Disposable batteries have gone the way of dial-up and beepers, and I say, “Good riddance!” Pretty much everything uses rechargeable batteries now, so why should your camping equipment be any different? Gone are the days when you would have to run around your house turning the junk drawers upside down looking for AA batteries to put in your spotlight before your overnight hike or weekend camping trip. Now the market is full of amazing spotlights that have long-lasting rechargeable batteries.
We want to save you that hassle of looking around the house for batteries or needing to go out and buy more at the last second, and that’s why we’ve made this list of the best rechargeable spotlights you can buy.
Keep reading to see our full list of the best rechargeable spotlights, followed by a special section just for budget spotlights, and then a recap of who would most want each spotlight. Or, skip to our #1 rechargeable spotlight by clicking here.
- What Should You Look For in a Rechargeable Spotlight?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Rechargeable Spotlight
- Budget Options
- Verdict: Your Best Rechargeable Spotlight
What Should You Look For in a Rechargeable Spotlight?
If it’s your first time researching rechargeable spotlights, you might not know what traits to look for in your new piece of camping equipment. Even if you’ve bought a rechargeable spotlight before and you’re just looking for an upgrade, it’s always good to have your criteria written down. Besides, we want to show you our criteria so that you can know how we came to our decisions and so you can be more informed before making your purchase.
These criteria can also be a great jumping-off point if you decide to go ahead and conduct your own research after reading our article. And with that, here are the criteria we used to evaluate the best rechargeable spotlights.
Criteria #1: Strength – Not all spotlights are created equally. Some will light up your campsite much better than others. We want to make sure you don’t waste money on a spotlight that isn’t any better than the flashlight on the back of your smartphone. The brightness of a spotlight is measured in lumens, and in the case where a spotlight has multiple brightness settings, the listed amount of lumens will refer to the highest brightness setting. You could end up seeing a pretty large discrepancy in the lumen counts of two spotlights, but just know that the more lumens, the better.
Criteria #2: Battery Life – This list centers around rechargeable spotlights, so we’d be doing everyone a disservice if we didn’t discuss the battery life of the products we put on this list. Pretty much the only downside of rechargeable batteries compared to disposable batteries is that you can’t very well just pack a replacement rechargeable battery to replace on the go while you’re up in the mountains, but this is easily mitigated by having a long-lasting battery.
Most spotlights have a battery that will give you at least 10 hours of use. A good lithium-ion battery can hold a charge for months during the winter when you might be using your spotlight less. We want you to find a spotlight with a battery that will get you through your entire outdoor experience without your having to worry too much. If it charges quickly too, that’s definitely a plus.
Criteria #3: Design – Design is a bit of a “large tent” criterion that referees to a lot of different traits. It mostly means the actual physical design. We’re looking for spotlights that aren’t too bulky, that will fit nicely in your bag or hand, and that have at least some form of hands-free support. It of course also refers to the durability of a spotlight and whether or not it’s waterproof. But we will also look for certain software features, such as the output charging feature which will allow your spotlight to double as a power bank for your phone and other devices. Most spotlights will also have multiple brightness settings, so that’s definitely a feature you’ll want in your spotlight. Basically, we’re looking for a spotlight that does a little bit more than just light up the room.
Criteria #4: Price – Do you like spending more money for no reason? Didn’t think so. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find affordable spotlights, and the difference between the budget option and splurging for the cream of the crop will usually come down to no more than $20. But we also don’t want you to spend good money on a spotlight that isn’t up to par. More than a cheap spotlight, we’re looking for a spotlight that justifies its price.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Rechargeable Spotlight
We used the above criteria to evaluate all the products on the market and find you the best rechargeable spotlights. We ran the official specifications provided by the companies and manufacturers of different spotlights by our criteria to make sure they were up to our standards. We checked multiple user reviews and blogs to be certain that the products on our list performed as advertised.
#1: Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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Stanley is one of the best brands for spotlights, and their Fatmax SL10LEDS might be their best product. This spotlight comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that holds a charge for 12 months and lasts for 7 hours on the lowest setting. That isn’t a ton compared to the competition, but it’s more than enough to get you through a weekend roughing it, unless you’re using it pretty much through the night. The Fatmax has 2200 lumens at its brightest setting, so it’ll really light up the night sky. It has a lower setting to allow you to be more subtle and not wake up the entire campsite. It also comes with a red lens, if you want something a little less glaring.
The Fatmax SL10LEDS has output charging capabilities, so it can double as a power source for your phone. (This is just in case of emergencies. I know you’re trying to stay disconnected on this trip.) One of my favorite traits of this spotlight is that it has a USB charging port as opposed to the more outdated plug-in AC adapters of some other spotlights. Since almost all phones and speakers use a USB charger now, you’ll be able to save some of your baggage space – and sanity – by carrying around fewer wires. Plus, the USB charger doesn’t need an actual outlet. Since most cars have a USB port now, you’ll have no problem charging this spotlight on your way up to the mountains, in case you forgot to charge it the night before.
Another big selling point of this Fatmax spotlight is that it has a built-in pivoting stand. This allows you to prop this spotlight up on its own and act as a lamp, leaving you able to use both your hands while setting up camp or starting the bonfire. When not in use, the stand is located on the barrel of the pistol-grip style spotlight. It fits in nicely with the overall design and aesthetic, so it won’t look ugly or get in the way when you’re not using it.
The Fatmax SL10LEDS comes in at a great price and has all of the features you can ask for. Its USB charging port, output charging capabilities, and built-in pivoting stand make it incredibly convenient. Its 2200 lumens is brighter than most of the competition. Reviewers were blown away by how bright this spotlight gets, and that’s why it’s our top pick on our list of the best rechargeable spotlights.
#2: Waypoint Streamlight 44910 (Best Spotlight)
The Fatmax SL10LEDS is our favorite deal when it comes to cost-benefit analysis, but your priorities might be a little different, especially if you’re willing to splurge a bit for the best product. If you won’t settle for anything but the best then the Waypoint Streamlight 44910 might be more what you’re looking for. It’ll cost you a pretty penny, but you’re walking away with a few great features that you can’t get from the Fatmax.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: The Battery Life
The first reason you might decide to go what the more expensive product in the Streamlight 44910 is its incredible battery life. This spotlight lasts an amazing 60 hours on its lowest lighting mode. That means it will get you through even a week-long camping trip. On shorter expeditions, you’ll be able to blast this baby all through the night without any worry about the battery giving out. Waypoint advertises that this lithium-ion battery can also be recharged up to 800 times. The Streamlight 44910 is a spotlight that will last in the short term and in the long term.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Three Brightness Settings
With three different lighting modes, this Waypoint spotlight gives you one more option than the Stanley Fatmax, which only offers high and low settings. The high-powered maximum setting emits 1000 lumens and lasts for about 3 hours. The middle setting has 550 lumens and can give you 6 hours of light. The lowest setting – which comes with that amazing battery life – emits an underwhelming 35 lumens but lasts 60 hours.
Remember that more isn’t always better. There will be plenty of times when you don’t want to flood the entire forest with light. Maybe you’re just reading a bit before calling it a night and don’t want to disturb the other campers and hikers. Or maybe you don’t want to disturb the wildlife. No matter what your reason, you’ll be happy you bought this Waypoint handheld spotlight when it’s time to be a bit more delicate.
On top of the amazing battery life and the extra lighting mode, this rechargeable spotlight has a built-in stand similar to that of the Fatmax. It boasts a C4 LED light that is sure to maximize those lumens. It also has a durable polycarbonate body, a trigger lock, and is equipped with a convenient wrist strap.
Reviewers were amazed by the bright LED on this spotlight, and one reviewer called it the “best of the best.” That being said, there is a bit of a tradeoff, as this spotlight is missing the output charging feature, and it has fewer lumens than the Stanley Fatmax does at its max setting of over 2000 lumens.
It comes down to a bit of a trade-off between these two spotlights. Do you want to pay more for extra lighting modes and an incredibly long-lasting battery life? Or do you want the brightest spotlight that can also charge your phone and that uses a more convenient USB charger? The choice is yours, and either way, you’re getting one of the best handheld spotlights money can buy.
#3: Cyclops Revo 1100 (Best Compact Spotlight)
I’ve been on every budget airline you can think of, and I know how difficult it can be to keep your luggage under their weight limit. I’ve also bussed up to the campsite before, and I know that sometimes you don’t have the luxury of your own car and trunk, so you just need to keep the packing as light as possible. If saving space without sacrificing performance is your main concern, then the Cyclops Revo 1100 is the spotlight of your dreams.
This tiny handheld spotlight proves that size isn’t everything by fitting 1100 lumens in its small frame which is 3 by 5 by 3 inches (width, weight, and height, respectively) and weighs only one pound. You’ll have no problem carrying this around all day or shoving it into your backpack. The lumens on this mighty mouse spotlight back up two high-powered Luxeon LED lights to give you the maximum potential out from those lumens. On top of that, this Cyclops handheld spotlight has a durable casing that is both waterproof and impact resistant.
The main flaw of this spotlight is that it’s powered by a sealed lead acid battery instead of the stronger standard lithium-ion. This sealed lead acid battery only gives you 70 minutes of use at high mode, so you will definitely need to budget your time using this spotlight. But if you’re mostly going to be using your spotlight in short bursts and don’t want something that will take up your entire bag, this is the choice for you. If you need a stronger battery, I’d recommend going with one of our other options listed above.
#4: Limechoes Searchlight (Best Low Cost)
It’s surprising that the cheapest item on our list so far is also the brightest, but that speaks to how good of a deal you’re getting with the Limechoes Searchlight. This bad boy boasts a dazzling 6000 lumens that will really light up the night sky. You’ll have no problem hiking down even the most crooked path or finding whatever it is you’re looking for in the middle of the night.
Plus, this spotlight has a creative sidelight that allows you to place the light on its side and use it as a hands-free lamp. The sidelight and the main bulb have three lighting modes each, giving you six different brightness settings to choose from. The Limechoes Searchlight has a run time of ten hours even at the highest setting, and a run time of 25 hours at the low mode and the flashing setting.
This Limechoes handheld spotlight has IPX4 waterproofing which means you don’t have to worry about any splash damage, but it’s not designed to be fully submerged in water. The casing is made of an ABS plastic and aluminum alloy to give you an explosion-proof, dust-proof, and shockproof spotlight for even the most dangerous hikes. The Searchlight also supports output charging and can be fitted to a tripod, shoulder strap, or bike. So, combined with the sidelight feature, you have 4 different ways to enjoy a hands-free experience.
The main flaw of this spotlight is that it doesn’t feature the convenient pistol-grip style build that’s become the norm. This means that it might be a little more awkward to hold for long periods of time. Plus, most hiking bags have mesh pockets on the side that are perfect for pistol-grip spotlights, but you shouldn’t even think about fitting the Limechoes Searchlight into one of those pockets.
That being said, this high-powered spotlight is as bright as they come with a long-range shine and a long-lasting lithium-ion battery. If you prioritize function and price over everything then there’s no other rechargeable spotlight for you except the Limechoes Searchlight and its 6000 lumens. But if you’re a little more focused on design and comfort, you’ll probably want to look at other options, even if it means spending a bit more.
#5: PowerSmith PSL10700W (Best Waterproof Spotlight)
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If you have a boat that you like to take out at night, or if the water is a crucial part of your camping or hiking experience, you’ll need to make sure you have a spotlight that can handle getting wet as much as you can. The PowerSmith PSL10700W can be submerged into water as deep as 10 feet, and it floats, so you don’t have to worry about going for an unexpected swim if you happen to drop it.
While the impressive waterproof casing is definitely the selling point of this PoweSmtih spotlight, the PSL10700W is by no means a one-trick pony. This spotlight is decently compact and has a solid 700 lumens backed up by its 10-watt LED lights. Its rechargeable battery will fully charge in 5 hours, so you don’t need to worry too much if you forget to charge it overnight. This product supports both AC and DC charging which means you can charge it in your car on the way to the dock or hiking trail to save yourself from having to sit around at home waiting for it to be ready. The PSL10700W has a high and low light mode in addition to a strobe setting, which is great in case someone gets lost.
The biggest problem with this spotlight is its battery, which has a run time of only 1.5 hours and 3 hours on high and low, respectively. That being said, this spotlight is a great deal and is the cheapest option on our list except for our budget option in the Limechoes Spotlight, so it could still be a solid niche investment for anyone who really needs a waterproof spotlight. As long as you use it a little sparingly, you’ll get a lot of utility on your midnight boat rides from this PowerSmith spotlight.
If you’re more focused on saving money than anything else, and the Limechoe Searchlight and PowerSmith waterproof spotlight weren’t exactly what you’re looking for, don’t worry. We’ve added this section of budget options just for you, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for without spending more than you wanted.
#1 Budget: Stanley SL5W09
If you were intrigued by the Stanley Fatmax but found it was a bit too expensive, you might be interested in the cheaper Stanley SL5W09. This Stanley spotlight uses a convenient micro-USB charging port for its lithium-ion battery and has 1000 lumens at high power behind its bright LED light. The battery lasts up to 10 hours at the low setting. This spotlight is smaller and a bit easier to travel with than the Fatmax. The SL5W09 doesn’t have output charging or a built-in stand, but it comes at a great price and its 1000 lumens will get the job done.
#2 Budget: Glandu Super Bright Spotlight
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This is the best option if you were drawn to the amazing brightness of the Limechoes Searchlight, but you want that comfortable pistol-grip design. The Glandu has the same high power of 6000 lumens as the Limechoes, but it comes in a much more convenient casing. It even has the same sidelight. The battery lasts up to 24 hours on the lower settings. It’s a tiny bit more expensive than the Limechoes, but honestly not by enough that there’s a meaningful distinction. If the only thing you didn’t like about the Limechoes Searchlight was the shape, the Glandu Super Bright Spotlight is exactly what you’re looking for.
Verdict: Your Best Rechargeable Spotlight
And that’s all of the information you need for all of the best rechargeable spotlights. We know that was a lot to process at once, so here’s a quick recap for you before you go and buy your spotlight.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Stanley Fatmax SL10LEDS.
Our number one option, this spotlight is the best combination of beauty and brawn. Its 2200 lumens is stronger than most of the competition and will be more than bright enough to help you find the trail back to the campsite. The big selling points are the output charging function, the built-in pivot stand to help you set up camp without trying to impersonate an octopus, and the battery that lasts long enough to get you through a weekend away from it all.
If you need a waterproof spotlight, pick the PowerSmith PSL10700W.
This is the best option for any avid boater who doesn’t want to return to the docks just because the sun is setting. It’s waterproof up to 10 feet and has a solid durable design backed up by 700 lumens. The biggest issue with this spotlight is the short battery life, but if you can charge it on your boat, then that won’t be a problem.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Limechoes Searchlight.
It’s a pretty rare occurrence when the cheapest option is also one of the strongest options, so you don’t want to pass up the Limechoes Searchlight. It has an amazing 6000 lumens and a sidelight to give you some versatility. Plus, it has a strong battery that will last up to 25 hours on the lower settings. The only real drawbacks are the size and the shape of the spotlight, and that will be a small price to pay for a lot of customers.
If those three choices weren’t really your speed, you may want the long-lasting Waypoint Streamlight 44910 or the super-compact Cyclops Revo 1100. You also of course may decide to do more of your own research. Whichever choice you make for your rechargeable spotlight, we hope that our list helps make that decision a little easier.