Suppose you’re going on a backpacking trip or want to make sure that you have every possible thing covered in the event of an emergency. In that case, a flashlight is something that should be at the top of your list.
It doesn’t matter whether you are heading out for a day hike or plan on spending weeks exploring trails; being able to see where you are going and signal for help when needed is paramount.
In this article, we will review some of the best compact lights available and highlight their pros and cons so that no matter what your needs might be, there is a light for everyone.
Another critical factor to consider is whether you want a headlamp or flashlight. While both light sources provide excellent illumination, each style has benefits and drawbacks that best suit every application.
Headlamps are typically bulkier but allow for hands-free use. At the same time, flashlights tend to be lighter weight but require more batteries over the long run, depending on usage.
How to Choose the Best Backpacking Flashlight for You
When it comes to selecting the best backpacking flashlight, everyone should consider several factors and features. Whether your budget, size, or desired usage is for this light, you will find one in our review roundup below that meets all of your needs.
One of the most significant factors you will need to consider is how long your light can run. Whether using disposable or rechargeable batteries, a good backpacking flashlight should be able to last at least on an overnight trip without having to replace them.
Next, you will need to consider what type of batteries best suits your needs. Whether it is disposable or rechargeable alkaline batteries, lithium CR123A batteries, NiMH batteries, or even a combination of these types that best fit your needs, the best thing you can do is purchase this light with the storms that best fit your needs.
Light Output (Lumens)
Another major factor to consider is the light output this flashlight emits and how bright it is. The best backpacking flashlights should put out at least 100 lumens which will give you plenty of illumination for any situation, whether it’s looking out across a campsite or trying to signal for help.
Lux, Candela, Throw
Another factor to consider is the distance that this light can reach. Whether you need a flashlight for longer distances, close-up work, or simply around camp, then there are models in our review roundup below that best suit every application and usage. As well as lumens, lux and candela will help determine how far your illumination reaches, so make sure you consider this when deciding on a model below.
Weight & Size (Length, Diameter)
You need to consider the best backpacking flashlight size and weight that best fits your needs. If it is lightweight, which best suits you, go with a compact model like the Coast HP550. Heavier models provide more run time but are typically bulkier than smaller lights.
Another factor to consider is if you plan on using your light in wet conditions or around water. The best backpacking flashlights will be either waterproof, weatherproof, or at the bare minimum resistant against moisture and heavy rain, so keep this in mind when selecting a model below which best fits your needs.
Depending on your budget will determine the price range you are looking at for this type of light. Whether it was under $25 or closer to $100, there is a flashlight in our review roundup below which best suits every need and budget; no matter whether you want one for backpacking, car camping, or to keep in your emergency kit at home.
Clip or No Clip?
For hands-free operation, you may clip the flashlight to the brim of your hat.
We recommend getting a light with a clip. We found having one to be quite helpful, especially when camping or in the woods at night.
Spot: A narrow, concentrated beam is one of the most typical features of a flashlight. These can help you see far ahead while planning your journey, but they won’t light up much to the left and right of you.
Flood: A larger beam that illuminates a broader area with a shorter throw or penetration.
Best Backpacking Flashlights 2022
If you want to see in the dark, the Anker LC90 LED Flashlight has everything you need. Its brightest point is 900 Lumens, and you may adjust its focus up to 1000 feet away.
- Item Dimensions: 6.22 x 1.57 x 1.57 inches
- Item Weight: 6.24 ounces
- Light Source: led
- It comes with a rechargeable 3350 mAh battery that can last up to six hours in moderate lighting.
- The battery needs only 6 hours to charge fully.
- The body of this tool is made of super-durable anodized aluminum.
- IPX5 waterproof certification
- 18-month warranty
- The most crucial benefit of this backpacking flashlight is that its rechargeable. You don’t need to bring spare batteries with you, and it would save a lot of space in your bag since there are no extra batteries included when you buy the device itself.
- This super bright tactical LED flashlight can throw its beam up to 1000 feet away, allowing for a clear view of what’s in front, behind, and to the sides.
- The exterior is made from aluminum alloy with a hard-anodized finish for extra durability. It can withstand falls from up to 100 feet high without breaking or chipping.
- Its zoom function lets you adjust the focus between floodlight mode (wide beam) and spotlight mode (narrow beam).
- The exterior also acts as a heat sink, dissipating the light’s warmth quickly and efficiently. It is an excellent feature if you plan on using this flashlight for long periods during cold weather.
- This military-grade device can last up to six hours in moderate lighting after being fully charged only once.
- This flashlight is waterproof and dustproof, making it an excellent option for hikers who tend to travel through or camp in foggy or humid conditions. It can also survive being submerged up to three feet deep in water.
- The price of this Anker LC90 LED Flashlight is reasonable considering its superior features and benefits.
Maglite’s XL200 LED Tactical Pack is a versatile and durable device that you can use for camping, hiking, or in case of an emergency. It has Lumens Range 100 to 249; it also comes with two AAA batteries when you purchase the pack.
- Item Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches
- Item Weight: 3.68 ounces
- Light Source: led
- Three AAA batteries power it.
- The maximum brightness is 172 Lumens.
- A pair of colored lenses are included in the kit, as well as a pocket clip.
- At the highest brightness, it lasts 2.5 hours.
- 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty
- One of the advantages of this backpacking flashlight is that it comes with colored lenses, allowing you to customize your lighting preference based on what activity you’re doing. There’s also a pocket clip included in the pack for convenience.
- This Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight can be used as an emergency light if needed; slip one of its lenses over the LED and use it as an emergency strobe light.
- This Maglite has a tactical ring that enables you to quickly attach or detach this flashlight from your bag, belt loop, etc. It also comes with a lanyard for ease of carrying around your neck if needed.
- The exterior is made from machined aluminum alloy;
- The quality of this material is highly resistant to wear and tear, making it great for hikers who travel through rugged terrains.
- The Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight Tactical Pack price seems affordable based on its superior features and benefits.
The Energizer Tactical Flashlight is essentially a more extensive and heavier version of the Maglite XL200, with the same degree of durability and simplicity of operation. With the slogan “almost indestructible,” this is the sort of flashlight you should think about if you like to put your gear through hell.
- Item Dimensions: 10.08 x 5.16 x 1.38 inches
- Item Weight: 0.24 Kilograms
- Light Source: led
- The highest possible brightness is 700 Lumens.
- Six AA batteries power the LED headlights, which last up to 35 hours on low brightness.
- The IPX4 water resistance rating indicates that it is resistant to splashing and rain.
- An aircraft-grade alloy body is used to make it.
- Its LED headlamps can last up to 35 hours on low brightness. It makes it an excellent option for hikers who plan on going out at night and need their flashlights to find their way back home or set up camp.
- The adjustable focus feature allows you to adjust between spotlight mode (700 Lumens) and floodlight mode (140 Lumens).
- The Energizer Flashlight is powered by six AA batteries, which are included when you purchase this product. It makes it an ideal option for backpackers or hikers who tend to travel in places without electricity because they can add extra batteries if the lighting goes out while on their trip.
- Its size and shape make it ideal for camping because you can easily carry this flashlight around your neck or attach it to the exterior of your bag without any hassle. It is also lightweight, weighing only about a quarter of a kilogram, so you won’t feel weighed down while carrying it on longer trips.
- This LED Tactical Flashlight’s price is fair for its superior features and benefits.
Olight’s Baton3 strikes an outstanding balance between size, brightness, and power. It’s just 2.48″ long, 0.83″ wide, and weighs only 1 ounce. Despite its tiny stature, it generates plenty of illumination.
- Weight: 167 g / 5.89 oz
- Max. Performance– 1200-lumen, 120-yard beam throw
- 0.5-lumen Moonlight mode – great nightlight
- anti-slip body texture
- Six light settings
- Aluminum alloy case
- IPX8 Waterproof
- 5-year warranty
- The waterproof aluminum alloy case w/ IPX-68 water resistance rating makes this an excellent option for hikers who plan on going out in wet or muddy conditions.
- It also impacts resistance up to one meter, and its strobe mode can be used as a defense tool against attackers if needed.
- Its rechargeable battery means you won’t have to keep buying batteries for this flashlight, which is great if you’re going on an extended backpacking trip.
- The Olight Baton’s price seems reasonable based on its superior features and benefits. Moreover, the company offers a five-year warranty with each purchase of its product.
- At only one ounce in weight, it won’t weigh your pack down, and its small size makes it easy to carry and store.
- The Olight Baton’s strobe mode can be used as a defense tool against attackers if needed. It is helpful for hikers who plan on going out in isolated areas or places that aren’t frequently patrolled by authorities.
- This lightweight flashlight produces 1200 lumens of illumination and has a 120-meter beam.
- The flashlight is powered by one rechargeable 16340 battery, which comes with your purchase of the product.
- It’s waterproof and impact resistant; its IPX-68 water resistance rating makes this an ideal option for hikers who plan on going out in wet or muddy conditions.
Wowtac’s A-series flashlight is one of the best choices for hikers looking to purchase an inexpensive yet high-quality product.
- Weight: 87 g / 3.07 oz
- Package Dimensions: 6.61 x 2.72 x 1.65 inches
- Max Lumens: 1150
- Drop-proof: 1.5m
- Waterproof: IPX-8 (2m)
- USB cable, plus a rechargeable 18650 battery and a charging station are included.
- 2-year warranty
- The A-series flashlight’s small and lightweight make it ideal for hikers who need to travel light.
- It produces 1150 lumens of illumination, making this an excellent choice if you’re planning on backpacking during dusk or dawn when the lighting conditions are less than optimal.
- Although its price may seem high compared to other options in our roundup, its impressive beam distance and high lumen count make it worth the extra few dollars.
- It is drop-proof up to one meter, waterproof (IPX-68) for two meters of submersion, has a low battery indicator that helps you remain aware of your remaining power levels at all times.
- This flashlight’s brightness can help hikers see better in low-light conditions, even during dawn or dusk.
- Its IPX-68 water resistance rating makes it an excellent option for backpackers who plan on going out in wet or muddy conditions or those looking to hike at night.
In a backpacking flashlight, we must consider things like weight, duration, and waterproof dependability.
We’ve attempted to include five backpacking flashlights with distinct personalities and roles to meet everyone’s needs. Best of all, we’ve shared our opinions on each product to help you make the perfect choice for your needs.
It is an excellent option if you’re looking for an inexpensive yet high-quality flashlight that won’t weigh down your pack and will give you optimal lighting conditions when backpacking during dusk or dawn.
Related Article: How To Organize A Backpack
How many lumens do I need for hiking?
It is determined by the intentions you have for your flashlights. It takes 20 lumens to read and up to 3,500 lumens for terrain-scorching, for example.
Can a flashlight be used underwater or in the rain?
Water-resistance is built into the majority of these lights. As a result, they can be utilized in rain and water.
Should I get a headlamp instead?
Headlamps may be helpful for individuals who like walking at night. They can, however, be unpleasant, and they only point in the direction you’re looking. If you’re attempting to talk to someone while wearing these, for example, it can be not very pleasant.
How important is the runtime?
When backpacking, you must manage your battery. There’s no sense in having a solid flashlight if it only lasts an hour. Runtime is crucial, and it’s always ideal to utilize the dimmest light setting possible to preserve energy.