A good flashlight is a vital addition to any backpacking adventure. Without it, nighttime walking, camping and map reading, etc. become a lot more difficult. You need a flashlight that is bright and durable but also easy to carry and use. There are other features you need and this makes finding the best backpacking flashlight a challenge.
That’s where we can help. Here we have reviewed the 10 best backpacking flashlight on the market today and also have a buying guide and FAQs to give you all the information you need. By the time you get the end, you’ll know which the best backpacking flashlight is for you. Let’s get started!
Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC90 LED Flashlight
Anker has been able to make this highly-rated backpacking flashlight that has a great degree of quality. It’s quite large for a backpacking flashlight but still compact enough to be easily carried. The 900 lumens gives you great light coverage and the zoomable adjustments allow you to get the type of beam you need.
The aluminum body of the flashlight is tough and will be highly resistant to impacts. The battery inside is easily rechargeable with decent run time. There are also five mode settings and they include strobe and SOS settings which can be important in an emergency.
- Comfortable size
- Fully zoomable
- High, medium, low, strobe, SOS settings
- Rechargeable 3350mAh battery
- 900 lumens
- Durable aluminum body
Wsiiroon 1600 Lumen LED Flashlight
If it’s lumens you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find them right here with an incredible 1600. The highest setting will lead to a very short run time but it can be useful in certain situations. In the medium mode, the flashlight is still very bright and has a good run time.
Even with that immense brightness, the flashlight comes in a pocket-size that is very easy to carry in a backpack or on a carabiner. It’s very easy to use with a simple push-button switch at the end and an adjustable focus. It’s also waterproof and will be able to stand the test of time.
- 1600 lumens
- Takes 3 AAA batteries
- Adjustable focus
- Push-button switch
TAC9ER LED Tactical Flashlight
If you think you may be in an emergency situation and want peace of mind, then you want all the safety features possible. Having a high-quality flashlight with five lighting modes is going to be able to give you that, which makes this TAC9ER light a great option.
The fast USB charging will allow you to top up that battery quickly whenever you can and the run time is good. The build quality is very high with impressive features such as an aluminum body, an anti-slip grip, and a low weight. It represents another backpacking flashlight that will be perfect for most needs.
- 900 lumens
- Zoomable with 5 lighting modes
- Fast USB charging
- Compact and light
- Military-grade aluminum
- Anti-slip grip
GearLight M3 LED Tactical Flashlight
With just a single AA battery needed for the flashlight, you will be able to carry spares and have confidence that you’ll never be without light at a crucial time. It comes in a pack of two which is brilliant if you’re traveling with a partner. With this versatility, you could simply leave the other one at home for everyday tasks.
300 lumens may not seem like a lot when compared to other options that we’ve looked at already but it is still a very bright light and will be all you need. The flashlight is extremely portable and compact with an impressive level of build quality.
- Takes a single AA battery
- 300 lumens
- Compact and portable
- Pack of two
- Immense durability
- Belt clip
Uoline Tactical Portable LED Flashlight
Need a flashlight that can smash through a windshield? While that may not be much use for backpacking, the scalloped-bezel at the tip of the light packs a punch that could come in useful for protecting yourself o breaking through ice. That usability is also helped by the long handle.
In terms of battery life, this flashlight can old either one 18650 battery or three AAA batteries. There is a great level of water-resistant and has great features such as its zoom function to be able to alter your beam. There is also a case and carabiner included which are very useful for keeping your flashlight protected.
- Case and carabiner included
- Takes one 18650 or three AAA batteries
- Zoom function
- Tough and reliable
- Highly water-resistant
Wsky Rechargeable LED Tactical Flashlight
If it’s extras that you’re after, then Wsky has you covered. You get a hand strap and a carry bag along with a service card and a one-year warranty. While they are great, the flashlight itself ticks all of the right boxes with a slick and clever design. One such great design feature is the power indicator that you don’t get on most models.
You have three battery options to choose from as you can opt for a 26650, 18650 or AAA batteries. It’s very easy to use and carry with a versatile design to ensure you get plenty of use from it when you’re not backpacking. The water and drop resistant flashlight will survive extreme environments and will become an essential part of your backpacking kit.
- Several accessories
- Three battery options
- Water and drop resistant
- Power indicator
- Versatile design
- Easy to use
Solaray Small Handheld LED Emergency Flashlight
If you’re the type who likes to keep their flashlight close at all times then you’re going to love this flashlight. It is small in size for easy storage but it also has a large clip for secure attachment. It may be small but it also gives you a lot of power.
That size helps to give it a lot of versatile design as it’s great for emergencies but also everyday use. The light is very good and suitable for any backpacking trip. The clever design of the handle means that you’re never going to lose grip of it and helps to make it very easy to use.
- Large belt clip
- Beveled, high-grip handle
- Adjustable focus
- Small but powerful
- Great usability
- Impressive durability
SKL Pen Flashlight
Pen flashlights are perfect for those looking for a slim model that is very easy to store away. At 120 lumens this isn’t going to be perfect for those who plan on using their torch a lot. For emergencies, however, it serves its purpose perfectly.
That slim look helps to give it incredibly low weight and that is helped by the flashlight only needing one AAA battery. The tail switch is very easy to use and the waterproofing seen here will keep this light protected for a long time. It offers a great deal of quality and is the perfect solution for anyone looking for this type of flashlight.
- Slim design
- 120 lumens
- Incredibly light
- Takes one AAA battery
- Easy tail switch
Simpeak Hand Crank Solar Powered Flashlight
With this flashlight, you’re never going to be without light. Not only does it have a rechargeable battery but it also has a solar panel to go along with its hand crank. One minute of cranking time will be able to create 10 minutes of light and therefore not much effort will be required if you’re in an emergency.
The handle doubles as a carabiner and that helps to make it very easy to carry on your backpack. It comes in a pack of two and that represents great value. There are also three colors available to allow you to get one that matches your style. For the ultimate peace of mind, it’s a brilliant flashlight.
- Rechargeable battery and solar panel
- 10 minutes to one-minute cranking
- Carabiner type handle
- Pack of two
- Three colors
- Easy to carry
Hatori Super Small Mini LED Flashlight
Are you an ultralight backpacker? Or simply don’t have a lot of space? If any of those apply to your then this tiny flashlight would be perfect. Despite that super small size it still packs a punch at 150 lumens which is still very bright. Only one AAA battery is required and that also helps to make it easy to own.
If you’re worried about losing it then you will enjoy the large clip it has. If this is simply a nuisance to you then you can remove it. The skid-proof design allows it to be gripped securely and the anodized aluminum body gives it a lot of strength. If you’re packing light, this is the flashlight for you.
- Tiny size
- 150 lumens
- Takes one AAA battery
- Large, removable clip
- Anodized-aluminum body
What to look for in a Backpacking Flashlight
A lumen is measured by the amount of visible light emitted by a source. For reference, a bright household lightbulb would emit around 600-900 lumens of light. It’s very unlikely you’ll need a flashlight that bright.
An important aspect to note is that a flashlight that can shine at 1600 lumens will only be able to do so for a very short period of time as it would drain the battery. This is why you shouldn’t be overly tempted by super-bright flashlights.
Before you buy your flashlight it’s a good idea to know exactly where you’re going to put it. Clipped to a belt? In a coat pocket? Stored away in a rucksack? Wherever it is, make sure you’re getting a flashlight that can be comfortably carried.
Weight also plays an important role in that but all the flashlights we’ve looked at here are very light. A bigger flashlight often means a brighter flashlight but this is not always the case. There are a lot of options here that strike a great balance between size and functionality.
Have a think about what type of battery you want. There are rechargeable batteries that only charge via USB, rechargeables that can be removed and also those that take traditional AA or AAA batteries. There are also some that have a combination of different types.
With USB rechargeable batteries, you’ll need relatively good access to a power source. With AAA flashlight, you’ll need to take spares. It’s vital that you think ahead about how the flashlight can be recharged so that you’re never caught in the dark.
Durability – A strong aluminum case, a watertight design, and shock proofing are all features you want to look out for.
Beam Distance – This is a measurement of the distant light that will travel before it matches the equivalent light of a full moon.
Modes – You want to have different modes for different scenarios such as ‘high’ if your lost, ‘low’ in a tent and ‘SOS’ for emergencies.
Attachment – How are you going to secure the flashlight? There are cases, clips, and lanyards available, depending on the model
What should I look for in a backpacking flashlight?
A flashlight should have enough luminosity for your needs, be durable enough for the demands of backpacking and have all of the features required for your adventure. Everyone has a different type of backpacking trip, therefore get a flashlight that is suited to you.
How bright should my flashlight be?
For almost all backpacking adventures, around 300 lumens would be more than enough. If you’ll be walking at night then you may want to have more than this. You’ll hardly ever have your flashlight on the highest setting as it’s not required.
For nighttime hiking adventures, a reflective bandana could also be of great use in case you find yourself in any trouble.
Should I get a headlamp instead?
Headlamps can be great for some people who like walking at night. They can, however, be uncomfortable, and only point in the direction you’re looking at. This can be annoying if you’re trying to have a conversation, for example.
How important is the runtime?
You need to manage your battery when you’re backpacking. There is no point in having a super bright flashlight if it only lasts for an hour. Runtime is very important and it’s always to use the lowest light mode possible to conserve it.
What is the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?
Many products market themselves as waterproof which can be quite misleading, as some of them can’t be submerged in water. Make sure you’re checking what their waterproofing actually means. Anything with an IPX rating of 7 or over can be submerged. 4-6 offer increased levels of good splash protection.