Which pocketable throwers to try? V6, FT02, NS22, etc.

I’m looking to buy my first thrower. Used for nighttime walks and hikes. I often leave during daylight & want to carry it in an empty pants pocket for an hour or two.


  • ~1000ft/300m usable throw, or more. Enough to easily see signs & animals and tell the difference between rocks/bushes vs deer/coyote/fox etc. Mostly used for 15-50ft walking range, only needs to turbo for a couple of minutes at a time.
  • I want to be able to identify the object… not just see a .1 lumen faint outline
  • <$100ish. I like budget stuff, doesn’t have to be fancy. I already have a charger + 18650/21700 batteries, and am willing to buy more
  • No green or purple beam. Good CRI & 2500-4000k would be great, or an easy to find swappable LED. Osram is interesting, but I think a warm beam is less obtrusive in neighborhoods.
  • fit in an empty pants pocket. Roughly smaller than a red bull can(?) I just don’t want it to be extremely uncomfortable, the head can be bigger.
  • Anduril or ramping UI would be great

The following seem to fit the bill:

  • Thrunite Catapult V6
  • Astrolux FT02
  • Acebeam EC60 (only cool white available)
  • Wowtac A4 V2
  • Nightwatch NS22
  • Nightwatch ni01L
  • Lumintop ODL20c (heavier, bigger, and probably not significantly better than the v6)

If you’ve tried a few and can say any are better/worse please let me know. It’s hard to find similar throw comparisons. I’m open to other options too. I think a C8 class light will not throw enough, and I’m guessing I want something with more throw than a D1S/GT Mini. Maybe I’m wrong. I think the FT03 and FT02 are supposed to perform very similarly, so it seems like the smaller FT02 is a better choice for me, if/when the updated model gets xhp35 hi. It seems like everyone likes the V6.

The smaller lights seem to still be uncomfortable in a pocket, so I figure I may as well go slightly bigger and get significantly better performance.

^ advertised output specs & mostly sale prices

With smaller throwers, the beams are very narrow to reach those ranges, so at 50ft you will want a lot of spill in your walk range. Also those numbers are running turbo, so the runtimes will be short for thermal/timed kickdown. I have the FT03 in SST40 and XHP50, Thrunite V6, and had a D1 and D1S. For your type of use description, I use a Sofirn SP36 or Q8. The beams are much wider down range, and not feel like you are looking thru a scope what you are lighting up. They were designed as a floody thrower, and head diameter is more pocket friendly.

I prefer the FT02 over the FT03. It’s slightly smaller, so makes a big difference in its pocketability (for a coat pocket). Also, the FT02 uses a boost driver, so it doesn’t dim as the battery depletes.

However, your expectations may be a bit high. Yes, the FT02 and FT03 throw noticeably further than a C8. But, I’m not sure you’re going to get the kind of brightness at 300m that you want. At that distance, you’re getting about 1 or 1.5 lux on your target. Bright enough to make it out, but not really much more. 1 lux is still pretty dim.

If you’re using any thrower in the summer, another problem is humidity. That will scatter a lot of light, decreasing the amount hitting the target, and bouncing back a lot in your direction, making it hard to see the target at all.

So, moderate your expectations a bit. In that case, the FT02 is a good choice. FT03 if you don’t mind something a little larger and want to save a bit of money.

Personally, I find something like the Astrolux C8 a better choice than either of the above lights. Yes, it doesn’t throw quite as far, but it’s far lighter and easier to carry. And it’s good enough for 99% of the time.

True. I carry two lights on my belt. Recently the D4Svn is used for walks and the cat v6 comes out when eyes shine in the distance. Great combination if you are alone in an uninhabited area like where we live. And warm or neutral lights work best for this terrain. A lot depends upon how thick the brush and how dense the forest where you walk. The cat v6 alone has a too small beam for general use, but it is well built and easy to use… really like it for identifying distant objects. I do not have any other throwers to compare.

Thanks, I have a Q8 and SP36 LH351d. I was imagining the dedicated throwers would be extremely different, but it sounds like I am hoping too much. Generally when walking I want to light up ~7-25ft wide… enough for a sidewalk, or empty road, but also not too much to light up front yards/house windows & bother people.

Thank you for the reality checks & advice about the FT02. I’ll look for more max-range comparisons of something like the FT02/V6 vs Astrolux C8, and the Q8 too.

A long time ago I had a Convoy C8+ 219c for maybe a month or so. It was a fine light, but in comparison to the S2+ sst20, I don’t think I carried it around very much because of the size difference. I then got a D4 with sst20, and I love it for walking, but want something to throw 1.5x further or more. Maybe what I really love about the D4 is the side switch+ramping to easily adjust light output.

You don’t need much of a thrower, to out-throw a D4 by 1.5x. I’m surprised a C8 won’t work for you. Get a C8 that can do 1300 lumens, with an XPL-HI emitter, and you should be fine. The Astrolux C8 is the one I use, though there are other similar throwers. I think it’s only something like $25.

BLF GT mini


Noctigon K1

Has multiple emitter options and the XHP35 version should be released soon

He discounted that up-top, else I would’ve suggested that, the P30, C8T, other compact throwers.

For just walking the trail, I’d suggest a headlamp…

I 2nd or 3rd the C8.
C8=pocket able thrower
The C8 is a light that many compare other lights to.
If you want to build a thrower the C8 is a good start. Cheap easy and fun.

I’ve been enjoying the wowtac a4v2. Being 26650, its a little fatter, but I still have no problems tossing it in my pocket! I use it for dog walking at night because it has very usable spill in addition to the throw!

I think you’d like the nightwatch NI 40 with the sbt90.2. With its 2” head and 1.3” handle, it fits in a back pants pocket or coat pocket nicely without wanting to flip out from being top heavy, or be too bulky from a huge head. It also fits the hand well.

The thing punches way beyond its size and I think is the lightest/ smallest light you can find right now that can hit 230,000 Candela and 4800 lumens. Turbo wont run more than about a minute or two without stepping down because of temperature but from your post that might be fine since you use turbo in short bursts like me. You can reactivate turbo after a cool down (it cools quickly because of the great cooling fins and 1 piece head design). High will stay at full brightness for much longer and isn’t visually that much less effective.

Some people have really come out against it because they didnt like the u/I (having to double click for turbo from any mode) or the fairly quick temp based step down but there are lights like any quad or triple edc light out there that get hot instantly. This does not.

Also, shipping from neal has, for most, taken a long time and the dude doesn’t communicate well for everybody which has turned some people off but I wasn’t about to let that stop me from having a bad ass light, especially considering the group buy price. There is nothing else out there comparable unless you want to spend $150 or more (acebeam k30gt- but it has a much bigger handle and a bugger head)

I like mine- it is my favorite light to date- and it always goes with me (along with a few spare batteries) when I leave the house.

Sofirn C8F

You can buy the NI40 with Osram - LED at BG too.

How about the BLF-D80v2?

It's my compact thrower of choice.

You have some pretty tough preferences. With the long distance throw, wow 1,000 ft throw to walk. Be prepared for a heavier/bigger light. I generally just go out with a convoy c8+ listed 1100 lumen really about 800 ish. Its realistically about 130m / appx 440 ft. Where I live you can’t really see much farther without hills or trees. I feel plenty comfortable with that. I have an FT03, and would find it uncomfortable on a really long walk, plus not designed well for the close in stuff, not a pants pocket light, I used a carabiner and belt loop.

A sofirn C8F might be a good value of size and throw. I’m sure someone can calculate the candella to make shopping easier. The flashaholics youtube is a good source to see the lights in real use.

Convoy makes several that might work and they are good value, L21a or L6, and possibly a few other models(X3).

Fireflies ROT66 would do what you ask I believe. It runs on 3x18650 has anduril software plenty of lumens, and probably enough throw depending on LED selection. They have a usa warehouse a good selection of LED choices.

The catapult v6 and nightwatch ni01 are 26650 battery, probably adapts to a smaller battery, but that effects runtime and the ability to go into turbo due to lack of amperage.