What’s the use of a handheld torch that’s as bright as the sun if you can’t get the right-sized batteries for it when you’re in a pickle? In the shooting community, the CR123 battery is ubiquitous, powering everything from lasers to night-vision devices. But when you step out of its Picatinny-paved plains and into the rest of the world, you come to realize that CR123 batteries can be as hard to find as an honest politician.

The last thing you need when contending with a natural disaster or a surprise power outage is to have to find some uncommon batteries in the dark or as chaos erupts around you. Thankfully, AA batteries have been abundant for decades. You can even scavenge them from a TV remote when in a bind. In this edition of HighLights, we focus on flashlights that feed off these familiar cylindrical power plants.

AA-Powered Flashlights

  • Brite-Strike Lightning Strike

    Lumen Output - High 170 / Low 60 / Strobe 150
    Runtime - High 1.5 h / Low 3 h / Strobe 1.5 h
    Overall Length - 4 in
    Weight with Battery - 2.7oz
    Battery Type - AA Alkaline (1, included)
    Controls - Constant-on/momentary tailcap push-button swtich
    URL - http://www.brite-strike.com/

    The Lightning Strike flashlight comes as a part of Brite-Strike's Lightning Strike Personal Protection System.

  • Coast HX5

    Lumen Output - High 640
    Runtime - High 3 h 45 min
    Overall Length - Flood Mode: 4 in, Spot Mode: 4.125 in
    Weight with Battery - 2.5oz
    Battery Type - AA (1, included)
    URL - http://www.coastportland.com/

    Coast's HX5 comes with a standard alkaline battery that is rated for an output of 130 lumens, but it can also run on a rechargeable NiMH battery outputting 145 lumens or a rechargeable 14500 lithium battery for a maximum output of 345 lumens.

  • JETBeam WL-S1

    Lumen Output - Output (with one CR123 or 16340): Turbo 770 / Max 160 / Economic 70 / Low 26 / Weak 1
    Runtime - Turbo 1.3 h / Max 1.5 h / Economic 8 h / Low 37 h / Weak 300 h
    Overall Length - 4.29 in
    Weight with Battery - 4.4 oz
    Battery Type - AA, CR123, 14500, 16340, or 18650 (1, not included)
    Controls - Constant-on/momentary tailcap push-button switch, mode select side switch
    URL http://www.goinggear.com/

    With seven output options, the JETBeam WL-S1 might boast the most functions in this guide.

  • Nitecore EA11

    Lumen Output - Turbo 900 / High 300 / Mid 160 / Low 70 / Lower 1
    Runtime -Turbo 30 min / High 45 min / Mid 1 h 30 min / Low 2 h 30 min / Lower 12 h
    Overall Length - 3.62 in
    Weight With Battery -2.7 oz
    Battery Type- AA Alkaline (1, included)
    Controls - constant-on bezel-mounted side switch, mode select side switch
    URL - http://www.goinggear.com/

    Proof that good things can indeed come in small packages, the EA11 is capable of producing 900 lumens of blinding light and also features a night-vision-friendly red light.

  • Olight ST25 Baton

    Lumen Output - Mode 1, 550 / Mode 2, 300 / Mode 3, 300 Strobe / Mode 4, 100 / Mode 5, 10 / Mode 6, 1
    High Mode 1, 0.5 h / Mode 2, 1 h / Mode 3, 2 h / Mode 4, 6.5 h / Mode 5, 60 h / Mode 6, 200 h
    Overall Length - 6 in
    Weight with Battery - 4.35 oz
    Battery Type - AA Alkaline (2, not included)
    Controls - Constant-on tailcap push-button switch, programmable side switch
    URL - http://www.olightworld.com/

    A Cree XM-L2 LED helps it throw out six light variations including a maximum brightness setting of 550 lumens or an incredible 200-hour runtime at 1 lumen.

  • Streamlight ProTac 2AA

    Lumen Output - High 155 / Low 11 / Strobe N/A
    Runtime - High 2 h / Low 36 h / Strobe 2 h
    Overall Length - 6.14 in
    Weight with Battery - 3.4 oz
    Battery Type - AA Alkaline (2, included)
    Controls - Programmable constant-on/momentary tailcap push-button switch
    URL - http://www.streamlight.com/

    One of our favorite features of the ProTac 2AA is its programmable switch that allows the user to select one of three different programs for its tailcap push-button switch.

  • SureFire E2L AA Outdoorsman

    Lumen Output - High 115 / Low 5
    Runtime - High 8.5 h / Low 100 h
    Overall Length - 6.8 in
    Weight with Battery - 4.7 oz
    Battery Type - AA Lithium (2, included)
    Controls - Constant-on/momentary tailcap push-button switch
    URL - http://www.surefire.com/

    The improved E2L AA Outdoorsman now emits 115 lumens in high mode for eight-and-a-half hours and 5 lumens in its low-output, 100-hour-extended-runtime mode.


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