Flashlight

The 10 Best AA Flashlights of 2020

Best AA Flashlights

Photo: GearLight

An AA flashlight is one of those essential accessories every home should have. A flashlight will prove invaluable during blackouts, night emergencies, and similar situations.

It also offers reliable support for outdoor activities such as camping, low-light fishing, evening or early-morning walking, and many more similar adventures.

AA flashlights tend to be very compact for ease of portability, and you can even keep one in your car as a backup.

Check out our AA flashlight review to learn more about the leading models, and then choose the one that meets your needs best.

10 Best AA Flashlights – Review

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

GearLight S2000

1. GearLight S2000 (Best Overall)

  • Superior 1,200-lumen brightness
  • Extended 1,000-ft. range
  • 5 robust & practical modes
  • Durable water-resistant build
Hausbell 7W001

2. Hausbell 7W001 (Best Budget)

  • Affordable pack of 2 flashlights
  • Compact & light for the outdoors
  • Weather/water & shock resistant
  • Flexible battery options
Maglite Mini M2A016

3. Maglite Mini M2A016 (Best Lightweight)

  • Lightweight at only 0.14 lbs.
  • Durable aluminum body
  • Simplified function switching
  • A handy candle mode
Streamlight 88061

4. Streamlight 88061 (Best Professional)

  • Flexible dual-fuel support
  • Long 10,000-hr battery life
  • Superior LED technology
  • Durable construction & lens
GearLight S1200

5. GearLight S1200 (Most Versatile)

  • Super-bright 1,200-lumen output
  • 5 versatile & practical modes
  • Durable aluminum build
  • Rugged all-weather body
GearLight M3

6. GearLight M3 (Best Single AA)

  • 2 value-packed flashlights
  • Superior LED bulb technology
  • Simplified 3-mode controls
  • Durable aluminum construction
Maglite Mini SP2P01H

7. Maglite Mini SP2P01H (With High Beam Intensity)

  • A high 7399 cd beam intensity
  • Simple twist mode-switching
  • Durable aluminum body
  • Bonus batteries & holster
Maglite Mini SP2201HL

8. Maglite Mini SP2201HL (Great for the Car)

  • Simplified 4-mode switch
  • Powerful Mag-LED bulb
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Compact & portable
Coast HP1

9. Coast HP1 (With Efficient Beam Optic)

  • Efficient beam focusing optic
  • 3 flexible battery options
  • Compact & easy to carry
  • Generous lifetime warranty
Streamlight 88033

10. Streamlight 88033 (With Ergonomic Design)

  • Protective anti-roll head design
  • Removable pocket clip
  • Multi-mode tactical tail switch
  • Superior C4 LED bulb

PRODUCT

1. GearLight S2000

(Best Overall)

GearLight S2000
  • Superior 1,200-lumen brightness
  • Extended 1,000-ft. range
  • 5 robust & practical modes
  • Durable water-resistant build

2. Hausbell 7W001

(Best Budget)

Hausbell 7W001
  • Affordable pack of 2 flashlights
  • Compact & light for the outdoors
  • Weather/water & shock resistant
  • Flexible battery options

3. Maglite Mini M2A016

(Best Lightweight)

Maglite Mini M2A016
  • Lightweight at only 0.14 lbs.
  • Durable aluminum body
  • Simplified function switching
  • A handy candle mode

4. Streamlight 88061

(Best Professional)

Streamlight 88061
  • Flexible dual-fuel support
  • Long 10,000-hr battery life
  • Superior LED technology
  • Durable construction & lens

5. GearLight S1200

(Most Versatile)

GearLight S1200
  • Super-bright 1,200-lumen output
  • 5 versatile & practical modes
  • Durable aluminum build
  • Rugged all-weather body

6. GearLight M3

(Best Single AA)

GearLight M3
  • 2 value-packed flashlights
  • Superior LED bulb technology
  • Simplified 3-mode controls
  • Durable aluminum construction

7. Maglite Mini SP2P01H

(With High Beam Intensity)

Maglite Mini SP2P01H
  • A high 7399 cd beam intensity
  • Simple twist mode-switching
  • Durable aluminum body
  • Bonus batteries & holster

8. Maglite Mini SP2201HL

(Great for the Car)

Maglite Mini SP2201HL
  • Simplified 4-mode switch
  • Powerful Mag-LED bulb
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Compact & portable

9. Coast HP1

(With Efficient Beam Optic)

Coast HP1
  • Efficient beam focusing optic
  • 3 flexible battery options
  • Compact & easy to carry
  • Generous lifetime warranty

10. Streamlight 88033

(With Ergonomic Design)

Streamlight 88033
  • Protective anti-roll head design
  • Removable pocket clip
  • Multi-mode tactical tail switch
  • Superior C4 LED bulb

1. Best Overall AA Flashlight: GearLight S2000

GearLight S2000

Photo: GearLight

  • Max. Lumen: 1,200 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 4 AA
  • Beam Distance: 1,000 ft.
  • Weight: 0.70 lbs.

The combination of superior brightness, a durable construction, an extended range, and operational versatility makes GearLight S2000 our best overall AA flashlight.

It boasts of being the brightest flashlight in the GearLight brand, and rightfully so because it produces up to 1,200 real lumens for superior brightness and illumination.

Because of this powerful beam, the flashlight manages an impressively long focused range of up to 1,000 ft. When you want to scan a wide area, simply zoom out.

The flashlight is built for practicality, to excel in multiple conditions, including tactical ones. It offers 5 robust modes, allowing you to switch between high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS functions.

Finally, the flashlight’s high-strength water-resistant aluminum construction boosts its durability and ruggedness. It will survive a 10-foot drop and temporary water submersion.

A slight issue with GearLight S2000 is that it takes 4 AA batteries to power the unit, while most of the other models in its class require fewer batteries.

Pros:

  • Superior beam and illumination
  • A strong focused-beam range
  • 5 versatile modes
  • Durable and water-resistant

Cons:

  • Requires many batteries to run

2. Best Budget AA Flashlight: Hausbell 7W001

Hausbell 7W001

Photo: Hausbell

  • Max. Lumen: 300 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 1 AA, 1 Li-Ion
  • Beam Distance: 656 ft.
  • Weight: 0.14 lbs.

Hausbell 7W001 is our best budget AA flashlight because, for less than $10, you get 2 premium, lightweight, and power-efficient units.

It is a versatile flashlight that thrives in different environments including the household, camping, climbing, and many other outdoor activities. The flashlight offers 3 simplified modes; bright, dim, and flash.

Despite being a low-cost gadget, it still manages to offer premium weather, water, and shock resistance, thanks to heavy solid metal construction.

Compactness is another reason it excels outdoor. You can carry it comfortably in your pocket, purse, or backpack. Also, it offers you the flexibility of power source by accepting either 1 AA or one 14500 Li-Ion battery.

Hausbell 7W001 is, however, limited in its tactical support capacity as it misses out on SOS mode. It may not be the most ideal for harsh and high-stress environments.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable and weather-resistant
  • Accepts different batteries

Cons:

  • Lacks an SOS mode

3. Best Lightweight AA Flashlight: Maglite Mini M2A016

Maglite Mini M2A016

Photo: Maglite

  • Max. Lumen: 14 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 2 AA
  • Beam Distance: 315 ft.
  • Weight: 0.14 lbs.

At only 0.14 lbs., Maglite Mini M2A016 is our best lightweight AA flashlight. You can carry it around with and you’ll barely notice it, whether in the pocket or the hand.

It boasts of superior craftsmanship that includes water-resistant seals, a Diamond Knurl design, and an anodized aluminum body, all of which combine to boost the durability of the flashlight.

You’ll also find the flashlight very easy to use especially when switching between beam and spot focusing. Simply rotate the flashlight’s head to toggle between the 2.

Another handy feature that’s unique and well-thought is candle mode. You can convert the flashlight into a freestanding light (candle mode) in 3 simple steps. It comes in handy during power outages.

It’s rather disappointing, however, that Maglite Mini M2A016 manages only 14 lumens of brightness, which is significantly low compared to that of rival flashlights.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Durable construction
  • Simple to operate
  • Convenient candle mode

Cons:

  • Low 14-lumen light output

4. Best Professional AA Flashlight: Streamlight 88061

Streamlight 88061

Photo: Streamlight

  • Max. Lumen: 350 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 1 CR123A, 1 AA Alkaline/Li-Ion
  • Beam Distance: 525 ft.
  • Weight: 0.3 lbs.

If you’re a professional involved in regular fieldwork, you will find the superior performance, durability, and long battery life of the Streamlight 88061 AA flashlight very convenient.

One of the key highlights of this flashlight, which also makes it ideal for professionals, is its dual-fuel support. It accepts a 3V CR123A battery, an AA alkaline battery, or an AA Li-Ion battery. The 3 fuel-source options offer the ultimate flexibility, especially in the field.

Its bulb is built on C4 LED technology, which maximizes brightness and power efficiency so that the battery achieves an extended 50,000-hour lifetime. If you opt for the CR123A battery, you are getting a fuel source with a 10-year backup life.

To maximize utility in outdoor applications, the flashlight features durable anodized aluminum construction. Its lens is also made of shock-mounted, impact-resistant, AR-coated, borofloat glass, for enhanced shatter resistance.

The Streamlight 88061 does, however, demand a higher price than other similar flashlights in its class.

Pros:

  • Accepts multiple battery types
  • High-performance build technology
  • A durable construction
  • Rugged impact-proof lens

Cons:

  • Pricey in its class

5. Most Versatile AA Flashlight: Gearlight S1200

GearLight S1200

Photo: GearLight

  • Max. Lumen: 1,200 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 3 AA
  • Weight: 0.63 lbs.

Multiple flashlight modes and a high light output, and superior durability make the GearLight S1200 a versatile AA flashlight that excels even in tactical applications.

The powerful flashlight manages a super-bright 1,200-lumen output, which is great for illuminating both small and large spaces. With 3 AA batteries powering the unit, it will easily last for your entire camping trip.

It offers you 5 versatile modes including high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. These modes support both household and emergency applications reliably well, making the flashlight a great tactical companion.

You can feel confident using the flashlight in the rain and snow without any risk of damage, thanks to all-weather aluminum construction. It will even survive a 10-foot drop. And because it can live through a temporary immersion in water, feel free to use it for fishing as well.

A slight inconvenience about the GearLight S1200 is that the 3 AA batteries required to power it are not included with the flashlight. You’ll have to buy these separately.

Pros:

  • Superior light output
  • Multiple versatile modes
  • Durable construction
  • Reliable weather resistance

Cons:

  • The required batteries are not included

6. Best Single AA Flashlight for Home Use: GearLight M3

GearLight M3

Photo: GearLight

  • Max. Lumen: 300 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 1 AA
  • Beam Distance: 100 ft.
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs.

GearLight M3 offers the best value you can get from a single-AA flashlight. It comes in a pack of 2, and you can count on these flashlights to support everyday usage, especially at home or in your car, for traveling around.

It adopts a bright and efficient LED bulb, which produces a decent 300-lumen brightness. On just a single AA, expect the flashlight to maintain non-diminishing brightness for up to 3 hours.

You get 3 operating modes from this flashlight. It allows you to zoom out and produce a wide beam that will illuminate broad spaces, or you can choose to instantly focus the beam on distance objects, up to 100 ft. away.

Even though the 2-pack offer makes the flashlight low-cost, it still offers a durable construction. The housing of the M3 is made of aluminum, for ruggedness. This flashlight will survive accidental drops and temporary submersion in water.

We did note, however, that the belt clips included to support portability of the GearLight M3 are very tight even for a strong person. They are not very user-friendly.

Pros:

  • 2 bright flashlights
  • Efficient single-battery performance
  • Simple to operate
  • Durable construction

Cons:

  • Tight belt clips

7. AA Flashlight with High Beam Intensity: Maglite Mini SP2P01H

Maglite Mini SP2P01H

Photo: Maglite

  • Max. Lumen: 332 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 2 AA
  • Beam Distance: 564 ft.
  • Weight: 0.26 lbs.

The high beam density of 7399 cd that Maglite Mini SP2P01H outputs make it an ideal choice of AA flashlight for those who desire a lot of power from a compact unit.

It produces a highly-intense projecting beam from a latest-generation LED bulb to maximize the 332-lumen brightness.

This flashlight is also one of the simplest to use. A simple twist to its head turns the unit one.  The same motion focuses the beam while its reverse turns off the flashlight.

To boost durability, the flashlight’s body is made using aircraft-quality anodized aluminum. O-rings have also been added to all threaded joints, to provide water-resistance.

And to get you started with this flashlight as fast as possible, 2 AA batteries have been included. There’s also a nylon belt loop holder provided to boost portability and carrying convenience.

We did notice, however, that the Maglite Mini SP2P01H flashlight does get noticeably hot, perhaps due to beam intensity. The heat may make for an uncomfortable experience.

Pros:

  • High beam intensity
  • Easy mode switching
  • Durable construction
  • Comes with bonus features

Cons:

  • Can get uncomfortably hot

8. Great AA Flashlight for the Car: Maglite Mini SP2201HL

Maglite Mini SP2201HL

Photo: Maglite

  • Max. Lumen: 127 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 2 AA
  • Beam Distance: 475.7 ft.
  • Weight: 0.26 lbs.

The simplicity, power, and high-quality construction of the Maglite Mini SP2201HL make it a great AA flashlight to carry around in your car, especially during breakdowns or emergencies.

It is equipped with a simple multi-mode electronic switch that allows you to easily toggle between low power (25%), high power (100%), SOS, and blink mode. Whether you’re at home or in your car, it can prove very useful during emergencies.

To boost performance, the flashlight adopts Mag-LED technology, which ensures maximum power output from a slim and compact unit.

You’re assured of the flashlight’s durability by its high-quality craftsmanship. It has a weather-resistant seal, and anodized interior to prevent corrosion.

And because of its compactness, you can take it with you for camping, climbing, fishing, walking, hunting, and many more outdoor activities.

A slight inconvenience with the Maglite Mini SP2201HL is that the 2 AA batteries needed to power it are not included. You’ll need to buy these separately.

Pros:

  • Simple multi-mode switch
  • Powerful LED technology
  • Weather-sealed for durability
  • Compact and portable

Cons:

  • The required batteries are not included

9. AA Flashlight with Efficient Beam Optic: Coast HP1

Coast HP1

Photo: Coast

  • Max. Lumen: 190 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 1 AA, NiMH, Li-Ion
  • Beam Distance: 560 ft.
  • Weight: 0.14 lbs.

Coast HP1 implements an efficient beam optic, which optimizes both the flood ray and spot beam focus modes for enhanced illumination performance.  

The Pure Beam Focusing Optic combines an ultra-wide flood beam, and bulls-eye spot focus to maximize illumination in both up-close and distant applications. In the former mode, edge-to-edge brightness is achieved by a consistent light circle.

This flashlight is compatible with regular AA alkaline, rechargeable Li-Ion 14500, and rechargeable NiMH. It offers some flexibility in the choice of a power source.

Because this unit measures 4.02 x 0.98 x 0.98 inches, it is very compact and will fit comfortably in the palm and any other small carry space.

Finally, Coast offers you a generous lifetime warranty, which covers workmanship and materials’ defects on this flashlight.

Besides focused and flood beams, the Coast HP1 misses out on other useful modes like SOS and multiple power levels.

Pros:

  • Flexible power sources
  • Superior beam performance
  • Compact and highly portable
  • Long lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Limited flashlight modes

10. AA Flashlight with Ergonomic Design: Streamlight 88033

Streamlight 88033

Photo: Streamlight

  • Max. Lumen: 250 lumens
  • No. of Batteries: 2 AA
  • Beam Distance: 426.5 ft.
  • Weight: 0.21 lbs.

Streamlight 88033 ergonomic design incorporates enhancements that simplify handling while protecting the AA flashlight from damage.

It features an anti-roll head design, which allows the unit to rest stably on any surface without rolling off and falling. This design choice protects against impact damage.

Towards the tail of the flashlight shat is a strong pocket clip, which allows you to secure the unit firmly in your pocket, or on a belt. It is also removable, for those instances it’s not required.

Another handy enhancement is the multifunction push-button tactical tail switch, which supports mode shifting and one-hand operation. You will find switching between high and low beams very easy, maximizing the power of the C4 LED and its 250-lumen output.

The Streamlight 88033 is easy to use and optimized for damage-resistance but it has a high unit price that makes other cheaper models worth considering.

Pros:

  • Innovative head design
  • Convenient pocket clip
  • Multifunction tail switch
  • Powerful LED technology

Cons:

  • High unit price

How to Buy the Best AA Flashlights

How to Buy the Best AA Flashlights

Photo: Hausbell

1. Brightness

When choosing an AA flashlight, brightness tends to top the priority list. You’d rather have a flashlight with superior brightness than one that struggles to deliver your desired illumination.

Brightness is determined, largely, by the flashlight’s lumen capacity. Higher lumens translate to more brightness. GearLight S2000 and GearLight S1200 are at the top of the brightness list with light outputs of 1,200 lumens.

Other factors such as bulb technology and beam intensity can also influence brightness making even lower-lumen flashlights deliver similar performance to high-lumen models.

2. Bulb Type: LED or Incandescent Bulbs

Flashlights utilize different kinds of bulbs. Two of the most common bulb types found in AA models include LED and incandescent.

LED bulbs to make use of diodes to emit light, mostly white. They are power-efficient and long-lasting. They also offer easy beam adjustments.

Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, produce a softer light. They are a popular choice for people looking to avoid harsh white light that can hurt the eyes. 

Regardless of bulb choice, it’s wise to always keep a spare in case the current one burns out.

3. Battery

AA flashlights typically use alkaline batteries. Some models run on 1 AA battery while some take as many as 4 to generate the power needed.

Even though 4-battery models such as GearLight S2000 deliver superior performance, you can get reliability from a single-battery unit such as GearLight M3.

The more the brightness (lumen capacity), the shorter the batter’s runtime. At lower lumens (below 20), a flashlight can run for an upwards of 48 hours, but at high lumens (from 250), the same can reduce to just 1 hour in some models.

Since battery replacement requires spending money, you can opt for rechargeable AA batteries, which have a longer lifespan than non-rechargeable ones.

4. Beam Distance

How far ahead your AA flashlight illuminates roughly translates to beam distance. Typically, high-lumen units tend to shine the furthest. 

Of the models reviewed, for instance, GearLight S2000 stands out for its superior beam distance of 1,000 ft. But it’s also possible for lower-lumen flashlights to deliver high beam distances, especially if their beam intensities are equally high.

Don’t shy away from lower-lumen models. Some illuminate very far because of supporting features such as premium bulbs, or focused beam technologies.

5. Operating Modes

AA flashlights can be surprisingly robust in their support for multiple modes. Often models with many and advanced modes are designed to support demanding applications such as tactical tasks.

Such flashlights will have modes such as high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. Such versatile units are common in law enforcement.

You can, however, opt for a less sophisticated model for everyday use at home or on the road. For such applications, a flashlight with high, low, and SOS modes will suffice.

6. Waterproof and Shock Resistant

Waterproofing and impact proofing are some of the protective enhancement added to AA flashlights to boost their durability.

Modern-day models come fitted with weather-resistant seals and bodies to protect against multiple elements.

Impact-related damage is minimized or prevented by adopting strong housing made of durable material such as aluminum, which has been adopted by over 60% of all the models we reviewed.

FAQs

1. What makes an AA different from other flashlights like AAAs?

AA batteries tend to have a higher capacity than AAAs, even though both are rated at 1.5 volts. For instance, an AA battery can have a capacity of 2400mAh while the AAA equivalent has a lower 1000mAh capacity.

Since AAs are bigger, they deliver more current (using the same voltage) to devices, compared to AAAs. That’s why AAs are common in high-performance flashlights.

2. Can I use other battery types in my AA flashlight?

Yes. But only if your flashlight is compatible with other battery types besides the standard AA. Models such as the Streamlight 88061 and Coast HP1 are compatible with other batteries, giving you power source flexibility.

3. How can I store my AA flashlight for safety?

In a holster. If you use your flashlight regularly, holstering it should protect the unit and keep it out of your way. For long term storage, remove the batteries first, then store in a dry space.

Conclusion

From our AA flashlight review, it's evident that these convenience gadgets are essential in our everyday lives.

If you desire superior all-round performance from your AA flashlight, choose our top pick, GearLight S2000. It is bright, powerful, and highly durable.

If you’re looking for the best value for money, in a flashlight, we recommend the 2-pack Hausbell 7W001.

And if you’re a professional constantly engaged in fieldwork, consider getting the Streamlight 88061 for its long battery life and durable construction.

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