When hiking, a reliable flashlight is an essential piece of gear that should be in every hiker’s backpack. It can make all the difference when navigating a trail at night, searching for lost items in the dark, or even helping you feel safe during an unexpected overnight stay outdoors.
With countless options available in the market, choosing the best hiking flashlight can be a challenging task. This article aims to simplify your choice by reviewing and comparing some of the top flashlights available in 2023.
We’ll break down each model’s features, pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision and find a flashlight that suits your hiking needs perfectly. Let’s dive in and find the shining star among these flashlights!
- Best Hiking Flashlight Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Hiking Flashlight FAQs
- 1. How many lumens should a good hiking flashlight have?
- 2. What are the advantages of LED flashlights over traditional incandescent flashlights?
- 3. Should I choose a flashlight with rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries?
- 4. Are headlamps better than handheld flashlights for hiking?
- 5. Is water resistance essential for a hiking flashlight?
- Choosing the Best Flashlight for Hiking
Best Hiking Flashlight Reviews
1. GearLight S1000 LED Tactical Flashlight
The GearLight S1000 is an excellent gift option for anyone who loves the outdoors. It is incredibly bright and durable, making it ideal for everyday use and outdoor activities.
Made from military-grade aluminum, this water-resistant flashlight can withstand a 10-foot drop. It measures only 6.1 x 1.57 x 1.57 inches, so the compact size makes it easy to carry in your pocket or backpack. It’s perfect for dog walking, camping, or use around the house.
One of the key features of the S1000 flashlight is its adjustable beam, which you can zoom in and out for precision or wide illumination. This is especially useful for camping trips or other outdoor activities.
The base button is conveniently positioned in the center and is easy to find in the dark. The package includes two flashlights, battery holders, hand straps, and cases, along with an operation guide and warranty card.
With all these accessories included, the GearLight S1000 is an excellent choice for individuals who appreciate practical, high-quality tools.
- Extremely bright light
- Long-lasting battery life
- High-quality tactical-grade construction
- Features five different modes
- Zoomable focus
- Comes in a pack of two
- Affordable price point
- Excellent performance for professional uses
- Slightly heavier
- Not rechargeable
- Some might prefer a larger flashlight
2. Lighting Ever LE1000 LED Flashlight
The LE1000 pack is a great choice for any outdoor adventure. This compact and portable flashlight measures 4.2 inches in length and 1.2 inches in diameter, weighing only 128 grams. It fits comfortably in your hand or pocket, making it perfect for various outdoor activities.
Equipped with LED technology, the LE1000 provides super bright and long-lasting light. It boasts a beam distance of up to 492 feet and a luminous flux of approximately 140 lumens in full brightness. This makes it ideal for emergencies or general use.
Moreover, the LE1000 is designed with durability in mind. It features a skid-proof and water-resistant (IPX4) design, plus a premium aluminum casing that can withstand rust and corrosion.
One key feature of the LE1000 is its zoomable function. This allows users to adjust the focus of the flashlight beam to either a spot beam or a flood beam, making it versatile for various needs. The package includes two flashlights, six AAA batteries, and an instruction manual.
With its combination of power, portability, and versatile features, the Lighting Ever LE1000 is a fantastic addition to your outdoor adventure gear or emergency toolkit.
- Impressive brightness and high-quality build
- Zoomable feature
- Waterproof casing
- Adjustable brightness
- Small and compact size
- The package includes two flashlights and batteries
- Suitable for various outdoor activities
- Good value for the price
- Included batteries may not last long
- Might be slightly too big for a keychain attachment
3. Streamlight 66604 MicroStream Flashlight
The Streamlight 66604 MicroStream is an ultra-compact and versatile flashlight perfect for everyday carry. Weighing only 1.20 ounces and measuring 3.87 inches long, it can easily fit in your pocket or clip to the brim of a hat.
The Streamlight 66604 MicroStream has two light output modes. The multi-functional push-button tail switch makes it easy to change modes and turn on the flashlight.
The high setting provides a powerful 250-lumen output with a beam distance of up to 68 meters and runs for 1.5 hours. The low setting offers 50 lumens, a beam distance of 31 meters, and runs for 3.5 hours.
One of the standout features of this flashlight is the USB rechargeable battery. The built-in 350mAh lithium-ion cell charges within the flashlight itself in just four hours. The metal sleeve slides forward to reveal the charging port and the tail switch serves as a charge indicator.
Built to last, the aluminum housing of the Streamlight 66604 MicroStream features Type II Military Spec anodizing. This provides an IPX4 water-resistance rating and a one-meter impact resistance. It also includes a five-inch USB charging cable and a high-strength lanyard.
It’s worth noting that standalone lithium batteries and power adapters are sold separately. Nevertheless, the Streamlight 66604 MicroStream remains a powerful and compact flashlight perfect for everyday use and an excellent choice for the price.
- Ultra-compact size
- 250-lumen brightness
- USB rechargeable battery
- Durable construction and finish
- Hat clip and pocket clip
- Affordable price
- Highly-rated by customers
- Not the brightest flashlight on the market
- Needs to be recharged more frequently with heavy use
4. Streamlight 88061 ProTac Tactical Flashlight
The Streamlight 88061 ProTac is an adaptable and powerful flashlight perfect for everyday carry. It can run either via a CR123A lithium battery or an AA alkaline or lithium battery, providing excellent flexibility for any situation.
Runtime varies depending on the battery type used, with AA lithium batteries providing the longest runtime.
The 88061 ProTac features a white LED that is shock-impervious and has an impressive 50,000-hour lifetime. With high/low/strobe modes and a 350-lumen output, it is suitable for various tasks and activities.
At 8-1/2 inches, this flashlight is compact and portable. Its TEN-TAP programming allows the selection of three different operating programs. Plus, the unbreakable pocket clip and anti-roll head design enhance its practicality.
The 88061 ProTac is RoHS-compliant and serialized for positive identification. Its durable construction features aircraft-grade aluminum, an anodized finish, and an impact-resistant boro-float glass lens.
With an IPX7 rating for water resistance, this versatile and sturdy flashlight is a great choice for everyday carry. It comes with a nylon holster, one CR123A lithium battery, and one AA alkaline battery.
- Versatile when it comes to battery compatibility
- Good build quality
- Impressive brightness of 350 lumens
- From a reputable brand
- Flickering during recoil with included batteries
- Pocket clip depth may not be preferred by some users
5. Nitecore EDC27 Flashlight
The Nitecore EDC27 Flashlight is designed to provide impressive performance while remaining slim and compact. As such, you’ll find that it is the perfect everyday carry flashlight.
Like any outdoor enthusiast, you will appreciate that the EDC27 is USB-C rechargeable, reaching a full charge in just 1.25 hours. With a fully charged battery, you can enjoy up to 37 hours of runtime.
The Nitecore EDC27’s 3000-lumen maximum output and 240-yard beam throw make it an incredibly powerful light source that is easy to take with you wherever you go.
That said, one of the standout features of the EDC27 is its ultra-slim design. At only half-inch thick, this flat-shaped flashlight conveniently fits in your pocket, and its strong clip ensures it stays in place.
A digital display screen on the side of the flashlight provides real-time information on lumen output, battery levels, and remaining runtimes. This makes it easy to manage your flashlight’s performance and ensures you have a reliable light source when you need it most.
Operating the EDC27 is quick and efficient, thanks to its dual switch design. The power switch is used for turning the flashlight on and off while the mode switch cycles through five brightness levels. For instant access to the strobe function, simply hold down the mode switch.
Included with the Nitecore EDC27 are a USB-C charging cable, a lanyard, and a LumenTac case for storage and portability. Constructed with stainless steel for durability and impact resistance, it is also rated IP54, ensuring it’s safe to use in various environments.
- Ultra-bright 3000-lumen output
- Slim and compact design
- USB-C rechargeable
- Digital display shows essential information
- Has a proximity sensor for safety
- Comes with a LumenTac case
- Reliable quality from Nitecore
- Lower 1700mAh battery capacity
- Lock-out feature is necessary to prevent accidental activations
A quality hiking flashlight is a good investment because it provides reliable and bright illumination, increasing safety and visibility in low-light conditions. It can help hikers navigate trails, signal for help, and locate their belongings in the dark.
To make your hiking experience more enjoyable and comfortable, you need the best hiking flashlight. Here are several factors to consider before making your decision:
Before anything else, make sure the flashlight you choose has adequate brightness for your needs. This is measured in lumens, which is the unit used to quantify the total amount of visible light emitted by a source.
Most hiking flashlights will have multiple brightness settings, allowing you to adjust the output depending on your situation.
It is essential to make sure that the flashlight will last for an extended period, especially on multi-day hikes or backpacking trips.
Consider options with longer battery life and the ability to run on a low power setting to conserve energy when necessary. Additionally, those that allow for the use of rechargeable or commonly available batteries can be helpful in reducing waste and maintaining reliable battery life.
The flashlight you choose should be well-constructed to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor use. Look for flashlights made with high-quality materials like aircraft-grade aluminum and have a water-resistant or waterproof rating.
Moreover, it’s worth noting that flashlights with good impact resistance will provide added protection if accidentally dropped.
Size and Weight
For hiking purposes, consider a compact and lightweight flashlight that won’t add extra bulk or weight to your pack. The size should be comfortable to hold and operate with one hand, ideally with a lanyard or clip for hands-free attachment to your backpack or clothing.
The effective range of your flashlight is crucial, especially when navigating dark trails or searching for a campsite at night.
Look for flashlights with an adjustable focus or multiple beam spread settings. This will allow you to choose between a wide-angle floodlight for close-up illumination or a narrow-focused beam for longer distances.
Some hiking flashlights come with additional features that can enhance their functionality. These can include strobe or SOS modes for emergency signaling, a red LED for preserving night vision, or built-in USB recharging capability.
While these added features may not be necessities for everyone, consider if they would be beneficial to you and your specific hiking needs.
Price and Value
Finally, it is important to choose a hiking flashlight that offers the best value for your money. These light sources are available at a wide range of prices, so those on a strict budget can also find a good enough flashlight.
Then again, while it may be tempting to opt for the least expensive option, keep in mind that investing in a higher-quality, more durable flashlight could save you money in the long run. That’s because a long-lasting flashlight reduces the need for frequent replacements.
Determine your budget and compare the features and benefits of the various models we’ve reviewed. This way, you can find the one that meets your specific requirements and offers the best balance of price, quality, and performance.
Hiking Flashlight FAQs
1. How many lumens should a good hiking flashlight have?
The ideal lumens for a hiking flashlight can vary depending on your specific needs and preferences. However, for most hikers, a flashlight with at least 100 to 200 lumens should be sufficient for general use.
If you plan on hiking in more challenging conditions, such as during nighttime or in heavy fog, consider a flashlight with 300 lumens or more for better visibility.
2. What are the advantages of LED flashlights over traditional incandescent flashlights?
LED flashlights have several advantages over their incandescent counterparts. These advantages include longer battery life, brighter light output, improved durability, and a more compact design.
Additionally, LED bulbs do not generate as much heat as incandescent bulbs, making LED flashlights safer to use and more energy-efficient.
3. Should I choose a flashlight with rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries?
Flashlights that run on rechargeable or disposable batteries have their own set of pros and cons. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preferences and how often you plan on using your hiking flashlight.
Rechargeable batteries are eco-friendlier and more cost-effective in the long run, as they can be recharged multiple times. On the other hand, disposable batteries are convenient since they can be easily replaced when they run out of power.
4. Are headlamps better than handheld flashlights for hiking?
Headlamps and handheld flashlights each have their own benefits and drawbacks when it comes to hiking.
Headlamps offer hands-free operation, making them convenient for tasks such as cooking or setting up camp. However, handheld flashlights tend to have a longer beam distance and offer more versatile lighting options.
In the end, it’s really just a matter of personal preference. To ensure convenience, many hikers choose to carry both types of lighting devices for different situations.
5. Is water resistance essential for a hiking flashlight?
While not strictly necessary, having a water-resistant flashlight can be advantageous during your hikes. For instance, if you are caught in heavy rain or accidentally drop your flashlight in a puddle or stream, a water-resistant flashlight will continue to function without any issues.
Look for flashlights with an IPX rating of at least IPX4 (splash resistant) or higher for better protection against water damage.
Choosing the Best Flashlight for Hiking
The best hiking flashlight for you depends on your personal preferences and needs. The options we covered in this article are all excellent choices, each offering unique features and advantages.
That said, the GearLight S1000 is perfect for those seeking versatility and durability, while the Lighting Ever LE1000 offers a hands-free experience. For an ultra-compact option, consider the Streamlight 66604 MicroStream or the Streamlight 88061 ProTac for programmable settings. Finally, the powerful Nitecore EDC27 is worth considering for its impressive brightness.
No matter your preference, any of these top-rated flashlights are sure to enhance your hiking experience and keep you safe during your adventures.