I like flashlights; we have a ridiculous number of them. If there is a good buy on a flashlight I have to have it. They are kind of an obsession with me. In my collection, I have several different types of solar powered flashlights and I have spent time testing them all. Like everything, they have advantages and disadvantages. But over all I think the advantages of solar powered flashlights outweigh the disadvantages.
The first solar powered flashlights that I encountered were the Hybrid Solar Flashlight that I published a review on in 2011, Hybrid solar flashlight review. At that time, I had owned several of the flashlights for a couple of years. They had been sitting in a windowsill in the sun and is still there after about six years, it still maintains a good charge and gives off a decent light. I would not hesitate to depend on this flashlight today.
But during the intervening years, Hybrid has come out with a couple of new products. One is the Hybrid Solar solar powered headlight. I have had it now for a couple of years and am quite pleased with it. It sets on a windowsill where it get sun everyday. I always know where it is at and that it is fully charged. Here is a detailed post I put up about two years ago Hybrid Solar Headlamp, a Review.
Just recently I received a new solar powered flashlight from AZ Hybrid Light. This is an upgrade from their earlier models and has several improvements. First, it is smaller, produces more light and can even charge your cell phone. It has USB connectors located under the butt cap, so you can charge it from any USB appliance. This is a nice little light and I have found that it seems to have a more efficient solar panel. This stays charged while sitting on my desk, which is not in direct sunlight.
The only real disadvantage that I can see for the solar powered flashlights, that it does take sunlight to power them. If you had to take shelter in a dark area for a period of time you will eventually run out of light. But overall, I really like them.