A well-made flashlight for hiking is an essential piece of kit. In fact, it’s something you should always include in your adventure gear, even if you don’t plan on hiking at night.

It is not always easy to anticipate delays and you may just find yourself hiking in gloomy conditions, even if you didn’t intend to.

To decide on the best hiking flashlights, there are a few key features you need to look out for.

best hiking flashlights

What To Look For When Buying A Hiking Flashlight

Choosing a hiking flashlight can depend on things like how heavy it is, how bright it will be, and whether it’s made from long-lasting materials. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking for a great flashlight.

Brightness & Adjustability

Of course, you want your hiking flashlight to be as bright as possible.

But there are a few other useful features that are nice to have too, such as an adjustable zoom that allows you to light a wide area, or to pinpoint a single object.

Various modes are also handy, such as high and low beams, or an SOS light for emergencies.

Remember that powering your hiking flashlight with a rechargeable battery will give a brighter light than if you use regular AA batteries.

Portability

The ideal backpacking torch is small and lightweight so that you can easily keep it in your pocket and it won’t take up too much space in your gear.

Durability

The outdoor life requires a hiking flashlight that is up to the job, able to resist accidental drops onto rugged terrain, and reliable in less than perfect weather conditions.

Ensure that the model you choose is waterproof – some flashlights even come with extra O rings as these tend to wear out over time.

And it’s also good to learn how to waterproof your backpack too so you can keep all of your other gear dry as well!

GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight

The GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight is one of the best hiking flashlights around and even come with their own holsters, which offer greater protection and make it easy to either attach them to your belt or pop them in your pocket.

Each flashlight weighs just over 5 ounces and is nice and small, taking up no space at all in your gear.

But despite their small size, they provide a nice bright beam, which you can adjust from wide to narrow in different situations, and there are 5 different lighting modes to choose from.

Durability is always a key factor when it comes to the best flashlight for hiking and this particular model is built to last.

It can survive a drop of up to 10 feet or be temporarily submerged underwater.

Its manufacturers even say that it will still work after being frozen or run over by a truck – and whilst you (hopefully) won’t need to put that to the test, it’s good to know that it can be used in any type of weather.

These flashlights come in a pack of two and you can power them with either 3 AAA batteries or a single rechargeable battery, either of which can be purchased separately. 

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LED Tactical Flashlight S1000

This LED hiking flashlight represents great value for money, with all the features you need at a great price.

Made from aluminum alloy for durability, a high-end chip and upgraded wick make it super bright, with a zoom function that allows you to choose between lighting an entire area, or focusing on an individual object up to 1000 feet away.

Although it doesn’t come with batteries, you have a choice between powering it with 3 AAA batteries or a 18650 rechargeable button-top Li-ion battery.

Small and lightweight, it is designed to be easily portable, with an anti-slip handle that is easy to hold and 5 different light settings (high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS) for multiple uses.

Should you need to break glass in an emergency, this tactical flashlight has a sturdy head that is more than up to the job.

It has a soft rope to loop over your wrist – a great way to guard against any accidental falls – and is resistant to water, with a nicely designed lotus top to protect the lens from damage.


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This lightweight flashlight can also be used in very cold conditions, working reliably at temperatures as low as  14 ° F / -10 ° C.

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NICRON N7 600 Lumens Tactical Flashlight

This is one of the best hiking flashlights in terms of versatility and if you want real bang for your buck it is perfect for multiple applications around the home too.

The NICRON N7 600 LUMENS is compact enough to fit easily in your pocket and it comes with a clip and a strong magnetic tail cap.

This means that you can easily attach it to your belt or backpack when hiking to keep your hands free, or to any ferrous metal surface for domestic jobs, such as working on your car.

Equally useful is the head that rotates 90 degrees, enabling you to see clearly in tight spaces.

It has a bright beam, able to clearly light up objects up to 413 feet away from you, and has 4 different light settings (high, low, strobe and SOS).

The SOS light has been carefully designed for quick access – all you need to do is long-press in any light setting in order to activate it.

This backpacking torch will run for several hours on a single AA battery, or you can separately purchase a 14500 rechargeable battery for increased brightness.

It is durable, too, designed to be used in heavy rain and capable of surviving a 4ft fall.

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Zoomable USB Rechargeable Flashlight

If you are looking for a rechargeable flashlight for hiking with a built-in battery, this zoomable model is ideal, taking just 3.5 to 4.5 hours to fully charge using the USB cable, then giving you up to 9 hours of illumination in low battery mode.

It is easy to keep tabs on how long you have left and when it will be time to charge it again, as there is a low battery indicator, with the switch displaying either green or red depending on its status.

If you plan to use your flashlight often, then the option to recharge it is a great way to save on the cost of all those batteries!

And unlike some rechargeable flashlights, the USB port on this one is conveniently located on the outside of the body, so there is no need to unscrew it.

This flashlight uses German Osram P8 LED for maximum brightness, and the beam is zoomable, allowing you to narrow it to a single focus or widen it to light up a larger area.

What’s more, it has an impressive beam length of up to 1640ft. The military-grade aluminum-alloy body is designed for rugged use, being resistant to both impact and heavy rain.

It is easy to hold, with a comfortably long handle, and offers four different lighting modes (high, low, strobe, and SOS).

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Outlite A100 Portable 2000 Lumens Handheld LED Flashlight

This hiking flashlight by Outlite is incredibly bright, thanks to its upgraded LED chip, intelligent illumination driver, and dedicated integrated circuit.

The beam is totally adjustable, so you can choose to either illuminate 120 square yards of space or focus right in on objects that are up to 1000 feet away.

Not only is it versatile, but it has a ton of great features that make it ideal for your next trip.

There are 5 different light settings ((high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS) and you can easily switch from one to another using the on/off button.

Its compact design makes it easy to carry in your pocket and its anti-slip finish makes it easy to hold.

Most importantly, this lightweight flashlight is tough – made of durable aluminum alloy it can survive a drop of 10 feet.

It is also waterproof against splashes and comes with 2 replacement O rings to keep it resistant to water even after prolonged use.

Additionally, its scalloped-bezel makes it suitable for tactical support if required. 

It comes with 3 AAA batteries, but you have the option of powering it with a single 18650 battery, should you choose to buy one separately. 

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Flashlight for hiking

Final Thoughts

Once you have chosen the perfect hiking flashlight you can feel confident that you will have a reliable source of light for your next trip whenever you need it.

Do you need some more hiking inspiration? Check out these amazing quotes about hiking!