The Brightest LED Flashlights Of 2015


In A Nutshell

  • The brightest flashlight is now the Acebeam X60M which shines at 7500 lumens and costs about $720 (it’s rated at 10,000 lumens but commentators here say this is not correct)
  • The brightest compact flashlight is the Thrunite TN36 which can output around 6510 lumens, and costs about $200.
  • The brightest flashlight that uses AA batteries is the Nitecore EAX, which shines at 2000 lumens. It takes eight AA batteries and costs about $135.
  • The brightest keyring-size LED flashlight: Fenix LD02 — 100 lumens on brightest setting — it costs around $34

The Details

Brightest Overall: The Acebeam X60M


This flashlight, the Acebeam X60M, is the brightest flashlight I’ve come across. It’s rated at 10,000 lumens by the manufacturer, but owners say the output is more like 7500 lumens, which is still extremely bright!

The flashlight run on six 18650 rechargeable batteries, and it has a beam range of 525 meters. It is waterproof and impact resistant for 1.2 meters.

Home page: Acebeam

Available on Amazon for about $720: Acebeam X60M

Brightest Compact Flashlight: Thrunite TN36

Thrunite TN36: Brightest Compact LED Flashlight

The Thrunite TN36 is a compact flashlight that outputs an amazing 6510 lumens. It runs on four 18650 rechargeable batteries. It’s waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5meters) and impact resistant to 2 meters.

The Thrunite TN36 is available on Amazon for about $200

The Brightest LED Flashlight That Uses AA Batteries

The Brightest LED Flashlight That Uses AA Batteries

The brightest flashlight that uses AA batteries is the Nitecore EAX, which shines at 2000 lumens. It takes eight AA batteries and costs about $120.

It’s waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (1.5 meters) and impact resistant to 1.5 meters.

The Nitecore EAX is available on Amazon for about $135.

The Brightest Keychain-Sized Flashlight: Fenix LD02

The Brightest Keychain-Sized Flashlight

The Fenix LD02 flashlight runs on a single AAA battery, yet it can produce 100 lumens of light on its highest setting. It uses a Cree XP-E2 LED as its light source. The lens is made of toughened, anti-reflective glass. It is waterproof to 2 meters.

It has three output modes: 8 lumens, 25 lumens, and 72 lumens.

The Fenix LD02 is available from Amazon for $30.

The Most Durable Glassware and Dinnerware

This is one of our “Buy It For Life” posts were we feature products that are built to last a lifetime.

Duralex Picardie Tumblers


Duralex has been manufacturing tempered glassware in France since 1929. Their Picardie Tumblers are known for lasting decades — they will bounce several times when dropped on the floor and survive without a crack. The tumblers can also withstand a sudden thermal shock — the temperate glass can go from -4° F to 212° F without breaking. This means they can be used to drink hot beverages. Duralex glasses are also lighter and more elegant than similar tempered glass products.

Duralex went into court-ordered liquidation bankruptcy in 2006 but has since partnered with Emile Henry, an old French manufacturer of cooking ware, to return to production.

Duralex doesn’t offer any warranty for their products, beyond a 21 day return policy. However, we were unable to find any tempered glass tumblers that come with an extended warranty.

Durlaex Tumblers are available from Amazon for about $18 for a set of six.

Bormioli Rocco Wineglasses


Bormioli Rocco is an Italian glassmaking company that dates back to 1825, but historians believe that the origins of Bormioli Rocco glass can be traced as far back as the Middle Ages. They specialize in making break-resistant wine glasses, using their XLT “Xlasting Treatment”, a process that protects and strengthens the glass. The result is very thin but very durable wineglass, making it popular in restaurants. The glass itself is called “Star Glass”, which is a crystal glass that does not contain any lead.

You can find their wineglasses on Amazon.

Update: A better alternative is Schott Zwiesel glassware.

Fortessa Fortaluxe Vitrified Dinnerware


Fortessa is a dinnerware company line, created by the Germany company Schott Zwiesel. Fortessa specializes in vitified china dinnerware. The china is reinforced with alumina oxide or magnesium oxide for durability and thermal shock resistance. The dinnerware is called Fortaluxe SuperWhite, and it is used in many restaurants around the world, and it is reasonably priced.

You can find Fortessa dinnerware on Amazon.

Pyrex Bowls


Pyrex is another brand of tempered glass products that are renowned for their durability. The Pyrex brand was introduced by Corning Incorporated in 1915. Today, Pyrex is owned by World Kitchen, and Pyrex glass products are manufactured in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Recently, there has been lot of rumors circulating about Pyrex products. The rumors suggest that Pyrex products made with inferior materials and are prone to breakage, and are manufactured in China. However, this long article on the myth-busting website Snopes.Com, concludes that the rumors are false. Here is an excerpt from the article:

While it is literally true that the material used in manufacturing Pyrex brand glass bakeware has changed from borosilicate glass to soda lime glass, the brand’s current owner, World Kitchen, claims that changeover began back in the 1940s and long antedates Corning’s 1998 sale of the brand, stating that “The Charleroi [Pennsylvania] plant has produced PYREX glass products out of a heat-strengthened (tempered) soda lime glass for about 60 years, first by our predecessor Corning Incorporated, and since 1998 by World Kitchen. In fact, since the 1980’s, most, if not all consumer glass bakeware manufactured in the U.S. for consumers has been made of soda lime glass. Consumers should know that soda lime glass, such as that used to make PYREX glass bakeware, is significantly more resistant to breaking on impact than borosilicate glass and comparably resistant to breakage caused by severe temperature changes.”

World Kitchen itself states that it has received complaints from only “a very small number of consumers” about unexpected breakage, and notes that the Consumer Safety Product Commission has found no safety issue with Pyrex glass bakeware.

Pyrex Bowls are available from Amazon.

Le Creuset French Ovens


Le Creuset have been producing handcrafted French Ovens in their foundry in Northern France since 1925. Their cookware is made with enameled cast iron and is known for lasting decades. The Le Creuset foundry uses standard sand casting methods to produce their cookware. After hand finishing, items are sprayed with two coats of enamel, each fired at 800 °C. The enamel becomes resistant to damage during normal use.

Le Creuset cookware has a lifetime warranty that the products are free from defects in material and workmanship.

If you are looking for an equivalent American-made product, see Lodge Dutch Ovens. We choose to feature the Le Creuset French ovens because, based on our research, they have a edge in terms of quality.

Le Creuset French Ovens are available from Amazon for about $235.

Corelle Dinnerware


Corelle dinnerware is made with Vitrelle, a laminated tempered glass product, which is very durable and stain-resistant. A Corelle plate is created like a sandwich — a glass core is thermally bonded to two layers of glass glaze. The bonded layers give Corelle its strength, allowing it to be much thinner than other dinnerware. Introduced by Corning Glass Works in 1970, it is now manufactured and sold by World Kitchen.

Corelle products are warrantied against cracking and chipping for three years (see this page for details).

Corelle Dinnerware is available from Amazon for about $46 per set.

Fiesta Dinnerware


Update: Fiesta is another brand of vitrified ceramic dinnerware, that’s made in West Virginia. It’s available here. I find Fiesta dinnerware a bit think and clunky, but they are certainly durable.

A List Of Goods Still Made In The USA

Here’s a list of well-designed products still made in the United States. I focus mostly on mainstream goods, rather than specialized products. If only certain products are US-made, you’ll see a “(only selected products)” note.




  • Accessories Unlimited — Portland, Maine — bags
  • Acorn Bags — California — cycling bags
  • Archival Clothing — Portland, Oregon — luggage, clothing (only selected products)
  • Artifact Bags — Omaha, Nebraska — bags
  • Bailey Works — Portsmouth, New Hampshire — bicycle bags
  • Billykirk — Pennsylvania — bags, leather goods
  • Beckel Canvas — Portland, Oregon — bags, tents, etc.
  • Buzzline — Fort Pierce, Flordia — bags
  • Dandux — Ellicott City, maryland — bags
  • Domke — Hauppauge, New York — camera bags, accessories
  • Duluth Pack — Duluth, Minnesota — luggage
  • Emil Erwin — Nashville, Tennessee — luggage, accessories
  • Ernest Alexander — New York, New York — luggage
  • Estex Mfg. Co. — Fairburn, Georgia — bags
  • Equinox — Williamsport, Pennsylvania — bags, outdoor gear
  • Frost River — Duluth, Minnesota — bags, tents
  • Ghurka — New York, NY — bags, leather goods, accessories
  • Goruck — Bozeman, Montana — bags, hats
  • Johnson Woolen Mills — Johnson, Vermont — bags, clothing, accessories
  • Joshu+Vela — San Francisco, California — bags
  • J. W. Hulme Co. — St. Paul, Minnesota — briefcases, bags, accessories
  • Klein Tools — Lincolnshire, Illinois — bags, accessories
  • LL Bean — Freeport, Maine — luggage (only selected products)
  • Makr — Orlando, Florida — luggage, accessories, leather goods
  • Mer — Brooklyn, New York — luggage
  • Mulholland — San Francisco, California— luggage
  • Moop — Pittsburg, Pennsylvannia —bags
  • Port Canvas — Kennebunkport, Maine — canvas bags
  • Red Oxx — Billings, Montana—  adventure luggage
  • Topo Designs — Denver, Colorado — bags
  • Tough Traveler — Schenectady, New York — bags
  • Triple Aught Design — San Francisco, California — bags, accessories
  • Utility Canvas — Gardiner, New York — bags, accessories
  • Wm. J. Mills & Co. — Greenport, New York — bags
  • Wood&Faulk — Portland, Oregon — bags, accessories





Grado SR80i Headphones: Best Rated

  • Audio by Van Alstine — Woodbury, MN — preamplifiers, amplifiers, digital-to-analog converters, and phase inverters
  • Ayre Acoustics, Inc. — Boulder, CO — full line of audio and video components
  • Audeze — Headphones
  • Big Lick Amps — Salem, VA — reproduction tube amps
  • Car Audio Factory — Richmond, TX — subwoofer enclosers
  • Carr Amplifiers — Pittsboro, NC — guitar amplifiers, made by guitarists for guitarists.
  • CI Audio — Port Hueneme, CA — headphone amplifiers, monoblock amplifiers, and power supplies.
  • Fargen Amps — Sacramento, CA — all tube (not solid-state) guitar and bass amplifiers
  • Grado Labs — Brooklyn, NY — high-quality headphones and phono cartridges (their SR80-i is one of the best headphones under $100)
  • KCS Loudspeakers — Sun Prairie, WI — custom horn loudspeakers
  • Klipsch –  Hope, AR – audio gear
  • Koss Headphones – Milwaukee, WI – headphones
  • Manley Labs — Chino, CA — Hi-Fi and professional recording gear
  • McIntosh Labs — Binghamton, NY : fine audio and home theater sound systems
  • Mohu, Inc. — Raleigh, NC — makers of the LeafTM, a USA-made indoor HDTV antenna
  • Moog Music — Ashville, NC — miniMoog Voyager analog monosynth, MoogerFooger guitar pedals, and Etherwave theremin
  • Ohm Acoustics — Brooklyn, NY — high-end speakers for audio and home theater applications
  • Orb Audio — Sherman Oaks, CA — Mod1 and Mod2 satellite speakers for flat screen and home theater applications, handmade in USA. “Small Speakers for Smart People”
  • SanGreal — Las Vegas, NV — acoustic instrument amplifiers
  • Schitt Audio – Audio Gear
  • — Tyler, TX — modular analog music synthesizers, assembled in USA with domestic and imported components
  • SVS — Ohio — speakers and subwoofers for music and home theater
  • Wavefront Technologies — Los Angeles, CA — theremin musical instruments and accessories
  • Westone — Colorado — Earphones
  • Woo Audio — New York — amps
  • Zinky Electronics — Flagstaff, AZ — electric guitar amplifiers & accessories

Camping Equipment

  • American Outdoors — coolers, boat totes, camp chairs, etc.
  • Arc Flashlight —Phoenix, AZ — LED pocket flashlights that run on a single AAA battery
  • Awl for All —Arlington Hts., IL — indispensable wooden-handled awl for repairing leather, canvas, and vinyl outdoor gear
  • Butler Bags —Cedar City, UT — sleeping bags, bedrolls, and gear bags
  • Cascade Designs —Seattle, WA — manufacturer of camping gear of all sorts (including Therm-a-rest self-inflating camping mattresses, MSR camping stoves)
  • Equinox. —Williamsport, PA — makers of ultralight backpacking gear, including sleeping bags, tarps, ponchos packs, and totes
  • EZ-Sales and Mfg. —Gardena, CA— American-made hammocks, folding aluminum camp chairs, cots, and canteens (only selected products)
  • Feathered Friends —Seattle, WA — sleeping bags, outwear, and comforters
  • Fuerte Cases —La Mesa, CA — waterproof protective cases for laptops, PDAs, firearms
  • Kirkham’s Outdoor Products —Salt Lake City, UT — manufacturer of Springbar and AAA canvas wall tents
  • Nalgene —Rochester, NY — water bottles, bike bottles, travel mugs, and other “hydration necessities” (only selected products)
  • Northern Lites —Wausau, WI — high tech, lightweight snowshoes for all uses, from racing to hiking
  • Open Country Campware — aluminum campware kits, plates, pots, and canteens made by Metal Ware Corp. (Two Rivers, WI)
  • Outdoor Research —Seattle, WA — shelter systems, headwear, gaiters/footwear, and storage systems/stuff sacks (only selected products)
  • Princeton Tec — headlamps, outdoor gear, bikes lights
  • Purcell Trench Mfg — Addy, WA —ultra-lightweight camping grills and tarp shelters
  • REI — Kent, Washington — outdoor equipment  (only selected products – see their “Made In USA” section)
  • TarpTent —Redwood City, CA —ultralight, mobile shelters made with US materials in Seattle, WA
  • Tektite —Trenton ,NJ — LED flashlights and lanterns, divelights, and marker lights
  • INOVA Light —North Kingstown, RI — tactical LED flashlights by Emissive Energy


Additional American ProductsRada CutleryBosch1888 MillsAmerican Kitchen CookwareAll-Clad CookwareLodge Cast Iron PansEpicurean Cutting BoardsWeber GrillsKitchen Aid MixersTom’s Of Maine (Bathroom Products), Burt’s Bees (Bathroom Products), Wahl CuttersVornado Fans, Crane and Co. Paper, Preserve (Razors, Toothbrushes), Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soaps, J. K Adams Wooden Kitchen GoodsAlpaca Extreme Wool Socks, Anchor Hocking Glass Storage, Granite Ware Roasters, Complete First Aid Kits, Mid West Gloves and Gear, Dramm Garden Tools.

This list is compilation of similar lists on A Continuous LeanUnited States Of Design by Fast Company and StillMadeInTheUSA.

The Best Battery Chargers Of 2012

The chargers featured below are some of the “smartest” out there — they have built-in protection to prevent overcharging or undercharging, and they also perform battery testing and recovery. You can also check out our review of the best AA Rechargeable batteries.


LaCrosse Technology BC-1000 Alpha Battery Charger

The LaCrosse Alpha BC-1000 Charger has sophisticated monitoring circuitry that controls the charging process, and it is also capable of “reconditioning” batteries by running a series of discharge-recharge cycles.

The charger shows battery voltage and charge status on its digital display. It has four separate charge channels so you can charge one, two three or four batteries at a time – even on individual charge programs. This allows you to test one battery while charging the others. It comes with four AA and four AAA batteries, four battery adapters (which convert AA sized battery to C and D sizes) and a carry case. Note, however, if you want to charge C or D size batteries, you’ll want to get the Ansmann chargers below.

Available from Amazon:


PowerEx MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer

This newly released charger could be a serious rival to the LaCrosse charger — we will post a full review soon.

The PowerEx MH-C9000 is available at Amazon for about $50


Ansmann Deluxe “Energy 8″ Charger

Ansmann Energy 8 Battery Charger For AAA, AA, D, C Size Batteries

Ansmann is a German company known for their range of high-end, intelligent battery chargers. Ansmann’s “Energy 8″ charger can handle both NiCad and NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries. When the batteries are inserted into the charger, they are analysed, and batteries needing reconditioning are automatically restored by several cycles of charging and discharging. The charger will also indicate if a battery has been damaged and cannot be charged.

This charger has six charging positions: four for AAA, AA, C or D sized cells, and two for 9V cells. A LED display shows the state of charging for each cell. This charger can be used worldwide — it accepts 100-240V and 50-60Hz AC.

It’s available from Amazon for around $56.


Ansmann Deluxe “Energy 16″ Charger

.Ansmann Energy 16 Battery Charger

This Ansmann “Energy 16″ is similar to the “Energy 8″ but it has ten charging positions: six for AAA, AA, C or D sized cells, and four for 9V cells. The six top positions can handle two AAA or two AA cells or one each of the larger C or D cells.  A LED display shows the state of charging for each cell. This charger can be used worldwide — it accepts 100-240V 50-60Hz AC.

It’s available from Amazon for around $87.


Maha PowerEx “Ultimate Professional” Charger

Maha PowerEx Battery Charger

The Maha’s Ultimate Professional Charger almost lives up to its hyperbolic name. This compact charger can charge any combination of 1 to 8 batteries. You can mix and charge AA, AAA, C and D sized cells at the same time on individual charging circuits. Each battery size also has its own fixed contact charging points (i.e. not a spring). An LCD display shows charging and conditioning status of each rechargeable battery.

Like the Ansmann chargers, Maha’s chargers can restore batteries to their optimal performance level by repeatedly charging and discharging them. It also has intelligent charging technology and overcharge protection. It also comes with an international AC adapter, and short-circuit protection.

It is available from Amazon for around $83. You can get a similar Maha charger for $64, but it doesn’t charge C or D size batteries.

You can also check out our review of the best AA Rechargeable batteries.


10 Titanium Pocket Tools

Titanium Spork

Ah titanium! It has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal — approximately 40% stronger and 40% lighter than stainless steel. It’s also highly corrosion-resistant — even when exposed to sea water and chlorine. Oceanographers report that titanium immersed for 30 years in saltwater produces no measurable corrosion. This is because titanium forms a protective oxide film instantly, when it’s exposed to a trace of air or water.

All of these attributes make titanium an ideal metal for constructing durable pocket tools. However, note that many products labeled “titanium” are just titanium colored, or they only contain a thin coating of titanium. The tools listed here are made with solid titanium or an alloy containing more than 90% titanium.


Leatherman Charge TTi Titanium Multi-Tool

Weight: 8.2 ounces (232 grams)
Titanium Type: Alloyed Titanium Handles, S30V Stainless Steel Blades

The Charge TTi Titanium Multi-Tool by Leatherman is one of the few multi-tools that incorporates titanium into its construction. This tool has titanium handles and a titanium outer coating for extra strength, and a little bit less weight.

You can get the Charge TTi Titanium Multi-Tool on Amazon for about $150.


Schrade Titanium Keychain Pry Tool

Weight: 0.5 ounces (14 grams)
Titanium Type: 6AL-4V Titanium Alloy

This Titanium Key Chain Pry Tool by Schrade is made with solid 6AL-4V titanium — an alloy that is stronger than pure titanium (the exact chemical composition is: 6% aluminium, 4% vanadium, 0.25% iron, 0.2% oxygen, and the remainder titanium).

This is 6-in-One tool, it’s: a seal belt cutter, a bottle opener, a flat head screw driver, a wrench driver, a scraper, and a pry tool. It weighs just 0.5 ounces, and it’s 3.25″ long (8.2 cm).

 The Titanium Key Chain Pry Tool is available on Amazon for about $20.


Titanium Inka Pen

Weight: 0.45 ounces (12.7 grams)
Titanium Type: Solid Titanium

The Titanium Inka Pen is designed to be attached to a keychain. Weighing just 0.45 ounces, the pen’s case is constructed with titanium, the and pen components are built from carbon fiber composite. It has a pressurized ink cartridge, which means the pen will write wet or dry at any angle, any temperature, and any altitude. If you’re going to be writing for some time, you can unscrew the stainless steel fob and reconfigure your pen into Full-Size mode.

The pen is made by Inka, a company based in Colorado, and created by Greg Adelman, a former marine engineer who worked for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Refills for this pen are available for about $4.

The Titanium Inka Pen is available from Amazon for about $32. You can get a stainless steel version for about $20.


Titanium Split Pea Lighter

Weight: 0.5 ounces (14.3 Grams)
Titanium Type: 6AL4V Series Titanium Grade 5 Alloy

The Titanium Split Pea Lighter can be used as an candle in an emergency and carried on your keychain. A removable lighter insert allows it to be used as a waterproof titanium pill vial. It sells for $30 from County Comm.


Titanium Split Ring

Titanium split ring can be used as the ultralight base of a keychain. You can find titanium split rings at the County Comm Store (3 for $6) or Berkeley Point ($5 – $6 each).

Titanium Money Clip

Weight: 1 ounce (28 grams)
Titanium Type: Pure Titanium

Weighing one ounce, this Titanium Money Clip is a lightweight version of the usual stainless steel money clip. It’s available on Amazon for about $50.

Arc AAA Titanium Keychain Flashlight

Weight: 0.95 ounces (including battery)
Titanium Type: 6Al-4V (Ti-64) Titanium Alloy

Designed for keychains, Arc-AAA flashlights are barely larger than the AAA batteries they contain. The exact dimension are: 2.5 inches in length, 0.5 inches in diameter, and 0.95 ounces in weight (including battery). The Arc-AAA is made in Phoenix, Arizona by Arc Flashlights. The company only makes keychain-sized flashlights, and put a lot of attention into the design of their lights (see the FAQ page for all the technical details).

The three titanium models range in price from $125 to $140.