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Have you ever tried to find a keyhole in the dark? Or walked across a dark, deserted parking lot? If you have, you probably wished that you had a source of light handy to help you find things or make you feel more secure. In such situations, one of the best tools to have is a single AA flashlight. Why AA flashlights?
Well, the fact is that these flashlights are the easiest to use and find, and affordable as well. Light and compact, single AA flashlights are an excellent choice for EDC and they are bright enough to give you the light you need in any type of situation.
At a Glance: Our Choices for The 7 Best Single AA Flashlights
Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each flashlight.
Why Single AA? Pros and Cons
If you are looking for a simple flashlight for EDC or for general home use, you should check out single AA flashlights. You will find many other types of compact flashlights on the market too, but AA batteries have a number of advantages that other types do not have – they also have a few cons. Here is a look at the pros and cons of AA batteries:
- Available: One of the main advantages of AA batteries is that they are widely available. You can find them in just about any store. You do not need to run from store to store when you need to replace the batteries in your flashlight, which is great in times of an emergency.
- Affordable: Another major advantage of AA batteries is that they are cheap. If you have owned a number of flashlights in your lifetime, you know that some lights only use certain batteries. These replacement batteries can be pretty expensive. You never have to worry about this with AA batteries. In fact, you can buy several backup ones without burning a hole in your pocket.
- Convenient: Because they are available everywhere, AA batteries are the most convenient choice when it comes to batteries for flashlights. They are also easy to use, which is fabulous when you need a source of light in a hurry.
- Compact: Flashlights that use AA batteries are compact, making them great for EDC and other applications. The batteries themselves are small too, so packing them in your purse, backpack, emergency kit, etc. is not a hassle at all.
- Good source of power: AA batteries are reliable as they provide bright light whenever you need it. Once you put the batteries into your torch, you can be sure that it will perform perfectly. If you need a reliable yet affordable source of power for your flashlight, AA batteries are the right choice.
- Cannot be recharged: Unlike some of the batteries available these days, AA batteries cannot be recharged. This can often be a hassle when your power is getting low and you need bright light. If you need your flashlight to work at all times, it may be better to opt for one that uses rechargeable batteries.
- Do not last: One of the major drawbacks of AA batteries is that they do not last very long. You have to keep replacing them once you have used the flashlight for an extended period of time. If you want your light to stay bright for a longer period, then AA batteries may not be the source of power you want. You should opt for rechargeable batteries that perform well every time.
As you can see, AA batteries have their pros and cons. But if you are looking for batteries that are cheap and easy to find, they are the best choice.
The Top 7 Single AA Flashlights
ThruNite Archer V31A
The ThruNite Archer V31A is a compact flashlight that uses Cree XP-L V6 LED to give you bright light whenever you need it. You get a powerful and economical source of light even on AA batteries. The Archer V31A has versatile applications – you can use it for EDC, medical services, law enforcement, emergency, security, duty light, camping and self-defense. It comes with a high-quality construction, made with aerospace-grade aluminum body with military-grade Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish.
This means that you get a solid single AA flashlight that can be used even under rough conditions. Slim and compact, the ThruNite Archer V31A is a 200-lumen light that will always be reliable when you need it.
If you are looking for a high-quality, durable single AA flashlight, you will not go wrong with the ThruNite Archer V31A. We found that no matter how roughly you use it, it does not break, thanks to its excellent construction. It is weatherproof and water-resistant as well, which is useful on rainy days.
We also found that the ThruNite Archer V31A has great battery life, even on the highest setting. Our only complaint is the quality of the switch – it could be better. With its versatile light modes, this single AA flashlight is a great tool to have whether for EDC, outdoor trips, survival or law enforcement.
When it comes to flashlights, Coast is one of the most trusted names. The Coast HP1 is well-designed single AA flashlight with a 190-lumen maximum output. You get bright light from a compact and lightweight source of light. Its beam can reach up to 560 feet.
The Coast HP1 features an innovative focusing system that gives you better beam quality than most lights. Water and impact resistant, this flashlight comes with a lightweight aluminum casing that resists rust and corrosion. The Coast HP1 is one of the most well designed single AA flashlights today and definitely a must-buy.
One of the first things we noticed about the Coast HP1 is the solid construction. You can tell straight off the bat that it is tough and durable. We also like the innovative focus system that allows you to make adjustments with one hand. It also comes with a good quality, detachable clip that allows you to carry the light in your belt or pocket.
The only downside we saw was the battery time – it lasts only about an hour and 15 minutes. The Coast HP1 is a well-constructed single AA flashlight that provides bright light and is ideal for all types of applications, even under rough conditions. If you are looking for an affordable single AA flashlight, we recommend the Coast HP1.
This single AA flashlight uses the latest Cree XML2 U3 LED that gives you super-bright light – 200 lumens output. It features four different brightness settings plus Strobe, making it the ideal choice for any use. With its compact and slim body with a black titanium finish, the EagleTac D25A is an elegant-looking flashlight. And yes, you can use it to find the car keys that you accidentally dropped on the ground!
This is definitely one of the best choices available today for EDC, but you can also rely on it when you are camping, hunting, hiking or on duty. The EagleTac D25A comes with a stainless steel clip, rigid nylon holster with a self-retention device and flip and a mil-spec paracord lanyard, making it easy to carry it any way you want.
The EagleTac D25A is one of the most elegant-looking flashlights we have seen – it is definitely well designed. The latest Cree XML U3 LED is great as it ensures bright light whenever you need it. We have to say that this is one of the best single AA flashlights we have used recently.
It is ideal for EDC but you can also use it for outdoor trips and emergencies. The EagleTac D25A is a tough and durable, compact flashlight that is sure to give you a reliable light whenever you need it, no matter where you are. If you want value for money, go for the EagleTac D25A.
Streamlight 88032 ProTac
The Streamlight 88032 ProTac is one of the most efficient single AA flashlights around today, mostly because of how convenient it is. Crafted with high-quality materials, this flashlight is made to last and perform well even in the roughest conditions.
The Streamlight 88032 ProTac features a push button switch that comes with various modes and many handy functions. It also has C4 LED, making this flashlight impervious to any type of impact. If you are looking for a portable, affordable and bright single AA flashlight, the Streamlight 88032 ProTac is definitely one of the best choices you have.
With its high-quality construction and C4 LED, the Streamlight 88032 ProTac is one of the top single AA flashlights around. It is easy to operate and carry, especially since it comes with a detachable clip. We like the push button switch that offers a range of functions and modes – a feature that is bound to be useful in any situation. And no joke, this stellar lighting tool can be used to find that chess piece that may have fallen under the bed!
Although it is compact and lightweight, the Streamlight 88032 ProTac is tough and will definitely last you a very long time. We found that the water-resistant feature does not last very long, but it is not a major issue. All in all, the Streamlight 88032 ProTac is an affordable single AA flashlight that has the features of more expensive models.
The Fenix LD12 is a great choice among single AA flashlights as it performs well and has long-lasting battery life. Despite its compact size, it packs 320 lumens, ensuring bright light from a small package. This flashlight uses Cree XP-G2 R5 neutral white LED to provide you with better color rendering. The Fenix LD12 is a superb choice, whether it is for EDC, tactical, law enforcement, emergencies, or outdoor trips.
It also features an anti-roll and anti-slip body that gives you a good grip and prevents slipping even when you have wet hands. The Fenix LD12 also comes with toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating. This single AA flashlight comes with many features that make it a handy tool to have in any situation.
If you are looking for a compact flashlight that is built like a tank, look no further than the Fenix LD12. This is a bright, durable single AA flashlight that works as specified. Solid and durable, this little flashlight is sure to last a long time.
It is big enough to illuminate any dark place, but small enough to conveniently carry in your pocket or purse. We were a little disappointed that it did not come with a case, but it is no big deal as it is still easy to carry. Go for the Fenix LD12 if you want a single AA flashlight that you can always count on.
An upgraded version of the Olight S15 Baton, the Olight S1A is a nifty little single AA flashlight that offers double the performance of its predecessor – this is because it features the TIR optic lens. This lens is combined with the Cree XM-L2 LED to provide you with a maximum output of 600 lumens.
The TIR reflector in the Olight S1A provides a big, defined hotspot that is perfect when you need close-up illumination. The industrial silicon wide side switch allows for easy one-handed operation, even when you have gloves on. With five brightness levels plus strobe, two built-in timers and other great features, the Olight S1A is one of the top compact lights around these days.
Compact, lightweight and powerful, the Olight S1A is one of the top single AA flashlights we have seen. It comes with loads of awesome features, including thermal protection which prevents overheating, built-in timer and TIR optic lens. And for sure, if you drop some peanut M&Ms under your car seat this amazing flashlight will help you in retrieving them!
We like the fact that we can use different types of batteries with the light. Also, getting 600 lumens from such a compact flashlight is superb. Another feature we like about the Olight S1A is the silicon side switch that allows you to use it with one hand, even with gloves on. If you are looking for a single AA flashlight that is durable and feature-rich, we recommend the Olight S1A.
Zebralight SC52 L2
The Zebralight SC52 L2 is another well-designed single AA flashlight that is ideal for EDC as well as other applications. It features a smart user interface that provides quick and easy access to the different brightness levels and beacon-strobes.
It also comes with a battery capacity indicator – a handy feature to have. The Zebralight SC52 L2 automatically steps down to lower output when the battery capacity is low. The grip on the light is great, ensuring that it does not slip while you are using it. If you need a bright, compact single AA flashlight, you should check out the Zebralight SC52 L2.
If you are looking for a small single AA flashlight that packs a punch, the Zebralight SC52 L2 is a perfect choice. We really loved the user interface that allows you to quickly access the brightness levels and beacon-strobes. The batteries may not be included, but that is okay.
You can also save battery power by unscrewing the tailcap slightly. The Zebralight SC52 L2 is a superb compact flashlight that has a lot of features we like.
No matter where you are – camping, hiking, at home or on the job – you will find that it always provides bright, reliable light. We highly recommend the Zebralight SC52 L2 to anyone looking for a small single AA flashlight that performs incredibly well every time.
Summing it Up
A flashlight is one of those tools that you never think much about until you really need one. Having a compact, portable one with you at all times is a smart idea as you never know when the need might manifest itself. Single AA flashlights are a superb choice as they are affordable, portable, and bright.
You never need to spend money on expensive replacement batteries. They are also highly versatile, ideal for tactical, security, or emergency use as well as for general home use and EDC. If you want a flashlight to carry in your pocket, car, purse or backpack, you should consider buying a single AA flashlight. In this outstanding economy, you may want to buy two!
Image by: Markus Tacker