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The 90 degree flashlight emerged as a type of novelty in comparison to round tube lights. The hands-free option that comes with this flashlight makes it convenient if you need both your hands to work. This flashlight is also quite popular with the military and general outdoorsy people.
Most 90 degree flashlights have adjustable mode settings to ensure that you make the most out of your total runtime. However, the brighter the light, the faster you use up the battery.
We will review eight of the best 90 degree flashlights to help you decide on which flashlight to buy.
The best 90 degree flashlights reviewed:
- NITECORE MT21C 1000 Lumen 90 Degree Tiltable Head
- NICRON N7 600 Lumens Tactical Flashlight
- Streamlight 88087 ProTac 90 Right-Angle Light
- Fenix LD15R 500 Lumen Right-Angle White Red LED Rechargeable Mini Flashlight
- Klarus AR10 Flashlight
- TrustFire Z2 14500 LED Flashlight
- Zebralight H600w Mk IV 18650 XHP35
- Streamlight 14024 Sidewinder Aviation Flashlight
Why Choose a 90 Degree Flashlight?
The 90 degree flashlight does not easily come to mind when you think of personal home use. This type of flashlight is typically attached to someone’s chest using a sturdy in-built clip, thus illuminating the path ahead for the user. This design caters to fire, rescue and military professionals.
As a front-facing light, it gives users the opportunity to adjust the head depending on the task at hand. Its hands-free quality allows the user to focus on other tasks instead of holding the light.
Compared to a headlamp, the best 90 degree flashlight is more convenient. It’s lightweight, and you can comfortably put it back in your pocket when you have no need for it.
Benefits of the 90 Degree Flashlight
The 90 degree flashlight was initially invented for military use. However, many civilians have come to embrace it. Here are some of the benefits that come with this type of flashlight:
You can hold the 90 degree flashlight easily without having to twist your arm in various positions when trying to direct the light towards the right spot. Your wrist, therefore, will not be strained while navigating in dark areas. It’s also light in weight, making it easily portable.
Its sturdy base means it can rest easily on a flat surface while still illuminating the area ahead. It’s also possible to hang these types of flashlights from belts and clips for versatility. This flashlight is extremely convenient for people who find it tasking to hold the torch using one hand.
The best 90 degree flashlight should serve you for a long time. In case of any damage, this type of design normally comes with extra lenses and bulbs in case of an emergency. They are also waterproof and impact-resistant.
Choosing a Battery for Your 90 Degree Flashlight
Alkaline or Lithium?
Lithium batteries are an excellent choice for your flashlight because they perform well under load. They also have a higher capacity than alkaline batteries and function better under high temperatures.
Alkaline batteries may not be as popular as they once were, but they are still widely used. They are quite heavy and their shelf life isn’t as long as the lithium battery shelf life, but they work quite efficiently. An alkaline powered flashlight will work well when there’s a circuit breaker trip or when lights have disappeared at home, and it will last for days.
Learn everything you need to know about Batteries with our Ultimate Guide to Batteries!
Disposable batteries have great storage life. Alkaline disposable batteries can last up to 7 years, while disposable lithium batteries can last up to 10 years. Generally, they provide longer run times for a particular bulb power and are more affordable, so it’s easy to purchase and stock up on spares.
They tend to cost more than their rechargeable counterparts because of their disposable nature, and they aren’t as bright either. They do, however, have a high energy density.
Rechargeable batteries are perfect for frequent flashlight users. The initial purchase price is higher than disposable batteries, but it’s a worthy investment in the long run.
Read our Ultimate Guide to Flashlights to learn what to look for when finding the best flashlight for your needs
The Best 90 Degree Flashlights Reviews
Now that we’re aware of what to look out for in a flashlight, we have put together a list of the best 90 degree flashlights. After reading this list, you should be able to make an informed decision moving forward.
The NITECORE MT21C is a powerful light. It can reach up to 1000 lumens and is suitable for both professional and personal use. Its tiltable head makes the transition from a streamlined flashlight to an angled work light very convenient.
It has five brightness levels and three special modes that can be accessed via a push-button on the side, making it easily operable with one hand.
A feature that makes the Nitecore one of the best 90 degree flashlights for work use is the extra-long runtime — it can last up to 700 hours. The flashlight makes use of a high-efficiency constant circuit that’s powered by 1x 18650 or 2x CR123A batteries.
It has a magnetic base, pocket clip, and lanyard, which enables you to operate the torch hands-free if you wish. You can hang it from a tree, mount it on metal surfaces, or clip it to straps during emergencies or adventures.
- Produces an ultra-bright EDC light.
- Compact, and you can operate it with one hand.
- Sturdy and can survive external damage.
- Extra-long runtime.
- Relatively expensive compared to the other flashlights in the list.
The NICRON N7 600 Lumens flashlight is ultra-bright and can easily light up an entire room. A single AA battery or a 14500 rechargeable battery can power this flashlight for several hours.
The 90 degree flashlight is portable and just the right size for use around the house, strolling in the dark, camping, fishing, or even walking your dog. Its size is compact enough to fit into a regular-sized purse or backpack.
The magnetic tail cap will attach the flashlight to any ferrous metal so you can set it up hands-free, and the head is adjustable so you can use it at a right angle or as a regular flashlight.
The flashlight’s non-slip coating helps with ensuring proper grip. It can also be temporarily submerged in water and can survive a drop from 4 feet, making it the perfect tool for any adventure.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Magnetic tail cap and adjustable head.
- Some users have complained that the battery gets drained too fast.
- No battery level indicator.
The Streamlight ProTac 90 is a tactical flashlight featuring a right angle head that comes in handy for those who have various lighting needs. You can hold it in your hand or decide to attach it to a belt, harness, or different type of gear to enable hands-free use.
The ProTac90 features LED technology with shock-proof ability and a selection of three user modes. It’s lightweight and compact, therefore easier to carry around. The removable pocket clip only adds to its versatility and movability.
The flashlight has a durable anodized aluminum case, and its glass lens is shock-mounted impact-resistant. It can run for 1.75 hours on its highest setting (300 lumens) and for 14 hours on its lowest setting (40 lumens), using the CR123A battery — though it does accept other types of batteries.
- Waterproof to 3 feet for half an hour.
- Some users expressed dissatisfaction with the on and off switch.
The Fenix LD15R 500 is a flashlight that you can comfortably use every day. Its maximum output is 500 lumens. Its right-angle setting and magnetic tail cap allow for hands-free work, such as repairs and household tasks.
Unlike other models, this flashlight has a secondary red LED emission with three output modes; SOS, signal, and constant red. This red LED is great for preserving night vision or for acting as an alert during emergencies.
The Fenix LD15R comes with a rechargeable li-ion 16340 battery that can be recharged via the micro-USB charging built-in port. There is a power indicator light under the control button, which alerts you when the flashlight is running out of charge.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Has a built-in charging port.
- It has reverse polarity protection that prevents short-circuiting.
- Limited battery life on full power.
- The outer metallic casing can heat up.
The Klarus AR10 Flashlight can emit an impressive 1080 Lumens. It has four unique lighting levels, producing a bright beam with a range of 500 feet.
The tool has an integrated pocket clip that lets you work hands-free. It is completely waterproof and submersible up to 6.5 feet.
The AR10 is made from anodized aluminum, which makes it both lightweight and durable. Its magnetic interface and clip allow for convenient hands-free usage.
It has a battery capacity indicator light that displays the battery power level. This enables you to adjust your runtime by changing the lighting mode to accommodate the remaining charge. Quickly and easily recharge the flashlight using any standard USB port in your home or out and about.
Its highest setting, Turbo, emits 1080 lumens and runs for 1 hour 40 minutes. The lowest setting of 10 lumens can run up to 220 hours.
- Contains smart-lock functionality to prevent accidental illumination. This helps prevent power drainage and children damaging their eyes if they play with the flashlight.
- User-friendly charging using the USB port.
- The lowest setting may still be too bright for some people.
- Inconsistent brightness that comes with aging of the flashlight.
The TrustFire Z2 is a lightweight, pocket-sized 90 degree flashlight that has five light modes; high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. It’s small enough with a net weight of 1.7 ounces, ensuring it’s easily portable. The tailcap is magnetic, making it ideal for hands-free use when placed on metallic surfaces.
The flashlight has a beam range of 164 feet with a 54-minute runtime, which should be sufficient for small jobs. It has a light intensity of 280 Lumen and is waterproof grade IPX4, meaning it can handle splashes from any angle. It also has an aluminum vacuum coating that’s heat-resistant.
The Z2 comes with a 14500 rechargeable battery, but it can also work on a single AA battery.
- Strong magnetic base.
- Lightweight and powerful.
- Smooth threads.
- Nice finish and sturdy clip.
- The anodizing is low-quality; it can scratch easily.
- Magnet is not strong enough to hold it perpendicular to the ground, but can hold it upside down.
The Zebralight H600w Mk IV is an excellent portable 90 degree flashlight. It has a smart user interface that is fast and easily gives you access to all beacon-strobes and brightness levels. At 4.8 ounces, it’s light and compact, making it conveniently portable.
The unibody casing is precision machined from premium aluminum bar stocks and has a Type III Class I natural hard-anodized finish. The flashlight is, therefore, robust and durable.
This is a 90 degree flashlight that’s ideal for practical use because the light is very bright — it can reach up to 1400 Lumen on the highest setting. However, it does tend to overheat faster than its competitors.
The Zebralight is waterproof to 6.5 feet for 30 minutes and is a great option for campers and cavers. The LED board bonds directly to the unibody aluminum casing because of the proprietary heat sinking design.
- Keeps battery life longer than many of its competitors in the same price range.
- Lightweight and easily portable.
- Simple to operate.
- Recharges and holds the charge well.
- Energy regulation isn’t the greatest. It can get really hot when using the highest brightness level.
The Streamlight 14024 has many happy users. It’s compact, high performing, and engineered to perform a variety of hands-free tasks. It has four lighting sources to fit your specific need; Green LED, Blue LED, White LED, and IR-IFF LED.
This flashlight has a feature, the pull-to-turn locking knob, that prevents accidental changes in the mode and also enables you to choose from the four lighting sources. It has a high-impact nylon casing that boosts durability and weather resistance. The belt/clothing clip is also sturdy and has helmet mount features.
This flashlight enables waterproof operation because of the O-ring and gasket sealed openings. It also has cord attachment holes that can support a load of 25 pounds. A feature that’s useful for battery replacement in the dark is the tethered battery compartment cap. You can easily change the battery without losing the cap.
- Good battery life.
- Comes with great accessories that can be attached to different places.
- Scratch-resistant lens.
- Can be quite pricey, but it’s worth the investment.
- Some users find it a little on the heavier side.
- Not very user-friendly, so you may find it complicated to handle.
When choosing the best 90 degree flashlight, it all comes down to the user’s needs. You need to be aware of how much light is produced and for how long, depending on the work you intend to do with the flashlight.
All the flashlights on the list are lightweight and use rechargeable batteries. They can all be easily operated with one hand and can also be used hands-free. However, we have found that NITECORE MT21C is a very sturdy flashlight and tops our list.
It produces 1000 lumens, which is perfect for both home and professional use. Its extra-long runtime, ease of usage, and the five brightness levels make it a clear winner.