Best torch 2023: light your way in the darkness

Get the best torch for camping, night hiking, walking the dog 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)
Best torch 2023: Quick links

00. Top 3↴
01. Best overall: Olight S2R Baton II
02. Best premium: Maglite ML150LRX
03. Best compact: RovyVon E3 Angel Eyes
04. Best magnetic: Nebo Big Larry 2
05. Best rugged: Acebeam Rider RX
06. Best for festivals: Olight SR1 Baton II Mini
07. Best budget: Duronic Hurricane
08. Best for light output: Acebeam X75
09. Best for camping: Life Systems Intensity 370

The best torch to hand is essential in all kinds of situations, from camping trips and impromptu nocturnal hikes to evening dog walks and unexpected power cuts. But it's easy to get suckered into buying a good-looking option that turns out to deliver a sub-standard glow and burns through batteries faster than you can afford to replace them. To help you avoid these traps, we've compiled this guide to the best torches available.

What constitutes the 'best torch' depends on what you most expect to be doing with it. Do you 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 waterproof to take with you on camping adventures? Modern torches offer various beam options and lighting modes – how many of those do you really need? And do you want a battery-powered torch or one you can plug in to recharge?

Before we start, you should also check that it's the torch 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.  

Matt Kollat T3
Matt Kollat

The days might be getting shorter, but the weather is still more than pleasant enough for camping, so investing in a good torch feels almost necessary. On the below list, you'll find everything from tiny torches you can clip on your bag to max-output handheld monsters – choose wisely!

The Top 3

The best torch to buy right now

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Best overall

Olight S2R Baton II torchT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Olight )

1. Olight S2R Baton II

Best torch overall


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

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. 

Best premium


(Image credit: Maglite)

2. Maglite ML150LRX rechargeable LED torch

Best premium torch


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 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.

Best compact

RovyVon E3 Angel Eyes torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)
Best compact torch


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 the 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.

Best magnetic

Nebo Big Larry 2 torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nebo)
Best magnetic torch


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.

Best rugged

Acebeam Titanium Rider RX torch

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)
Best rugged torch


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
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. 

Best for festivals

Olight SR1 Baton II Mini TorchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Olight)

6. Olight SR1 Baton II Mini Torch

Best torch for festivals


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

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.

Best budget

Duronic Hurricane LED torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Duronic)

7. Duronic Hurricane LED torch

Best budget torch


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. 

Best for light output

AceBeam X75T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

8. AceBeam X75 Power Bank Flashlight review

Best torch for max light output


Weight: 1,303g / 2lb 14oz
Max lumens: 80,000 lumens (Turbo) 23,000 lumens (High)
Waterproof rating: IP68
Beam range: TBC
Power: Built-in 4 x Rechargeable Li-ion 21700 Battery Pack
Runtime: Up to 8h 20min (in Ultra-Low setting)

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

Possibly too many lighting options

The AceBeam X75 is an indisputably impressive piece of kit. The build quality is near-enough bombproof, and if you’re prone to watching the news while making mental adjustments to the layout of your Armageddon shelter, then this is the torch for you. But it’s also a handy – albeit expensive – tool for all sorts of people, from outdoor enthusiasts, volunteers and professionals such as rangers, to regular outback travellers and security staff.

The super high-lumen beam settings are what grab people’s attention when looking at this torch, but the vast majority of usage for everyone is likely to be with the mid-range settings on, and the brightness and battery life on these settings is good. Its alter ego as a portable power bank is also really useful, providing you have the right connections to take advantage of it.

Read our full AceBeam X75 Power Bank Flashlight review.

Best for camping

Lifesystems Intensity 370 LED hand torchT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Lifesystems)
Best torch for camping


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.

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, quickly lighting up even the darkest areas. 

Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).

With contributions from