Full Review of the Cree Q5 Flashlight

A flashlight is a very important piece of equipment to have in your survival plan. In this article, I am going to talk to you about the Cree Q5 flashlight.

This flashlight is small in size, but has many benefits. It’s only 3.7” long. The flashlight weighs only 2.3 ounces with a battery. It has a single LED:

Cree Q5 LED

Is has two light strengths (Max 400 lumens) and it also has a strobe feature. This also has a belt clip:

Cree Q5 Belt Clip

The Cree Q5 takes only 1 AA battery or a 14500 battery. It also has a zoom feature, which allows you to adjust the beam.

Cree Q5 button switch
Cree Q5 Disassembled Battery
Cree Q5 Disassembled LED

I personally own 9 of these lights. I originally bought 10, and got one in a survival subscription box. I gave away 2 of them as gifts.

I have owned many flashlights in my days. This is by far the smallest flashlight I have owned, but it has replaced all but one of them. I keep an old 4 d cell Maglite in my truck to use as a club. I can almost guarantee the batteries are dead, because I have no use for it as a light anymore.

I carry one of these in my pocket every day. You will never see me without my flashlight clipped inside of my jeans pocket. I have 2 of them inside of my everyday carry bag, 2 inside of my bug out bag, one sitting on my nightstand, and 2 in my truck. I keep the other one at home in my junk drawer in the kitchen so I always know where it is at.

At my work we have a pretty crappy power grid. In any kind of weather, we can lose power for a while. Anytime the weather is poor, I grab a few of them from my truck, and bags and hand them to my employees.

I know, everyone has cell phones with flashlights on them, but it always seems like my employee’s phones are dead or almost dead. When we lose power these help us in making sure our customers are able to find their way to safety while being able to see.

I have always used AA batteries in mine. I have never bought or used the 14500 batteries. I have read that these lights are brighter using the 14500 bulbs, but I think these are plenty bright enough for anything I need with the AA batteries.

The one I use as my everyday carry, I have to replace the battery every few weeks depending on how much I use it. I keep extra batteries in my truck, my bags, and at home. Like any flashlight, they are worthless without a battery.

I did break two of the belt clips off of the lights. This happened when I was squeezing into some tight spaces. It just happened to snag and break off. Other than that, my everyday carry flashlight looks all beat up and the black paint is worn off in many places. I have dropped it countless times and it is scratched up pretty good.

The good thing is, regardless of how hard I am on it every time I need it turns on. I used my everyday carry light for all the testing you are going to see below, so remember this unit is well used.

These are water resistant lights. I have used it in the rain without issue. I am always putting the end in my mouth to hold it while I do some sort of work. I did do a short test with the light fully submerged in bucket of water. The light worked without any issues while in the water and I disassembled it to look for any water that might have passed through the seals.

I did see small amounts of water. I am not sure if that is from the being submerged, or from when I disassembled it. Check out the videos below to see for yourself.

Cree Q5 Full Power 1 foot:

Cree Q5 Full Power 1 foot

Cree Q5 Half Power 1 foot:

Cree Q5 Half Power 1 foot

WATER TEST (This test is done with my everyday carry flashlight, so it is used):

Cree Q5 Flashlight Water Test

Results of the Test

Battery Compartment:

Cree q5 Water Test Result Battery

LED and Lens:

Cree Q5 Water Test Result Lens


Cree q5 Water Test Result Reassembled

With a brand new AA Duracell normal battery on full power the battery lasted for 4 hours and 45 minutes! I did notice it was slightly less bright after 3 hours. I let it sit for an hour and turned it back on. It lasted for an additional 30minutes.

After that the battery was toast, it would only turn on for a few minutes and shut back off. Just imagine how long on half power. Now for a battery you can buy just about anywhere for as low as $0.23 each this flashlight is a very inexpensive investment for what you get.

There is no waiting for an hour or more for it to recharge, or expensive batteries like the CR123 batteries that can cost $11 each at a retailer.

How Well Does It Light Dark Spaces?

Like with all flashlights, everyone wants to know how well they light up dark spaces. What good does a $100 flashlight do if it doesn’t light up what you need it to? The first thing I did when these came in was grab some batteries and tossed one in. I went outside in my back yard and tested it.

I was shocked at how well something so small lit up such a big area. When it is zoomed it lights up my back fence line, which is just over 200’ from the back of my house. It lit the fence very well. Check out the photos lighting up my back yard.


Backyard Dark


Backyard no zoom
Backyard no zoom 2

Back yard half zoom:

Backyard half zoom

Back Yard full zoom:

Backyard full zoom
Backyard full zoom 3

Disclosure: This post has links to 3rd party websites, so I may get a commission if you buy through those links. Survival Sullivan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure for more.

Now for the price. You would think that a high quality mini flashlight would cost around $50. Not even close! You can buy a 10 pack on Amazon for way, way less.

Honestly this is one of the best pieces of equipment I have added to my survival plans. I suggest regardless of how many flashlights you have to pick up a 5 pack and keep them around the house, or add them to your survival plan.

You will be impressed with this little light. For the price to purchase and use, you will be hard pressed to find a better light. If you do find one, let me know.

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3 thoughts on “Full Review of the Cree Q5 Flashlight”

  1. To the Right of Attila the Hun

    Hi Matt,
    I too left one of my mini-mag flashlights unused for a long time and then checked it and the batteries had corroded and ruined the light.
    There may come a tine when you or someone with you may need that light and it’s no big deal to keep it fresh and ready to go. I love flashlights and have far more of them than I can mount a defense that is acceptable for the need of another one. So I order another one and make sure to check the mail 1st because it won’t be “Lucy that has some Splaining to do”
    A great review and I feel that soon there will be another light added to my collection.

  2. I’ll go for the Fenix E12 compact light from fenix store. It’s made with high-quality materials and beam patterns work as intended. It is my favorite EDC light so far.

  3. Good bargain on the flashlights. The only issue I have with any battery-operated device are those stinking, Duracell batteries that are supposed to last 10-years. Most all of mine have leaked in every device I’ve ever had them in – and they weren’t in there overly long or even close to the ten-year selling hook either and were kept at room temperature. Most of the time, I’ve gotten to them before they completely ruined the device.

    To me, it’s worth the investment to get lithium batteries. They are reliable, heat resistant (as in a car) and last for years in storage. I’ve successfully used ones that have been 8 years old. Obviously, they did not last as long as fresh ones, but they did not leak.

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