The 5 Best Hiking Flashlights for 2023

best hiking flashlights

One of the best hiking flashlights should always be on your list of packing essentials for an outdoor adventure. Access to a reliable light source is key to staying safe, even if you plan on arriving back home before nightfall.

Hiking in the dark is dangerous and getting caught in the wilderness unexpectedly can present a set of challenges. Be prepared for the unexpected and learn which features to look for in the best hiking flashlights for 2023.

Key Takeaways

- High-quality hiking flashlights are ideal for staying safe in emergency situations that require signaling, impromptu camping and giving directions
- Hiking and camping units require no more than 1000 lumens to be helpful and only use about 60 lumens to illuminate your surroundings
- Choosing a flashlight with a high lumen count and multiple light settings can help maximize your unit’s runtime

Determining which lighting features are most important for your outdoor excursion will help you find one of the best hiking flashlights.

Why Do You Need A Hiking Flashlight?

If you get caught outdoors unexpectedly in the dark, you’re going to need something brighter than your iphone flashlight. Having a high quality unit on hand is ideal for overcoming emergencies that require signaling, impromptu camping and giving directions.

But flashlights aren’t just for emergency situations. Hiking flashlights also help illuminate your campsite or the path back to your car after enjoying the sunset. Or if you’re a night hiker, they provide a reliable source of light for when the terrain gets tough.

5 Best Hiking Flashlights

Unexpected circumstances can be better navigated with one of the best hiking flashlights. The high quality units below are ideal for ensuring access to a light source you can trust.



Fenix’s PD36R offers up to 1600 lumens with its multiple light settings, including strobe mode, and an incredible 115 hours of runtime while using eco mode. Impact resistant and fully waterproof, this unit is only 5.35 inches in length and weighs just 3 ounces, making it the perfect unit for accompanying you on your next hike.

E35 V3.0

E35 V3.0

This portable and powerful unit from Fenix has an IP68 protection rating, making it extremely resistant to both dirt and moisture. The E35 V3.0 offers up to 3000 lumens of output on its highest setting and has a 50 hour runtime when using eco mode.

PD40R V2.0

PD40R V2.0

Fenix’s PD40R V2.0 features an impressive maximum output of 3000 lumens and is powered by a 21700 rechargeable battery. Compact and lightweight, this unit is a great option for powerful, portable light.

UC35 V2.0

UC35 V2.0

The UC35 V2.0 provides up to 1000 lumens of pocket-sized power and features the highest level of protection against moisture and dirt. Equipped with 6 light levels, including strobe mode, this unit is perfect for providing reliable light on an after-dark adventure.

PD35 V3.0

PD35 V3.0

Fenix’s PD35 V3.0 is one of the best tactical flashlights on the market. With 1700 lumens of output and 6 different light modes, this unit is impressively lightweight and compact. The PD35 V3.0 has an Ingress Protection rating of IP68 and an A6061-T6 aluminum body, making it extremely resistant against impact, moisture and dirt.

What Makes a Hiking Flashlight The Best?

When you’re shopping for a hiking flashlight, the key to success is understanding which features make up a high quality unit.


A flashlight’s lumen count determines the maximum output, or amount of light, that can be produced. In most cases, hiking and camping units require no more than 1000 lumens to be helpful.

Seeing your surroundings after dark only requires about 60 lumens. It’s important to note that using more lumens than necessary will drain your battery faster. Although, having access to a high lumen count can be helpful when you’re on the trail and need to see far away objects.

We recommend finding a unit with the ability to produce a high output and equipped with several lighting modes. Not only will you have what you need in a situation that requires a lot of light, but you’ll benefit from a maximized battery life by using lower lighting modes.


Your unit’s runtime refers to how long the battery will last and can determine whether or not you’ll have access to light in the event of an emergency. Many flashlights offer different lighting settings, each with their own designated runtime.

Using a lower light setting on a high capacity unit will elongate its runtime and maximize battery power. Using turbo mode or another high output setting for more than a few seconds will drain your battery quickly and shorten your unit’s runtime dramatically. It’s best to reserve high output settings for when you need them most to avoid draining your battery.

Battery Type

When considering the purchase of a new unit, note whether it takes rechargeable or disposable batteries. In most cases, there’s more value in a rechargeable unit that offers long runtimes and is easy to recharge.

best hiking flashlights

Although, carrying around an extra set of disposable batteries is convenient when you need to quickly refresh your battery life outdoors. Consider which features are most important for your excursion and determine whether a unit with rechargeable or disposable batteries is best.

Lightweight & Compact

When you’re preparing for an outdoor adventure, packing light is key. Choosing a unit that is lightweight, compact and easily portable will minimize the amount of extra weight you need to carry.

Although, compact units can often be less bright and durable due to lumen capacity and materials used. Find a happy medium between size, output and durability to determine which unit is best for you.


Durable hiking flashlights are extremely resistant to impact, dirt and moisture. When hiking, you’ll need a unit that can withstand hitting a rock covered ground and an accidental drop in more than a few inches of water.

Impact resistant flashlights are made from quality materials, such as aluminum. Units that can overcome the intrusion of dirt and moisture have an Ingress Protection rating of IP68, meaning they can withstand submersion of up to 2 meters of water.

IP68 Rated Protection

Light The Path Ahead

The best hiking flashlight is one that provides reliable light during unexpected circumstances. Whether you’re setting up camp or navigating miles of terrain in the dark, Fenix has a quality hiking flashlight to light your path.

Shop with Fenix today to learn more about staying safe outdoors and find the best lighting unit for your next adventure.