The 10 Best Clip On Flashlights

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If you're looking for a more compact alternative to a bulky flashlight, one of these handy clip-on models can shed some light on just about anything. Offering powerful bulbs, wide beams, and multiple operating modes, they can be attached to belts, hats, shirts, backpacks, tents flaps, and more, making them versatile enough for a wide variety of personal, professional, and tactical applications. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Coast HP3R

2. J5 Tactical V-Pro

3. Streamlight ClipMate

Editor's Notes

September 18, 2020:

We removed the ThruNite Archer and Lone Wolf Active Safety models due to availability issues and replaced the J5 Hyper V Ultra with the J5 Tactical V-Pro.

Newly added this year is the Revival Gear Headlamp, which has four distinct operating modes and 90 degrees of rotation when it's clipped to a hat. This model's headband can also be secured to a bicycle seat, so the tool can be used as a tail light.

We've also included the Streamlight Nano for its 100,000-hour operating life and non-rotating snap hook for convenient one-handed operation when attached to a keychain or zipper.

August 02, 2019:

While there's nothing wrong with an ordinary flashlight, it's safe to say that some of them can get pretty bulky and heavy at times. I know I have a couple in my house that take those giant C-cell batteries. Could you imagine jogging with one of those in your hand at night or trying to work in a portion of your basement while holding one of those? While certainly possible, why put yourself through that kind of hassle? There's an easier way with these clip-on flashlights. They are compact and lightweight and can be attached to walls, clothes, belts, and even keychains. Furthermore, many of them can emit light at intensities comparable to the standard ones I described above.

The Streamlight ClipMate is a pretty cool option, thanks to its integrated USB charging tab and red LED for night vision. I also added the ThruNite Archer for its aircraft-grade aluminum construction and integrated memory function. I find this function very useful, as it eliminates the need to cycle through each and every one of its available operating modes the next time it's powered back on. Its knurling also provides a secure grip. I also included the Nebo Big Larry 2 for its magnetic base, allowing it to adhere to metal surfaces, and its cutout for easy wall mounting, which comes in handy if you want it to shine downward while working on a piece of equipment in a dark garage. The J5 Hyper V Ultra has a beam distance equivalent to the length of more than two football fields and an adjustable focus that makes it easy to narrow or widen that beam, depending on your circumstances. The magnetic closure on the Lone Wolf Active Safety is perfect for clipping onto your clothes when you go jogging at night. I also added the Coast HP3R for its 26-hour runtime and convenient, twist-focusing lens. Thanks to its ultraviolet illumination, the Nite Ize Radiant is ideal for short-range pest detection in dark basements. The dual-axis swiveling head on the Blackfire BBM888-2 makes it a good option for use on ladders. In addition, its locking feet can support upright use. Finally, I included the QuiqLite X2 for its dual-switch technology that allows for independent operation of the white and red LEDs.

4. Revival Gear Headlamp

5. Streamlight Nano

6. Nebo Big Larry 2

7. Blackfire BBM888-2

8. QuiqLite X2

9. Nite Ize Radiant

10. Streamlight MicroStream

Jeff Newburgh
Last updated by Jeff Newburgh

Jeff is a dedicated writer and communications professional from San Francisco with a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UC Berkeley. He began his career in computer consulting and later branched out into customer service. Jeff focuses on making complex topics easy to understand. With over 10 years' experience in research, his relentless curiosity fuels a love of writing and learning how things work, and has helped to build expertise in categories such as heavy-duty power tools and computer equipment. Jeff's passion for animals affords him a strong understanding of pet products, including dog houses, beds, and grain-free foods. When he's not writing, he prefers spending time with his family and three dogs, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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