Best Pocket Flashlights

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 15, 2020
Pocket flashlights are compact enough to hide inside most pockets yet capable enough to light up sizable spaces. The best pocket flashlights can be used anywhere, indoors and outdoors. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Beam Distance
Max Brightness
Lighting Modes
Housing
Power Source
Extras
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The tough, military-grade aluminum housing makes sure the 'light is able to withstand various extreme conditions. There are five lighting modes. Its 1040-lumen maximum brightness will be enough to light up an entire room. The supplied holster makes the device accessible when necessary. 

CONS

The flashlight gets very hot after a few minutes.

OUR VERDICT

GearLight S1000 is not modest. At all. The device will have no issues surviving getting dropped from 10 feet or being temporarily submerged underwater. You'll be able to even freeze or run this thing over with most trucks and the light will still work like nothing's happened. 

detailed parameters
Beam Distance

Up to 1000 feet (zoomable)

Max Brightness

1040 lumens

Lighting Modes

5 modes: High, Medium, Low, Flash/Disruptor, SOS/Emergency

Housing

Aluminum (water-, shock- and drop-resistant)

Power Source

3 x "AAA" batteries

Extras

Wrist strap and holster included 

Dimensions

6.1" x 1.6" x 1.6"

5.1 oz

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The polycarbonate lens is tough and durable. It is also extremely scratch-resistant. The reversible clip will let you comfortably attach this pocket flashlight to most hats. Using the push-button tail cap switch, you'll be able to choose between momentary and constant operation modes.

CONS

The on/off switch is somewhat difficult to use. 

OUR VERDICT

Streamlight 66318 is up there with the toughest pocket flashlights. The C4™ LED technology will make sure the lamp lasts up to 30000 hours. The anodized aircraft aluminum housing is as resistant to abrasion and corrosion as these materials get. The housing's also IPX4 weatherproof. 

detailed parameters
Beam Distance

Up to 135 feet

Max Brightness

45 lumens

Lighting Modes

1 mode

Housing

Aluminum (water-, shock- and drop-resistant), scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens

Power Source

1 x "AAA" battery

Extras

C4™ LED technology, lanyard and pocket/hat clip included

Dimensions

3.6" x 0.6" x 0.6"

1.1 oz

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The Silent-touch™ tech enables you to switch between the flashlight's three settings without having to listen to that standard clicking sound that's always produced by these buttons. In other words, the device is perfect for hunting and different tactical pursuits. You can use the pocket clip to attach the 'light to various items. 

CONS

The clip is quite tight. 

OUR VERDICT

Despite the model's affordable price tag and compact design, it is more capable than most pocket flashlights. At the same time, the device will be able to run for months on a single AAA battery. Its 300-lumen maximum brightness and 328-feet zoom make the 'light versatile and flexible. 

detailed parameters
Beam Distance

Up to 328 feet (zoomable)

Max Brightness

300 lumens

Lighting Modes

3 modes: High, Low, Strobe

Housing

Aluminum (water-, shock- and drop-resistant)

Power Source

1 x "AA" battery

Extras

Silent-touch™ technology, pocket clip

Dimensions

4" x 1.1" x 1.1"

2.3 oz

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The non-slip grip will let you comfortably grab, hold, and use the device even with wet hands. You won't have to worry about dropping the device though since the rugged aluminum construction will be able to survive getting dropped from ~5 feet. The crisp and consistent edge-to-edge brightness makes the flashlight dependable and adaptable.

CONS

The device burns through the batteries pretty quick. 

OUR VERDICT

Coast G20 streamlines up-close work, making various hard-to-reach objects visible enough. We would recommend this penlight to electricians, various contractors, aspiring handymen, and small-time/pro mechanics. The pocket clip makes this 'light easily accessible but also lets you tuck away the device into most pockets.

detailed parameters
Beam Distance

Up to 72 feet

Max Brightness

Not listed (Inspection Beam)

Lighting Modes

1 mode

Housing

Aluminum (water-, shock- and drop-resistant)

Power Source

2 x "AAA" batteries

Extras

Pocket clip

Dimensions

5.7" x 0.6" x 0.8"

2.4 oz

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The device will have no issues surviving storms, earthquakes, floods, and different natural disasters. The flashlight's shape and rugged housing will let you use this thing as a glass breaker when needed. The switch screws off quite easily, so you'll have no problems accessing the battery compartment. 

CONS

The lens scratches really easily. 

OUR VERDICT

Though what we have here is easily the most compact and lightweight flashlight within this lineup, its max brightness reaches 150 lumens and beam distance caps at considerable 200 feet. You won't be able to do any damage to this flashlight even if you wanted to. 

detailed parameters
Beam Distance

Up to 200 feet

Max Brightness

150 lumens

Lighting Modes

1 mode

Housing

Aluminum (water-, shock- and drop-resistant)

Power Source

1 x "AAA" battery

Extras

Pocket clip

Dimensions

3.6" x 0.6" x 0.8"

0.8 oz

Warranty

3 months

GearLight S1000

Big-Time Light

GearLight S1000 is big time. First (and one might even argue foremost), the tough, military-grade aluminum construction makes this device suitable for the most extreme conditions, both indoors or outdoors. You can depend that this flashlight will deliver through storms, earthquakes, floods, power outages, and various natural disasters.

Second, the 'light is as complete and adaptable as they get. You can switch between five different modes (low, medium, high, flash/disruptor, and SOS/emergency).

At the same time, the model is the brightest on this list. Capping at 1040 lumens, this thing will be able to light up entire rooms. You'll also have no issues zooming in on objects 1000 feet away from you.

Though dubbed tactical flashlight, its wide-to-narrow beam zoom makes the device more than good enough to be used around the house too (camping, hiking, backpacking, and various trips/activities, including dog walking go without saying).

The product has no major flaws. Sure, you'll have to purchase three AAA batteries to power the device when most pocket flashlights use two. Sure, the device gets somewhat hot when used for more than 2-3 minutes straight. These are not even remotely enough to outweigh the product's multiple major advantages though.

Review of GearLight S1000 Tactical Flashlight

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Streamlight 66318

Output and Runtime

Streamlight 66318 MicroStream Flashlight is tough. This is not the most capable/versatile device on the list though.

As far as beam distance is concerned, the 'light won't be able to reach more than 135 feet. From the maximum brightness perspective, this thing is even more modest, capping at 45 lumens.

We wouldn't necessarily call these specs the product's flaws though. Clearly, this flashlight hasn't been designed for the purposes that would require these specs to be more impressive.

First and foremost, this pocket flashlight has been designed to survive the harshest conditions and withstand considerable abuse. That's where its anodized aircraft aluminum housing comes into play. This thing is abrasion- and corrosion-resistant.

More importantly, the housing is IPX4 weatherproof, so you won't have to worry about dust and moisture. You can even drop this thing from 5-10 feet (depending on the surface).

Furthermore, the polycarbonate lens is unbreakable and as scratch-resistant as these lenses get.

The push-button tail cap switch is pretty nice, letting you switch between momentary and constant operation modes. At the same time, the switch is somewhat difficult to trigger, which is nice on one hand since you won't be able to accidentally press the switch but not necessarily nice too since you'll have to apply considerable pressure to activate the switch.

Review of Streamlight 66318 MicroStream Flashlight

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

J5 Tactical V1-PRO

Tough as Nails

Purple/pink is an odd choice all things considered but J5 Tactical V1-PRO is good enough to make its questionable paintwork irrelevant.

First things first, this device is no joke from the beam distance standpoint. You'll be able to zoom into objects 328 feet away from you. When the night's clear enough, the beam can sweep the light over two football fields length-wise.

At the same time, the flashlight is as bright as these budget 'lights get. Outputting 300 lumens, this thing will let you light up sizable spaces.

One AA battery will be enough to power this device for months.

You can press the button underneath the flashlight and switch between high, low, and strobe settings. As you would imagine, the strobe mode can be used as an SOS signal. Meanwhile, the Silent-touch™ tech will let you switch between these settings without producing that standard annoying clicking sound, making the device especially good for hunting and different tactical purposes.

The pocket clip will enable you to adjust the flashlight to caps, hats, and various different items. It is quite tight though, so you'll have to apply some pressure. The aluminum construction is water-, shock- and drop-resistant, meaning you can take this thing with you camping, backpacking, hunting, trekking, the list goes on and on.

Review of J5 Tactical V1-PRO Ultra Bright Tactical Flashlight

 

Coast G20

Inspection Disposition

Coast G20 is quite awesome considering its inspection disposition.

Sure, the device's beam distance won't even be able to reach 75 feet and its maximum brightness is nothing compared to the 'lights on this list. Again though, the product's advertised as an inspection flashlight before anything else, so you cannot hold these low specs against the flashlight.

You can, however, hold the fact that this device burns through two AAA batteries pretty quickly (somewhere around two hours and 30 minutes runtime-wise) against the product. But, as far as we're concerned, that's where this pocket flashlight's issues begin and end.

Apart from that, it is, again, pretty awesome. The device's edge-to-edge brightness is clear and consistent. You can adjust the clip to attach the 'light to many different items.

The IPX4 aluminum body makes this thing immune against moisture and dust. The housing is decent from the shock and drop resistance perspectives and will usually be able to live through ~5-feet drops.

Long story short, this 'light will be able to streamline up-close work and brighten hard-to-reach objects. Also, measuring 5.7" x 0.6" x 0.8", the device is more compact than most pocket flashlights.

Review of Coast G20 Inspection Beam Penlight

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Hatori Super Small

They Don't get More Compact Than That

Hatori Super Small Tactical Pocket Flashlight delivers on that "super small" premise more than any flashlight we've looked at. Measuring 3.6 x 0.6 x 0.8 inches, this thing is tiny even compared to most pocket flashlights. Not even reaching one ounce on the weight scale, you can hold this thing for as long as necessary without experiencing any fatigue whatsoever.

Considering how teeny-tiny this device is, its specs are ridiculous. The flashlight's maximum brightness measures 150 lumens, which is, again, insane when you take its size into account. The beam distance is no joke too, able to reach 200 feet.

In other words, you can take this mini flashlight hunting, fishing, camping, backpacking, wherever you want really since you won't have to worry about getting enough light and being able to light up objects far away from you.

Other than that, this powerful pocket torch adopts surprisingly rugged aluminum housing. You won't have to worry about scratching the device. You won't have to worry about the finish chipping away. At the same time, incorporating these rubberized inserts, you'll be able to comfortably grip the flashlight. The housing's also water-resistant and about as weather-resistant as these tiny flashlights can be.

Review of Hatori Super Small Tactical Pocket Flashlight

 

What Is a Pocket Flashlight?

Pocket flashlights, sometimes referred to as tactical flashlights and occasionally penlights, are these compact, handy flashlights that you can comfortably take with you pretty much anywhere you go.

Setting the obvious side and weight demands aside, generally speaking, what defines these 'lights is how tough and durable they are. More often than not, these devices incorporate sturdy aluminum housing that's basically immune to scratches, drops, dust, moisture, and more. When you can extend the same sentiment towards the lens, that's great too.

Of course, these things are flashlights first and foremost, so maximum brightness and beam distance are important too. When these specs reach somewhere around 250+ lumens and 200+ feet respectively, you can take these 'lights fishing and hunting. When these specs are below these marks, that means the flashlight has probably been designed for indoor use.

Apart from that, pay attention to the available modes and different clips/straps/holsters since these will be able to make the 'light quickly accessible when necessary.

Sometimes, headlamps are more comfortable and practical than these flashlights though. Also, although there's usually overlap, tactical flashlights can sometimes be different and more effective than the 'lights we've reviewed here.

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Publish Date: 2020-01-15 20:57:34