The Importance of Survival Flashlights
Having a source of light available in dark and unpredictable environments (e.g after a disaster or in the wild) could mean the difference between life and death. Being stuck in a survival situation without a light source is (rightfully) everyone’s nightmare. That’s the reason why a survival flashlight is one of the most important pieces of kit in your survival toolbox.
Survival flashlights come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll see everything from premium aircraft-grade aluminum flashlights that can fit in your pocket, to flashlights with 1,000 lumen output that can blind aggressors, to mechanically-powered hand cranking flashlights for emergencies. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a flashlight, you’re likely to find it on this list somewhere.
Whether you’re hunting or camping, biking, or doing DIY, it’s important to get the right kind of flashlight for your specific needs. Most survival flashlights are designed to help get you out of dangerous situations, whether they’re going to be used in wilderness situations, during urban disasters like blackouts, or even during self defense scenarios… so make sure you understand the different features various models of flashlight can offer.
Key Features to Consider For Survival Flashlights
These are some of the more important considerations you’ll want to take into account when searching for the best survival flashlight for your needs. Pay close attention – your life might depend on it!
Survival flashlights come in a range of outputs, measured in lumens. The more lumens the flashlight has, the brighter the light. Top-end flashlights have 1,000-lumen maximum outputs, while less expensive flashlights tend to top out between 300 and 500 lumens.
Most survival flashlights have more than one output mode. Most of the flashlights have three options – high, medium, and low. Some models have more output modes, and there are even options with programmable switches so you can customize your flashlight’s output.
The lower the output, the less energy required, so low-output modes are ideal for survival situations where battery life is a important consideration. Higher outputs burn through batteries but provide a powerful beam that can be used to alert others, signal for help, or blind aggressors.
The high-end survival flashlights come with glass lenses and are coated and tempered for added strength and reducing reflective glare. More budget flashlights options tend to have plastic lenses.
Top-end survival flashlights also have gasket-sealed lenses to help protect the bulbs over the long-term. This also helps to make the flashlight more dust-proof and waterproof.
Weight and strength
Keep an eye on the weight of the survival flashlight as its another feature that varies widely across the models. There’s everything out there from flashlights weighing 2 or 3 ounces, ideal for clipping to your keys or your belt, all the way up to flashlights that weigh over a pound. Some of these flashlights are designed with the idea that they might be used as batons in self defense as well so they can have some heft.
High-end survival flashlights are made from aircraft-grade aluminum or other similar super-durable materials, giving them strength while also keeping them nice and lightweight. Less premium flashlights tend to rely on plastic to keep their weight down, but this compromises the strength, just something to keep in mind.
Compact or heavy-duty
Some of the flashlights you’ll see can easily fit in your pocket. Others are more suitable for keeping in your car/truckor in the cupboard under the sink.
Keep an eye on the overall dimensions of the flashlights, because they vary drastically in size and design, from compact, pocket-size flashlights to big and bulky, heavy-duty flashlights.
Most of the flashlights on the list are battery-powered. Some use a single AA battery, while others use two CR123A lithium-ion batteries.
Some survival flashlights come with rechargeable batteries, USB chargers, and recharging kits while with others, the batteries are not included.
Some survival flashlights come with added features. You’ll see a few flashlights with pocket clips and nylon pouches, while others come with strike bezels for breaking glass and self-defense.
Some flashlights have textured non-slip grips. There are also some survival flashlights that come with great warranties, so read the fine print!
The 8 Best Survival Flashlights: Our Recommended Flashlights for 2020
Check out these top 8 survival flashlights out there. We’ve included a wide range of designs, features, and price points, and we’re sure that one of them will be the perfect flashlight for your specific survival (or other) needs.
Best Survival Flashlight Buyer’s Guide
There’s a huge range of options when it comes to finding the right survival flashlight for you. At first, you might think that ‘a flashlight if a flashlight’ – but once you start comparing specifications, features lists, and price points, the choice gets harder and harder.
Don’t stress, though. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help find the right survival flashlight for your needs. What are you going to use it for, what’s your budget? Does it need to be compact or heavy-duty?
Take a look at these useful buyer’s guide questions to help identify the best survival flashlight.
What’s your survival flashlight for?
If you’re buying a survival flashlight for a long-distance hiking and camping trip, you’re going to want a very different type of flashlight to the one you’d get for keeping in your basement for emergencies.
If you’re looking to buy half a dozen inexpensive survival flashlights to scatter around your house, garage, and vehicles, then you’ll probably end up buying a different one than if it’s your primary flashlight on a hunting trip.
Try to think about how you’re actually going to use your survival flashlight to help determine which one is right for you.
As you’ve seen, there’s a decent range out outputs when it comes to survival flashlights. While a 100-lumen output is enough to read a map and light up a trail at night, if you want a survival flashlight for signaling or self-defense, you’ll want a higher maximum output.
The high-end survival flashlights have between 500 and 1,000-lumens maximum output. If you need a survival flashlight for self-defense, make sure you check the brightness of the flashlight or its maximum lumen output.
What’s your budget?
The prices of survival flashlights vary greatly. There are some on the list that are cheap enough to not worry much about. There are also some that are worthwhile investments. It might look like they cost a lot, but if it’s your primary flashlight for self-defense or survival, then is a hundred bucks really that much?
Let your intended use dictate your flashlight’s price. If you’re buying it to use once a year on a family camping trip, you probably don’t need a premium flashlight. If your life might depend on it, you might want to splash out a little.
Lightweight or heavy-duty?
If you want to be able to fit your survival flashlight in your pocket or on your belt, make sure you look for a compact survival flashlight. These tend to be less than 5 inches long and weigh less than 4 ounces.
On the other hand, if you’re going to keep it in the back of your truck or in your garage, then you can afford to get a big and bulky heavy-duty flashlight.
Whatever the reason you’re getting a survival flashlight, hopefully now you’ve got a much better idea of which is the right flashlight for you. There’s a good range of options in this list of our 8 favorite survival flashlights, so there should definitely be something in here that will work well for you.