Best torch 2022: from LED flashlights to rechargeable torches

Get the best torch for your after-dark adventures, whether you're off camping, night hiking, walking the dog in the evening or finding your way in a power cut

best torch: Person walking through a field in the dark with a torch
(Image credit: Pexels/Wendelin Jacober)

Are you fumbling around looking for the best torch or the finest flashlight? We're here to help shine a light on the models that most suit your needs. Having a decent torch to hand can be helpful in all kind of situations, from camp outs to evening dog walks and unexpected power cuts. But it's easy to get suckered into buying an attractive-looking option that turns out to deliver a sub-standard glow and burn through batteries at a rate of knots. To save you from that situation, we've gathered together this guide to the best torches on the market right now.

What you should be looking for depends on what you mostly expect to be doing with your torch. Consider, do you just need a basic pocket torch to keep around so you can find the fuse box if the power fails? Or do you need something more robust and even waterproof to take with you on camping adventures? Modern torches offer a variety of beam options and lighting modes – how many of those do you really need? And do you want a battery-powered torch or one that you can plug in to recharge? Whatever your requirements, you'll find what you need below, and if you need more buying advice, head to the bottom of the article for our tips. 

Before we start, you should also check that it's definitely a torch that you want. If you're looking for something to illuminate a large area, you'd be better off picking up one of the best camping lanterns (these will create wide arcs of light), and if you need to go hands-free, try our guide to the best head torches. Otherwise, head down for a selection of the best torches to sling into your hiking backpack, kitchen drawer, car or campervan glove compartment, to ensure you're never left in the dark. 

The best torch 2022 ranking

Olight S2R Baton II torchT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Olight )

1. Olight S2R Baton II

The best torch for walking in the dark and general outdoors use

Specifications

Weight: 98.5g
Max lumens: 1150
Waterproof rating: IPX8
Operating modes: 5 brightness outputs, strobe
Beam range: 135m
Power: Rechargeable
Runtime: Up to 60 days

Reasons to buy

+
Up to 1150 lumens
+
Battery life indicator
+
Multiple lighting modes
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Mode switching can be tricky

Olight is a serious name in the world of flashlights, and the best torch right now is the Olight S2R Baton II. This compact flashlight is a great all-rounder, offering five different levels of brightness – the maximum being 1,050 lumens, which is plenty bright enough for illuminating your path outside at night and for shining a light on specific areas. It comes with a rechargeable lithium battery, and a traffic-light indicator so you'll never be caught running out of juice unexpectedly. This design is rugged enough for pretty much anything you'd throw at it on an outdoor adventure. It's waterproof (rated to IPX8), and Olight promises you can drop it from up to 1.5m without breaking it. Finally, there's a dual pocket clip that you can use to attach it to whatever you want to, for easy-access storage or when you want to go hands-free. 

MAGLITE ML150LRX RECHARGEABLE LED TORCHT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Maglite)

2. Maglite ML150LRX rechargeable LED torch

The best premium torch

Specifications

Weight: 794g (including batteries)
Max lumens: 1082
Waterproof rating: IPX4
Operating mode: High / Low / Eco / Momentary / Strobe
Beam range: Up to 458m
Power: Rechargeable
Runtime: Up to 79 hours (eco mode)

Reasons to buy

+
One of the toughest torches available
+
Incredibly powerful beam

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most waterproof

We know what you're thinking – if you're going to spend this much on a torch, you'll want serious bang for your buck. Luckily, that's exactly what you get with the Maglite ML150LRX, which throws out a whopping 1,082 lumens, a compact design, and a beam range of 458 metres – plus a highly sought after five-star rating from the US National Tactical Officer's Association. If you have a bigger budget, this could well be the best flashlight for you. 

The matte black finish makes this one of the more stylish torches on the market, and it's also incredibly easy to charge – you'll need just 30 minutes to boost it to 80 per cent power. We're also fans of the brilliant charging cradle (which can be used with the included the 12 V car adaptor), which hugs the torch tightly even when upside down, so you can continue to power up whether you're bouncing around in the back of a safari jeep or hunkering down in a remote mountain refuge. The icing on the cake is a 10-year warranty and an ultra-rugged exterior made from high-strength aircraft aluminium. One slight downside here is the water resistance rating – this is IPX4, which means it'll be resistant to water splashes from any direction, but won't withstand a sustained spray.

RovyVon E3 Angel Eyes torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)
A tiny torch that punches well above its weight

Specifications

Weight: 32g
Max lumens: 700
Waterproof rating: IPX7
Operating mode: Moonlight / Low / Medium / High / Strobe
Beam range: 70m
Power: built-in Lipo battery (USB-C) / AAA battery
Runtime: Up to 54 hours (Moonlight mode)

Reasons to buy

+
Really small and light
+
Dual power sources

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 700 lumens available
-
Easy to lose

The RovyVon E3 Angel Eyes might not look like much – it's absolutely tiny and weighs next to nothing – but if you don't need a full-size torch spitting out a ton of lumens, it could well be the best torch for you. It's small enough to clip onto a keyring, and its dual LEDs can go up to 700 lumens, making it ideal for casual use or as a super-lightweight travel companion. As well as dual LEDs it also has dual power sources; there's a built-in LiPo battery, as well as a slot for an AAA battery, and while neither will last very long in full power mode, you can squeeze a good few days' use out of them on lower brightness levels. 

It's easy to switch between lighting modes, and you can set it to memorise the light mode you're on, so it'll default to that next time you switch on. It's also impressively waterproof and solidly built; in short this is a versatile and affordable torch for anyone who doesn't want to lug a heavyweight model around. Get all the facts in our RovyVon E3 Angel Eyes torch review.

Ledlenser MT14 torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ledlenser)

4. Ledlenser MT14

A compact, premium torch for big adventures

Specifications

Weight: 253g (including battery)
Max lumens: 1000
Waterproof rating: Not stated
Operating mode: Power, Mid-Power, Low Power, Strobe
Beam range: 320m
Power: Rechargeable (USB)
Runtime: Up to 192 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and robust
+
Four light modes
+
Advanced focus system

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium pricing

Pitched as a robust and powerful outdoor torch for backpackers and adventurers, the Ledlenser MT14 is a compact, premium offering that provides better illumination than its 1,000 lumens might suggest. The secret's in Ledlenser's own optics technology, which optimises the light delivered, from flood to spot, to give you a clean, uniform light that's brighter than you might get from other torches with a higher lumen rating. Ledlenser's Smart Light Technology ensures you can easily get exactly the beam you require in any situation, and with four light functions, a maximum range of 320m and a long running time, it's definitely one to consider if you're heading out into the wilds for a few nights.

Nebo Big Larry 2 torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nebo)
A versatile wand-style magnetic torch

Specifications

Weight: 204g
Max lumens: 500
Waterproof rating: Not stated ("water resistant")
Beam range: Up to 75m
Power: 3 x AA batteries
Runtime: Up to 20 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Can be attached to anything magnetic
+
Steel clip and magnetic base for hands-free lighting
+
Impact resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life

The Nebo Big Larry 2 is built with workshops in mind, but we think this versatile wand-style flashlight will come in handy in a whole range of situations. As well as a clip that means it can be used like a pen torch, it includes a magnetic spot that enables you to attach it to metal surfaces to illuminate the area hands-free. The not-actually-that-big anodized aircraft-grade aluminium body is water- and impact-resistant so should withstand a fair amount of wear and tear. Unlike most flashlights, Big Larry's main light is on its side, and there are four light modes to choose from: Top Light (200 lumens), Work Light (500 lumens), Red Light (40 lumens) and Red Hazard Flasher. Head to our full Nebo Big Larry 2 review for more info.

Acebeam Titanium Rider RX torch

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)
A rugged little torch with an impressively original design

Specifications

Weight: 69.5g
Max lumens: 650
Waterproof rating: IPX4
Beam range: 96m
Power: USB-C rechargeable AA battery
Runtime: Up to 7 days

Reasons to buy

+
Rechargeable AA battery
+
Unique 'slide' design
+
Titanium shell

Reasons to avoid

-
60 minutes high brightness mode
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No red light mode

It's not often you see a torch with a thoroughly original design, but that's what you get with the Acebeam Rider RX. It features a mechanism that enables you to snap the tail switch in and out of the titanium chassis, making it near-impossible to turn it on by mistake when it's stowed, and also enabling you to stand it on its end when you need to. It's not the brightest torch of the lot, with a maximum of 650 lumens available, but it's perfect for casual use. Power comes via an AA battery; it also comes with a Li-ion rechargeable AA, but it'll also take most other AAs, so you can pop in a replacement when you run out of charge. The Acebeam Rider RX is pretty waterproof and rugged, too, and its tail switch mechanism also doubles as a belt clip. In all a versatile and tough little torch, but not necessarily one you'd want to rely upon for extreme outdoor adventures. Head to our full Acebeam Rider RX torch review for more info. 

Olight SR1 Baton II Mini TorchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Olight)

7. Olight SR1 Baton II Mini Torch

The best torch for festivals, camping and hiking

Specifications

Weight: 51g
Max lumens: 1,000
Waterproof rating: IPX8 (2m)
Beam range: 145 meters
Power: Rechargeable
Runtime: 37 minutes (Level 1 mode) to 8 days (Level 5)

Reasons to buy

+
Super-dinky
+
Ultra-bright for its size
+
Easy grip body

Reasons to avoid

-
Easy to misplace

Next up in our best flashlight ranking is a particularly compact option. When you first hold this mini flashlight in your hand, you’ll have a hard time believing it can throw out as much light as it does. Well, we’ve used the S1R II Baton when camping and walking at night and can testify as to how bright it is – 1,000 lumens at full whack. The light beam is precise too, stretching out to a maximum distance of 145 meters, which is ample when you’re traipsing to the toilet block at night or coming down from the trail after dark. It’s very lightweight too, and is easy to grip, thanks to a texturised ‘milled’ body, even if you’ve built up an admirable sweat adventuring. 

Olight’s rechargeable mini light is the perfect pocket torch for when you need to keep pack weight down yet still require a powerful light source for a variety of scenarios. It comes with a removable stainless steel clip, so you could attach it to belt, jacket or the outside of your backpack for fast retrieval.

Duronic Hurricane LED torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Duronic)

8. Duronic Hurricane LED torch

The best budget torch

Specifications

Weight: 322g
Max lumens: Not stated
Waterproof rating: Not stated
Operating mode: Continuous, SOS red flashing
Beam range: Not stated
Power: Rechargeable (crank or USB)
Runtime: 5.5 hrs (torch); 2 hours (lantern)

Reasons to buy

+
A wind-up option ensures the lights stay on
+
Tough, with a chunky, non-slip handle

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most powerful light

The best budget torch around is the Duronic Hurricane LED torch. It offers an impressive range of features for such a low price tag: short of inflating your air bed or helping put up your tent, this torch can does pretty much everything. To start with, it's not only a handheld torch but a powerful lantern, thanks to transparent sides and a sturdy handle that allows it to be dangled from hooks, branches or tent poles. There's no chance of the lights going out, either – charge it quickly via its USB port or simply crank the handle for emergency lighting. One minute of cranking will give you 15 minutes of light – more than enough time for that dash to the toilet or a quick wildlife-spotting foray into the woods. You can also use the torch to charge your iPhone, and the beacon setting, which produces an incredibly bright, red flashing light, offers peace of mind if you're concerned about a camping-related calamity. 

Alflash Rechargeable LED Floodlight TorchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Alflash)

9. Alflash Rechargeable LED Floodlight Torch

A 7,000 lumen beast for when you need to turn darkness into daylight

Specifications

Weight: 699g
Max lumens: 7,000
Waterproof rating: IPX4
Beam range: 800 meters
Power: rechargeable
Runtime: 8 (High mode) to 16 hours (Low mode)

Reasons to buy

+
Insanely bright in High Mode
+
Rain-proof (splash-proof)
+
Shock-proof

Reasons to avoid

-
Possibly too many lighting options

At those times when only the widest, brightest source of light will do, draft in this affordable yet heavy duty portable floodlight torch. It generates up to 7,000 lumens, which pretty much turns darkness into daylight at the flick of a switch. So if you’re searching for something outdoors at night, this is the torch to help you find it.

The Alflash Rechargeable LED Floodlight Torch has a beam range of up to 800 meters, so not much will escape its bright glare. And it’s splash-proof, so you’ll be able to use it in the rain. Because it’s made of an aluminium alloy, it’s also shock-proof and able to withstand being thrown in the back of a truck or van. You won’t always need to use its super-bright flashlight mode, of course, which is why there are four other lighting modes to explore too. Keep it juiced via the including USB rechargeable power bank, which can also power up your phone in an emergency. Torch shoulder strap included.

Lifesystems Intensity 370 LED hand torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Lifesystems)
A bright and versatile all-rounder with five light modes

Specifications

Weight: 150g
Max lumens: 370
Waterproof rating: IPX6
Power: 2x AA batteries
Runtime: Up to 60 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Small but bright
+
Adjustable beam width
+
Healthy battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Not rechargeable
-
Lacks grip on body

If you’re after a small but affordable torch that packs a punch, the Lifesystems Intensity 370 LED hand torch could light up your life. It’s armed with a 370 lumens LED bulb, but it’s what it does with it that’s impressive. The beam can be narrowed and widened for different uses, and when concentrated it becomes very bright – able to light up subjects from well over 100ft away. There are also five handy brightness modes, including a flashing SOS mode for safety. The slim build is very pocketable and easy to hold (although we would ideally like some more grip on the handle), and it's water resistant too. This torch is battery powered and non-rechargeable, which might be a pro or a con depending on what you need it for. Head to our Life Systems Intensity 370 Hand Torch review for more info.

Maglite RL4019 Mag Charger LED TorchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Maglite)

11. Maglite RL4019 Mag Charger LED Torch

The best flashlight for stashing in your campervan or garage

Specifications

Weight: 454g
Max lumens: 643
Waterproof rating: IPX4
Beam range: 178 meters
Power: Rechargeable
Runtime: 4 hours (High mode) to 37 hours (Eco)

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable beam
+
Power saving Eco mode
+
Drop- and water-resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Not waterproof

If you're looking for a do-all flashlight to keep in your campervan, trailer or even around the house when you’re back from your latest camping trip, look to this heritage torch brand and its classic Mag Charger LED Torch. Using the Quick-Click settings system you can easily 'click' (cycle) between modes: Full Power (643 lumens; 4 hours), Low Power (148 lumens; 17 hours) or Eco Mode (66 lumens; 37 hours). The latter boosts the torch’s runtime to 37 hours per charge. This Maglite classic has a generous beam range of 407 meters, enabling you to see a greater distance in front of you, and with its rugged hard anodised finish, and it has an IPX rating of 4, which means it's resistant to light showers.

Ambertech 10000 torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ambertech)

12. Ambertech 10000 torch

A big, bright torch ideal for storing in the car

Specifications

Weight: 771g (including battery)
Max lumens: 10,000
Waterproof rating: IPX4
Power: rechargeable
Runtime: 24 hours (Strong mode) to 60 hours days (SOS flash mode)

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, focused beam
+
USB charging

Reasons to avoid

-
10,000 lumens seems questionable

If only a big, reliable light will do, the best flashlight for you might be the Ambertech 10000. It’s chunky, for sure, but that’s because inside is a mighty 15,000mAh battery that works for 24 hours straight in ‘strong’ light mode. Take that down a notch to ‘weak’ mode and it goes for up to 50 hours, while in SOS flash-light mode it still reaches 60 hours. However, there’s more to the Ambertech 10000 than those three brightness levels. It’s rated at IPX4 water resistance, it comes with a handy shoulder strap, and its six built-in rechargeable batteries can be easily topped-up via a USB cable. All of those are a bonus, however, to its core capability of illuminating from long distance. It claims that it can light up something 1,000m away are likely fantasy, but it certainly uses its lumens well in a bright, focused beam. 

How to choose the best torch for you

The best torch for you will depend on your demands, but there’s plenty of choice for those that want to upgrade from their smartphone’s weak and weedy flashlight. For example, a keyring flashlight is ideal for stashing in a bag so that you always have a half-decent source of emergency light to hand. For those willing to travel with a little more bulk, compact torches are small enough for stashing in camping kit bags and hiking backpacks. What’s more, they can pump out a lot of brightness.

For those who work outdoors and need to create an intense beam of light quickly to locate someone or something, look for a portable floodlight or a tactical torch, both of which will have a super-high lumens count for maximum brightness. The latter will be easy to attach to your clothing or bag too.

The rechargeable flashlights in our best torches list cost more than battery-operated models, but this higher cost will pay handsomely in the long run. Not only will they prevent you from constantly having to shell-out for new batteries, but you will contribute less to landfill. 

Torches come in a variety of sizes, from chunky handheld floodlights to dinky keyring lights. Beam strength ranges from 10 to 7,000+ lumens, depending on the type of torch you buy, though anything over 150 lumens offers a decent level of brightness. 

For outdoor adventures where you need to clearly see where you’re stepping in the dark, especially on trails and in remote rural areas, pack a torch that has 800+ lumens and ideally a range of modes including SOS or Strobe. Security guards and other outdoors workers would do well with tactical torches dishing out 1,500+ lumens, which quickly light up even the darkest areas. 

Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.


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