Are you afraid of the dark? I hope not. But if you don’t want to get stuck without light in the middle of nowhere while camping or hiking then you need to take a compass for hiking, a handy camping flashlight and a fan for a tent to keep you cool.
Flashlights are for more than just brightening a dark spot. You can use them for signaling help to come your way when the going gets rough.
Today’s camping flashlights are more than just a single beam of weak light. However, figuring out the best one for you and your adventures is going to be a bit challenging unless you do your research.
Top 4 Best Camping Flashlights
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That is why this list has been compiled to help you pick from the best camping flashlights so you are never without a brightening path to walk.
11 Best Camping Flashlights Reviewed
This is one of the highest-rated flashlights on Amazon. The reason for the popularity would have to be the extremely bright CREE LED that has five different settings: low, medium, high, SOS and strobe.
You can also control the “zoom,” making the beam wide or narrow. The max distance is 1000 feet, and the 900 Lumen sweep can span two football fields.
Furthermore, you get up to 6 hours of non-diminishing brightness per charge on the battery.
The battery is rechargeable, the body is IP65-rated waterproof and very durable, and the beam is more than powerful. You can’t go wrong with this flashlight and world’s best backpacking tent under $100 for your next camping trip. Also, if you’re camping somewhere where it’s cold, don’t forget to heat up your RV.
The Fenix Tactical Flashlight (in-depth review by Soutdoors) is essentially the same as the Anker model, but it simply costs more.
This high-performance flashlight also looks sleek, is lightweight, and fits into the average-sized pocket. The LED bulb in the latest model has a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
While the bulb is blinding, you can switch out the batteries to something weaker to change the brightness slightly.
What makes the Fenix flashlight stand out is the durability that can be compared to camping cot which is easy to set up. It’s made of aircraft-grade aluminum and only weighs 85 grams without its battery.
The Streamlight is not only great for blinding intruders to your campsite, it can light up the darkest of trails and get you back to the fireside in no time.
The high-quality construction is just one perk to this flashlight. Just like a portable camping table or lightweight camping saw, it is the perfect size to carry thanks to the rubberized grip, is light, dependable, rechargeable (120-Volt AC/DC), and has a super bright LED beam with 50,000 hours of life.
Cycling through the different modes and settings is also highly intuitive. It is also IPX4 water-resistant and 1-meter impact resistant. The only thing that may hold you back from purchasing this flashlight would be the price.
Looking for a flashlight that fits in the palm of your hand but burns brighter than the sun (300 Lumens)? This little light will do the trick or you can recharge your lantern before camping.
The super bright LED light comes with a focus and wide-angle adjustability as well as dependability. The J5 Tactical Flashlight is used by military, security, and police.
The beam has low, high, and strobe settings. Plus, it comes with a pocket clip that is as indestructible as this sturdy flashlight.
For a mid-range flashlight, the price is also just right. Though the flashlight can run off a single AA battery, you can also switch it out for a 14500 rechargeable battery.
GearLight Camping Flashlight is a highly practical device that can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It is packed with a lot of features that make it suitable for use while hiking, camping or exploring.
A tough frame is made with military-grade aluminum and the body is able to withstand a great deal of impact and is water and shock-resistant. The flashlight can be used in any kind of weather without sustaining damage.
It is powered by 2 AA batteries that can last for several hours due to its low power consumption. The LED bulbs are bright enough to light up a whole room or object up to 1000 feet away.
An adjustable focus and five light settings allow you to control the intensity and direction of the light at any time. It is compact and can easily fit into your backpack, pocket or purse.
- Can withstand a lot of wear and tear without getting damaged
- LED lights remain bright for several hours
- Has five adjustable light settings
- Power switch might become defective after some time
Binwo Flashlight is designed to be highly dependable and useful for your outdoor expeditions. It is also outfitted with features that will make it a useful tool in case of emergencies.
It is equipped with LED bulbs that provide a very bright light, which could be used as a floodlight for a large area. It can also be used as a spotlight which can be focused to a distance of up to 200 meters.
The body of the flashlight is constructed with a durable aluminum alloy. It is resistant to water and abrasion, making it suitable for everyday use regardless of the weather conditions.
Five light modes that can be easily adjusted. It is designed to be skid-proof, allowing for a good grip at all times. The device is light and compact.
- Can be used to illuminate a large area
- Durable body that is resistant to water and abrasion
- Has five adjustable light modes
- Might have a high power consumption rate
Outlite A100 Flashlight is a high powered gadget that can serve a lot of beneficial purposes. It is a device that can be kept in your car, backpack or purse in case of emergencies.
The ultra-bright LED bulbs can last for more than 5 hours when powered by 3 AA batteries or one rechargeable 18650 battery. The flashlight can light up a big room or focus on objects up to 1000 feet away.
The aluminum alloy outer construction can withstand a 10-foot drop and is resistant to water. It is skid-proof and suitable for rough handling.
A beam zoom can be adjusted from wide to narrow, making it useful for indoor and outdoor use. It has a groove design that makes it feel comfortable enough for long term handling.
- Can provide powerful illumination for up to 5 hours
- Durable body
- Adjustable beam settings
- Beam’s focus feature might begin to malfunction after some time
Dorcy Camping Flashligh is a powerful gadget that can serve a lot of purposes. It can be used during outdoor adventures, as a backup at home or during unexpected emergencies.
It is equipped with 4 LED bulbs that can give out up to 55 lumens of light. Powered by 3 AA batteries, it can last for up to 8 hours and 45 minutes.
The frame is designed to withstand high impact and float on water. It has a shock-absorbing rubber around the top and around the body for a firm and comfortable grip.
An inbuilt carabiner clip on the tail cap allows you to attach it to your belt loop or backpack. It has a beam distance of 31 meters.
- Can last for more than 8 hours
- Can withstand high impact without getting damaged
- Has inbuilt carabiner clip for easy storage
- LED bulbs might burn out quickly
MagLite Flashlight is designed for use by both children and adults. It is equipped with durable and innovative features that will make it useful for a long time.
It has a diamond knurl design with an aluminum body that is not easily susceptible to damage. It has weather-resistant seals around the head and the body, making it suitable for use in adverse weather conditions.
You can adjust the beam focus from floodlight to spotlight by rotating the head of the flashlight. The LED bulbs have 168 lumens light quality and a beam distance of up to 412 meters.
The exterior and interior parts are anodized to prevent corrosion. It is powered by 3 cell D batteries.
- Has a weather-resistant frame
- Resistant to corrosion
- Focus of the beam can be easily adjusted
- Bulbs might begin to flicker after a while
Beike Camping Flashlight is designed to provide premium service at all times. It is equipped with all the features needed to make it suitable for extensive use.
It is made of aluminum alloy, which can withstand up to 1.6 meters of impact. Its IPX4 waterproof quality means it can be submerged in water for a short period without sustaining damage.
Bulbs are super bright and can illuminate a big room or focus its beam on objects that are 305 meters away. It has an intelligent temperature control system that prevents overheating and allows for extensive use.
It has five light modes and a beam zoom feature and can remain bright for more than 6 hours. It is equipped with a 1000 lumen LED chip.
- Resistant to damage by strong impact and water
- Has a temperature control system that prevents overheating
- Can provide more than 6 hours of full brightness
- Power switch might get damaged easily
Wsiiroon Flashlight is made to serve as an excellent gadget that can be used in a wide range of situations. It can work perfectly during outdoor expeditions, power outages or other household uses.
It is made with an advanced technology that allows LED bulbs to be significantly brighter. The beam can focus on things that are up to 1200 feet away.
With its IP65 waterproof rating and O-rings, the flashlight can work during rainfall and also withstand freezing weather. It has a long strap that can be used to secure it to one hand.
The focus of the bulbs can be adjusted from narrow to wide. It has five adjustable light settings and a clip for easy storage.
- Can work in adverse weather conditions
- Has a significantly brighter beam
- Five adjustable light modes
- Parts might fall apart quickly
Camping is one of the best outdoor activities that you could ever engage in. Whether you are camping alone with your dog, with some family members or friends, it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
It’s also a great way to disconnect from the hassles of your everyday life and enjoy some relaxing time alone in the woods.
And the best part about camping is the night; sitting around the fire watching the dancing flames and sleeping under the stars are all activities that make the camping experience worth it.
To make the experience as enjoyable as possible, some camping activities require some form of light that the moonlight alone cannot provide and this is where a camping flashlight comes in.
What Is a Camping Flashlight
A camping flashlight is a light that is small enough to fit in your hands and carry around. When camping, there are certain activities that require a flashlight.
The last thing you need is to stumble on branches of trees or roots because it is so dark. Although camping is supposed to be all about enjoying the outdoors, it is very important that you carry a flashlight with you.
Camping flashlights can be battery or electric powered. The one you choose will depend on your personal preferences. However, since there is no electricity in the jungle, it would be better to go with a battery-powered flashlight.
If you don’t have one, you can carry an electrically powered one as long as you are sure it will retain power for the entire duration you are in the woods. All camping flashlights are portable and are basically small lamps that fit in your backpack or pocket.
Benefits of a Camping Flashlight
Camping flashlights are a must-have in the wild because venturing out into the woods alone without any source of light is not only inconvenient but it can be dangerous. The last thing you want is to cut your camping trip short because of a sprained ankle or a snake bite that can end up being deadly.
It is very easy to get injured when camping, especially if you are walking in the dark or hiking. A camping flashlight will come in handy in illuminating gnarled roots, loose rocks and any other object that may end up causing an accident and forcing you to prematurely end your camping trip.
Safety in the Dark
A majority of camping flashlights are made from aircraft-grade aluminum that is resistant to impact. This makes camping flashlights a great weapon that will come in handy should you come across an unfortunate encounter with an intruder.
Additionally, a great way to disorient an attacker or an animal in the dark is to shine a bright light into their eyes. This will give you some time to run or think of how to handle the attack.
Saves Your Phone’s Battery
Smartphones have become something of a necessity. Besides making calls, sending texts, taking pictures and guiding in directions, your phone can also be used as a flashlight.
However, even if you want to enjoy the time in the wild, the last thing you want is to go completely off the grid because you drained your phone’s battery by using it as a flashlight.
For this reason, it is important that you have a flashlight with you since it will last longer than your phone’s battery power.
Proper Tool for the Right Job
If you have ever heard the saying that you should use the right tool for the right job, the same goes for a flashlight. Camping flashlights are portable and can be packed in the bag or pocket easily.
There are even some that come with a belt clip. What this means is that the flashlight was meant to illuminate things at night when camping and you should make use of it on your trip.
There is nothing that can ruin your entire camping experience like getting lost in the woods, especially at night. One of the best ways to use a flashlight is when you get lost to signal your direction so that the other campers can find you.
Pros and Cons of a Camping Flashlight
Just like with other electronic products, a camping flashlight has its advantages and disadvantages which you should be aware of before you make a purchase.
This is one of the reasons why campers prefer buying a camping flashlight than any other flashlight out there. Camping flashlights are small and as such are easy to pack in a backpack or in the pocket. Their small size also means that you can hold it with ease without feeling overwhelmed.
Most camping flashlights have zoom features that make quick zooms possible. This enables you to focus and brighten the beam on a small spot should you need to.
Great for Emergencies
It is easy to get lost in the woods when camping. When this happens, a flashlight will come in handy in helping others locate where you are.
The last thing you want when camping is to injure yourself when stumbling in the dark. A flashlight will come in handy should you wander off the camping ground.
Small and Has Poor Battery
Since a camping flashlight is small, it is very easy to drop it which can end up damaging it. Some flashlights have poor battery life that might not last you the entire camping trip.
Tend to Run Out of Juice
Electric powered camping flashlights are an inconvenience and they are likely to run out of juice before your camping trip is over.
Types of Camping Flashlights
There are different types of camping flashlights in the market and what it all comes down to is the power source.
Battery-Powered Camping Flashlights
Traditional camping flashlights use a battery as a source of power and they are a great choice for any camping trip that is likely to last for more than a night.
The only thing you need to ensure is that you bring extra batteries in case the ones you have run out of juice. For instance, if your flashlight uses two AA batteries, you are supposed to bring 6 extra batteries if you will be gone for three nights.
There is a chance that you are not going to use all those batteries, but at the end of the day, they are better off having them than the juice running out on the second day.
Rechargeable Camping Flashlights
There are flashlights that don’t use batteries but come with a rechargeable battery pack. While rechargeable camping flashlights are convenient since you don’t have to bring extra batteries with you, if there is no power at the camping site, the flashlight will not do you any good.
If you have a rechargeable camping flashlight, it is always advisable that you carry a backup flashlight with you that you can use when the battery finally runs out of juice.
Shake Camping Flashlights
Shake flashlights are known as linear induction flashlights or Faraday flashlights. While they are convenient to have on a camping trip, the brightness cannot be compared with that of other kinds of flashlights.
The good news is that you can be assured that you will have a source of light for the entire camping duration but the downside is that that light is weak regardless of how much you shake the flashlight.
They require to be shaken to power on which is an inconvenience to some people. The last thing you want after a long day of hiking is to tire your arms even more just to have a source of light.
Solar-Powered Camping Flashlights
Solar-powered camping flashlights, just as the name suggests, rely on solar energy to be powered. While they are great on paper, they are not so convenient if it is cloudy or it rains during the day.
While they still charge when there is cloud coverage, they don’t charge well and as fast as they would if there was sunlight. Like a shake camping flashlight, solar-powered ones are better off as backups and not the main source of light.
Why You Need a Camping Flashlight
Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but even then you still need a flashlight to help you maneuver around at night.
Accidents are inevitable, especially at night. In a camp, you might end up bumping into a tool or tripping and falling over loose rocks or roots which can lead to serious injuries. A flashlight will come in handy in lighting up the path so that you can avoid stumbling into any objects on the path.
It is natural to take your smartphone with you on a camping trip. All smartphones nowadays have a flashlight that you can use when in the camp.
However, compared to a camping flashlight, using your phone will drain energy faster which would require you to recharge it frequently, which can be difficult if there is no power source in the woods.
To help minimize your phone use and save energy, you can use a camping flashlight instead.
A camping flashlight is important in providing clear visuals when you are backpacking or camping in the dark. A majority of camping flashlights are highly portable. You can carry one by hand, in your pocket or fasten it to your bag or belt. They really come in handy when the headlamps and lanterns stop working during a camping trip.
Makes You Prepared for an Emergency
In case of an emergency, a flashlight will really come in handy. Camping emergencies that might happen include getting lost or getting injured.
Campers are required to flash their light in case any of these emergencies happen and that helps them to be located much faster.
A sturdy and heavy flashlight will come in handy should you need to protect yourself from an intruder or an animal. By hitting them, you buy yourself some time to run and seek help. Shining light directly at the animal’s eyes also helps scare them away.
How to Choose the Best Flashlight
What makes a flashlight better than a headlamp? Flashlights have a number of advantages over their competition.
The handheld option is perfect when you need a strong portable light, the ability to aim where you want illumination, have to set the light down to be able to work and as a signaling device while resting on a comfortable camping air mattress.
With recent developments in LED technology and more efficient batteries, flashlights have gotten smaller but ten times brighter than their predecessors.
Every factor influences another. For example, the brighter a flashlight is, the more expensive it is going to be. A rechargeable battery will also elevate the overall cost. You should also consider any additional functions or features that could come in handy.
Generally, a bare-bones flashlight could be as cheap as US$10, while something with more features like best camping gadgets could break the US$100 mark.
However, before you commit to a purchase, here are a few factors that you should consider when choosing a camping flashlight:
The first thing you need to consider when you are buying a camping flashlight is the brightness level. You need to look at how many lumens are emitted by the low mode where the lower the better.
A majority of the flashlights with low mode aren’t dim enough and as a result, may irritate your eyes when you are using the flashlight in the dark.
The next thing you need to consider is the level of brightness depending on what you will be using the flashlight for. A majority of companies tout maximum lumen outputs on their products but most of the time the high brightness is too much for basic camping.
However, the bright high mode can come in handy as a signal in an emergency situation. Consider where you will be going to camp at and whether such settings will be required for that reason.
The light output is measured in terms of lumens in which case the strength of the light is determined by the number of lumens the bulb has.
The more lumens the bulb has, the stronger the beam that it will produce. Typically, camping flashlights have 10 to 3500 lumens but the latter is too much for basic camping.
A flashlight with low lumen level is way better for camping activities like reading while high lumen level will come in handy when you need to signal in case of an emergency like when you get lost or injured.
When you are buying a camping flashlight, the most common rating that you will come across is the number of lumens. For long, lightbulbs were rated in terms of watts which is a measure of power and not light.
Lumens, on the other hand, don’t just measure light since there are a variety of wavelengths of light which includes what we can’t see. Rather lumens are a measure of the natural light that passes into your eye and because of that, it is a better option for measuring the brightness of a flashlight.
Because of this, it is an accurate measurement of just how bright the light is going to be and LED has changed this since it produces a brighter light with the same wattage amount.
For instance, a 60-watt bulb will produce about 800 lumens where the same number of lumens can be shone from an 8 watt LED light.
In this case, the more lumens there are, the better but this depends on how you will be using the flashlight. The lower end of the flashlight range is around 100 lumens and such a flashlight will give you enough light although not enough to light up the area around you.
The next range would be 250 lumens, which is still a pretty good brightness. A flashlight that has 500 lumens, however, is way better and you can use that light in a number of ways.
A flashlight with over 1000 lumens can light up something that is almost two football pitches away which for some people is too much.
If you want a flashlight for domestic use only, then anything above 1000 will be a waste. Such flashlights are used for security purposes. The flashlight you get will depend on how you intend to use it.
For instance, if you want a flashlight that you can use inside the tent, a 500-lumen flashlight will be too bright for that. In such a case, you want a flashlight that has adjustable settings.
Beam distance is measured in terms of meters and it is the distance that you can see by the beam of the flashlight. How you will be using the flashlight will determine the beam distance you choose.
For instance, if you want a flashlight that you can use for midnight hikes, then you need a product that has a beam that reaches at least 100 meters. If you will be using the flashlight across the campsite, then a flashlight with a shorter beam would work perfectly for you.
Camping flashlight either have a spot beam or a flood beam. The most versatile flashlights, however, have adjustable lenses. The flood beam can light up a wider area which makes it ideal for lighting the inside of the tent or the camp kitchen.
Flood is a single beam that is good for general tasks like camping or light walking when you transport your food easily with cooler on wheels, spot (or focused) is condensed to go greater distances. This is best for route-finding or running.
A spot beam makes it possible for the light to focus so as to reach a greater distance rather than wide. Such a flashlight will come in handy when walking or hiking at night.
If you will be using the flashlight for different activities, you are better off with one that has an adjustable beam.
Type of Flashlight
When it comes to camping flashlights, there are a variety of options with different features and levels of brightness. You can either buy a flashlight for home use or camping, but to be on the safe side, you would rather buy a versatile flashlight that you can use everywhere.
Generally, there are three types of flashlights – LED, tactical or ultra-brightness flashlights. LED flashlights are the most common and due to their increased brightness, they have replaced incandescent light bulbs due to their long life, low power usage and increased brightness.
There are a number of LED bulbs in the market to choose from. Such lights are more durable, have different modes and are quite versatile. Such lights can be used by almost anyone and they range in terms of sizes.
Tactical flashlights are primarily designed for military use which means that they are highly durable. These flashlights look great and have more lumens for that intense light coverage you may need when camping.
They are also quite compact making them ideal for backpacking, are of high quality and have a huge range of light settings.
Ultra-bright flashlights, on the other hand, have a high level of performance and as such are only used by security personnel like guards and cops.
Compared to tactical flashlights, they are not as compact and tend to be heavier. They also have a low versatility level and have more power than you need for basic camping.
Not all flashlights are made to withstand extreme weather conditions but when you are buying one, at least ensure that it has some level of protection which in this case is water-resistance.
This means that the flashlight can be used when it’s raining and can withstand splashes as well as other contacts with water. When camping, you can’t predict the weather and the last thing you want is to be stuck in the wild with a flashlight that doesn’t work.
A lot of water-resistant products can still work when they have been submerged in water for a short period. On the other hand, waterproof products can be submerged in water for longer without letting the water in.
If you are sure you won’t be camping near a water body, then a water-resistant flashlight will work perfectly for you but if you are engaging in activities like kayaking, then you really need a waterproof flashlight.
When it comes to water resistance, products are often rated on the IPX index which indicates just how water resistance the product you are about to buy is.
A rating of IPX4, for instance, means that the flashlight can comfortably handle splashes for a short period of time which is what you need in a camping flashlight.
Flashlights that have an index rating of IPX5 and IPX6 can handle splashes for a longer period of time and those with IPX8 and above are waterproof.
Red Light Mode
When buying a flashlight, you need to consider the light mode. Red light mode, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t cause the pupils to shrink like they would when using white light.
If you do a lot of reading in the tent, then a flashlight with a red light mode is recommended and you won’t have to worry about disturbing your tent mate.
A flashlight with a red light mode isn’t a must-have though since a very dim low mode flashlight can still work even if it emits white light.
Strobe mode is the flash mode of a flashlight that acts as an emergency blinker. Just like the red light mode, it isn’t a must-have feature in a flashlight.
The only time you might want to consider buying a flashlight that has a strobe mode is if you know you might find yourself in an emergency situation like getting lost and you can use the strobe mode to signal for help.
If you must have a flashlight that has a strobe mode, it is recommended that you go with one that strobes white light rather than red light since white light is brighter to see if you are signaling for help.
Weight and Durability
The weight of the flashlight matters a lot. If you will be car camping, then the weight isn’t as important. It becomes an issue if you will be backpacking.
In such a case, it is recommended that you buy a flashlight that you can tuck into your pocket but bear in mind that a heavy flashlight will not work since it will be tiring.
In terms of durability, we all want a product that can last for years but certain features like weight will be affected by the durability of the flashlight.
A highly durable flashlight is also more expensive. There are several features that you want to pay attention to in a flashlight since they affect the durability of the product.
Water-resistance is such a feature and its one you want in a flashlight since you have no idea what the weather will be like when you are camping.
Another feature that is important and that varies from one flashlight to another is impact resistance. This will come in handy should you drop the flashlight by accident. The last thing you want is your flashlight breaking on impact once it hits the ground.
In terms of durability also, the type of flashlight plays a significant role. Tactical flashlights tend to be more durable and can cope with extreme temperatures for instance.
When it comes to portability of a flashlight, the weight plays a major role. If you will be car camping, then you don’t have to worry about the flashlight being too heavy.
If you are backpacking, however, you want a flashlight that is light enough such that you can easily carry it around. The way you carry the flashlight also affects its portability.
There are those that can be carried in a pocket, in which case you need something that is light, there are others that can comfortably fit in your backpack and others that can be hooked to the belt. Whatever flashlight you get will depend on how you intend to use it and how you will be carrying it.
Types and Number of Batteries Required
Most camping flashlights are battery powered which is why this feature is important to consider before you make a purchase. Flashlights use different kinds of batteries and it’s up to you to determine if your flashlight needs AA or AAA batteries.
The common sizes are AAA, AA and CR123A. These are all disposable. Next, you can get rechargeable, which would hook up to a USB, AC/DC power outlet, power supply you can carry around or solar panel. Though the upfront cost is a bit more than disposable battery models, the low ongoing cost reduces wastes and saves you money over time.
Another thing to consider is the pack weight. It is important to carry spare batteries with you when going camping especially if there is no power source at the campsite. In such a case, therefore, consider the weight of the extra batteries and make sure that they are not too heavy.
The other important factor to consider with your batteries is their run time. Most manufacturers will have listed the run time on their products. Ensure that you pay attention to this before you make a purchase.
If you will be using your flashlight for a few minutes every night, then a flashlight with a short run time will work for you.
If you will be using your flashlight to read inside the tent or during a midnight hike, then you need one that has the longest battery run time. The last thing you need is the batteries running out of juice when you are far away from the campsite.
The main factor that affects the run time in flashlights is the brightness level. The brighter the beam is, the shorter the batteries will last.
The importance of getting a flashlight that has a dim setting is that the run time is much longer but then such a flashlight is not bright. What it all comes down to is that you must decide what you are willing to compromise on when you are buying a flashlight.
If you are buying a flashlight that you will be using when camping you need to ensure that the product is tough enough.
In such a case, consider a flashlight that has a shockproof body that is made from durable material like aluminum. Consider also abrasion and corrosion-resistant materials, water-resistant seals and a good grip.
Bulbs and Lenses
In terms of bulbs, there are different kinds in the market that you can buy. LED bulbs, however, are the most common when it comes to camping flashlights.
Years back LED was nothing but an emerging technology but today it continues to grow in popularity and enjoys dominance. It is also quite affordable unlike in the past.
LED lights have a long lifespan and don’t break easily like other bulbs. They are also brighter considering the amount of energy that they use. While they are expensive, they are worth every penny in terms of brightness and durability.
Incandescent bulbs are not as popular but they are cheaper. The downside with such bulbs is that they use glass and filament which makes then more prone to breakage than LEDs.
HID bulbs are brighter than LEDs which also means that they are higher on the price range. They are also bulkier and therefore not ideal for camping. The other option is Xenon and Halogen bulbs that are as bright as LEDs but generate little heat in the process which means that your batteries last longer.
In terms of lenses, consider buying a flashlight that has clear and durable lenses. There are different lenses on the market that you can choose from.
Borofloat glass is the most popular and such lenses have the ability to withstand high temperatures without warping in the process. Anti-reflective coated glass is popular since it can let almost all light through although that comes at a cost.
Such lenses are not as durable and they are easily scratched which affects their effectiveness. Plastic lenses are cheap and while they let almost all light through, they can easily be damaged.
Anti-scratch polycarbonate are the best non-glass lenses that function really well. Such lenses let through a lot of light and are highly durable. They also don’t scratch easily which adds to the durability of the flashlight.
This is usually a measure of the number of times you can drop your flashlight before it gets damaged and stops working.
The flashlight is dropped from a distance six times to see how many drops it can take. What you end up with is the impact resistance rating which is measured in terms of meters or the furthest distance it can withstand six drops.
When you are buying a camping flashlight, it is important that you pay attention to the impact resistance of the product you are about to buy because that will also determine its durability.
Ergonomics and Purpose
Ergonomics is all about the comfortability of a product. With a camping flashlight, chances are that you will be holding it in your hand for a long time and if it is not well designed, the experience can be quite unpleasant.
In such a case, the first thing you need to pay attention to is the handle. Ensure that it is thin enough such that you can comfortably wrap your hand around it so that you don’t end up straining your muscles.
Consider also the head of the flashlight. Most of the time the head is usually larger than the rest of the body since it is what holds the bulb in place.
When it comes to ergonomics, ensure that the head is not too heavy to an extent that the flashlight becomes unbalanced which affects the grip. For the perfect grip, consider a surface that is textured but not too textured that it digs into your hand.
When it comes to purpose, consider how you will be using the flashlight before you make a purchase. For instance, if you will be kayaking or going for a midnight hike, then it is important that you get a flashlight that is waterproof and bright.
If you will be backpacking, you want a flashlight that has a high number of lumens and is durable as well. For camping, consider a flashlight that has various light settings which you can adjust depending on the need at that moment.
If you are going camping, the last thing you need is a flashlight that will stop working in the middle of nowhere. You want a product that you can rely on even when there is an emergency.
Before you make a purchase, it is important that you go through online reviews to see what others have to say about the product you are about to purchase.
If a product has very low ratings, chances are that its reliability is questionable. One of the ways of ensuring that you get a flashlight that is reliable is to go with well-known brands.
While this is not always reliable, it is better off than buying from cheap and unknown brands. The best way to know if the company is reliable is by checking if their products come with a warranty since it shows that the manufacturer has complete trust in their product.
At the end of the day, your budget determines the kind of flashlight that you will buy. All things considered, expect to pay more if you are looking for the best performance.
High-end flashlights are brighter, durable and easy to operate hence the price. They also have longer run times. However, you can still get a flashlight that has all these qualities that don’t force you to break the bank.
At the end of the day, however, one thing that you should keep in mind is that flashlights that are under $5 aren’t going to cut it when camping. While they may work semi-decently there is a high chance that they will stop working after some time.
At the end of the day, you want to purchase a flashlight that has a warranty because it shows that the manufacturer has faith in their product.
Consider the length of the warranty and make sure you understand what kind of repairs it covers and under what condition you can make a claim.
High-end flashlights have longer and better warranties but you will have to pay more although it is all worth it considering the flashlight will last you longer.
Flashlight Performance and Functions
In 2009, the ANSI FL1 Standard for flashlights was introduced to ensure that all flashlight models are test and rated according to the same scale.
This has definitely revolutionized the use of flashlights as well as creating a better way of comparing various models. Compliance to these standards is voluntary, however, the manufacturers are required to hold their own testing.
How to Use Camping Flashlight
How you use a flashlight will depend on the type of flashlight.
Step 1 – Check that the batteries are charged
Before you use the flashlight, you need to ensure that the batteries are full and that they are not damaged in any way. In case of a rechargeable flashlight, ensure that you charge it prior to using it.
Step 2 – Switch it on
Once you know that the batteries are charged, switch on the flashlight.
Step 3 – Adjust the brightness
Depending on where you are and what you are doing, the next step is to adjust the settings of the flashlight. If you are reading inside the tent, you can adjust the brightness to the lowest but if you need it to maneuver outside, then you need it to be at the highest.
How to Care for Camping Flashlight
Step 1 – Remove the batteries when not in use
The best way you can prolong the life of your flashlight is to ensure that you remove the batteries especially if you will not be using it for a long time. When batteries are left inside for long, they tend to leak which can end up damaging the flashlight in the process.
Step 2 – Check for rusting and corrosion
Your flashlight is likely to get corroded after some time which is the reason why you should always check for any signs of corrosion before you use it.
Step 3 – Don’t mix batteries
To prolong the life of your flashlight, ensure that you use batteries from one manufacturer at a time if you have a multi-cell device.
Camping Flashlight vs Camping Lantern
Camping is one of the best outdoor activities that you can engage in. In terms of lighting, there are so many options at your disposal like using a flashlight or lantern. Here are the main differences between the two:
When it comes to brightness, a camping flashlight has more brightness than a lantern mainly because flashlights make use of LED technology that features high brightness levels.
Compared to headlamps, you can use a flashlight to focus on objects whether they are far or near due to the zooming feature.
There are, however, lanterns that make use of the same technology and with time as technology advances, it may be easy finding lanterns that have the same beam as flashlights.
Lanterns are compact but flashlights can also be portable. The good thing about a headlamp is that you can hang it over your head in the tent, freeing up your hands to do other things.
Flashlights, especially the small ones, have to be held and as such, you can easily drop them. Another difference is that the lantern can only point to one direction while a flashlight can be pointed in any direction.
The strong design of flashlights makes them more durable than lanterns. Lantern straps are less durable and most of the time will end up wearing out due to the excess stretching.
A flashlight on the other hand, has a rugged construction that seals contents in a way that it can endure impact without getting damaged.
In terms of functionality, the brightness of a lantern adjusts way better than that of a flashlight. Flashlights, however, are adjusting rapidity and today it is possible to find a lantern that has adjustable settings.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
When it comes to camping flashlights, in a way, more spending does mean more quality. A lot of things can happen during a camping trip which is why the durability of the flashlight you take with you matters.
High-end flashlights have better features like longer runtime, are brighter, durable and easy to operate although you can still find cheaper flashlights that have similar features.
In terms of durability, factors like impact resistance and water resistance should be considered depending on how you will use the flashlight.
If you are going kayaking, then you need a flashlight that is waterproof which will cost you more but is worth it. If you are going camping then, you only need a flashlight that is water-resistant.
To be on the safe side, you should rather go with well-known brands which, most of the time, are expensive but it means that you won’t be spending more money on a new flashlight anytime soon.
Do’s and Don’ts With Camping Flashlight
- Store the flashlight in a place where you can easily find it in case of an emergency.
- Use the batteries that are recommended by the manufacturer to avoid damaging the flashlight.
- Store your flashlight in a cool and dry place if you want it to serve you longer.
- Replace the batteries of the flashlight especially when it hasn’t been used for long to prevent leakage that may cause it to stop working.
- Carry extra batteries with you when you are going camping to avoid a case where you are left without a flashlight because the batteries ran out of juice.
- Use the flashlight near an open flame as this might end up damaging the battery.
- Use batteries from different manufacturers if you have a multi-cell flashlight since differences in current, voltage and capacity may reduce the life of your batteries.
- Leave the batteries in the flashlight if it is not being used.
- Overcharge your rechargeable flashlight as this may end up damaging the batteries.
FAQ About Camping Flashlights
How many lumens does a camping flashlight need?
A camping flashlight needs about 35 to 60 lumens. If you are hiking in the dark, however, you may need a flashlight that has more than 60 lumens since it will be brighter.
How long do batteries of a camping flashlight last?
There are so many factors that affect the life of your flashlight. How long the batteries last depends on how bright the flashlight is and how often you use it. If you only use the flashlight a few minutes at a time, the batteries are likely to last longer. On the other hand, flashlights that are less bright and consume less power will require less battery use and, therefore, they may last a whole day on continuous use.
What is the best size for a camping flashlight?
The size of the flashlight will depend on your needs. For instance, if you will be backpacking, then you need to ensure that the flashlight is of the right size such that it can fit in with all your gear and you also need to ensure that it is not heavy.
In short, when choosing the best camping flashlight for you, you might end up reaching for the tactical flashlight model.
These flashlights are often the most durable, lightweight, have rechargeable batteries and a brightness that turns a dark forest into a much less intimidating place.
A camping trip is a great way to unwind and spend some time away from the daily hassles of life. There are so many ways of preparing for a great camping trip and they include packing the right gear. One thing that you should never miss out on is a camping flashlight. If you are buying a camping flashlight ensure that it is made of quality material, has a long runtime, is portable, water and impact resistant.
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- Top 4 Best Camping Flashlights
- 11 Best Camping Flashlights Reviewed
- What Is a Camping Flashlight
- Benefits of a Camping Flashlight
- Pros and Cons of a Camping Flashlight
- Types of Camping Flashlights
- Why You Need a Camping Flashlight
- How to Choose the Best Flashlight
- Flashlight Performance and Functions
- How to Use Camping Flashlight
- How to Care for Camping Flashlight
- Camping Flashlight vs Camping Lantern
- Does More Spending Mean More Quality
- Do’s and Don’ts With Camping Flashlight
- FAQ About Camping Flashlights