Pretty much everyone had a moment in which they wish they had a flashlight around. In fact, it happens so often that it is not worth counting. A flashlight is a tool that will prove its usefulness more often than some would believe. These days everyone has a smartphone with a flashlight feature but a real flashlight is a much better option since the light is brighter and the batteries can be replaced.
These days, flashlights are much more reliable than how they were a few years ago. This is because the batteries are better and LEDs have become a thing. LED lights started to replace the old incandescent light bulbs for several reasons. They seem to last longer. An average LED light can work for tens of thousands of hours while a classic lightbulb can fail after a few hundreds.
The most important reason why LED lights are so popular is their energy efficiency. An LED light requires much less power to provide the same luminosity as an incandescent light bulb. This is why today we will look at a few LED flashlights but not any kind of flashlights. Pocket flashlights also are known as tactical flashlights are extremely small and very easy to carry around. Because of the efficiency of LED, lights, these small gadgets can provide powerful illumination while being small enough to attach to a keychain and toss into a pocket.
Our selection did not follow any strict rules. We selected models that are well built, not too expensive and have positive feedback from the ones that had the chance to play around with them. In the end, we picked ten models that are worth spending money on. Without delaying any further here are the top 10 best pocket flashlights in 2020.
Best Pocket Flashlight in 2020
Last update on 2020-01-12 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10. J5 Tactical Flashlight
The J5 tactical flashlight is a very compact model that can be found for a very low price tag. It measures just 3.6 inches in length and runs on a single AA battery or a 14500 rechargeable cell that can be purchased separately. The model uses an LED light bulb that provides a luminosity of 250 lumens and has 3 light modes. Its energy efficiency is quite impressive and for such a small flashlight, a full battery charge can last for quite some time.
One interesting part about this flashlight is the zoom adapter. The user can control the focus of the light but the problem is that the adapter is removable and can be lost easily. In fact, a lot of users lost their zoom adapter as it fell off on its own while carrying the flashlight in a pocket.
9. Hausbell 7W Ultra Bright Mini LED Flashlight Tactical Flashlight
Hausbell offers a very small pocket flashlight that is so small that can be used on a keychain. It is a simple 7-watt flashlight capable of an output of 300 lumens using LED light bulbs. The torch has an adjustable focus which is a nice feature to have and the body is made out of metal with a black coating. It comes as a pack of two and for such a low price tag the flashlight will prove to be a great deal. It also has a small clamp that makes it easy to store securely even in a pocket. The flashlight is waterproof and works with one AA battery or a 14500 rechargeable battery cell.
Even if it feels like a sturdy flashlight with its metal body, it does lack some durability. The problem that some would observe is the spring inside that is used as a conductor for the battery. It tends to become loose and fixing it can be a bit difficult.
8. ThruNite Ti3 EDC Cree XP-G2 R5 AAA Torch Max120 Lumens LED Flashlight
ThruNite Ti3 is surprisingly small even for a pocket flashlight. It is so small that it seems just as big as a regular AA battery. The model uses a long lifespan LED light bulb powered by a regular AAA battery. According to the manufacturers, the LED has a lifespan of 20 years. In terms of luminosity, the flashlight offers 120 lumens. The body of the model is made out of metal and features a small OP reflector.
In terms of cons, the model has two things that most users will complain about. The first issue is that the torch does not have an adjustable focus. The second problem is the price tag as it is a bit expensive when compared with other models from our list.
7. J5 Hyper V Tactical Flashlight
J5 Hyper V tactical flashlight is a nice little tool to have around in a pocket or a toolbox. It is compact and extremely bright. With 3 AAA batteries, the flashlight is capable of an output of 400 lumens. Its LED light bulb is energy efficient and should not drain the batteries any sooner than a couple of hours. The body of the flashlight is made out of metal and multiple light modes as well as an adjustable focus. Due to its rugged construction, the flashlight is also waterproof.
One annoying thing about the flashlight is the way it is turned on. When the model is switched off it will need to be pressed multiple times. If for example it is currently set in the bright mode it will need to be pressed to switch to dim and then strobe and again to switch it off. This can be quite annoying.
6. Coast HP1 Focusing 190 Lumen LED Flashlight
Coast HP1 is a small and quite useful little pocket flashlight. It is quite inexpensive and well built. Its body is made out of lightweight aluminum and it is completely water and corrosion resistant. The flashlight uses a 1 AA battery or a 14500 lithium rechargeable cell. Luminosity reaches 190 lumens and a new battery should be good for about one hour and 15 minutes. The flashlight also has an adjustable focus and a simple on and off button.
One issue that might be a bit concerning is that the manufacturers are a bit misleading or at least they are not explaining something. On a single AA battery, the flashlight offers 96 lumens. In order to get 190 lumens, it needs to be powered by a 14500 battery.
5. Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight
Streamlight 73001 is one of the smallest LED pocket flashlights in our list. It is so compact that it can be used on a keychain and would still fit comfortably in a pocket. The model is made mostly out of plastic and some metal. It users four IEC-LR41 coin cells which provide enough power for about eight hours. Its high energy efficient LED light offers decent brightness and offers an average lifespan of 100,000 hours.
In terms of cons, only one major thing needs to be mentioned. The brightness of the flashlight is not that impressive. It produces just 10 lumens which are quite low and models that are just a bit light and use an AA battery are much more powerful but the batteries last much less.
4. Lightning EVER Adjustable Focus Mini LED Flashlight
For such a small flashlight the Lightning EVER is quite powerful. It is a pocket or tactical flashlight that can easily be carried in a pocket despite the fact that it uses 3 AAA batteries. Its output can reach 140 lumens and its focus is adjustable. The body of the flashlight is made out of lightweight aluminum with a black coating while its overall design is waterproof. Its adjustable focus can convert it into a genuine floodlight while the spotlight setting offers long range illumination.
A lot of users mention the build quality of the flashlight. It seems that some units have the focusing lens a bit loose. While this does not affect the functionality of the flashlight it does make up for a debatable build quality.
3. Streamlight 66318 MicroStream C4 Pen Light
The Streamlight 66318 is a great pick for the ones that need something reliable in a compact form factor. It is a sleek model that looks more like a pen. It is made out of aluminum with a water-resistant build and impact resistance. The model works with two AAA batteries which are included in the kit. It also includes a nylon holster. The model offers a maximum output of 90 lumens. Its energy efficient LED light bulb will drain the batteries in about 6.5 hours. As for diversity, the model can be found in multiple colors but all of them have an aluminum body.
The lantern itself is fairly decent. It has a robust construction but it has a few flaws. The most notable one is the quality of the buttons. They feel a bit flimsy and a bit difficult to press especially when having to hold the button to keep the flashlight on.
2. Streamlight 88033 ProTac Flashlight
Streamlight 88033 ProTac flashlight is one of the more popular pocket models that comes with a slim design and a very durable construction. The model is made out of lightweight aluminum and it is waterproof but it cannot be submerged under water for more than 30 minutes. It uses 2 AA batteries and a LED light bulb with an output of 155 lumens. The model also has an adjustable focus and a strobe mode. Last but not least the flashlight uses a C4 LED that is estimated to have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours.
The only issue that the model has is the price tag. It is quite expensive for a pocket flashlight, especially when comparing it with other models from our list. It is about two times more expensive than an average model which might be considered a turnoff.
1. J5 Tactical V1-PRO 300 Lumen Ultra Bright Flashlight
J5 Tactical V1-Pro is by far the most popular pocket flashlight in our list. It is also one of the brightest with an output of 300 lumens when using a 14500 rechargeable battery cell. At the same time, the flashlight is inexpensive and well built. It has an aluminum body that was designed to be waterproof and an adjustable focus. The model can also work with an AA battery but its output is significantly lower.
The manufacturers were not very clear about its luminosity. They do mention that it works with AA and 14500 battery cells. However, in order to get 300 lumens, a 14500 battery cell needs to be used. The AA is not powerful enough.
- When running with AA batteries the luminosity is much lower
Things To Keep In Mind
Most flashlights that work with multiple types of batteries have their output listed in lumens but for the most powerful battery cell, they can use. Manufacturers rarely mention what is the lowest luminosity for obvious reasons. This is a bit misleading but such a major concern. Batteries are usually quite cheap.
Another important aspect to looks out for is if the flashlight has an adjustable focus or not. Multiple light modes are not that important but having an adjustable focus is much more useful. The vast majority of pocket flashlights on our list have an adjustable focus but for the same of diversity, we also included models that do not have this feature.