It’s time to brighten up your day and your night too! No emergency kit is ever complete without a proper flashlight to ensure you’ll have visibility when there is none. Whether the power goes out or you’re stuck on a dark road, a solar flashlight will keep you reliably safe in any instance of darkness, and you can stay assured that they’ll always work great.
Solar flashlights beat the competition because the sun will always be in the sky. Unlike regular batteries which die out in a few weeks or wall plugs that are susceptible to power outs, as long as sunny days are coming, you’ll have free access to charging all your solar devices efficiently. Many solar flashlights can store power for several months, so they’ll always be ready to go no matter what kinds of situations arise. When it comes to choosing the right light to keep your home secure, many diverse options can all bring you value thanks to creative additions and useful features. Let us illuminate you with this guide to the best solar flashlights you can find.
Top 8 Best Solar Flashlights Reviewed
- NPET T09 Solar Flashlight
- Hybridlight Journey 300
- FosPower Emergency Solar (Our Top Pick)
- ThorFire Solar Flashlight
- Goal Zero Torch
- XREXS Flashlight
- Zoomable Rechargeable Flashlight
- RunningSnail Solar Crank
1. NPET T09 Solar Flashlight
If you’re looking for the number one rated Solar Flashlight, you’ll find the NPET T09. This all in one emergency kit features not only a bright light, but also a window breaker, seat belt cutter, and compass. This is perfect for a camping trip or off-road expedition, and an ideal tool to have in the event you’re stuck in a car and need a way out. This flashlight comes loaded with a 50V monocrystalline solar panel and a 2000 mAh battery that can charge either in direct sunlight or through AC and DC cords. What makes this tool stand out from the competition is that it features seven complete working modes, ranging from headlights to flashing and also includes a magnetic head for hands-free use.
Fans have praised this flashlight for ease of use and versatility, finding that it gets the job done. When compared to other flashlights, such as the FosPower Emergency Solar, it seems brighter, has more options, and features like the magnet make it more convenient.
- Variety of convenient working modes
- Light shines for hundreds of feet
- Solar panel is long-lasting, up to 30 years
- Build quality could be improved; some parts feel loose
- Can be a little heavy and unwieldy
- Some uses have noted battery issues
2. Hybridlight Journey 300
This flashlight packs a ton of power into a small form factor. The Hybridlight Journey 300 is everything you could ask for being bright, durable, and reliable, and includes helpful features like micro and mini USB ports for quickly charging phones. The included solar panel can recharge in sunlight or even ambient light fast, and the flashlight stores this power for up to 7 years without losing power when turned back on. Having practical options like the included phone charging capabilities make this tool a must-have for emergency scenarios. By adding a reliable battery in the product, this flashlight manages to be an excellent tool that will keep you secure, and the small size means it can be stored easily in any convenient location. This is a flashlight that will work when you need it to work, and is an excellent value for all the features you’re getting.
Compared to more tech-oriented products like the Goal Zero Torch, this flashlight will be your go-to choice if you want something quick, easy to use, and compact. It looks and feels like any other flashlight, so even someone unfamiliar with tech can quickly find it in emergency scenarios.
- Fast charging and holds well
- Helpful lights indicating battery status
- Convenient access for USB
- Light Beam might a bit too small
- Design will make it hard to find if lost outdoors
3. FosPower Emergency Solar
An all in one emergency tool with everything you could need when disaster strikes. The FosPower Emergency Solar includes a solar flashlight and hand-crank radio, complete with a power bank to charge your other devices. It features two light sources, a 4 LED reading light, and a simple 1W flashlight to ensure darkness is adequately dispelled. The hand crank is here, so you never run out of power because you’ll be able to generate your own, but if you just want something ready to go, the radio takes AAA batteries, and the device can be fully charged via solar. The light is bright enough to do the job in the event of emergencies, but if you’re going to rely on the hand crank to generate power, be aware you might have to put some effort into it, as it runs 130-150 RPM per minute.
Check out what users had to say about its versatility and reliability.
“When Hurricane Florence came into SE North Carolina we lost all power and for a couple days couldn’t even fire up the generators. During that period that little hand cranked radio was our lifeline to NOAA weather, local radio reports, keeping our phones charged in hopes of returning cell service and light during the scary screaming winds at night.”
There are other products like the RunningSnail Solar Crank, which also include radios built into their flashlights, and the FosPower light stands out by providing tons of options for keeping the device on, and the light is plenty bright as well.
- Strong durability and build quality
- Good reception for the radio
- Multiple choices for power
- You’ll have to turn the crank A LOT
- No headphone jack for the radio
- Weaker light compared to the competition
4. ThorFire Solar Flashlight
Huge power. Tiny design. This flashlight (with an attention-grabbing name) features two primary methods of power, solar and hand crank. With these options, there are no batteries needed for the ThorFire Solar Flashlight. The crank can generate over an hour of power after just one minute of turning, and the solar panel is equipped with high quality LED bulbs to ensure that you’ll have a shining bright light whenever you need it. Best used on camping trips, outdoor excursions and road trips, this flashlight is compact enough to fit into most gear.
This tool is perfectly handy to keep on your person, and the long-lasting battery life means you can store it away for future use. It comes in at only around 6 ounces, compared to other flashlights like the NPET at approximately 10 ounces, so it has the perk of being incredibly lightweight despite cramming so many features into the torch.
- Small and sleek form factor that looks cool
- Waterproof so you can submerge upto 45 feet
- Extremely effective hand crank
- Not many extra features
- Not as bright as the competition
5. Goal Zero Torch
Another excellent option for all your lighting needs, this little device packs in 3 complete charging modes. Solar, USB, or hand crank so that you’ll have power ready to go no matter the situation. The Goal Zero Torch includes a USB charger for external devices like phones. Other devices like the FosPower Emergency Solar are more geared towards emergency preparedness, but this tool can be utilized for general outdoor use. The flashlight itself features a 250-lumen output and multiple lights that will keep your surrounding sufficiently bright. What makes this flashlight compete with the best of them is the small form factor and ease of use. If you’re stuck in a situation that requires you needing light fast, this tool will be ready to go and will last several hours.
According to fans of this device, it has excellent uses in hiking, camping, lighting up tool sheds and for emergency power outs. Just leaving it outside is enough to keep it juiced up and ready to go, and the inbuilt charging capabilities can power a device from empty to full twice over before having to recharge the tool itself. Overall, if you’re looking for an excellent solar flashlight that will be there when you need one, the Goal Zero Torch is a strong contender.
- Lightweight and durable
- Big enough to feel comfortable in the hand
- Works great both indoors and outdoors
- Crank probably won’t be the most efficient option
- Built in USB Cable is pretty tiny
6. XREXS Flashlight
A versatile tool to light your way, this flashlight features a solar battery that keeps it charged in daylight and features a handful of useful survival tools like a cutter, compass, magnet and window breaker. The XREXS Flashlight includes a high capacity power bank for charging external items, at 5V/2000 mAh. The flashlight itself is a bright 380 lumens making it a reliable source of light that you could find tons of uses for when in action. The range of light is expected to reach over 200 meters away, ensuring that if you are ever lost, someone far enough away will be able to see you. The included magnet can have a variety of uses like attaching another flashlight or keeping it mounted to a metal surface.
Users have noted that the light is super bright, and the battery is sufficiently long-lasting. Having something that doesn’t require batteries makes it a great addition to any survival kit, and if you are planning on going camping, this item is as essential as can be. When you take a look at all they included in this tool, it will be easy to see why users don’t go without it.
When compared to other devices, the XREXS features more options packed in that can be handy in a situation where you need immediate light, rather than something you can turn on with a hand crank, like the RunningSnail Solar Crank.
- Versatile kit with many features
- Good battery that doesn’t compromise bright light
- Sturdy and drop resistant
- No instructions included
- Some users have reported charging issues
7. Zoomable Rechargeable Flashlight
More than just a basic flashlight, this tool has got it all. When you take your first look, you’ll immediately notice that it has not one, not two, but three whole heads that you can adjust to your lighting needs. The Zoomable Rechargeable Flashlight has a bright light with the capability to focus on objects over 1640 feet away, and can be set to 4 distinct brightness settings. If you need your light to hit a specific spot, then this the flashlight for you as the tool can be turned at 300 degrees, which means you can even set it backwards if you want. The included work light features lighting modes as well, giving you more options. On top of that, you can zoom light in and out with just the touch of a button. This flashlight also packs in the possibility for external charging.
Overall, if you’re looking for versatility in your lighting device, this is the option to go for at the checkout. Few other flashlights on the market like the Hybridlight Journey 300 or ThorFire Solar Flashlight have as many options regarding the actual light functions of their devices as this product does. The customizable options mean that no matter what situation you could need a strong light for, this is one device that is guaranteed to deliver. As they say on their product page “Along the way, I’m always around when you need me.”
- Multiple light heads and functions included
- Large degree of rotation
- Can be used individually or together
- Charging port noted to be a bit flimsy
- Build quality might seem a little fragile
8. RunningSnail Solar Crank
Another versatile solar flashlight and radio combo is a worthy addition to your emergency supply kit. The RunningSnail Solar Crank features a fully functional AM/FM NOAA weather radio and hand crank, so if your power’s out in the midst of extreme weather, you’ll be up to date with your local and national stations. There’s also an SOS alarm and panic alarm with a 2000 mAh rechargeable battery. As for the light itself, the solar panel will keep the light charged and ready to go whenever you need power. Compared to other devices, this product manages to pack a lot of features into a tinier package. The whole thing comes at around 10 ounces and can easily be taken for handheld use on the go. You won’t believe how small it is until you hold one in your hand.
Fans of the device have commended the clever use and included options, thanks to that this flashlight has managed to stay ahead of competitor lights like Goal Zero Torch for those needing clear sound and a secure resource in the event of emergencies with general use features too.
- Radio is high quality and well built
- Lots of power options
- Light can be very bright
- Battery life could be better
- Hand Crank isn’t in a very ergonomic location
Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Solar Flashlight
Now that you’ve seen some examples of high solar-powered flashlights on the market, you might be wondering how to choose the right one for you. There are a few specific features you should look out for when making your decision, and thankfully, most of these are easy to ascertain so you can tell at a glance whether the flashlight you’re looking for will meet your needs.
The first thing to do is ask what you’ll be using it for when in action. Different kinds of solar lights are more effective, given the situation.
For example, the above-mentioned hand crank flashlights with included radios are far better options for emergency storage and preparation. If you’re going on a camping trip, you probably don’t want to waste your energy turning the dial and waiting until the lights come on. After all, those hungry bears probably won’t wait either! In these cases, an option like the XREXS or NPET will likely serve you better. These flashlights are more equipped for pick up and go scenarios, and the other included features like the compass and cutters will help you carry less tools since they’re all with you.
On the other hand, if you’re living in a place like Tornado Valley in Oklahoma, and you see a storm on the horizon, the hand crank lights are better for hunkering down since most of them include essential appliances like radios and SOS alerts.
Thankfully, most of the flashlights have versatile uses that can be applied to a variety of scenarios, and are inexpensive enough to where most people just end up getting more than one. You don’t need to have a whole toolbox dedicated to only flashlights, but it’s a safe practice to keep at least a backup or two filed away only in case.
Another thing to look out for when buying solar flashlights is making sure you’ll get the most out of the solar functionalities. This probably won’t be a problem if you live in Texas or Arizona where the sun shines continuously. Still, if you’re in a primarily cloudy area like the United Kingdom, it might be wise to pay attention to those weather reports and keep your lights out to charge when you know it’s going to be a sunny day. As most solar flashlights can hold their charges for several months, typically, this isn’t something you’ll have to do very often.
How bright you want your light can be a critical factor in choosing your product. At first glance, it might make sense just to pick the most shining light you can find, but that might not always be the way to go. Remember, staring directly into a bright light can cause damage to eyesight and even blindness if not careful. If you’re in an emergency, you’ll likely be moving the light around a lot, and if it’s too bright, it might pose a risk to those around you. Bright lights can also get extremely hot, the longer they are on. This typically isn’t a problem for flashlights since they’re small and built for holding, but is something to watch out for regardless. Brighter lights can be more effective in many cases, but make sure you know how to handle them safely.
Most of the above-mentioned flashlights have a variety of working and brightness modes so you can experiment with what is a comfortable level for you. Thankfully, the manufacturer’s guides included with most flashlights will consist of detailed warning pages and guidelines for safety.
Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Flashlights
What makes solar flashlights better than regular ones?
Solar flashlights are better for efficiency and cost-cutting. When you go solar, your batteries are in the sky above your head, and that’s something you don’t have to pay to keep replacing. These lights can be stored for long periods without losing power; they charge relatively quickly and are typically just as bright as anything on the market.
Where do these flashlights get the energy?
Solar power works by converting the sun’s rays to usable electricity. This is all thanks to the small solar panels included in your flashlights. The particles of light absorbed from the sun into these panels are called photons, and they proceed to knock electrons away from atoms, letting them flow freely to create electricity. The generated electricity, in turn, powers the flashlight and keeps your bright lights going.
How are these flashlights useful?
Anyone can use solar flashlights in helpful ways! These tools are most handy to keep around in the event of emergencies, such as power outs or being stuck on the road at night. They turn on quickly, typically have lots of power saved up from charging in sunlight, and most include other useful functions like radios and hammers. These can also be useful for camping trips and other outdoor activities where you know you’ll probably be out after it gets dark.