It is made waterproof up to 2 meters and shock-proof up to 1.5 meters.
- 3.39 ounces item weight
- 1800 lumens
- 330 hours runtime
- 2 Lithium-Ion batteries required
- 322 yards beam distance
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy one-button operation
- 5 brightness levels
- Can be charged anywhere
- High light output
- The lighting beam isn’t adjustable
- A little expensive
Best Camping Flashlight – Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to finding the best camping flashlight, you need to consider a few things. Here’s what you need to consider before buying a camping flashlight.
1. Light Modes
Many camping flashlights have different modes that help you greatly.
Flashlights with lantern mode have an additional wide lens. These camping lights can be hung just like a lantern to brighten the surroundings.
This feature of camping lights really helps in emergency situations. This mode makes the flashlight work like a blinker. When you enter an emergency situation, the strobe mode will signal for help. It is recommended to go for white strobe light that is more visible than redone.
Red Light Mode
Red light mode provides an alternative to the dim setting. Red light won’t shrink your pupil so you can use it freely inside your tent. You can use it for reading a book or a map in a tent without bothering your partners.
The brightness of any flashlight is measured in lumens. 200 – 800 lumens will work well for your camping needs. If you go for a higher beam, it will blind the spot you are trying to illuminate making it difficult for you to see what’s happening. You can carry an extra flashlight with much high brightness that will be useful in certain situations. You can also find a flashlight with different levels of brightness like medium, low, and high. This setting is interchangeable with a switch and also conserves the battery. Also, go for a camping flashlight that offers the greatest beam distance.
The problem with cheap flashlights is that they are not built to last in harsh conditions. You need a sturdy and durable flashlight that can serve you well for years to come. A durable light normally costs a bit extra but it pays you off well. Also, your flashlight should fit the kind of trip you are planning. If your trip involves water activities like kayaking, and rafting, you need to consider a waterproof flashlight. An impact-resistant flashlight will help in all harsh circumstances like banging against the rocks.
4. Weight and Size
You don’t want a flashlight that adds weight to your backpack. You usually carry a lot of stuff in your backpack so, a bulky flashlight will add extra weight to it. However, the bigger flashlights are usually more durable, brighter, and have a longer beam distance. It is dependent on you what size flashlight you are comfortable with. A small and medium-sized flashlight is enough for the basic camping needs and chores.
5. Power Source
Camping flashlights are given power through batteries normally. However, there are flashlights available with different power sources.
Most of the camping flashlights are batteries operated making them an obvious choice. It is pertinent to bring extra batteries with you so you can change them on daily basis. The batteries usually come in AA, AAA, or CR123A sizes, all of them have slightly different weights.
With a rechargeable flashlight, you don’t worry about changing batteries every now and then. But for that to work, your campsite needs to have an electric hookup for the flashlight to charge. Bring along a backup flashlight if you are unsure whether or not you will have a constant power outlet in your camp.
These flashlights are also called shake flashlights as you have to shake them for creating a power source. Yes, they can produce light consistently but your hand will get tired of shaking every now and then. Moreover, the light produced in this case is pretty feeble even if it is shaken for a few minutes. So, it is recommended to use the Faraday flashlights as a secondary backup.
Solar flashlights have the advantage that you don’t need to use batteries, but it has certain limitations too. They cannot be recharged in very cloudy weather, or during the night. If your flashlight has run out of juice before the sunset, you are stuck without any light source. This is why this kind of camping flashlights should be considered as a backup only.
Runtime is the time in which the light goes from 100% to 10% brightness. In some models, the brightness gradually diminishes with time, while in others, it can be completely bright and then instantly vanished. The runtime should fit the way you intend to use the camping flashlight. The runtime of the flashlight is affected by brightness, if the brightness level is high, it will last for a short time. Runtime is an essential aspect for finding the best camping flashlight especially when you want to use it for long hours.
Best Camping Flashlight – FAQs
1. How many lumens of light are required for a camping flashlight?
Generally, a flashlight should beam a minimum of 100 lumens. However, you need to have a camping flashlight with 200 – 800 lumens to work best. This is enough light intensity for navigating dark nights and makes the kids feel safe in the dark.
2. What light lumen can trigger a fire?
It takes around 2300 lumens of LED light to get hot enough to start a fire quickly in the right conditions.
3. What is the difference between camping flashlights and general flashlights?
A general flashlight is helpful if you are looking for a light source to be used both in your home and in your backyard. If you want something to accompany you on camping, hunting, or hiking, consider buying a dedicated camping light.
4. How many camping flashlights do I need?
It depends on how long you are planning to go camping. If you are on a longer trip, one flashlight won’t be enough for you in such a scenario. You can get by with slightly less powerful light sources, but having the same level of illumination power gives you greater reliability.
5. What are the benefits of a camping flashlight?
- Camping flashlights are built with durability and portability as priorities.
- They can survive getting dropped or splashed.
- It is used as self-defense to temporarily blind the attacker.
- In case of a power outage, the flashlight can instantly save the situation.
Flashlights are an integral part of your camping gear. In order to have the best camping flashlight with you, you need to have an eye on different buying aspects of it. With the latest LED technology advancements, it is easy to find a bright flashlight but brighter isn’t always better. A good option to have is owning a flashlight that offers multiple light settings. This way you can adjust the brightness according to your needs. Now that you know how to find the best camping flashlight, have the right one for you and enjoy the fun.