Buyers Guide: 4 Best Rechargeable Flashlights (2021)
Gone are the days of bulky, power-hungry flashlights requiring pocketfuls of extra batteries. A modern rechargeable flashlight packs a potent lumen output from highly efficient LEDs, drawing their power from lightweight and long-lived rechargeable batteries. They're a fraction of the weight and size of your father's old flashlight and come packed with many useful features, taking handheld lighting places it's never been before.
In this article, we'll discuss the best rechargeable flashlights on the market as well as key features to consider when choosing the right torch for you.
Top Recommendations for Rechargeable Flashlights
When creating this list of best rechargeable flashlights, we considered features including lumens, durability, ease of use, charge time, run time, cost and more. Based on this, here are our recommendations for rechargeable LED lights:
|Best Rechargeable Flashlights||Our Award||Buy Now|
|Renogy E.Lumen 500||Best Solar-Powered Flashlight||Check Price|
|Goal Zero Torch 500||Best Multi-Use Rechargeable Flashlight||Check Price|
|Fenix PD40R v2.0||Best High-Lumen Flashlight||Check Price|
|Petzl Actik Core Headlamp||Best Rechargeable Headlamp||Check Price|
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
Best Solar-Powered Flashlight: Renogy E.Lumen 500
Renogy is world-renowned for its innovative solar products, so it comes as no surprise the E.Lumen 500 tops our list of best flashlights. This bright, rechargeable LED flashlight is awesome for its light output alone, but coupled with a robust aluminum construction, useful features and an integrated solar charger, it's an all-around multi-purpose lighting powerhouse.
The powerful headlight and sidelight have seven lighting modes for a variety of lighting needs. The battery is quickly USB rechargeable, but in a pinch, you can charge the flashlight via a built-in solar panel (though you'll need plenty of time to do so). The flashlight also functions as a power bank to keep your electronics juiced. A magnetic glass-shattering hammer attachment and seatbelt cutter make the Renogy E.Lumen 500 perfect for outdoor activities and emergency preparedness.
Charge Time: 1.5 hours via micro-USB; 65 hours via solar power
Dimensions: 9.6 x 3.7 x 2.1 inches
Extra Features: Glass-shattering hammer, seat belt cutter, solar charging capability, mobile device USB charging
Pros: Excellent output, built-in solar charging, dual charging, loaded with useful features, affordable, durable
Cons: Water-resistant but not waterproof, a bit bulky, very long solar recharge time, magnetic hammer attachment prone to falling off, lighting modes can be cumbersome to use, battery not replaceableCustomer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with about 50 Amazon ratings
Best Multi-Use Rechargeable Flashlight: Goal Zero Torch 500
This is about as good as it gets for a basecamp-ready lighting superstar. Goal Zero's Torch 500 is an adaptable flashlight/torch, equipping you with both a 300-lumen spotlight and 300-lumen floodlight, each with three lighting modes. Integrated clips make hanging the Torch 500 a breeze if you're in need of a work light.
The light's 5200 mAh battery takes four hours to charge via micro-USB, and 23 to 46 hours via built-in solar panels. The battery can also charge your personal electronics in the field. Robust weather-proofing and an awesome warranty make the Goal Zero Torch 500 a ready companion for work, play and emergencies.
Charge Time: 4 hours via micro-USB; 23-46 hours via solar power
Dimensions: 8.8 x 2.2 x 4.5 inches
Extra Features: Spotlight and floodlight modes, IP67 waterproof rating, solar charging capability, mobile device powering
Pros: Floodlight and torch with multiple lighting modes, waterproof (IP67), integrated hanging clips, dual charging, built-in solar panels, great warranty, external charging
Cons: Slow solar charging time, a bit bulky, small buttons, lithium-ion battery not replaceable
Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with about 60 Amazon ratings
Best High-Lumen Flashlight: Fenix PD40R v2.0
This high-lumen flashlight is the brightest rechargeable flashlight on our list. The Fenix PD40R v2.0 lights up the night with an impressive 3,000-lumen output, enough for a beam distance of up to 442 yards. It features four brightness modes that are toggled with a smart mechanical rotating switch at the head.
The included 21700 battery charges in about three and a half hours, and an optional battery adapter allows you to use common 18650 batteries, giving you more options to keep the lights going. Although it's not quite a tactical flashlight, great features like a battery level indicator, clip and serious weather-proofing make this an awesome choice for law enforcement, security and really, really dark nights.
Charge Time: 3.5 hours via USB-C
Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.3 x 1.0 inches
Extra Features: Battery level indicator, IP68 waterproof rating, carrying case included
Pros: Extremely bright, compact, intuitive mode switching, pocket clip, included case and lanyard, replaceable battery, waterproof (IP68), freezeproof
Cons: Lack of backward mode button may be inconvenient for some, poor battery life, expensive
Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with about 650 Amazon ratings
Best Rechargeable Headlamp: Petzl Actik Core Headlamp
For hands-free lighting, look no further than the Actik Core. This high-quality rechargeable headlamp is designed and produced by the French mountaineering company Petzl, so you can rest assured it's loaded with features to keep you on the trail longer.
This lightweight LED headlamp throws an impressive 450-lumen beam and features three brightness levels. The battery can last up to 130 hours, and it recharges in just three hours via micro-USB. If you're without a charging cable, just toss in a fresh Petzl Core battery pack or standard AAAs. The headband is removable for easy washing and features reflective accents in case it's misplaced. To cap it all off, a five-year lamp warranty and two-year battery warranty mean the only thing you need to worry about is getting to your destination.
Charge Time: 3 hours via micro-USB
Extra Features: Red light mode for increased night vision, compatible with AAA batteries, IPX4 water-resistant rating
Pros: Compact and lightweight, waterproof (IPX4), multiple lighting modes, removable headband, easy-to-use button, replaceable batteries (either Core unit or three AAAs), excellent warranty
Cons: Plastic design
Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with about 3,000 Amazon ratings
How Much Do Rechargeable Flashlights Cost?
The cost of a rechargeable flashlight depends on a number of factors, including lumens, battery capacity, weatherproofing, efficiency, charging methods, materials and more. Most consumer rechargeable flashlights cost $20 to $200, with more expensive options generally having better build quality, design and features. Rechargeable tactical flashlights may cost even more.
How to Choose the Best Flashlight
There's no perfect flashlight for every situation. Consider the following factors when choosing the best rechargeable flashlight for your needs:
- Lumens: Super-bright flashlights often come at the expense of size or battery life. If you require a bright light, balance it with other needs. For most people, 350 to 500 lumens offers more than enough lighting, and all of our top picks can throw this kind of light.
- Design and additional features: Pick a flashlight with buttons that make sense to you. In addition, you should consider other features such as replaceable batteries, clips/hangers, attachments, etc.
- Durability: All of our picks for rechargeable flashlights have some degree of weather protection, but other factors must be considered before purchase. If you expect to put your flashlight through the wringer, pick one that's waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. A flashlight used primarily indoors (e.g., for power outages) may not require the durability of a camping or duty light. For a do-it-all unit, think of the flashlight's worst day and buy one that's up for the task.
- Portability: If you'll be taking your flashlight on the go, it must be lightweight, durable and packable. Be aware that portability may come at the expense of other features, such as battery life, output, durability and more.
- Charge time/run time: Unless you have plenty of time, you shouldn't count on a flashlight's integrated solar panels to keep your light charged. Rechargeable flashlights can reach full charge relatively quickly when plugged in and usually run at least as long as the charge time. Consider how long you go between using the light, and when you do use it, for how long.
- Cost: Higher-end rechargeable flashlights generally come with a steeper price tag (though not outlandishly so), and if you can swing a few extra bucks, they are definitely worth the investment.
FAQ: Best Rechargeable Flashlights
What is the highest lumen rechargeable flashlight?
The Fenix PD40R v2.0 is the brightest rechargeable flashlight on our list with a 3,000-lumen beam throwing over 440 yards.
Which is the best rechargeable torch light?
The Goal Zero Torch 500 is the best multi-use torch light out there. It's packed with awesome features that make it particularly useful for work and play.
Are rechargeable flashlights any good?
Yes. Rechargeable flashlights are standard equipment for law enforcement, military, first responders and outdoor professionals and enthusiasts the world over. They perform just as well if not better than non-rechargeable counterparts.
How many lumens is good for a torch?
Lumen output depends on your needs. For most, 350 to 500 lumens is more than enough for a handheld flashlight. For specific uses, a higher output may be necessary.
Christian Yonkers is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor junkie obsessed with the intersectionality between people and planet. He partners with brands and organizations with social and environmental impact at their core, assisting them in telling stories that change the world.