15 Best Backpacking Flashlights

Best lightweight backpacking flashlights

Last Updated on May 11, 2021

Although backpackers and hikers like to keep the gear they carry around to a minimum, it is still important that they carry everything they need to enjoy their time outdoors safely. What you need to include in your gear list depends on many factors, including where you are backpacking and in what season. If you will backpack at night or in low light, there are extra pieces of gear you may need. One such item is a backpacking flashlight. This will help you find your way in the dark, reduce the risk of injury when covering challenging terrain, and give you light to pitch your tent. With so many products to choose between, it may seem difficult to find the backpacking flashlight that best suits your needs. The following buying guide highlights the factors you should consider when making your decision and the reviews outline the features of some of the best backpacking flashlights available now.

Best Backpacking Flashlight Reviews

The following are reviews that highlight the key features of 15 of the best backpacking flashlights on the market now.

1. Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC40 Flashlight

A compact and lightweight flashlight, this flashlight gives 400-lumen brightness. This is powerful enough to light any dark spot and illuminate the path before you. The 3350mAh rechargeable battery is included, and this can power your flashlight for up to 20 hours when used on the medium-beam mode before it will need recharging. The Cree LED bulbs have a 5,000-hour lifespan, so you will not need to worry about replacing the bulbs. It is a durable torch that has an aluminum body with shock-resistance. The flashlight is also water-resistant and suitable for use in any conditions. An easy-grip handle is an excellent feature of this flashlight as the anti-slip finish allows you to securely hold the light, even in wet weather. It has five modes, including high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. This means you can save your battery by opting for the most suitable mode. There is a clip on the side of the flashlight so that you can attach it to your hat, backpack or clothing for hands-free convenience. Included with the flashlight are a micro USB cable and a welcome guide.

Key Features:

  • 400-lumen Cree LED
  • 5,000-hour LED life
  • Five useful modes
  • Shock and water-resistant
  • Easy-grip handle
  • Clip attachment

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2. PeakPlus Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight

In terms of durability, this is one of the best hiking flashlights available. This tactical flashlight is water-resistant, skid-proof, and anti-abrasive, so it is perfect for camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and any other outdoor activities. You can run this flashlight on either 3 AAA batteries or a18650 lithium ion battery, the latter of which is included when you buy this flashlight. The LED bulb is ten times brighter than an incandescent bulb, so this flashlight produces high lumens. It has five beam modes, including high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. This allows you to preserve battery life by selecting the most suitable beam. The adjustable focus allows you to switch from close to long range. This flashlight operates as a floodlight to illuminate a large area, or as a spotlight that can throw an intense beam as far as 600 feet. It comes with a sturdy case in which you can store your flashlight, the battery, and the charger.

Key Features:

  • Five beam modes
  • Battery options
  • High lumens
  • Best for durability
  • Adjustable throw and focus
  • 600 feet throw maximum
  • Includes a storage case and a charger

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3. BYB F18 LED Tactical Flashlight

With an 800-lumen Cree XPG2 S3 LED, this flashlight offers excellent lighting performance and is probably the best flashlight for night hiking. It includes a 3000mAh rechargeable battery that lasts for 69 hours when the flashlight is used on ultra-low mode. This flashlight hasa handy memory function and there are five beam modes, including high, medium, low, ultra-low, and strobe. You can then recharge it in four hours using the micro USB cable provided. This is one of the best lightweight flashlights as its compact size means that it is easily portable. There is also a convenient clip so that you can carry the torch with it attached to your pocket, belt, backpack straps, or clothing. The handle features anti-slip furling that allows you to have a firm grip on the flashlight, even in wet conditions. This reliable and durable flashlight is water-resistant and designed for use in all conditions. The housing of the flashlight is made from military-grade aluminum-alloy that can endure scratches, abrasion, and corrosion. It is also impact-resistant to 1.5-meters.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Water, abrasion, corrosion, and impact-resistant
  • Anti-slip furling
  • Military-grade aluminum-alloy housing
  • Five beam modes
  • Memory function
  • Clip attachment

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4. ThruNite Ti3 EDC Cree XP-G2 R5 AAA Torch

This mini flashlight is intended for use on a keyring attachment. However, there is also a clip attachment so that you can attach the flashlight to your pocket, bag, or clothing. You can also attach it to your baseball cap as the clip is two-way reversible so that the flashlight acts as a mini headlamp and your hands are free to complete tasks. As it is compact and lightweight, it is a good option for hiking and backpacking. It measures 2.8-inches by 0.6-inches and weighs just 0.48-ounces, so it is the best ultralight backpacking flashlight. It is one of the cheapest backpacking flashlights available, but the low price does not reflect the quality of this product. The flashlight is operated using AAA batteries, which are included when you buy the flashlight, and can produce a maximum of 120 lumens. There are three beam modes, including an extra strobe mode.

Key Features:

  • Ultralight at 0.48-ounces
  • Two-way reversible clip attachment
  • Keyring attachment
  • AAA battery operated
  • Three beam modes

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5. Nitecore Thumb 85 Lumens USB Rechargeable LED Keychain Light

Weighing less than one ounce, this versatile keychain flashlight comes with a clip and a tiltable head. This allows you to adjust the angle so that you can clip the flashlight to your cap, bag, belt, pocket, or clothing so that you can use the light hands-free and angle the light to exactly where it is needed. It comes with a built-in USB charger and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. On full power, you can use this flashlight for 45 minutes but on low power, it has a maximum runtime of 22 hours. There are three beam brightness levels and it is also equipped with a red light. This is useful for map reading, night vision preservation, navigation, hunting, and star gazing. The flashlight comes with a USB charging cable so that you can charge your flashlight with any USB port.

Key Features:

  • A compact and lightweight keychain flashlight
  • USB charger and cable included
  • Three beam brightness options
  • Maximum runtime of 22 hours
  • Adjustable clip attachment

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6. Fenix Flashlights E05 85 Lumens Flashlight

Available in three colors, this flashlight is perfect for camping, hiking, backpacking, and everyday use. It is powered by a single AAA battery, which is included with the purchase. It is a lightweight and compact option as it weighs less than one ounce and its dimensions are 2.6-inches by 0.6-inches. Despite the small size, it has a maximum brightness of 85 lumens and a throw of up to 148 feet. It has a broad beam lens and three brightness levels. It is easy to operate and to switch between the different modes using the twist switch. Although it is small, this flashlight is extremely durable. The housing which is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish that makes it both hardwearing and easy to grip. The finish also means it is waterproof to IPX-8 standard. At the end of the flashlight, there is an obstruction-free lanyard hole so that you can easily attach it to your keychain or wear it around your neck.

Key Features:

  • Simple twist switch
  • Three brightness modes
  • 85 lumens
  • Good quality and durable materials
  • Obstruction-free lanyard hole for attachment
  • Three color options
  • Lightweight and compact

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7. OLIGHT S1 Baton 500 Lumen Compact EDC LED Flashlight

This is one of the smallest flashlights available as this compact item weighs just 1.06-ounces and measure 2.4-inches in length. It is ideal for hikers and backpackers as you can slip it into your pocket so that it won’t take up any room in your backpack. Although it is tiny, it can still produce a whopping 500 lumens and has a throw of 120 yards. This means that this compact and lightweight flashlight can easily light up a whole football field. There are three brightness levels to choose between, plus a strobe mode. It has a handy clip attachment so that you can attach it to your clothes, bag, hat, or belt if you wish. Not only is this a convenient way of carrying your flashlight, but it is also a way for you to use the flashlight in a hands-free way. The flashlight has a textured exterior that will give you a good grip, even in wet and slippery conditions.

Key Features:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Clip attachment
  • Textured for good grip
  • 500 lumens
  • Good throw
  • Three brightness modes
  • Strobe mode

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8. REFUN Handheld Flashlight

Measuring 5.4-inches long and 1.6-inches wide, this flashlight is one of the smaller options in the handheld category. While it is large enough to feel sturdy, it is still small enough to stash in your pocket or backpack. The housing of this backpacking flashlight is made from aircraft-grade aluminum that can withstand extremes of temperatures. It is also water and shock-resistant, making this a durable torch. You can use this flashlight as a potential self-defense tool as it is enhanced by the crenelated strike bezel. Powered by rechargeable batteries, this energy-efficient flashlight is surprisingly high-powered with a maximum of 500 lumens. The LED bulb can last for a staggering 100,000 hours, so you do not need to worry about replacing the bulb. It has five different modes, including high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS light functions.Choosing a lower beam brightness mode will extend the runtime of your batteries.

Key Features:

  • Compact but sturdy
  • 100,000 hours LED Lifespan
  • Five brightness modes
  • Quality materials
  • Water and shock-resistant

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9. Fenix MC11 2014 155 Lumens Multi-Functional Angle LED Flashlight

This flashlight stands out from its competitors because of its multi-functional angled head that allows you to direct the light to where you need it the most. The flat end means you can stand the flashlight and then move the head by 90-degrees so that you can use this flashlight hands-free while you complete various tasks, such as pitching a tent or starting a campfire. Another feature that adds to the versatility of this flashlight is the side clip that gives you further options for both transportation and ways in which you can use the item. It has three regular modes, the strongest of which is the burst mode that gives155 lumens. This product is a durable choice because the housing is made from aluminum alloy that has a premium hard-ionized anti-abrasive finish. It has excellent water-resistance with a standard rating of IPX-8. Finally, this flashlight boasts reverse polarity protection, so you will not damage your flashlight if you accidentally insert the batteries incorrectly.

Key Features:

  • Multi-functional angled head
  • Flat end for vertical, hands-free use
  • Clip attachment option
  • Three brightness modes
  • Quality materials
  • Reverse polarity protection

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10. Two-Pack ROCKBIRDS LED Flashlights

If getting the best value is your main concern, then you cannot beat this two-pack option as these flashlights cost less for a pair than most single flashlights. These flashlights are extremely compact, measuring just 3.71-inches in length. This means you can slip these into your pocket without taking up room in your backpack. The other transportation option is to use the side clips as these allow you to carry the flashlights on your belt, pocket, clothing, cap, or backpack straps. Despite the small size of these lights, they offer a good amount of brightness and there are three beam modes to choose. Each flashlight has adjustable zoom, so you can either light up a wide area or use them as a spotlight with intense focus. An interesting feature of these flashlights is the pair of luminous rings that light up in the dark. This solves the problem of trying to find your flashlight in the night. These are durable flashlights that have a water-resistance rating of IPX-6.

Key Features:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Clip attachment option
  • Glow in the dark rings
  • Best value
  • Adjustable zoom
  • Three beam modes

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11. Soonfire Cree XP-L LED Rechargeable Flashlight

Made from good quality materials, this backpacking flashlight it a tough and durable option. The housing is constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy with a hard-anodized finish. It has a waterproof rating of IPX-8 and it is impact-resistant to 1.5-meters. Therefore, it is a hard-wearing item that is suitable for use in all conditions. There is an easy to use stainless steel switch to control the five modes, which include high, medium, low, moonlight, and strobe. This is a powerful and long-lasting flashlight as it gives off a maximum of 500 lumens, boasts a throw distance of 255-meters, and has a maximum runtime of 500 hours. It is a rechargeable flashlight that has a built-in USB port and comes with a USB cable to recharge the battery at your convenience, either indoors, outdoors, or in your car. This flashlight is available in three color options; black, gold, or gray.

Key Features:

  • Good quality materials
  • Water and impact-resistant
  • Five beam modes
  • Maximum 500 lumens
  • Built-in USB port
  • Color options

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12. JETBeam 1 MK Cree XP-G2 LED 480 Lumens Flashlight

Designed specifically with outdoor use in mind, this flashlight is suitable for use in all conditions. It is durable with an impact resistance rating of 1 meter and a waterproof rating of IPX-8. The materials also add to the durability of this product as the housing is made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and the glass is toughened ultra-clear mineral glass. Although it is compact, there are three brightness levels and it is powerful enough to produce a maximum of 480 lumens. This backpacking flashlight also has excellent throw, with a maximum throw distance of 130 meters. It has an effective power management circuit, and this gives it a long-lasting maximum runtime of 100 hours. The flashlights also have a battery reverse protection feature, so you won’t damage your flashlight if you accidentally insert the battery the wrong way. The flashlight comes with a SKYBen USB light included in the pack.

Key Features:

  • Good quality materials
  • 100-hour runtime
  • Maximum 120-meter throw
  • 480 lumens maximum
  • USB light included
  • Three brightness levels

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13. Nitecore EC11 900 Lumens Brightest LED Flashlight

At less than three-inches in length and under 1.6-ounces, this is a compact and ultralight backpacking flashlight. It is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand or in your pocket. Despite its small size, this flashlight is surprisingly powerful and can produce a maximum of 900 lumens when using one IMRT8350 rechargeable lithium ion battery. Therefore, it is one of the most powerful mini flashlights available.The mode and power switch is easy to access on the side of the flashlight and this is used to select one of the five brightness levels, plus the strobe and SOS functions. The flashlight has a beam throw of 207 yards. It is a durable product that is made from aero-grade aluminum alloy, which is military-grade hard-anodized, and ultra-clear mineral glass with an anti-reflective coating. It has a waterproof rating of IPX-8, so it is suitable for use in very wet conditions and underwater to a depth of twometers. This sturdy flashlight also has impact-resistance of 1.5-meters. There is a handy clip on the side of the flashlight for you to attach it to your clothing for transportation or hands-free use.

Key Features:

  • Water and impact-resistant
  • Good quality materials
  • Five beam brightness levels
  • Strobe and SOS functions
  • 207-yard maximum beam throw
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Clip attachment

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14. OTYTY Handheld COB LED Tactical Flashlight

These flashlights are another excellent option for people who want value for money, and they are a great choice for couples who both need a backpacking flashlight. They have been upgraded in 2019 so that they can now deliver 1000 lumens of illumination and a beam throw of up to 180 meters. They are compact and lightweight flashlights that you can simply slip into your pocket or backpack. They also have a side clip for you to attach them to your clothing, backpack, pocket, belt, or bicycle. This gives you the option to use these hands-free while directing the light to where it is needed. Each flashlight has a USB charging port so that you can recharge them no matter where you are, and you will not need to carry batteries around with you. The four beam options on these flashlights include high brightness, medium brightness, strobe beam, and side COB white light brightness. There is an adjustable focus so you can choose between either close or long range. You can use these flashlights in most conditions, including heavy rain, as they have a waterproof rating of IPX-5/6. They are made from a durable aluminum body that is shock-resistant. The two flashlights come with two rechargeable batteries and two micro USB cables.

Key Features:

  • 1000 lumens maximum brightness
  • USB charging ports and cables included
  • Water and shock-resistant
  • Four beam options
  • Adjustable focus
  • Durable materials

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15. Litetugo USB Rechargeable LED Tactical Flashlight

This is an L-shaped flashlight that has a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery that you can recharge using any device with a USB port, such as a cell phone charger, laptop, portable power bank, or personal computer. It’s lightweight and compact enough to fit in your pocket, so it is easy to carry around with you while you are hiking, backpacking, cycling, hunting, or camping. The side clip means you can attach it to your bicycle to act as a headlight or use it as a headlamp by clipping it to your baseball cap. This flashlight also has a magnetic base that you can attach to any metal surface so that you can use the flashlight hands-free. The Cree LED light is high performance, high-efficiency, and has a 50,000-hour lifespan. There are three brightness modes; high brightness, medium brightness, and strobe. The aluminum housing is durable and can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor use.

Key Features:

  • Clip and magnetic base for hands-free options
  • Built-in lithium rechargeable battery
  • Cree LED with a 50,000-hour lifespan
  • Three brightness modes
  • Durable materials

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Buying Guide for The Best Backpacking Flashlight

To make sure you get the best backpacking flashlight for you, you should consider all the different features and decide what you want from your flashlight. This buying guide highlights the different features you should think about when making your decision.

Size and Weight

Whenever a backpacker or hiker buys any products to take along on their trips, the size and weight of the product are always some of their primary concerns. This is because they need to carry as little weight as possible and fit everything they take neatly into their backpack. Therefore, many backpackers and hikers will opt for a compact and ultralight flashlight. Some points to think about in relation to the size and weight of a flashlight are:

  • If weight and size are your biggest priorities, then you should opt for one of the very small flashlights.
  • Housing materials impact on the weight of a flashlight. Stainless steel flashlights are cheaper but heavier, while titanium flashlights are expensive but lighter.
  • However, it is important to understand that the smaller you go, the less output you are likely to get. Also, smaller flashlights do not usually have adjustable lenses to switch from wide to narrow beam.
  • Another consideration is that ultralight flashlights are less rugged and will take fewer knocks.
  • The smallest and most lightweight flashlights are keychain flashlights. These have a compact design and you can attach them to your clothing or the zippers of your backpack.

Battery Type

Another important consideration is the type of battery in the flashlight. The two main options are disposable and rechargeable:

  • Disposable batteries-The cheapest option is disposable alkaline batteries. However, they will not power an LED torch enough to get the maximum brightness.
  • Rechargeable batteries-Rechargeable lithium batteries are a little more expensive, but you will get a brighter output and a longer runtime. A cheaper rechargeable option is rechargeable alkaline batteries, but these often fail after only a few charges. The best option is rechargeable NiMH batteries. These cost you more initially but can potentially save you money over time as they can withstand several hundred charges before they fail. However, it is important to note that after the first hundred charges, the energy density will begin to drop by between 10 and 15 percent.


You need a flashlight that can withstand a few knocks and that you can use in all conditions. The main considerations regarding the durability of a flashlight are impact resistance and waterproof rating.

  • Impact resistance- Many flashlights are drop-tested, and the manufacturers may state the height from which the flashlight was dropped and will still work. Although you will probably not drop your flashlight from such a height yourself, it is a good indicator of the impact resistance of the flashlight. Some flashlights are labeled as tactical. A tactical flashlight is one that has housing designed for hitting things. This is also a good indicator that your flashlight has good impact resistance. It also means you can use your flashlight if you need to defend yourself.
  • Waterproof rating- You may notice something called an IPX rating on the product description. This rating relates to how waterproof a flashlight is and for what conditions it is suitable. IPX4 means that you cannot submerge the flashlight in water, but it is fine for light rain. A rating of either IPX5 or IPX6 indicates that the flashlight will work fine in heavy rain, but you cannot submerge it in water. IPX7 means you can submerge the flashlight in water up to a depth of one meter, while IPX8 is the highest waterproof rating and you can submerge the flashlight deeper than one meter.

Output and Runtime

The output, or brightness, of a flashlight is measured in lumens. Most manufacturers will state the lumens in a Lux figure, and this indicates how much illumination there is in one square meter from a set distance. In relation to the output, consider the following:

  • The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light output.
  • Some factors that can affect the brightness are the color of the light and the angle of the beam.
  • The lumen rating can depend on the type of batteries used as rechargeable lithium batteries will produce around 800 to 900 lumens, while disposable alkaline batteries will only produce around 500 lumens.
  • Another factor that can affect brightness is how the light is focused.
  • The candela or candlepower rating indicates how far away from the light you can be and still see it. The higher the score, the stronger the flashlight’s ability to illuminate an area.
  • Runtime is a measure of how long it takes a flashlight to go from its maximum brightness to 10 percent of its initial output.
  • The runtime is affected by the power on which you use the flashlight. So, if you have the flashlight permanently on its brightest light, you will have a shorter runtime.
  • Runtime is also affected by the ambient temperature and the kind of batteries you use.

Beam Type and Throw

Flashlights have different beam patterns, and this affects the throw, which is how far and wide the light shines.

  • Some flashlights have a narrow but focused beam, while others have a wider and shorter beam throw.
  • You can buy backpacking flashlights with adjustable optics and these allow you to adjust the throw to meet your needs.

Bulb Type

You might see various bulb type options when looking for a new backpacking flashlight. The two main options are:

  • Incandescent bulbs- These are the traditional option and were once the only option in flashlights. Considering their size, these bulbs are not very bright, nor are they very efficient.
  • LED bulbs- Most bulbs in modern flashlights are LED bulbs. They are the best option as they are brighter and more efficient than incandescent bulbs. This means that you will get a more intense light from a smaller battery.


Modes allow you to control the brightness of your flashlight and the runtime of your batteries. Although the modes can vary from one flashlight to the next, the following are some of the most common modes you will find:

  • High- This gives your flashlight the maximum brightness.
  • Mid- Although this can vary, it is usually around one-third of the full brightness.
  • Moonlight/ Nightlight- This is hand for using as a nightlight, but the beam is barely on.
  • Strobe- This is used for signaling or to confuse an attacker. This mode is usually only found on tactical flashlights.
  • SOS- A handy feature if you are injured or run into trouble, this mode continuously flashes the Morse code dots and dashes of SOS.

Switches and Controls

There are various switch and control types that you can use to turn your flashlight on and off or to operate the different modes.

  • Power- Most flashlights have a simple on/off button.
  • Multi-function button- The power button is also the button you use to select the modes on some flashlights. Multiple presses will select modes in a sequence.
  • Mode selection- Some flashlights have a separate button for mode selection on the side of the torch.
  • Rotation adjustment- Many modern flashlights have a rotation function to adjust the brightness.
  • Memory function- Flashlights with a memory function can cost a little more, but it is worth paying the extra money. When you switch off your flashlight, it remembers the last mode in which you used it and this is the mode that the flashlight starts up in when you turn it back on.


An extra feature that you will see on many hiking flashlights is a clip. These are available on both large and small flashlights.

  • The main benefit of a clip is that you can attach your flashlight to your hat or clothing so that you can use your flashlight hands-free.
  • A further advantage of a clip is that you can conveniently hang it from your clothing when it is not in use so that you can easily access when you need it. This will save packing and unpacking it from your backpack each time.
  • The downside to a clip is that having this feature can sometimes cost a little more. However, the slight increase in price is barely noticeable.


The price of a backpacking flashlight is often one of the main considerations. Therefore, which you choose may depend on your budget. Fortunately, there are hiking flashlights available to suit all budgets. In relation to the price, the following points are important to think about:

  • The price of a hiking flashlight depends on the materials, the brand, the quality, the type, and the features.
  • How much a flashlight costs is not always a reflection of its quality as it is possible to get a good quality flashlight relatively cheaply.
  • Buying your flashlight online will usually save you money as they often cost more in a bricks-and-mortar store.
  • Shopping online for your flashlight also allows you to get the best deal because you can compare the prices of different products.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Flashlight for Backpacking and Hiking?

The flashlight that works best for backpacking and hiking is one that combines the following features:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Impact and water-resistant
  • Rechargeable lithium batteries
  • High lumen rating and adjustable throw
  • Clip attachment to improve versatility

What is the Optimal Flashlight Brightness and Throw for Backpacking and Hiking?

Generally, the brighter the flashlight the better. Therefore, using lithium batteries makes sense as these will make your flashlight produce a brighter light. This is usually between 800 and 900 lumens. It is best to choose adjustable optics so that you can adjust the throw to match your needs. This is because sometimes you may want a short, wide beam while on other occasions, you may need a narrow but focused beam of light.

A Brief on Flashlight Batteries

The type of batteries that power a flashlight may influence your decision of which to buy for several reasons. There is the initial cost to consider, plus the long-term cost of replacements. You also must consider how well it powers your flashlight. The following are the most common types of batteries used to power flashlights.

  • Disposable alkaline batteries- In terms of initial cost, these are the cheapest of all the batteries and the most readily available as they are something that most convenience stores keep in stock. The problem with disposable alkaline batteries is that they run out very quickly and need replacing regularly. Also, they will not power your backpacking flashlight as well as the other options, so you do not get the same output or run time.
  • Rechargeable alkaline batteries- These are more expensive than disposable alkaline batteries, but they are the cheapest option among the rechargeable batteries. Although you may save money in terms of the initial cost, they do not last for as long as other rechargeable options. Therefore, you may end up spending more on replacements in the long-term.
  • Rechargeable lithium batteries- Rechargeable lithium batteries cost more than both disposable and rechargeable alkaline batteries. However, it is worth the extra initial expense because they last longer and give a better output. This means you will get the best out of your flashlight. A rechargeable lithium battery will generally last for more than one hundred charge cycles before it needs replacing.
  • Rechargeable NiMH batteries- The initial cost of these batteries is more than any of the other batteries listed. However, this expense is outweighed by the fact that they will last for several hundred charge cycles before you will need to buy a replacement. It is worth noting that once these batteries have gone through a hundred charge cycles, their performance level drops and you will not get the best output from your flashlight.
  • Overall- The best option overall is the rechargeable lithium batteries. These have the best balance between cost and performance.

Flashlight vs. Headlamps- Which Is Best for Backpacking and Hiking?

An alternative to a backpacking flashlight is to use a headlamp. There are pros and cons to each, and you need to compare these to decide which is the best option for you,

  • The obvious advantage of a headlamp is that they are hands-free. Other pros are that they are lightweight and easy to stash in your backpack when you are not using the headlamp.
  • The downside to a headlamp is that you need to turn your head to direct the light. There are situations where this is a disadvantage. For example, if you are pitching a tent in low light with a fellow backpacker or hiker and you are wearing the headlamp, every time you turn away to fix a pole or secure a guy line, you will take the light away from your fellow backpacker.
  • In contrast, you can direct the light of a backpacker flashlight wherever you want.
  • The main disadvantage of a flashlight is that they are not a hands-free option.
  • There are two solutions to using a flashlight if you need your hands. The first is to prop the flashlight against something so that it is pointing in the right direction. The second option is to choose a very small flashlight with a clip. You can then attach this to a baseball cap or another part of your clothing.


Final Verdict

If you are backpacking or hiking at night, dusk or dawn, a backpacking flashlight is a useful piece of equipment to add to your gear list. There are many different types and styles of flashlight from which you can choose, and each of these has its own beneficial features.

The overall best flashlight for backpacking is PeakPlus Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight. The high lumens, five modes, and adjustable focus and throw mean that this is one of the most versatile flashlights available. It is also a durable flashlight that is suitable for all outdoor activities in any condition.

A fantastic budget option is the Two-Pack ROCKBIRDS LED Flashlights as these two flashlights cost less than most single flashlights. Compact and lightweight, these flashlights have a clip attachment, three beam modes, glow in the dark rings, and adjustable zoom.

If you prefer a key chain style flashlight, then a great choice is the ThruNite Ti3 120 Lumens LED Flashlight. This compact and ultralight flashlight also has a clip attachment and there are three brightness modes to choose between.

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