5 of the Best AAA Flashlights on the Market
Flashlights, not to be confused with headlights, are handheld portable electric lights that you can use to navigate in the dark. They are handy for those living off the grid, campers, and generally outdoorsy people who get caught up in the dark.
You may be tempted to look down on a flashlight if you have never used one, but the best AAA flashlight will illuminate so far that you will think power is on for second. So, what is an AAA flashlight? It is a much smaller flashlight that utilizes AAA batteries. These batteries are easy to find, and the flashlight is quite compact for easy porting.
Why should you care for AAA flashlights, anyway? Well, we have t say from the get-go that they are quite compact and their beam is not the broadest, so they will not be the best option for camping. However, a portable flashlight comes handy when you walk the dog or take evening walks, o even just want to use it at home. It comes with a pocket clip to secure it to your clothes and a keychain for when you just want to secure it to your backpack.
Most keychain flashlights and especially the ones we are about to review are made of aircraft grade aluminum which is almost indestructible. They are also flat-based so that you can place them on a flat surface and work independently. Maybe the most pleasing feature of these little torches is the price. Each of the ones we will review costs less than $20. A steal, no?
How did we pick the Best AAA Flashlight?
Okay, we have to admit that this was no joke. We had several brands to review, and so we dedicated more than 30 hours to the test. We started with the brands that we thought were hyped online before moving on to the less known brands. Interestingly, the overly hyped products did not make the top-ten on our list.
So, how did we do this?
Our main targets were runtime, variety of modes, brightness, size and shape, and portability. We needed a flashlight that would last for at least 4 hours on medium mode. We were looking at the value in terms of how much you would spend on batteries if you were to use this flashlight at home to fix a blocked sink.
Brightness is a natural deal breaker, and so it was high on our radar. Our target was between 90 and 150 lumens (for the price range). We were also concerned with the distance covered in meters, with the objective being 40 meters and above. Again, we wanted to get the best on a budget, and maybe we should mention here that we were not willing to spend more than $18 per flashlight.
Type of battery used: we preferred flashlights that used one battery at a time, but we were also willing to accept two if it would mean more power. We chose AAA batteries because they are easily available. Did they have to be disposable? Not really but you will hardly get rechargeable batteries of the size we wanted. Besides, these torches are designed for mobile people, and so disposable batteries were the best option.
Modes: we wanted you to have options, hence the multiple modes. We were keen on getting flashlights with low, high and strobe modes. One of our reviewed products only has one mode, but that’s because it was too high-quality to leave out. We overlooked that con.
Size and portability: keychain torches are known for their portability, and so we stuck to that. We were also keen on the material to make your purchase worth it. We like our flashlights waterproof too for those underwater expeditions.
That’s about it! We rounded five products that we are going to share with you in this review, keep reading.
Comparison Chart - Best AAA Flashlight
Extremely bright, multiple modes
Shines brightly and for long distances
Pretty lightweight and cheap
Four modes for variety, battery saving
Small and portable yet powerful
The beam has no broad coverage
The beam is naturally narrow
Has one mode
A bit more expensive than most
No tail switch, no memory mode
2.8 x 0.6 in
2.38 x 0.55 in
2.5 x 0.3 in
2.75 x 0.55 in
2.59 x 0.55 in
Light Source Type
Best AAA Flashlight Reviews 2018
ThruNite AAA flashlight
Extremely bright & multiple modes
Olight AAA flashlight
Shines brightly and for long distances
Docooler AAA flashlight
Pretty lightweight and cheap
GLAREE AAA flashlight
Four modes for variety and battery saving
Bronte AAA flashlight
Small and portable yet powerful
1. ThruNite AAA flashlight - absolutely the best pocket light
The Thru-Nite Ti3 AAA Keychain Flashlight is truly a keychain. It is small, of solid construction, and shines brighter than you would imagine. It takes the shape of a pen and will fit perfectly in your fist. Its size makes it the ideal flashlight to carry when you don’t have too much space for the bulkier ones. It has four modes so that you can set the one that suits your needs the best, and it has a pocket clip for attaching to your clothes to keep it safe. It is handheld too.
We mentioned it has four modes, which are; the Firefly mode at 0.5 lumens with a 115-hour runtime, the low mode at 12 lumens doing a 6-hour run, the high mode at 162 lumens for 30 minutes, and Strobe mode at 162 lumens that run for an hour. It comes in black and silver, and you can find a nice case to carry it in online. It has a tail switch that you can turn on even when the flashlight is still in your pocket.
- Extremely bright for its size.
- Economical for using one disposable battery.
- Has multiple modes and a pocket clip.
- The beam has no broad coverage.
- Takes patience and practice to learn to switch between modes.
2. Olight AAA flashlight - rugged, durable and simple to use
Most keychain flashlights come in one default color (black) but not this one. It also comes in blue, copper, red, purple, silver, and green. It measures 14mm* length 60.5mm and weighs 7 ounces, and so you can take it anywhere and not notice you have any weight on you. It has a pocket clip to keep it safely in the pocket as well as a hole to insert a key ring.
Its battery life is 60 minutes on high while the other three modes will last much longer. It uses a single AAA battery at a go, and you can have it on for about 5 hours on low. The beam is bright but not as broad as you would expect from a larger flashlight.This one is exciting: the Olight 90 flashlight is waterproof, and so you can take it for your nightly swims or expedition in the lake. The outer part is made of aircraft grade aluminum, and so it can take a beating.
- It is waterproof.
- The outer part is made of sturdy aluminum.
- It shines brightly and for long distances (44-48m).
- The beam is naturally narrow.
- It uses more than one battery a night if you want it on high.
3. Docooler AAA flashlight - solid construction
Like any pocket torch, this flashlight fits perfectly in any hand. It is sleek, made of solid material with construction to take a beating. The material-military grade aluminum- this small flashlight will last years. It is shaped like a pen and only measures 9cm in height. It has a pocket clip at the top to safely attach it to your pocket.
The functionalities are simple: turn the head in one direction to switch it on and off, or use the switch at the tail head to turn it on while still in the pocket. The design is skid-proof, and so you can place it on a rough surface without losing it. The base is flat to enable the torch to stand on its own when placed on a flat surface.
The complete dimensions are 2.5 x 3 x 0.3 in and it weighs 0.32 ounces. It is waterproof.
- Made of sturdy material and its construction are equally solid.
- It is pretty lightweight and cheap.
- It is quite bright for its size.
- Has one mode.
- No color options.
4. GLAREE AAA flashlight - well built mini flashlight
The GLAREE E03 Keychain Flashlight comes in different colors and three ranges: black, blue, and purple share characteristics. Each of them is ion the 150-lumen range, which should tell you just how much more powerful they are when compared to their 90-120 rumen counterparts.
As is true of all pocket torches, this model is small enough to fit in your hand but bright enough to illuminate your path during a hike.
It weighs a mere 0.02lb, and it also comes with a pocket clip to attach it to your clothes. It has these output modes and runtime: Moonlight: 0.1Lm-120 hours, Low: 15Lm-6.5 hours, High: 150Lm-30 minutes, and Strobe: 150Lm-60 minutes. It has an easy operation: just twist the head to turn it on and off, and then tighten the head or loosen it to turn it on and off again.
It has IPX-8 waterproof standards, and so it can work underwater (2 meters) for as long as the battery lasts. The material is made to last, and Glaree ensures that you have the best product by offering their 2-year warranty.
- 2-year unlimited warranty which is unique to the company.
- Waterproof and anti-abrasive material.
- Four modes for variety and battery saving.
- A bit more expensive than most.
5. Bronte AAA flashlight - mid level is good for average use
This powerful flashlight is powered by one AAA battery, which does not come with the package, and it illuminates as far as 45m. The brightness is 150 lumens with a narrow but sharp beam that you can change using any of the four modes - Firefly to Strobe.
Its solid material, aircraft grade aluminum, is excellent and it could last a lifetime. The base is flat is quite broad to stand on its own on a flat surface. It has a pocket clip and comes with a keychain for better portability. You can also wear it around your neck if you like, seeing as it is shaped like a pen but much smaller.
This model is available in four colors: black, blue, pink, and grey. It has no tail switch, but you only need to twist the head to turn it on and off. You loosen the head to turn it off and tighten it to turn the flashlight on. Its default setting is medium, and so you will have t adjust the head to get your preferred setting.
- Small and portable yet powerful.
- It has four modes.
- Comes in four different colors.
- No tail switch.
- It has no memory mode.
Factors to Consider when Buying AAA Flashlight
Size and Shape
Most AAA flashlights are small and shaped like pens, hence the name Penlight, and so they are quite concealable. You can wear yours around the neck or just place it in the pocket. You want one with a pocket clip so that you can easily tuck it into your pants, or go for the one with a keychain to attach to the rest of your keys. We are yet to find AAA flashlights larger than the average palm, and so we recommend that you stick with standard measurements of this is what you are going for.
Brightness of the Torch
You will know a flashlight’s brightness by its lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light and also the stronger the beam. There is more to consider: the color of the LED. Cold white light is energy efficient, and so your battery will last longer while a warm (brownish) flashlight will illuminate colors better. Both of them will illuminate brightly, but the outlook may be different where colors are involved.
What is the ideal number of lumens for a flashlight? Anything between 75 and 85 is perfect since it will not blind you with brightness, but you can go higher depending on your intended use for the flashlight. 150 lumens will be super bright and ideal for the outdoors.
A Throw or a Flood?
Do you want a narrow beam or are you looking for a broader beam? Contrary to popular belief, flashlights can either give you a blinding, narrow beam or widen it to reduce the distance traveled. The best is the kind that balances both qualities because they are both ideal, and so you want to factor that in during purchase. If you select carefully, you will get one that allows you to toggle the modes and get the perfect balance between throw and flood. If you can only get one of the two features, we recommend you go for flood light for the broad coverage.
Click Switch vs. Twist Switch
If you are lucky, you will get a torch with a tail switch that will allow you to turn it on even when it’s in the pocket. Most of the time, though, you will only have a choice between a click and a twist switch. Twist means manipulating the head of the torch to turn it on and off, and also change the mode 9mayye from medium to high or low). Most flashlights do not save your preferred settings, and so you will need to adjust them whenever you turn it on.
If you're going to buy a flashlight, make it worth every penny you spend. What’s the point of buying a very cheap Penlight that will give in after a few uses? Quality to us is in the material, reaction to water, and the overall construction.
Battery Type and Runtime
AAA batteries are not only easily available, but they are also quite cheap. They last long too, which is what makes them a favorite of many flashlight manufacturers. Runtime depends on the mode that you run your flashlight at. If you are on high, then it is likely to get used faster than if it was on low or medium. AAA batteries last long but again it will all depend on usage.
What not to Consider
Price shouldn't be a factor when you are investing. Cheap is just that; cheap, and so you want to make a purchase that will last as long as you will need it. The flashlights we are about to review cost less than $20 each, but they last years due to sturdy construction. The brand should not matter either as long as the product has all the qualities you want.
Ready to Get Yours?
AAA flashlights may look like a joke when you are used to their larger counterparts but wait until you turn it on! The brightness will astound you! They are designed for those who don’t have too much space for carrying a larger flashlight but could still use some lighting at some point. We said from the beginning that their beam is not as wide as the larger ones, but you do understand that they are much smaller. Still, 45 meters of illumination for the price of two coffees is a worthy deal!
The AAA flashlights we have reviewed are made of the sturdiest material, and so they will not give in on you for years. They are also economical seeing as small AAA batteries are not costly, especially when you buy by the dozen. While they are all great, we highly recommend Thru-Nite AAA Flashlight
This flashlight is not only made of durable material, but it also illuminates up to 45 meters. One battery can last for 6 hours if you use it on low. It has four modes for better control, and you get a 2-year warranty from the maker. It’s ideal for dog walking (at night), treks in the woods, home use, and backpacking. The price is icing on the cake.