solar powered flashlight

The 6 Best Solar-Powered Flashlights of 2021 + How They Work

No batteries, no problem. Solar-powered flashlights are here to save the day.

There's a time and place to hate on solar energy, but I think we can all agree that solar power is neat when it comes to survival products. Solar-powered flashlights are becoming popular survival tools for campers (and doomsday preppers).

These nifty flashlights use the sun's energy to charge, which means you don't have to worry about having batteries ready. However, some can be charged with USB cables as well. It's nice to know that you have another way of keeping a charge on your survival products! Here are six flashlights Amazon customers swear by.

How Do Solar Lights Work?

Best Solar-Powered Flashlights

1. Otdair LED Flashlight Solar Power Flashlight,Ultra Bright Flashlight, High Lumens,USB Rechargeable,5 Modes for Outdoor,Camping,Hiking

Best overall pick under $20

Otdair's solar flashlight deserves a spot in your emergency kit, especially if you're into backpacking. The 500-lumen light has five different light modes and two methods of charging. You can charge the light through solar energy or choose to charge it with a USB charger. USB charging is a great idea while you're home with power. Otherwise, solar charging in direct sunlight will come in handy once you're out exploring.

The emergency light even has a red light and blue strobe light to get the attention of rescuers.

Joel gave it five stars and wrote, "It is rechargeable via USB cord or solar. It can charge a cell phone or tablet. It has an alarm that can be easily activated with the press of a button. And, it has a metallic pointed tip to break windows and a seatbelt cutter. It is not cumbersome and easy to handle. The price is reasonable for this all-in-one device."

2. Solar Flashlight ThorFire Hand Crank Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight IPX6 Waterproof LED Emergency Flashlights Lights Dynamo Torch Ideal for Camping Outdoor Climbing Backpack Hiking

Best for charging inside & with the sun

Thorfire's super bright flashlight is another handy light source for power outages. The $17 bright LED flashlight can be charged through hand cranking or direct sunlight on the solar panel. The LED bulb is very bright, making it a great option for emergency situations.

Recently, I had to walk through a 3-story garage without power and a phone flashlight. I wish I had this on me! Be sure to keep a full charge at all times. You never know! Better to be safe than sorry.

3. MECO Hand Cranking Solar Powered Rechargeable Flashlight Emergency LED Flashlight Carabiner Dynamo Quick Snap Clip Backpack Flashlight Torch Weather Ready, 8 Lumen - Green


Best pick under $10

This flashlight also has a bright light and can be charged with cranking. This lightweight design would make a great stocking stuffer for outdoorsmen. Since it's under $9, you won't feel like you're splurging.

4. NPET T09 Solar Flashlight Car Flashlight 268 Lumens LED COB Light USB Rechargeable Tactical Multi-function Torch Emergency Tool with Window Breaker Seat Belt Cutter Compass

Best overall tactical flashlight 

This water-resistant tactical flashlight is fantastic. The solar flashlight has a rechargeable battery that can also be charged with a USB port. The run time will vary, so be sure to charge it for 30 hours with sunlight or with a USB for five. With a full charge, you should have a few hours of light and be able to use most settings for at least four to five hours.

The durability of the flashlight is also great. Its weather-resistant anodized aluminum-alloy body is great for the outdoors. Plus, it needs to be durable because this thing is also a car escape tool. Yep, you can use it as a safety hammer and seatbelt cutter to escape a car.

The tail of it is also equipped with a compass. Never leave home without it! Since it has a powerful magnet, you can attach it to your car or metallic surface to work as a work light or emergency warning light. (This would make a great gift for truckers.)

Steve said, "Ordered 1 for my wife's car, and it looks reasonably well built, and has enough features (rechargeable batteries, seat belt cutter, window smasher, LED lights, and magnet to attach to metal) to make it a good value for the money. So I may buy one for each member of our family as Christmas gifts."

5. RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio for Emergency with AM/FM, Flashlight, Reading Lamp and 2000mAh Power Bank (Green)

Best multi-purpose flashlight for the entire family

Consider this $30 gadget for extra emergency supplies. This power bank is a weather radio, flashlight, and reading lamp. It's truly a must-have for the house or hunting cabin. There are multiple ways to charge it: hand-cranking, sunlight, and USB charging. (Just be sure to buy AAA batteries.)

The lithium battery is included.

You can also use it as a power source to charge phones. If you don't have a solar-powered phone charger, invest in one or consider this gadget. You need some kind of battery backup. Wy gave it five stars and wrote, "Update: Hurricane Matthew! No power for 5 days. This radio was a lifesaver!"

For warranty info, check out this page.

6. Simpeak [ 2-Pack] Hand Crank Solar Powered Flashlight, Emergency Rechargeable LED Flashlight, Survival Flashlight, Quick Snap Carbiner Dynamo Flashlight Torch for Outdoor Sports

Best lightweight option under $16 for the household

This $15 two-pack is another great lightweight option. If you're not much of a camper or hiker and just want two options to keep in the cupboard, consider this option. Keep one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen.

This post was originally published in February 2021.