Best AA flashlight 2020 | Maximum Brightness – Compact Design & Waterproof Body

Generally speaking, compared to the latest batteries, AA certainly falls behind in various aspects like capacity, portability and so on. That being said, in terms of availability, AA is often considered to be unmatched: people could find it essentially everywhere. As a result, in the case that you pick up an AA flashlight, stocking up batteries is going to be a walk in the park. Nowadays, flashlights come in many sizes and shapes but if you seek the best AA flashlight, you must have a good understanding of market options.

Feeling confused by the number of models and need guidance? If that is so, this article could help you out. Down below, you would be introduced to acclaimed AA flashlights and some key shopping considerations.

Due to individual preference, there is no such thing as the best flashlight for everyone. Nonetheless, if you like to make sure that your money is well-spent, take a look at the following models.

Top 10 best EDC AA flashlights for the budget

FlashlightMax Lumen ( Bright level)Max Battery LifeLength( Inches)PriceRating
ThruNite Archer 1A V3 Flashlight20022 hours6.8$$$***
Nitecore MT2A Flashlight34550 hours6.1$$$*****
 ThruNite Archer 2A V3 Flashlight50030 hours6.8$$$*****
Streamlight 68201 4AA ProPolymer LED Flashlight67100 hours6.8$$****
Fenix E12 LED13035 hours3.5$$*****
 J5 Tactical V1-Pro30030 hours3.7$****
Maglite Mini PRO27215 hours6.6$***
ThruNite TN4A1150106.81$$$$$****
Streamlight ProTac250205.91$$$****
Energizer High-Intensity7002510.2$$$*****

1/ Best single AA flashlight – ThruNite Archer 1A V3 Flashlight

 

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 5 (High, Medium, Low, Firefly and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 200 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Memory function
  • Momentary on

Dependable and reliable, ThruNite Archer 1A V3 could be readily put to good use in a wide range of settings. Possessing a top-notch Cree XP-L LED, the flashlight of ThruNite packs an excellent light output compared to other models in its price range. The presence of tempered glass lens as well as orange peel reflector also help improve the quality of the beams. Boasting multiple light settings, ThruNite Archer 1A V3 is able to meet various illumination requirements.

Constructed using aviation aluminum, ThruNite Archer 1A V3 is relatively light but its endurance remains fantastic. Being rated at IPX-8, the ThruNite flashlight would still work like a charm after being submerged deep under water. In terms of control layout, ThruNite Archer 1A V3 contains a tail switch and a side push-button for activation/deactivation and mode selection respectively. Thanks to the U-shaped groove at the tail, you don’t have to worry too much about accidental activation.

One interesting thing about ThruNite Archer 1A V3 is that it has a strike bezel. Because of that, the flashlight made by ThruNite is undoubtedly the best AA flashlight for emergencies and self-defense applications.

Pros:

  • Resilient
  • Splendid light settings
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Quality control is less than ideal
  • Customer service definitely needs some work

2/ Nitecore MT2A Flashlight – Best 2 aa flashlight EDC

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 6 (Turbo, High, Mid, Low, SOS and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 345 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Polarity protection
  • Anti-rolling design

As it’s built to last, Nitecore MT2A could take essentially everything that you throw at it in use. Featuring a compact body made from aluminum alloy, the Nitecore flashlight is portable and durable. Moreover, by integrating aggressive diamond-shaped knurling, Nitecore MT2A allows people to get a firm hold of it at all times which is nice. It’s worth noting that the flashlight made by Nitecore employs an anti-rolling switch so it’s going to stay where you leave it.

Regarding illumination, Nitecore MT2A carries a Cree XP-G2 LED that delivers consistent light beams in virtually all environments. A custom reflector is included too so the flashlight from Nitecore is capable of readily adapting to particular lighting needs. As for the light settings, Nitecore MT2A incorporates two preset modes and four selectable brightness levels so it’s considered to be pretty flexible. Due to the memory circuit, the flashlight of Nitecore remembers the last used setting and switches to that the next time people turn it on.  

About battery, Nitecore MT2A is powered by two AA batteries and since it has reverse-polarity protection, incorrect battery insertion would never damage it. That is a big plus if you have to replace the batteries in the dark.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Superb reach
  • Lightweight construction

Cons:

  • Some flashlights arrive inoperable
  • Shoddy on/off switch

3/ ThruNite Archer 2A V3 Flashlight – The 2A version of the Archer 1A V3

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 5 (High, Medium, Low, Firefly and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 500 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Non-slip design
  • Lanyard and pocket clip

You like ThruNite Archer 1A V3 but want more light? If that is the case, you would certainly come to like ThruNite Archer 2A V3. Being a high lumen model, the flashlight made by ThruNite is well-received by those that need lots of light. In addition to that, like its cousin, ThruNite Archer 2A V3 boasts plenty of light settings that people could access through the side push button. Also, at the end of the tail is an on/off switch that momentarily activates the LED if pressed halfway.

To maintain a tight grip, the flashlight from ThruNite uses a non-slip design that prevents it from slipping off the hands of the users. That is why you can wield ThruNite Archer 2A V3 as you see fit even if it’s completely wet. Besides that, since it’s an impact-resistance and submersible model, the flashlight of ThruNite handles hits and immersion well. So if you seek a robust outdoor flashlight, ThruNite Archer 2A V3 should be the best AA flashlight for you.

In terms of carrying options, the flashlight of ThruNite is accompanied by a lanyard and a titanium-coated pocket clip. Thus, you would have many choices to keep ThruNite Archer 1A V3 by your side.

Pros:

  • Bright
  • Intuitive control
  • Small and light

Cons:

  • The clip snaps out occasionally  
  • Some parts loosen over time

4/ Streamlight 68201 4AA ProPolymer LED Flashlight – A quality 4AA flashlight for everyone

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 1
  • Max Output: 67 Lumens
  • IP67 rating
  • Impact and shock-resistant
  • Non-conductive polymer

Engineered to be a basic flashlight, Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA lacks deluxe light settings but it’s still a good buy. Packing a modest profile, the flashlight from Streamlight could be conveniently put in backpacks, purses, toolboxes, glove compartments and alike. Aside from that, with multiple long-lasting LEDs, Streamlight

ProPolymer 4AA is able to provide solid illumination year after year. Since the LED happens to be protected by a polycarbonate lens as well as a shock-resistant rubber cap, they rarely need to be replaced.

About user interface, the Streamlight flashlight integrates a simple and practical push-button tail switch that permits one-hand operation. To momentary turn on the flashlight, depress the switch and click it all the way to keep the LEDs on. Regarding endurance, as Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA is made from first-class non-conductive polymer, it’s impact and shock-resistant. As a result, the flashlight of Streamlight tends to give a good account of itself in an assortment of conditions.  

As proof of confidence, Streamlight backs its AA flashlight with an outstanding limited lifetime warranty. If you like to have an insurance policy then you should think about adding Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA to your shortlist.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Marvelous durability
  • Extended runtime

Cons:

  • Battery compartment should be redesigned  
  • Several people complain about receiving nonfunctioning flashlights

5/ Fenix E12 LED Flashlight – Best single AA flashlight

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 5 (High, Mid and Low)
  • Max Output: 130 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Recessed switch
  • Digitally-regulated output

Despite its humble appearance, Fenix E12 proves to be a companion that everyone could count on in times of need. Run on a single AA battery, the flashlight of Fenix is capable of lighting up dark alleys, backcountry trails, campsites, …  As its output is digitally-regulated, Fenix E12 provides constant illumination so there is no need for you to worry about fluctuations in the output. Additionally, thanks to the ergonomic knurling, getting a hold of the Fenix flashlight is just a walk in the park.

Employing a highly accessible forward-facing recessed switch, Fenix E12 allows users to conveniently turn it on/off and cycle through all the light modes. In fact, various people hold the flashlight from Fenix in high esteem precisely because its control layout lets them manipulate its operation using one hand. Besides that, Fenix E12 features a combination of aviation aluminum and hard-anodized finish so its ruggedness is deemed splendid. Boasting an IPX-8 rating, the flashlight made by Fenix is also secured against water immersion.

As for cost, Fenix E12 is highly affordable so for those that have limited shopping budgets, it’s the best AA flashlight available for purchase nowadays. The Fenix flashlight is delivered to the customers alongside a free battery and a lanyard.   

Pros:

  • Economical
  • High endurance
  • Portability is top-notch

Cons:

  • Packaging is barely acceptable
  • Power consumption is a bit excessive

6/ J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight – Best single aa flashlight

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 3 (High, Low and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 300 Lumens
  • IPX-4 rating
  • Adjustable focus
  • Tail switch

Slim and sleek, J5 Tactical V1 Pro is widely known to be an AA flashlight that never fails to please. As it possesses solid ridges, the J5 Tactical flashlight is a breeze to hold for extended periods of time. Furthermore, due to its compact body, J5 Tactical V1 Pro should fit anywhere so keeping it close is going to be a piece of cake. The flashlight from J5 Tactical is sold with a belt clip too which means it could be attached to clothing.

By incorporating a super-charged LED, J5 Tactical V1 Pro would smoothly light up entire rooms and illuminate distant objects. Also, since the focus of its beam is adjustable, J5 Tactical V1 Pro adapts quite well to changing light conditions. In terms of control, the flashlight of J5 Tactical utilizes a plain tail switch for LED activation and deactivation so it’s simple to use. To cycle through the light modes of J5 Tactical V1 Pro, all you have to do is to press the on/off switch halfway.

Being impact and water-resistant, J5 Tactical V1 Pro remains operational even if it’s subjected to lots of abuses and exposed to the elements. That is why the J5 Tactical flashlight is often sought after by people that require illumination in extreme environments.

Pros:

  • Strong
  • Superb light output
  • Nice handling characteristics

Cons:

  • Quality control still leaves things to be desired
  • Awkward mode sequence

7/ Maglite Mini PRO LED Flashlight – Best aa EDC flashlight for your money

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 1
  • Max Output: 272 Lumens
  • IPX-4 rating
  • Optional colors
  • Aluminum construction

As an updated version of Maglite Mini, Maglite Mini PRO has virtually everything that people need in an EDC flashlight. Constructed using high-strength aluminum alloy, the flashlight made by Maglite is indeed light but it’s tough enough to survive drops from heights. Aside from that, with the integration of first-class sealing O-ring, Maglite Mini PRO packs excellent water resistance as well. Because of that, the flashlight of Maglite performs admirably in a wide range of situations.

Unlike other flashlights at its price range, Maglite Mini PRO lacks a push-button switch. Instead, to activate and deactivate the LED of the Maglite flashlight, you have to twist its head so accidental activation would be less of an issue in the usual cases. It’s noteworthy that you can change the focus of the beams to your liking by twisting the head too. Hence, it’s possible to change Maglite Mini PRO from a spotlight to a floodlight and vice versa at will.

Regarding aftermarket support, the flashlight from Maglite is backed with a 1-year limited manufacturer warranty. If your Maglite Mini PRO fails as a result of manufacturing defects within the warranty period then you could claim a free replacement from Maglite.

Pros:

  • Straightforward operation
  • Consistent illumination
  • Affordable and dependable

Cons:

  • Users report occasional flickering
  • Bottom screw cap is loose

8/ ThruNite TN4A LED Flashlight – A modern product with plenty of modes and advanced technology

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 6 (High, Medium, Low, Firefly, Turbo and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 1,150 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Low battery indicator
  • ITC technology

Output is your main concern? Then it’s strongly recommended that you consider giving TN4A of ThruNite a look. Featuring the latest Cree LED and a well-made orange peel reflector, the flashlight of ThruNite projects powerful beams that completely light up your surroundings. Interestingly, ThruNite TN4A employs ITC (Intelligent Temperature Control) technology that automatically reduces current if the temperature gets too high. Therefore, the flashlight from ThruNite has a long lifespan compared to the average AA flashlights.

Since ThruNite TN4A boasts lots of light modes, its adaptability proves to be outstanding. To change between the modes, you only have to press and hold the metal side switch and some modes could be quickly accessed in use by double-clicking the switch. In addition, thanks to the memory function, you don’t have to cycle through the modes to get to your preferred mode every time you turn on ThruNite TN4A. Upon purchase, the flashlight made by ThruNite comes with a holster, a battery carrier, a lanyard, two spare O-rings, …

For battery, the flashlight of ThruNite is powered by a total of four AA batteries. Through the battery indicator, you could easily tell if the batteries have to be replaced.

Pros:

  • Economical
  • Plenty of modes
  • Sturdy and cool

Cons:

  • Runtime is kind of limited
  • Output fluctuates from time to time

 

9/ Streamlight ProTac  – Best 2 AA flashlight

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 3 (High, Low and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 250 Lumens
  • IPX-7 rating
  • Anti-roll head
  • Removable clip

Designed for convenience, Streamlight ProTac 2AA is definitely the best AA flashlight money can buy once it comes to handling. Being a small-sized model, the flashlight from Streamlight is highly portable and you could put it anywhere you wish. Moreover, Streamlight ProTac 2AA incorporates a multifunction push-button tail switch that facilitates one-hand operation. That is why you don’t have to dedicate both of your hands just to manipulate the operation of the flashlight made by Streamlight.

Though the light modes of Streamlight ProTac 2AA seem unexceptional, they still come in handy and if necessary, you can even reprogram the sequence of the modes as you like. The Streamlight flashlight has three sequence options: high/strobe/low, low/high and high only. Besides that, Streamlight ProTac 2AA contains a practical anti-roll head too so it’s going to remain motionless once put down which is reassuring. The included clip should help you comfortably carry the flashlight of Streamlight but don’t forget that it’s removable.

Streamlight ProTac 2AA is made from aviation aluminum and it also receives a hard-anodized finish before leaving the factory. That means the Streamlight flashlight is able to take a beating and still light up.

Pros:

  • Rugged
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Reliable and bright

Cons:

  • Battery life is mediocre
  • Customer service appears to be unresponsive

10/ Energizer High-Intensity Flashlight – Cheap and tough

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 4 (High, Medium, Low and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 700 Lumens
  • IPX-4 rating
  • Charging port
  • Strike head

Similar to other AA flashlights, Energizer TAC-R 700 is powered by AA batteries but in a pinch, you could recharge it using a USB cable. Hence, the Energizer flashlight would be an excellent choice if you don’t want to totally rely on AA batteries. The built-in charging port is located near the head and it’s covered by a robust cap that prevents foreign materials from getting in. If you ever find yourself without good AA batteries, you can simply pop the cap and plug in your flashlight.

Built from aircraft-grade aluminum, Energizer TAC-R 700 is easy to move around and its durability is splendid as well. Rated at IPX-4, the flashlight made by Energizer remains operational after receiving water splashes directly. Aside from that, Energizer TAC-R 700 is impact-resistant too so it’s capable of handling an assortment of concussions. As a result, the flashlight from Energizer works rather well in outdoor excursions, power outages, natural disasters and so on.

Available at a budget-friendly price, Energizer TAC-R 700 is among the favorite flashlights of people that have tight wallets. If you want to grab a solid flashlight without having to spend big bucks, the Energizer flashlight is for you.

Pros:

  • Simple user interface
  • Sublime output
  • Finish is superb

Cons:

  • Atypical battery insertion
  • Shipping could use some improvements

Getting The Best AA Flashlight: What You Need To Consider

People have all kinds of opinions about what could be called the best AA flashlight but if you look for a good buy, you must pay attention to these criteria:

  • Lumen

In case you don’t know, lumen tends to be used to measure light output. Because of that, by checking out the lumen rating of a particular flashlight, you can tell how bright it is. Though having a high lumen flashlight by your side is nice in some situations, it’s worth noting that light output is linked to runtime. As a result, unless you have special requirements, you should avoid buying blindingly bright flashlights. The last thing you need is a flashlight that burns through all of your batteries in a matter of moments.

  • Size

Once it comes to size, it’s strongly recommended that you take the way you use your flashlight into account. Overall, small flashlights undoubtedly sit well in the pockets, backpacks, … but it may be tough to get a hold of them in low-light conditions. On the other hand, it’s a breeze to locate big flashlights even if you can’t see a thing but they could be tight fits in lots of cases.

  • Endurance

Needless to say, if you want your flashlight to last, it’s essential that you refrain from using it roughly. However, you still need to think about endurance while shopping for the best AA flashlight. All in all, you don’t want to spend your money on models that break apart after being bumped lightly. It’s possible to determine if the flashlight you like would hold together in use by assessing its construction materials. Stainless steel, aluminum alloy and alike often indicate high endurance.

  • Control

As the control layout of a flashlight dictates its usefulness, you definitely have to give the user interface some thoughts. A solid model with overly complex control schemes is going to be of little use. That is why before committing to a purchase, it’s widely advised that you get to know the user interface. To reach an objective conclusion, you should also go read the reviews of other users.  

  • Brand

You may get your flashlight from whatever brand you prefer. But to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to buy from reputable brands like Nitecore, Fenix, ThruNite, Energizer and so on. While models from famous manufacturers fail to deliver satisfaction from time to time, they still prove to be superior to flashlights from lesser-known labels. In addition to that, the customer service of premier brands is usually well-developed so complaints could be quickly processed.

Conclusion

And those are some of the best AA battery flashlights money can buy, anything catch your attention yet? With the help of the information above, you should have no trouble picking a suitable product for yourself.