Long battery life
Doesn’t have adjustable focus
Tough to tell when battery is low
Needs a 5V 1A adapter that’s not included
We’ve all stumbled around searching for a flashlight during a power outage only to discover that its batteries are dead. Thankfully, rechargeable flashlights solve that problem—but can they go the distance on a dark night? I tested the Anker Bolder LC40 Flashlight to see if its compact size, long battery life, and multiple settings would light up my life. Does it stand up to the competition or does it dim in comparison? Read on for my insights.
Design: Compact and comfortable
Weighing in at 4.3 ounces and measuring 5 inches in length, this is a handy addition to a purse, backpack, or glove compartment. The sleek aluminum body and anti-slip finish makes it easy to grip and hold comfortably for an extended amount of time. A handy attached clip allowed me to fasten it to the side of my purse, shirt pockets, or belt. Stylish bevels are added to the top to protect the lens and to the base to protect the on/off button.
Weighing 4.3 ounces and measuring 5 inches in length, this is a handy addition to a purse, backpack, or glove compartment.
This flashlight is very easy to turn on—all I had to do was press the on button once. However, turning the flashlight off was more difficult. An additional press of the button will only move the flashlight to another one of its five settings (more on those below). I cycled through the settings several times before discovering that, to turn the flashlight off, the button must be held down for at least one second.
One particularly great—if unexpected—design feature was memory mode. When the flashlight is used in low, medium, or high mode, it automatically returns to that mode whenever the flashlight is turned on again.
Battery Life: Goes the distance
The Anker Bolder LC40 flashlight comes charged and ready to use straight out of the box. Recharging is more of a problem, as it needs a micro-USB cable and a 5V 1A adapter. The micro-USB cable is included, but is small and easy to misplace. A 5V 1A adapter must be purchased separately, although I used the base of my iPhone charger with no problem. There’s also the time factor to consider if you’re in a hurry—it needs more than six hours to recharge.
I also felt that the charger port, which is located on the bottom of the flashlight by the on/off button, was difficult to pull open. Also, a red light comes on when the flashlight needs charging, but since this light is located in the charger port, it’s easy to forget to check.
With 20 hours of undiminished brightness on the medium setting, this flashlight will last through a weekend camping trip.
This flashlight includes a high-efficiency Cree LED XP-G2 battery, designed for high performance, non-diminishing brightness, and long battery life. Unfortunately, the battery is welded inside the flashlight and is impossible to remove. According to the Anker website, however, the battery has a 50,000-hour lifespan, so the flashlight should last through years of regular use.
With 20 hours of undiminished brightness on the medium setting, this flashlight will last through a weekend camping trip or many games of flashlight tag. Some flashlights have a short battery life while on the highest setting, but that’s not the case with the Bolder LC40—it keeps going and going. I gave up testing after 12 hours. The body and head felt extremely warm after the flashlight had been on for about 15 minutes, but after an hour of continuous use, the flashlight cooled and remained cool.
Performance: Keeps the light on
Recommended for indoor use, emergency use, camping, and hiking, this flashlight is durable and capable. I dropped it onto my concrete garage floor, on a gravel and dirt hiking path, and onto my kitchen floor (from heights over the recommended 1.5 meters), and it survived without a dent or ding. It even survived a few rounds of my cat batting it across the floor. After repeated drops on my concrete patio, I did manage to make a small dent on one of the bottom bevels, but it was small and barely noticeable.
In terms of power, this flashlight has three power settings: high (400 lumens), medium (120 lumen), and low (20 lumens). Additionally, hikers and campers will appreciate the strobe and SOS functions for emergency use. Also, to illuminate a larger area, this flashlight can stand upright, which I thought was useful.
I dropped it onto my concrete garage floor and it survived without a dent or ding.
This flashlight also withstands the elements. According to the manufacturer, it functions in cold temperatures down to 14 degrees; during my testing period, I found that it worked perfectly in the coldest weather I could find (21 degrees). Also, this flashlight, which is IP65 water-resistant, remained undamaged by both dust and rain. While testing it on a hike, I noticed that dirt from the trail did cling to its body, but I was able to wipe it off with my hand or a dry cloth.
Price: An affordable, all-purpose flashlight
Priced at around $20, this flashlight isn’t as cheap as the plastic drugstore models, but its rugged design and long-lasting battery life makes it worth the price.
Competition: Best for around the home
Maglite RL1019 MagCharger LED Rechargeable System: This flashlight, which I also tested, has almost 250 more lumens, but it’s also significantly more expensive. While the compact size of the Anker Bolder LC40 might make it easy to misplace, the Maglite’s rechargeable system includes a charging mount which can be attached to a wall, so you’ll never search for a flashlight again.
Stanley Fatmax 10-Watt LED Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Spotlight: I also tested this flashlight—which, at 920 lumens, is much brighter than the Anker. Plus, with a battery storage life of up to one year, you won’t be caught unprepared in emergencies, and it can be used hands-free thanks to the collapsible pivoting stand. However, compared to the lightweight portability of the Anker, the Fatmax—at 2 pounds and 9 x 4 x 11 inches—is heavier and bulky to store.
Need some help finding what you’re looking for? Read our list of the best rechargeable flashlights.
- Product Name Bolder LC40 Flashlight
- Product Brand Anker
- Price $22.99
- Weight 4.3 oz.
- Product Dimensions 5 x 1.3 x 1.3 in.
- Color Black
- Battery Life 20 hours on medium mode
- Warranty 18 months
- What’s Included Flashlight with built-in rechargeable battery, micro-USB cable
- Max Output 400 lumens