In addition to an emergency kit, a flashlight is always useful in an emergency situation, whether a hurricane or a house-wide short circuit. And while most smartphones have built-in flashlights that you could use as a light source, you should try to conserve your phone’s battery life during an emergency. In order to maintain your smartphone’s charge, you may want to consider a standalone flashlight.
SKIP AHEAD Battery-powered flashlights | rechargeable flashlights
If you lose power, you won’t be able to recharge your emergency flashlight by plugging it into an outlet, so we prioritized battery-powered flashlights (if they come with an extra set of batteries, that’s a plus), and followed up with rechargeable flashlights.
Best emergency flashlights for 2022
To help you find the right flashlight for your needs, we found highly rated emergency flashlights that are battery-operated or rechargeable. Since storms might be the reason for an emergency, we surfaced a few water-resistant flashlights, as well.
If you prefer a battery-powered flashlight and you feel confident that you’ll keep enough spare batteries hanging around to recharge your flashlight during an emergency, here are some highly rated options to consider. Since none of these flashlights come with the batteries required to operate them, we mention the type and number of batteries necessary for each.
GearLight S1000 LED Tactical Flashlight
Requires 3 AAA batteries
The GearLight S1000 LED Tactical Flashlight features a wide-to-narrow beam so you can see up to 1,000 feet ahead of you, GearLight says. It comes in a pack of two with protective cases for each. The GearLight is water-resistant and the flashlight can survive a 10-foot drop, according to the brand. The flashlight allows you to adjust its focus with five different zoom modes, too. It has a 4.7-star average rating from over 61,000 reviews on Amazon.
GearLight S2000 LED Flashlight
Requires 4 AA batteries
The GearLight brand receives a ton of positive attention in the flashlights sphere — its S1000 flashlight has more than 61,000 reviews and its S2000 LED Flashlight has nearly 22,000 reviews on Amazon. Both flashlights have a 4.7-star rating. GearLight says the S2000 is its biggest and brightest flashlight: It’s made from military-grade aluminum, and the brand says it’s water-resistant and sturdy enough to survive a 10-foot drop.
MagLite ST3D116 LED 3-Cell Flashlight
Requires 3 D batteries
The MagLite ST3D116 LED 3-Cell Flashlight has an aluminum body and weather-resistant sealing around its head that make it drop-resistant and water-resistant, according to the brand. You can also adjust the lighting from spot to flood beam by twisting the flashlight’s head. The MagLite ST3D116 LED 3-Cell Flashlight has a 4.8-star rating from nearly 15,000 reviewers on Amazon. It includes a limited lifetime warranty.
Vont LED Tactical Flashlight
Requires 3 AAA batteries
According to the Vont, its LED Tactical Flashlight two-pack was built to survive abuse — the flashlight was frozen and submerged under water during testing. It has five tactical light settings: Low, Medium, High, SOS and Strobe, as well as a fully adjustable beam width. It includes a lifetime warranty that covers defects. The Vont LED Tactical Flashlight has 4.6-star rating from more than 10,500 reviewers on Amazon.
ThruNite LED Flashlight
Requires 2 AA batteries
The ThruNite LED Flashlight’s entirely IPX8 waterproof design emits up to 500 lumens and its beam extends more than 350 feet away, according to the brand. This highly rated LED flashlight has a 4.6-star rating from more than 2,500 reviewers on Amazon.
If you prefer a rechargeable flashlight for the convenience of never having to buy batteries — and you’re enthusiastic about always making sure it’s charged so you don’t end up without a working flashlight during an emergency, you may prefer one of these highly rated options.
Anker Ultra-Bright Tactical Flashlight
The Anker Ultra-Bright Tactical Flashlight has an IPX7 water resistance, which means it can withstand being immersed in up to one meter of water for as long as 30 minutes, as tech expert Whitson Gordon previously explained. According to the brand, the LED light can shine more than 820 feet (the length of two football fields) and it has five settings: Low, Medium, High, Strobe and SOS. On a single charge, the brand says the battery can last for up to six hours. It has a 4.7-star rating from nearly 3,000 reviews on Amazon.
ThruNite TC15 Flashlight
Like its battery-operated sibling, the ThruNite TC15 Flashlight has an IPX8-rated design that means it’s entirely waterproof. The brand says that the TC15’s beam extends up to about 800 feet ahead and it comes with a few modes of lighting, from Strobe to Firefly. Like the Anker, the ThruNite TC15 is rechargeable — it features built-in USB charging and a battery level indicator so you know when it needs to be plugged in. It has a 4.4-star rating from nearly 3,500 reviews on Amazon.
Streamlight 74751 Strion LED Rechargeable Flashlight
The Streamlight 74751 Strion LED Rechargeable Flashlight comes with an IPX4 rating, meaning that it’s resistant to splashes of water: It’s less protected than the other emergency flashlights here, but good in a pinch. It has four different lighting modes, including Strobe for an emergency, and the brand says its battery will last a couple of hours (depending on the mode used) before needing to be recharged. The Streamlight comes with a 4.8-star rating from more than 3,000 reviews on Amazon.
Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.