12 Rough and Ready Lights to Take Outdoors

12 Rough and Ready Lights to Take Outdoors

Light and Motion Solite 250EX

This 250-lumen headlamp has three settings—the medium and low settings are at 125 lumens and 50 lumens, respectively—and is a 149-gram light you can strap to your bike or helmet, or use as a headlamp attached to a headstrap sold separately. Its single-cell lithium ion battery charges in 8 hours, and runs for four hours at the highest settling, 8 hours at the medium setting and 30 hours at the low setting.

$179.95 on Amazon;  headstrap is $20 on LightAndMotion.com

Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp

The Tikka RXP is 40 percent lighter and only about half the price of Petzl’s $175 NAO (a pinnacle piece whose price limits its market appeal). With a built-in sensor, it "knows" where you're looking—near or far, bright or dim—and automatically (and fairly instantly) adjusts the light's power accordingly. The 180-lumen RXP ($85.95) comes with a USB-rechargeable lithium ion and accept regular AAAs.

$89.95 at REI

Peter Koch

Streamlight Stinger Rechargeable Flashlight

The 125-lumen flashlight is built for law enforcement, and comes with spot-to-flood focus control. Its 3.6-volt nickel-cadmium sub-C battery can be recharged a maximum of 1,000 times, and can run up to an hour after each time it’s charged. At nearly 284 grams, it’s a little on the heavier side, but users love it for its durability over time and the ease of recharging it (the battery doesn’t have to be pulled out of the flashlight in order to be charged).

$87.30 on Amazon

SOG DE-02 Dark Energy Tactical Handheld LED Flashlight

At 5.1 inches long, this may be one of the smallest torches on this list, but don’t underestimate this petite pocket-flashlight. This 247-lumen LED flashlight boasts a long range (apparently it lets you see up to tree tops) and is pretty light to boot, at 116 grams. It’s also water-resistant and comes with two CR-123A batteries, running for nearly two-and-a-half hours at its maximum brightness and a little over 8 hours at 40-percent brightness.

$69.69 on Amazon

Snow Peak Mola Headlamp

A standout from this summer’s Outdoor Retailer product show, this roughly 100-lumen headlamp from Snow Peak is expected to hit the market in the spring of 2014, and its uniqueness may justify the wait: Its light actually follows the movement of your eyes. It weighs 70 grams, and will reportedly set you back $60.

Coast HP14 LED Flashlight

This is significantly heavier than some of its other counterparts on this list, weighing nearly 409.5 grams, and has a roughly 5-hour operating time on its high setting and about 20 hours on its low setting. But users love this 339-lumen flashlight (which you can also switch to 56 lumens) particularly for its focus control from spot to flood lights. It comes with four AA batteries.  

$49.78 on Amazon

Brunton WOW Task Light

The 40-lumen WOW Task Light is a handy flashlight and then some: it has pliable (and removable) legs that you can wrap around posts and tree branches to set the device up as a spotlight. Its USB-rechargeable built-in lithium battery gives you up to 12 hours of high output, the company says.

$47.00 at Brunton.com

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Another popular 100-lumen option, this 110-gram headlamp is just a touch heavier than the Princeton Tec Remix Headlamp (which doesn’t matter as much if you’re car camping) but fares a little better in terms of battery life. It lasts up to 50 hours on the TriplePower LED setting, and as long as 200 hours on the two SinglePower LEDs.
$40.29 on Amazon

Princeton Tec Remix Headlamp

This relatively lightweight headlamp weighing all of 83 grams is beloved by hikers who favor it for its versatility—it has a combination of a single Maxbright LED and three Ultrabright LEDs, with multiple light settings that make suit it for camping or backpacking. It is also one of the most affordable 100-lumen headlamps, at $28.93 on REI.com.

$28.93 at REI

Fenix E21 Flashlight

Users rave about this flashlight—which has both a 150-lumen setting and a low 48-lumen setting—for its relatively light weight (90 grams without batteries), almost no battery-rattle and high water-resistance (it can withstand water more than a meter deep). It runs on two 1.5-volt AA batteries.

$28.34 on Amazon

Energizer High Intensity LED Flashlight

Hikers tout this 150-lumen flashlight as an extremely bright, wieldy (at roughly 113 grams) and easy to use (only requires two AA batteries) option that gives them some steady light and some of the best value for money. Its aluminum casing is weatherproof and can take a (slight) beating, i.e. it can withstand a meter-long fall.

$21.94 on Amazon

Mammut S-Flex Headlamp

This ultra-lightweight 25-lumen headband weighing in at 4 ounces (including its batteries) may not be the brightest, or have the best endurance—you get up to 40 hours on a single AA battery—but it’s very affordable, compact and great for camping, its users say.  

$20.97 on Amazon