Everyday Carry

The Best CR123A Flashlights of 2017

Mikey Bautista
The Best CR123A Flashlights of 2017

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When you take a look at some of the most popular lights in the EDC scene, you'll notice one thing in common: the battery. With its smaller (though stouter) profile, the CR123A battery allows the lights it fuels to be compact enough for a comfortable pocket carry. But in spite of its proportions, this battery comes with a fair amount of power—enough voltage for outputs to measure in hundreds of lumens and enough capacity for flashlight modes to last days and even weeks. Simply put, it's a great middle ground of size and performance. In this guide, we've put together 10 of the best single CR123A 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.

Fenix E15 2016 Edition

Despite releasing last year, Fenix have a solid light on their hands well into 2017 with the E15. It saves a ton of space by using a twisty head switch, packing four brightness levels up to 450 lumens for 55 minutes with a 16340 battery (270 lumens on a CR123A) into its tiny 2.6” frame. Generous knurling and the slightly larger head diameter make one-handed operation simple, while its size and 1-ounce weight without a battery make carrying it even easier.

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Streamlight 88030 ProTac 1L

Many of our readers carry Streamlight flashlights thanks to their reliable, uncomplicated, and inexpensive features, with the ProTac 1L holding down the fort for CR123A batteries. Its aluminum body houses a C4 LED able to output up to 275 lumens on High for up to 2 hours, with Low and Strobe modes accessible across 3 user-selectable programs to best fit your use. The Protac 1L features a rugged, IPX7-rated anodized aluminum body, with an included pocket clip for easy EDCing whether in your clothing or on your gear.

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Nitecore P05

Nitecore's flagship CR123A light pulls double duty as both a great everyday carry light and one suited for self-defense. You get up to 460 lumens from its Cree XM-L2 U2 LED across 3 modes, bundled in a tough and compact anodized aluminum body that measures just under 4” and weighs a little over 2 ounces. Its tactical advantage comes from its dedicated strobe button, letting you full bring its full power to bear with one click, one-handed, in case of emergency.

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FOURSEVENS Mini Turbo Mk II Combo

Fresh off the line is FOURSEVENS's newest light, the Mini Turbo MK II Combo, one of the tiniest lights on this list yet one of the most powerful. Combining a Cree XM-L2 LED with a custom high-discharge rate RCR123A battery gives the Mini Turbo an incredible 1020 lumens of output in a package just a tad over 2.3” long. 7 other modes complement this High setting, navigated with the light's twisty interface and generous knurling over nearly its entire anodized aluminum body. An included 2-way clip lets you comfortably carry the Mini Turbo in your EDC as you see fit, with a rugged IPX8 rating ensuring its toughness no matter the situation.

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Olight S Mini Baton

I maintain to this day that the Olight S1 Baton is one of the best lights for EDC thanks to its excellent combination of size, performance, and collectibility. But that doesn't mean its updated little brother isn't worth a look. The Olight S Mini Baton trades in some height and its magnetic tailcap for a more powerful output and pocket-friendly profile. Using the same CR123A battery you get floody TIR optics, an IPX8 water resistance rating, and a clip for ease of everyday carry. Collectors can also look forward to even more exotic finishes like the black copper colorway seen above.

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Sunwayman V11R

Few lights still use the unique and convenient magnetic control ring interface for variable brightness, which earns Sunwayman's original a spot on this list years after its first release. Why change what isn't broken? You get 1-190 variable lumens adjust through the magnetic ring on its head, letting you control exactly the output you need without having to tap your way through a complicated interface. A Turbo setting gives you a boost of 500 lumens when needed, and an anodized aluminum body gives the V11R IPX8-rated toughness for impact and water resistance.

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EagTac D25C Ti Clicky 2017

Leave it to EagTac to pack both advanced electronics and exotic materials into their lights, offering some of the most proficient and collectible lights on the market. Similar to the D25A Clicky we've featured on the AA guide, the D25C packs your choice of an XP-L HI V3 or Nichia 219 emitter for your preference of maximum output versus color accuracy—one of the few CR123A lights to offer either LED. Plenty of knurling and deep-cut grooves give ample grip when in use, with its titanium body polished to a mirror finish. A programmable interface also ensures the D25C operates exactly as needed.

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Armytek Partner C1 Pro

We like Armytek for their excellent, field-ready flashlights seen in our other guides, so of course one of their flagship CR123A lights deserve a mention. The Pro variant of their Partner light gives you either 800 or 745 lumens in white or warm tint respectively, using TIR optics for a useful, floody beam up to 131 meters. Like all Armytek lights, the Partner C1 Pro is tough as nails, resisting impact up to 10 meters and submersible up to 10 meters for 2.5 hours.


SureFire EB1 Backup

Tough lights are SureFire's bread and butter, with the EB1 Backup designed to be the robust pocket reinforcement for dark days as its name suggests. With 2 modes that give you 300 lumens on High for 1.3 hours and 5 lumens on Low for up to 40 hours, it has plenty of power for your everyday tasks. You can easily slip the EB1 into your pockets given its 4.4-inch length and mere 3.3 ounce weight, battery included. And with its two-way clip, you can EDC the EB1 on your clothing or gear as you see fit.


Do you carry a CR123A 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!

Still looking for the perfect flashlight for your EDC? Check our archives for even more ideas:

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Discussion (11 total)

Vodkaeater ·
I have an Olight mini baton, and it's great! It's small, light, and way more powerful than you would imagine for something barely bigger than it's battery. I keep it in my car for emergencies, and it's served me very well.
ThreePercenter ·
surefires are great... but overpriced. Streamlight is the perfect medium. I bought a simple one and never look back. I used to get surefires in the Army, but would never spend my own money on them.
Aaron Oosterhoff ·
I have the Olight S mini baton in Ti and its a good light all around, love the form factor and the UI, I've had some minor reliablilty issues and battery life issues, like if the light sits outside on a cool night fully charged it doesnt want to turn on, idk if thats the battery or not maybe just need to pull it out and put it back in, I also hate that they used a TIR lens on this light because its already hurting for reflector space so that lens just made it even more floody than it already would have been which I think is a waste for such a short light. My clip also scratched the side real bad when removing it, and I would like to see a metal clicky switch for durability in the long term, the light is small enough to where I almost want to put a lanyard on it but I don't mind that they kept it clean looking without one because they'd probably mess it up anyway, other than those couple things awesome light and I bought an additional SS version for my cousin which isn't in that picture btw
Gary Marangoni ·
Gotta love the Sunwayma. V11R
Gary Marangoni ·
Sigh, hit post before I was done. Anyway, the V11R is nice and compact, and always has the perfect brightness for any use. I set it to "barely on" when travelling for a night time trip to the bathroom that you have no idea where it is located (so I don't blind myself with a bright light), yet it is easy to ramp up to full bright for those "what was that?!" occasions in the hotel room.

I've gotten one of these for my wife and each of our 6 kids as they head to high school to start them on an EDC habit.
Joe G ·
I have the Olight S1 Baton and S mini baton. The S1 is a much better light ergonomically. The UI is much better and it just feels like a better light in everyday carry situations. The S mini sits on my nightstand if needed.
Justin ·
I have an Olight S mini baton in titanium and can say it's a pleasure to carry and use, the light quality is incredible! The only issue is that using rechargeable RCR123's limit turbo mode to a couple minutes with fully charged newer batteries and with cheap or partially drained batteries it becomes problematic to even cycle through turbo mode. The light shuts off and will not start until you disconnect the battery.
Robert -White Feather ·
I've got the EagleTac D25 clicky Ti Nichia 219, not the brightest on the list but I'll take the color accuracy any day after using a few. Always with me in my left leg pocket, sturdy clip and just unscrew the head 1/2 half turn so if it accidentally turns on it will be on firefly mode. Very well designed and gets lots of use, about 300 lumens which works fine for most situations.
Jerzy ·
I can't believe you missed out the MecArmy PT16. It's tiny, incredibly solid, USB rechargeable in 90 minutes, and chucks out 1000 lumens. One lives in my pocket organiser.
Huggy Singh ·
Astrolux s42 trust me
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