The light on your phone works in a pinch, but a sturdy, reliable flashlight is a must for every home. How else are you supposed to get around during a power outage, find stuff in the attic, or tell ghost stories to your kids? But finding the best flashlight for camping, games, or everyday use isn’t easy — there are a range of LED flashlights, tactical flashlights, and headlamps to choose from based on your specific needs,
When choosing a flashlight, try to get one with a rechargeable battery. Pay attention to whether it’s water-resistant or not, especially if you’re using it during hikes or campouts, and how heavy it is, for obvious reasons.
In terms of how much light a flashlight puts out, the key word here is lumen. One lumen is about as bright as a birthday candle. A regular 60-watt lightbulb is equal to about 750-850 lumens. With flashlights, you want one that has about 800 to 1,200 lumens at its highest output, because that’s really all you need. And if want to use a flashlight in a tent, or while regaling kids with ghost stories, make sure it has a low-lumens setting, of about 100 to 200.
A great, solid, everyday flashlight. At 760 lumens, this flashlight is just bright enough, without scorching your eyeballs. It lets you shift between a wide beam, or a narrow spot mode. Its lowest light setting is a spooky 61 lumens. It works on rechargeable and alkaline batteries so you're never without power and it runs for two hours on high power. It's water-resistant and weighs seven ounces.
You'll never go dark with this solar-powered flashlight. It has a run time of 7-48 hours, depending on output. It has a built-in solar panel, a USB charging cable, and hand-crank so you can use it anywhere, anytime. The output is only 250 lumens, so this is meant to be an emergency flashlight only. However, it also has an integrated USB port to charge your phone. At 14.4 ounces, it's one of the heavier options on our list.
Wherever. Whenever. As long as you’ve got a USB port nearby, the Goal Zero Luna Touch will throw enough light to complete an assortment of tasks. Fifty lumens over 10 tiny LEDs may not seem like much compared to others on this list, but it also doesn’t draw that much juice from the device that powers it, and with single touch on/off functionality, it’s easy for young children to use. We loved its bendable shape to customize it to the situation.
More akin to a cannon, it pops out 6,000 lumens (a long and wide beam) with the push of a thumb, while its batteries are rechargeable with the included DC cord. The body itself is built to withstand multiple zombie apocalypses thanks to shatterproof glass, a waterproof shell, and an included strap to sling it cross-body when not in use. When things go south, this is our go-to for riding it all out. It's waterproof, of course, and even comes with a shoulder strap so you never misplace it.
If you need something with longer run times, this 1600-lumen flashlight uses a lithium-ion battery that charges via a USB-C port, and has double the run time of most of its peers. At max power, you get 1,600 lumens; and you get 30 lumens in eco mode. This flashlight is totally dustproof and waterproof. It's also insanely lightweight, clocking in at just over 5 ounces with batteries.
How do you upgrade a campout? With a headlamp, of course. This one sits flat on your forehead, so it won't move or shift around. The batteries are rechargeable via micro USB. The output is 330 lumens, which is perfect for reading a book in a tent. You get 3.5 hours of run time on the highest setting. It weighs a measly 4 ounces.
If an overload of lumens is never enough for you (and you know who you are), consider this flashlight, which emits a staggering 12,000 lumens of light. It has 4 output levels for spotlight and 5 output levels for floodlight settings. Now, this thing weighs 2.5 pounds, so lightweight, it's not. However, it's rechargeable, via the USB type-C charging port. This flashlight is no joke: It's meant for straight-up search and rescue missions. And it also comes with a 12000 mAh battery pack that provides up to 92 hours of sheer power and does double duty as a power bank.
A versatile flashlight that's handy for both the home and outdoors, this one produces 800 lumens of blinding light. It's convenient because you can hand-tighten its front bezel for maximum output or loosen it by a quarter-turn for lower output. It weighs only 4 ounces, and easily fits into backpacks or fanny packs. It's powered by Surefire 123A lithium batteries, which are not rechargeable.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.