A rechargeable flashlight can provide you with a powerful beam of light and the convenience of connecting to a charger when its battery is running low. While these lights are great for a short camping trip, you'll need to consider how you'll be using a flashlight before purchasing a rechargeable model. Cliff Jacobson, an outdoor writer, consultant, and Distinguished Eagle Scout, recommends rethinking rechargeable models for prolonged outdoor use. Jacobson says this style of flashlight is fine "if your idea of 'outdoors' is a county park and your car is nearby to charge—or you have a little backup battery. In the 'real' wilderness, you want batteries."
Aside from camping, rechargeable flashlights can be a great alternative to battery-powered lights if you want multiple options for a power outage. Just be sure you keep your rechargeable flashlight completely charged so the battery doesn't run out in a moment of need. With Jacobson's advice in mind, we researched dozens of rechargeable flashlights, considering each model's brightness, ease of use, versatility, durability, and design.
Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC40 Flashlight
Five lighting modes
Lightweight and easy to grip
Doesn't include 5-volt charging adapter
No battery level indicator
With its impressive battery life, useful range of light settings, user-friendly features, and durable construction, the Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC40 Flashlight is our top choice for most people. This model has high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS light modes and a memory mode, which allows the flashlight to turn on to its last-used brightness automatically. We found that specific feature quite handy and appreciated the compact and lightweight design. Paired with the anti-slip finish, this flashlight was made with long-term comfort in mind.
You can use the light mode of your choice in various conditions because the strong aluminum case can hold its own against rough handling. We also dropped the flashlight on multiple surfaces, such as concrete flooring, and it came out unscathed. It's water-resistant with an IP65 rating against dust and sprays of water, so you can use it in rainy weather. You can also count on it to hold up in colder temperatures as low as 14 degrees.
While you can charge this flashlight with the provided micro USB cable or a 5-volt adapter, we were disappointed that the charging adapter doesn't come with the flashlight. Despite that minor inconvenience, the flashlight has longevity. It can run 20 hours when on medium mode and has an estimated LED lifespan of 50,000 hours.
Price at time of publish: $30
Brightness: 400 lumens | Run Time: 20 hours on medium | Weight: 4.3 ounces | Durability: IP65
OLIGHT Warrior X Pro Superior Tactical Thrower
Great water and impact resistance
Low-battery life indicator
Shorter runtime on high mode
If you want a flashlight that's extra durable and built for rugged and rough handling, you may want to consider a tactical flashlight like the OLIGHT Warrior X Pro. While it's slightly heavier than other options, this flashlight has a strong aluminum alloy body with a robust bezel and 5-meter impact resistance. It also has an IPX8 waterproof rating—meaning it can be submerged in water for an extended period of time without being damaged. However, the trade-off for the durable body is the heftier 8.43-ounce weight.
Durability aside, this flashlight is downright impressive. It also offers you a whopping 2100 lumens of brightness on high mode and a more-than-adequate 300 lumens of brightness on low mode, and the beam can reach up to 1,640 feet. The battery can last up to eight hours on low mode, while high mode runtime spans from a brief two minutes at maximum brightness to 23 minutes at 300 lumens. The also Warrior X Pro vibrates at various intervals when the battery is low, so you never have to question when it needs to be recharged. The closer the bursts of vibration are, the lower the battery power is. When it's time to recharge, the magnetic USB charging cable offers fast performance—which the manufacturer claims is 100 percent faster charging than the slightly lower-grade Warrior X model.
Price at time of publish: $120
Brightness: 2100 lumens | Battery Life: 2 minutes to 8 hours | Weight: 8.43 ounces | Durability: IPX8
Best USB Rechargeable
ThruNite TC15 V3 Flashlight
Six light modes
Compact, strong frame
30-day run time on lowest mode
Only runs for a short time on max lumens
Requires USB-C charging ports
The ThruNite TC15 V3 Flashlight comes with a quick-charging USB-C rechargeable battery and charging cord for convenient on-the-go charging in your car or with a portable USB-C charging station. It has an indicator light to let you know when the battery is full and offers a durable and comfortable build for easy carrying. It weighs only 2.6 pounds and comes with a textured handle for a solid, slip-resistant grip (even with gloves) and a lanyard and clip. It can also withstand 1.5-meter drops and has an IPX8 waterproof rating for protection in up to 2 meters of water.
This flashlight packs powerful brightness into a straightforward design, relying on a single button for light control. It’s designed for seamless adjustments, allowing you to quickly access turbo mode by double-clicking the button, and it can run for a whopping 30 days in Firefly mode. The TC15 V3 has a maximum brightness of 2403 lumens in turbo mode and a minimum brightness of 1 lumen in Firefly mode. However, in turbo mode, the flashlight can only run for a little over two minutes at 2403 lumens before dropping to 732 lumens for 106 minutes. The other four modes are high (1057 lumens), medium (330 lumens), low (34 lumens) and strobe (1040 lumens).
Price at time of publish: $76
Brightness: 2403 lumens | Battery Life: 2.3 minutes to 30 days | Weight: 2.6 ounces | Durability: IPX8
ThruNite T1 Flashlight
Great brightness for size
Long run time on low modes
Short run time on higher modes
No adjustable focus
Prefer not to lug around a hefty flashlight? The tiny ThruNite T1 Flashlight measures under 3 inches long and weighs 1.6 ounces, yet it can deliver 1500 lumens of brightness on turbo mode, which is its highest setting. Its light throw can also stretch up to 102 meters. It has a 1.5-meter impact resistance and an IPX8 rating, so it’s waterproof and will be okay even when submerged in up to 2 meters of water. It also comes with a clip and lanyard for easy toting.
This flashlight has four other modes besides its maximum turbo setting: Infinity High (685 lumens), Infinity Low (15 lumens), Firefly (0.5 lumens), and Strobe (550 lumens). While the highest mode could be great for outdoor settings, the Firefly mode, the dimmest mode, is ideal for late-night reading. This model can operate for an impressive 12 days in the Firefly mode, but the battery life can be considerably lower on higher settings. On the plus side, it’s conveniently rechargeable via a USB cord and has a magnetic tail, so you can attach it to metal surfaces for hands-free lighting.
Price at time of publish: $60
Brightness: 1500 lumens | Run Time: 55 minutes to 12 days | Weight: 1.6 ounces | Durability: IPX8
NITECORE MT21C Flashlight
Eight different light settings
Compact and easy to maneuver
Turns on to the lowest brightness
The Nitecore MT21C offers versatility in various situations, thanks to its adjustable light angles and durability. Eight different light settings and the ability to withstand up to 1-meter drops and up to 2 meters of submersion in water make this flashlight the ultimate option to have closeby at all times. Its highest brightness setting is turbo, with a 1000-lumen output and its lowest is ultralow, with a 1-lumen output. In between, there are high (400 lumens), mid (190 lumens), and low (50 lumens) modes. Unfortunately, the flashlight automatically turns on to the lowest brightness level rather than the last one used. There are also strobe, SOS, and beacon settings, which can be especially useful for anyone who enjoys outdoor adventures.
One of the main highlights of the MT21C flashlight is the magnetic tail that allows you to stick the flashlight to metal surfaces and have hands-free use of the light. The head is also adjustable by 90 degrees, so you won't have to worry about the light shooting straight down when it's mounted. This versatility means you can stick the flashlight in your front pocket or work belt and illuminate what's ahead of you without holding it. This flashlight also comes with handy accessories such as a holster, lanyard, and pocket clip, and compatibility with several rechargeable battery types, including the 18650 unit provided, which offers up to 700 hours of runtime.
Price at time of publish: $70
Brightness: 1000 lumens | Battery Life: 1 to 700 hours | Weight: 3.65 ounces | Durability: IPX8
Streamlight ProTac HL-X 1000 Lumen LED Handheld Flashlight
Four light modes
Dustproof and waterproof
Light-mode switch can be finicky
Pricier than other models
If maximum brightness is your priority, the Streamlight 88065 Pro Tac HL-X 1000 is a great tactical flashlight, offering an impressive 1000 lumens—enough for outdoor searches, security professionals, or any other task where you need as much light as possible. This high-end Streamlight features a momentary-on option as well as high, medium, low, and strobe modes. The runtime is one and a half hours on high, three and a half hours on medium, and 23 hours on low, and the maximum beam distance is 330 meters. It also offers two power options with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery or two alkaline CR123A batteries, so you can have reliable power no matter where you are.
In addition to ample brightness, the HL-X 1000 is also rugged, with an anodized aluminum case that is impact-resistant and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. A pocket clip and a holster offer easy carrying, and at under 6 inches long and about 6 ounces, it’s still relatively compact. While the light mode switch might be fussy, this flashlight offers reliable brightness and durability. It has a 2-meter impact resistance and an IP68 rating, which means it's dustproof and waterproof, able to handle up to 2 meters of submersion in water. It’s also backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish: $77
Brightness: 1000 lumens | Battery Life: 1.5 hours on high, 23 hours on low | Weight: 5.7 (with batteries), 6.2 ounces (with rechargeable battery back) | Durability: IP68
Stanley FATMAX Rechargeable Lithium Ion LED Spotlight Flashlight
Collapsible stand for hands-free use
Easy grip and controls
Short run time on highest brightness
The Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS spotlight can light up a wider area than a traditional flashlight with the added convenience of a rechargeable battery. Its ultra-bright LED can put out up to 950 lumens on high and lasts up to seven hours on a single charge of the lithium-ion battery. The battery can also hold a charge for up to a year. We also appreciated the ergonomic handle that makes it easy to hold and its durable build. However, we saw a much shorter run time of one hour when operating the flashlight on High mode.
The Stanley Fatmax comes with several convenient features to increase usability. Two noteworthy details include a heavy-duty case and bezel with a stand that pivots and collapses when necessary, making hands-free operation possible. You can even plug in electronics via an integrated USB port and charge them using the spotlight’s battery power. While this flashlight is heavier, weighing approximately 2 pounds, it has an overall user-friendly design. Its grip and simple-to-use trigger allow you to cycle between high and low modes. You can also count on protection from a three-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $70
Brightness: 750 to 920 lumens | Run Time: 1 hour on high, 7 hours on low | Weight: 2 pounds | Durability: Not listed
Our top pick is the Anker Bolder LC40 Flashlight because it checks all of the boxes with its straightforward design, powerful battery life, and impressive brightness. For a more compact option, we recommend the ThruNite T1 Flashlight, which combines a ton of brightness and a long low-mode run time into an easy-to-maneuver, lightweight package.
What to Look For in a Rechargeable Flashlight
Runtime and Charging
If you're investing in a rechargeable flashlight, understanding the runtime is essential. Key features to take a peek at are the battery life and power modes (Low, Full, High, Eco, etc.), You also want to get details about the battery and charging options, including additional battery packs and/or chargers that come with the flashlight. Some models come with dual USB charging and battery backup flexibility while others require a specific charging cord built for the device.
Durability and Weight
Look at the flashlight's materials. Some of the most durable products have a hardshell case, waterproof case, or a variation that includes a stand or USB port. Grippy materials and non-slip details can also be vital if you're on the move with your flashlight. If you plan to spend a lot of time camping or outdoors, the more durable the materials and the higher the Ingress Protection (IP) rating for dust and water protection, the better. The manufacturer may also supply specific details about drop and low-temperature resistance.
Although not always considered a key feature, a flashlight's weight can also make or break its convenience. If an item is too heavy or bulky for travel or if it's too small to be effective, you may be less inclined to use it.
Brightness and Beam Distance
The beam distance is how far the flashlight projects, typically measured in meters. Make sure these numbers, in connection with the lumens (brightness), make sense, especially if you plan to use your flashlight outdoors. "If you want to scare a bear or human, feral cat, whatever, you want a tight focused beam," says Cliff Jacobson, an outdoor writer, consultant, and Distinguished Eagle Scout. "For tent camping, you want a lot of light close to you. For that, a spread focus pattern is best." You may also want to consider the various lighting and beam options, such as strobe or special modes like red lights for use at night.
How long can a rechargeable flashlight hold a charge?
A variety of factors determine how long a rechargeable flashlight can hold a charge, so this spec will largely vary from model to model. Most flashlights offer different brightness modes, and running a flashlight at its maximum brightness will drain the battery faster than running it at its lowest brightness. Some flashlights can run up to 20 hours on medium mode, while others offer different run times for each setting. With age and use over time, it's likely that the battery retention won’t be the same as the first day you purchased it.
How does a rechargeable battery work in a flashlight?
You can plug in some rechargeable flashlights with a USB cord or power adapter just like a phone or other electronic device. Other options have an external battery pack that needs charging rather than the unit itself. In other cases, some models come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that you can charge directly in the flashlight or substitute for batteries to have power no matter where you are.
Are rechargeable flashlights better than regular flashlights?
With regular flashlights, you'll need to discard and replace their disposable batteries once they are depleted. You’re likely to pay a heftier price up front when you opt for a rechargeable flashlight, but you won’t have to keep buying new batteries over time. Rechargeable batteries also produce less waste, making them a more eco-friendly option. The main downside of rechargeable models is that they won’t serve you well during a power outage if the battery is dead—since there will be no way to charge it. However, plenty of rechargeable flashlights can also rely on disposable batteries as a backup, so if you’re looking for a flashlight that works most of the time as a rechargeable model but is also emergency-ready, you may want to opt for a model with that flexibility.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Sarah Toscano is a writer specializing in smart home and home tech. She has been researching products as an e-commerce writer for over a year, with a focus on all things related to tech, gadgets, and entertainment. She read through various customer reviews and discussion forums, watched an array of video reviews, and analyzed each product's specs to help make the picks for this article. Cliff Jacobson, an outdoor writer, consultant, and Distinguished Eagle Scout. also provided insights on rechargeable flashlight considerations for outdoor use. Emma Phelps, an associate editor for The Spruce, refreshed this article.