The 10 Best CR123A Flashlights: Rugged and Powerful!

Benjamin Roussey

Introduction

When it comes to flashlights for EDC, many people prefer AA flashlights since they are better for emergency situations. The flashlight size largely depends on what type of battery it uses. AA batteries are affordable and easily available, making them the number one choice. However, cr123a batteries, although typically more expensive than AA ones, are poignant for special situations.

This type of battery provides a profound amount of power – adequate capacity for various flashlight modes to last for a number of days, sometimes even weeks, and adequate voltage for outputs to measure in hundreds of lumens. This basically means that cr123a batteries are an excellent middle ground for size and performance.

At a Glance: Our Choices for The 10 Best CR123A Flashlights

Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each flashlight.

Advantages of Having a CR123A Flashlight

Here is a look at a few advantages of choosing a cr123a flashlight instead of an AA one:

  • Higher Voltages: A cr123a battery is a lithium-celled battery. This means that it has a different chemical makeup than an AA battery (alkaline cell), which in turn means that it is able to offer higher voltages. This type of battery outputs 3.0V while an AA alkaline battery outputs 1.5V. When you have a higher voltage, it means that the flashlight that is using the battery has the capability to be significantly brighter – a great bonus no matter what situation you are in.
  • Better Capacity: In terms of capacity, the lithium cr123a battery is also a better performer. This type of battery has about 1500mAh, which is twice as much as that of an AA battery. This means that the flashlight that uses a cr123a battery has a longer run time. Whether it is for EDC or survival situations, you can always rely on great performance when you have a flashlight that uses a cr123a battery.
  • Lightweight: Another advantage of a cr123a battery is that it weighs 0.6 ounces, which is lighter than an AA battery by 30%. This means that a flashlight with cr123a batteries does not weigh you down when you carry it in your pocket or your backpack when you carry it as a backup for your survival flashlight.
  • No Bulk: When it comes to power sources for LED flashlights, cr123a batteries are one of the most popular. Whether it is for compact EDCs, rugged and slim tactical lights or ultra-bright searchlights, this type of battery provides you with tons of power without adding bulk. If you are looking for a power source for your LED flashlight, you will be more than satisfied with the bulk-free power provided by a lithium cr123a battery.
  • Temperature Resistant: One of the best things about cr123a flashlights is their high resistance to extreme temperatures. For example, if you live in an area where summers are hot and sticky or winters are brutally cold, using lithium cr123a batteries to run your flashlights is the only solution. The chemistry of lithium allows these batteries to withstand extreme temperatures and not be affected negatively as with other batteries. If you spend a lot of time working outdoors, you will appreciate having a flashlight that does not quit on you in the heat or cold.
  • Short and Stout: Lithium cr123a batteries are significantly shorter than AA ones. This means that you can use them in much shorter flashlights, playing an important role in your flashlight’s portability. Smaller flashlights are easier to carry in your pocket or pack in your backpack or survival kit. As mentioned earlier, cr123a batteries are lighter and they are also shorter, so when you use this type of battery, you can use a less obtrusive flashlight.

The Top 10 CR123A Flahslights

 #1

SureFire PX2

1.-surefire-p2x
Our Rating: (4.8/5)
Lumens: 600 Lumens
Light Modes: 2 B. Levels
# of Batteries: Two
Battery Duration: 46 h (Low)
Weight: 5.0 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-4

Pros:
(+) Aerospace-grade anodized aluminum for strength and durability
(+) Easy to use
(+) Bright and precise beam
Cons:
(-) Batteries drain quite fast at the higher level

Overview

The SureFire PX2 is a cr123a flashlight that features two output levels – high of 1,000 lumens to give you the brightest light and low of 15 lumens and extended runtime in comparison to other flashlights in its segment. Its anodized aluminum body makes it virtually indestructible, making it ideal for EDC, outdoor trips, emergency situations, and so forth.

The Fury Dual-Output can be conveniently activated with a click-type tailcap switch. For momentary-on low, all you have to is press the switch and for constant-on low, press further. For high mode, simply click on again within 2 seconds. The SureFire PX2 also features a precision micro-textured reflector that creates a smooth, optimized beam.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an awesomely bright compact flashlight, the SureFire PX2 will not disappoint. We believe that it is one of the brightest, toughest, and strongest flashlights you can buy. Its central cone of illumination is brighter and wider than most other cr123a flashlights around.

On the higher brightness level, the batteries drain pretty fast, which means that you may run out at an inconvenient time. But if you make sure to prepare yourself with extra batteries, this is not a major problem. All in all, the Surefire PX2 is a superb cr123a flashlight that is worth every dollar you spend and we highly recommend it.

 #2

Streamlight 88030 ProTac 1L

2.-streamlight-88030-protac-1l
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
Lumens: 275 Lumens
Light Modes: 2 B. Levels, Strobe
# of Batteries: One
Battery Duration: 14 h (Low)
Weight: 2.0 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-7

Pros:
(+) C4 LED technology that produces bright light
(+) IPX-rated anodized aluminum body for durability
(+) Versatile and reliable under all conditions
Cons:
(-) Output decreases quite fast
(-) Grip could be improved

Overview

The Streamlight 88030 ProTac 1L is another excellent flashlight powered by cr123a batteries. It is easy to use, reliable and affordable. It features an aluminum body that houses a C4 LED with an output capability of up to 275 lumens on High for a good 2 hours. Both the Strobe and Low modes are easily accessible across three programs that you can select to suit your needs.

The Streamlight 88030 ProTac 1L has an anodized aluminum body that is IPX7-rated and ensures toughness and durability even under extreme conditions. It is waterproof in 1 meter for 30 minutes. It also features an anti-roll face cap as well as an included removable pocket clip. If you are looking for an uncomplicated and affordable compact flashlight, go for the Streamlight 88030 ProTac 1L.

Conclusion

Compact and easy to carry, the Streamlight 88030 Protac 1L is an outstanding cr123a flashlight for EDC, outdoor trips and survival kits. The C4 LED technology makes it extremely bright and it has three settings – High, Low, and Strobe. The flashlight is well built with its IPX-rated anodized body, ensuring durability and strength no matter where you are.

We found that the output decreases after a while and the grip could be better. For the grip, a great solution is to wrap 14 inches of duct tape across the middle and voila! We definitely recommend the Streamlight 88030 Protac 1L for anyone looking for a super-bright cr123a flashlight.

 #3

Olight S1R Turbo S

3.-olight-s1r-turbo-s
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
Lumens: 900 Lumens
Light Modes: 3 B. Levels, Turbo, Moonlight
# of Batteries: One
Battery Duration: 33 h (Low)
Weight: 1.27 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-8

Pros:
(+) Features a custom RCR123 battery with a USB charging dock
(+) Can go as bright as 900 lumens
(+) Compact and lightweight
Cons:
(-) On/Off button is easily triggered

Overview

The Olight S1R Turbo S is another bright cr123a flashlight that can give you 900 lumens for 30 seconds when you need maximum impact. When it steps down, you still get a very bright 500 lumens to help save battery life.

Compact and lightweight, this is the perfect flashlight for your pocket or purse and for travel. It also makes a great backup for survival flashlights. The Olight S1R Turbo S features an innovative USB charging dock for the custom RCR123 battery that it comes with. The package also includes a lanyard, clip and a LumenTac cr123a battery.

Conclusion

When it comes to cr123a flashlights available today, there is no doubt that the Olight S1R Turbo S is one of the most well-designed and constructed ones. It is super-bright at 900 lumens and even when it goes down to 500 lumens, you still get superb illumination. The flashlight is lightweight and compact, making it an excellent choice for EDC, travel and survival or emergency kits as well. Yes, you can use it to find your pen that fell behind your desk as well!

We found that the On/Off button is triggered quite easily when in the pocket so your battery may get drained without your being aware of it. Luckily, the Olight S1R Turbo S features a USB charging port that allows you to charge the custom RCR123 battery. This is an awesome cr123a flashlight no matter what your needs are.

 #4

Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC

4.-fenix-flashlights-fx-pd35tac
Our Rating: (4.5/5)
Lumens: 1000 Lumens
Light Modes: 6 B. Levels
# of Batteries: Two
Battery Duration: 29 h (Low)
Weight: 3.1 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-8

Pros:
(+) Excellent security features
(+) High quality for performance and durability
(+) Versatile and reliable
Cons:
(-) Uses up battery life quite fast
(-) Mode selector needs getting used to

Overview

The Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC is a 1,000-lumen, high-performance cr123a flashlight that is excellent for tactical, EDC, and outdoor use. It has a beam-throwing distance of 200 meters and delivers 6 output modes.

It features a digitally regulated output that is designed to maintain constant brightness. The tactical mode operation turns side switch off and uses the tail switch to operate turbo, strobe, and low levels. Outdoor mode operation uses the side switch for all levels and the rear switch to turn it On/Off. If you are looking for a high-quality, bright cr123a flashlight, go for the Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC.

Conclusion

Although the mode selector is a little confusing in the beginning, once you get used to it, you will love the Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC. It might be small but it is incredibly bright and always performs reliably when you need it. It is well built and made to last no matter what conditions you use it under.

Battery life goes pretty fast, but if you have good batteries and a charger, you can be sure that you have among the most remarkable compact flashlights in the market. We definitely recommend the Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC to anyone who needs an EDC, tactical or outdoor flashlight. Yes, you can use this flashlight when walking your dog down the street as well. No problem with that!

 #5

EagleTac D25C

5.-eagletac-d25c
Our Rating: (4.5/5)
Lumens: 453 Lumens
Light Modes: 4 B. Levels, Strobe
# of Batteries: One
Battery Duration: 10 h (Low)
Weight: 1.29 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-8

Pros:
(+) Superb functionality
(+) Excellent battery life
(+) Perfect for any application you have in mind
Cons:
(-) Twist can be difficult to set when selecting output
(-) Once removed, threads at the tail are difficult to align

Overview

Featuring CREE XML2 U3 LED, this 453-lumen cr123a flashlight is one of the most compact yet powerful lights around. Compact and lightweight, the EagleTac D25C is the ideal choice whether for EDC, outdoor trips or survival gear. It features four different brightness settings plus Strobe.

A bonus is the 25-lumen blue LumenTac keychain light that it comes with. The EagleTac D25C features nifty accessories like a titanium-coated stainless steel clip, O ring, lanyard and nylon holster. Get bright light wherever you are with the EagleTac D25C.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an insanely bright cr123a flashlight, the EagleTac D25C is it. It features a well-thought-out design that makes it perfectly functional. One of the things we like about this flashlight is the battery life – you will not be burning through batteries with this one. It is compact and lightweight, making it easy to slip into your pocket.

You might find the twist a little tough to set when choosing output, but it could be due to the tail end loosening slightly – just tighten it to fix the problem. All in all, the EagleTac D25C has no major flaws and is definitely a great buy for anyone looking for a bright compact flashlight.

 #6

Nitecore P12

6.-nitecore-p12
Our Rating: (4.5/5)
Lumens: 1000 Lumens
Light Modes: 4 B. Levels, Strobe, SOS
# of Batteries: Two
Battery Duration: 28 h (Low)
Weight: 3.10 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-8

Pros:
(+) Compact with a user-friendly design
(+) Superb functionality and performance
(+) Waterproof and impact resistant
Cons:
(-) Burns through batteries
(-) Not as bright as some flashlights available

Overview

The latest addition to the Nitecore Precision Series, the Nitecore PI2 is a compact, easy-to-use cr123a flashlight. It features a side button that can change functions and output levels. It also has memorized settings, which means you can preset the mode while easily changing to the function you need.

While it is also great for EDC and emergency and survival situations, the high performance and intuitive operation of the high-quality Nitecore PI2 makes it perfect for law enforcement, military, search and rescue as well as security personnel. This flashlight also comes with a high-performance 18650 rechargeable battery and a charger so you do not have to worry about running out of energy or about battery costs.

Conclusion

The Nitecore PI2 is an incredibly user-friendly and functional cr123a flashlight. It is designed to be perfect for law enforcement, military, etc., but you can use it for EDC and outdoor adventures as well. We like the memorized settings, which makes it easy and convenient to preset the mode we want.

It sucks up battery life pretty quickly, but the Nitecore PI2 comes with a rechargeable battery and charger so we do not really think that this is not a big issue. You might find brighter cr123a flashlights on the market, but the Nitecore PI2 is a superb choice if you are looking for functionality and durability.

 #7

Terralux TT5R-EX

7.-terralux-tt5r-ex
Our Rating: (4.4/5)
Lumens: 400 Lumens
Light Modes: 3 B. Levels, Strobe
# of Batteries: One
Battery Duration: 7 h (Low)
Weight: 5.36 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-7

Pros:
(+) Excellent for tactical use
(+) Very bright
(+) Works well at all times
Cons:
(-) Clip and rivets holding the clip break easily
(-) Batteries run out fast

Overview

This high-quality cr123a flashlight features premium Cree LED that delivers a maximum output of 400 ANSI lumens. The Terralux TT5R-EX has 2 light modes plus Strobe. It comes with an easy-to-use dual button tail-switch so you can operate it quickly with one hand.

With the mode switch, you get access to Strobe instantly any time you need it. The Terralux TT5R-EX also features reverse-polarity battery protection, which is an awesome bonus feature to have. Made of solid aluminum billet, this is a rugged, durable flashlight that is ideal for all kinds of applications. And this does include trying to see something that fell underneath your car seat such as those delicious Redvines you were eating!

Conclusion

The Terralux TT5R-EX is a very bright cr123a flashlight, it performs well as a tactical flashlight too. It is also a superb light for EDC, survival and emergency situations. One of the things we really like about the Terralux TT5R-EX is the reliable and consistent performance. The only complaint we have is the clip and the rivets holding it – they break off a little too easily.

Batteries run out quite fast too, but it is rechargeable, so you do not have to worry too much about it. When it comes to cr123a flashlights with good value, nothing comes close to the Terralux TT5R-EX. If you are in need of a high-quality tactical light, you should pick this one for sure.

 #8

SureFire 6PX

8.-surefire-6px
Our Rating: (4.4/5)
Lumens: 320 Lumens
Light Modes: 2 B. Levels
# of Batteries: Two
Battery Duration: 2.5 h (High)
Weight: 4.86 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-4

Pros:
(+) Regulated LED emitter for maximum light output and runtime
(+) Easy to use dual-output tailcap click switch
(+) High-strength, mil-spec hard-anodized aluminum body
Cons:
(-) Smooth finish affects grip, especially with sweaty hands
(-) Low beam a tad low for some users

Overview

The SureFire 6PX is a well-designed cr123a flashlight that features a virtually indestructible LED emitter which is designed to maximize light output as well as runtime. You get two output levels with this light – High of 320 lumens for maximum illumination and Low of 15 lumens for extended runtime.

The SureFire 6PX also features a micro-textured reflector to give you a smooth, optimized beam. This compact flashlight is made with mil-spec hard-anodized, high-strength aerospace aluminum body for extreme durability even when used in the roughest and most extreme conditions. If you are shopping for a tough, high-performance cr123a flashlight, the SureFire 6PX is an excellent choice.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a solid and bright cr123a flashlight, the SureFire 6PX will impress for sure. It is built for durability and strength under any condition and fits all the right carry systems, which makes it great for all kinds of applications.

The SureFire 6PX is user-friendly and reliable whenever you need it. We found the smooth finish and finger grooves can prove to be a bit slick when hands are sweaty and the low beam is a little too low. However, all in all, the SureFire 6PX is an excellent product and we believe that it is a top-quality that will last you a very long time – it offers terrific value for your money.

 #9

EagleTac D25LC2

9.-eagletac-d25lc2
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
Lumens: 1200 Lumens
Light Modes: 4 B. Levels
# of Batteries: Two
Battery Duration: 20 h (Med)
Weight: 2 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-8

Pros:
(+) Innovatively designed position-based brightness selection
(+) Improved heat dissipation
(+) High-performance Cree XM-L2 U4 LED
Cons:
(-) Switching through modes slightly difficult for some

Overview

This is another well-built cr123a flashlight that features Cree XM-L2 U4 LED with 1,200 lumens maximum brightness. The EagleTac D25LC2 is compact and lightweight and comes with a premium holster that makes it perfect for EDC.

It has 3 brightness levels plus Strobe and SOS. With its innovative position-based brightness selection, you can choose the brightness level with ease any time you need it. Apart from 2 Tenergy cr123a batteries, the EagleTac D25LC2 comes with a Lumen tactical keychain light. For anyone in need of a solid, high-performance, compact flashlight, the EagleTac D25LC2 is definitely the right purchase. And yes, you can use this flashlight when you are digging through your closet looking for your high school yearbook!

Conclusion

The EagleTac D25LC2 is a cr123a flashlight that has some great features that make it a superb product to consider. It is extremely bright, which is what everyone looks for in a compact flashlight and is also solid and durable. It is also a great option for EDC, but also superb for other applications whether tactical or survival.

Some say that switching through different modes is a tad tough, but it just takes getting used to – you will get the hang of it in no time. We are pleased with the performance of the EagleTac D25LC2 and think that it is well worth the money you spend on it. And no worries about this product, it will come through for you when you need it to find your hat that fell off your head in your backyard at night!

 #10

Nitecore EC11

10.-nitecore-ec11
Our Rating: (4.2/5)
Lumens: 900 Lumens
Light Modes: 5 B. Levels, Strobe, SOS
# of Batteries: One
Battery Duration: 8.5 (Low)
Weight: 1.6 oz
Water Resistant: IPX-8

Pros:
(+) High quality, durable aluminum body
(+) 18-Lumen LED to give you bright light
(+) Superb design
Cons:
(-) Twist-on switch might turn on inside the pocket
(-) Batteries a little too expensive

Overview

With a maximum output of 900 Lumens, the Nitecore EC11 is a super-bright cr123a flashlight with an IMR18350 rechargeable battery. It features a convenient dual side mode and power switch that gives you easy access to 5 brightness levels plus Strobe and SOS. Its subcompact size fits easily in your palm, pocket, purse or any other place you want to carry it.

The Nitecore EC11 is a well thought out flashlight that has all the features you need to give you bright, convenient illumination whenever you need it. Apart from the two Nitecore IMR18350 rechargeable batteries and a UM20 charger, it comes with a tactical keychain light as a bonus.

Conclusion

When it comes to sturdy and powerful cr123a flashlights, the Nitecore EC11 is impressive and performs very well under all kinds of conditions. Not only is it very bright, but it is also easy to use, well-constructed and packed with some good features.

We found that it overheats pretty fast, but so do a lot of other compact lights out there. The batteries run out fast too, but it does come with a charger so it is not a big problem. We think that the Nitecore EC11 is a great cr123a flashlight for EDC. If you are in need of a high-quality EDC flashlight, you will definitely not be disappointed with the Nitecore EC11. And rest assured when you misplace your glasses on your back patio and you need more light, this amazing product will come through for you.

Conclusion

When you are looking for a cr123a flashlight, you will be amazed at the wide selection that is available for you to choose from. As you can see, there are some excellent products out there that have notable features, making them the ideal choice for your needs.

Cr123a batteries are more reliable and powerful than AA alkaline flashlights, so whether you need one for EDC, tactical or law enforcement use, or for survival or emergency situations, you will not go wrong by buying one. When you need a reliable source of light, pick one of the best cr123a flashlights available in today’s market and receive bright illumination whenever and wherever you need it.

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