I believe everyone should carry the best pocket flashlight. If you are the type of person to not carry a flashlight on your person every day, then maybe consider carrying it in your purse, tool pouch, and keep one in your car for the times when you need it. The LED flashlights are getting smaller and more powerful each passing year. They are compact and discrete enough these days that the ” they’re too bulky to carry” excuse just isn’t gonna cut it anymore.
But aren’t they really expensive? No, they are not. Listed below are the top 7 picks for a pocket flashlight, penlight, mini-penlight, and a keychain-sized microlight. You can find reliable and bright everyday carry lights without breaking the bank. We found these 7 little guys all for under $20 on Amazon.com.
Maglite Solitaire LED Flashlight
An oldie but a goodie! When the Maglite came out with the Solitaire is was pretty groundbreaking and all the rave amongst geeks like me. Since then Maglite has the Solitaire LED version. Still a 2 AA battery flashlight, but wields the new bright and longer-lasting LED bulb. Great light for the technicians, engineer type or just your kid’s next camping trip. I know first hand that this light is worth the money even if it is not fancy in design or a name.
- Superior quality craftsmanship with weather-resistant seals and anodized inside and out for improved corrosion resistance
- Adjustable and powerful light beam that makes a useful gift and fits perfectly into pockets, purses, attache cases, etc.
- Compact design includes a premium alkaline battery with keychain lanyard and a spare lamp safely inside the tailcap
- A premium drop resistant and water resistant flashlight renowned for its quality, durability and reliability
- Advanced lighting instrument made in America and built tough enough to last a lifetime making it suitable for camping, climbing, fishing, hunting, etc.
ITP Light A3 EOS Version 3
With a max of 80 lumens, these 3 modes pocket-sized powerhouse is one of my favorites ( obviously). It has a slightly long keychain attachment with a slit ring at the other end. I myself remove it and installed it directly to my key ring. Made from aluminum and similar to the Maratac and some believes it is identical and made by ITP. A nice metal belt clip if you just want to remove the keyring altogether. As I was saying about the 3 brightness (high, medium, low), It does not have a long-distance of throw, but it is very bright on the high mode for being a light that uses only one AAA battery.
- CREE XP-G2 LED with max 130 lumen output powered by an AAA battery
- 3 levels, low 12 lm (150 hrs.), med 60 lm (8hrs), high 130 lm (1.6hrs),
- Flat end cap allows light sit on flat surface
- Finish: HA Type ; Reflector: Orange Peel Reflector
- Anti-shattering and anti-scratching ultra clear lens
Fenix E01 Compact Flashlight
The Fenix Eo1 is compact, reasonably bright, and is available in several stylish colors. Although it is twice the price of the Maglite Solitaire Led, the Fenix E01 has a better throw of light and I think it is worth buying. The total output is 10 lumens and again uses just one AAA battery. The total runtime is about 21 hours by the way. It comes with the standard rubber o-rings so it is waterproof like all of Fenix flashlights.
- Max 13 lumen output from a single AAA battery
- A perfect backup light for car, backpack, pocket or purse
- 21 hour run time using just one 1.5V AAA battery (battery included)
- 1 ounce body made with aircraft-grade aluminum for long durability
- IPX-8 Waterproof, 2 meters for 30 minutes
Streamlight MicroStream Mini-Penlight
Even back when Streamlight sold the standard MicroStream, I was a big fan. Now with the Streamlight MicroStream mini penlight is has a new brighter LED module, and uses the AAA battery. As one of my favorite mini penlights, I can find plenty of reasons why you should have one of your own. The new version boasts 28 lumens and a total runtime of 2.25 hours. Water-resistant to IPX4 standards, the MicroStream can modestly handle the elements. Side Note: This is the perfect light for someone in IT, CSI, or other technical trade jobs.
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Fenix E05 R2 Compact Flashlight
Brighter than the Fenix Eo1 and little more expensive than the MicroStream ($20 on Amazon), the one AAA battery Fenix Eo5 R2 outputs about 27 lumens and can do so for around 2 hours and 50 minutes. Like the Eo1, the E05 is waterproof to IPX8 standards (what’s that). One more worthwhile benefit is that this light can stand on its tailcap much easier than some of the others here too.
- LED provides 27 Lumens (ANSI Certified) of light from amazing 2.5 inch body
- Light provides wide beam of light that will reach over 78 ft
- Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard, 2 meters for 30 minutes
- Body Size: 6.5" (Length) x 1" (Diameter); 3 ounces; Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard
- Powered by a single AAA battery, easy to find and affordable (Not Included)
Streamlight Stylus Pro Penlight
As you may know, I have mentioned the Streamlight Stylus Pro a few times before, and for good reason – They are fantastic penlights. I do carry one in my tool kits and have saved the day once or twice too. Just like the MicroStream, the Streamlight Stylus Pro upgraded to the new LED bulbs and it was a smart decision on their behalf. The Stylus Pro is the bigger version of the MicroStream in the fact it uses two AAA batteries instead of just the one AAA. The body is made from aluminum and is available in a few different paint jobs, rated to IPX4 standards as well. The total output is 48 lumens and the total runtime is about 6.25 hours.
- Type II MIL-SPEC abrasion and corrosion-resistant anodized aircraft aluminum construction with unbreakable, scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens.
Inova & Photon Keychain Micro-Lights
So maybe you are looking for the best pocket flashlight but of a different kind. Maybe the penlights or minis are just too large for you to carry. Well, the Inova and Photon keychain LED micro-lights are about as discrete and compact as you can get. For just about $5-$10 you can pick up one of these things and be on your way. Both are easy to use by just pressing the center and hold. (momentary on).
- COMPACT KEY CHAIN LIGHT - This 6 Lumen, high powered mini flashlight is less than 2in (4. 7cm) long and clips conveniently to your key chain or zipper pull with a universal clip so you always have a light handy
- HIGH-POWERED LED ILLUMINATES UP TO 50 FT - Plus is visible up to one mile
- WATER AND CRUSH RESISTANT COMPACT BODY - Solid polycarbonate construction is water and crush resistant, and weighs only . 35oz| 9. 22g, making it a perfect light to keep handy on your keychain
- AVAILABLE IN MULTIPLE BODY + LED COLORS - With a variety of LED colors to choose from, it's the perfect compact flashlight for everyday and hobby needs
- REPLACEABLE LONG-LIFE BATTERIES INCLUDED - 2X CR2016 Lithium batteries are included and can be easily replaced after powering your light for up to 22 hours
That sums up my list of the 7 Options For Best Pocket Flashlight Under $20, but if you find other great quality and inexpensive LED flashlights, penlights, or min lights, just let me know via our comment section below.