Whether you want to go fishing, diving, camping, or for any other outdoor activity, you need a reliable waterproof flashlight all the time. Waterproof flashlights are better than the ordinary, especially when you are hundreds of miles away from home.
Further, with a good flashlight, you can cut through the dark while following the trial or send SOS signals to your friends, so it is worth it investing in a waterproof flashlight.
But do you know how to buy a flashlight? Or what to look for before buying a flashlight? Well, the performance of a flashlight depends on multiple factors such as the type of bulb, lumens, and the battery.
You need a sturdy flashlight that’s fit to use even if you take a dip into the water. So, to help you make an informed decision, we are here with this full-fledged buyer’s guide.
The guide contains multiple factors that will impact the performance of the light. Read on to get your hands on the best waterproof flashlight.
You will find a plethora of regular flashlights at an affordable rate, so why go for a waterproof one when you can get it at cheaper rates? There are numerous benefits of a waterproof flashlight that no other flashlight can offer.
Here are the benefits of buying a waterproof flashlight.
Whether you are hiking on a hot and sunny day or camping in the rains, a waterproof flashlight can be the best thing to carry. The light is good for all seasons, so that you can replace the standard flashlight with a waterproof flashlight.
They are designed to keep the water away from the innards, and the light will work fine even if you dip it into the water. No matter where you want to go, you should get a good waterproof flashlight to make things easier.
Waterproof flashlights come with a built-in signaling feature that lets you convey messages to your friends when you need help. You will also find an SOS button in most of the flashlights, so calling for help will be easy.
If you have a regular flashlight, then conveying your message will be hard in harsh weather. But a waterproof flashlight solves the purpose, and you can use it to send signals anytime and in any type of weather.
Waterproof flashlights are specially designed for the outdoors, so they have better battery life than regular torches. You can rest assured that the battery will not die while you are en route to the destination.
This is possibly one of the biggest advantages of getting a waterproof flashlight. The flashlights are highly durable and can withstand drops and impacts. In short, they are good for using outdoors where the conditions aren’t under your control.
If you want the flashlight to perform its best, then buy it based on these factors. All the factors listed here will impact the performance and durability of the flashlight, so there is no chance you can overlook them.
Let’s get started:
You should start your search with the types of waterproof flashlights. The choice of the torch depends on your requirements and budget. These flashlights are available in the following types:
Spotlights are larger or bigger in size and provide you with an excellent field of illumination. If you need a flashlight for traveling during the night or walking in the trail, then go with waterproof spotlights. These lights aren't designed for focusing but are good for illuminating a bigger area.
Tactical flashlights are smaller as compared to spotlights so that you can stash them into your pocket for added ease. They are the common military-grade flashlights that you can use for signaling and other similar purposes.
The coverage of these lights isn’t that great due to the small size. However, the beam travels to a great distance, and you can use them to navigate the route. The battery life is usually impressive, and the flashlights are designed to withstand impacts.
If you are a traveler, hiker, or climber, you should go for a tactical waterproof flashlight.
Lantern flashlights are similar to the traditional lanterns that used kerosene as fuel. The flashlights are good for hanging inside your tent. These lights come with an LED bulb for more illumination and excellent runtime on a single charge.
However, you cannot use these flashlights for signaling and for finding routes.
2-in-1 waterproof flashlights are versatile, and you can use them as tactical and spotlights. The lights can offer a 360-degree FOL (field of light), so they are good for finding the route. Also, these flashlights come with multiple features such as SOS mode and much more that make them ideal for travelers and hikers.
When buying a waterproof flashlight, it is critical to check the waterproof rating. Some lights are designed to withstand splashes of water and drizzles, while some work well even if you take a tip with the flashlight.
Manufacturers use IP-rating to determine the water-resistance of the flashlight. Here are the common IP ratings that you will come across when searching for the best waterproof flashlights.
IP67 is the highest rating that you will see when buying a waterproof flashlight. The light can withstand water up to a great extent. Further, the torch can resist the water up to 1 meter for around 30 minutes.
The flashlights are expensive and are good if you need an extremely durable flashlight.
The IP66v rating is less resistant to water than IP67. The flashlight can resist splashes of water, and you can even use them in heavy downpours. The flashlights are cheaper as compared to the IP67 models and are among the highest-selling flashlights.
The IP65 is the standard rating available in most of the waterproof flashlights. These flashlights can withstand rains and water splashes, but you cannot submerge the flashlight into water. Further, they are the cheapest among all, so you should get these flashlights if you have a tight budget.
Next comes the bulb type, which impacts the runtime of the battery and the performance of the flashlight. Most of the waterproof flashlights come with LED bulbs due to the incredible lifespan of the bulb and less battery consumption.
Waterproof flashlights with LED bulbs have an excellent lifespan as the bulb can last for around 50,000 hours without any issues. Also, the bulb consumes less battery so that you will get more runtime with the flashlight.
LED flashlights are affordable and are available in multiple types of waterproof flashlights.
Flashlights with krypton bulbs don’t have such a lifespan as compared to LED flashlights, but they offer an excellent field of light. You will get good coverage, and the bulb offers a bright illumination.
However, the battery life won’t be as good as LED lights.
After choosing the type of bulb, check the beam type of the waterproof flashlight. These flashlights come with varying beam types, so it is important to choose the right type depending on your requirements.
Waterproof flashlights with focused or spot beam type and good for focusing on a particular area. If you want the beam of light to travel to a great distance so that you get a better view, then go for flashlights with a focused beam type.
The expansion of the beam is not that good, so the area of illumination is less as compared to flood flashlights.
A waterproof flashlight with a fixed beam type offers ultimate coverage. The light will cover a huge area, and you can use its general camping activities while walking. However, the travel distance of the beam is not that good.
Some waterproof flashlights come with adjustable beam types that work as fixed or focused. You can quickly adjust the beam type using the switch available on the flashlight. These flashlights are versatile and can be used for multiple tasks.
If you are a climber, traveler, or a hiker, you should go for flashlights with an adjustable beam type. For studying the map, you can use the focused beam, and for looking at the routes, you can use the flooded beam.
Waterproof flashlights come with replaceable and rechargeable batteries. The choice of the battery should depend on your budget and preference. Here are some common battery types available with waterproof flashlights.
Waterproof flashlights with renewable batteries are good for travelers. If you don't want to carry some extra batteries, then go for flashlights with renewable batteries. You can use a solar panel or a hand crank to charge the batteries while continuing the travel.
Most affordable waterproof flashlights come with disposable batteries. The disposable batteries are available in AA or AAA size. Some flashlights even come with CR123A, but this is not a commonly found battery.
If you can carry some extra batteries, then go for flashlights with disposable batteries. You can keep using the flashlight, and there is no need to wait until it gets fully charged.
Waterproof flashlights with rechargeable batteries use an external source such as a solar panel or an external battery. There is a charging point that you can use to recharge the battery. There are several benefits of using flashlights with rechargeable batteries, such as there is reduced wastage of disposable batteries, and you don’t need to carry extra batteries.
Check the weight of the flashlight to ensure that it's not too heavy. For backpackers, every ounce counts, so you need a flashlight that is light in weight and good to hold. Flashlights made using aluminum alloy are lightweight as compared to the lights made using military-grade plastic.
Flashlights are available in different shapes and sizes, such as cylindrical and square. Some prefer cylindrical, and some prefer squarish lights. Flashlights with a cylindrical shape are good to hold, and you get a good grip over it. However, there is a downside to cylindrical flashlights that they roll down on the floor.
On the other hand, some waterproof flashlights have a squarish design that doesn't roll down and makes the flashlight sturdy. Furthermore, you will find knurled pattern and other designs on the flashlight body for added grip.
When it comes to the size of the flashlight, then make sure that it is suitable for you. The flashlight should fit in your pocket if you need it for hiking or climbing. You can even go for lights that have the size of a baton if you have a backpack to carry it.
The material of the flashlight impacts its durability and ruggedness. Waterproof flashlights are made using aluminum alloy or plastic. The flashlights made using aluminum alloy are durable and can withstand impacts if the flashlight falls down.
However, flashlights with aluminum alloy bodies are expensive. When you choose flashlights made using plastic are cheaper than aluminum alloy, but the durability isn't that great. If you are going for a flashlight made using aluminum, then choose the model that has rubber gripping over it to absorb the impacts.
Waterproof flashlights with a single mode are good for general-purpose use. But you need different modes when traveling with a flashlight. Some flashlights come with different modes that you can use to adjust the brightness of the light.
These modes will save the battery, and you can adjust the brightness if required. Also, check for SOS mode as it will let your friends or team know that you need help. When you switch on the SOS mode, then the light blinks so your team can easily understand what's going over there.
The brightness of the flashlight depends on its lumens. More lumens mean more brightness and better coverage. Flashlights with more lumens are expensive and require bigger batteries. The light's throw entirely depends on the lumen's capacity, so you should choose it wisely.
For your ease, we have classified the light output below in lumens:
Waterproof flashlights with 100 lumens are good for general-purpose use. The torch has a moderate throw of the light, so they are good for basic use only. The lights are cheap, but you cannot use them while traveling.
Flashlights with 200-500 lumens have excellent output and throw of light. The lights are good for hikers, climbers, and backpackers. For tactical tasks, you should go for waterproof flashlights with the light output ranging from 200-500 lumens
Flashlights with 1000 lumens or more are excellent for every type of task. The flashlights have the ultimate throw of light, so you get good coverage and beam distance. However, the flashlights are expensive and have bigger batteries, so you need to spend more to keep them running.
The impact resistance of the flashlight depends on multiple factors such as the material and its design. It would be great to buy a flashlight that’s highly durable so that it doesn’t break down if it falls on the ground.
The impact resistance of the flashlight depends on multiple factors such as material and the outer rubber layer. However, flashlights with good impact resistance are expensive and are good for outdoor use only.
Every waterproof flashlight has different controls such as a push-button, or side click on/off button. The choice of control depends on what you need. If you want to travel in an area with cold weather, then go for a flashlight that has a bigger control button so that you can turn it on/off without removing your gloves.
Furthermore, the flashlight should have a one-hand control so that you don’t have to use two hands to turn it on/off when buying a waterproof flashlight; read customer reviews so that you can find out how easy it is to use the flashlight.
Some waterproof flashlights come with a zoom feature so you can expand the coverage of the flashlight if required. The zoom feature isn't very common when looking for waterproof flashlights, and only a few models offer it.
Holding a flashlight in your hand can be tiring, so go for flashlights that have a built-in lanyard hole where you can attach a lanyard.
Always check the warranty before buying a flashlight so that you get good after-sales service whenever required.
After deciding which flashlight to buy, you should look at these accessories. Having these accessories by your side will help you during the trip.
With a bike mount, you can attach the flashlight on your bike’s handlebar. Go for a durable bike mount that is compatible with the handlebar of your bike.
Using a lanyard strap, you can carry the flashlight with ease. Go for a good quality lanyard and attach it with the flashlight.
With a lens filter, you can protect the lens of the flashlight from scratches and damage. Further, using a colored lens filter lets you change the color of the light.
If you are buying a flashlight with disposable batteries, then take some extra batteries so that you can replace them whenever required.
To charge the rechargeable batteries, you need a solar charger. Look for an efficient solar charger with good output to recharge the battery quickly.
A: Waterproof flashlights aren't designed for diving purposes, and if you need a flashlight for diving, go for diving lights. The maximum IP rating of a waterproof flashlight is IP68, which makes it resistant to water but isn’t good for using while diving.
A: The availability of modes depends on the flashlight you are looking for. Some manufacturers offer flashlights with up to 5 modes, whereas some offer only one mode. The choice of model depends on your preference and budget.
A: Yes, waterproof flashlights are built to withstand impacts and exposure to water. When buying a flashlight, make sure that it is made using military-grade material and is tested for impact resistance. Also, check the customer reviews to determine the durability of the light.
A: The cost of the waterproof flashlight depends on multiple factors, such as the type, model, and brand. Some waterproof flashlights are cheap, whereas some models are expensive. Make your budget before you search for a flashlight to buy it under your budget.
A: Yes, you can charge a flashlight with a solar panel. Buy an efficient solar panel that is waterproof and can charge the flashlight quickly.
A: Activating the SOS mode depends on the flashlight model you have. Some flashlights have a built-in button for the SOS mode, whereas some activate it if you press the flashlight button multiple times. To know how to activate the SOS mode, you should check the instruction manual.
A: The average life of the LED bulb can vary depending on its quality. High quality LED bulbs have a lifespan of 50,000 hours, and that's fantastic. Buy branded flashlights only so that you don’t have to replace the LED bulb.
Having a good waterproof flashlight is indispensable, especially if you are traveling or hiking. Follow this guide to buy the best flashlight by comparing different options based on the factors listed here. It would be great if you check some customer reviews before making a choice, as you will find some valuable information and pros and cons of the particular model you are planning to buy.
Lastly, check the warranty, and then you are good to go.
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