The best camping flashlights tested while camping with the author

Best Camping Flashlights of 2023, Tested Leave a comment

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Printed Jun 27, 2023 6:11 PM

Regardless of what number of tenting lanterns or headlamps you personal, nothing will ever exchange the significance of a flashlight in your tenting setup. The flexibility to rapidly seize and level a flashlight instantly at your goal—discovering your tent because the final embers of your hearth die down, rooting round within the automobile in your lacking toothbrush—makes it an indispensable accent. That will help you select the appropriate mannequin in your subsequent outside journey, we known as in over a dozen fashions to check aspect by aspect.

How I Examined the Greatest Tenting Flashlights

*Together with batteries

To check the very best tenting flashlights, I checked out varied fashions, together with all-caps Amazon manufacturers and massive names like Cyclops, Objective Zero, Cascade Mountain Tech, and Anker, amongst others. I then independently checked their weight and size earlier than taking them out on a tenting journey to make use of within the area. I additionally checked out every flashlight’s waterproof or water resistance score, in addition to different options that might be helpful to campers, hunters, and overlanders. Lastly, I thought of worth and whether or not every was an acceptable flashlight for kids.

The Greatest Tenting Flashlights: Evaluations and Suggestions

Greatest Total: Gear Gentle S1000 LED

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 1000

Battery Necessities: 3 AAAs

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Waterproof score: N/A


Very inexpensive

Capability to pay attention or increase the sunshine route


Young children can simply discover and use the strobe perform

When you’re trying to purchase some flashlights in bulk for the entire household, then the Gear Gentle S1000 LED is a good alternative. It has loads of gentle for strolling again from a ranger speak or discovering the toilet at the hours of darkness, however isn’t so brilliant that it’s going to get up everybody within the campground. I additionally appreciated that it’s sufficiently small for even younger kids to carry of their arms and function however not so small that adults are more likely to fumble with it or misplace it in the midst of the night time. Lastly, this was one of the inexpensive flashlights I checked out for individuals buying in bulk.

My solely criticism in regards to the Gear Gentle S1000 LED is a criticism I had about lots of the tenting flashlights I checked out for this take a look at: the strobe perform. Throughout a tenting journey, I handed off a number of of the contenders for finest tenting flashlight to my smallest testers, a three-year-old and an eight-year-old. Each discovered the strobe features inside minutes and had been prepared to show our campsite within the woods right into a rave scene. The flashlights had been rapidly confiscated. When you’re tenting with kids, understand that the now-standard strobe perform on flashlights might in the end be a deterrent from handing off one to a baby for his or her private use. 

Greatest Small: Cyclops TF-150

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 1200

Battery Necessities: 1 AA

Weight: 6.6 ounces

Waterproof Ranking: IPX4


Small packed dimension gained’t take up area in your tenting setup

Easy battery requirement

No strobe perform


Small dimension means it may be exhausting to search out while you want it

When you’re tenting with the household, chances are high area is at a premium. And whereas my desire is for the massive beefy flashlights which can be seemingly not possible to lose, there are additionally instances once I’d wish to dedicate the area in my automobile to one thing else. The small however mighty Cyclops TF-150 is a good choice for these moments. Along with being small, it’s additionally very inexpensive and has a easy battery requirement: only one AA. Since that’s normally the one spare battery I can discover round the home anyway, that is good for avoiding journeys to the shop.

It’s value noting that this was one of many few flashlights in my take a look at missing a strobe perform. It additionally solely outputs 150 lumens, making it a fantastic alternative for anybody fearful in regards to the gentle sleeper of their tent. 

When you’re susceptible to misplacing objects, nevertheless, the small dimension of the Cyclops TF-150 may very well become an obstacle in the midst of the night time, while you’re trying to find a flashlight with out waking up your companion. Contemplate my finest total or giant decide if that sounds such as you.

Greatest in your Keychain: Acebeam Pokelit AA

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 600

Battery Necessities: 1 AA

Weight: 2.1 ounces

Waterproof Ranking: IP68



Very brilliant

Comes with a chargeable battery

Very waterproof and dustproof


Considerably costly

Sufficiently small to lose when you aren’t cautious

Whereas the low-key Cyclops TF-150 is small, the Acebeam Pokelit is small and light-weight. And really brilliant. When you’re tenting by your self and wish the safety of an additional gentle supply someplace accessible (like your key ring), this is a superb alternative. I additionally appreciated how simple it was to toggle between the excessive and low gentle settings, which may be useful in case you are attempting to maintain a low profile within the backcountry. Whereas it comes with a deal with wrist loop, my desire with this gentle can be so as to add it to my keychain, in order that I’d have a backup gentle to seize within the occasion the batteries on my first flashlight exit.

Just like the Cyclops TF-150, the Acebeam Pokelit has no strobe choice. Whereas it is a profit within the occasion your child grabs the flashlight, the worth and dimension of this flashlight make it a much less appropriate household choice than others on this record. 

Greatest Massive: CMT Steelcore 1000

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 1000

Battery Necessities: 4 AAs

Weight: 11 ounces

Waterproof Ranking: IPX8


Large and beefy profile is troublesome to lose

The closest aesthetics to a standard flashlight of something I checked out

Very waterproof


Bigger battery requirement than different flashlights in my take a look at

Tough to function one-handed

I can’t be the one one nostalgic for the colourful plastic-cased flashlights of yore, with their uninteresting lights and hard-to-find D batteries. They’d a satisfying hand really feel, had been simple to search out within the tent, and had been so, so easy: on and off, that’s it. No three completely different dimmer settings. No strobes. No lantern capabilities.

If you end up wishing for an easier time, than the aesthetics of the CMT Steelcore 1000 will attraction to you. It’s large and beefy with out being heavy—the form of flashlight you’d stash subsequent to your sleeping bag for simple entry in the midst of the night time. It’s additionally brilliant with out being blinding, with a hotter gentle than different bright-white LED fashions I checked out. Lastly, it was surprisingly inexpensive, and CMT makes a 650-lumen model of this flashlight that’s solely barely smaller and at an excellent cheaper price level. 

Greatest for Backpacking: Objective Zero Lighthouse Micro Cost

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 120

Battery Requirement: Rechargeable

Weight: 3.1 ounces 

Waterproof Ranking: IPX6



Moderately waterproof

Can be utilized as a flashlight, lantern, or exterior battery

Reasonably priced

Lengthy lasting gentle


Let’s begin with the con of the Objective Zero Lighthouse: it’s not exceptionally brilliant. If it is advisable comply with a blood path or do some critical night time mountaineering, you’d be higher off with one of many finest headlamps. However when you simply need to seize a simple gentle supply or go to the toilet or discover one thing on the within of your tent, it’s loads of gentle. 

The Goal Zero Lighthouse Micro Charge was one of the few rechargeable flashlights I looked at that included light indicators to let you know how much power was left.
The Objective Zero Lighthouse Micro Cost was one of many few rechargeable flashlights I checked out that included gentle indicators to let you understand how a lot energy was left. Laura Lancaster

Even higher, it may be used as a lantern to gentle up both your complete inside or, when you’re sharing together with your companion, simply your half whereas they get somewhat slumber. That’s a whole lot of performance for simply over 3 ounces. 

The Goal Zero Lighthouse Micro Charge was the only rechargeable flashlight I looked at with a built-in USB charging port.
The Objective Zero Lighthouse Micro Cost was the one rechargeable flashlight I checked out with a built-in USB charging port. Laura Lancaster

At 12 hours, this flashlight has one of many longest run instances of something I checked out—you possibly can simply go your total journey with out recharging it. In truth, you possibly can use it to energy up a few of your different units, as the inner battery has sufficient juice to energy up a cellphone about as soon as.

Greatest Worth: Anker Bolder LC90

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 900

Battery Necessities: Rechargeable

Weight: 8.1 ounces 

Waterproof Ranking: IPX5


Very brilliant

Affordably priced


Micro USB charging port 

Shorter battery life than others in my take a look at

It is smart that the very best worth tenting flashlight is made by the identical firm that makes one of many finest photo voltaic turbines: Anker. It is a fairly fundamental flashlight. One click on goes on, one click on goes off. Holding down the ability button units it as much as undergo a collection of assorted flashing patterns (attempt to keep away from this). That’s it. 

I appreciated that this one had each a really brilliant setting and a reasonably dim setting that had been simple to keep up when you had clicked your means by way of to them. It had a fantastic hand really feel, and whereas it warmed up noticeably on the very best setting, it was by no means uncomfortable. It’s additionally very moderately priced. My solely gripe is that it has a Micro USB charging port, an more and more unusual twine to have in your arsenal when you misplace the twine the flashlight comes with. 

Greatest Finances: Rechoo S3000L

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 600

Battery Necessities: Rechargeable

Weight: 4.8 ounces

Waterproof Ranking: IP65


Affordably priced

Lots brilliant sufficient for many functions

Straightforward to make use of


Fewer options than different flashlights we checked out

When you’re searching for one thing easy and inexpensive as a part of your emergency backup equipment, the Rechoo S3000L is a good choice. It was one of the inexpensive rechargeable flashlights I discovered for testing, had loads of lumens to gentle up my testing room, and was easy to make use of and recharge. It even makes use of the extra frequent USB-C for recharging, which can make your life a lot simpler when it is advisable discover a spare twine throughout a blackout. 

Campers ought to notice that this flashlight is rated solely to IP65 for water resistance. Which means it’s effective to take out right into a sprinkle when it is advisable hit the restroom, however when you go away it out in a single day throughout a rainstorm, you could discover that it stops working. I additionally famous throughout testing that this rechargeable flashlight heated up considerably rapidly. 

Greatest Headlamp for Tenting: Decathlon Forclaz HL 500 Rechargeable 200 Lumens

Camping Gear photo

Key Options

Lumens: 200

Battery Necessities: Rechargeable

Weight: 3.2 ounces

Waterproof Ranking: IPX5


Affordably priced

Easy button operation


Not as brilliant as different choices on this record

Fewer options

There are a number of the reason why campers ought to take into account snagging a headlamp along with among the best tenting flashlights. They permit you to deal with varied duties hands-free. The beam travels wherever you look. And it’s more durable to misplace one thing strapped to your head than held in your hand throughout a midnight rest room break. However you additionally don’t want 1000 lumens to search out the campground restroom, and the opposite campers would favor you caught with one thing dimmer, too (they’re attempting to sleep).

The Decathlon Forclaz HL 500 Rechargeable 200 Lumens is a good choice for campers searching for a greater lighting answer for the night hours. It’s inexpensive, simple to recharge by way of USB-A, and with sufficient lumens to see to the sting of your campsite (with out waking up your neighbors within the campsite over). I additionally appreciated that it makes use of a easy “+” and “-” system to energy up and down, beginning with a easy crimson gentle, earlier than going as much as 80 lumens, after which 200 lumens. That makes it so much simpler to get out of your tent with out waking up the youngsters, and helps to increase the battery life as properly.

The best way to Select the Greatest Tenting Flashlight


Whereas the temptation with flashlights is to go for the brightest choice obtainable, that’s not essentially a fantastic concept for a tenting flashlight. In the very best case situation whereas tenting, you’re sharing a tent together with your companion or household—individuals you’d simply as quickly not get up in the midst of the night time when it is advisable hit the restroom; within the worst case situation, you might be in a packed campground, and also you’ll set somebody’s canine off by shining a too-bright flashlight at their tent.


Tenting flashlights must be value efficient—this isn’t a gear merchandise to splurge on (save that for the finest tenting cookware or the finest tenting stoves). You’ll additionally need to think about the price of any batteries or energy banks relying on whether or not your tenting flashlight is rechargeable or not. 


If you’re taking a look at a flashlight, it is advisable take into consideration the way you’ll carry it. Will this be utilized in an enormous household tent or as a part of a backpacking equipment? The reply to that query will let you know if you would like a small, slim gentle for emergency use or a bigger gentle that shall be simple to search out at midnight of your tent. 

Tenting Flashlights Battery Use

Flashlights can use customary AA or AAA batteries or extra unique energy provides like CR123A batteries. Rechargeable flashlights are additionally turning into increasingly prevalent. My desire leans towards rechargeable flashlights to chop down on waste and price, particularly since I’m extra more likely to carry alongside one of many finest energy banks for tenting. Right this moment’s rechargeable batteries are additionally very highly effective. When you carry alongside a flashlight that makes use of a non-standard battery (like CR123A) remember to have your individual spare batteries available because the extra unique batteries will not be obtainable regionally.

Waterproof Ranking for Tenting Flashlights

The water and dirt IP rankings present shoppers with test-based data on how properly a product can stand up to the weather. This score features a separate grade for each the mud resistance (first digit after the IP) and the water resistance (second digit after the IP). (An “X” instead of both of those rankings signifies that it was not evaluated on this space). A helpful chart may be discovered right here for additional data. 

Backup Lighting Choices

When tenting it’s all the time finest to have a number of redundant lighting choices obtainable within the occasion that one thing fails, whether or not due to a sudden change in temperature, or sudden lack of energy, or within the occasion a flashlight breaks. This can be among the best headlamps, among the best tenting lanterns, and even simply the flashlight choice in your cellphone. 


Q: Do LED flashlights get sizzling?

Excessive-output flashlights get sizzling even when they use an LED. However, LED flashlights under 500 lumens gained’t get noticeably sizzling. 

Q: Are costly flashlights value it?

Like all issues, you get what you pay for in flashlights. A $300 premium gentle can have options that funds lights can not match. However, the actual query is, how a lot efficiency do you want in your supposed use? When you simply want a fundamental gentle that gained’t see exhausting use, then a $50 to $100 flashlight will serve you very properly. Usually, automobile campers ought to go for more cost effective flashlights as the realm they wish to illuminate is way smaller than when you had been mountaineering or looking. 

Q: What number of lumens is sufficient for a tenting flashlight?

Something greater than 1000 lumens for a tenting flashlight is overkill, liable to make you the unstated jerk of the campground (to not point out make it inevitable that you just’ll get up the youngsters when crawling into the tent). Go for one thing within the 650 lumen or much less vary, ideally, with a watch towards choices that permit you to begin with the bottom setting choice earlier than toggling up. Attempt to keep away from tenting flashlights with simply accessible strobe options. 

Q: Are rechargeable batteries good for flashlights?

Rechargeable batteries are nice for flashlights, permitting you to benefit from a extra heavy obligation photo voltaic generator or energy financial institution setup in an emergency situation. 

Q: What coloration flashlight is finest for night time?

Many individuals search for headlamps or flashlights with crimson lights for outside use, as that can usually trouble the opposite individuals you might be tenting with the least. However in case you are really trying to see into the gap (say to get to your automobile or discover the path to the restroom) then a extra typical white gentle is preferable. 

Why Belief Out of doors Life?

Since 1898, OL has been a number one authority in testing and reviewing looking gear, fishing sort out, weapons, and capturing gear, and way more. Now we have greater than a century-long historical past of evaluating merchandise, and we’re now bringing that experience to on-line opinions. Our editors are skilled outdoorsmen and ladies, and most significantly, we’re educated journalists. We prioritize area testing and goal information when reviewing merchandise. We conduct interviews with gear producers and engineers in addition to outside specialists in order that our readers have an understanding of how and why a product works—or doesn’t.

Promoting doesn’t affect our gear opinions and it by no means will. Whereas we all the time focus our protection on standout merchandise—as a result of we would like our readers to concentrate on the most recent and biggest gear—we additionally cowl the issues and quirks of any given product.

Remaining Ideas on the Greatest Tenting Flashlights

The most effective tenting flashlights are dependable, simple to recharge by way of battery or USB, and produce enough gentle to light up the path to the restroom with out blinding half the campground. As with every of the finest tenting equipment, they need to even be inexpensive (particularly in case you are shopping for for the entire household). After testing out a number of the greatest names in flashlights towards extra inexpensive choices, we’ve rounded up our favourite picks right here: 

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