18650 flashlights are handy and convenient to use, but so are many other flashlights. What really sets them apart is the efficiency of the 18650 Li-Ion battery that allows you to recharge the device fast and holds the charge well enough to ensure that you always have the brightest flashlight on hand.
However, buying an 18650 flashlight might be quite challenging as not all the models available on the market are of equal quality. Quite often, you might purchase a device that will stop working after a few weeks of use or fail you at the most inopportune moment. This article should help you avoid these frustrations by providing detailed reviews of three best 18650 flashlights you can buy.
Not interested in the 18650 style flashlights? Check out our additional guides below:
We took our time to go through every review we could find and researched technical specs of 18650 flashlights. Processing all this information allowed us to choose the three best products that we recommend in this review. The article also includes info that will help you choose the best 18650 LED torch for you.
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18650 Flashlight – Buyer’s Guide
In order to prevent wasting your hard-earned money on a device that doesn’t really meet your needs, you should decide what exactly matters to you before you start shopping. When looking for a reliable 18650 flashlight, you should consider the following factors:
A flashlight must be easy to carry around in your pocket or bag, so take note of the device’s measurements (a keychain model is the smallest). Consider its weight, especially if a child will be carrying the piece. The vast majority of 18650 LED torches are tiny and easily fit into your pocket.
- Light output.
This is the most important characteristic of a flashlight regardless of whether you need the device for self-defense or simply for finding a keyhole in the dark. If self-defense is your primary concern, you’ll need a torch with over 100 lumens max output as it can temporarily blind an attacker (read our brightest flashlight article to learn about stronger options).
A good 18650 flashlight should be waterproof and shock-resistant. It doesn’t matter whether you are going to take it with you when you go hiking or just keep it in your car for an emergency. These devices have a tendency to fall and roll around quite a bit, so protection from impact is a must, and water protection is a useful bonus in case you ever need to look for something outside while it’s raining. The best 18650 flashlights are made of aircraft grade aluminum for increased durability.
A really good 18650 flashlight should offer several function modes so that you can adjust the light output to fit different situations. Versatility is good for this particular feature, but there is no need to look for a device that offers 20 different settings. In the vast majority of cases, people only need about 5, including SOS mode, distance, wide coverage, and varied beam intensity (high, low, medium).
Top Three 18650 Flashlights Reviews
#1: SOLARAY Pro ZX-1
With means a motto of, “we’ll never leave you in the dark”, it’s not surprising that it’s a SOLARAY ZX-1 that holds the title of the best 18650 LED torches on the market.
This device falls into the category of tactical flashlights, which means it’s highly efficient, durable, and reliable. The maximum light output the device is capable of is 1200 lumens, which is enough to light up an entire room.
The lens has a zoom-in feature, so you can focus the light on a distant object in the dark. The XM-L LED chip is highly reliable. There are five function modes you can choose from: high, medium, and low beam, as well as SOS signal mode and “throw” & “flood” function modes offered by the lens, for distance and flooding respectively.
The SOLARAY 18650 2200mAh Li-Ion battery can be recharged over 500 times without losing its efficiency. The ZX-1 is built for durability. It’s waterproof, shock and impact resistant, made of aircraft grade aluminum, includes a top-quality lens, and a specialized tail switch that can endure years of wear and tear. The model has an AAA adaptor that allows you to use 3 AAA batteries in place of the 18650 one in case of an emergency.
The vast majority of reviewers agree that the ZX-1 is the best device of this kind available today. It’s zoom feature and extremely high level of brightness draw many compliments.
The only complaints about this particular device we’ve managed to find revolved around the charger that comes with the device. Some people say that it’s hard to fit the batteries in. However, this complaint isn’t common and in case of any serious problems, the charger can be easily replaced.
#2: Refun 600
This tiny but highly efficient flashlight is perfect for personal use, regardless of whether you are an avid hiker or want to have the device on hand for self-protection. It’s small, easy to use, and designed for an easy and comfortable grip.
The most important special feature of this particular model from Refun is the reverse polarity protection.
The vast majority of LED torches have one problem in common, should you make a mistake inserting the battery, the device will burn out when you turn it on. Switching the positive and negative ends of a battery is a common problem, and it would be a shame to lose a fairly expensive high-quality device because of such a simple mistake.
The reverse polarity protection feature prevents this. If you get mixed up when inserting the battery, the device just won’t turn on, and it will work perfectly fine once you re-insert the battery correctly.
The Refun 600 offers the maximum light output of 600 lumens and features a crenelated strike bezel that can be used for self-defense. There are five function modes to choose from and a lens with an adjustable focus for zooming in or out depending on the situation. The device is water-resistant, but it’s advised not to leave it out in the water for long. The Refun claims that this product has a lifespan of over 100,000 hours.
The only complaints we’ve managed to find when studying reviews of this device concern its brightness. While people agree that it’s bright, it’s not the brightest 18650 flashlight out there. However, it does meet the requirements a device of this class should, and if you are looking for a brighter device, you might consider buying an LED torch with a higher maximum lumen output.
#3 EcoGear FX
This tactical flashlight from EcoGear is great for any everyday task, hiking, and self-defense. This is a professional grade item available for a reasonable price. The special reflector design enhances the light output and light intensity. The construction is a high-quality aluminum alloy that guarantees durability and is scratch-resistant.
The device offers five function modes (SOS, High, Low, Med, Fast Strobe). It features a reliable and easy-to-use soft touch on/off button.
The only drawback of this particular device is the fact that it’s not waterproof. However, it should handle rain just fine, as long as you don’t submerge it in the water completely and leave there, the device will work.
There are plenty of good flashlights available on the market today, but the ones that come with 18650 rechargeable Li-Ion batteries are the best as they are the most efficient and won’t fail you in case of an emergency. An LED torch like this is not only a handy device for blackouts but an efficient self-defense tool that can literally save your life.
When looking for the best 18650 flashlight, you should consider the size and durability of the device as well as its brightness and function modes. After studying the reviews available online and researching these devices, we determined that SOLARAY Pro ZX-1 is the best model available for 2018. It’s reliable, efficient, and affordable and offers everything you can expect from this kind of device. A large number of satisfied customers all over the US is a testament to the SOLARAY quality.
Back to our main list of the best tactical flashlights.