Flashlights are essential, especially if you like to camp or hike in the great outdoors, but what do you do when the batteries die? You could take a supply of fresh batteries with you, but that would be expensive and bad for the environment. Instead, you could invest in a rechargeable flashlight.

Rechargeable flashlights come in all shapes and sizes, from the small, pocket-size varieties that are ideal for hunting and outdoor pursuits, to the gun-style searchlights that you would keep around the house for emergencies. Whatever your use, buying a rechargeable flashlight is an excellent investment. Which ones are the best? We shine a light on on the pros and cons of 5 rechargeable flashlights to help you decide which one is right for you.

  • 900 lumens
  • 1,000 ft. reach
  • 5 adaptable settings
  • Water resistant
  • 18-month warranty

  • 2-Pack with 1,000 and 2,000 lumens
  • 5 light settings
  • 8-hour runtime
  • Water resistant
  • 7-year warranty

  • 1,000 lumens
  • 5 light modes
  • Zoom function
  • 600 ft. range
  • 1-year warranty

  • 2,600 ft. range
  • 6,000 lumens
  • 20-hour runtime
  • Doubles as a smart device charger
  • 1-year warranty

  • 900 lumens
  • 10-hour runtime
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 5 light modes
  • 1-year limited warranty


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Anker Super-Bright Flashlight

This Anker Tactical flashlight has a reach of over 660 feet, which is the length of 2 football fields; with the zoom feature, that range can be extended to roughly 1,000 feet.It comes with a 3350mAh battery that will last for 6 hours when used on the medium beam setting, and the LED bulbs will last up to 5,000 hours. This little flashlight is rugged, with an IP65 rating for water resistance that means it is designed to be used in heavy rainfall, and the body is fashioned from durable aluminum to make it shockproof and perfect for rough handling.

This flashlight takes 6 hours to reach maximum recharge capacity, so make sure that you give yourself time before you set off on any long trips. It comes with a mini USB charging cable, however, so you can feed the battery while you are driving if your car has a USB port. On the downside, though, it only comes with a USB charging cable and not the 1A adaptor for charging indoors. In addition, Anker claim that the flashlight will stand on end as an emergency light, but that is only possible without the wrist cord attached. The 5 light modes can also be confusing as you have to scroll through each one until you get to the one you want.

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Maximum 1,000 ft range
  • USB port for in-car charging
  • 6-hour runtime

Cons

  • 6-hour recharge time
  • Doesn’t come with the adaptor
  • The light mode settings can be confusing to find

This Peak Plus set comes with 2 flashlights: one with 2,000 lumens and the other with 1,000 lumens.The smaller of the two weighs in at less than a quarter of a pound, with the larger tipping the scales at less than half a pound, so they are lightweight as well as robust. Both come with zoom control to adjust the brightness and focus the beam for greater distance reach.

Unlike the Anker Super-Bright Flashlight with its 6-hour battery life, the larger flashlight in this 2-piece set has a maximum of 8 hours runtime, while the smaller model has a 5-hour capacity, so they should see you through the night. These flashlights are also highly resistant to water, so they’ll keep working regardless of what the elements throw at you. It has 5 light settings, from strobe to S.O.S, and because the main body of the torch is constructed from hard wearing aluminum, it won’t corrode in wet conditions.

On the downside, the build quality of both these flashlights and their charger is questionable. Moreover, while these products are bright, some have questioned Anker’s claims that they have 1,000 and 2,000 lumens, respectively.

Pros

  • Great price for a 2-piece set
  • Lightweight and robust
  • Maximum of 8 hours runtime
  • Water resistant
  • 7-year warranty

Cons

  • Build quality issues
  • Question marks over the lumen claims
  • Flimsy charger feels cheaply made


This Peak Plus flashlight comes with a protective carry-case to keep it safe from harm and can run either rechargeable batteries or more conventional varieties so you never run out of power. It has a zoom feature with 5 settings, from x1 to x2,000, that gives you the option of a wide beam to illuminate the area around you or a focused beam for greater positioning and an extended 600-foot range. These features mean that this is a tremendous pocket-size flashlight that would be ideal on hunting, camping, and hiking trips.

Again, like all the others featured in this list, it has an aluminum alloy shell to stop it from corroding in the wet, but what makes this flashlight different is that it uses Lithium-ion batteries, which give you an extended runtime. On the downside, Lithium-ion batteries are notoriously fickle when it comes to the temperatures, so don’t expect this flashlight to be as reliable in sub-zero chills. Furthermore, when the battery runs low, it could take up to 12 hours to reach a full charge. Now we understand why there is the option of using ordinary batteries with this model.

Pros

  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Made from robust aluminum
  • 5 zoom settings
  • Water resistant
  • Also runs on standard batteries

Cons

  • The temperature can affect Lithium-ion batteries
  • Long recharge time

This CSNDICE flashlight offers a super-powerful 6,000 lumens and a beam reach of over 2,600 feet. It really is a searchlight and the brightest flashlight on the list, and if you couple its luminosity with the fact that the Lithium-ion battery gives a massive 9,000mAh, it should stay illuminated for up to 20 hours. If you place the flashlight in the low mode setting, you could extend that runtime to 24 hours.

This light is rain resistant and robust with a large handle located on the top and a durable, shock resistant body. The aspect that makes this LED searchlight unique, though, is that it doubles as a smart device charger, with a USB port located at the base. You needn’t worry about excessive overcharging or discharging because it has built-in protections.

On the downside, this flashlight is on the large side, which doesn’t make it that mobile, especially if you are trekking, or hunting and need something more discreet. As an aid for emergencies, though, it is handy to keep the trunk of your car. In addition, this flashlight won’t stand on its own as it lacks any flat surfaces, so using it as a nightlight in a tent is going to be a challenge. Finally, be warned: this flashlight is so bright that it might keep your campsite up at night.

Pros

  • 6,000 lumens
  • Maximum runtime of 24 hours
  • Doubles as a smart device charger
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Bulky shape means it’s best suited for the home or the car
  • Lacks any flat surfaces so falls over easily
  • It may be too bright for camping purposes

Stanley is a well-respected name in the tool and DIY sphere, so it stands to reason that they should produce a flashlight that is worthy of this review. This SL5HB model is the first pistol-grip variety, meaning it is ergonomic and comfortable to use. Couple that with the lockable trigger switch, which allows you to operate it hands-free, and it really is child’s play using this thing. It’s bright too, with 900 lumens, delivered by a 5w LED.

The Lithium-ion battery will hold a charge for up to 12 months once it is fully charged but idle, and when in use, it will operate for a maximum of 10 hours continuously. It also comes with both AC and DC charging facilities so you can keep the battery fully charged wherever you are.

On the downside, like the CSNDICE LED Searchlight, this is a flashlight suited for emergencies around the home or in the car, and not likely to be of use in the great outdoors like the Anker Super-Bright Flashlight, so it isn’t as versatile. The charging cord is also a frustrating mini USB plug, so over time the connection will deteriorate. Finally, when the light is on for any lengthy period, the bulb gets really hot.

Pros

  • Comfort grip
  • Trigger switch
  • 900 lumens
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • The battery hold a charge for 12 months when not in use

Cons

  • Fiddly charging cable and port
  • The bulb gets extremely hot after sustained use

Comparison Chart

FEATURESAnker Super-Bright FlashlightMS Force Tactical FlashlightsPeak Plus FlashlightCSNDICE LED SearchlightStanley SL5HB Flashlight
Lumens9001,000/ 2,0001,0006,000900
Beam Reach1,000 ft.1,000 ft. +600 ft.2,600 ft.Approx 600 ft.
Runtime6 hours8 hours7 hours20 hours10 hours
Lithium BatteryXX
Light Settings55525
Price$$$$$$$$$
Weight6.24 oz0.95 lbs0.72 lbs1.25 lbs1.6 lbs
Dimensions6.22 x 1.57 x 1.5711 x 2.5 x 125.3 x 1.6 x 1.17.7 x 4.1 x 4.18.6 x 4.1 x 8.3
Warranty18-month7-year1-year1-year1-year

Buyer’s Guide:

Rechargeable Flashlights

If you are the type of person who spends every weekend or holiday trekking in the hills and woods, then a rechargeable flashlight is the perfect camping companion. Similarly, you may not be the camping type, but want a reliable flashlight for emergencies or to keep in the car, and rechargeable lights are perfect for that task too. They are versatile, rugged, and above all, super-bright. Using a standard battery flashlight is going to be expensive, and you never know when it will run out of juice.

Most rechargeable flashlights come equipped with a USB charging cable to plug into your vehicle, so you should never run out of power. Using rechargeable varieties is also more eco-friendly, as it means that you have infinite recharges and don’t add many standard batteries to the landfill.

Lithium is the latest technological advancement in batteries, and when you compare them to standard lead rechargeables, there is no contest. They last longer, they have a greater capacity to hold the charge, and they give the user a longer runtime. All of these factors mean that more manufacturers are switching to this technology in their latest products.

There are disadvantages, however, to using Lithium-ion batteries. For example, they are temperamental in cold weather because when the thermometer drops, it affects the batteries ability to either hold or take on a charge. They are also notoriously slow at charging, with some flashlights taking up to 12 hours to reach the maximum charge. So, while you may get 10 hours of runtime, and 12 months idle charge, you also need to make sure you have 2 battery packs, or keep the flashlight continually on charge when not in use.

PROS
  • Saves on landfillEvery time you toss away a standard battery, you add to the waste burden and help to fuel the rise in the landfill. Rechargeable flashlights eliminate this waste completely.
  • No ongoing costs – Once purchased, a rechargeable flashlight can be used indefinitely without any ongoing costs to worry about.
  • Power 24/7 – Most rechargeable flashlights have the ability to charge on the go, which gives you a never-ending power supply.
CONS
  • Long charging times – There are no such issues with using standard lead batteries; simply replace the old ones and away you go. Rechargeable varieties could take hours to reach charge.
  • Always having to plan – If you know you are going on a hiking trip with a rechargeable flashlight, you have to consider whether you have charged it sufficiently before you set off.
  • Costs of replacement batteries – When compared to the cost of ordinary cells, rechargeable, and especially Lithium-ion batteries, are expensive to replace.
Rechargeable flashlights

Pros

  • Good for the environment
  • No ongoing costs
  • Power when you need it

Cons

  • Inconvenient charging times
  • It requires advance planning to make sure the batteries are charged
  • Batteries are expensive to replace

  • How many charges can a rechargeable flashlight handle before the battery needs replacing?
  • In general, rechargeable batteries last between 3 to 5 years depending on how well you have looked after them and the conditions in which they are kept. You should get between 500 and 1,000 recharge cycles. In contrast, Lithium-ion batteries have a shelf life of around 3 to 4 years, so while they may be more fragile and lose charge as they age, during their useful lifespan they provide higher power and hold their charge for longer. A word of warning: most rechargeable flashlights have a sealed battery unit that cannot be removed, especially the Lithium-ion variety. So, while you may need to replace the battery at some point so you might be forced to replace the whole flashlight.
  • What is a lumen?
  • A lumen is a measurement of light visible to the human eye, timed over a given period. The brighter the bulb, the higher the lumen count. If, then, you have a rechargeable flashlight with 2,000 lumens, then you know you are getting a powerful beam that will have a long-distance reach.
  • How long does it take to charge a rechargeable flashlight battery fully?
  • On average, a rechargeable flashlight will take between 4 and 10 hours to fully charge, depending on the charger and the amount of use the flashlight gets. Often, Lithium-ion batteries take longer to reach full capacity, as do batteries charging by vehicle outlets.

Final Thoughts

Be it in the home or the wild, a rechargeable flashlight is your best buddy, but if you require something for a specific task, then look at each of the attributes of your flashlight. For a camping trip you might sidestep a pistol-grip version for something more useful, like the Anker Super-Bright Flashlight. It will meet your needs perfectly, because it has a durable aluminum casing, 900 lumens, a maximum 1,000 feet range, and best of all, is super-lightweight.

The Peak Plus Flashlight is the clear favorite, though, if you have a limited budget because it has all the features of others on this list but costs a lot less. If you want a flashlight that will give you the maximum amount of light, and the CSNDICE LED Searchlight leads the pack with a massive 6,000-lumen bulb that has a reach of 2,600 feet. Whatever you choose, remember that rechargeable flashlights are also good for the environment, because it means you don’t have to toss spent batteries in the trash every time you go hiking.

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