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Home / Features / Best torches 2024: top flashlights and pocket lamps for lighting the way

Best torches 2024: top flashlights and pocket lamps for lighting the way

Let there be light with our pick of the best torches

Cover image for the best torches round-up, showing three black torches on a yellow background.

Under the stairs, in the attic or out on the campsite: having one of the best torches to hand will help you see the light, instead of fumbling in the dark. And if you’re after a little beacon to keep in your pocket, this is the list you need.

From tiny tactical torches to lanterns bright enough to signal passing ships, the round-up below features our pick of the best torches for every use and situation. Whether you want a simple shiner to guide you up the garden path or a premium beam to work by, we’ve selected a radiant array of torches for all needs and budgets.

And if you’re finding it tricky to pick your favourite flashlight from our list, you’ll find useful shopping tips down at the bottom, plus some illuminating explanations of torch terminology. Think lumen ratings, battery types and more. Let there be light!

The best torches you can buy today

Best torches round-up: Olight Warrior Nano flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The brilliant barrel: Olight Warrior Nano

Besides showing you the way, tactical torches are designed to dazzle ne’er-do-wells. Take this little light fantastic: mini at 81mm, the Nano’s side switch lets you select brightness levels for normal usage. But bop the button on the back and you’ll get an instant blast of 1200 lumens – enough to startle any assailants lurking in the shadows, as you flash away to safety.


Best torches round-up: Wuben X2 flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The titanium tiny: Wuben X2 Titanium

You could choose the aluminium edition of the Wuben X2. You’d still have a small but mighty spotlight in your pocket. It would still be rugged, waterproof and good for 2500 lumens. And you’d have a chunk of change to go with it. But if you’re going to swap the shrapnel in your piggy bank for a miniature torch with a machined metal jacket, it might as well be titanium.


Best torches round-up: Streamlight Wedge flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The flicky flasher: Streamlight Wedge

You never know when you might need a beam. Don’t have space for a full-fat flashlight? Charged by USB-C, this slender friend puts illumination in your pocket. Its rotating switch flicks instantly from 300 to 1000 lumens, for a tactical burst of 35 seconds. It weighs less than a pen at 87g, while a clip helps it fit with other shirt-front essentials.


Best torches round-up: Fenix E-CP flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The boosting beacon: Fenix E-CP

Using your phone as flashlight for long enough will leave you offline and in the dark. Avoid both fates with this natty octagonal number. Its LED end offers five levels of glow to go, maxing out at a solid 1600 lumens. Flip it round to find a waterproof cover protecting a pair of USB ports, which can boost your blower from the 5000mAh cell inside.


Best torches round-up: Nebo Slyde King 2K flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The double dazzler: Nebo Slyde King 2K

Hollywood heists would have you believe that torches are best held between your teeth. Not this one: a magnetic base means it can attach to the metal surfaces commonly found in bank vaults, leaving your hands free for the combination lock. Besides an adjustable zoom head, its rubberised body harbours a work lamp which glows white or red – because there’s nothing like a crimson glare for added tension. It’s waterproof, too, in case your escape route is through the sewers.


Best torches round-up: Nitecore MH12 Pro flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The complete compact: Nitecore MH12 Pro

A torch bright enough for search and rescue is overkill when your dusk duties only involve shutting the shed. But with 3300 lumens and a 505-metre range in its arsenal, this toughened tool can see you through some serious nocturnal spadework. Multiple power options include a USB-C rechargeable battery, while a strobe mode will scare off any barrow burglars waiting in the bushes.


Best torches round-up: Coast TX22R flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The long-range lantern: Coast TX22R

For visibility at 500m, you could rig up a bulb and a complex system of prisms. Or you could ditch the DIY lighthouse and whip out this sturdy cylinder instead. Slide its bezel forwards to focus the beam, then dial up the power to unleash 5300 lumens for 45 seconds. Pulling back widens the throw, while a quick twist locks it where you like it.


Best torches round-up: LED Lenser P18R flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The power pusher: Ledlenser P18R

It’s a cruel irony that torches can illuminate everything except themselves. Thankfully, you don’t need a visual to work this one-button beacon: a single switch lets you cycle through its settings. Double tap for a 10-second lumen boost, or master its press-and-hold combos to customise settings and enable memory mode. Holding for five makes you its master by locking the controls.


Best torches round-up: SPERAS P10R V2 flashlight pictured on a grey background with a drop shadow.

The blinking blinder: SPERAS P10R V2

A bright light might help you signal from afar, but it’s not much use if your thumb cramps up after five minutes of morse code. Luckily, this aluminium dazzler has an SOS setting for effortless distress calls. Engage turbo mode for the full 10,000 lumens, or switch to eco to eke out the glow show for up to 36 hours.


How to choose the best torch

Looking to buy a torch but don’t know where to start? Here are some things to consider:

  • Batteries: Many modern torches use battery packs boosted via USB-C, while others stick with off-the-shelf cells. The most versatile have dual-power systems that work with both sources.
  • Lumens: Lumen ratings often quote peak output, which limits battery life. Pick one that’s bright enough in lower modes. 500 lumens is a good everyday benchmark, while north of 1500 is tactical territory.
  • Beam: Not all torches shine the same. Floods cast light over a wide area for working visibility, while spots throw narrow but far with a focused ray. The best let you switch between multiple beam patterns.
  • Colour: White is alright for brightness, but tasking by torchlight can be tough on your peepers. Some come with a red setting, which is kinder on the eyes if you’re working for long periods after dark.

Now check out Stuff’s guide to the best flasks for warming winter drinks.

Profile image of Chris Rowlands Chris Rowlands Freelance contributor

About

Formerly News Editor at this fine institution, Chris now writes about tech from his tropical office. Sidetracked by sustainable stuff, he’s also keen on coffee kit, classic cars and any gear that gets better with age.

Areas of expertise

Cameras, gear and travel tech

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