The Best Camping Flashlights in 2021

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Looking for a new camping flashlight, but feel left in the dark on where to start?

We’re here to help enlighten you through the technical specs and lingo of flashlights and find that perfect match that will keep your campsite and outdoor adventures well lit.

Obviously, you need a flashlight while camping, but with so many options on the market, it’s easy to become overwhelmed while shopping.

Read More : 6 Things to Look For in a Camping Flashlight

Here are some features you definitely need to look for when shopping for that perfect camping flashlight :

  • Brightness. This is a must. You’ll want a flashlight that emits at least 600 lumens.
  • Multiple modes. You don’t always want the bright spotlight, so buy a flashlight with a low-mode, which is helpful when looking around in a tent.
  • Durability: You want something water-resistant and not just weather-resistant. Shockproof is a must-have feature too because your flashlight will undoubtedly take a few falls.

Here are the 11 best flashlights for camping.

Flashlight ModelBrightnessWeightWaterproof
Coast G55650 lumens 6.4oz / 180gIPX4
Nite Ize Inova T4R850 lumens12.4oz / 635gIPX4
Fenix PD36R1,600 lumens3.0oz / 85gIP68
Ledlenser MT183,000 lumens21.8oz / 620gIPX4
Surefire e2T800 lumens3.5oz / 99gIPX68
Coleman OneSource 10001,000 lumens10.4oz / 295gIPX4
Maglite ML50L611 lumens16.0oz / 454gIPX4
Pelican 7100695 lumens4.4oz / 125gIPX8
Nitecore TM9K9,500 lumens7.7oz / 218gIP68
Goal Zero Torch 250250 lumens14.4oz / 408g-
Nitecore P301,000 lumens5.8oz / 165gIPX8

Coast G55 Flashlight

Coast G55 Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Coast
  • Brightness : 650 lumens (high), 300 lumens (med), 95 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 2:30 hours (high), 6:15 hours (med), 17:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 4 AAA
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX4
  • Weight : 6.4oz / 180g

A big selling point of the Coast G55 is its two-beam technology that allows you to shine a broad flood light across the campsite, or pinpoint a spot that won’t disturb others. That feature is done simply by twisting the head of the flashlight.

If you can look past the fact that it doesn’t feature a rechargeable battery and are OK with bringing extra AAA batteries with you, the durability and size of this Coast flashlight is on par with similar products.

What We Like

  • Innovate design. Engineered to let you dial-in between a spot and flood beams.
  • Lightweight. You’ll barely notice it in your pocket around the campsit

What We Don't Like

  • Non-rechargeable batteries which means you need to bring extra batteries.

Nite Ize Inova T4R Tactical LED Flashlight

Nite Ize Inova T4R Tactical LED Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Nite Ize
  • Brightness : 850 lumens (high), 12 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 2:00 hours (high), 138:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 2,600mAh
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX4
  • Weight : 12.4oz / 635g

If durability is more important than overall brightness, you may want to consider the Nite Ize Inova T4R.

The aluminum body features a type III hard-coat anodized finish, which allows it to fend off any potential damage from falls while camping or hiking.

While it doesn’t boast over 1,000 lumens, the high mode serves its purpose well with an effective range of 840 feet. The low, or eco-friendly mode, emits 12 lumens, which is enough for digging around a tent.

We especially like how the Nite Ize Inova T4R can charge through a car outlet or via USB.

What We Like

  • Shockproof. The design of this flashlight can handle the roughest conditions.
  • Fast charge. Go from zero to full-power in about three hours.

What We Don't Like

  • Below-average brightness. Competitors are offering significant more brightness.

Fenix PD36R Rechargeable Flashlight

Fenix PD36R Rechargeable Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Fenix
  • Brightness : 1,600 lumens (high), 350 lumens (med), 30 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 5:49 hours (high), 8:24 hours (med), 115:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 5,000mAh
  • Waterproof Rating : IP68
  • Weight : 3.0oz / 85g

The rechargeable and compact Fenix PD36R is a great camping flashlight that features several different lighting modes, including a super-bright 1,600 lumens high-mode and a battery-saving eco mode that emits 30 lumens.

An on-off button combined with a slide-switch to shuffle through the six different modes makes this LED flashlight very easy to use.

If you’re using this Fenix flashlight often and also bring a portable battery pack with you to the campsite, it uses USB-C to quickly charge in 10 minutes for five hours of use.

What We Like

  • Powerful, long-lasting battery that gets you through an entire camping trip.
  • Eco-mode. Even dimmer than low mode. Perfect for inside the tent so you won’t disturb others.

What We Don't Like

  • Tiny holster. Too small to comfortably take the flashlight in and out.

Ledlenser MT18 Flashlight

Ledlenser MT18 Rechargeable Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Ledlenser
  • Brightness : 3,000 lumens (high), 600 lumens (med), 30 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 5:00 hours (high), 9:00 hours (med), 96:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 10,200 mAh
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX4
  • Weight : 21.8oz / 620g

If you’re looking for a rechargeable spotlight that can easily fit in your pocket, the Ledlenser MT18 certainly fits the bill.

Packed with an incredible amount of brightness at 3,000 lumens, you won’t have to worry about not being able to see around your campsite.

It also features a medium and low mode that won’t blind your fellow campers.

A unique feature of the pricier Ledlenser flashlight is its transportation lock that prevents it from accidentally turning on.

What We Like

  • Powerful battery can last a long time for moderate users.
  • Very bright. It’s as bright as a powerful spotlight.

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive. On the more expensive side when compared to similar flashlights.

Surefire e2T Tactician Flashlight

Surefire E2T Tactician Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Surefire
  • Brightness : 800 lumens (high), 5 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 1:30 hours (high), 95:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : Two 123A
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX68
  • Weight : 3.5oz / 99g

Smart campers know to pack lightly and the Surefire e2T certainly fits the bill. Weighing in at an amazing 3.5oz, while packing 800 lumens, makes it a great option to brighten up your campsite.

The engineering of this flashlight is quite innovative. To bring it to maximum brightness, simply tighten the front bezel and then loosen it by a quarter-turn for the low output.

If you’re comfortable with paying a little extra, this Surefire light makes for a great camping flashlight.

What We Like

  • Compact. The smallest and lightest flashlight on our list.
  • Low-light feature. This flashlight has big-time power, but the 5 lumen feature is perfect for searching for something in a bag.

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive. Power in a small package doesn’t come cheap.

Coleman OneSource 1000 Flashlight

Coleman OneSource 1000 Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Coleman
  • Brightness : 1,000 lumens (high), 50 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 2:00 hours (high), 100:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 4,800mAh
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX4
  • Weight : 10.4oz / 295g

Coleman’s OneSource 1000 is like a Swiss Army Knife for the modern camper due to its ability to charge other electronic devices off its battery via USB-C.

But in addition to that feature, it’s extremely bright at 1,000 lumens, which is enough to light your campsite, even from far away. The low setting is perfect for inside a tent.

The battery is certainly a selling point, but add in the weight, durability and ease-of-use, and this Coleman flashlight becomes a must-have in your camping toolbox.

What We Like

  • Rechargeable. The rechargeable battery can also be used to charge your smartphone.
  • Lightweight. Easily fits into a pocket for easy access while camping.

What We Don't Like

  • Only two light modes on this flashlight. It lacks a flash mode needed for camping.

Maglite ML50L LED Flashlight

Maglite LED ML50L Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Maglite
  • Brightness : 611 lumens (high), 105 lumens (low), 20 lumens (eco)
  • Run Time : 16:00 hours (high), 42:00 hours (low), 153:00 hours (eco)
  • Battery : 3 C-Cell Alkaline
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX4
  • Weight : 16.0oz / 454g

A staple across homes for when the power goes out, the Maglite ML50L is also a solid flashlight for camping with a few exceptions.

Its aluminum body is extremely durable, but that comes with some disadvantages.

For casual weekend campers, the weight of the Maglite may not bother you. For those more hardcore trips that require hiking to get to a site, it may be too heavy. Another downside is that it’s not rechargeable, which means you may need to bring extra C-cell batteries.

What We Like

  • Easy to use. One-button design makes cycling through light modes a cinch.
  • Trusted brand. Maglite is a long-time trusted brand known for putting out quality products.

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy. Maglites are tough, but they’re not light, especially with batteries.

Pelican 7100 LED Flashlight

Pelican 7100 LED Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Pelican
  • Brightness : 695 lumens (high), 348 lumens (med), 33 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 1:15 hours (high), 1:30 hours (med), 9:15 hours (low)
  • Battery : 14,500mAh / 1 AA
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX8
  • Weight : 4.4oz / 125g

The Pelican 7100 is designed with military-grade toughness. The type II anodized aluminum body can take a beating and be fully submerged in water without suffering any damage.

With nearly 700 lumens, it’s plenty bright for not just the campsite, but also tactical operations.

As a camper, you’ll appreciate Pelican’s fast charging capability that can take it from zero to 100 in just 90 minutes.

What We Like

  • Built tough. The rugged design handles the roughest camping conditions.
  • Extra power source. If the lithium ion battery dies, you can replace it with a single AA battery.
  • Carbon pocket clip ensures you won’t drop your flashlight.

What We Don't Like

  • Battery life: Not a huge difference in battery life between high and medium modes.

Nitecore TM9K Flashlight

Nitecore TM9K Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Nitecore
  • Brightness : 9,500 lumens (turbo), 1,900 lumens (high), 460 lumens (med), 130 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 3:00 hours (high), 4:30 hours (med), 14:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 5,000mAh
  • Waterproof Rating : IP68
  • Weight : 7.7oz / 218g

Another tactical flashlight designed for police officers could be a great option for your camping toolbox. The Nitecore TM9K is lightweight, super-bright and features a great battery.

In terms of brightness, high mode emits 1,800 lumens, but holding the mode button down accesses all nine LED lights to hit 9,500 lumens.

This Nitecore flashlight includes a quick-charging feature via USB-C, which can be handy if you run out of juice, but travel with a portable battery.

What We Like

  • Super-bright. Turbo mode puts out a 9,500 lumens flash.
  • Power indicator. Know how much battery is left with the power indicator.
  • Long battery life that runs on high for three hours.

What We Don't Like

  • Bad ergonomics. Mode button is an odd shape and could be difficult to push.

Goal Zero Torch 250

Goal Zero Torch 250 Power Hub Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Goal Zero
  • Brightness : 250 lumens (high), 70 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 15:00 hours (high), 48:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 4,400mAh
  • Waterproof Rating : None
  • Weight : 14.4oz / 408g

Keeping your flashlight battery fully-charged is a big concern for campers, which makes the Goal Zero Torch 250 a great camping flashlight. It features a small solar panel, a hand-crank and a USB port to keep the battery going.

While some have complained the solar charging is slow, it should provide enough juice for moderate use on a weekend camping trip.

The design of this Goal Zero flashlight is unique in that it’s not cyclical. This makes it a great option for placing on a table, but a little unusual to keep in a pocket.

What We Like

  • Versatile. It’s a flashlight, floodlight or red emergency light.
  • Plenty of charging options. Built-in USB, solar panel and hand-crank to recharge the battery.

What We Don't Like

  • Less durable. Some users have questioned the durability of the plastic and hand-crank.

Nitecore P30 Flashlight

Nitecore P30 Camping Flashlights
Photo Credit : Nitecore
  • Brightness : 1,000 lumens (high), 220 lumens (med), 70 lumens (low)
  • Run Time : 1:00 hour (high), 5:00 hours (med), 17:00 hours (low)
  • Battery : 5,000mAh / 2 CR123A / 18650
  • Waterproof Rating : IPX8
  • Weight : 5.8oz / 165g

Designed for hunting, the Nitecore P30 packs a punch for lighting up scenes that are more than two football fields away.

Now, that type of brightness may be a tad overkill for the campsite, but for those who need that extra brightness (especially if you think you hear dangerous animals approaching), this flashlight is a great value.

No worries about durability with this Nitecore flashlight. It’s waterproof and shock resistant.

What We Like

  • Long throw. With 1,000 lumens, this flashlight has a throw of 674 yards.
  • Features three light modes, including a strobe for emergencies.
  • Power indicator. One of the few flashlights on the market today with a power indicator.

What We Don't Like

  • Too bright: This flashlight is for hunting and might be too bright for camping.

Camping Flashlights Buying Guide

There are a handful of features to keep in mind when shopping for a camping flashlight.

Use this guide to help make the best-informed purchase.

Brightness and lumens

To understand flashlight brightness, you need to understand lumens, the unit of measurement used for visible light from a device.

Here’s a breakdown of brightness and some numbers you should look for when shopping for a camping flashlight :

  • High. Typically anything above 600 lumens, like the Pelican 7100, is considered high and more than enough to light up a campsite.
  • Medium. 200-500 lumens is perfect for lighting up a smaller area, like a dining table. The Goal Zero Torch 250 fits into this category.
  • Low. 30-100 lumens is dim enough to search for something in a tent without blinding other people inside. Eco mode on the Maglite ML50L is 20 lumens.

Some flashlights offer an incredibly bright option, like the Ledlenser MT18, which tops out at 3,000 lumens. That’s enough brightness to light up three campsites!

Most flashlights offer varying levels of brightness by cycling through different modes, which is the smartest purchase you can make.

And remember, the brighter the flashlight, typically the more it’s going to cost.

Beam angle and distance

While camping, you may need a flashlight that can illuminate something that’s not directly in front of you. 

For example, you’re hiking back to your campsite and think you hear a bear in some trees ahead. Having a flashlight that can emit light a long distance would be pretty helpful in this moment.

So, what’s beam angle?

Beam angle is the point on the beam’s axis where the brightness of the light drops to 50% of maximum output.

In other words, it’s how far can your flashlight brighten in front of you.

The Nitecore P30, for instance, is designed with 1,000 lumens and a great reflector to throw light more than 674 yards away. While that could be a little extreme for camping, you never know what situation you could find yourself in where that type of distance could come in handy.

Number of light modes

A good camping flashlight features several modes, mostly geared toward brightness levels. There are some special modes, though, that come in handy in emergency situations.

  • High. Obviously, this is the brightest mode on a flashlight.
  • Med. Medium lighting is appropriate for around a campsite without blinding anyone.
  • Low. This is used to search around a tent or in a bag without being too bright. It’s also great if you want to save battery life.
  • Strobe. Many flashlights include this mode for emergency situations. If you’re stuck somewhere, a blinking strobe light could easily be seen by people nearby.

Some flashlights include some more unique modes, like the Nitecore TM9K, which features a Turbo Mode that can boost the brightest to 9,500 lumens.

You definitely want a flashlight with the basic high, medium and low modes, but decide if extra modes are worth the extra price.

Size and weight

One goal of camping is to pack as lightly as possible and that especially applies to your flashlight.

Seasoned campers know that the flashlight is a must-have tool that’s commonly kept in a pocket. But there can be some trade-offs when it comes to size and brightness.

Typically, the brighter the flashlight, the heavier it is due to the need for a more robust battery.

That’s not always the norm, though. The Surefire e2T, for example, boasts a bright 800 lumens, but still only weighs 3.5oz. But to reach that size, the manufacturer did have to put in a smaller battery.

Don’t be afraid to invest in two flashlights.

A heavier, brighter one for the campsite and then a lighter one that can easily fit into your pocket that’s bright enough to get you back to camp in a pinch.

Waterproofing and dustproofing

Flashlights are rated for waterproofing and dustproofing using the Ingress Protection (IP) Code.

The most common ratings you’ll see, include :

  • IP68. The 6 indicates it is dust tight and has complete protection. The 8 indicates it’s also suitable for being immersed in water beyond 1 meter with no negative issues.
  • IP63. Again, it’s dustproof, but only weather-proof, meaning it can handle some rain hitting it.
  • IP69K. This is more rare, but it means the flashlight is protected from stream-jet cleaning.

You’ll sometimes see flashlights rated with IPX68, which is the same as IP68.

Flashlights with an aluminum anodized finish, like the Pelican 7100, are some of the tougher waterproof tools on the market.

It’s important to remember that even if a flashlight is designated as waterproof, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can go swimming with it.

Waterproof flashlights are designed to withstand heavy rain or accidental falls into a body of water without any negative impacts.

Andrew Dodson

Andrew Dodson is an avid camper who enjoys the great outdoors with his wife and two-year-old son. He resides in Colorado, where you can often find him enjoying hikes with a toddler strapped to his back and mini goldendoodle Percy nearby.