Looking for 1 X AA value EDC

Hi all,

Don’t laugh, but I’ve finally decided to replace my CMG Infinity that has been my EDC light since the late ’90s. Woefully dim by today’s standards, it has served me well over the years and was even my only flashlight on a few multi-day backpacking trips. I have a Fenix E21 that I use for camping now, but want something more compact to replace my CMG for EDC. I spent some time searching this and a couple other forums for ideas, but being a relative noob, the number of options were overwhelming, so I hope you all can help out.

I am looking for a good value and don’t mind long shipping times. I am hoping to spend around $20 all in. I would like a slim 1 x AA with a clip and would also like the light to have a place to attach a lanyard (shades of the vaunted CMG, I know :bigsmile: ). Color options are not really important. I primarily use rechargeable NiMH batteries, but I want something that will work well with any standard AA.

I hope this is enough info to get some good suggestions. While I was searching the forums, I found some threads on pimping the CMG that I may try, but I think that will have to wait until I have a new primary EDC.


As a foreward, the options I have listed are a tad above the $20 price point but not by much!

First off is the Balder HD-1 with either a Cool White XML U2 for $25.99 or a Neutral White XML T6 for $24.99 . I have the cool white option and I love its performance on 14500’s as well as on standard cells. On NiMh (energizer 2400mAh variety) my example pulled 2.3A from the XML just FYI…

And While I do not have the next one in my possesion yet, it is in fact on its way. The Maratac AA for $32.50 (a tad on the pricey side). This is mostly the exact same light as the Olight i2 for $24.95 . The emitters are different but both of these are reliable lights. I can let you know more specs on is when I get it in!

Another light I have had my eye on is the Trustfire R5-A3 for $14.60 . I like the size but I am unsure if it had a lanyard point on it.

Hope this helps!

I appreciate the quick response. That Balder HD-1 looks very interesting. I have been tempted by the Maratac on Countycomm before, but have held off b/c it was more than I was looking to spend. The Trustfire looks really good, it seems like they have a pretty good reputation and the price is right. The lack of a lanyard point would not be a deal breaker at that price point.

The L3 Illumination L10 at SBFlashlights seems to be a successful endeavor by member Jake25, owner of the website.

I like the looks of the Trustfire, and just placed an order. Thanks for the link.
I was curious about DX, and thought I had read that they were not reliable. I guess I’ll see.

I normally prefer AAA, but will try this one.

I can’t recommend something I don’t own but that Balder will be one of my future purchases. I like how small and light it is.

Out of the 1AA I own my new Browning Alpha is a good light and very slim and small for a 1AA. Its about $34

Larger but still a nice light is the Klarus P1A or Jetbeam BA-10. These are basically the same light with different placed pocket clips. If you plan to use the clip to carry it, the Klarus is better. Both are around $30

For $20 you can get a Pelican 1920. It is a 2AAA penlight that I love. It has been my EDC at work for over 6 months and I have no complaints.

Th R5-A3 has a light duty wire clip but no lanyard mounting point, unless you like to mod it. It would be easy enough to add a couple of small holes in the tailcap near the boot, or remove the clip and add a modded wire mount.

It is larger and heavier than I would like in a single AA, but otherwise is a nice light.

Olight i2 @ $20.49 shipped.

Great suggestions so far, thanks!!

I like the “firefly” mode option on the L3 Illumination L10, but it doesn’t look like there is any clip on it.

The Browning Alpha is out of my preferred $$ range, but I like the clip set up on it a lot. One of the reasons I like my CMG so much is that the clip is reversible. I am able to clip the CMG to the brim of a ball cap for hands free operation, which comes in “handy” all the time, lol. Most of the lights I’ve seen so far have the clip fixed the other way, so I’d just be blinding myself if I tried this trick…

http://www.batteryjunction.com/terralux-tlf-1c1aa.html $17.99, reg.price, 1AA 100/50lm, strobe
http://www.batteryjunction.com/tlf-3c2aaex.html $18.39 till 12/07/2012, takes 2 AA 220lm/100lm

Best choice: http://www.lighthound.com/Lighthound-AA-Tactical-Flashlight-Cree-XPG-R5-LED_p_3959.html, 3 outputs H/M/L , XPG-r5 L.E.D. 3 year warranty, $20.89 plus shipping

I’ll vouch for the Lighthound AA. I have the XM-L version thanks to scaru’s 2000th post giveaway :bigsmile: . It has excellent mode spacing, cell compatibility, and build quality. Also it comes packed in a sweet reusable carton along with an extra tailcap boot and O-rings. It’s a rebranded Balder SE-1.

264 & Slim,

The Lighthound-AA-Tactical (Balder SE-1) does look like it may be the best choice for me. Great call.

I found this Balder on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Balder-Portable-Flashlight-Aluminum-Tactical/dp/B00A73YGHI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354761491&sr=8-2&keywords=balder+flashlight

It shows a fully reversible clip, but it looks like you get the XPE R3 version, hmmm….

I really like the Trustfire too, but I worry about the lack of a true low setting for runtime, etc.

I have yet to have a bad experience with DX! Out of all my orders, I have only received one defective item which was a dead 14500 (0.00v) out of the pair that I ordered. I contacted them that day and they sent me a new pair! All in all I am pleased in their willingness to make it right and I got an additional third 14500 for my troubles!

Shipping can and typically does take a while but that is just the nature of the beast

The light hound AA (Balder SE-1) seems like a nice light! My only complaint is that it is bezel up cary only… IMO this is a no go for an EDC light…

Also, it does not appear to be able to tailstand which is another demerit for me.

TRy offering Olight i2 sellers $20 at Ebay.

Romisen G2. 1AA. Has a hole for lanyard. Cant get much better EDC

The Lighthound AA is nicely built for sure. I just don’t think that high-first makes sense in a general purpose carry.

OpticsPlanet has them for $20.49 shipped as well.

Does it tailstand? Is it waterproof? What are the modes and mode order? I don’t know much about it, never having had one. It seems ginormous for a 1XAA light.

I think the build is fine, but one mode… meh. Personally.

Yes, but its certainly not a diving light!
Only 1 mode
Its 1 cm bigger than most 1 AA lights. Its due to the nice deep reflector. Together with the Q5
it gives a good throw.

The Fenix E11 is the little brother to the E21. Same interface and design, runs on a single AA.

A little pricey at $27, give or take, but very functional. Only drawback is the lack of a clip or anti-roll feature.

Really wanted that Balder HD-1 but if you havent already (I hadnt) read the review on light hound for the neutral model. It describes the interface as very strange… Holding the button down for 3sec to turn it on or off and the button not clicking so you dont know how hard to push… I really had no idea. That basically puts me out if thats really how the interface functions (sad).