I maintain emergency kits for my home and jeep. There are a number of bug out essentials in the pack I carry with me anytime I leave the RV. I've written a lot about emergency preparedness gear for several outlets over the years. Keeping folks safe during an emergency was a big part of my old life. Despite all of this, I have a hell of a time finding a flashlight that doesn't cost a mint that I feel comfortable recommending to folks for their emergency preparedness kits.
I hate hand-cranked flashlights, despite loving the idea of objects capable of providing their own power. Not a single hand-cranked torch that I've tested over the years has lasted me more than a few hours of use before showing signs of impending mechanical failure. In an emergency, solar powered gear is great to have... provided there's enough light to provide an adequate charge to the battery that you've got connected to your panels. Depending on where you live or what sort of disaster has knocked out your home's lights (there's not a of a lot of sunlight during a hurricane), it might not be a great solution for many people. Happily, it looks like Panasonic has developed a flashlight for their Japanese customers that can use damn near any battery you might run across during an emergency.
Panasonic's Any-Battery LED Flashlight BF-BM10-W, as its name suggests, can make use of any number of different batteries to provide you and your family with enough illumination stay safe and provide some much-needed comfort during an emergency where the power grid goes down. Read the rest
I bought some of these 7W Ultrabright mini LED flashlights a while back and they are my favorites. They are surprisingly bright (it has a bright/dim/strobe setting) and a zoom feature to focus the beam on a small area or spread it out. A twin-pack is just $9. It uses either a single AA battery or a 3.6 volt type 14500 Battery (rechargeables are cheap). Read the rest
Working on something in the dark is a whole lot easier when have a flashlight strapped to your noggin. I like this $8 LED headlamp.
Sure, it looks silly! Regardless, having a light point where you are looking, when working in the dark, is more than just incidentally great. This lamp has easy to find and adjust knobs, even if you are wearing work gloves. You may aim the lamp, to ensure its illuminating where you need, and can adjust it through 3 useful levels of white light, and one flashing red one.
For roadside work on a bike or car, at night, I've found I'd much rather have one of these than a traditional hand flashlight. Easy to fit under the seat of my bike, or in the glove box of the car, this saves me needing to direct a second pair of hands, or constantly adjust the light on my own.
I hope not to need the flashing red feature.
LE Headlamp LED, 3 AAA Batteries Included via Amazon Read the rest
This little Cree flashlight has a very bright beam, especially when you use it with a 14500 battery (rechargeable Lithium Ion) battery. It has a pocket clip and adjustable focus. It also works with a single AA battery, but it won't be as bright. It's just $3.35 on Amazon with free shipping/ Read the rest