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These Mini Flashlights Deliver Bright, Dependable Illumination

Put a little sunshine in your pocket with these conveniently-sized flashlights.

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BY/ LAST UPDATED ON April 21, 2022

Mini flashlights are practical and useful tools to have on hand. Small enough to go anywhere, they’re a source of bright light when you need it most. Great for camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, power outages, walking at night, or carrying in a purse, bag, or pocket for emergencies or personal safety, mini flashlights are affordable and make great gifts. Thanks to advances in technology, mini flashlights are continuously being improved in terms of size, light output, battery life, and much more. With so many options, it can be tough to know which is best for you and what you need it for. To help you narrow it down, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite mini flashlights.

Best Overall

Maglite Solitaire

Summary
This 47-lumen aluminum offering from Maglite sets the bar for all miniature flashlights. It measures less than 3.25 inches long with a half-inch diameter and weighs in at under a pound.
Pros
  • Full of features
  • Impact-resistant against six-foot drops 
  • Waterproof down to three feet
  • Uses a single AAA battery
Cons
  • Very easy to lose when used without its lanyard
Best Value

LuxPro

Summary
This little light puts out 40 lumens running off of three AAA batteries. It is available in a multitude of colors and includes a convenient lanyard.
Pros
  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum 
  • Glows in the dark
  • Lanyard for easy carry and identification
Cons
  • A little wide for some users
Honorable Mention

Streamlight ProTac

Summary
This flashlight was designed for tactical applications. It has an aluminum body, removable carrying clip, and protective bezels at both ends. It also has three pre-programmed modes.
Pros
  • Produces 150 lumens with AAA batteries and 350 with CR123As
  • Completely waterproof at a three-foot depth for 30 minutes
Cons
  • Expensive 
  • A little long
These Mini Flashlights Deliver Bright, Dependable Illumination

Mini flashlights are incredibly practical and useful tools to have on hand. Small enough to go anywhere, they’re a source of bright light when you need it most. Great for camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, power outages, walking at night, or carrying in a purse, bag, or pocket for emergencies or personal safety, mini flashlights are affordable and make great gifts. 

Thanks to advances in technology, mini flashlights are continuously being improved in terms of size, light output, battery life, and much more. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which is best for you and what you need it for. To help you narrow it down, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite mini flashlights.

Our Methodology

My product picks for the best mini flashlights were chosen by seeking out products that offered a balanced combination of good illumination, durability, and ease of use. Each flashlight is also lightweight and well-suited to being carried on your person or in your bag. I took a look at every kind of mini flashlight, from tactical to penlights, and compared them to find the standouts. I considered key details such as lumen output, size and weight of the flashlight, and its ease of carrying. I also took users’ reviews into consideration, seeking out products that were reliable and performed as expected in real-life settings.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Mini Flashlight Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Power source: One AAA battery
  • Lumens: 47 lumens
  • Material: Plastic

Pros

  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Impact-resistant
  • Small and sleek
  • Reliable performance

Cons

  • Easy to lose without lanyard

This flashlight has been around for decades, delivering reliable performance in tough environments. The Solitaire LED is powered by a single included AAA battery and generates a 47-lumen beam capable of running for an hour and 45 minutes. It carries an IPX7 rating, making it waterproof up to a three-foot depth, and can resist impacts equivalent to being dropped from six feet. The flashlight turns on by twisting the head rather than pushing a button, and it comes with a keyring lanyard. The Maglite Solitaire LED is truly miniature, measuring 3.19 inches long with a half-inch diameter and weighing 0.85 ounces.

Easily the biggest drawback to this flashlight is its size. As a true mini flashlight, this little guy could be easy to lose without the optional lanyard.

Specs

  • Power source: Three AAA batteries
  • Lumens: 40 lumens
  • Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum and rubber

Pros

  • Bright exterior colors
  • Large on/off button
  • Rubber grips
  • Water- and scratch-resistant

Cons

  • Bit thick for a pocket

This flashlight comes in a wide variety of colors that glow in the dark and are perfectly sized for small and large hands. It is constructed from aircraft-grade machined aluminum and covered with a colorful rubber grip, making it both easy to hold as well as resistant to water and scratches. Offered at a competitive price, this mini flashlight makes a great gift, stocking stuffer, or party favor. It is ideal for camping, hiking, sleepovers, and emergency power outages. This light runs on three AAA batteries and is small enough to go anywhere. It features a large on/off button on the cap and generates 40 lumens.

The only complaint one might have is its relative girth. It has a one-inch diameter that may not be ideal for carrying in a pocket, but this flashlight’s width will be an afterthought for most users.

Specs

  • Power source: One AA battery or one CR123A battery
  • Lumens: Up to 350 lumens
  • Material: Anodized aluminum

Pros

  • Durable housing
  • Multiple light modes
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Shock-resistant

Cons

  • Long
  • Expensive

This flashlight is compact yet packs the perfect punch for use in self-defense scenarios. The anodized aluminum body houses either a single AA battery or one CR123A battery, each powering three modes: high, low, and strobe. Under AA battery power, this light puts out a maximum of 150 lumens, but with a CR123A, this LED-powered torch more than doubles that output to 350 lumens. Thanks to its IPX7 rating, this flashlight is waterproof for 30 minutes in depths up to three feet. It is also shock resistant up to six feet and comes with three mode programs.

While a little long for a miniature flashlight, the extra length ensures that users can get a good handle on it, even those with large hands. Some users might find this flashlight is too pricey, but the extra pennies translate to higher quality and performance.

Specs

  • Power source: One AA battery or one rechargeable battery
  • Lumens: Up to 600 lumens
  • Material: Aluminum

Pros

  • Pocket-sized and easy to carry
  • Magnetic tail cap
  • 90-degree rotating head
  • Multiple light strength choices

Cons

  • On/off switch isn’t quick

This flashlight comes equipped with many smart features like a magnetic tail cap for quick attachment to ferrous metal surfaces for hands-free usage. Compact enough to fit in your pocket, this mini aluminum flashlight also has a 90-degree rotating head for customizable light function. It houses an N7 LED light powered either by one AA battery that generates 250 lumens of output or a 14500 rechargeable battery that produces 600 lumens of bright, powerful light with an illumination range of 413 feet. A handy side clip and durable non-slip grip are great bonus features. It is water- and shock-resistant for added durability and practicality.

Easily the biggest complaint with this flashlight is the switch, which requires users to depress it for two seconds before it will power on, switch modes, or power off. This feature prevents the light from qualifying as a self-defense flashlight.

Specs

  • Power source: Two AAA batteries
  • Lumens: 100 lumens
  • Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum

Pros

  • Strong, durable housing
  • Very lightweight
  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • Chemical-resistant lens

Cons

  • Long

This 100-lumen flashlight is perfect for tradespeople, contractors, and mechanics thanks to its brilliant design. The light is constructed with 6000 series aircraft-grade aluminum for strength, durability, and reduced weight, and it carries an IP67 rating, making it waterproof and dustproof. Additionally, it features a chemical-resistant lens, further adding to the worksite credibility. The light draws power from two AAA batteries and is designed to use hands free. In addition to the included metal clip, the Milwaukee Penlight includes a rubberized tail cap designed to let users get a grip with their teeth to free up both hands.

While lightweight, this flashlight’s dimensions may be a bit much for some. It is relatively long, stretching almost 5.5 inches. Plus, the 0.65-inch diameter is roughly equivalent to a standard Sharpie cap with a clip, making it a little wide.

Specs

  • Power source: Two AAA batteries
  • Lumens: 4.5 lumens
  • Material: Aluminum alloy

Pros

  • Streamlined beam
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • Optical glass lens built inf
  • Reverse polarity protection for batteries

Cons

  • Long

A small flashlight like the Weltool Diagnostic Penlight is a must-have tool in the medical and emergency response fields. It runs off two AAA batteries, generating a 4.5-lumen beam, making it perfect for examinations and other diagnostic roles. The warm-colored LED has a color temperature of 3,000 K and a color-rendering index of 85 percent, putting it in competition with traditional incandescent light bulbs. This tough little assistant consists of 6061 aluminum alloy and carries an IP65 waterproof rating. The Weltool penlight also includes an optical glass lens for the bulb, a steel clip for storage, and reverse polarity protection to prevent damage from batteries installed backward.

At only 0.8 ounces and 0.55 inches, this penlight is lightweight and thin, but it is a little long, measuring 5.25 inches. Still, this light stays true to the penlight category.

Specs

  • Power source: Four IEC-LR41 coin batteries
  • Lumens: 10 lumens
  • Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • LED bulb
  • Sturdy snap hook
  • Lasts up to eight hours

Cons

  • Not so bright
  • Easy to lose

Aptly named the Nano, this tiny light measures only 1.47 inches long, making it one of the smallest flashlights on the market. It is a water-resistant, durable light with a 100,000 hour LED bulb that shines strong and bright. It is equipped with a sturdy and substantial non-rotating snap hook that easily attaches to your keyring, backpack, belt loop, or anything else with a loop or key ring. Constructed from aircraft-grade machined aluminum with an anodized finish, this ultra-tough flashlight can last up to eight hours. This flashlight is powered by four included alkaline button cell batteries.

Due to its size, this light has a few limitations. At only 10 lumens, it will not be lighting up any football fields, although it is plenty bright for most administrative tasks. Users could also be prone to dropping and losing the flashlight due to its portability and size

Specs

  • Power source: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Lumens: 150 lumens
  • Material: Aluminum alloy

Pros

  • Lightweight and extra-small
  • IPX8 waterproof rating
  • Two lumen levels
  • Recharges in 75 minutes

Cons

  • Very short runtime
  • Easy to lose

This flashlight easily fits anyone’s definition of miniature thanks to its minimal weight and dimensions. Measuring in at 1.73 inches long and 0.58 inches in diameter, this little light weighs an impressive 0.46 ounces. The twist-bezel design allows users to activate a five-lumen beam or a high-beam 150-lumen output. The body is constructed of a durable, lightweight aluminum alloy and is engineered to meet IPX8 waterproofing standards, making it immersible down to six feet. The lithium-ion battery is fully rechargeable in 75 minutes thanks to a universal micro-USB charging port, making the Olight i1R 2 EOS incredibly easy to maintain.

This light is incredibly small. It is easy to lose if users don’t use the included key ring. The 150-lumen high beam has a very short run time of only five minutes on a single charge.

Our Verdict 

For an excellent all-around mini flashlight, buyers can’t go wrong with the tough, durable Maglite Solitaire. It produces 47 lumens and fits any pocket. The LuxPro LP395, though a bit wider, is still an incredibly handy light that is easy on the wallet. If you have a go-to mini flashlight that didn't make our list, let us know what it is in the comments. 

What to Consider When Buying Mini Flashlights

Not all mini flashlights are made equal. If you don’t know how to separate the best products from the rest, you could wind up with an ineffective and unsatisfying little light. To ensure you’re getting the best illumination for your everyday needs, here’s what we suggest you look for while shopping for a mini flashlight.

Types of Mini Flashlights

Key Ring Lights

Key ring lights are as straightforward as they sound: They’re mini flashlights that attach right to your key ring. These flashlights are made to be carried anywhere and everywhere, and they’re particularly handy at shining light into dark spots like your bag or illuminating small areas in the dark. Key ring mini flashlights typically rely on either button-style batteries or rechargeable batteries that can be charged via USB cable.

Tactical Flashlights

If you’re looking for a mini flashlight that’s both tough and capable, you likely want a tactical model. These little flashlights are highly reliable, and they’re designed to survive anything and everything. Made out of aluminum or titanium, tactical mini flashlights are strong, durable, and lightweight. And they often feature high lumen outputs of at least 100 lumens to help you see clearly in any setting. 

Penlights 

The slimmest and often sleekest of the mini flashlight options available, penlights are modeled after actual pens. These thin lights are often used by tradespeople, and they fit right into shirt pockets or in your tool bag. While penlights have pretty low lumen outputs overall, some can reach as high as 100 lumens if you need added brightness. 

Mini Flashlight Key Features

Brightness

Modern flashlights are quite bright compared to their predecessors, but exactly how bright is bright? A light source’s brightness is usually measured in lumens, and manufacturers often take pains to emphasize lumen ratings of their lights. For reference, a candle usually produces around 10 lumens, while the average car headlight puts out about 1,000 lumens, and HID headlights often generate approximately 3,000 lumens.

Environmental Considerations

After determining a particular flashlight’s intended use, buyers should consider how well a miniature light can handle environmental factors. Precedence should be given to torches that resist water, dust, shock, and impacts. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created the IP system, which allows for easy identification of an electronic device’s resistance to water and dust. For example, IPX7-rated lights are waterproof for at least 30 minutes in water up to three feet deep.

Power Source

When purchasing any flashlight, its power source should be of prime consideration. While most modern mini flashlights run on AAA or AA batteries, specialized lights may use different batteries, such as CR123A batteries, or they could be rechargeable.

Mini Flashlight Pricing 

You can easily find mini flashlights priced for less than $10, but you won’t be able to find one that’s water-resistant. These budget options also tend to be under 50 lumens. In the $10 to $25 range, you’ll have more options and find more good-quality lights. You’ll also find water- and shock-resistant flashlights. And if you spend $25 or more, you’ll find a selection that includes fully waterproof torches, plus mini flashlights with programmable light modes and true tactical flashlights. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What is the best small flashlight?

A: This depends heavily on the light’s intended use. Tactical flashlights must be tougher and more reliable than lights intended for a child’s slumber party. Portability, battery type, and waterproofing are just a few of the factors to consider.

Q: How do I fix a small flashlight?

A: Often, low-quality aluminum flashlights require shaking to keep working, yet will remain unreliable. This is usually due to a poor connection between the bulb assembly/battery contact and the internal aluminum housing. Lightly sand away the finish on the cap threads to create a better electrical connection.

Q: What is the smallest and brightest flashlight?

A: Micro flashlights tend to lack brightness due to a lack of power. Those that actually do produce intense light tend to have a minimal light life. That said, the Olight EOS is worth checking out. It produces a 150-lumen beam that lasts about five minutes before dying.

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