Small and bright

Unlike most of the "Top X best flashlights" lists you have found in Google, we have owned and reviewed hundreds of flashlights on our team. Many of those Top X lists are written by people who know nothing about flashlights! In fact, many of these people do not even own a flashlight. How we can tell? First, they show utterly ridiculous flashlights that should never be recommended.

Please make sure to read our in-depth reviews!

Brightest small flashlight

side view of Nitecore TUP

Nitecore TUP : 1000 lumen


Brightest small flashlight?

  • Two mode settings: Constant and Press only.
  • Output: 1000 Lumens (we measured)
  • LED: XPL-HD V6 LED
  • Charge: Built-in Micro USB port
  • Weight: 53.2g / 1.87 Oz
  • Length: 70.3mm / 2.76 inch

The Nitecore TUP is a little performer. In hand, it looks a little unusual with the switches and the display. But when you press that switch.... you will blind yourself with 1000 lumens. We have evaluated the Nitecore TUP, and it really did 1000 lumens! Unlike many other brands on eBay or Aliexpress, this is really pushing the 1000 lumens. Pretty impressive for this size of light. 

If you are searching for something lightweight, but don't mind it being chunky-sized, this is a great way to get ahead of the game. The OLED display tells you exactly how many more minutes the battery will last. The peak brightness can only be reached while pressing the button continuously. So the highest constant output mode is 200 lumens, while the momentary highest output is 1000 lumens. If you don't really understand how that works, read our review. 

Thinnest flashlight

cheap orange nitecore flashlight

Nitecore Tube


$10 keychain light

  • Modes: 2
  • Charge: Micro USB
  • Weight: 9.6 grams / 0.33oz
  • Length: 56.5mm / 2.22 inch
  • Thickness: 8.65mm / 0.337 inch
  • Available in many colors

If you're looking for a very thin and lightweight rechargeable keychain light, this may be your best bet. Nitecore is a premium flashlight brand that produces great craftmanship. This Nitecore Tube light is available in multiple colors, including pink (for the other half). This makes it a great gift for your non-flashaholic friends, family and wife. Just order your favorite light and add this Tube to the shopping basket. If somebody complains about your flashlight obsession, gift this!

Don't expect anything bright, since it uses a simple 5mm led, and not a high power LED! The maximum output is about 45 lumens. I personally own a transparent one, but I would recommend a bright color instead.

Small rechargeable flashlight

very small flashlight with glow in the dark

Lumintop GLOW I


Magnetic mini flashlight

  • Max output: 40 lumens (we tested this)
  • LED: Osram
  • Modes: 1 brightness
  • Charge: Built-in Micro USB charger
  • Length: 45.4mm / 1.777 in (when turned on)
  • Weight: 16.2 gr / .57oz

This must be one of those tiny flashlights you could actually use. The Lumintop Glow I is not really bright by any means, but if you are looking for a simple, small rechargeable flashlight, this might do the trick.

The Lumintop GLOW I is only 40 lumen but with some great features.  It has a built-in Micro-USB charger. No more hassle with batteries. The built-in battery lasts about 50 minutes on a single charge. You can recharge the Glow I with any USB charger or USB port on your PC or Laptop. The package includes a short Micro-USB charge cable to get you started. Another great feature is the magnetic body. With the light still on your keychain, you can pull the light off and put it back on with the built-in magnet. This is really helpful. Want to know more? Check out our in-depth Lumintop Glow I review here.

Tiny flashlight in tan color

Olight i1r 2 EOS


Tiny flashlight

  • Max output: 150 lumens (I tested 122 lm)
  • Modes: 2
  • Charge: Built-in Micro USB charger
  • Length: 44mm / 1.73 in
  • Weight: 13 gr / .46oz

I gave the Olight i1R 2 EOS (check out our review) to my daughter since my son took the Glow I. Instead of the claimed 150 lumens, we tested it at 122lm. On the highest setting, you get about 20 minutes of runtime.

The Olight i1R 2 EOS is very tiny and really compact. It includes a tiny built-in battery that is not replaceable. Just recharge when it's empty. You need to twist it to turn on and untwist it to turn off. By quickly twisting-untwisting-twisting you get to the other mode setting. It's pretty straight forward. Olight is a well-known flashlight brand that makes high-quality products. You can't go wrong with an Olight!

Compact AAA flashlights

lumintop-edc01-blue

Lumintop EDC01


Small AAA flashlight with 120 lumens.

  • Max output: 120 lumens
  • LED: Osram
  • Modes: 3
  • Battery: AAA (not included)
  • Length: 66 mm / 2.59 in
  • Weight empty: 12g / .42 oz

AAA flashlights are probably one of the most popular keychain flashlights since AAA batteries are widely available. However, we do not recommend using Alkaline batteries in flashlights. They often ruin flashlights and electronics because they can leak. Often people refer to Alkaline batteries as Alkaleaks. We recommend using rechargeable AAA batteries like the Panasonic Eneloop AAA. These types of batteries can be recharged hundreds of times and save you money in the long run.

This is a twisty light, so you need to twist the head to turn it on. These twisty lights are the shorts of all!

Small AA flashlight

Lumintop-tool-aa-2

Lumintop TOOL AA 2.0


AA flashlight with 140 lumen

  • Max output on Eneloop AA: 140 lumens 
  • Maxoutput on 14500 lithium: 650 lumens
  • Length: 89.5 mm / 3.52 in
  • Weight empty: 23.5gr / .79oz 

If you're looking for a reliable AA flashlight have a look at the Lumintop Tool AA 2.0. It's extremely popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts. The Tool AA 2.0 is available in 3 different colors as well as in titanium. We reviewed the Titanium Tool 2.0 AA light here. Although the Tool AA works with 14500 Li-Ion batteries, we wouldn't recommend using it on High for any longer than 10 seconds at a time. The head may overheat and break the light. You can continuously run Turbo on AA batteries without any problem.

The Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 has 3 modes. Simply press the tail switch quickly to run through these modes. The great thing about AA flashlights is the extended battery life compared to AAA flashlights. (They tend to run roughly 3 times as long). But at the cost of a larger flashlight. We do not recommend using Alkaline batteries for this light. Actually, we don't recommend Alkaline batteries in general. You are much better off buying rechargeable batteries. Especially ones that are made in Japan.

Small 18350 flashlight

emisar edc flashlight

EMISAR D4V2


Very bright 18350 flashlight

  • Max output: 4300 lm
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Large choice of emitters and accessories
  • Output: ~2800 lm
  • Length: 63.5 mm / 2.5 in

Emisar flashlights are a special breed. Hank, the owner of Emisar is a real flashlight enthusiast. The Emisar D4v2 is actually a 18650 flashlight but has an optional 18350 extender. With the power of 4 LEDs you can achieve extremely high output, over 3000lm, depending on the emitters you choose.

This is a special flashlight that not many people outside the flashlight community know about. If you are into something special, with special firmware, have a look at our in-depth Emisar D4v2 review before you purchase one. Lithium-ion powered flashlights need special care, and therefore these are not recommended for children or careless people :--)

 

 

Smallest 18650 flashlights

  • Extremely popular in the flashlight community
  • Output: ~2800 lm
  • Length: 92.5 mm / 3.56 in
  • Weight empty: 53gr / 1.8oz 
  • Weight with battery: 100 gr / 3.53 oz

The size of an average 18350 type flashlight but with the capacity of a 18650 battery. That is what the Lumintop FW3A is capable of. Small flashlights with high lumens are hard to find. The FW3A is a real pocket rocket, and possibly the brightest pocket flashlight you can get. It is also not very expensive, at roughly $40 a piece. This is the flashlight I have in my winter coat all the time. The Lumintop FW3A needs a little more attention because of its design. It has tons of features including a lightning storm mode, candle mode, bike flash mode, amongst others. If you want to learn more, don't forget to check out our extremely in-depth Lumintop FW3A review.

 

side view of the olight warrior mini

Olight Warrior Mini


One of the smallest tactical flashlights at just 4.2 inches

Small tactical flashlight

  • Very popular
  • Output: ~1500 lm
  • Length: 107 mm / 4.2 in
  • Including a high quality 18650 battery

The Olight Warrior Mini is one of the shortest tactical 18650 flashlights on the market. It has direct access to Turbo, Moon, and Medium + strobe. Olight is definitely one of the high-end manufacturers. The Warrior Mini can be used by police, law enforcement and military.

During our test, we noticed that the runtime of the Warrior Mini is phenomenal. It runs for 18 hours at 140 lumens in Medium mode, while Turbo and High mode last more than 3.5 hours each. Its highest output of 1500 lumens is available for 4 minutes before it drops to roughly 500 lumens. This continues for more than 3 hours. And all of that with a single battery.

The included battery can be charged with a normal lithium-ion battery charger inside the flashlight itself. The package includes an Olight magnetic charging cable so it's ready to use.

 

What is the best small flashlight? That depends

When it comes to choosing the right flashlight for your needs, you need to answer a few questions.

  1. Do I know how to charge lithium-ion batteries?
  2. Do I have a lithium-ion battery charger?
  3. Do I have a NiMH battery charger?
  4. Do I want to charge my lights with a USB charger?
  5. Do I want to be able to change out the batteries?
  6. Why do I want a small flashlight torch?
  7. How do I want to carry it? In my pocket or on my keychains?

The best flashlight for you depends on the answers to all these questions. But to help you a little further, have a look at the pros and cons.

Don't buy lithium-ion powered flashlight like the 18350 and 18650 flashlights listed above if: 

  • You don't have a trustable lithium-ion battery charger
  • You don't have trustable lithium-ion batteries
  • A child is going to use the flashlight
  • You don't know how to treat Lithium-Ion batteries

Don't buy a flashlight with built-in (lithium-ion) batteries if: 

  • You want to use spare batteries
  • You don't have the ability to charge the flashlight when it's empty

The benefits of small AA and AAA flashlights:

  • AAA batteries are widely available, which is great in case of an emergency
  • AAA and AA batteries are relatively cheap
  • You can take spare batteries with you and replace the battery when empty
  • You can sure rechargeable NiMH batteries like Panasonic Eneloops and use them hundreds of times

The benefits of 18350 and 18650 flashlights: 

  • You can take spare batteries with you
  • They are the most powerful for flashlights and therefore the brightest
  • You have much more power available compared to AA or AAA flashlights
  • The runtime of these flashlights in lowest modes can be extremely long

What's the brightest pocket flashlight?

  • The Emisar D4v2 and Lumintop FW3A are extremely bright and fit in your pocket. Anything larger than these lights get a little too big IMHO.

What's the smallest, pocketable Tactical flashlight?

  • There are so many, but the Olight Warrior Mini is probably one of the most popular small tactical flashlights. It can even be used in combat by the military.

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