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Top Picks

How we choose: The best flashlights highlighted here were selected based on 352 reviews of 113 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Fenix PD32

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

The PD32 UE is not to be confused with the PD32. The two are the same except the UE model operates at higher lumens throughout the all the settings with a maximum of 740 lumens vs 340 lumens.

Reasons to Buy

  • White light for true color rendition
  • Digitally regulated output for constant brightness
  • Low voltage warning for battery replacement
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Overheat protection
  • Anti-roll, slip resistant body
  • Side switch for fast operation
  • Hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum body

Reasons to Avoid

  • None yet

This is by far the best flashlight I ever owned. I needed a slim compact and powerful flashlight with excellent battery life for backpacking. This flashlight exceeded my expectations. It is a little under 5 1/2 inches in length and less than an inch in diameter and weighs a little over 5 ounces. To many this may be a little big but you'll never find this kind of performance in anything smaller. It operates on 2 CR123 batteries. Included with the light are a lanyard, 2 extra rubber O rings, a pocket clip, and a night diffuser which clips on the flashlights end.

Read more: Fenix PD32 reviews (3)

Princeton Tec Alloy-X

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

This small lightweight penlight creates a mighty beam of light! Suitable for use as a household light, as part of a car emergency kit, or as a reliable light for camping, the Alloy-X is a strong-beam flashlight, powered by a rechargeable battery or two AAA alkaline batteries. It is very compact and appears quite durable, and I can recommend it for use in the field or in the home.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight and compact
  • 3 intensity settings
  • Two power source options
  • 5-year warranty
  • Can be used with headband flashlight holder

Reasons to Avoid

  • No lanyard/strap attachment ring
  • Sequencing of beam intensity (Med-Low-High)
  • Gets quite hot if used for long duration
  • No beam size adjustment

Introduction: I always carry a spare headlamp and batteries in my canoeing bag and daypack, and keep a small flashlight in my camping kit. Though our camping season has yet to begin, this light has been used a lot around our home. I keep flashlights in the home for whatever use is necessary, and this small sized light has been perfect for getting into those tight spaces (i.e. checking the dog's ears, looking for small items between seats in the car, searching under the refrigerator). Under the fridge, in the car, and in the ears! I was glad to have the opportunity to test this Princeton Tec penlight, especially since it does not rely only on regular batteries, but also includes a USB rechargeable battery.

Read more: Princeton Tec Alloy-X review (1)

Maglite XL50 LED Flashlight

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

With this tool you get Maglite quality and durability, plus 200 lumens of bright, focused light with good spill...enough light to clearly see whatever goes "bump" in the night. I've carried a Maglite (in its various forms) for over 30+ years, and I still have my first Maglite bought new in the mid-'80s. Iconic quality with exceptional performance...Maglite.

Reasons to Buy

  • 200 lumens of clear, focused light w/ good spill
  • Runs over 6 hours on AAA alkaline batteries
  • Defaults to "high" mode, but has "low" and "strobe"
  • Nearly indestructible
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • Maglite limited lifetime warranty
  • Single function tail cap switch
  • Will run on NIMH rechargeable batteries
  • Numerous accessories available

Reasons to Avoid

  • Realistically, no real "Cons" come to mind....

When I think of iconic outdoor products from my youth, a few items come to mind immediately... Coleman lanterns and stoves, the Buck folding 110 knife, Stanley Thermoses, and the Maglite flashlight. True, back then ('70s and '80s) the "state of the art" was nowhere where it is now, but if you go to any store or website you will find each one of these products, in their nearly original form, still available for purchase. THAT is time tested quality of a truly iconic product. The Maglite XL50, to me, represents one of the best of this iconic brand.

Read more: Maglite XL50 LED Flashlight reviews (2)

Fenix LD15R

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The best, most useful, compact flashlight I’ve ever carried. Bright when I need it, just enough when that’s all I need, plus great battery life.

Reasons to Buy

  • Variable output, 3-500 lumens
  • Small enough to carry anywhere
  • Great battery life
  • Magnetic base
  • Micro USB rechargeable 16340 batt
  • Alternate batt: CR123A (no recharge)
  • Durable
  • Reasonably water resistant

Reasons to Avoid

  • No adjustable width of beam
  • It doesn’t get up and make the coffee in the morning

The small but powerful Fenix LD15R. For most of my outdoor life experiences, I’ve been frustrated to one extent or another by light. Or the lack thereof. Flashlights, headlamps, floodlights, mini-lights, etc. I’ve used innumerable lights over the years, but now find myself singing “Hallelujah!” in response to modern LED light sources and their capabilities. While I still find a headlamp very, very useful in the backcountry, the Fenix LD15R is small and light enough to make the backcountry trip and ride around in my every-day backpack or bag, or even in my pocket.

Read more: Fenix LD15R review (1)

Maglite Mini Maglite Pro

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

This is my go-to light. Efficient, lightweight, and practical.

Reasons to Buy

  • Bright
  • Built strong
  • Lightweight
  • Extra bulb

Reasons to Avoid

  • Doesn't come with a lanyard.
  • Useless belt sheath that the light could easily fall out of in rough terrain.

These are lightweight, practical flashlights. I like the AA battery lights because when I'm hiking, all of my battery powered gear takes "AA's". This light is bright enough and not only can it be used in beam and flood, but also if you unscrew it all the way, it can be used as an emergency lantern. The sheath can be dangerous in rough terrain because you can push it out with your leg or gear and lose it for good. That is why I add lanyards and carabiners to all my gear. It does have a hole for a lanyard though. I probably own about 10 of these between my wife and I of various colors and business engravings.

Read more: Maglite Mini Maglite Pro reviews (2)

Ledlenser P5R

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Brilliant, literally, small rechargeable torch. The adjustable light beam is simply amazing.

Reasons to Buy

  • Rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • Adjustable beam
  • Quality metal construction
  • 7-year warranty precision engineering
  • 420/20 lumens brightness
  • 78gms/2.75Oz inc battery
  • 3hr/15hr battery life
  • IPX4
  • The recharge stand can be removed

Reasons to Avoid

  • None

Firstly, this is a small, lightweight, all metal torch. Because it is so lightweight and small the battery is small (2.6Whr) but it has more than sufficient capacity for an overnight camp—3hr/15hr battery life—on each of two intensity settings—420/20 lumens brightness. You recharge by a USB cradle. The torch itself is brilliant. It has a wonderful focusable beam from spot to moderate flood. On max brightness I believe this brilliance and range of this beam is unsurpassed in this weight class.

Read more: Ledlenser P5R review (1)

Ledlenser MT10

user rating: 4 of 5 (3 reviews)

The MT10 flashlight is in a word, intense. If the packaging doesn’t convince you (a chainsaw would have been useful) then the 1000 lumens of light might.

Reasons to Buy

  • 1000 lumens
  • Compact design
  • Chargeable
  • Sheath with clip

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not hands-free

The MT10 flashlight is in a word, intense. If the packaging doesn’t convince you (a chainsaw would have been useful) then the 1000 lumens of light might. It is incredibly well built and while just under 6 oz feels a lot denser. It’s a convenient, compact size at a little over 5 inches long and comes with a handy sheath that clips to your pants, shirt, backpack, etc. Like the headlamp you can go from a soft 10 lumens (20 meters) of light to the powerful direct 1000 lumens (180 meters). As a women I considered the fact that this 1000 lumens light would blind a would be attacker in a heartbeat.

Read more: Ledlenser MT10 reviews (3)

Maglite Solitaire LED

user rating: 4 of 5 (2 reviews)

Keychain-sized powerful little light. With one AAA battery powering it, it won't last as long as some, but excellent brightness and value.

Reasons to Buy

  • Cost
  • Brightness
  • Quality construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Less than 2-hour life
  • Base can come unscrewed in pocket

I coveted a Solitaire-sized light with LED for years before this came out. The original Solitaire was perfectly sized, but nearly useless due to lack of power. Now I have the Maglite Solitaire LED and I love it: small, slim, light, and bright, this light lives on my keychain as my EDC light option. Construction is of aluminum, the familiar Maglite quality. Power comes from a single AAA battery, a size I keep on hand. The light feels good in hand and operates with a twist of the cap. The beam itself is a bright (37 lumens? seems brighter) with a focusable, even circle of radiance.

Read more: Maglite Solitaire LED reviews (2)

Princeton Tec Pulsar II

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

This is a terrific little tool to have on you when you're around the campsite. It's so lightweight and small, but packs a big punch that'll help you maneuver your way around.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Bright

Reasons to Avoid

  • Hard to use switch with gloves on
  • No focus

I bought this little light because I had a store credit that I needed to use up at I'm glad I got it! This thing is small, but it is so bright for how little it is. You wouldn't want this to hike out of wilderness in the dark, but it's great for finding your way around the campsite.  I actually looped a lanyard from an old camera onto it and tie it to one of my belt loops and it stayed out of the way, was always accessible, and didn't take up pocket space. I loved having it b/c it barely weighs anything and I wasn't constantly having to try and figure out what I did with my flashlight.  I absolutely hate it when I misplace my flashlight when I'm camping....

Read more: Princeton Tec Pulsar II review (1)

Maglite Mini Maglite

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

The video isn't a review as much as an unboxing and showing the features. So far though, I like this little light. It's a far improvement over Maglites that I've had in the past.

Read more: Maglite Mini Maglite reviews (3)

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