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Update: This article was updated in June 2020 to include two new top picks.
A flashlight is an essential piece of kit for every emergency bag, camping kit, or just to have around in case the lights go out. The best thing about flashlights is that they are cheap and effective. That is also the worst thing about them. Cheap flashlights will illuminate your room or outdoor area but how long do they really last?
We are sure that you have at least one broken flashlight in your home (or a memory of one). If you want a flashlight for an emergency kit or are taking it outdoors at all, then you want something tough, durable and heavy-duty. Not only is a heavy-duty flashlight going to last but it is going to save you money too. Imagine a flashlight that does not break.
So, what makes a flashlight durable when compared to a regular flashlight? There are a few things that set it apart. We have compiled some things to think about. Have a look and then make an informed choice on a flashlight that is going to last you for years to come.
Our Top Picks
Maglite LED 3D Ultra Bright Flashlight
This is a well-crafted and durable flashlight. The seals are weather-resistant. If it is raining or snowing, then no moisture is going to get inside. The interior and exterior have been anodized for extra protection, and the entire flashlight is corrosion-resistant. Add in some drop-resistance and water-resistance, and you have a flashlight which is going to outlast everything else you take into the great outdoors with you.
The diamond-knurled design on the body makes the exterior scratch-resistant and gives you a better grip too. The beam is adjustable, and you can move between a solid spot and flood. Use the flashlight to see something at a distance or to illuminate your camping spot when you need to get back to your tent.
A great flashlight to take anywhere with you.
BUYSIGHT LED Rechargeable Flashlight
You will like that you get options with this flashlight. You can see for a long distance, and there is the option to adjust the brightness to suit your needs. The CREE L2 LED bulb gives you two brightness levels and lasts for a long time. When choosing your bulb, an LED is a great way to go. If you are outdoors, then this searchlight is great for being able to see long distances, especially if you are searching for something. You can see for up to 800m.
If you are searching, you can do so for a long time. The battery has a large capacity and can last for a long time on a single charge. The great thing about this flashlight is that it has overcharge and over-discharge protection. This allows the flashlight to act as a battery pack, and you can charge your other electronic devices from the flashlight. This flashlight will light your way and can charge a device in an emergency.
The flashlight is also waterproof and is protected from splashing water (do not submerge it). You can take it out in the rain or have it around a lake. The flashlight is also easy to hold. The handle is ergonomically designed, and the device is light. If you are searching, you can use it for a prolonged time without your hand becoming fatigued.
We would recommend this flashlight for use in any camping situation. It is great for lighting your way amongst the trees and handy inside your tent too.
GearLight S1200 LED Flashlight
This flashlight is small and compact but do not let that fool you. It is one of the brightest flashlights on the market. You will like that it comes with an LED bulb. LED bulbs are durable and long-lasting, giving out a lot of light and not a lot of heat. Be careful where you shine it, as the brightness is almost blinding. The power of the flashlight means that you can greatly illuminate everything in your vicinity while still being able to see things at a distance.
The ultra-wide beam can illuminate an entire backyard or campground. The flashlight uses three AA batteries (so you will need to replace them from time to time), but those batteries will last for an entire camping trip. Rechargeable batteries can also be used if you want to save money in the long run.
This device benefits from five modes. You can switch between high, medium, and low beams, depending on your needs and who or what is around you. You also have a strobe function and an SOS mode. This flashlight really can save your life.
The device is water-resistant and extremely durable. Use it in the rain and don’t worry if it is submerged in water temporarily. It has also been drop-tested from three meters. An amazing flashlight for the great outdoors which will last for a long time even when it does take some water damage or impacts.
BlueFire CREE XM-L2 LED Flashlight
If you are looking for a rugged flashlight which can illuminate everything, then this may be just the one which you are looking for. With 1200 lumen and LED bulbs, this is one of the longest-lasting and brightest flashlights on the market. The bulbs will last for up to 100,000 hours. The flashlight uses three AA batteries, so you will have to replace them from time to time, but you will get a lot of use out of the batteries due to the LED bulbs.
The anti-abrasive coating and ergonomic handle make this a rugged and reliable flashlight. It is functional too. There are five modes and adjustable focus. The intense spotlight can illuminate objects up to 600 feet away. You can use the floodlight to illuminate a large area around you. You can also switch the beam between high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS.
A versatile flashlight which will be a welcome addition for any outdoor trip.
ENERGIZER HC-600 LED Flashlight
This is a powerhouse when it comes to flashlights. With super bright technology, this flashlight can generate up to 600 lumens with a long-distance beam that can span over 400 meters. You’ll never be caught unaware again.
You do need 6 AA batteries to power the flashlight, so we recommend investing in some rechargeable ones. Having spares with you when camping or in the great outdoors is never a bad idea, and the advanced LED technology is extremely handy when you are outside. You have versatile and customizable light modes, preserving runtime and changing light intensity as needed.
The rugged body is virtually indestructible, and it can survive a drop from 7 meters without any damage. The hands-free design lets you get on with your work, and the long runtime (over 6 hours) keeps you working for longer. It’s water-resistant too (IPX4) and will withstand heavy splashing and extreme weather conditions.
A durable and bright flashlight.
LumiNRG Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
This tactical flashlight has four modes, allowing you to customize how you use it. You have strobe flashing, medium spotlight, high wide beam, and COB lantern. The flashlight can be used for ambient light, penetrating light to highlight a specific spot, or to attract attention to yourself.
The body is built with durable aluminum and can generate up to 1,000 lumps of LED light. The light can then be seen up to 1,200 feet away. The zoom feature can change that light from a focused point to a wide spread.
The body is impact-resistant and the aluminum helps to keep the flashlight cool, prolonging the battery even during extreme temperatures. You can have up to 10 hours of light with the Lithium-ion battery, and the micro-USB helps to charge the battery quickly when needed. The strong magnetic base means that you can stick it to any metal surface, using it easily in restricted areas such as under your vehicle.
A versatile and functional flashlight.
Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC40 Flashlight
This is a long-lasting flashlight. The flashlight is rated for 50,000 hours, but we know that it will last longer is taken care of properly. Each charge will last you for up to 20 hours, making it one of the longest-lasting flashlights out there. You can also recharge the battery in only 6 hours with an adapter or micro-USB. The USB is included as standard, but the charger may not be.
When you are using the flashlight, you will have 400 lumens at your disposal, and the compact flashlight packs a punch. You can switch between high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS modes, keeping yourself safe while outside and helping people to locate you.
The casing is tough and reliable, with the texture adding additional grip to the device. It is IPX5-rated, giving protection from rain, dust, shock, and rough handling. The flashlight comes with rechargeable batteries and an 18-month warranty.
A long-lasting flashlight that is light and tough.
What To Know Before Buying a Heavy-Duty Flashlight
Impact and Water Resistance
A tough flashlight is one that is going to last for a long time, and that means the flashlight is resistant to impacts and water (among other things).
Impact resistance is measured in meters. The flashlights are tested by dropping them six times from various heights onto concrete. If the flashlight remains functional after being dropped six times, then it is rated for that height. The heights are increased until the flashlight can no longer deal with the drop. While this will indicate how the flashlight deals with drops, it may not indicate how it does when involved in other accidents, but it will still indicate how tough the flashlight is.
If you are going to be spending a lot of time in the great outdoors, then you will want some water resistance too. An IPX system is used for water resistance, with IPX8 being the most resistant and giving the flashlight the ability to be submerged under the water. You may also have a depth rating for the flashlight. We always recommend keeping your flashlight out of the water, but at least you will know it is safe if it is dropped in.
A durable flashlight is one that is crafted from durable materials. Many regular flashlights are made from cheap plastic or aluminum alloy. If dropped, these materials can easily crack or become dented. Look for heavier materials that will not crack or bend when dropped or pressure is applied.
The handle of the flashlight may also have extra grip. This limits the chance that the flashlight is going to be dropped and broken, further protecting the body of the flashlight. You may also find that there are flashlights out there that are not cylindrical. A non-cylindrical shape will stop the flashlight from rolling off when you put it on a surface. Look for a flashlight that can be secured.
A long-lasting flashlight is one that lasts for a long time not only through its lifespan but also through a single charge. The type of battery will make a big difference when it comes to using.
Disposable batteries are common but do not last very long, and you will need to replace them frequently. You can find rechargeable batteries, but they can be expensive.
A built-in rechargeable battery can save you a lot of money in the long run. Look for different connections for recharging the battery. A mains connection is good, but a USB connection is better, giving you a lot more versatility.
The final option is to have a renewable battery. A built-in battery which is charged by spinning a crank means that you do not have to worry about replacing or charging a battery. You can have instant light no matter where you are.
Just because we are looking for a durable flashlight does not mean that we should not think about some of the regular features too. The lens of the light will determine the beam, and this may depend on what you need the flashlight for.
A flood (or fixed) beam is a single beam. The beam tapers out from the flashlight and is good for general flashlight-related operations. This is a great type of light for walking in the dark or to have around a campground.
A spot (or focused) light is a single beam which is condensed on a single point. Instead of the light spreading out, it penetrates for a long way and focuses on a single point in the distance. This is a great light if you need to pinpoint certain things. If you are searching or moving fast, then this is the beam for you.
Adjustable beams are a combination of the two. You can usually move from one beam to the other, and everywhere in between. Great for finding your way in the dark. You can use the flood beam to search along a route and then use the spot beam to look at your map.