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Best Waterproof Flashlight (for Kayaking and Boating)

Mark Armstrong
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Going on a water adventure? A dependable flashlight is an important addition to your gear.

For the keen readers amongst you, the Fenix PD36R stands out with its waterproof design and long battery life.

Discover the best options for a reliable waterproof flashlight today.

To help you make an informed choice, we have compiled a list of the top waterproof flashlights suitable for kayaking, boating, or fishing.

Top 9 Best Waterproof Flashlights Reviewed

1: Fenix PD36R Rechargeable Flashlight (best overall)

Fenix PD36R Rechargeable FlashlightPin
  • Lumens: 1,600
  • Power type: rechargeable 5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 2 hours 50 mins. (min.), 115 hours (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces

The Fenix PD36R is one of the best flashlights out there but it is not cheap. Its waterproof construction and compact size makes it the best choice for kayaking and boating.

As well as having a high-capacity battery, this flashlight also delivers bright light, with a 1,600-lumens output.

This can run for almost 3-hours on the brightest mode and as much as 115-hours on the 30-lumens mode.

This Fenix flashlight can be easily charged using a USB-C port with the included USB-C charging cable. It also displays a low-voltage warning and a battery level indicator so you know when it’s time to charge and when it’s ready to go.

It has a durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction with a knurled finish for enhanced grip. It also has a lifetime guarantee against defects and workmanship, plus five years of free repairs.

It is waterproof and can survive being submerged in 3-feet of water for at least half an hour.


  • Excellent battery life
  • Quality construction
  • Bright light
  • Compact size


  • Not cheap

2: Coast XP11R Professional Series Flashlight (best rechargeable)

Coast XP11R Professional Series FlashlightPin
  • Lumens: 2,100
  • Power type: ZX1000 ZITHION-X rechargeable battery or 3 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 5 hours (min.), 37 hours (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 5.7 ounces

This Coast XP11R Professional Series flashlight is one of the best rechargeable flashlights for kayaking because it has multiple charging options. It has an integrated Pro-Tek USB-C charging port. This lets you charge the battery either inside the light or outside.

It also has dual power options. So you can run the flashlight off of three AAA batteries instead. This gives you the option of continuing to use the flashlight while the other battery is charging.

Another great feature is the real-time battery life indicator. This can let you see when it’s time to recharge the flashlight or switch your batteries.

The XP11R has an excellent output, delivering 1,000 lumens of light on high power for as long as 5 hours. It also has a Turbo mode with a sharp ray of light, with 2,100 lumens to see 720-feet in the distance with clear visibility. The high mode has a distance of 508-feet.

This is water-resistant with a rating of IPX4, so it’s not designed to be submerged but will withstand paddle splashes, sea spray, and wet weather.


  • Dual power options
  • Easy to charge
  • Good battery life on high power
  • Battery level indicator


  • Not fully submersible

3: Klarus G15 4000 Lumens Ultra Bright Rechargeable Flashlight (best for long use)

Klarus G15 4000 Lumens Ultra Bright Rechargeable FlashlightPin
  • Lumens: 4,000
  • Power type: 5,000 mAh lithium battery
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 1 hour 30 mins. (min), 200 hours (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 5 ounces

The Klarus G15 is a durable flashlight that can be an ideal option for taking on long boating trips. This has a variety of modes, from Moonlight and Turbo to emergency modes, including SOS. So it’s a versatile flashlight for a range of activities and uses.

This flashlight can run for an incredible amount of time – up to 200 hours or 5 hours a day for 40 days in Moonlight mode.

The Klarus G15 is lightweight and compact, making it a good choice for kayaks and small boats where gear space is restricted. It has a clip on the side so you could attach it to a belt but it is small enough to put in your pocket.

This is completely waterproof, with an IPX rating of 8 so it’s ready for all types of water activities.

However, the beam is not perfect if you want to be able to see long distances for a long duration. It doesn’t have a high run time on high power.


  • Runs for several days on low modes
  • SOS mode
  • Compact size
  • Fully waterproof


  • Beam is not very strong

4: Pelican 7600 Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight (best tactical)

Pelican 7600 Rechargeable Tactical FlashlightPin
  • Lumens: 944
  • Power type: lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 3 hours 15 mins. (min.), 29 hours (max.)
  • Material: anodized aluminum
  • Weight: 6.9 ounces

The Pelican 7600 Tactical Flashlight is a highly durable and waterproof tactical flashlight. It features three colored LED lights: white, red, and green. And it has four running modes and a tactical tail switch. But it’s a little expensive.

With 944-lumens on high power, this flashlight can run for 3 hours and 15 minutes and deliver a beam of light up to 738-feet away. On low mode (37-lumens) it can run for 29 hours, so it can be a good choice to use for a kayak camping trip as well as paddling at night.

This Pelican flashlight features a rechargeable battery that can be easily charged using the included USB cable. But there’s also the option of using disposable CR123 batteries (not included) if you have no way of charging it.

It is fully submersible so it can withstand a capsize or kayak roll. It also has a lifetime guarantee, so if you break it, Pelican will replace it.


  • Durable tactical flashlight
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Fully waterproof
  • Three colors of LED lights


  • Pricey

5: Fenix LD30 Rechargeable Flashlight (most compact)

Fenix LD30 Rechargeable FlashlightPin
  • Lumens: 1,600
  • Power type: lithium-ion battery
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 1 hour 30 mins. (min.), 70 hours 30 mins. (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 3.7 ounces

The Fenix LD30 is a compact flashlight that packs a lot of power into its easy-to-carry size. With a turbo mode that can run for as long as an hour and a half, this can let you see clearly up to 673-feet into the distance. However, on medium power, the beam only goes as far as 311-feet.

The lowest mode can run for over 70 hours, still delivering a decent 30-lumens of light. So it can be useful for night kayaking or camping.

This is a lightweight flashlight that features SOS modes and is submersible in 6-feet of water.

It has a dual-position body clip and, at just 4-inches long, it can also be easily packed into a pouch on your PFD or your pocket.

The LD30 has a tough exterior for added durability, including aircraft-grade aluminum construction and an easy-to-hold grip. There is a tactical tail switch and a side switch for versatility.

It comes with a rechargeable battery but it can also be powered with two C123A batteries (not included).


  • Very lightweight
  • Compact size
  • Completely waterproof
  • Dual power options


  • Beam not as strong as others

6: Fenix LR35R Rechargeable Flashlight (brightest)

Fenix LR35R Rechargeable FlashlightPin
  • Lumens: 10,000
  • Power type: two lithium-ion batteries
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 1 hour 25 mins. (min.), 80 hours (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 13.7 ounces

The Fenix LR35R is a rugged and durable flashlight that delivers an incredibly bright light. Featuring 10,000 lumens and two 4,000 mAh lithium batteries, this powerful flashlight packs a punch. And it’s also compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

This comes with a USB-C charging cable for easy charging. And it has a holster and a wrist lanyard, so you can have quick and easy access to it when you’re on the water or at your camp.

It has a waterproof rating of IP68 so it can withstand being submerged for 30 minutes in 6-feet of water.

This bright flashlight benefits from having six LED bulbs and it has a wide-angle beam to illuminate a 90-degree view for improved visibility.

A handy feature of this one is the battery level indicator, so you can tell when it’s time to charge or choose the eco mode if you’re out and about.

It’s not the lightest flashlight to carry, compared to some of the others but it has a flat body for a more compact feel.


  • Extremely bright
  • 90-degree wide angle beam
  • Holster included


  • Not lightweight

7: Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC40 Flashlight (best budget)

Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC40 Flashlight Pin
  • Lumens: 400
  • Power type: Lithium-ion battery
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 6 hours (min.), 50 hours (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces

This Anker Bolder LC40 flashlight can be a great budget option for kayaking. Not only does it deliver a bright light for a long duration but it also functions as an emergency light with its SOS mode.

This can be a useful addition to your gear bag, whether as your main flashlight or your backup light. It is compact, at just 5-inches in length, and it is lightweight so it can be easy to carry or attach to your backpack or PFD with the included pocket clip.

It has a waterproof rating of IPX5 so it can easily handle spray and paddle splashes, as well as heavy rain. However, it’s not recommended for use underwater and it might not survive being submerged.

It has a good battery life, being able to last up to 50 hours on a low beam (20-lumens). It also features a rechargeable lithium battery so you can charge it easily using the included micro-USB cable.


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • SOS mode


  • Not the best for underwater use

8: Princeton Tec League 420 Lumen Light

Princeton Tec League 420 Lumen LightPin
  • Lumens: 420
  • Power type: 4 AA batteries
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 3 hours 30 mins. (min.), 14 hours (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 7 ounces

The Princeton Tec League 420 flashlight is an excellent choice if you’re after a waterproof flashlight that can also be used for diving. This durable option is submersible in depths of up to 328 feet, allowing for continuous light while underwater.

The 420-lumens flashlight can shine brightly up to 620-feet away both on land and underwater, depending on the water clarity.

A great feature of the League 420 flashlight is that it’s designed to be easy to use even with gloves on. The molded ribs on the handle provide grip and the large switch can be easily flipped with wet hands or while wearing gloves.

Another useful feature is that it has a brightly colored exterior, so it can be easy to find in the dark.

This takes four alkaline batteries, which can be useful if you plan to be off the grid and have a supply of batteries with you. But it can be a downside if you want to be able to recharge it easily. It also only has one power mode.


  • Can be used for diving
  • Extremely waterproof
  • Easy to use with gloved hands


  • Not rechargeable
  • Only one mode

9: Coast XP18R Professional Series Flashlight

Coast XP18R Professional Series FlashlightPin
  • Lumens: 3,600
  • Power type: Zithion-X rechargeable battery or 6 AA batteries (not included)
  • Light type: LED
  • Battery life: 6 hours 30 mins. (min.), 58 hours 30 mins. (max.)
  • Material: aluminum
  • Weight: 1 pound 3.2 ounces

The Coast XP18R Professional Series flashlight delivers an incredibly bright light which can be ideal for kayaking or boating at night. This also has an excellent battery life, being able to run on max power for over six hours.

While it’s not entirely waterproof, with its IPX4 rating, it’s designed to stand up to splashes from your kayak paddle and can handle rain and spray with no problems.

The Coast XP18R is not the most compact flashlight (10-inches long) but it is durable and can be a good option to have in your gear bag for a kayak camping trip.

One of the best things about this powerful flashlight is the Pure Beam Optic focusing system. The Slide Focus beam control lets you flip between spotlight and flood beams, with no halos, for a clearer view of your area.

It also has Bulls-Eye technology for a clear spot beam at a distance with a halo around it for optimal viewing.


  • Very bright
  • Long battery life
  • Dual battery power
  • Focusing system for a clearer view


  • Not compact
  • Water-resistant, not submersible

What To Look For In A Waterproof Flashlight

Ingress Protection Rating (IPX or IP rating)

Bright light from flashlight on darkPin

Electronic devices will often have an Ingress Protection rating, which is an international standard rating. This is to let you see how resistant to water and dust a particular gadget is. The higher the IP rating, the better protection the device has against water and dust.

IP ratings often have two numbers after the “IP”, for example, IP54. This would suggest the device is protected to an extent against dust and sand (the IP5X rating) and it would be weatherproof (IPX4 rating) to withstand rain and water spraying.

IPX ratings are the ones you really want to focus on for waterproof flashlights. These run from 0 to 8. IPX8 is the highest level and means the device is completely waterproof and can be submerged.

The depth at which an IPX8 device can be submerged tends to differ between products but will usually be stated by the manufacturer on the packaging.

Generally, flashlights rated from IPX4 and higher can be used around water and in heavy rain. But if you want to be able to dive or use your flashlight underwater, you’ll need to opt for a higher rating – IPX7 or IPX8.

Flashlights for diving will almost always be rated IPX8 for complete waterproof construction. Diving lights will also be able to handle greater depths than standard waterproof flashlights.

For kayak fishing, or general fishing, you may not always need a completely waterproof flashlight and you might opt for one with a rating of IPX6 or IPX7. Although it’s not designed to be submerged, even a rating of IPX6 should be able to withstand being dropped overboard if you get it out of the water quickly.


Man holding flashlight with super bright light at distance during night timePin

The amount of light a flashlight can deliver is referred to in lumens. This is the output of the light and lets you know how bright that light will be.

The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the flashlight.

Many waterproof flashlights have a variety of modes, so you can switch between the power settings depending on whether you want a brighter or dimmer light.

For kayaking at night, there are generally no rules on how far your flashlight should be able to shine, or how bright it should be. But you should be able to use it in an emergency to prevent a collision.

Flashlights that are over 1,000 lumens are incredibly bright and can often illuminate your view around 800-feet away. This can be more than sufficient for lighting your path ahead or rooting around your deck or gear bag to find equipment.

Battery Life

Battery life can be important when it comes to flashlights, especially if you plan to be away from civilization for a while. Think about how long your trip will be and whether you want to be able to use the flashlight as a source of continuous light or if it will just be for emergency use.

If you plan to use the flashlight as a main source of light, you might want to opt for one with a longer battery life. Most flashlight batteries will drain faster if you use brighter settings for longer. You will usually get more life out of the battery and use out of the flashlight if you use it on a low mode.

Most flashlights will last a few days if you’re not constantly using them. For example, if you only plan to use the flashlight in an emergency.

Rechargeable flashlights can be a good idea for convenience. Most rechargeable flashlights have lithium batteries which tend to last longer than alkaline batteries.

If you’re heading out for a longer trip, you may want to think about taking a portable battery if you want to be able to run electronics or recharge your flashlight or phone.

Best Waterproof Flashlights: Comparison Table

FlashlightMax LumensMax DistanceBattery TypeWeight
Fenix PD36R1600928.5 ftli-ion5.6 oz
Coast XP11R2100720 ftzithion-X5.7 oz
Klarus G154000616 ftli-ion5 oz
Pelican 7600944738 ftli-ion6.9 oz
Fenix LD301600673 ftli-ion3.7 oz
Fenix LR35R10,0001640 ftli-ion13.7 oz
Princeton Tec League 420420620 ftAA7 oz
Coast XP18R36001082.7 ftzithion-X1 lb 3.2 oz

Waterproof Flashlight FAQs

Are Cheap Flashlights Worth It?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “buy cheap, buy twice”. You might not want to rely on a cheap flashlight in an emergency or as your main flashlight. But a cheap flashlight can be fine to bring along as a backup.

Do You Have To Carry A Flashlight When Kayaking By Law?

If you kayak at night, most locations will require you to carry a flashlight or other white light by law. If paddling on federal waters, you will need to carry Visual Distress Signals for night use, which can include an electric distress light or three pyrotechnic signals.

Do LED Flashlights Get Hot?

Yes, LED flashlights will usually get hot if they’re used for a significant length of time. All LED lights produce heat but they produce more light and less heat than incandescent bulbs as more of the energy is transferred into emitting light (compared to incandescent lights). 

What Does Lumen Mean?

Lumens are what light is measured in. The higher the lumens of a light, the brighter it is.

Can All These Flashlights Be Used Under Water?

Most of them can be used under water. The three non-submersible flashlights in the list can be used in heavy rain with splashes and spray so they can be ideal for kayaking, boating and fishing.

Wrapping Up Waterproof Flashlights

If you’re looking for the best waterproof flashlight, we think the Fenix PD36R checks all the boxes. It’s completely waterproof, compact for convenience, and it lasts for hours on end. Plus, it can illuminate a great distance when required.

Our runner-up pick is the Coast XP11R Professional Series flashlight. It delivers a high output for increased visibility and it has the added bonus of dual power. So you can alternate between the batteries if you need to. Most flashlights on our list don’t offer this.

Another excellent choice if you’re looking for the most compact flashlight for kayaking is the Fenix LD30. It’s super-lightweight and can easily be clipped onto your gear bag or PFD so that it’s ready when you need it. It’s also completely waterproof and can handle a kayak roll no problem.

Remember, if you want to be able to use the flashlight underwater, opt for a fully waterproof (IPX8) flashlight. Think about the battery life and if you need to charge it on the go.

Not every flashlight in our list will be suitable for your particular use. It’s important to check them out for yourself to make sure you choose the right one for your needs.

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