I get it! Looking for a new flashlight is tough. So what are the best AAA battery flashlights or penlights today?
There are LOADS to choose from. Well, we’ve made it easy in this post, so get settled in, pour yourself a drink, and let’s get started.
Whether you are hiking through the backcountry or if you are preparing for emergencies, a flashlight is a useful tool for many occasions.
To have it handy when you might need it most, it is vital to have a practically sized flashlight that you can carry with you. Small AAA-battery flashlights are super convenient to take with you in your pocket or backpack.
When considering which AAA flashlight would be best suited to your needs, keep several factors in mind. Naturally, the portability of the flashlight is essential. This includes its overall weight and size.
BEAR IN MIND: While AAA battery flashlights are usually conveniently small, there are some larger ones.
The durability of the flashlight is also essential. This is especially true if you are planning on using it in outdoor or potentially inclement conditions.
While the overall power of a AAA flashlight is usually limited, one should also look at the luminosity of the light and the maximum beam range.
Some real gems have an incredibly powerful light-producing capacity that will make you wonder how a AAA battery could generate such power.
Finally, one should consider any extra features that the flashlight offers, including clips, different types of toggle switches, and emergency radio functions. You never know when these “bonus features” might come in handy.
The Best 10 AAA Battery Flashlights In 2020
This is a list of the best smaller flashlights you can find, but it’s not in any particular order. Some of them are lower budget and some higher, but they’re all the BEST. This means they’re either reviewed well, or they have the best features – of both.
Useful note: You might want to consider the J1 tactical flashlight if you don’t mind something a bit bigger.
SureFire Titan Flashlight – The best small & durable flashlight
The SureFire Titan is sure to satisfy those who need a high-quality product that can perform under brutal conditions.
The price may be somewhat off-putting at first, but you certainly get what you pay for.
It is powered by a single AAA battery (a rechargeable one is included) but can function in three different light modes: either 300, 75, or 15 lumens.
These light modes naturally have different effects on battery life, but you can expect up to one hour of power while operating at the highest setting.
It is virtually indestructible and feels sturdy in your hand. The proprietary reflector creates a beam that matches your field of view, which is vital in numerous settings. Overall, this item lands at the top of this list because it is a quality product from a reliable brand.
Pros Of The SureFire Titan
- Powerful light.
- The company offers excellent customer service.
Cons Of The SureFire Titan
- High price point.
- The battery charger is sold separately.
This offer from ThruNite makes the Amazon’s Choice list and is very popular.
Powered by only a AAA battery, this highly compact light is small enough to fit inside your pocket. It weighs only 0.48 ounces! It features a handy clip to attach to your keychain or on your shirt if you so desire.
Three light modes are depending on the needs of the occasion (with up to 125 lumens).
The “firefly” dim mode is perfect for when you need only a little bit of light to avoid stumbling around in the dark. It is ideal for hiking, backpacking, or even evening dog walking.
With a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, you can rest assured that you are buying a quality product.
Pros Of The Thrunite
- Very light and compact.
- Reasonable price.
Cons Of The Thrunite
- Twist switch can be problematic.
- The natural white color is less realistic than other lights.
This second option from ThruNite also makes Amazon’s Choice list and might be a better alternative for those with more specific applications in mind.
There is a good reason we’ve included TWO flashlights from the same company. They’re both very unique and also very popular.
As a “penlight,” the build of this unit is compact, lightweight, and even aesthetically sleek. The aircraft-grade aluminum feels solid in your hand and is sure to survive a few accidental drops in the dirt.
It has an astounding maximum output of 252 lumens (which is surprising for an AAA-powered flashlight) but also features the firefly mode, which allows you to maintain the battery life for a little longer.
It is waterproof and is perfect for uses as divergent as an endoscope in clinical settings or the forest for late-night hiking.
Pros Of The ThruNite Ti5T
- A good price point for the quality of the flashlight.
- Aesthetic and quality build.
Cons Of The ThruNite Ti5T
- Has a slick finish can be slippery in hand.
- The toggle switch can quickly turn on in your pocket.
This updated model of the Preon comes with an improved grip and pen clip, which makes it a good choice for a variety of applications.
Powered by a single AAA battery (which is included), this light is capable of producing up to 200 lumens.
If you do not require all of that power all of the time and want to conserve the battery for a lengthier stretch, the low mode offers a convenient 10 lumens to help you navigate your hallway when the power goes out.
The unit weighs only 0.8 ounces, so it is easy to carry or place in your shirt pocket. The machined grip is also handy to ensure that it is not easily dropped.
Pros Of The FourSevens
- Comfortable grip (well-machined).
- High maximum brightness.
Cons Of The FourSevens
- Turns on easily (accidentally) in your pocket.
- The beam is overly wide and could be improved with a tighter and brighter projection.
When you think of “penlight,” the word “tactical” does not necessarily come to mind. Yet somehow, the Nitecore flashlight from EdisonBright seems to make it work.
This light is sure to provide you with support when you need it most. Compact and actually roughly the size of a pen, it supplies up to 180 lumens and a maximum battery lifespan of over five hours.
The rear reverse switch allows you to toggle it on and off if you only have one hand free. To support your tactical operations, the bright and dim modes can quickly and silently be toggled with a simple half-press of the button.
It weighs only an ounce and is easily portable. There is also an attached stainless-steel clip, which allows you to easily stick it to your cap, shirt, or pocket. Overall, this is a great choice.
Pros Of The EdisonBright
- Batteries included.
- Bright and effective beam.
Cons Of The EdisonBright
- Takes two AAA batteries.
- Some units drain battery life while off.
This compact and sturdy unit from L3 is a good choice for those who need a flashlight for outdoor applications.
It is made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum and has a hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish, so you can rest assured that a casual drop from your hand will not destroy it. It is even waterproof just in case the weather is not quite what you planned.
Instead of a click button to toggle it on and off, the L08 has a useful twist switch. Its maximum output is 90 lumens of a comfortable neutral light, which is highly respectable for a single AAA battery-powered unit. Overall, this is a reliable little flashlight at a fair price.
Pros Of The L3
- The neutral light beam that is comfortable to look at.
- Brightness modes evenly spaced out regarding the twist switch.
- Highly durable.
Cons Of The L2
- Battery life can be short if using the highest brightness mode.
Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro – The best penlight
Streamlight’s are known for being both well-made and highly aesthetic. They are also highly popular, and the Stylus Pro has easily made Amazon’s Choice list.
This sleek black-and-white unit takes two AAA batteries but puts them to good use by generating up to 90 lumens; however, you can also purchase USB rechargeable variants of the same light if that better suits your requirements.
This is our pick of these flashlights
The flashlight functions with a tail switch push button and comes complete with a tear-resistant nylon holster to protect it while not in use.
The penlight is relatively lightweight at only 1.6 ounces, but the build is highly robust with a solid casing. It definitely does not feel like a cheap product, but it is available for a very reasonable price.
You will be amazed when you see this gem shine brighter than some flashlights that are twice its size! For that reason, we have to award this the ‘best and brightest penlight’ that we’ve found in 2020.
Pros Of The Streamlight 66118
- Sleek and aesthetic build and finish.
- The option of a USB rechargeable version.
- Made of durable and solid material. Can withstand the elements.
Cons Of The Streamlight 66118
- Takes two AAA batteries (in the version reviewed here).
- Push-button can be finicky.
This second option from Streamlight also makes Amazon’s Choice list – and all those consumer reviews cannot be wrong!
The smaller Microstream weighs in at only 1.12 ounces and is also available in a AAA battery version or a USB rechargeable version. Both are made from anodized aluminum and feature an anti-abrasion and corrosion-resistant finish to help increase the longevity of the flashlight.
It is small enough to comfortably fit in your pocket or glovebox so you can take it with you for everyday applications.
The attached clip can also provide enhanced flexibility by allowing you to stick it to caps and hats. Most importantly, the light beam projects a solid 45 lumens, which are sufficient for most purposes. It is available in either red or black.
Pros Of The Streamlight MicroStream
- Smooth finish and good quality build.
- Highly durable and can withstand (reasonable) abuse.
- Uses only one AAA battery.
Cons Of The Streamlight MicroStream
- Ensure you receive the correct product as knockoffs are often sold!
Take one look at the Maglite Solitaire, and you will be sure that it is a product you can rely on. It’s pretty tough.
The sleek build is available in several colors – from black to hot pink – but any way you like it, the weather-resistant seals and anodized finish will keep it corrosion free and looking new for a long time.
The adjustable light beam provides up to 47 lumens at a range of up to 55 meters and takes only a single AAA battery.
It is splash resistant and impact-resistant up to one meter. As such, it is undoubtedly tough enough (and useful enough) to take camping, climbing, or hunting.
At only 0.8 ounces, you will not have to lug a heavier or bulkier flashlight around to get the job done. And if shopping for local products is important to you, the Solitaire is made in the USA.
Pros Of The Maglite Solitaire
- Quality machining and built-in grip.
- Available in numerous colors.
Cons Of The Maglite Solitaire
- Battery corrosion can occur (can be prevented with a little routine maintenance).
- Some units have a flickering light issue.
Last but not least, on this list of excellent AAA flashlights is the COAST G19. This bulky little gem packs a serious punch.
As an “inspection beam,” it is capable of illuminating an area of up to 9 meters.
This will allow you to look for your keys effectively and efficiently if the need arises. The beam also projects up to 20 meters and appears as an almost perfect and tightly focused circle.
The flashlight has a battery life of up to two and a half hours. It is also durable: the aluminum build is rated for one-meter drop protection and is also water-resistant.
Best of all, the battery is included so you can use the flashlight right out of the package. It has a built-in adjustable clip that can easily allow it to be securely stored in your pocket, or it can be reversed to attach to a baseball cap for hands-free functionality. Overall, an excellent choice at a great price.
Pros Of The COAST G19
- Batteries included.
- COAST lifetime warranty against material and workmanship defects.
- An excellent price point for the quality of the product.
Cons Of The COAST G19
- Internal battery contacts can quickly become corroded.
- The seemingly perfect cone of projected light is not suited for some purposes.
Having a flashlight can be highly useful or can even save your life in some situations. For both everyday use and for taking with you on outdoor expeditions, it is crucial to be able to rely on the flashlight you have.
Make sure to have one of the compact AAA powered flashlights on this list in your glove box or emergency kit or both.
These options have been extensively reviewed and tested and will serve you well. You never know when you might need one, and it pays to be prepared!
Frequently Asked Questions About AAA Flashlights
Lots of people seem to have questions about AAA flashlights and flashlights in general, so we’ve tried to answer most of them here. If we’ve missed anything, let us know!
What batteries do most flashlights take?
Most flashlights take batteries relative to the size of the flashlight. So most small pocket flashlights tend to take AAA batteries or AA batteries.
The bigger ones can take bigger batteries and therefore last longer in most cases. You can also buy rechargeable batteries or, indeed, rechargeable flashlights now too!
What are the best AAA batteries?
The best quality AAA batteries we’ve found that are GREAT for flashlights are these Energizer batteries, and they’re best sellers for a reason. They work so effectively that people keep buying them over and over again when they eventually run out.
What is the best keychain flashlight?
It’s hard to say because there are so many keychain flashlights. Most of them aren’t high quality, though, but since we’re not able to test all of them (there are too many), we can’t say. What we can say is that sometimes the simple ones are the best, as these little flashlights!
What is the brightest keychain flashlight?
The brightest keychain torch/flashlight we’ve found so far is the Nightcore tiny monster, and it is a monster. It’s so small, but it packs four little keychain flashlights into one mega beam, and it lasts a long time.
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