The Best AAA Flashlights of 2017

The Best AAA Flashlights of 2017

If the one thing stopping you from carrying a flashlight every day is the idea that they're just too bulky, think again. You've got keychain flashlights as handy backups and AA lights as powerful primary options, but even those have their drawbacks.

Then there's the AAA flashlight somewhere in between at the sweetspot of size and convenience. It's one of the most compact styles of flashlight to carry, so it'll fit right into your lightweight or minimalist EDC. And best of all, modern AAA lights are plenty powerful for their size, with some pushing past 100 lumens.

Whether you value barely-there portability or no-fuss simplicity in your light, an AAA flashlight is for you. In this guide, we've put together 10 of the best single AAA battery LED flashlights for your EDC below.

While you can't go wrong with any of the lights we're about to talk about, it helps to know a little of the terminology to make sense of these lights' impressive specs and features. To brush up, check out our beginner's guide to LED flashlights.

Coast G19

It doesn't get much simpler or more effective than the Coast G19. Made from impact- and water-resistant anodized aluminum, it boasts 54 lumens with a runtime of 2.5 hours, plenty for everyday tasks. And at only 4 inches and 1.5 ounces, it's nice and compact for everyday carry. But its the G19's price tag that steals the show—for under 12 bucks you get one heck of an EDC light.

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Streamlight Microstream

There's a reason the Streamlight Microstream is one of the most popular flashlights on this site. It's simple, reliable, effective, and most importantly, inexpensive. Sometimes you just need something that works, and even if it's low on the lumens the Microstream makes them count. And with a lightweight, anodized aluminum body and pocket clip, it's easy to EDC in your pocket or on your bag as a backup.

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ThruNite Ti5T XP-L V6 Penlight

Titanium's an excellent choice for EDC gear thanks to its strength-to-weight versatility, and for flashlights that means extra sleekness and toughness without the bulk. It's the perfect choice for ThruNite's Ti5T penlight, a classy light that covers all the bases while fitting right at home in a minimalist carry. With its XP-L V6 emitter you have up to 130 lumens of cool or neutral white light at your disposal across 4 modes, with a tail switch and pocket clip for ease of use straight from your pocket. Its titanium shell, IPX-8 water resistance, and 1.5 meter impact resistance also ensure a light that can handle every activity.

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Olight i3E EOS Copper

While we featured the colorful EOS lights in our keychain flashlights guide, the Copper model takes the i3E's specs up a notch in almost every way. First off is its new copper exterior, an EDC favorite for its character-building patina over time. It also uses a high-performance Philips LUXEON TX LED with a PMMA TIR lens for an even, floody beam at 120 lumens. Finally, the light is just as lightweight and easy to carry as its colorful brethren, barely larger than the AAA that powers it and nearly invisible on a keychain. Whether as a backup or your main EDC light, the i3E EOS Copper has the look and performance in spades.

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L3 Illumination L08

L3 Illumination are best known for their inexpensive lights that use the high-CRI Nichia 219B LED, with the L08 their AAA contender. Like their other lights the L08 features anodized aluminum construction with near-total knurling coverage to make it easy to both grip and operate its twist interface. It comes with 4 modes from 0.09 to 90 lumens, making it an ideal light for navigating the dark without ruining your night vision. It's got dual carry options with lanyard holes and an included pocket clip, and also comes in hi-vis orange for a striking addition to your outdoor or go bag.

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EagleTac D25AAA

EagleTac make some of the most technically advanced lights on the market, and they've given their D25AAA light a fresh upgrade with more power, improved performance, and a facelift that lets you fit it into your EDC's aesthetic. The D25AAA now comes with a high-CRI Nichia 219B LED, pushing out up to 115 eye-pleasing lumens across 7 modes with its twist interface. A stainless steel clip lets you carry the light in your pocket or clipped to your bag, and a magnetic tail gives you hands-free options when needed. And with 4 colors, matching the light to your EDC is easy.

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SureFire Titan Plus

300 lumens is a specification reserved for much bigger flashlights, not one you would expect out of something that takes an AAA battery. But that's exactly what the SureFire Titan Plus is capable of. Along with that beefy output is equally-tough construction in nickel-plated brass and plenty of options for everyday carry, including a split ring, removable pocket clip, and a quick-detach tailcap that lets you deploy the light with ease. Not bad for something only 3.375” long and weighing 2 ounces!

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While it would have been easy to pick the Preon P1 from Foursevens's stable of AAA lights, the B1 Bolt Mini was a better choice since it pulls double duty as both an EDC light and fidget tool. This three-way collaboration between between Fellhoelter, Tuff-Writer, and FOURSEVENS features a bolt activation switch normally seen in machined pens. With this switch, you can navigate and configure the Bolt Mini's 7 modes (up to 100 lumens) with a simple slide and swipe. And with its clip and lightweight aluminum construction, the Bolt Mini is as easy to carry as your favorite pen.

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Maratac AAA Copper REV 4

Maratac's known for their incredibly rugged and powerful EDC lights, and their latest AAA is a powerhouse in its own right. A high-CRI Nichia 219B LED pushes out 138 lumens for up to 70 minutes in an eye-pleasing tint, with three modes activated through a twisty interface. New to this revision is an orange peel reflector for a more even, uniform beam, and a stronger clip to pair with its lanyard hole. Carrying the REV 4 also gives its copper exterior a chance to wear with patina, giving you a light that builds character over time.


Prometheus Beta-QR

The Prometheus Beta-QR is one of our favorite EDC lights, and not just among its AAA peers. Very few lights are able to put together a collection of features that appeal and can be useful to both flashlight enthusiasts and regular EDCers alike. From its high-CRI Nichia 219B LED with plenty of lumens for everyday tasks to its availability in exotic materials, it's a collectible light by itself. But add excellent build quality, a dead-simple interface, and an innovative quick-release system and you've got yourself a perfect light for everyday carry.


Do you carry an AAA flashlight? If you have a one that you think is worthy of the title “best,” make sure to let us know in the comments below!

#buying-guides #flashlights #best-aaa-flashlight #aaa-flashlight #single-aaa-flashlight see all

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Discussion (38 total)

Everyone has long ago dismissed Maglite as obsolete, but for under $10, made in America, and 1 simple 47 lumen option, the AAA Solitaire is my favorite again.
Absolutely. The Solitaire is the original EDC light, still hard to beat it's simplicity.
My Solitaire was total garbage.
Just not enough lumens.
Just 10 years out of date
I had one die on me. The spring wasn't even close enough to hold the battery firmly. Ended up tossing it and I'll never buy Maglite again.
I've been carrying the Maratac Titanium Rev 4 since it came out - and I love it. I have the copper, too, but you really do feel the weight difference in your pocket (at least I do).
Fenix LD02...
Will not carry a twisty, has to be push button.
At 3 inches with 8, 25, 100 lumens it works.

But truthfully I reach for my keychain Nitcore TIP more often.
The TIP At the same price point as Fenix LD02, USB rechargeable, and more lumens I do not find much use for AAA flashlight in my EDC. AAA are backups to other units.
Why no twisty lights? I carry both and both can be activated at the same speed and ease. The weakness of the push button/clicker lights is the button does wear out.
Suspect has to do with age and mobility...
Baby boomer with bifocals and minor pains...
Do not want to use two hands to perform successive twists and to position light (Fenix E05) compared to a push button (Fenix LD02 or E12 or RC05) s not a contest the twistys can win using two fingers in a single hand with left/right motions in relationship to a single finger tap of the cap.
You have to be careful with twisties. I had my Thrunite Ti3 on my keychain and didn't need to use it for a while. Next thing I know, all that is on my keychain is the tail - the business end unscrewed itself and disappeared. Fortunately my wife found it on the floor of the car. This incident was the primary motivating factor for my buying a CRKT Viva - using the Viva as my belt hook lowers the contents of my entire keychain over three inches deeper into my pocket so if that happens again, I won't lose the Ti3's head. The other issue I had with the Ti3 was losing the snap-on pocket clip when I bumped into something while I had it clipped in my pocket instead of on the keychain. Thrunite replaced the clip with no questions asked - their support has been excellent. Now the Ti3 is my backup light, and my primary light is the Thrunite Ti4 dual-AAA penlight. It is a click interface, and the clip is permanently attached, so neither issue I had with the Ti3 can happen with the Ti4, Plus, lots more lumens with two AAAs instead of one. Finally, aside from the issues I had with the Ti3 (both of which were arguably my fault, not the light's) I can't say enough good things about Thrunite. Excellent build quality, modes the way I like them, and waterproof to two meters depth.
Looks like an interesting light, 2 howevers, Micro usb is the old standard, most phones today are either usb-c or the iPhone connector so in a short time span it will have an obsolete connector. Second, On a trip or in the bush a standard size battery can be replaced, yours may not be able to be charged. While I am tempted it is also not a tail standing light and I do use that feature in my aaa light often.
I carry a Nitecore MT06 in my pocket protector. It's the same size as my pen, pencil, and screwdriver, so it fits nicely. It uses 2xAAA, so the batteries last a long time.
I was carrying my MT06 on the right pocket of my trouser, it was fine until the clip bend and can't be straighten, I still love it so I keep it in my trauma kit.
I keep the surefire Titan plus on my keys, it's a killer edc light.
Been carrying a microstream for years and love it.
You all need to check out the Rofis ER3A that came out in 2016. It is about as tiny as they come and rivals the Maglite Solitaire in sleekness and compactness, but with much better/more modern performance from a Cree XP-G2 S3 LED and PMMA TIR lens. I came across it on Amazon and although I had never heard of it or have seen it carried, at under $10 I decided to buy it on a whim. Glad I did, because I love it and it has become a staple of my EDC as a powerful keychain light. While I much prefer the tactile feel of a clicky-light, the tiny size of the ER3A is just what I was looking for and seems to be a justified trade-off.

Just my two cents of course-- and only intending to add to the great list that EDC has already compiled here-- another excellent article!
Maglite Solitaire, maybe it is missed.
Not by me, after a while it wouldn't hold the battery firmly enough for reliable usage. Mine had a very weak spring. Tossed it in the trash.
Big fan of the Eagletac D25AAA. Mine has been used and very abused. It's a great little light.
Carried Mini-Mags and Solitaires forever, but replaced them with a Microstream a few years back as I much prefer the tailswitch. Just recently upgraded to the ProTac AAA, and despite despising multi-mode lights, changing it to Low/Double Tap High is working OK.
Tough list to write. Well done EDC. I'm still partial to Fenix, Maglight etc. But I know the designs aren't really "new" (I know the Streamlight isn't). I like that FourSevens light but can't justify the massive price tag. Why is EDC so expensive? or am I just poor?
The Lumintop Tool AAA is a great option!
Three brightness modes, twist or click, pocket/hat clip, knurled, durable awesome
I've been carrying Ultratac K18, it's pretty affordable, love the mode, and been reliable so far.
I believe the photo for the Olight is of the I3s-CU (which is brass) instead of the I3e-CU (which is copper). Great recommendations, all of them :)
I picked up the Coast G19 a few weeks ago and love it. Small enough to carry in a pocket, but tough and bright. The pocket clip is removable and it can be turned around to clip onto at hat brim.
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