Best Flashlight for Camping
We’re into camping season now which means it’s time to inspect all your gear before packing it away to go on a weekend camping trip. Camping has always been an excellent getaway for me. It lets me unplug and enjoy some time with my buddies. However, it’s important to keep yourself safe when you’re camping in the wild and that’s why a flashlight is so vital to any camping trip. It’s imperative that you are able to see at night. So in this article, I’m going to be addressing what to look for in the best flashlight for camping and some of my recommended camping flashlights.
What to Look for in a Camping Flashlight
When looking for the perfect flashlight for camping I recommend checking to make sure they have certain features that are especially helpful when you’re outdoors. As flashlight technology gets better, manufacturers continue to create flashlights that are more versatile than ever before. You may find that a tactical flashlight may actually be the best kind of camping flashlight. So let’s look at some of the features in camping flashlights that you want to see.
First and foremost, a camping flashlight should be compact. Whenever you’re camping you want to carry as little as possible so as not to hinder your speed or weigh you down in any way. So the flashlight should definitely be smaller and lightweight. I prefer a flashlight that’s around 6 inches or less because I can carry that in a pocket or put it in my bag and it won’t add any bulk or weight.
There are a few different designs to choose from. For this particular feature and for the rest of the features I’m mostly going to be talking about handheld flashlights because they are more versatile and easier to use in my opinion. However, lanterns and headlamps can also be really useful when camping. I personally prefer to bring a lantern as well as a handheld light with me, but I have friends who prefer to bring just headlamps or just handheld flashlights.
Powerful LED Flashlight with Multiple Outputs
A flashlight looks way brighter in an urban or suburban area than it does in the wilderness. So you want to make sure that the flashlight you choose is powerful and can really cut through the darkness allowing you to see everything. For this reason, I recommend a flashlight that has at least 800 lumens because this is a great amount of light that will illuminate the area around you and can still reach out pretty far away.
I also recommend getting a flashlight that has at least three different outputs to choose from. While you may see a flashlight at 1200 lumens with a single output and think that’s incredibly impressive, it’ll hinder you by shining 1200 lumens in a small tent temporarily blinding you. Trust me, when you’re searching in your bag and you accidentally turn on a flashlight in turbo mode it’s not pleasant. A medium mode and low mode can really help with searching for things in the dark and conserving the battery.
Different Battery Compatibilities
Another important aspect to consider when shopping for the best flashlight for camping is making sure it is compatible with different kinds of batteries. It’s important to have options with these kinds of flashlights. When I go camping I typically use an 18650 flashlight that can also take CR123 batteries. I bring a couple 18 650 batteries and a few CR123 batteries as backup because they are inexpensive and easy to carry.
With any camping flashlight you want a flashlight that has long run times. If you have a flashlight that can shine 1000 lumens but can only last for a few minutes, it’s not really worth your time and it’s going to drain the battery faster than you might expect. I prefer that my run times in the turbo mode are over an hour and a half. I don’t typically use the turbo mode very often when I’m out camping. If I hear a noise and need to check it out I’ll use the turbo mode, but I generally stay in the medium mode or low mode to conserve the battery. There are a ton of great LED flashlights that have insane run times in the low modes. I’m talking hundreds of hours so it’s definitely worth making sure you’ve got decent run times on your camping flashlight.
Best Flashlights for Camping
So now you know what to look for in the best camping flashlights. Now I’ll give you a few of my favorite camping flashlights and I’ll also mention the best headlamp for camping and the best lantern for camping. Like I said before, a handheld flashlight is a must when it comes to camping. However, having a lantern or a headlamp can be a really convenient tool as well so I wanted to include those in this list. Let’s get started.
When it comes to finding a good camping flashlight something to consider is the beam pattern. I always recommend a flashlight that has a decent beam throw and an adequate spill because it allows you to see far away as well as see everything in front of you. That’s what makes the Klarus FX10 a great camping flashlight. This flashlight has an adjustable focus so you can choose between a flood or a spot and everything in between. It delivers 1000 lumens and has a maximum beam distance of 300 meters. It also features a triple switch design, multiple outputs, two programmable settings, and is USB rechargeable. This tactical flashlight is unstoppable.
Fenix PD35 TAC
The Fenix PD35 TAC is an excellent compact and lightweight tactical flashlights that you could easily carry with you during a camping trip. It delivers up to 1000 lumens and has a maximum being distance of 200 meters. The PD35 TAC has a tail switch with a momentary-on function and a stainless steel side switch so it’s easy to operate. This tactical flashlight features two operation modes: the Tactical Mode and the Outdoor Mode. In the Tactical Mode you have access to two brightness levels and a strobe mode. In the Outdoor Mode you have access to five brightness levels and a strobe mode. The Outdoor Mode would be particularly useful for camping because it allows you a lot of versatility. The PD35 TAC also features a built-in memory function, low voltage reminder, and more.
The Klarus ST10 is a smaller flashlight that could easily fit in your pocket but is still powerful enough to deliver 1100 lumens. The beam on the ST10 is a little floodier so you don’t get as much of a throw with it. The maximum distance is 115 meters which is still a good amount of throw. With its professional-grade Optical lens, the beam Is softly diffused so the light is easier on your eyes which I find nice with outdoor activities. You can operate the ST10 using the single side switch and access the six total outputs including a strobe mode and an SOS mode. It also features a micro USB recharging function, a battery capacity indicator, a built-in memory function, and a lockout function.
The Fenix HM50R is a great headlamp that can double as a mini light which is why I picked this one as the best camping headlamp. It has a maximum output of 500 lumens and can run on either a 16340 battery or a CR123A battery. It features four different brightness levels and a single switch for simple operation. This headlamp is really cool because it is really tough and is able to withstand cold temperatures and has an IP68 rating so that it’s dustproof and waterproof. When it comes to camping or any outdoor activity, you can’t go wrong with a headlamp like the Fenix HM50R.
When it comes to a camping lantern I can’t recommend the Fenix CL25R enough. This is truly a phenomenal camping lantern. It’s a little less than 4 inches in size and can so easily be put in your backpack or camping bag. It delivers 350 lumens max and lights up an area of about 82 feet in diameter. I’m not kidding when I say that this little light can actually illuminate your entire campsite easily. Not only that, it is USB rechargeable, features a red LED, and features six output modes including a flashing mode. It has a built-in magnet so that you can attach it onto a metal surface easily and features a hanging loop so that you can hang the lantern wherever you want. You won’t find better than the Fenix CL25R camping lantern.
So now you’ve read about the best camping flashlights as well as a camping headlamp and camping lantern. All in all, you could choose any of the lights from this list and be entirely satisfied. Each of these lights makes the camping experience easier. Personally, my two favorites lighting tools to bring on a camping trip are a handheld flashlight and lantern. So pick whichever one speaks to you and have a good time camping!
Summary of Contents
- 1 Best Flashlight for Camping
- 1.1 What to Look for in a Camping Flashlight
- 1.2 Best Flashlights for Camping
- 1.3 Final Thoughts