Stop! Before you close this tab, thinking that you don’t need a flashlight because you have one on your phone, hear us out. What if your phone dies? What if you’re trying to conserve your phone’s battery in an emergency? What if you need a brighter or longer beam than your phone can offer? What if a billionaire scared of bright lights buys the company that made your phone and puts out a software update that makes the flashlight software break so you can never use it again?
Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s talk about flashlights. Here at Pack Hacker, we focus on travel-related gear that can help make your next trip run smoothly. That led us down the rabbit hole to find the best small flashlight on the market, and we’re here to report that there isn’t one. What’s best for you depends on your needs, what you’ll be doing on your trip, and how you plan to use said flashlight.
If you want something to work out with in the morning, you probably want a headlamp or a small bright flashlight so you don’t have to lug around something heavy on your run. If you’re going out into the wilderness, you should go with a small tactical flashlight to get the added durability you need to make it to the other side in one piece. To the ultralight packers reading this, you’re probably looking for a small keychain flashlight or a small high lumen flashlight.
Long story short, everyone uses a light differently, and the best small flashlight for you isn’t the best for everyone. This list showcases numerous models and categories to help you start your journey. We will talk about lumens a lot—which can be confusing. For reference, most smartphone flashlights are roughly 50 lumens. Let’s dive in!
|Flashlight||Lumens||Throw (m)||Throw/Lumens||mAh/battery type|
|NITECORE TINI 2||500||85.95||5.82||280|
|Olight imini||10||N/A||N/A||LR41 x3|
|Prometheus Lights Beta QRv2 Flashlight||90||40||2.25||AAA|
|Lumintop GT Nano||450||306||1.47||100|
|SKILHUNT E2A 14500 Mini LED Flashlight||600||128||4.69||AA|
|Armytek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia||1600||113||14.16||3500|
|Wurkkos TS21 3500 Lumens Flashlight||3500||217||16.13||N/A|
|Fenix E-CP Rechargeable Flashlight with Power Bank||1600||222||7.21||5000|
|Nite Ize PetLit Collar Light||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|ThorFire LED Camping Lantern||65||N/A||N/A||300|
- NITECORE TINI 2
- Olight imini
- Prometheus Lights Beta QRv2 Flashlight
- NITECORE TIKI
- Lumintop GT Nano
- SKILHUNT E2A 14500 Compact Pocket EDC Mini LED Flashlight
- Armytek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia
- Wurkkos TS21 3500 Lumens Flashlight
- Fenix E-CP Rechargeable Flashlight with Power Bank
- Petzl BINDI
- Nite Ize PetLit Collar Light
- ThorFire LED Camping Lantern
If you want something incredibly durable, bright, and easy to use that retains a small size, the NITECORE TINI 2 might be the best small flashlight for your next trip. It’s available in aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel, all of which feel durable and sleek. The OLED display makes knowing what mode or power setting you’re in easy, and it charges with a USB-C cable, so you don’t need to add an extra one to your packout.
The light only has two buttons, which are both quite small, which may be challenging to use for some travelers. However, with a powerful 280 mAh battery and a maximum output of 500 lumens, the TINI 2 packs a punch. It comes with a key clip so you can take it anywhere.
For those looking for something rugged, technical, and powerful, the TINI 2 might be the best small flashlight for you!Why We Like It
- Incredibly small size for how much power it has
- Multiple durable materials to choose from
- The buttons can be difficult for those with big hands to use
- Lots of modes to navigate with two buttons
If you want to quickly remove and replace your flashlight from your keys or backpack, the Olight imini 2 might be the small flashlight for you. It utilizes a strong magnet to pop on and off your key chain so that you can use it quickly whenever you need it.
Pull the light off the keychain, and it’ll power on. It maxes at 50 lumens, which is bright enough for most travel situations. However, you might want something brighter for outdoor adventures like camping or dark city alleys. It’s also worth noting that you can’t turn the light on without removing it from the housing, which won’t work for some uses, like anything you need both hands free for.
If you don’t need the brightest small flashlight but enjoy the convenience of a keychain light, the Olight imini 2 might be an excellent option for you.Why We Like It
- It’s small enough to blend in on your keychain
- The magnet that secures it is powerful
- It isn’t very bright
- Fairly easy to lose
Not every light has to be the brightest on the market. The Prometheus Lights Beta QRv2 Flashlight has a maximum output of 90 lumens, which is more than capable for most situations and can be scaled down to as low as one lumen to ensure you don’t wake up your partner in the middle of the night.
The design is sleek and easy to hold onto, which is ideal because of the light's size. It’s crafted from aluminum, which is lightweight but durable. A few colorways are available, so you can get a model that matches your vibe.
At the time of writing, the light comes in at $60, which is steep for the features offered. However, the QRv2 is sleek, easy to use, and durable. What else can you ask for from a small keychain flashlight?Why We Like It
- It has a sleek look
- It’s easy to power on
- Not the brightest option on this list
- Feels slightly too large to put on your keys
Sometimes, simplicity is critical. However, keeping things simple doesn’t mean skimping out on features. The NITECORE TIKI has a simple design with a singular button, numerous modes to choose from, and three total lights. Plus, it has an IP67 rating.
The main light maxes out at 300 lumens, which is incredibly bright for how small the body is. Additionally, there’s a UV light and a CRI white LED. The former can check for fake currency in some countries, and the latter is suitable as a night light to unwind before bed.
The battery is rated at 130 mAh, which NITECORE says will last up to 40 hours. For most trips, you won’t have to charge while on the go. If you need to power up, it uses a Micro USB, which feels outdated but is readily available in most countries.
Considering the specs it offers, we think this is one of the best small high lumen flashlight models on the market.Why We Like It
- It’s budget-friendly
- Has two secondary lights
- It looks cheap
- One button isn’t much for how many modes there are
The Lumintop GT Nano is one of the best small flashlight models on the market; however, there are a few quirks. This tiny light can throw up to 300 meters, which is shocking, and boasts 450 lumens. We know what you’re thinking—this thing is bright!
This small bright flashlight is simple to use as it only has one button. There are a few modes and brightness settings, which is handy, and it utilizes a 10180 Li-ion battery. You can upgrade to a larger 10440 battery; however, you’ll need to upgrade a few parts. Charging the battery isn’t easy, as you need to remove it and use a separate charging device. For longer trips, it’s worth upgrading to the 10440 battery and bringing a few spares that are charged up.
If you can get used to bringing extra batteries and the charging mechanism, this is one of the most powerful small tactical flashlight models on the market! The throw will throw you for a loop.Why We Like It
- The light’s throw is incredibly far for its size
- It fits in the palm of your hand
- The battery charger is separate and antiquated
- To upgrade the battery, you need to change more parts
If you’re constantly in and around water or are the most likely culprit for spilling a drink on yourself, the E2A 14500 might be the best small flashlight for you. It isn’t tiny, but with 400 lumens and an IPx8 rating, it packs a punch. The body is crafted from aluminum, which is lightweight but durable.
The light has a built-in clip to attach it to your daypack or pants pocket easily. With a maximum throw of 128 meters, you can see across the street, up the trail, or into the car’s trunk to change a tire.
The IPx8 rating is excellent for protecting from water but isn’t rated for solids, which is problematic for certain trips, like if you’re a fan of exploring a desert or sandy beaches. We haven’t had any issues with dust or dirt so far, and it’s still in great shape, but it’s worth noting that it hasn’t been given a rating for solids.
Overall, this is one of the best small LED flashlight models we’ve come across in terms of durability and ease of use. Just click and go!Why We Like It
- The IPx8 rating is handy for trips on the water
- It looks modern and technical
- It doesn’t have a rating for solids, which means dirt and dust can get in
- The size is a bit larger than some might want
If you’re active but want a light that you can use for anything, look no further than the Armytek Wizard Pro C2 Nichia. Instead of describing it as a headlamp, we should say it’s a flashlight that can be worn on your head. This thing maxes out at 1600 lumens, which is wild for how small it is.
The light can rotate 180 degrees, so you can get a good view while wearing it on your head or change what it’s pointing at if you attach it to the shoulder strap of a bicycle. It’s crafted from durable aluminum, which ensures a long life for your light.
Because of the swivel head, this isn’t the best small flashlight for standard handheld use. However, it can be used for that purpose and has numerous hands-free modes that make this a contender to be the best small rechargeable flashlight for your next trip.Why We Like It
- It can be used as a flashlight or a headlamp
- The head swivels 180 degrees to get the right angle
- It isn’t great as a traditional flashlight
- It can be hard to get used to the swivel
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly small powerful flashlight, the Wurkkos TS21 has your name on it. At the time of writing, it costs less than $50, which feels like a steal for the specs offered. It has IPx8 certification, boasts 3,500 lumens, and has a two-way clip so you can attach it to different kinds of gear.
Although we aren’t scientists, we don’t think it lives up to its 3,500-lumen marketing materials, as it is roughly as bright as other lights we’ve tested with lower outputs; however, this thing is bright, especially considering the price tag. It charges using a USB-C cable, so you don’t have to pack an additional cord in your tech pouch (unless you don’t have a USB-C model already). With an aluminum exterior, this thing feels hardy, too, so you don’t have to worry about the bumps and knocks of travel.
This is one of the larger models on this list; however, for the price and features offered, it might be the kind of small bright flashlight you need for your next trip.Why We Like It
- It’s budget-friendly
- The light has an IPx8 rating
- It doesn’t live up to its marketed 3,500 lumens
- This light isn’t very small
If you like combining gear to save space and money, the Fenix E-CP Rechargeable Flashlight with Power Bank is calling your name. In addition to boasting 1,600 lumens and a maximum throw of 728 feet (222 meters), it includes a battery bank so you can use it to charge up your devices in an emergency or on a walk home after a long day.
The battery is 5,000 mAh, which is capable for most phones and handheld devices. However, you’re using that juice for the flashlight, too, so you can land yourself in trouble if you’re banking on using it after a few weeks of using the flashlight, which can go that long without needing a charge. However, it's a helpful tool when charged up and with a thoroughly planned day.
The light and battery bank charge using a USB-C cable, which you probably already have, so you don’t need to add anything to your tech pouch. It doesn’t have a clip, so you can’t attach it as quickly as some of the small tactical flashlights on this list; however, its pocketable size makes it easy to bring along for the ride, either on your person or in your sling.
This is one of the best small flashlight models on the market for its versatility and power.Why We Like It
- It combines your flashlight with a battery bank
- It has a 5,000 mAh battery
- Using the light wears down the battery bank and vice versa
- It doesn’t have a hook for quick access
If you are set with the light on your phone but like to get out early in the morning or after dark for a run, leisurely walk, or explore the city when there aren’t as many people around, a headlamp isn’t a bad idea. You don’t have to spend much money to get a capable headlamp, and the Petzl Bindi is proof of that.
Armed with a 200-lumen lamp and a 680 mAh battery, the Bindi can brighten the path ahead, no matter where your feet are stomping. It charges using a micro-USB cable, which feels outdated but is still common in most parts of the world.
The head strap is lightweight, saving you pack space and weight. It isn’t as comfortable as those with an elastic band, but we’ve found the cord easier to use in certain situations. The light tilts, which makes it easier to use, and the cord locks so you can lock in the size that works for you.
Although this won’t replace the light on your phone, this is a solid candidate to be the best small flashlight for your next trip.Why We Like It
- Comes in at a light mass and small size
- It’s bright enough for most uses
- The headband isn’t elastic
- The angle of the light can change while running if you’re heavy-footed
So, you’ve got a light for yourself. If you’re traveling with a furry friend, you might want one for them, too. This also makes seeing them easier for you and other dogs or cars. The Nite Ize PetLit LED Collar Light is budget-friendly, easy to use, and effective.
It includes a clip to attach to your pet’s collar or harness. It’s easy to use and doesn’t pop off when you don’t want it to. To turn on the light, you must twist the orb, which is easy and quick. The battery lasts hours and hours and is easily replaceable, so you can get a new one no matter where you are when it dies.
You can still use this light if you don’t have a pet. You can clip it in your bunk, inside the tent, or onto a piece of gear you want to be able to see. It’s a cost-effective way to illuminate a small space.
At the time of writing, the light only costs $5.49. Multiple colorways are available, so you can get one that matches your vibes or your pet’s color.
This light is a no-brainer if you’re traveling with a furry friend!Why We Like It
- Snaps onto a collar easily
- It can attach to anything that a carabiner can attach to
- Isn’t the brightest clip-on light that we’ve seen
- The battery isn’t as standard as others on this list
Whether you’re camping or want to be prepared for the eventual global blackout that will send our society back into the Middle Ages, a crank-powered light is an excellent way to illuminate your corner of the room. The ThorFire LED Camping Lantern Light comes at a budget-friendly price point, compresses to save space, and can operate as a power bank in an emergency.
There are two lighting settings, so you can turn on the one that meets the needs of your current situation. The crank is small, which can be tough to use with large hands; however, its small size makes it easy to stow in your daypack, sling, or travel jacket pocket.
It should be noted that this isn’t the light to be used in high-risk situations. If you’re going on a serious hiking trip and need a flashlight, there are plenty of capable models on this list. For car camping or other low-risk trips that might require some light to read or eat by, this is one of the best small flashlights that comes at a budget-friendly price and can be cranked to operate.Why We Like It
- It’s powered by a crank
- There are two light brightness for different travel situations
- The materials aren’t very durable
- It doesn’t last very long on high brightness
So there you have it! We hope you’ve found the best small flashlight for you, your next trip, or to give that special someone who likes lights for their collection. Until next time, stay lit!