Hopefully Mr. Admin will chime in since he's in the southern half of the Americas so can advise on local conditions.
You will probably want more runtime rather than more output - and certainly reliability. Something like the Nitecore EZAA that Boaz is selling here might be worth considering. I'd also take along a 2AA of your choice. Weight will be an issue if you are travelling for a while, so I'll not recommend any stainless steel lights. Though it is very big for a single AA light, the 4 mode Mr.Lite J4 might be worth a look - or if Manafont still have them, the BLF variant of it which starts on low.
I'm not fond of the 2AA form factor so don't have any recommendations there.
Another nice and small AA light worth a look is the Eastward YJ J06 which is the brightest I have on an alkaline AA which is what you are most likely to be fuelling it on. There are several versions of this floating around.
Hi there sweefu, good move to include flashlights in your travel plans. They are absolutely indispensible in South America, at least where I live. Dark streets and alleys in town, weekly power outages, dark bus rides at night, etc. Imagine crossing this bridge (not in the jungle, but in a regular neighborhood of houses near town) at night without a flashlight...
Or perhaps a nice walk on a heavily transited sidewalk in town would be safer?
(I seriously did look for skeletons down there when I came across this. It's more than a meter square and probably 5 meters deep, on a VERY busy sidewalk in an area that's poorly illuminated even when there isn't a blackout.)
So, you'll want to take a few flashlights. AA batteries are an excellent choice down here, availability is quite good, even in a little corner stores. Here they cost about $2 for two Energizers or Duracells, $0.80 for two AAs of marginal quality, or $0.50 for four truly junky cells. Even more common that AA batteries are D cells, but unfortunately there aren't a lot of options out there for a good D cell LED light. Here they're still using Rayovac or Brinkman incandescent D cell flashlights as the norm. Or candles. Or bottles of diesel with a cloth wick.
I keep one of these on my keychain at all times, they can be found everywhere on the internet.
I also would recommend that you take several dirt cheap 1xAA "Powerlights" which give excellent runtime on even the cheapest dead-out-of-the-package AA cells. These are well priced:
For a nicer multi-mode 1xAA flashlight, I'd recommend a Trustfire F20 or the Trustfire R5-A3:
The nitecore looks intersting, I hadn't thought of them. I was thinking about splurging a bit and buying a fenix, I have read a lot of good things about them.
I do have a few of the powerlights (bought because of lurking here), and I agree that it would be handy to have a few of them for emergencies or to hand out to people. I also have a few of those DX keychain lights I will be leaving on the zipper of my backpack.
The trustfire R5-A3 is one of the lights i was looking at, but i read that it doesnt have a low low mode, can anyone comment on this?
Thanks again for all of the suggestions, your help is very much appreciated!
Take a look at the iTP SA2 . 2AA . 4 preset modes including a fairly low low . It also has a ramping variable output . It comes with a forward and reverse clicky and a dandy holster .I have the old R2 version and it throws well for it's size . I have used it as a bike light for over a hundred miles and had no problems with it .
For a compact lightweight and not too expensive AA torch, it's hard to go past the iTP A2 eos at the moment. The output of 80 lumens might not sound like much but it'll beat the heck out of what most people carry and I have to say a doubling of output does not look too big when actually in use. You could also upgrade your headlamp to a zebralight h51 and just take that.
I travelled to Peru, Chile and Argentina 4 years ago and had a great time. That was before I knew anything about lights so I was just carrying a shitty energizer 2AA LED torch that would have been very lucky to output 5 lumens.
My vote is for the ITP C7. Still available at a couple of places for about $28 with an infinite brightness user interface as well as strobe and SOS just in case you need them, BUT you don't have to be bothered with them if not needed as the infinite brightness mode (with memory) is position 1 so you click on the light in whatever brightness level you saved. There is a 5 or 7 lumen low and the high is 190 lumens (on 14500, I can't recall the high on a regular AA battery).
The BLF AA light is a nice light and $10 cheaper but I wouldn't trust that light to work all the time. I have 2 and they can be iffy sometimes. I also would not trust the many other "budget" AA lights to work all the time. Of course you may get a very reliable example and be fine but if I'm buying only 1 light, I would go in another direction.
I'm not sure you can buy a better/more usefull light than the ITP C7 for under $30.
Everyone seems to speak really highly of ITP lights. I think I will have to get one - even if not to travel with
I really like the look of the iTP SA2, but im not sure if it can be run off just one AA in an emergency? I really like this feature in the LD20, which was the torch I was leaning towards before I sarted this thread.
From what has been said so far, it come down to Nitecore EZAA, Trustfire R5-A3, or iTP A2 eos for single AA, or Fenix LD20/LD25/E21 or the iTP SA2 for 2AA.
Does anyone have any other ideas?
All of the input i am getting here is very much appreciated :)
You can just put it the iTP A2 in an empty glass and it will stand. But the A2 will have much longer runtimes on low (the iTP A2 can do 100 hours on low) and that the quality is much higher than the Trustfire.
You make it sound like instead of 2AA, one should have a .45ACP readily at hand over there...
Even the chosen one is now ordered, I'm curious that no-one said anything about 4Seven lights. Ok, they are not exactly budget lights, but good quality torches with very low lows and acceptable pricing. At the other place they seem to cheer for them at every possible occasion.