The 7 Best Rechargeable Flashlights of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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Final Verdict

The Olight S2R Baton II Flashlight was our top pick for its rugged build and high IPX8 waterproof rating. This flashlight is long-lasting and ideal for camping or emergency preparedness. If you need a cheaper option, the GearLight S1000 LED Tactical Flashlight is affordable yet durable and comfortable to carry.

Our Testing Process

To find the best rechargeable flashlights, we tested 16 models in our Lab. First, we started a timer and checked the brightness modes and whether or the flashlight came with a battery indicator. We also checked the range of each flashlight and whether they had additional modes such as strobe, SOS, or turbo.

Next, we checked our comfort level while using the flashlight. If it had a strap, we adjusted it to see how comfortable it was.

Then we checked the beam distance, including the width of the beam using a wall, painter’s tape, and a lux meter, recording the distance in meters and feet. We noted how compact each flashlight was and tested them in our car’s console to assess the fit.

When applicable, we tested the rechargeable flashlights with our water, power bank, magnet, and drop tests. For flashlights with a power bank, we connected adaptors to the flashlight and a rechargeable earbud case or phone to see how well it charged. To evaluate waterproof flashlights, we fully submerged them in a bucket of water for 15 seconds and looked for any water damage or moisture in the charging component. For the magnet test, we put the rechargeable flashlight on the side of a metal toolbox and observed how long it stuck to the surface. Finally, for our drop test, we dropped the flashlight from 3 feet and recorded if there was any damage. We also recorded battery runtimes for all flashlights we tested.

How to Shop for Rechargeable Flashlights Like a Pro

Usage

You can use rechargeable batteries as an extra or a backup light. We recommend bringing a rechargeable flashlight when camping or hiking, and keeping one in your car or bag for emergencies. Many rechargeable flashlights also have an SOS mode and strobe lights, which are essential in an emergency. Rechargeable flashlights are also beneficial to keep in a home emergency kit home in case of a power outage or storm.

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Brightness & Beam Distance

Most rechargeable flashlights come with basic high, low, and medium modes. Some models have added brightness modes like ultra-high, ultra-low, turbo light, strobe light, or SOS settings.

“Advances in LED technology mean that rechargeable flashlights today are brighter and better than their older versions,” says Jeanne Devon, co-author of Survive and Thrive: How to Prepare for Any Disaster Without Ammo, Camo, or Eating Your Neighbor.

When it comes to beam distance, these flashlights offer light from 100 meters to over 700 meters. For household work, you can opt for a lower beam distance, while camping or emergency flashlights should have a greater throw.

Features

Rechargeable flashlights often have bonus features, like built-in USB ports you can charge wherever you have a power source. Devon loves how convenient they are. “They can even be recharged from your laptop or car,” she says.

Some rechargeable flashlights also act as a power source for other devices like smartphones or laptops, which is especially handy in an emergency.

Another feature is waterproofing—models with an IPX waterproof rating can withstand outdoor adventures, rain, and submersion. “Waterproof flashlights are great for fishing, being out in the rain, keeping in your car, and in flooding situations,” says Devon.

If you want a flashlight to keep in your car, look for one with a magnetic base so you can attach it to the side of your car while you work.

More Rechargeable Flashlights to Consider

Anker Bolder LC40 Flashlight: The Anker Bolder LC40 is a rechargeable flashlight with three brightness settings and decent battery life. Plus, it’s low-priced for a rechargeable model, making it a good option for anyone on a tight budget. This flashlight features 400 lumens, which makes it more of a hiking or camping flashlight than a tactical one. Also, note that it’s not water-resistant.

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Energizer TacR-1000 LED Tactical Flashlight: This flashlight was heavier than most other rechargeable flashlights we tested and only has three brightness modes: high, low, and a strobe setting. We liked that its power bank can power other electronics, however, we didn’t test to see how long it takes for a full charge.

Questions You Might Ask

What are the pros and cons of rechargeable flashlights?

There are two kinds of flashlights: flashlights that use disposable batteries and rechargeable flashlights. Rechargeable flashlights are more powerful because they use lithium batteries, according to Devon. “They also throw a beam farther than a flashlight with regular alkaline batteries,” she says.

The downside is that they come with a higher price tag when compared to a regular flashlight—though it pays off in the long run because you won’t be buying as many batteries.

Rechargeable flashlights are also a more sustainable option. “While no battery is truly environmentally friendly, they are better for the environment because you will use fewer batteries over time,” Devon says.

The other downside of rechargeable flashlights is that you need a power source to charge them. If you’re camping or in a blackout, you may not be able to recharge your batteries unless you have a power bank or portable generator.

Are rechargeable flashlights more expensive than regular flashlights?

Though you pay more initially for rechargeable flashlights, they can save you money in the long run because you don’t have to keep buying new batteries.

How long do rechargeable flashlights last?

The run time of rechargeable flashlights depends on the model and type of batteries. Powerful options can run for 12 or more hours, while compact picks might only have a few hours of battery life.

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“To maximize the life of any battery, only use it when necessary and on the lowest setting necessary,” Devon says. “Do research on the specific battery you are considering for the most accurate figures, but a top-of-the-line lithium-ion battery on the lowest mode can last for many weeks of use on a single charge! Also, keeping your battery full at all times will begin to shorten its life.”

Take Our Word For It

Nor’Adila Hepburn is a freelance writer specializing in buying guides for Better Homes & Gardens. She specializes in commerce, home, and lifestyle niches. To find the best rechargeable batteries, we tested 16 models in our Lab, evaluating them on usage, brightness, beam distance, and various features. Nor’adila also spoke to Jeanne Devon, co-author of Survive and Thrive: How to Prepare for Any Disaster Without Ammo, Camo, or Eating Your Neighbor.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn’t an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.