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My first exposure to a practical application of solar-powered anything was a small, red, clip-on solar flashlight. At the time, it was a novelty.

My mother gave it to me for a Christmas present in my stocking, knowing I loved camping, and could probably use a “rechargeable” flashlight I wouldn’t have to worry about.

I discovered the flashlight could be recharged if I let it sit in the sun on my window sill. I almost never used it, though, and over-charged it one summer, forgetting it in a window while I was away for a couple of weeks.

Since that time, I’ve grown to discover that solar gadgets — especially practical ones like flashlights and lanterns — are one of the best gifts you can give any outdoors person. I’ve regretted burning out that cheap little solar flashlight, but am glad for what it taught me.

Quality is important.

Solar is amazing and convenient.

It’s worth investing my time in the research to find the right solar-powered flashlight, lantern, pathway lights, or whatever else I’m investing in, rather than find a quick and cheap option.

And that’s what this article is all about.

Quick-Find Table of Best Solar Flashlights

Image Product
  • Small but powerful
  • Waterproof
  • Fast charging
  • Small but powerful
  • Waterproof
  • Fast charging
  • Highly versatile
  • 3 light modes
  • Charges devices
  • Highly versatile
  • 3 light modes
  • Charges devices
  • Multiple charging outlets
  • Runs up to 500 Watts
  • Versatile
  • Multiple charging outlets
  • Runs up to 500 Watts
  • Versatile
  • Charge lasts 25 hours on low
  • Charges devices
  • USB charging available
  • Charge lasts 25 hours on low
  • Charges devices
  • USB charging available
  • Bright 80 lumens
  • Multi-tool device
  • 2000 mAh battery
  • Bright 80 lumens
  • Multi-tool device
  • 2000 mAh battery

What is Solar Energy and How Does it Work?

Since you’re not here for a lesson in Quantum Mechanics, let me give you the short answer.

Solar energy — as applied to electricity — is the light and heat that the sun puts out each day. Photovoltaic cells — also known as solar cells — are placed somewhere that they can come into contact with this solar radiation.

That solar radiation is absorbed by the cells and then converted into usable electricity.

A solar inverter then converts that DC electricity into AC electricity that allows us to power electronic devices, recharge batteries, et cetera.

best solar flashlights

What Kinds of Solar Flashlights Are Available?

Back when solar flashlights were starting to gain popularity, they came as a one-style-fits-all sort of thing. There was a solar panel on the flashlight and light bulb that may or may not have multiple modes. Nowadays, though, there are multiple styles of flashlights you can find.

  • Standard – solar with on/off
  • Hand-crank backup – solar flashlight with a hand crankbackup for low-light days
  • Multi-purpose – flashlight and other tools
  • Pocket-sized – usually one function, plus emergency light modes
  • Clip-on – perfect for hiking and camping, built-in or separate carabiner
  • Hybrid – uses battery, USB portcharger, or solar panel to power it
  • Power bank – designed to charge your cell phone and light the way
  • Headlamp – good for hiking in challenging areas, spelunking, et cetera
  • Lantern/flashlight in one – great for hiking and camping

How to Choose the Right Solar Flashlight

Because there are so many types of flashlights and so many options within each category, it’s important to consider a couple of things while you shop for your new LED flashlight. 

Light Output

The lumens of light that your flashlight puts out tells you how bright your flashlight will be. LED lights tend to be brighter, and are more common these days, but they’re not all created equal. Lumens are a better judge of light than watts, as watts represent the amount of electricity used to light the bulb, rather than the actual brightness of the light.

To give you an idea of what you’re looking at with the lumens, the chart below tells the basic lumens for standard/well-known light sources.

  • 40 watt incandescent bulb = 450 lumens
  • 60 watt incandescent bulb = 600 lumens
  • 75 watt incandescent bulb = 1100 lumens
  • 100 watt incandescent bulb = 1600 lumens
  • 150 watt incandescent bulb = 2600 lumens

That means that your standard household 50-watt bulb is about 525 lumens of light. 

Quality of Manufacturer

As I mentioned above, the quality of the flashlight can make a huge difference in how long the flashlight lasts, and well the light holds up to rough handling.

I look for solid, high-quality materials from brands I trust to make the best solar flashlights.

Full Charge Time

Another thing to be on the lookout for is how long the solar light should take to charge. Most bright light solar flashlights will take about 6 to 8 hours to charge. Others may need as few as 4 hours, while others may even require 12.

Most manufacturers will claim a short charge time, so be sure to read actual reviews from folks who’ve purchased and tried out the flashlights to verify they really take the estimated time to fully charge.

How Long the Light Remains Bright

Of course, the charge time matters little if the light doesn’t run for very long. For emergency situations, you may need the flashlight to last all night, or for standard situations, you probably just need the light to work long enough to get you from tent to bathroom in the middle of the night.

Either way, you don’t want to have to mess with a flashlight that runs out of juice quickly.

Silhouette of person standing against night starry sky in the mountains with a lamp in hand best solar flashlight

Weight and Size of the Flashlight

Another beneficial thing to take note of in flashlights is the weight and size. If you’re planning to backpack across a wilderness, something equivalent to the old Maglight model isn’t a great choice. If you’re Michael Westen it might come in handy for a weapon, but otherwise, small, compact, and easy to access is a better idea.

I personally like the clip-on carabiner style options for hiking, the cranking backup option for standard camping, and a lantern/flashlight/multi-tool for other forms of outdoor activities like fishing.

Any Backup Charging Options

As mentioned before, solar flashlights may have a backup charging option. This could come in the form of a USB port for charging up before leaving home, a crank for backup if the solar battery dies, or a plain old rechargeable battery. Decide which way works best for your needs.

Flashlight Modes

Another important thing you may want to consider in your emergency flashlight is the various modes the light offers. Sometimes, you need just a plain light to see by, other times you may need a strobe or blinking red light to notify help of your location or a need.

Other Things to Consider

You may find flashlights have any of the following features and options. Some may be important to you while others are not.

  • Water-resistant
  • Floodlight
  • All-in-one tool options
  • Over-charge protection

Reviews of the Best Solar Flashlights

Not all flashlights are created equal…though many are. Instead of providing a list of the basics, we wanted to bring together a wide variety of flashlights that have different uses, from basic to all-in-one.

We cover the top solar-powered flashlight with a phone charger, the best solar flashlight with USB charging backups, and more.

You’ll find we’ve found the best for camping, hiking, emergencies, and more. Just take a gander and see which option is best for your particular situation.

#1. Thorfire Solar Hand Crank Flashlight Best with Handcrank Backup

Thorfire Solar Flashlight Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight review

Overall Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

For a battery-free solar option, you’ve got the handcrank Thorfire Solar Flashlight. You can charge the flashlight with the solar cells or use the handcrank to up the power.

A single minute of hand cranking should provide a full hour of battery power for the flashlight. This makes the Thorfire a great option for emergency situations when you might not keep batteries charged otherwise.

The Thorfire dynamo solar flashlight is extremely efficient with energy use, is waterpoorf and submersible up to 45 feet, with a rating of IPX6 and can take a rough handling.

This solar-powered torch only takes 2 hours to charge for enough energy to keep the light going for a solid 2+ hours.

The flashlight has 3 lighting modes: 1 LED light (low light), 3 LED lights (bright LED), and SOS mode for emergencies.

Features and specs:

  • hand crank for quick recharge
  • solar or hand crank charging
  • long battery life
  • low beam & high beam & SOS
  • 1 minutecranking lasts for 1 hour of light
  • 2 hours solar charging lasts 2+ hours of light

The flashlight only weighs 8-ounces, and is the perfect size for packing away while not being too small to handle decently.

The Thorfire comes with a 40-day money-back guarantee and has an 18-month, hassle-free warranty. Many rave about their customer service.

Due to it’s versatility and toughness, this is our top pick for peace of mind and safety.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#2. Solar Rechargeable LED Headlamp from SGODDE – Best Solar Headlamp

Solar Rechargeable LED Headlamp with Power Bank SGODDE

Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

For the spelunker and nighttime sportsman, the headlamp is a fantastic option for keeping the pathway lit. The SGODDE super bright headlamp is the number one pick of folks on Amazon, and it’s easy to see why.

This headlamp has 3 modes – high beam, low beam, and strobe – for the best lighting for any situation.

The headlamp also works as a solar power bank for recharging devices, offers up to 1150 lumens of light, and has a super easy to adjust elastic headband to guarantee a comfortable fit for just about anyone.

The headlamp is also waterproof and has a 90-degrees rotatable head to angle the light as needed for your given situation.

Talk about insane features, right?

The headlamp is primarily a solar lamp, but it can aslo be recharged via USB cable.

Features and specs:

  • USB for quick charge or backup
  • Takes 3-4 hours sunlight to charge
  • USB or solar charging
  • long battery life
  • low beam & high beam
  • 1 charge lasts for 6-8 hours on low beam
  • Bonus: works as power bank

The headlamp itself is made from aluminum alloy and ABS plastic, meaning you’ve got a high-quality, long-lasting, durable solar flashlight. But, if for any reason you have issues with it, there’s a 12-month money-back guarantee.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#3. Aeiusny Portable Generator and Flashlight Best Flashlight/Generator

Aeiusny Portable Solar Generator flashlight

Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

While an NOAA radio and flashlight is awesome in emergencies, a small generator is even better. So, if you’re looking to rank up your emergency kit, look into the Aeiusny Generator and Emergency Flashlight.

It’s a bit heftier in price, but it’s also a lot more capable of helping you deal with a deep emergency like a hurricane or isolation in the woods.

The Aeiusny offers 288Wh of power when fully charged. The generator/flashlight has multiple outlets — both AC and USB — for charging your devices, as well as for charging up at home before heading out. That means you can charge with solar energy via a solar panel, plug in at home for a full charge, or use USB charging on the go to keep the generator fully charged in the case of an emergency.

I’d also recommend this portable solar generator for an intentional power source and light source for use while camping. Instead of relying on campsites with electrical outlets, grab a solar panel, charge up ahead of time, and head out to the woods knowing you’re capable of keeping your cellphones and laptops charged for your adventures on the go.

The generator is capable of running devices up to 500 watts.

Features and specs:

  • Generator for charging devices
  • Emergency or reading light
  • long battery life
  • Capable of powering 500W devices
  • 3 standard outlets, 4 DC ports, 4 USB ports

The Aeiusny is guaranteed for twelve months and comes with full certifications. Just note that this is not a lightweight device for backpacking. The generator flashlight combo weighs just over 7-pounds.

Note: A small solar panel will be needed in addition to the generator. Solar panels are sold separately.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#4. Hybridlight Journey Solar Rechargeable LED Flashlight – Best Hybrid

Hybridlight Journey Solar Rechargeable 160 Lumen LED Waterproof Flashlight

Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

The Hybridlight Journey LED Flashlight is a great hybrid option for general use anywhere. It’s small enough that it packs easily, uses solar power to recharge, or can be charged by the included USB cable for rapid charging. It’s also deigned with indoor charging in mind via incandescent light.

Features and specs:

  • USB for quick charge
  • USB, incandescent, or solar charging
  • long battery life
  • low beam & high beam
  • 1 charge lasts for 25 hours on low beam
  • Bonus: works as a power bank

The Hybridlight is waterproof – tested for up to 3 meters – and floats, so it works if you’re hiking, camping, boating, or otherwise. The flashlight is incredibly durable and has 160 bright lumens of white light for leading the way. It’s not bright enough to comfortably read by, but bright and clear enough to safely light a path.

The flashlight has either high beam or low beam, as needed and can be stored with a charge that lasts for years between. This flashlight is ideal for emergencies for that reason alone. But it also allows you to charge your cellphone as well, in case of emergency on the trail.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#5. Blavor Solar Power Bank and Flashlight – Best Power Bank Combo

blavor solar power bank flashlight review

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

If you need a hybrid-solar powered flashlight that also charges your cellphone, this combination of a power bank and flashlight if your best bet. The Blavor Qi Portable Charger is incredibly durable and designed specifically to handle rough impacts on the hiking trail.

The Blavor Qi works as an external battery pack, solar charging power bank, and flashlight, with a compass attached. The whole thing is IPX4 splashproof, dustproof, and shockproof to handle whatever you throw at it, wherever you are.

Charge your cellphones, laptops, or other Qi-enabled devices anywhere, and then click on the power button for a flashlight that lasts for hours.

The power bank takes about 6 hours to reach full charge, and then it’s available to power your devices up to three times. The device is made of premium ABS fireproof material and comes with a 10,000 mah lithium polymer battery that lasts and lasts.

Features and specs:

  • USB for quick charge
  • USB, incandescent, or solar charging
  • long battery life
  • low beam & high beam
  • Qi-wireless charging
  • 1 6-hour solar charge will charge an iPhone8 up to 3.5 times

Blavor gives a 100% satisfaction, money-back guarantee for faulty products.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#6. Kaito KA500 Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio and Flashlight – Best All-In-One Kit

Kaito KA500 all in one flashlight solar radio crank

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

For the ultimate in preparation, you’ll want to check out the Kaito KA500 Solar/Hand Crank Radio/Flashlight/Charger/pretty much everything else.

This thing is insane and has everything you need in an emergency, from a 600 mAh rechargeable battery to use as a power bank, plus SOS alarm, radio, and flashlight.

First off, you can power this emergency gadget via three different methods: solar energy through the solar panel, AA batteries for backup, or a hand crank in case those two fail. The solar panel or hand crank are both strong enough to power this device with radio and lights running for as long as you need, but the battery backup is great for those “just in case” scenarios.

The power bank aspect of the flashlight-radio combination allows you to recharge cellphones and other devices you may need in an emergency or when you’re camping and just need to work off-the-grid.

You probably won’t get a full charge unless you’re also cranking or solar-charging, but in an emergency every little bit helps.

The device offers either a 5 LED reading light and an LED flashlight for lighting the way. While the flashlight isn’t incredibly bright compared to some others, it is bright enough to give a clear, safe path.

The light combo not only has an AM/FM radio, but the device provides you with NOAA emergency weather broadcast information.

Features and specs:

  • Hand crank for quick charging
  • Solar panel, hand crank, and AA battery backup
  • AM/FM radio
  • Power bank for charging other devices
  • Reading light & flashlight
  • NOAA emergency radio
  • SOS alarm for emergencies

Definitely has everything you need and is a super popular product to boot. Recommended.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#7. BGloRoss Solar Tactical Flashlight – Best Tactical

BGLOROSS solar powered tactical flashlight

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a solar-powered tactical flashlight, complete with safety tools and bright light, the Solar-Powered Tactical Flashlight from BGloRoss is a great option. This sucker will help you in most survival situations that need the help of tools.

The flashlight offers 3W LED lights that add up to 80 lumens of light for a brightly lit, clear pathway for up to about 200 meters’ distance.

The flashlight also provides you with a compass, safety hammer, and light flasher functions. There’s also a powerful magnet on the side of the flashlight, that allows you to stick the light to any metallic surface. This is great for working on tires on cars on the roadside at night.

The flashlight recharges via solar power, has a built-in 2000mAh battery, and charges by USB cable for quick charging ahead of your outings. There are seven modes for the light:                                                    

  • Front low light
  • High light
  • Strobe
  • Side lights – white light
  • White low light
  • Side lights – red light
  • Slow red flash

If you’re into survival camping and training, this is your best option for a solar-powered flashlight.

The specs and features:

  • 80 lumens of bright, white light
  • Solar or USB charging
  • USB, incandescent, or solar charging
  • 200-foot range
  • 7 lighting modes
  • Magnetic attachment

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#8. PrimalCamp Solar LED Clip-On Flashlight – Best for Runners and Backpackers

PrimalCamp Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable LED Flashlight

Overall Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

If you’re like me and love a good run in the dusky hours of the evening, you ought to invest in a solar-powered, clip-on flashlight.

Personally, my pick for this must-have is the PrimalCamp hand crank solar-powered LED flashlight. It’s ultra-light and super budget-friendly to begin and offers various survival functions for emergency situations.

The light uses a bright LED bulb to power the torchlight brighter than other flashlights about the same size. And if you forget to charge up before a run – I’m sure that would never happen! – you’re still good to go because the hand crank gives you 1-hour of light for every six minutes of hand cranking you do.

This flashlight is compact and extremely portable with a built-in carabiner. Some specs for you:

  • solar or crank charging
  • 6-minutes of cranking = 1 hour of light
  • long battery life
  • bright LED bulbs
  • super lightweight and compact
  • built-in carabiner

The flashlight comes with a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.    

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#9. Simpeak Hand Crank Solar-Powered Flashlight – Best Small Budget Option

Simpeak hand crank solar flashlight clip on

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Now, if you’re looking for a really inexpensive but still high-quality solar flashlight option, you’ll want to check out the hand cranking solar-powered flashlight from Simpeak.

This ergonomically, rugged-designed flashlight is great for weekend trips, tossing into your backpack – or clipping on – and using for general use anywhere in power outages or on the trail.

The flashlight has a built-in carabiner to conveniently let you clip the light onto your pack, while providing you with a hand crank for emergency charging, in case you need some torchlight unexpectedly.

1-minute of hand cranking provides about 10 minutes of light. The solar panel draws in energy anytime it’s exposed to light and provides a full charge after 6-8 hours in direct sunlight. 

Features and specs:

  • Budget-friendly
  • solar and hand crank charging
  • long battery life
  • low beam & high beam
  • Ergonomic and rugged design for endurance and comfort
  • Built-in carabiner
  • 1 minutehand cranking = 10 minutes light

The Simpeak flashlight comes with a 2-year warranty and 24-hour customer service support.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

#10. iRonsnow Solar Flashlight – Best Budget Radio/Flashlight Combo

iRonsnow Solar Emergency NOAA Weather Radio Dynamo Hand Crank Self Powered flashlight

Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

If you’re just looking for a low-budget, but good-quality emergency radio flashlight combination option, look to the iRonsnow Solar Emergency Radio Dynamo Flashlight.

It’s not quite the beast we recommended above (the Kaito KA500), but it has a strong all-in-one combination for power bank, radio, flashlight, and more, and costs half the price of the other guys.

The iRonsnow lets you charge with solar energy, hand crank or external outlet at home, whichever suits your situation. The flashlight has three powerful LED lights and weighs less than 0.5-pounds. That makes this the most compact, portable, and financially-friendliest option around.

The iRonsnow has several functions and features.

  • AM/FM radio
  • NOAA Weather radio
  • 3 LED light flashlight
  • cellphonecharger and power bank
  • hand crank, solar or AC outlet charging

All-in-all, this is your best bet for emergency power and lighting for a backpacking trip.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on <<

Best Solar Flashlight Runners Up

While these few didn’t make our top picks list, these solar rechargeable flashlights are reasonably high-quality options that many other reviewers and real-life users love.

#RU1. Running Snail Weather Emergency Flashlight and Reading Lamp

Overall Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars

The Running Snail flashlight, radio, and reading lamp is another decent option for your emergency lighting needs. Lots of real-life users love this option for camping and weather emergency situations.

>> Read More Reviews Here <<

#RU2. The Meco Hand Crank and Solar Powered Flashlight

Overall Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars

Another good hand crank, clip-on waterproof solar flashlight option is the Meco hand crank and solar power flashlight. This little flashlight is highly regarded by many users and comes with a 40-day money back guarantee.

>> Read More Reviews Here <<

Your Best Solar Flashlight is Right Here

Now that you’ve seen the tips for finding the right flashlight and a great list of the best options on the market, you’re ready to go. Be sure to check your budget, your travel and outdoor adventures plans this year, and dig through the reviews until you’ve decided on the best one for you and your family.

hikers standing in the dark with headlamp and flashlight best solar flashlight

Quick FAQs on Solar-Powered Flashlights

Do solar LED flashlights charge out of direct sunlight/cloudy days?

Yes, solar rechargeable flashlights can charge in both direct sunlight and in indirect sunlight. The key is light. Cloudy days still produce daylight, which is what is necessary for solar panel flashlights to charge.

Can you charge solar charged flashlights indoors?

Yes, you can charge solar-powered flashlights indoors. Incandescent, LED, and halogen light bulbs still produce light waves that solar panels need to charge, but they will take longer to charge the battery in most cases.

Do solar flashlight USB chargers just charge the flashlight?

You’ll notice that some of the flashlights have USB ports. Some of these are for charging the flashlight, but some have outputs as well. These outputs – such as on emergency generators and power banks – can be used to charge other devices. Verify the type of port before plugging your devices in or you may have an unpleasant surprise.

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