Coleman Compact 3-LED Light, retail $10 (
Manufactured by Coleman (
Last updated 04-09-04

The Coleman Compact 3-LED Light (hereinafter called the Compact) is a lightweight 3-LED flashlight. It feeds from the included set of 3 AA cells, produces a bright, white light, and has a clip affixed to it that can be used with the flashlight head aimed frontward, backward, or sideways.

The flashlight feels good in the hand, especially when held with the clip facing upward in your palm.


To use your new Coleman Compact, get the flashlight and its included batteries out of the package first. The package seams appear to have been thermally welded, so I had to use a knife blade to slit one side of the package down from top to bottom. I could then remove the goodies in there. Install the three included batteries (see below), and then you'll be ready to go camping.

Press the button on top of the flashlight firmly until it clicks and then release it. This turns the Compact on. Press and release the button the same way again to turn the Compact back off.

There is a large clip on the bottom of the flashlight; you can clip it to pretty much anything it will fit. This clip rotates a full 360 so you can clip it to something and have it aim in any direction you see fit.

To change the batteries in your Compact, unscrew and remove the screw in the tail end with a #0 or #00 phillips screwdriver. If necessary, use your fingernail to lift up on the battery door, and remove it. Tip the flashlight into your hand, open-end down. Two of the three cells will immediately come out; tap the flashlight side in your hand to dislodge and remove the third cell. Dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Place a new AA cell in the barrel, flat (-) end first, tilted so it goes on the terminal farthest inside, and push the top of the cell sideways so it goes under the "roof" at the bottom of the flashlight. Insert the second cell button (+) end first, so it's nestled up against that first cell. Now, insert that last cell flat (-) negative end first. Place the battery door on so the screw hole faces the receptacle for the screw on the flashlight body. Screw the screw back in, and be done with it.

This is not a difficult procedure by any means, but it might get a bit tricky out there in the wild. So you'll want to change the batteries at a table or at your computer (reading this page). There are no instructions for changing the batteries included, so this page will serve that purpose. There are polarity markings embossed in the rubbery shroud at the bottom of the flashlight body, but that's pretty much it.

Measures 138mA with the batteries that came with it, using the DMM's 2A scale to help minimise shunt resistance error. This equates to 46mA per LED; which although is overdriven, isn't terribly so.

The advertised runtime of the Compact is 160 hours. This figure is based on using alkaline cells; Eveready heavy-duty cells were included with the product.

The above is a picture of the Compact's business end, showing the LEDs, the reflector (it is present for cosmetic purposes only), and the black rubbery shroud around the bezel.

The Compact appears to be reasonably durable, but you should try not to stomp on one or run one over. It might become broken if you do that. It should be able to withstand ordinary drops, falls, bangs, and other flashlight accidents, so I don't believe you need to baby the flashlight.

I believe the product is weather-resistant, so you should not be that concerned with using it in the rain or snow. I don't believe it is waterproof or submersible though, so you should probably be careful around creeks, rivers, ponds, lakesides, puddles of squirrel pee, snowbanks, oceansides, mud puddles, sinks, tubs, toilets, fishtanks, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found.

The Compact has a sturdy clip that rotates a full 360, so you can clip it to something bezel-down or bezel-up - or even bezel-sideways if you prefer to carry it that way. You can also orient the clip so you can clip the Compact to a baseball hat and use it like a headlight. The Compact is a bit heavy to be used like this, but you can use it like this if you want to.

Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 47,100mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
This is a very good brightness for a 3-banger.

Test units of this flashlight and two other Coleman lighting products sent by A.W. of Coleman, and were received on 04-09-04.

She also had the following to say:

Coleman offers a full line of flashlights in various types and styles. Some are more suitable for camping, while others - such as the rechargeable styles - are more suitable for household use.

UPDATE: 00-00-00



    PRODUCT TYPE: Handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 3
    BEAM TYPE: Narrow flood with dimmer corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off on top of flashlight
    BEZEL: LEDs & reflector protected by rubber bezel and plastic window
    BATTERY: 3x AA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    ACCESSORIES: 3x heavy duty AA cells
    WARRANTY: 5 years


    Star Rating

Coleman Compact 3-LED Light *

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