A pocket flashlight is a handy tool when you need a little light on-the-go. If you’ve ever had to work in dark, tight space, then you know what a lifesaver this little tool can be. In this article, we’re checking out the best pocket flashlights on the market. We’ll give you a full buyer’s guide, and then cover all the details you need to know about this product.
Let’s get right to it, here are the top pocket flashlights on the market. We were sure to include products with varying functionality, so that you can pick a flashlight that matches your individual needs.
Our top pick is the Maglite XL50. The Maglite brand is known for extremely durable, high-performing flashlights, and this mini-version is no exception.
Maglites are built to be extremely durable. They have strong outer shells, a water-resistant seal, and anodized inside and out for corrosion resistance. Simply put, it’s the most durable flashlight on our list. Suitable for camping, hunting, car repairs, fishing, general use, or pretty much whatever you can imagine.
It’s a very high-quality flashlight as well. It’s 200 lumens, with a 224m beam. Compared to other options on our list, that’s pretty exceptional. It runs on AAA batteries (batteries included!), and last 6h45m on its highest setting.
This Maglite also has 3 settings – high light, low light, and strobe. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand or (of course) your pocket!
This impressive blend of functionality with its pocket size makes it an easy choice for our top pick!
Extremely durable and waterproof.
3 light settings.
High quality beam – 200 lumens.
Long battery life.
Quite expensive compared to other pocket flashlights.
Moving on, we have the Hatori Super Small flashlight. As the name implies, it’s a very small flashlight! Measuring about 4 inches long and weighing only 30 grams. If size is your number one concern, then you won’t do much better than this.
As far as flashlight quality, it’s pretty impressive. It gives out a maximum of 150 lumens, which is great for such a small light. It also takes just one battery, although the battery is not included.
It’s also quite durable for its size, thanks to its water-resistant design.
Overall, just a quality light for such a small package.
The Streamlight Microstream is a quality “middle of the road” option when it comes to pocket flashlights. It has an appealing pocket design, and measures in at only 3.6 inches, weighing 31g. It fits comfortably in your pocket or the palm of your hand.
We were quite impressed with its durability. It’s housed in strong aluminum which holds up against most bumps and scrapes. It’s also waterproof up to 1 metre.
The flashlight is good but not quite as intense as other options on our list. It measures in at 45 lumens, with a 41m beam.
Overall, it’s just a quality, reliable pocket flashlight, which is most of what you can expect for its price point.
Our best budget selection is the Everbrite 4 pack. It was an easy choice, because you get 4 flashlights for the price of one!
The flashlights themselves are pretty good, but they’re about what you’d expect from a discount pocket light. It’s a 25-lumen light with a 20-meter beam. It’s great in a pinch, but won’t be what you’d want for any sort of extensive work or outdoor activities.
Overall, they’re fun, mini pocket flashlights that work. They even come in cool colors, which makes them great for kids or adults. If you’re in need of a few pocket lights for basic use, then these ones fit the bill quite nicely.
Here’s another one from Maglite, our favorite flashlight brand!
This is an even smaller pocket flashlight than the Maglite we surveyed above. As far as ultra-small flashlights go, we think this is the best one available. It’s just over 3 inches long, and only half an inch wide.
It has Maglite’s traditional ultra-durable design. It has weather-resistant seals and an anodized interior and exterior. It is hard-shelled and rugged, and is suitable for outdoor use.
In terms of performance, it’s quite capable for such a small flashlight. It outputs 47 lumens and a 46m beam, and only takes a single AAA battery to run (battery included).
Overall, as far as ultra-small pocket lights go, this is our highest-quality option. It’s not quite as capable as the Maglite we looked at above, but what it sacrifices in performance it makes up for in portability.
This is quite the powerful little pocket flashlight! What’s most notable is its performance. This light shoots out up to 105 lumens with a beam that reaches up to 62m. Very impressive specs for a pocket flashlight.
We also like the functionality of this flashlight. It has a “Twist Focusing” system, which narrows the diameter of the beam from a flood-mode to a pinpoint targeting beam. This is helpful for various uses, from up-close, accurate work to outdoor flood-lighting. You can also cycle between High and Low power modes with the push of a button.
It runs on 2 AAA batteries, which are included, and runtime is just over 2 hours. It’s quite a bit more expensive than other pocket lights, but It does have the extra functionality to justify this.
Very capable light – 105 lumens up to 62m
Twist Focusing system and High-Low power modes
Quite a bit more expensive than other pocket lights
This is a neat twist on the traditional pocket flashlight. The light is actually attached to the vertical shaft of the flashlight, and shines out of an elongated light source. This is meant to be ideal for work settings, where the light can be stood up, or clipped onto your front pocket.
It’s a highly effective flashlight, shining an impressive 175 lumens. It also lasts for 7 hours of continuous run-time with 3 AAA batteries. The elongated light-source provides a “flood” of light, which illuminates entire workspaces with ease. There’s even a magnetic base so it stays secure in position.
It depends on your situation whether this will be more useful than a traditional flashlight, but it’s preferred by many who tend to work in cramped workspaces where their hands are occupied.
Extra bright – 175 lumens.
Up to 7 hours continuous run time with 3 AAA batteries.
Hands-free design – stands straight, magnetic base, and pocket clips.
“Flood” light design.
Might not be ideal if you’re looking for a traditional pocket light.
The Lichamp Pocket Work lights are similar in design to the CAT light directly above. These ones come in a very economical 10 pack.
The lights are quite functional. There are three light settings, which adjust from 40-150 lumens. They also have a magnetic base, so they can be stood up to flood small work areas. They were designed for dark workspaces such as cars, attics, control panels, etc.
The plastic shells definitely aren’t as durable as other lights on our list. However, the package does include 10 lights, so you’ll get extended usage out of this package regardless.
These were built for functionality above all else. They aren’t the prettiest lights, or the most rugged, but they get the job done.
Wide flood beam to illuminate dark workspaces.
Up to 150 lumens with adjustable light settings.
High value pack – 10 lights included.
No replaceable batteries. Once they run out they’re done.
To finish our list, we have the Energizer Aircraft Aluminum pen light. This is an impressive little pen light, that shines a white beam of 100 lumens for up to 50 meters.
The Aircraft-grade aluminum makes this pen light incredibly durable. It’s rugged enough for indoor, outdoor, and work use, and also water resistant.
The grooved sides make it comfortable in your hand, which makes it easy to shine a light into even the most cramped spaces.
Overall, this is a solid all-around pocket light. It boasts an excellent combination of portability and power, which makes it a great spot to end our list.
Aircraft-grade aluminum for extra durability.
100 lumens up to 50 meters.
Wide beam for flooding purposes.
A bit longer than most pen lights (over 7”).
How To Choose A Pocket Flashlight – Buying Guide
Now that we’ve examined all of our favorite pocket flashlights, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. As you can see, there are a lot of choices in pocket flashlights. So many sizes, shapes, brightness levels, light settings, and more.
In this section, we’ll help you sort through the riff raff to decide on the best pocket light. Consider these factors to decide on the ideal pocket light for you.
Since we’re talking about pocket flashlights, size will definitely be a major consideration.
As a general rule, flashlights will sacrifice performance for a smaller size. This is because there’s less room for powerful components, and less room for additional batteries. That being said, there’s still a wide range of performance differences between flashlights of similar sizes.
Any flashlight shorter than 4.5 inches long and 1 inch wide should fit into your pocket pretty comfortably. Some are much smaller than this, and some are quite a bit larger. Consider the size, but also the performance of the flashlight, which we’ll examine next.
The first major variable that effects performance is durability. Durability is especially important with flashlights, as you’ll be relying on them in a wide range of situations. Whether you’re using it for outdoor, indoor, or general use, you want it to work!
Durability is mainly influenced by the materials that the light was made with. Strong pocket lights tend to be made of aluminum. You also want to pay special attention to the waterproof rating, which determines how your flashlight will perform in the rain, or for various outdoor activities.
To determine a flashlight’s brightness, you want to look at its lumen rating, as well as its beam distance. Lumens are units of measurement for a light’s brightness. The more lumens, the brighter the light. Flashlights also tend to give you a beam distance, which determines the light range that your pocket light will illuminate.
Smaller pocket lights tend to have less lumens. For a very small light (under 4 inches long) try to aim for about 40-50 lumens. Larger pocket lights have larger bulbs and more battery space, and tend to range from 100-300 lumens.
Also pay attention to the “width” of the beam. Some pocket lights advertise a narrow beam for focusing on small areas and tasks, while some lights advertise a wide “flood” beam for illumination of larger spaces.
Once again, the smaller the pocket light, the shorter the battery life! This is typically because smaller flashlights can only fit a single battery, while larger lights can fit more batteries (and more powerful ones).
Smaller pocket lights which take single AAA batteries tend to only last between 2-3 hours per charge. Larger pockets which take multiple AAA or AA batteries tend to last between 6-9 hours.
Finally, pay attention to light settings. It might be the case that your pocket flashlight has multiple settings which determine brightness levels, beam size, and more.
Popular settings include High-Low adjustments, which change the overall brightness. Some flashlights also have beam “width” adjustment, which changes the beam from a narrow pinpoint beam to a wide “flood” beam. Some flashlights also have a strobe setting for special situations.
Try to match these settings with your intended usage, and you can pick the pocket light that best meets your needs.
Conclusion + Our Top Pick
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when picking a new flashlight. We outlined the top products on the market, and provided a buyer’s guide to make your decision easy.
Personally, we think MagLite flashlights are the best on the market. They’re the perfect mix of durability and performance, and they come in various sizes depending on your portability preferences.
If you’re interested in a more traditional flashlight, check out our top picks!
What Are the Advantages Of A Pocket Flashlight?
The main advantage is portability. As the name implies, they fit right in your pocket! But don’t let the size fool you, they are very capable flashlights.
Are Pocket Flashlights Effective?
Yes, but not all are created equal. There are varying degrees of quality among pocket lights. Check out our buyer’s guide above to discover some high-quality options.
What Is the Illumination Range Of A Pocket Flashlight?
It depends. Typically, the smaller pocket lights (under 4 inches) tend to have a range up to about 50 metres. Larger pocket lights (containing multiple batteries) can have a range from 100-200+ meters. Typically, the illumination range will be clearly marked on the package.