5 Options For Best AAA Flashlight

The AAA flashlight design is one of the most widely used flashlights of today. Considered an “Every Day Carry” (EDC), finding the best AAA flashlight is hard to come by because there are so many choices out there. When you are searching for your AAA flashlight, keep a few things in mind.

Purpose: The best AAA flashlight should be designed to meet the qualifications of the “Every Day Carry – “most convenient” class. To meet these goals, the light must have the following features:

  • Be small enough to be carried with minimum effort and thought. Ideally, it would attach to something else you already are in the habit of carrying like your keys. That way, it’s with you during an emergency.
  • Have sufficient runtime ( at least 1 hour) to last the length of typical emergencies with an additional amount as backup.
  • Use a common battery that can be found throughout the world and can also be scavenged from other gear.
  • Be durable enough that it can be depended on over a wide type of emergencies including floods, fire, earthquake, etc. It should be at least as durable as the person carrying it.

Option 1 For Best AAA Flashlight – Fenix LD01

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The Fenix company was started in 2004 in a small country called China and has specialized in R&R, manufacturing and sales of outdoor sports lights such as flashlights, headlamps and bike lights. They launched their first flashlight in 2005 and since then continued to put out incredible works of art. Today, Fenix products have been sold all over the world and have made a name for themselves as one of the premium LED lighting brands. Recently, Fenix came out with the TK35, and the Fenix TK22 flashlights, winning the Zunlv Award in China. They are committed to innovative outdoor lights and achieving customer satisfaction.

One of Fenix’s product lines is the LD series (Light Duty), One of the coolest flashlights in the lineup is the Fenix LD01 which is extremely small and not much bigger than the AAA battery it uses. It has 3 modes and puts out over 70 lumens on the highest mode. By turning the head one way to turn on and the other way to turn off, you will see how easy it is to operate. If you want to switch between modes, just rotate the head from on/off within 2 seconds. Now I have said before that I like my Gerber because it is so light in weight and attaches to my keychain. On the other hand it is not as powerful as something the Fenix LD01, in fact it is about 1/2 the lumens as this thing. Even on the highest mode this light can stay on for about  1 1/2 hours which is more than most of the AAA flashlight manufacturers can say about theirs.

Since I have purchased this flashlight, I have found myself using it way more than I thought I would. I am actually considering purchasing a second one to add on my wife’s keychain for her. It does come with a pocket clip for those that don’t want the keychain look, so either way I would consider you buying it to try out.

Bottom line: I have found that this has to in the top 5 rated and considered for the rank of best AAA flashlight, because of the size, sleekness of the body, output amount and the fact it has 3 modes.

Features and Specifications:

  • Cree XP-G R4 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Uses one 1.5V AAA battery (not included), inexpensive and widely available
  • Three output modes (ANSI/FSC): 26 Lumens (3hrs 8min) -> 3 Lumens (27hrs) -> 72 Lumens (1hr 28min)
  • Dimensions: 3″ (7.62 cm) (Length) x 0.55″ (1.4cm) (Diameter)
  • Weight: 0.5 oz (14.2 g) (Excluding battery)
  • Waterproof to IPX-8 standards
  • Digitially regulated output – maintains constant brightness
  • Patented design has reverse polarity protection to prevetn circuit damage
  • Reliable twist switch
  • Flat tailcap allows light to tailcap stand in “Candle” mode
  • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Premium Type-III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finsih
  • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
  • Includes: body clip, key ring, and spare o-ring

Current pricing and reviews for the Fenix LD 01 Flashlight

 

Option 2 For Best AAA Flashlight – Pelican 1910 LED

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The Pelican Products, Inc. was founded in 1976 by Dave Parker in a town called Torrance, California. He started the company small, right out of his garage, he started the company because he was an avid Scuba diver. Mr. Parker was looking for tough flashlights and cases that would not leak or fail. The Pelican company now has over 1,500 employees and has 22 offices worldwide. Pelican builds their products to last a lifetime.

The Pelican 1910 LED is one of the companies more recent creations, it is compact aluminum and designed with style and function in mind. It uses just 1 AAA battery can puts out about 39 lumens for an hour. I have found that the beam of light is very clean and bright white with little to no voids in center ring. The company says that it has a long run time of 1 hour but I disagree. I think the 1 hours burn time on this flashlight is the middle of the road when it comes to the best AAA flashlight and how long the light should burn for. Although this is a very popular light and I really do like it, I think that the updated version will run for a little longer. One huge benefit of the Pelican 1910 LED is the tailcap forward clicky switch like some tactical flashlights, it is made of rubber and has a momentary on position and and a constant on position. It might not be a waterproof flashlight because of the tailcap switch but does have o-rings in a few different places, so I’m sure it can withstand most of the weather you will have it in.

Another nice feature of this flashlight is the belt clip. The belt clip has a metal ring at the top which fits under the tailcap for a secure fit and will not rotate around the flashlight. This is the type of flashlight that has all the perfect benefits of a much larger tactical style flashlight has but just a fraction of the size and cost. This is the type of flashlight that is perfect for a technician, outdoorsman, electrician or pretty much anyone looking for a pocket flashlight.

Bottom line: If you are looking for an EDC flashlight that uses only one AAA battery and want it to be super lightweight, then this is a great choice and you should consider it to be your best AAA flashlight and add to your collection.

Features and Specifications:

  • Forward clicky switch
  • Extremely rugged
  • Removable clip
  • Single mode
  • 39 Lumens
  • Runtime is 1h
  • Uses AAA batteries
  • Beam Distance is 62m
  • Length 3.6″
  • Weight without batteries 1 oz.

Current pricing and reviews for the Pelican 1910 Flashlight

 

Option 3 For Best AAA Flashlight – Olight I3

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Olight is one of the fastest growing outdoors lighting companies,  started in 2006 manufacturing high end illumination tools. Originally Olight focused only on the general outdoor use and enthusiast markets, but quickly moved in the the more specialized markets. Due to so many customers requesting flashlights for military, law enforcement or other tactical purposes, Olight launched the M20 tactical flashlight. Later in 2009, Olight incorporated another excellent brand called iTP into the family. From their the Olight companies have been rapidly growing and expanding and continue to make fair priced illumination tools for people all over the world.

The i Series by Olight was designed to be a powerful yet cost effective EDC type flashlight. It is made from premium type III hard- anodized aluminum with an anti abrasive finish. This is one of those flashlights that could be stowed away in so many placed and forgot about, it is only 2.75″ long and 1/2″ wide. Many people that use this flashlight say they forget they are carrying it. One nice thing is that you can carry it on your keychain or remove the keychain and use the very strong belt clip. Its simple design is deceiving in the fact that it actually has a very sophisticated micro chip processor inside. By having this processor, it can put out light in 3 different modes, one of them being 70 lumens and the runtime is just over 1 hour. By twisting the head on/off quickly, you can change from low, med. high modes very easily.

If you are like many people out there that likes to carry a multi-tool this is a perfect every day carry flashlight for you. The Olight I3 is small enough to fit in the Leatherman Wave holster along with the multi-tool itself, giving you less bulk on your person.

Bottom line: This flashlight made the list of best AAA flashlights because of the small yet durable design, the output power of 70 lumens and the 3 modes it has. Don’t be fooled by the inexpensive price either, although the Olight company is fairly new, they are putting out good tools at great prices.

Features and Specifications:

  • Keychain hole design, easy for every day carry
  • Removable clip with removal tool in the package so you can easily install or remove pocket clip based on need
  • Stable tail stand to serve as a candle
  • Includes free high-quality and high-capacity AAA battery.
  • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Battery reverse polarity protection
  • Output/Runtime: High: 70 lumens / 0.7 hours , Medium: 20 lumens / 1.5 hours , Low: 2.5 lumens / 20 hours
  • LED: Cree XP-G R5
  • Battery: 1 x AAA (included)
  • Max Beam Distance: 37m
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 350cd
  • Impact Resistant: 1.2m
  • Water resistant to IXP-8 Standard
  • Length: 70.8mm
  • Diameter: 14mm
  • Weight: 13.2g (excluding battery)

Current pricing and reviews for the Olight i3 Flashlight

 

Option 4 For Best AAA Flashlight – Streamlight Microstream

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Of all the great flashlight companies out there right now, the Streamlight company takes on a very unique approach to meeting customer needs. For over 40 years now, Streamlight has amazed their customers and competitors with their unique approach. Streamlight the company is not made up of just board members, VPs and employees but instead made of outdoor enthusiasts. The people of Streamlight are proud to be hunters, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts. They take on training courses similar to law enforcement, firefighters and ems would take as on going education. By taking this approach, Streamlight gets to know more about their customers real life situations that would require the flashlights they produce.

Streamlight makes several different flashlights, the Stylus and the Microstream both use the AAA batteries. The difference is, that the Stylus uses 2 AAA batteries, where the Microstream uses only a single AAA battery. Like other  Streamlight flashlights, the Microstream is made in china. It is on its second revision, with the first  to have an issue with the head. People could actually remove the head and replace with a Fenix LD01 head, making it a multi mode hybrid flashlight. The new version has solved that issue and has a one piece body. The Streamlight Microstream also has a more robust tail switch, and two way belt clip. Now you can clip it to your belt and your hat.

The Streamlight Microstream utilizes the forward clicky switch for “momentary on” or “tactical” situations. Although people have commented about the light switch being “stiff” and hard to turn on, I like this feature. I think it makes it more difficult for the light to accidently turn on while in your backpack or in your pocket.

For a budget flashlight, this this is pretty well build, as you will see, it has a great anodized finish which gives a strong scratch resistance. Surprising the light has a smooth reflector, giving it more throw than some of the other lights in the same price range. Uses a poly lens which is still pretty good and durable. Now you can use a Li-ion battery if you would like but the manufacturer does say it can also use the standard AAA. The runtime on a Li-ion battery is almost 4 hours too.

Bottom line: This Streamlight Microstream is not the most powerful AAA flashlight out there, but at 28 lumens it does have a pretty nice beam and can run with the big dogs in my opinion. I think this is a perfect light for those doing plumbing, technical jobs, computer repair and many other tasks. I consider this #4 on the best AAA flashlight list.

Features and Specifications:

  • Single mode AAA flashlight
  • 2 1/4 hours stated runtime
  • Momentary on “forward clicky” tail switch
  • 28 lumens stated output
  • Compact, waterproof construction withstands tough work environment
  • Proprietary Micro Optical System (MOS) for optimized output (super bright beam) and run time
  • Shock proof – drop test verified above the industry standard of 6 feet
  • Unbreakable pocket clip and ring for easy storage/attachment
  • Uses budget Cree XP-C emitter
  • Type II MIL-Spec black anodized finish
  • Reverse polarity protection (?)

Current pricing and reviews for the Streamlight MicroStream Flashlight

 

Option 5 For Best AAA Flashlight – Thrunite Ti LED

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The Thrunite Ti LED is a nice light that runs on AAA batteries. It has plenty of knurling on the hard anodized aluminum body and uses the rotating head style on/off switch. With just an 1/8 turn you can go from the low mode to high mode. It is really designed as a keychain flashlight so it does not come with a clip. The low setting of 3 lumens is perfect for reading a map finding your stuff in the tent and the 60 lumens will light up the night sky. The 60 lumens of light is great, the beam of light is consistent and does not have any voids. This flashlight is waterproof too.
Bottom line: The main reason I chose this flashlight for the list of best AAA flashlight, is the 60 lumens and keychain option. This super small flashlight will hardly be noticed while carrying it.

 

Features and Specifications:

  • Ti specifications:(3-60 lumens version)
  • Uses Cree XP-E R4 LED with a lifespan of 50000 hours
  • Uses one 0.9-1.5V AAA (Ni-MH, Alkaline) battery
  • 7.2cm (Length) x 1.4cm (Diameter)
  • 20-gram weight (excluding batteries)
  • OP reflector
  • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation
  • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard
  • Reliable twist switch. Tighten for Firefly (3lumens) tighten further for max Output (60 lumens)

Current pricing and reviews for the Trunite Ti LEDFlashlight

 

YOUR TURN

There are so many other great AAA operated flashlights on the market . If you have your BEST Flashlight of choice, please leave a comment or send in your review to add to the list. We would love to hear your input.

 

 

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  • bruce lancaster

    Maratac AAA rev 3 = favorite. 4seven’s Preon P1 = second favorite. ITP A3 EOS = 3rd. Fenix LD01 = 4th. Peak Eiger AAA = 5th. The Maratac and the ITP seem like the same light and are the smallest AAA lights I know of, but they are no longer the same since Maratac got to Rev 3. If you want the smallest, lightest AAA flashlight, then it is one of those two. The ITP is 20 bucks and well worth it, – the Rev 3 Maratac has longer battery life in all three modes, but is about fifteen or so dollars more considering countycomms shipping if you didn’t happen to buy a bunch of other stuff. The Preon P1 is a very, very nice light and has some advanced features like strobe, sos, and beacon. It is quite a bit larger than the Maratac and ITP, but would certainly be my favorite if it wasn’t fifty bucks shipped. I just don’t think strobe and beacon are worth the extra money in a AAA (it comes with the exact same LED as the maratac). The Fenix, though very small, is still way bigger than the ITP or maratac. I might have ranked it ahead of the Preon but for the fact that both of mine have loose heads and will turn on in my pants pocket when I sit down unless I screw the heads 2 1/2 full turns away from on. The Peak Eiger is just cooler than any other AAA besides the ones I ranked ahead of it. I mean, yes – it is very bright and has a good long throw for a AAA, but it just comes down to the fact it’s very cool looking.

  • Chi Am

    Flashlight technology constantly upgrades.
    Current “Best” 1x AAA Flashlight is arguably the ThruNite Ti3 at Max 120 Lumens, this is a supercharged version of the Olight i3S.

  • Colonel White

    The best flashlight is the one that you have with you when you need it. That is why I prefer small form factor lights instead of bulky x*1000 lumens monsters. Yes, you will not get the same operation time, lumens, perfect light spot, etc. It is a compromise.

    I own Led Lenser p3 AFS-P (http://www.ledlenser.com/uk/flashlights/p3-afs-p/) and m3r (http://www.ledlenser.com/uk/flashlights/m3r/) 69 and 220 lumens as apt.

    Both are great.
    P3 afs p uses AAA alkaline batteries, m3r can use 10440 li-ion (USB charger and battery are included) or AAA.
    P3 afs p have no sophisticated controller, so only one mode, sometimes it is too bright.
    m3r has controller, so it has brightness level control and 3 modes: max (~220 lm ~1,2 h), min (~70 lm, ~5 h) and strobe. Downside: you will have to open the flashlight each time you charge the battery, spare 10440 are hard to get and it’s a little bit dimmer than p3 AFS p when you put standard AAA instead of 10440, but I consider that as an good backup option, not an every day one. If your 10440 is dead and you have no spare one you can use easy-to-get AAAs.

    The best feature about them is focusing system most flashlights lack it. With it, you can easily outperform most of bigger flashlights. Love it and use it all the time.

    Carrying m3r on me mostly now.