What is the Best Survival Flashlight - Buying Guide (2023) (2024)

Lebote Car Flashlight Solar Power Tactical Flashlight

What is the Best Survival Flashlight - Buying Guide (2023) (1)

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I haven’t come across a flashlight quite like this one from Lebote. It’s a multi function zoomable flashlight which is fairly unique in design with a number of added features that make it an ideal choice to carry inside your vehicle.

Features

This really is the “Swiss Army Knife” of all flashlights. Safety features include a power bank, solar cells, an audible alarm, plus a number of other very useful additions which we’ll take a look at now.

Safety Features

Safety features include a safety hammer for use as a window breaker to gain entry or escape from a vehicle if trapped inside. There’s also a seat belt cutter which cuts through belt webbing with ease.

The body of the flashlight houses a number of solar cells to charge the internal battery that comes supplied. Plus 3 rows of T2828 LED’s which operate as side lights. The side light has red / blue flash modes as well as a standard white light flood mode.

Using the magnetic head of the flashlight allows you to attach to the back of a vehicle. The flash modes can then be used as hazard warning lights at the roadside.

In fact, the magnet has a whole load of applications if you’ve stopped by a road. Use it under the hood to inspect the engine or attach it to the car bodywork to change a wheel as some examples.

To round off the safety features, there’s a 120DB warning alarm horn to attract attention if you’ve strayed off the main highway for any reason.

Flashlight Performance

Let’s now take a look at the actual flashlight itself, as illumination is the main purpose of this piece of kit.

The 500 lumen main flashlight is zoomable. So you can adjust the beam to have a very wide spill or a tightly focused beam with a hot spot.

Illumination at the front end is provided by Cree Q5 LEDs. These are an older type of LED but they still provide a lot of output without being too power hungry.

The reflector is smooth in texture, enabling more throw to the beam. At maximum zoom a distance of 700 feet is achievable.

Rechargeable Battery

The internal rechargeable battery is rated at 2000 mAh which may be charged using the supplied USB lead or the solar cells housed on the body of the unit itself.

The battery also doubles up as a power bank, so you can charge your smartphone or any USB device from the battery as well.

Lastly, at the tail end of the flashlight is a basic compass which is a nice addition and may be useful in a pinch.

Runtimes

There’s 4 output modes with runtimes from 4 to 6 hours for the main flashlight. Runtimes for the side white lamp (4-7hrs) on high and medium setting. Side color lights (6-7hrs) with red and blue flash.

Summary

The Lebote makes an ideal flashlight to carry inside a vehicle with all it’s safety features. Find a spot to attach it to the B pillar using the magnetic head and it’s there for when you need it.

The side lights along with the magnetic head provide a lot of options. Place it at the back of your vehicle with the red beacons flashing or use it to illuminate an area for emergency maintenance.

Having the power bank there as backup is a nice addition. It gives you peace of mind that you’ll be able to keep your smartphone powered for longer.

As a flashlight, the Lebote performs very well. The zoom gives plenty of throw for walking alongside a road if you’re stranded, plus it can be used for close up work on say, a flat tire or general maintenance.

The Lebote comes with a warranty from the factory. At this price point for a zoomable safety flashlight it does offer very good value and is certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a flashlight to carry in the vehicle.

Olight H1R Rechargeable Flashlight

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This Olight model is my bug out bag flashlight of choice and I’ll go into the reasons why I think it makes a great all round flashlight if you’re in a survival situation when it’s time to head for the mountains and sit it out.

The H1R is a right angle design headlamp, if you don’t like right angle type flashlights then an alternative flashlight for a bug out bag would be the WowTac AS1 which I’ll review as my EDC choice for survival later in this article.

Features

If you’re looking for an all round utility flashlight for around camp, survival situation, hiking and a whole load of other applications this flashlight has them all pretty much covered, unless you’re looking to use it as a main search and rescue flashlight.

As a complete package the flashlight comes with

  • Nylon Headband with Silicon Mount650mAh
  • Lithium Ion 16340 (RCR123A) Battery
  • Stainless Steel Pocket Clip
  • Magnetic Charging CableEdisonBright
  • CR123A non-rechargeable back-up battery
  • Carrying Pouch

Durability

Taking a look at the FS1 Standard table you’ll see that it’s IPX8 rated which means it’s waterproof up to 2 metres so you can go swimming with it and there’s no worries about water ingress while out in the woods.

The body is machined from black anodised aluminium making it very lightweight at around 51 grams including the battery. Drop test rating of 1.5 metres is more than tough enough for “bug out bag”, pocket light, clip to a rucksack type application.

Flashlight Performance

What makes this such an ideal utility flashlight is the number of modes available, 5 in total. From Turbo at 600 lumen output, down to just a 2 lumen output providing moonlight which is ideal for spending time sitting around camp.

The maximum beam is rated at 72 metres, so expect a useful 35 metre throw from the Cree XM-L2 LED. Plenty enough for route planning ahead in pitch dark environments while hiking to a safe area.

The optics give a nice wide beam pattern which is a compromise between a tactical tight beam and a super wide spill. Again, this makes it a great all round utility flashlight for use in wilderness survival.

Batteries

As part of the package you get 2 batteries. The 650mAh Lithium-Ion (RCR123A) plus a standard CR123A non-rechargeable battery.

The lithium Ion battery is charged using the supplied magnetic charging cable, I know some folk aren’t keen on this typical to Olight way of charging.

In practice the charging system works well. It doesn’t have the flexibility of using a standard micro USB lead which if you’re like me have a tonne lying around the place. So it’s best not to lose it in this case.

Battery performance is long lasting across the 5 various modes as the runtimes show which we’ll take a look at now.

Runtimes

In 600 lumen turbo mode like almost all modern flashlights after 3 minutes it switches down to a lower output. In this case 180 lumens. Expect to see around 80 to 100 minutes runtime at this illumination.

It’s the lower outputs that have quite impressive runtimes. Moonlight at 2 lumens expect to see up to 6 days runtime. 15 lumens which is the most used mode around camp you’ll see 20 hours from a single charge.

Remember this package does come with a spare standard battery too.

Summary

As a complete package utility flashlight the Olight H1R is hard to match. It comes with everything you need for almost all applications.

The nylon headband is comfortable to wear and the head rotates 180 degrees which is a really nice feature for use in hiking, fishing, rock climbing amongst others.

High durability coupled with great runtimes over a practical range of modes make this definitely one to consider as a bug out bag flashlight of choice to help survive anything thrown your way.

Olight provides a 5 year warranty included in the purchase price.

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Streamlight Survivor Flashlight

What is the Best Survival Flashlight - Buying Guide (2023) (5)

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Streamlight Survivor is the firefighters flashlight of choice. This makes it ideal for use in urban situations where you need to escape from buildings and enclosed spaces.

The right angle designed housing comes in a choice of 3 colors, black, orange and yellow. It’s made from high impact tough nylon with O ring seals. The lexan lens is covered with silicone anti scratch resistance making this one of the toughest lens configurations of any flashlight on the market.

Features

This is a no frills flashlight which is designed to cut through smoke inside a building, this makes it an ideal choice for search and rescue in an urban environment.

It also makes a great backup light source during a power outage at home due to its long runtime in moonlight mode.

At the top of the case is a large rubber dome button interface that’s easy to locate with gloves on. The metal D ring and spring loaded rear clip provides various ways to attach to webbing or a rucksack.

In terms of durability the Survivor is IPX4 rated water resistant with an impact resistance of 2 metres.

Flashlight Performance

There’s 4 output modes operated by the single push button, high, low, flashing and moonlight mode using C4 LEDs.

The high mode is 175 lumens that throws out a beam to a distance of 237 metres at a massive 41,000 candela which is immense. The beam is fairly narrow with an intense hot spot that gives a lot of range.

Batteries

The flashlight is powered by 4 x AA batteries placed in a cradle that slots into the base of the housing. You can use alkaline, rechargeable or lithium in this instance.

Runtimes

The runtimes are impressive, which make it ideal for extended periods without any other source of illumination.

Expect up to 4 hours runtime at high output, 13 – 15 hours at the 60 lumen low mode and a runtime of 20 days in moonlight mode which is plenty enough to light a single room in a survival situation.

Summary

As a flashlight to have around the house in case of an emergency, the Survivor makes a great choice.

The long runtimes, readily available AA battery power and powerful beam give you confidence that you’re going to be able to illuminate any situation that you get caught up in.

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

WowTac A1S - 1150 Lumen LED Flashlight

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WowTac [1] is a subdivision of the ThruNite flashlight brand. Don’t let that put you off, this “budget” flashlight still has a high quality machine finish which is almost indestructible.

This is my EDC flashlight of choice, the one I’d have in my pocket if I suddenly found myself having to survive for any reason without prior warning.

Features

The A1S comes in a complete package:

  • 3400mAh rechargeable battery
  • spare o-ring
  • USB charging cable
  • Pocket clip

The A1S has 2 user interfaces (UI), a raised side switch which is easy to locate with your finger, plus a tail switch for tactical use.

The body of the housing has plenty of knurling for added grip when wearing gloves. The front end has machined heat sinks to allow for heat dissipation in some of the higher output modes.

Overall, the finish is high quality for a budget flashlight. In terms of durability the waterproof rating is IPX7 to 1 metre and drop tested to 1.5 metres.

Flashlight Performance

6 output mode lighting modes are cycled through from either user interface (UI) at the tail or at the side of the barrel housing. 1150 lumen Turbo mode is selected by a double click.

As well as the usual high, medium and low modes, the A1S also has strobe, plus an SOS mode which is handy in a survival situation.

Maximum beam distance in turbo mode is 277 metres which is very impressive for such a small tactical flashlight.

Overall, the beam is more about the throw, but it does have a reasonably good flood tapering off the hot spot.

Battery

The battery is WowTac’s own model with 3400mAh capacity at 8 amps and has a protected cell at the front. This is a very good battery to be included at this price point.

To charge the battery you unscrew the barrel either at the head or tail. The battery itself has a USB charge port with a red and green LED to indicate status.

Runtimes

With such a high battery capacity you’re going to see some impressive runtimes that’s for sure.

In turbo mode the runtime is up to 3 hours which is super impressive, far more than you’d need for most real world applications.

At the other end of the scale, the lowest mode at 24 lumens the runtime is up to 6 days, again this is very impressive as this is the most common mode for general use when static.

Summary

There are better tactical flashlights out there, but for this price point the A1S is hard to match.

The performance of the front end, plus the super durable housing make this an ideal EDC flashlight.

I’d suggest the Olight H1R if you’re looking for more of a utility flashlight in comparison. The A1S here is more of a cross between a utility and a tactical flashlight in my view.

This WowTac does come with a manufacturers warranty where you have to pay for parts and shipping, so bear that in mind.

However if you take a look on YouTube you’ll see some extreme durability tests some folk put the A1S through and it stands up to them all with ease.

It’s fair to say the WowTac A1S is a rock solid flashlight that fits in your pocket making it an ideal everyday carry choice.

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