Before I cover what is the best pocket flashlight available here's a quick reminder of why they are invaluable...
Whether you’re at home or on the move, a flashlight is always a brilliant piece of equipment to have on hand, its uses ranging from convenient to potentially lifesaving in the right circumstances.
Of course, there are thousands of options on the market, and it’s difficult to know what to look for besides ‘produces a bright light’ - just because it works, doesn’t mean it works well, you know!
We’ve rounded up five of the most highly-favored flashlights available to brighten up your life right now, each made from quality materials, with a variety of features to suit the needs of many different customers and their budgets.
If you’d prefer to make an informed purchase, the Buyer’s Guide clearly, concisely defines everything you should think about when picking up your flashlight, including those factors you probably haven’t thought of before.
Before you buy, have a look at our list of Frequently Asked Questions, where we’re providing answers to burning queries from other flashlight customers around the world, ensuring you have all of the information you need to hit check out.
Here's the top 3 picks showcasing the best pocket flashlights...
OUR TOP PICK
For an affordable pocket flashlight that doesn’t cheap out on quality, we highly recommend this one from LUMINTOP, constructed from military-grade (HA-III) anodized aluminum, with ANSI verified impact resistance up to five feet.
Built to last AND to light up your life, you’ll find it’s an attractive and lightweight yet incredibly heavy-duty design, with anti-slip knurling to help you keep a tight grip, even in the most unpleasant of weather conditions.
Thanks to a world-class XPL-HD LED, boasting a 50,000 hour lifespan, the Tool 2.0 pumps out 650 lumens (in high mode) for up to 60 hours at a time, running on a single AA battery, which is pretty good going for a torch that fits in your palm!
The highest possible waterproofing, as certified according to IP68 guidelines, means even if you submerge this flashlight in 6.5 feet of water, it’ll be absolutely fine - forget puddles, you could drop this baby in a pool and still switch it on again!
Users can switch between four lighting modes, including a strobe function, at the touch of a button or twist of the base, and the clever flashlight will remember the last mode you used when you next turn it on!
- Military standard strength and brightness
- Quality production that doesn’t break the bank
- Comes with spare o-rings, just in case
- Unconditional thirty-day money-back guarantee and five year repairs warranty
- Battery operated, not rechargeable
The manufacturers at Streamlight argue that heroes depend on their flashlights for use in emergency situations, so we’d like to think an average person is going to be seriously impressed by the 66608 model.
Aluminum housing reinforced by a Type II Military Spec anodizing process increases the durability of this flashlight, which is abrasion-resistant and can really take a beating if you need it to, as can the ‘unbreakable’ polycarbonate lens.
C4 LED technology boasting a 30,000 hour lifetime means you’ll shine a bold, bright white light at 250 lumens in high mode or 50 in low (simply double bumping the tail to switch between the two) that’s impervious to shocks and jolts.
Powered by a rechargeable 360 mAh lithium ion cell, which is protected by an on board safety circuit, can be recharged up to three hundred times, and comes fully charged and ready to go - simply slide the protective sleeve aside to reveal the port.
It’s also IPX4 water-resistant, tested for impact resistance at up to a meter, so even in the heaviest storms you’ll still have this beacon of light, which easily attaches to your visor or jacket for hands-free use thanks to the handy pocket clip.
- Recharges fully in just four hours
- Powerful light with military protection
- Tested for resistance to surface smashes and water
- Camo colored clamshell
- Not as bright as other lights on our list at a similar price
At only 9cm tall, you could be forgiven for underestimating this tiny flashlight, but you’d be wrong: though it’s only teeny, you’ll get a massive 150 lumens of light from just one triple A alkaline battery, and two hours of continuous use.
Using a high efficiency, boosted output LED chip, protected from overcharging and short circuits, it might only weigh 30 grams, but it packs a mighty punch, especially being produced from a hardcore, skid-proof 6061T aluminum alloy.
As it’s water-resistant (though unable to survive full submersion like other options we’ve highlighted), your path will stay lit up even in rainy conditions, and you’ll find the convenience of a hands-free cap clip makes use even easier.
The ridged, anti-slip design will keep it in the hands of the biggest butterfingers with no trouble, and a simple one-touch on and off button means even little kids wouldn’t have a problem using it.
Promising 100% satisfaction for every customer, Hatori offers a no-hassle, 90 day money back guarantee on every purchase, so even if somehow you aren’t satisfied with your new gadget, getting a refund or a replacement is a piece of cake.
- Smallest and lightest flashlight on our list
- 150 lumens of power in one teensy package
- Simple to use, water-resistant
- Tough aluminum alloy casing
- Not waterproof or rechargeable
Capable of shining over a thousand lumens, the Redline Torchy fron Nebo is the most powerful flashlight on our list; an anodized, aircraft grade aluminum design is water and impact resistant, tough enough for the roughest excursions.
Charging wirelessly on the included MagDock USB charging cable and Li-Ion 16340 battery, with SPC technology to extend its life further, with up to five hours of continuous use on low and a massive two hours even in turbo mode.
Switch effortlessly between five light modes with varying brightnesses to suit any job with this versatile flashlight, which also has a strobe function should you need to ward off intruders or assailants immediately.
Hands-free operation is easy enough thanks to the removable clip, which can attach to your hat, belt loop or bag to light your way whilst you perform your duties safely - never again will you need to use your mouth!
Compact enough to slip into your pocket but powerful enough to shine lights up to 219 meters away from you, this is a beast of a flashlight, though in its brightest turbo mode it will turn off for cooling after 30 seconds of continuous use to protect you.
- Huge 1,000 lumens of light production
- Hours of battery even on the brightest setting
- Lithe but incredibly hardy
- Shock and water resistant
- Some customers report recharging can take a while
Looking for a sleek, compact work light that won’t break the bank? This pen light is slim and squeezes into small tight spaces with ease, lighting up a concentrated area of darkness with a bright, diffused beam, ideal for hard-to-reach, hard-to-see jobs!
Conveniently running on two standard triple AAA batteries you won’t struggle to find a fresh pair when the time comes, which will be a while, as you get hours of continuous use from just one set.
Though it’s thinner and shorter than your average pencil, it’s still capable of beaming out 120 lumens, far more than you’d expect at this size and price, which is more than enough light for whatever tasks are at hand.
Having been designed for rough handling, the weather resistant, aluminum body of this flashlight will survive accidental drops and temporary submersion underwater, as well as being resistant to scrapes and scratches.
Effortless, one-handed operation is achieved with the simple, easy to navigate power button, so you won’t be flustered in an emergency, and a removable pocket clip easily affixes the torch wherever you’d like to keep it for access in seconds.
- Two torches for the price of one - keep a spare in your car!
- One year, no questions asked replacement warranty and US based customer service
- 120 lumens - bright beams from a tiny torch!
- Tough, resilient aluminum design capable of withstanding water and impacts
- Batteries are not included and cannot be recharged
Best Pocket Flashlight - Buying Guide
Like we said - you probably think a decent flashlight comes down to whether or not it can produce and emit light, but you’d be mistaken.
There are other considerations to make, for instance...
Power Source / Battery Life
Battery-operated flashlights are the most widely available, though not all of them are rechargeable and require a fresh set every time you run out of power, which isn’t convenient in an emergency situation.
Equally as irksome can be those hand-crank flashlights that limit your brightness to the amount of power you can produce, which means not only are they cumbersome and difficult but require you to complete the circuit every time.
Your best option is to pick up a flashlight that you can charge through USB, whether that comes with rechargeable batteries that are removable or an internal component you can’t access, which saves money on double AAs in the long run.
Of course, the longer the battery lasts, the better - you’ll want an option that’s got a solid twelve or twenty-four hours in it before needing to charge or replace its batteries, though its possible to get a few days’ worth of light from some models.
When it comes to the flashlight’s capability to produce light, you’re going to want to look out for how many lumens it has, which is the unit of measurement equating to the amount of light emitted per second.
Some folks will advise you that between ten and twenty lumens is enough light to get you where you need to go, but we would disagree - why opt for something that’s not as powerful when you can get far more for the same price!
We’d recommend somewhere in the region of 100 to 500 lumens, depending on if you’re planning on using it outdoors at night on a regular basis - the more you plan on needing your torch at night, the brighter it should be.
Of course, there’s no need to push the boat out and spend money on an expensive 1000 lumen flashlight if you don’t plan on conducting any midnight raids or search and rescue missions since you really won’t get much additional use out of it.
The name pocket flashlight insinuates it needs to fit in your favorite pair of trousers with ease, so as small and sleek as possible is what you’re after, and a lightweight model too - you’re more likely to take it out and dump it in a drawer if it’s heavy.
It’s possible to get a flashlight that fits in the palm of your hand but retains the power of a device that’s as long as your arm - it’s not about size, remember, it’s about what you can do with it!
Ease Of Use
Do you have to cycle through every mode to get to the light output you want, or is it as simple as pushing a button? In an emergency situation, you’re going to want a flashlight that’s fast to flick through functions on and that works efficiently.
More simplistic options will simply require the push of an on and off button to activate their bright beams, which are great if you aren’t bothered about differentiating the brightness so long as the light shines powerfully enough once active!
Likewise, a built-in clip or included lanyard is always going to be an added bonus, especially if you can use it to achieve hands-free light when your job or task requires you to hold other equipment, and you don’t have anyone to hold the light!
Materials are important, as they determine not only how heavy the flashlight is going to be in your pocket, but also how sturdy and long-lasting it is likely to be, especially if you’re as guilty of dropping things as I am.
Looking for a flashlight that’s impact-resistant is your best bet regardless of how clumsy you are, as this guarantees you’ll get the longest lifespan out of your new purchase, with no sudden breakages after a single accidental drop.
Your best bet for more intrepid flashlight usage (like night hikes for instance, where you’re more likely to drop your light) is an aluminum flashlight, especially one that’s been anodized for added protection.
Steel is also a solid choice, but you’ll find a steel flashlight is much bulkier and weightier than a sleeker aluminum counterpart, although you might actually save money if you’re sticking to a smaller budget.
The more aquatic among us (or those who live in especially rainy states) might want to consider a waterproof flashlight, particularly if they plan on using it in the great outdoors, as you never know when you might get caught in a downpour.
Most of the flashlights on our list have been rigorously performance tested and declared impact-resistant from varying heights, which is useful if you’re often working up high or multitasking with your hands full.
Of course, if you’re not planning on using your new flashlight for anything more than a light source in emergencies, being built from military-grade materials and capable of withstanding any weather conditions aren’t extras you need to pay for.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many lumens will stun an attacker?
If you’re looking to use a flashlight tactically as a form of defense - yes, that’s a thing you haven’t heard of before! - you’ll probably need to get one designed primarily for use by a police or military unit.
Brightness is of course measured in lumens, and you’re going to want at least 120 lumens or above in order to disorientate a potential attacker, otherwise it’s not going to have the intended effect.
Of course, those torches that cops and soldiers are touting will likely be far more powerful than this, since they’re used for defensive (or offensive) purposes on a daily basis, but everyday citizens should be fine with less.
How many lumens should a flashlight have?
When it comes to a small, close-up job, 10 or 20 lumens is going to be more than bright enough to suffice and will allow you to see up to a hundred meters ahead of you - this should be enough for most everyday flashlight users.
When it comes to outdoor activities and distances of 120 meters, then between 20 and 150 lumens is the brightness level you’re looking for and will keep you sufficiently lit up.
Anything above 150 lumens is reserved for recreational outdoor activities like hiking, camping, sailing, fishing or security purposes, while those flashlights exceeding a thousand lumens tend to be utilized in search and rescue.
Good luck choosing the best pocket flashlight for your needs.