Over the years of exploring I’ve gone though a lot of flashlights. Dunked in drains, dropped from ledges, and just flat out abused. I’ve made a quick list of some of the best flashlights for urban exploration. These are my recommendations based off my own person use of them.

Water Resistant Red Light Flashlight

urban exploration flashlight red light

A must have for any explorer is a red light flashlight. Having a red light comes in handy of a number of reasons. I personally recommend this one here. Below are a few reasons why I think this is one of the best flashlights for urban exploration.

Easy On The Eyes

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been blinded by either another explorers flashlight while in a pitch black building. Having a red light allows you to see where you’re going, without blinding yourself and everyone else around you. It’s also a great tool if you do astrophotography.

Low Profile

Not only is red light easy on the eyes, but it helps you keep a low profile as well. Red light is less noticeable than standard white light bulbs and is great if you’re trying to keep a low profile while exploring.

Creative Photography

The red light also proves to be a cool tool when trying to light up a dark place to photography. Often times I’ll have to light paint an area to photograph it properly, and having a red light with me can create an unique look.

  • Uses 3 AAA batteries.
  • Water resistant seal.
  • Durable metal frame and design
  • Adjustable beam to widen or narrow focus.
  • Long battery life. 20+ hours.

You can pick one up on Amazon here.

Maglite Mini PRO

maglite mini pro flashlight

Another one of the best flashlights for urban exploring is a good Maglite. If I had to pick one quality to have in a flashlight for urban exploring it would be dependability, and Maglite has it.

I’ve dropped my Maglite down stairs, in drains, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of. Below are a few reason I think I think why the Maglite Mini is one of the best flashlights for urban exploring.


As mentioned earlier Maglites are know for their durability and dependability. The Maglite Mini PRO provides the perfect combination of durability and portability.

Ease Of Use

The Maglite Mini PRO is simple to use when in dark or cramped spaces which is another reason it’s one of my favorite tools. I’ve had to change the batteries for this in complete darkness and did so without a problem. There’s no small springs or parts that can be lost.

The Maglite Mini PRO also comes with a nylon sheath that you can attach to your belt through the beltloop. It holds the flashlight securely and comfortably even when climbing fences or maneuvering around tight places.

Self Defense

Another reason why Maglite is one of the best flashlights for urban exploration is it’s usefulness for self defense from an attacker.

Now the Maglite Mini PRO wouldn’t be useful for this, but if you were looking to find a light source that would also ward off an attacker, I would highly suggest the Maglite S6D016.

Of course the S6D016 is larger and weighs more, but that’s the tradeoff you’ll make if you’re looking for a flashlight defense product.

  • Maglite’s are extremely durable. Drop & water resistant.
  • The Maglite S6D016 can double as a self defense tool
  • Both have excellent battery life.
  • Both Maglites produce ample amounts of light.

You can get the Maglite Mini PRO on Amazon here.
You can also get the larger Maglite S6D016 on Amazon as well.

6000 Lumen Handheld Spotlight

spotlight for urban exploration

Now why on earth would you need a handheld spotlight with that much power? Well I have definitely needed it during my travels and it earns a spot as one the best flashlights or urban exploration on my list.

Excellent In Drains

This torch is my favorite to take while draining. The amount of sheer power it has can illuminate up to 800 meters in front of you making this great for looking ahead long dark tunnels or drain systems.


It’s rated IPX4 waterproof so it’s perfect for drains or places where there may be damp conditions. The body is extremely durable, I have smacked this against a few walls and it didn’t even make a scratch.


I don’t like to get weighed down while I’m out, my camera is heavy enough. This light is roughly 8 x 4 inches and weighs less than a pound. It comes with a USB port so you can actually charge your phone from it in a pinch.

It has multiple light modes for bright and lower light settings as well as an SOS mode, red light mode, and red and blue light mode.

  • Up to 25 hours or battery time.
  • Visible from up to 800 meters.
  • Impact resistant and IPX4 waterproof.
  • Sidebar light for softer illumination.
  • Super lightweight. (25oz)

You can pick one up on Amazon at the link here.

160 Lumen CREE LED Headlamp

urban exploration headlamp

I feel like I couldn’t list some of the best flashlights for urban exploration without including my headlamp. Being able to have your hands free and your area in front of you well lit is such a benefit, especially if you’re trying to change lenses or shoot in the dark.

Multiple Light Modes

This headlamp has multiple modes which I find really usefully. It has 4 different light modes: High, low, strobe, and red light mode. The red light mode isn’t nearly as powerful as the standalone red light I reviewed above, but it gets the job done if you’re looking for something in your bag or nearby.

The high strobe mode is actually great if you’re in a dark place and someone is attacking you. In another article we discussed self defense while exploring and having a solid strobe light with you can disorient and attacker in the dark and give you a chance or fight or get away.


The headlamp itself fits great. It doesn’t block my view or hurt my head. The main lamp actually can tilt down if you need to redirect your light beam more in front of you or further away.


I can’t say that I have dropped this too many times, but it does have a solid build quality to it. It’s lightweight and can easily be carried in your bag no matter what backpack you’re going with.

  • 3 AAA batteries with a 30 hour battery life.
  • Only 1.6oz.
  • IPX6 Water Resistant.
  • Sturdy design.
  • Easy to use and transport.

You can check out the headlamps on Amazon.