CAMPING & HIKING

Best Rechargeable Flashlight: Your Primary Guidelines in Choosing the Right Survival Tool

Tac flashlight
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

Do you know that flashlight is a survival tool that provides light during your darkest times? You will never be caught in the dark if you only have the right, best rechargeable flashlight. Does it make sense to you now?

A flashlight is an essential element of a survival kit. It signals searches and shows you a path if you are there in the wild for a hike at night.

It can serve as your firearm accessory to make an aggressor blind, if not, put your own sights on him. Having a reliable flashlight improves your chances of survival in various situations. It can even serve as a weapon in any circumstance when there is nothing else next to you.

Rechargeable flashlight

There are many rechargeable flashlights available in the market today and finding for the best one for your survival kit can be confusing. You need to set some considerations to make sure that you will get one that meets all your requirements and needs.

What to Look for in Your Survival Rechargeable Flashlight

Rechargeable flashlights are known to vary in prices, depending on their model, features and design. Oftentimes, more expensive flashlights are equipped with better rechargeable batteries, better light and significant features such as skid proof and waterproof designs. Delve into the following features of rechargeable flashlights:

Rechargeable Flashlight Parts

Just like any other survival tool, understanding of the parts of a flashlight gives you an idea what to look for in the exact tool you want your chosen rechargeable flashlight to have.

Nitecore p25 smilodon rechargeable flashlight

Check out the following parts and their description as your reference:

  • Case: This exterior tube making up the body of the flashlight comes with special patterns designed for a better grip.
  • Batteries: Rechargeable batteries are the power source of the flashlight. These batteries are developed with different lifespans and charge times.
  • Switch: It is the switch that starts or interrupts electricity’s flow so that the flashlight will function. Note that there are switches that you need to push more than once to activate various light modes.
  • Lens: The transparent plastic designed to protect the lamp.
  • Reflector: The plastic piece with a layer of aluminum, which reflects light coming from the flashlight then directed outward.
  • Lamp: The source of light for the flashlight, which can be incandescent bulbs or LEDs.
  • Contacts: This part of the flashlight is usually crafted of copper or brass, connecting the flashlight lamp, batteries and switch.

Types of Batteries

Rechargeable flashlights use Li-Ion batteries, as most of them do not have their custom battery types. They can be more expensive than the other types of flashlights, but it spares you from buying a separate charger. Light Emitting Diode or LED technology is being used in modern rechargeable flashlights.

LEDs only use small amount of energy, are shock resistant, have longer run times and are lighter. They also improve almost every aspect of rechargeable light. Rechargeable flashlights come in two types of batteries:

Removable Batteries:

  • Cheaper replacement batteries
  • Multiple sets with lesser recharge wait time

Non-Removable Batteries:

  • Specifically designed for rechargeable flashlights
  • Has capability for size reduction
  • Less moving parts

Lumens

Rechargeable flashlight brightness is usually measured in lumens, which may differ in rate depending on their use and situation.

LED rechargeable flashlight

You might want to refer to the following information for the specific range and use of lumens.

  • 10-20:
  • Seeing a distance up to 100 meters
  • Up close activities
  • 20-150:
  • Basic outdoor activities and household chores
  • Distances as far as 120 meters
  • 160-200:
  • General use
  • Looking things up to 250 meters in distance
  • Household tasks
  • Security
  • Hiking
  • Survival
  • 200-500
  • Hunting
  • Tactical
  • Climbing
  • Fishing
  • Sailing
  • 600-1000
  • Caving
  • Hiking
  • Industrial uses
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Beams up flashlight as far as 300 meters
  • 1000 and up
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Hunting
  • Recreational activities
  • Outdoor lighting

Flashlight Beams

  • Fixed: Also identified as a flashlight with a flood light, this unit has a fixed beam with a single width. It is best for lighting up while walking on the dark and for night-themed outdoor activities like hunting or camping. Activities during the early hours in the morning are made easy when a fixed beam flashlight is used.
  • Focused: A focused flashlight beam or spot beam is condensed and compact. It is purposely develop to light up something at a considerable distance from the source of light. It works best for route finding and fast activities.
  • Strobe Light: Flashlights in this mode are tactical in function, which is beneficial for self-defense when attacked or a helping tool for survival.
  • Adjustable: Adjustable flashlights provide ease of use since their beam can be adjusted to fixed or focused mode, making them convenient for any situation.
  • SOS Mode: The SOS Mode of a rechargeable flashlight helps you call attention when you are stuck in the wild and in need of rescue or any other survival situation.

Flashlight Switches

The location of flashlight switches is usually based on its model and brand.

Stanley rechargeable flash

There are switches with multiple positions as they are specifically designed to cater different light modes or a flashlight. Among the most common types of switches are as follows:

  • Twist Top: This type of switch requires you to grip both the lens and holder of the flashlight then make a twist to power on or off.
  • Tail Click: To power on or off the flashlight, you need to turn the button found at its base. This is ideal for single-handed operation unit. You need to be extra careful here as the switch can be accidentally turned on and may run down its battery life.
  • Side Click: You can switch on/off the flashlight through a button located along the side of the casing.

When all is said and done, many of these features are just for personal preferences, but it pays to know what you’re looking for beforehand so that you’ll be better prepared instead of drowning in confusion. So now that you know what to look for, here are some of the top rated rechargeable flashlights in the market.

Reviews of The Best Rechargeable Flashlights Ideal for Survival

Smith & Wesson Galaxy 13 LED Flashlight

Smith & Wesson Galaxy 13 LED Flashlight

Weight: 11.2 pounds

Dimensions: 1.6 x 1.6 x 6.5 inches

Specific Features:

  • Uses 25 Lumens for 10 white LEDs and 6.5 Lumens for 3 LEDs
  • Dual Switch Technology for easy and quick bulb color selection
  • Battery life of 30 hours for white (regular illumination) and 80 hours for red (night vision); and lifetime warranty
  • Tough anodized aluminum construction that comes with deluxe holster
  • Red LED that allows you to see in the dark without hampering night vision
  • Made in the U.S.

Best Use:

  • Truck driving
  • Aviation
  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking

Description: Smith & Wesson Galaxy 13 LED Flashlight is the best when you are looking for a torch that can be handled with ease. Its white and red LED bulb colors help preserve your vision at night and prevent any disturbance with a bright night light. Its anodized aluminum case is packed with a soft holster case with a pocket for spare batteries. When accidentally dropped in the water, it resists water for a few seconds, although it is not waterproof.

The textured grip of its casing makes it easy for you to hold the unit. Another promising feature of the flashlight is its security mode that prevents accidental switching. Its red light LEDs help you with signaling, map reading, and any type of emergency situation at night.

Some users, however, complain on the potential of its batteries to explode, and that its light is too weak for its size. There are also those who say that this flashlight is just worth its price as it offers a decent area throw despite the absence of a long throw and excellent brightness.

350 Lumen UltraBright Cree LED Tactical Flashlight

350 Lumen UltraBright Cree LED Tactical Flashlight

Weight: 4.5 ounces

Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 inches

Specific Features:

  • Uses LED technology for its durable batteries
  • Maximum output of 350 Lumens
  • EZ-twist precision zoom ring that focuses specific spot for a throw distance as far as 100 yards and so
  • Weatherproof with its aluminum alloy body; o-ring sealed
  • Available from Bright Medic

Best Use:

  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: This 350 Lumen tactical flashlight has an adjustable zoom that can twist the front ring to zoom from spot to flood. The flashlight runs one 18650 rechargeable battery or three AAA batteries. Its pointed strike bezel prevents quick glass breakage and serves as your tool for self-defense. Its ED technology is combined with precision lens, producing bright white light that gives you clean edges.

Its Cree LED chip promises efficiency, thus allowing you to switch the flashlight to low mode for lasting battery life. It does not contain a filament to burn out that is why it is virtually indestructible. It is very light that allows you to clip it onto your pants, belt or any other fold.

It has been used as a hammer and in some altercations, and it remains workable. Users are also recommended to keep in mind what setting of the flashlight they last used as the next setting may automatically be activated when it turned back on.

Turning it off while cycling to your next desired setting can also be easy considering the sensitivity of its switch. Overall, the cost of 350 Lumen is worth its quality as majority of its users revealed.

Streamlight 74751 Strion LED Rechargeable Flashlight

Streamlight 74751 Strion LED Rechargeable Flashlight

Weight: 1.9 pounds

Dimensions: 5.9 x 3 x 3 inches

Specific Features:

  • Uses lithium ion battery that is rechargeable in 3 hours and for as much as 1000 times
  • Its C4 LED technology is shockproof and comes with a lifetime of 50,000 hours
  • Durable anodized aluminum built having knurled body to ensure grip
  • Regulated run time making its performance consistent throughout its battery life cycle
  • Concentrated beam having optimal peripheral illumination produced by its parabolic reflector

Best Use:

  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: If you are in search for a flashlight that provides you with maximum illumination with expansive beam, choose no other than the Streamlight 74751 Strion LED HL rechargeable flashlight. The high lumen flashlight offers beam distance up to 200 meters through its 500 Lumen blast. Its light output can be high for super-bright beam, medium for a bright light, low for a non-glare light and strobe for signaling a location.

Among its great features are flexibility, comfort, durability and water resistance. Its clamp style charge holder has a digital control circuit that allows you to avoid overcharging. It is considered by some as the best tactical LED light that is also useful as a weapon that can save your life in any way possible.

Although some users complain for its dim light and performance in the dark, the number of those recognizing its terrific light quality still dominates. In fact, it holds a promise of accompaniment during your dark night.

Helotex G2 CREE LED Tactical EDC Flashlight

Helotex G2 CREE LED Tactical EDC Flashlight

Weight: 2.4 ounces

Specific Features:

  • Runs on CR123 or AA battery
  • Tri-Mode battery – high, low, strobe
  • CREE XR-E LED
  • 130 Lumen
  • Anodized 6063-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum casing with o-ring seals

Best Use:

  • Hunting
  • Tactical
  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: Helotex G2 LED flashlight is specially designed for everyday carry light since it is small enough to lug around without any compromising effect on its light output. The flashlight is housed in an anodized 6063-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum case and o-ring seals on all its parts giving optimum resistance to weather.

Its Cree XR-E Q4-BIN LED produces a maximum light output of 130 lumen and light modes in low strobe and high. Its jagged edge on the front end is useful for self-defense when you are in the wild or anywhere and attacked.

This is a great buy for outdoorsmen in need of a handy little survival tool in a very affordable price range.

Apart from the extreme weather condition, it is also resistant to any damage that may come from physical activities. Meanwhile, this tool also has its own downsides like non-tempered glass lens, noisy rear-end switch button, and not so favorable when clipped on your belt as its head faces upward.

Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE Tactical Flashlight

Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE Tactical Flashlight

Weight: 4 ounces

Dimensions: 8.4 x 3.7 x 1.5 inches

Specific Features:

  • 1000 Lumen maximum utility of Cree XP-L (V5) LED and a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Tactical tail switch that comes with a momentary-on function
  • 2 3V CR123A lithium batteries or 1 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • Additional 2 EdisonBright CR123A lithium batteries

Best Use:

  • Tactical
  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Hunting
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: Fenix PD35 tactical flashlight is designed with law enforcement and military concept since it is durable and strong although it is just so light. You can always utilize ordinary batteries for this flashlight during an emergency with its capability to use CR123A batteries and a rechargeable 1850 battery.

It features a power management style system that lowers increments’ brightness level when its battery starts to drain. The main beam of this flashlight can travel a distance of up to 200 meters, which is unexpected in its small exterior.

It throws out 1000 lumens from a small area. Its protective system will keep its circuitry from being damaged in circumstances when you unintentionally inserted its batteries improperly due to darkness, panic or stupidity. It is suggested by some users to purchase a back-up case as its own case easily rips. Fenix PD35 is highly recommended by its users mainly because of its portability, superb light output and sturdy construction.

Streamlight 88032 ProTac 1AA Tactical Flashlight

Streamlight 88032 ProTac 1AA Tactical Flashlight

Weight: 2.2 ounces

Dimensions: 3.9 x 0.8 x 1 inches

Specific Features:

  • Made from metal
  • CA LED Technology, shock resistance with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • IPX7 rated design, making it waterproof up to a meter deep for half an hour
  • Anti-roll facecap and a pocket clip (removable)
  • Multi-function push button tailswitch at single-handed operation of momentary strobe mode or variable intensity

Best Use:

  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Hunting
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: A great choice for a bright flashlight that can be kept in the pocket, this Stremlight ProTac 1AA rechargeable flashlight combines C4 LED technology and its compact size to give you one of the brightest handy lights. The 6 lumens light output of this flashlight offer a variety of uses. It is enough to navigate your way out of a building or around the wild.

This is enough to look around your shelter for the axe to split some kindling or to look around the tent to find your socks to put on your cold feet.

ProTac 1AA has three clicks: first for high power, second for a strobe at 50 lumens and third for low power. Despite all the positive reviews about this tool, there are still those who have some complains when it comes to its limited lifetime warranty and cost. There are still those who justify the cost to its overall performance and quality.

Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight with Focusing Lens

Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight with Focusing Lens

Specific Features:

  • CREE T6 XML LED producing bright intense beam
  • 5 modes of light: high, medium, low, strobe and SOS
  • Includes lamp diffuser and holster that has D-ring with a carabiner to hang lamp inside the tent or other places
  • All components are thread into a tube instead of pressure fit like an inexpensive flashlight
  • Can be submerged to water at 3 feet depth
  • Flexible power options: CR123 alkaline or AAA batteries and rechargeable 18650 Lithium-ion batteries
  • Used as an emergency light

Best Use:

  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Hunting at night
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description:  Verizi LED Tactical flashlight is ideal for mountain climbers, outdoorsmen and adventure seekers. The flashlight beats all other flashlights in terms of durability with its Type III hard anodized and anti-abrasive finish and a uniquely rugged design that can cater any abuse.

It has a versatile power source and lasting performance with the use of its batteries. It remains wise to have extra batteries though if you are planning for a long hike or camping.

Its versatility is attributable to its multiple settings or multifunction feature. Its small size should never be underestimated considering its phenomenal battery life. In fact, its 230 lumens are more than enough for all your needs in the wilderness.

You can even use it as a lamp since it is IPX-7 waterproof with a diffuser. There are recommendations from other users that if you need a flashlight with higher lumens, perhaps you should search for and chose other Verizi flashlights.

Simon Cree Led Flashlight Top LED Tactical Flashlight

Simon Cree Led Flashlight Top LED Tactical Flashlight

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.4 x 1.2 inches

Specific Features:

  • Essential equipment for Military, Hunters, Mechanics, Campers, Custom Agents, Law Enforcers
  • Mini CREE LED Flashlight Torch Bulb with 16 adjustable focus dual settings and 100,000 hours lifespan
  • ED flashlight with 500 maximum lumens torch light, which is best as a tactical flashlight
  • Rugged and indestructible since it is made from 6061 Aircraft Grade aluminum
  • Push button on/off trigger switch in 5 multiple settings: high, medium, low, strobe and SOS

Best Use:

  • Law enforcement/tactical
  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Hunting at night
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: Simon Cree Tactical Flashlight is the top pick among outdoorsmen and law enforcers mainly because of its high performance and lightweight. This flashlight has the capability to throw out as much as 700 lumens with various brightness setting and strobe functions.

Its small size gives you comfort in handling it in your palm. The slim ergonomic design of this tool functions well with 16 adjustable dial settings for focus on light tight or for an expansion to a broad fan.

Some users note the low performance of its light modes controlled through soft-pressing the push-button, which is actually the same button used for turning it on or off. It can be mounted onto shotguns or rifles with attachment, which is why it is highly recommended for home security and hunting purposes. It can cost you more than the other flashlights mentioned above, but its rate compensates its overall performance and quality.

Nebo 5581 220 Lumen Redline Tactical Flashlight Strobe S.O.S

Nebo 5581 220 Lumen Redline Tactical Flashlight Strobe S.O.S

Weight: 0.428 pounds

Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.5 inches

Specific Features:

  • Made from aluminum
  • Runs 3 AAA batteries
  • 5 lighting modes: high, medium. Low, strobe, SOS
  • Light outputs: 220 lumens on strobe, high and emergency strobe, 110 lumens on medium, and 22 lumens on low output
  • Waterproof and weatherproof

Best Use:

  • Camping
  • Trekking/hiking
  • Hunting at night
  • Backpacking
  • Outdoor activities

Description: This Redline Nebo 5581 Tactical Flashlight is a cost-effective flashlight that offers beneficial features. The flashlight is equipped with a magnetic base that allows hands-free operation and manages water exposure, 5 different lighting modes and 220 lumen beam producing brighter illumination.

Its beam of light is adjustable to get spot lighting or short range lighting. Take into account the design of its power button, which can be difficult to get since it is sunk into its casing as well as the slight delay in its switching modes.

Using your thumb in navigating the switch can be a bit awkward here, especially for those with big hands. This may not be the right rechargeable flashlight for tactical purposes based on its cost, as there are less expensive and more tactical than this type. Keep in mind that this could still be the best flashlight when it comes to the brightness of its beam and the range of its price.

Final Words

There really is no specific flashlight that will be best for everyone and meet every need, as looking for the best one depends on its purpose of use. With the help of the guidelines presented here, it can be difficult not to find a rechargeable flashlight that suits your need and satisfaction.

Remember that the best flashlight is the one that has high quality, is compact, long-lasting, durable, waterproof, and one that can be dependable during emergencies.

ThruNiteTC12 in the hand

Do you still have something in mind to ask? Have a flashlight that we’ve forgotten to mention? Leave us a comment below so we can address your concerns.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Steven Schick

    Fenix makes some really good flashlights. I have a Fenix UC40 Ultimate Edition, and it’s an absolute beast. I have dropped it several times and it still works great. It’s very bright too. I would probably purchase the same light again if I ever need to replace it.

  • Jerry Mueller

    Great choice Steven! Fenix is an excellent flashlight. The Fenix PD 35 has a brightness of 1000 lumens – that’s why I love and use it.

  • Meg Gardner

    I feel that I won’t need anything brighter than the 350 lumen tactical flashlight because it did light up my entire backyard about half an acre. The only thing which I’d hope for something better is the light setting which switches to the next in a cycle. I’d prefer that it come to low automatically. Nevertheless, it is really bright and we’ve used it in camping so I’d definitely recommend it. One of the best features is that it uses AAA battery so you can easily carry spare batteries.

  • Jerry Mueller

    Hi Meg! I’d recommend higher lumens since it really gets dark out there on the trail or in the woods. The Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE Tactical Flashlight is an excellent flashlight. You’ve got to see it – powerful illumination, sleek and compact body and rechargeable batteries! No need to buy any batteries, so there!

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