CAMPING & HIKING

Best Rechargeable Flashlights: Never Stay Fully in the Dark

Rechargeable flashlight review
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

A flashlight is a valuable piece of gear and of great importance when it comes to camping trips, but in the same time you need to know you can rely on it to last you for even more than enough, don’t you think?

You will agree with us that unsuccessfully trying to turn on the light in the middle of the night, deep in the woods, can be a really scary experience – and as for the more courageous of you, just annoying. Everyone would like to avoid this, and you can do that by bringing with you one of the best rechargeable flashlights available on the market.

The reason rechargeable flashlights are so great lies in their name – being able to recharge your light source will save you money by not having to buy single-use batteries and then having to throw them away, but will also spare you from carrying enough batteries to last you for the whole trip.

But, how do you choose a flashlight you can trust out of so many? To help you make this decision, we went through the most important features to consider to help you make up your mind and we included the reviews of our favorite products on the market. Let’s see what we have here…

Our Top Picks

Product NameWeightDimensionsLight OutputPrice
Smith & Wesson Galaxy 13 LED6.1 oz.1.6 x 1.6 x 6.5 in25 lumens white LED bulbs/6.5 lumens red LED bulbsCheck price on Amazon
Bright Medic “Bonfire X” Cree LED4.5 oz.5.4 x 1.4 in350 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Streamlight Strion LED HL Rechargeable1.8 oz.3 x 5.9 x 3 inDepending on working mode, 125 – 500 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Helotex G2 Cree LED Tactical EDC2.4 oz.4.2 x 1 x 1 inDepending on the battery used, 120-130 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Simon Cree LED5.6 oz.5.4 x 1.4 x 1.2 in500 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Vizeri LED Tactical with Focusing Lens3.7 oz.4.25 x 1.6 inDepending on model, 230-460 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Solaray Pro ZX-1 Professional Series Kit5 oz.1.1 x 6.25 x 1.5 in1200 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Nebo Redline Tactical6.8 oz.1.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 inDepending on working mode – 22-220 lumensCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Before showing you the top products, we believe it might be important if you got to read about a few features – nothing over the top, just the most basic features that will help you get the most out of your product.

Light Output

The light output is measured in lumens – the more lumens a flashlight has, the stronger the light output is. Most often, this is measured by checking the intensity of the flashlight when it’s set on the highest setting.

The light output matters because different levels of brightness suit different needs. So let’s say if you only plan on using the flashlight to read on your camping trip, a more modest flashlight will do. But on the other hand, if you intend to find your way through the total darkness, you may want to get a more powerful flashlight.

Size and weight

Size and weight of the flashlight matter because most of the time, you will have to carry them with you. Larger flashlights might feature better light output, larger beam distance and have larger overall functionality.

LED flashlights review

In some cases, they might even be made out of higher quality materials that allow them to be more durable and even include qualities like shockproof and waterproof.

On the other side, smaller and lighter flashlights are a great choice if you’ll be on the move constantly. If you’re worried more about saving yourself some valuable backpack space rather than durability, getting a smaller flashlight might be better for you.

Battery Type and Battery Life

Since you’ll be getting a rechargeable flashlight, the battery type and the battery life of the flashlight matter. You might want to think about the expectations you have out of your flashlight regarding how often you’d like to charge it/replace the batteries and how long you expect each charge/battery set to last.

Most commonly used batteries are the standard AA or AAA type. While it’s true that they’re the cheapest, they’re also the less reliable alternative on the market in terms of efficiency. However, they still might be a good option because they’re very easy to find and you can get yourself the rechargeable type.

tactical-flashlight-batteries

The CR123 is the more advanced and more expensive option – it allows for longer battery life but comes with a higher price.  Lithium-ion batteries are definitely the most efficient type you can get but they’re the most expensive ones!

Flashlights with lithium-ion batteries are handy, safe, and reliable – they have long shelf life and can remain the same even if unused for long periods of times.

Multiple Mode Settings

Most of the models available on the market feature the multiple mode setting that allows you to get the maximum out of your flashlight – you can set your own intensity, beam type, or in a case of emergency, use the flashlight as an SOS light.

Having a flashlight that includes several operating options may be beneficial as it’ll help you spare some of the battery when you don’t need that strong of a light. Each mode varies with the lumens included, as well as the beam distance and type.

led-flashlight-versatility

On top of that, the red light mode is something many find handy – it’s considerably less disturbing but bright enough to serve its purpose in times when you need just a tiny fraction of light that won’t cause much disturbance to you and your environment.

Water Resistance

The water resistance and waterproofness are important regarding the durability of the product. If you happen to accidently drop it in a puddle of water, you won’t like to throw it away after.

While it’s not essential for your flashlight to be fully waterproof, you might appreciate the feature of it being able to resist a few water drops whenever you have to use it in humid weather or light rain.

water resistant flashlight

On the other hand, if you know there will be plenty of water included – as in camping on rainy spots – going on and doing the investment may pay off more in the long run.

Additional Accessories and Options

Flashlights may come with a variety of additional accessories that can either be included in the price or sold separately. Depending on what you’ll need the flashlight for, you may appreciate the belt clip or the lanyard that comes with the flashlight.

Also, don’t forget about different lens or diffusers that allow you to tinker with the beam of light. On the other hand, maybe you would like to consider some additional options various flashlights offer for different situations you may find yourself into.

flashlight with belt clip

If you’ll be passing through an area populated with predators that might attack, the one thing you can do with a good, strong flashlight is blind and disorient the animal. If you know you’ll be passing through dangerous places, you might appreciate having a torch able to work in the SOS mode – that could even save your life at some point!

Best Products on Today’s Market

After going shortly through the different aspects worth considering before buying a rechargeable flashlight, we compiled a small list of our favorite products together with descriptions, specs overview and buying guide. Let’s get on with it!

Smith & Wesson Galaxy 13 LED FlashlightSmith & Wesson Galaxy 13 LED Flashlight

Price: Approximately $18

Weight: 6.1 oz.

Dimensions: 1.6 x 1.6 x 6.5 in

Specific features: 25 lumens white LED bulbs/6.5 lumens red LED bulbs, 3 AAA batteries (included), 30 hours of white light/80 hours of red light, dual power switch – different buttons for white and red light

Best use: Hikers, campers, star gazers, pilots, drivers, soldiers, home-use

Description: The Smith & Wesson Galaxy 13 LED Flashlight offers the dual possibility of using both bright white light that provides a true color spectrum for anytime use and red light for night-time vision in situations when the white intensity could interfere with your specific activity or blind other people in your proximity.

However, the beam is fixed – no wideness or brightness adjustments possible. Though lower in intensity, the 3 LED red light is powerful enough to be spotted from a distance if signaling an emergency, while also offering the user the necessary luminosity if checking a map, following a road or searching through a house in case of a power outage.

The use of different buttons for white and red LED provides an easy and fast maneuverability. The LEDs and also the buttons are lifetime guaranteed, meaning that in the case of malfunction the flashlight will be replaced by the manufacturer. Some may appreciate that the flashlight is equipped with a safety mode that keeps it from switching on accidentally.

The body of the flashlight is from sturdy aluminum and allows for an excellent grip. The structure material is strong and the knob glass is scratch proof. Its holster is not waterproof, though it resembles to be, so it cannot be kept in the rain or immersed in water, but it can hold a few drops and a lower level of humidity.

It also comes with a belt loop and an extra Velcro strap that secures the catchment, as well as a separate compartment for 3 extra batteries.

PROS:

  • Should prove to be pretty sturdy and durable
  • Features an additional red light
  • Comes with extra accessories

CONS:

  • Some users may want to get something with more lumens for long-distance usage
  • No SOS or any other working modes

Related: If you’re looking for a reliable fire starter to take with you, then the Bear Grylls Fire Starter may be the option you’re looking for! The starter comes with a ferrocerium rod and a striker, as well as a waterproof department for tinder. On top of that, it also features a whole emergency kit, such as an emergency whistle and SOS instructions.

Check the price on Amazon

Bright Medic “Bonfire X” Cree LED FlashlightBright Medic “Bonfire X” Cree LED Flashlight

Price: Approximately $31

Weight: 4.5 oz.

Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 in

Specific features: 350 lumens EZ twist ring for precision zoom – focus on spot over 100 yards distance, two working modes and strobe, 3 AAA batteries (included) or one single 18650 battery with included alternate adapter, over 100,000 hours bulb life

Best use: Hunters, guards, police, soldiers, campers, hikers, home-use

Description: The Bright Medic “Bonfire X” Cree LED Flashlight is very reliable in terms of battery consumption, due to its Cree LED technology. On top of that, it has a low mode that you can switch when the brightest intensity is not needed in order to save battery life.

The Strobe Mode should prove to be extremely useful in case of emergency signaling. The zoom can be adjusted by twisting the ring, creating focused beam with very clear edges.

Its body is designed to be shockproof and also weatherproof thanks to the O-ring seal that make it water resistant. The head of the flashlight is fitted with a pointed strike bezel design that makes it handy as a self-defense instrument as well.

The tactical configuration provides also an easy-to-use clap that can be attached to belts, straps or almost any type of catchment, while its grip and small size provide the possibility to be fixed on weapons, making this type of flashlight a favorite by hunters, soldiers, guards.

PROS:

  • Extremely durable and resistant
  • Comes with additional accessories
  • Batteries included

CONS:

  • Only two working modes
  • Some users have reported problems with the on/off switch

Related: The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter should be a part of every survival or emergency kit. The straw eliminates 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoa found in water, meaning it can make almost every water suitable for drinking! Since it’s lightweight and small, you’d be able to easily fit it even in your pocket.

Check the price on Amazon

Streamlight Strion LED HL Rechargeable FlashlightStreamlight Strion LED HL Rechargeable Flashlight

Price: Approximately $110

Weight: 28.8 oz.

Dimensions: 3 x 5.9 x 3 in

Specific features: Three modes and stroboscope flash, lithium-ion battery rechargeable 1000 times, varying beam distance, battery life depending on mode

Best use: Hunters, soldiers, police, campers, hikers, home-use

Description: The Streamlight Strion LED HL Rechargeable Flashlight is a powerful flashlight that responds to high brightness and wide beam necessities, providing intense white light over a large area.

The three-mode utility keeps you in control of the battery lifetime, while the strobe mode helps in emergency signaling situations or disorienting a potential attacker. All functioning modes are operated with a single button. The lithium-ion battery recharges fully in 3 hours.

In addition, the PiggyBack charger (with a dual power input: USB port and AC/DC charging) can be bought separately for charging a spare battery while still using your flashlight.

The body is made from 6000 series machined aircraft anodized aluminum, which makes it almost indestructible. Moreover, the lenses are of borofloat high-temperature glass – thus configuring a shock and weatherproof item.

The head of the flashlight is designed to prevent rolling over when seated; the body presents a knurled pattern that ensures a safe grip. Due to its small dimensions and provided by its design, the flashlight can be easily attached to fire guns.

PROS:

  • Made from top-notch materials
  • Varying beam distance
  • Battery consumption can be adjusted depending on mode

CONS:

  • A bit on the expensive side
  • Meant more for professionals, not for the average user

Related: The HWC Flashlight Holder may as well make your life much easier – you’ll never have to worry about losing track of your flashlight again! It can be buckled up on any belt up to two inches in diameter and the material out of which the flashlight holder is made can withstand different weather conditions.

Check the price on Amazon

Helotex G2 Cree LED Tactical EDC FlashlightHelotex G2 Cree LED Tactical EDC Flashlight

Price: Approximately $25

Weight: 2.4 oz.

Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 1 in

Specific features: Dual power capability, running both on AA batteries or CR123 battery, two different working modes and strobe, 120 lumens (AA batteries), 130 lumens (CR123 battery), LED life: more than 50.000 lighting hours

Best use: Campers, hikers, home-use, hunters

Description: The Helotex G2 Cree Led Tactical EDC Flashlight grants 130 lumens and an economic LED life, due to the CREE XR-E Q4 LED technology. It also diminishes the battery consumption, this provided also by the low functioning mode that can be activated when less luminosity is necessary.

It’s a light and compact flashlight that is equipped with a pocket clip, making it an easy to carry item. Being made of solid aircraft anodized aluminum and with a body corseted with O-rings for weather protection, the Helotex G2 Tactical Flashlight is shock and waterproof, an all conditions surviving gadget.

The modes are switched by clicking a sensitive button. It takes one second to turn off the flashlight and then, one second later on and with the next push of the button, the flashlight will automatically go into the high mode.

The design and dimensions provide a user-friendly instrument that can be maneuvered safely even by a child, making it a useful addition to any home tool-kit.

PROS:

  • Light and compact
  • Shockproof and waterproof
  • LED light bulb is extremely durable

CONS:

  • Some users might tumble with the high-sensitivity button
  • Some users might prefer brighter flashlights

Related: The Viridian CR123A Lithium Batteries might prove to work so well, you’ll wonder how you managed without! Apart from working extremely great with flashlights, you’ll be able to use them for a variety of different tactical devices. Moreover, they have a shelf life of about 15 years, so you won’t have to worry about losing energy.

Check the price on Amazon

Simon Cree LED Flashlightsimon cree led flashlight

Price: Approximately $30

Weight: 5.6 oz.

Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.4 x 1.2 in

Specific features: 500 lumens, 3 AAA Ni-MH batteries (not included) or a single rechargeable Panasonic lithium ion 18650 battery with PIC (not included), bulb life: 100.000 hours, five modes of working

Description: The Simon Cree Led Flashlight makes use of a Cree LED bulb and is specifically designed as a multi-functional instrument, employed mostly in the law enforcement practice operations – it is preferred due to its adaptability to weapon catchment and also it’s easy to handle grip when handheld.

The anodized aluminum provides a strong and resistant body. The flashlight package incorporates an adjustable cord that can be strapped to the wrist, thus making it easy to carry anywhere. Same maneuverability feature is also favored by the ergonomic design.

Its 5 functioning modes contribute to an all-situations type of work necessary. These are switched by a soft touch single rear button.

The flashlight is equipped with 16 adjustable dial setting preferences that offer the user varied options in regard to the beam wideness, serving to focus the light to a tighter or broader area.

The multiple battery options are also supporting the multi-functional statement of the Simon Cree Led Flashlight. The rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery has a lifespan of 2-6 hours of continuous use.

PROS:

  • Five working modes
  • Extremely easy to carry
  • Offers a variety of settings

CONS:

  • You’ll need to buy the battery separately
  • It’s mostly meant for professional use

Related: If you want to buy batteries and save money at the same time, check the Eveready Gold AAA Batteries – they come in a batch of twelve at an extremely affordable price! They are alkaline batteries that offer the user up to three times more power when compared to other similar products. The best part might be the fact their long shelf life – they should last up to 10 years when not used!

Check the price on Amazon

Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight with Focusing LensVizeri LED Tactical Flashlight with Focusing Lens

Price: $25 – $35

Weight: 3.75 oz.

Dimensions: 4.25 x 1.6 in

Specific features: Five working modes, two models available, 230 lumens for CREE XML T6 LED / 460 lumens for CREE XR-E Q5, zoom lens, long beam distance, waterproof

Best use: Military, hunting, camping, hiking, home use

Description: The Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight with Focusing Lens is specially designed for military use. Its basic body components making it extremely resistant and sustainable, while at the same time making it extremely light and easy to handle.

The compact design provides that all components are structured in order to stay fixed despite shocks or vibrations. The flashlight is fully waterproof – it can be submerged to 3 feet underwater, being able to withstand pressure. This is also secured by the placement of O-rings at the catchment of all components.

The multi-battery option is helpful for saving power, money and also precious time, offering the possibility to recharge one battery while using the other one. The 5 modes available in this flashlight come with a memory function that maintains in stand-by your last used mode till the next utilization.

All of the functions are triggered through a soft push of the tail button; by each push, the next mode can be reached. The zoom can be easily adjusted by rotating the head ring.

This flashlight comes with a lamp diffuser that can be placed on top in order to transform it into a proper lamp to be used in tents or other places. Other included accessories are a bike mount, weapon mount, and holster.

PROS:

  • Fully waterproof
  • Five different working modes
  • Zoom option and additional accessories

CONS:

  • Batteries aren’t included
  • Aimed towards professional use mostly

Related: The SE All Weather Fire Starter is so small, it can even fit in your pocket! However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do its job properly – the fire starter is waterproof and it’ll give you those much-needed sparks even in wet conditions. You’ll also get a compass and a detachable ball chain with the product, making it a nice accessory to every survival kit.

Check the price on Amazon

Solaray Pro ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight KitSolaray Pro ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight Kit

Price: Approximately $12

Weight: 5 oz.

Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.25 x 1.5 in

Specific features: Five working modes, 1200 lumens maximum output, 3 AAA batteries or lithium ion battery (spare battery included), zoom lens, other accessories included: a three LED solar keychain with mini flashlight

Best use: Hunting, camping, hiking, home use

Description: The Solaray Pro ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight Kit is powered by an Ultra Bright X-L T6 Cree LED technology capable of providing a brilliant white light, while also keeping economic power consumption.

The medium and low modes allow you to pick working modes depending on need while at the same time allowing you to save some precious battery life.

The body is made up of strong durable aluminum and it is ensured to be water resistant. The flashlight design is compact and should enable you to get a good grip on it. The button used for all functions is placed at the bottom, allowing for convenient use.

The flashlight is provided with a memory that remembers last utilized mode in order to use it when it’s turned back on. The zoom lens operates easily, with the beam adjusting the distance. You could cover both wide areas and great lengths with a flashlight like this.

The stroboscope and SOS modes should come in handy when in need of signaling or blinding an attacker while striking bezel mounted on the head of the flashlight is also a good self-defense instrument. All in all, this may turn out to be a decent purchase for your next trip.

PROS:

  • Features additional accessories as well as batteries
  • Several working modes
  • Ultralight

CONS:

  • Not suitable for reading or activities that don’t require that much of a light
  • Not waterproof

Related: The SOLARAY Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries may be the right choice for every device that uses the 18650 battery type. The batteries can be recharged a whopping 500 times, allowing you to get years of use out of them. In order to prolong battery life, they come with overcharge safety protection so you wouldn’t have to worry about charging time.

Check the price on Amazon

Nebo Redline Tactical FlashlightNebo Redline Tactical Flashlight

Price: Approximately $22

Weight: 6.8 oz.

Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 in

Specific features: Five working modes, 22 lumens on low/110 lumens on medium/220 lumens on high, operates on 3 AAA batteries, shockproof and waterproof, beam distance depending on setting, battery life depending on working mode, glow-in-the-dark on/off button

Best use: Hunting, camping, hiking, home use

Description: The Nebo Redline Tactical Flashlight is a multi-functional product with 5 modes and also the possibility to adjust the beam. The modes are selected easily by the rear button that uses soft-touch technology.

The stroboscope is activated by clicking the button 4 times, the SOS mode by clicking it 5 times; this simple sequence can be extremely helpful in certain dangerous situations and even kids can be taught how to use it. The bezel design provides self-defense option as well.

The flashlight is equipped with four adjustable beam positions – you can turn the bezel clockwise for short range utility and counterclockwise for spotlight at a distance of over 20 yards.

This flashlight is a master of practicality – the glow in the dark rear operating button makes it easy to switch modes while still using it to light up; it also has a magnetic base that allows you to attach it to anything metal and thus being able to work with it without being handheld.

PROS:

  • Extremely easy to work with
  • Different working modes and beam adjustments available
  • Shockproof and waterproof

CONS:

  • Some may find it too heavy for a flashlight
  • Not enough brightness for search and rescue operations

Related: The Nebo CSI Flashlight Holster should provide you with a secure spot to keep your flashlight in. The pouch is stretchable and considering its metal carabiner, it may be attached to a variety of products, such as backpacks and belts. Considering that it comes with more than an affordable price, it might be a nice addition to your camping gear.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Given the variety of the flashlights presented, you probably found one that meets your requirements – we hope that we’ve managed to help you with our selection! Don’t forget to always double check if a certain product is suitable for your needs – as long as you pick accordingly, you shouldn’t be disappointed in the end!

Are there any flashlights you’ve tried out and really enjoyed? We’d love to hear about them – feel free to share with us in the comments area!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • timothy smith

    SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 – the most powerful in this list, as much as 1200 luminosity! Judging by the picture on Amazon, it is also used in police and special operations. This suggests that the model is obviously high quality and durable. Cool that there are different modes of operation and a robust housing. Perhaps I will buy such this month. What do you guys think? Does anybody own this flashlight?

    • Dennis Owens

      It is a robust model and can withstand the harsh elements. Made of premium-grade material, the Solaray Pro can be your very own crusader of light and will always be a reliable light source.

  • brian richardson

    In this area, you need to choose a led flashlight which will be easier to handle. If you need to free your hands (for example, when you go to the mountains) – you can give prefer to use the headlamp. If you prefer flashlights – choose the lighter and more compact variant. Lighting characteristics depend entirely on your needs – for a walk is enough a lamp with average power, but the flashlight for camping could be more powerful – one that can create coverage over a large area. Camping lanterns can be both stationary and handheld, or event with the cord for hanging.

    • Dennis Owens

      Great insight, Richard. In preparing to buy a light source for long-term use, you should be able to identify your needs and start from there in making a decision. Investing in a durable and high-quality flashlight is always a good idea, and it will keep you away from the dark for a very long time.

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