Best CR123A Battery Reviews – 3V Lithium Batteries

Finding the best CR123A battery will depend on your needs and how much are you willing to spend. Generally speaking, these batteries are not very expensive but there are price differences among them.

That is not your main concern here however.

The worst thing when buying batteries is getting something that simply doesn’t work or dies too fast. It doesn’t matter that they are not that expensive. Wasted time is worse than wasted money. Being forced to order them again, wait for them to arrive again.. Not to mention being made a fool by a brand that sold them to you!

Well let’s evade all of that shall we?

I know my batteries and CR123A happens to be a battery that I used quite a lot in my life so I went through the trial and error.

That is why I wrote this article. To help you find the best CR123A battery for your needs.

There are a few things to say first. If you are unaware of the different versions of this battery, let’s get you up to speed first.

CR123A vs RCR123A

The CR123A is a non-rechargeable lithium 3V battery. Single use only!

The RCR123A is a rechargeable lithium ion 3.6V battery.

The difference is the additional letter “R” as a prefix to the CR123A which indicates that it is a rechargeable cell and the fact that it is a lithium-ion battery. The li-ions are 3.6V and they have a lower capacity when compared to the regular CR123A lithium only battery.

This article focuses on the non rechargeable lithium CR123A 3V batteries.

If you actually searching for rechargeable RCR123A or otherwise known as 16340 batteries you can read about them later (linked near the end of the article).

Now let’s proceed to the actual batteries themselves.

7 Best CR123A Battery Reviews

The best CR123A batteries are going to be from the Tenergy brand. See the review below.

I will however review multiple brands and explain how they differ and what they offer. Some batteries are best used in high drain devices, some come with multiple protections in place while others are cheaper which makes them a value choice.

It is up to you to decide what you need. Keep in mind that some batteries are more expensive only for their brand name (their brand name does come with a solid reputation but this doesn’t mean that they are a justified choice).

Now let’s go!

1. Tenergy CR123A Lithium Battery with PTC Protected

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tenergy is an excellent brand in the battery world. They are USA based, in California and in my humble opinion they make the best CR123A battery.

If you read my blog articles about batteries you will see me state multiple times how much I like the Tenergy batteries. They are affordable and usually of much higher quality than their price point. Meaning that you get more value for your money.

The CR123A from Tenergy is packed with charge. They offer high capacity cells that are meant for use with high drain and low drain devices alike.

These are an excellent choice for security cameras, alarm systems, sensors and similar devices that would fit in the low powered category. On the other hand, they excel in use with the highly demanding flashlights, cameras, optical devices and generally tech devices that need this battery.

They have 1500mAh of capacity. One of the longest lasting CR123As on the market you can get today.

To top it all off they have a lot of protections in place. They are also UL, UN and ROHS safety certified.

Each cell has PTC protection in place which means that it is safe from pressure, temperature and current issues. It also has a mechanism in place to prevent excessive discharge rate that limits the discharge at 5A.

They are also capable of performing as expected under the extreme temperatures between -20C and +60C.

You can’t really go wrong with Tenergy cells because they are affordable and great. I would advise just going with their CR123 battery and being done with it. This is the best CR123A battery. However, there are other reviews below for your consideration.

2. Surefire SF12-BB SF123A

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Don’t be confused with the name SF123A. They are your standard CR123A battery but Surefire branded the format a little.

Surefire is a very good battery brand but are a bit more expensive than their above reviewed counterpart.

First of all Surefire is a really well-known brand for their everyday carry equipment, military, outdoor, tactical equipment and of course their flashlights. These batteries will be an excellent choice for their flashlights or from any other brand.

These batteries have 1550mAh capacity and are meant for high drain devices specifically.

Additionally, they are made in the USA. If you want the highest quality on the CR123A market these will probably be your best bet but keep in mind that they are costly. You probably won’t need these unless you are a serious flashlight user or if you are powering very important equipment.

They offer a 10-year shelf life which is great. If you buy them in bulk you might get a cheaper price. That way you will reduce their high price and you are most likely going to use them all in a period of 10 years.

These have a great temperature endurance and will handle outdoor use without a sweat.

The surefire CR123A is the most premium option. You are unlikely to need it but if you do, just get them and enjoy the USA made quality.

3. Streamlight CR123A

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Streamlight is a known brand for its flashlights and multitude of various lights. They also make these lithium 3V Cr123A that are very good. A bit more expensive but they are long lasting and from a reputable brand.

They are made for use with flashlights but can be used in pretty much any demanding device like digital cameras or similar. They will also prove a good choice for security cameras and similar low powered devices. They are rated for low temperature conditions so if your security camera is outside they are a great choice.

They have a storage shelf life of 10 years. This means that their bigger price can be mitigated if you buy a bigger package. I am linking to the biggest package there is on Amazon but you can find there smaller packages too.

They are also made in the USA and have a high quality quality control.

Quality PTC protection is put in place on these cells which means that they are not going to become unstable if an unexpected excessive discharge was to happen.

They have a bit lower capacity sitting at about 1400mAh.

4. Amazon Basics 12-Pack Lithium CR123a 3 Volt Batteries

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now, these would be your cheapest choice.. But I won’t really recommend you go this route. The Tenergy batteries above are just a bit more expensive while offering much better quality and protections for your cells.

If you really must save every cent then you can get the CR123A from AmazonBasics. That is a brand known for its affordability and decent quality overall. However, don’t expect them to perform on the level of the more expensive batteries.

Their advertised capacity is 1550mAh but I highly doubt that you will get that capacity with every cell. Surefire can claim such high capacities with this battery size and actually deliver considering the amount of work they put in in their brand over the years. These are from a brand that tries to sell a little bit of everything so you can’t expect them to be top performers.

However, they still offer a great cheap choice if you are trying to save up wherever possible.

These are also a decent choice for high drain devices but it is probably best to use them in low powered devices like sensors, security cameras and similar.

They offer a 10 years shelf life. I am unsure how much capacity they are going to lose in a 10 years period but probably not that much for you to be worried about.

I recommend them as the cheapest choice. They will definitely be infinitely better than something bought in some random dollar store so if you want the cheap stuff that is still good then this is for you.

5. Panasonic CR123A Lithium 3V

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Panasonic is well known for its batteries. They are pretty good and people usually use them for digital cameras and similar devices. These CR123As are not an exception.

They are long lasting and offer a capacity of somewhere around 1550mAh. Their maximum discharge current is rated at 1A so don’t use them in highly draining devices.

They function as expected under low temperatures so they are a good choice for outdoor equipment like for example if you will be using your flashlight outside.

They have a shelf life of 10 years which means that buying a bigger package will be cost effective as you are most likely to use them before they expire.

6. Energizer Lithium CR123A

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Energizer is a well-known brand in the world of batteries and they are the only brand offering a lithium AA battery so that should tell us something about their lithium use knowledge.

This CR123A lithium 3V battery from Energizer is a very good choice. They are not cheap but not expensive either. They sit somewhere in the middle.

They do not however come with the same number of protections as the #1 choice does so they are still inferior in that regard. Further, they don’t disclose their capacity. Many manufacturers of primary (non rechargeable) cells don’t advertise the capacity. This is somewhat of a standard practice but when there are brands that do, that is an advantage on their side.

I like Energizer as a brand and these batteries are very good. Just be careful of any counterfeit copies.

7. Rayovac Lithium CR123A

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just like Energizer, Rayovac is also one of the battery brands that I love. They have a very good quality control and are competitively priced.

However just like the Energizer brand they don’t disclose the battery capacity. Again, standard practice for primary batteries but brands like Surefire, Tenergy and even AmazonBasics stated their capacity for CR123s.

Regardless, the batteries from Rayovac are almost always great. These are not an exception.

They are a great choice for flashlights and similarly demanding devices.

However, I can’t say that they are the best due to lack of multiple protection features and non disclosed capacity. You can test the capacity yourself but that is not good enough. You should know what they are officially rated at and then test against that. If other brands can do it so should they.

They have a 10 year shelf life which is good and expected from Rayovac. Their batteries are holding up very well when stored properly.

Are you also looking for rechargeable 16340 battery?

Li-ion 16340 or RCR123A is a great rechargeable battery that has a higher voltage than these lithium CR123A batteries. If your device can handle the higher voltage then it is much more economical and ecological to buy a lithium ion battery.

You should read about the best 16340 battery and how to choose one. I wrote a detailed guide for them.

CR123A Batteries buyer’s guide

In case you need some additional help when choosing your battery I wrote this guide to help you make your decision.

You need to make your pick based on your needs and the budget.

Now lets see what do we have here..

The type of a device

Depending on the type of your device and at what current rate it drains the battery you will need to pick between batteries for low drain and high drain devices.

Your best bet here is the Tenergy battery again because it will handle both high and low drain device.

You should however never use a battery meant for low drain devices in high drain devices and especially if it doesn’t have any protection features that will cut off the battery drain. This can end badly so be careful.

Battery value

In order to determine the value of the battery, you should take into account the price of each cell and the price when buying in bulk if you will be able to use all of the batteries. You also need to pay attention to the shelf life.

Most of the high quality CR123A batteries on the market will have a 10 year shelf life so you are covered.

Capacity

Most of the CR123As on the market have a capacity of somewhere around 1500mAh. Some cells like from Streamlight sit at about 1400mAh but offer better build quality and are tailored for flashlight use.

Some batteries like Surefire push it to the limit and offer about 1550mAh. But most importantly you should know that not all brands will be consistent with what they offer. I trust the Tenergy, Surefire and the Streamlight the most to actually back up the advertised claim in real life scenarios for which the batteries are made.

The actual capacity will vary from the rate of discharge and if the battery is designed for that type of discharge. So if you need a CR123a for a flashlight it is wise to use a battery meant to squeeze every drop of capacity during this type of use.

The capacity will also depend on the environmental factors but most of these factors are minuscule. So if your battery is rated at 1500mAh and you get 1470mAh from it you should know that you got a good deal.

Conclusion

I hope you got something of value out of this CR123A guide. There are many cells out there but these brands offer the best. I prefer the Tenergy line because of their quality and protections that are put in place and especially the current cut off feature that stops the battery if the discharge rate goes above the 5A.

But you may like some other brand better. Surefire is a well trusted brand and an excellent choice if you are looking for top quality. The Streamlight is another choice that offers a lot of value for their price. These would be your best bet for powering quality and demanding LED flashlights.

Above all handle your batteries properly. Continuously educate yourself when it comes to the types of batteries and their advantages and disadvantages. If you can use the rechargeable type of this battery then by all means you should do it. It will be much cheaper for you and you will be able to reuse them hundreds of times.

If this battery guide was helpful then please share it with your friends who could benefit from it and leave your comments below about your favorite CR123As.

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