While the smartphone flashlight app is the modern day torch of old, it certainly isn’t an ideal solution. Phone batteries are prone to dying and some phone flashlights aren’t all that bright. EDC flashlights are small enough to not become a nuisance, and powerful enough to light your way through the darkest of environments. Check out our list of the best EDC flashlights and find the right one for you.
The 5 Best EDC Flashlights of 2017
Finding the best EDC flashlight isn’t as easy as you may think. You obviously want to get the best value for your money and not something that’s going to break after a few months. Check out our top 5 picks that will serve as an able companion for many years.
SureFire has converted many individuals to their brand and now has a cult like following. Their P2X Fury is one of the best compact flashlights and per oz most powerful EDC flashlights on the market. The P2X isn’t considered one of the best for nothing. Made of a high-grade aluminum, this model will withstand anything that comes its way. At only 5.7 ounces, the Surefire P2X is a good lightweight option.
This military-grade light is capable of illuminating 15 lumens for 46 hours at low setting and 600 lumens for 1.5 hours at the high setting. Its shock-proof LED delivers light no matter the circumstances at hand. Another unique feature of this brand is the top-notch micro-textured reflector that optimizes light transmission.
The glass window is also tough enough to handle external shocks and extreme temperatures. The Mil-Spec, hard anodized, aerospace grade aluminium body provides extreme durability. This model uses CR123A batteries that make it a no-nonsense dual output flashlight.
The Fenix PD35 is insanely bright and has a slew of impressive features. To start with, this amazing scorcher features 6 light modes that will give you extreme customization. By using a side switch you can adjust the beam to fit your purposes whether you are camping, taking a night patrol, or just in your backyard scaring off varmints.
Having been improved from a lumen output of 850, the PD2 boasts 1000 lumens. It could be used as a blinding machine, but that’s not very nice. You can either use a rechargeable lithium battery or 3V CR123A batteries. Incorporated with XM-L2 LED bulb, the PD35 maintains its intense brightness for long periods of time. At its highest lumen setting of 100, this flashlight will give you a good service for 1 hour and 10 minutes. On the other lower end of 14 lumens, 150 hours full of illumination are at your disposal.
The model also employs hard anodized aluminum to withstand a beating without being overly heavy. Other incredible features of this flashlight include a slip resistant design and a lightweight design of 3 ounces without batteries. In any case, you can see why the Fenix PD35 is one of the best camping flashlights and part of so many outdoors-men’s EDC kits.
The J5 is a super bright flashlight with three light modes that strikes an excellent middle ground between the Surefire and Fenix models that made our list. It is one the most popular tactical EDC flashlights of all time and is our pick for the best small tactical flashlight.
It can be powered by a 14500 rechargeable lithium battery or a single AA battery. Small in size big in power, the J5 hits the mark more than most top brands and shoots an intense beam of light up to 600 feet! This flashlight is capable of illuminating the length of two football fields exposing everything along its path. Boom baby you can practically light up the moon!
One great feature of this brand is the adjustable focus range that allows you to zoom in and out for a narrow intense beam or a cone of wider illumination. You can use this flashlight for one solid hour if it is on the highest lumen setting of 300. Alternatively, it will last you a couple of weeks on normal mode. It also features a compact lightweight design that allows the user to easily store it in a pocket or a small bag. The J5 Tactical V1-PRO is our pick for the best tactical EDC flashlight.
The CREE T6 is another dangerous flashlight that will scorch anything in its way, much like a dragon. In fact, the brightness of the Vizeri beam is far more intense than most brands claiming to have ridiculously high lumens. Featuring low, medium, high, strobe and SOS mode, this brand delivers all the best modes. If an emergency strikes, you will be prepared to signal for help. This is our pick for the best small flashlight.
Quality is inherent with this model. Top-notch gold plate springs are resistant to corrosion and the military-grade anodized aluminum finish can take a few punches. The enviable CREE T6 is also IPX7 waterproof up to a depth of 3 feet.
Our favorite thing about the T6 are all the extras. One unique feature of this brand is the included orange lamp diffuser that lets you turn the flashlight into a modern, bright lantern. A belt holster integrated with a D-ring allows one to hang the lamp on a tent, belt loop, backpack, etc.
Depending on your personal preference, you can use a low-cost AAA or opt for a CR123 battery to power this model. We can’t deny the fact that the CREE T6 has all it takes to be at the top of the best EDC flashlights today. Its quality is exceptional and the light modes offer the features prepared individuals look for in an EDC flashlight.
The headline with the Olight S1 Baton Flashlight is that it is small enough to fit in a pocket without being annoying. It is the smallest EDC flashlight to make our list and our pick for the best pocket flashlight. This flashlight features the Cree XM-L2 CW LED. That LED provides a maximum output of up to 500 lumens. Though compact and weighing only 1.48 ounces, the Olight S10 Baton is still feature heavy. It has 5 pre-programmed light modes that include low, medium, high, 10Hz strobe, and 0.5 moonlight. These are more than enough to provide for all your needs as far as lighting applications are concerned.
Powered by either a CR123A or RCR123, this little guy will last you 360 hours at its lower lumen setting of 0.5 lumens and 1.25 hours when set at the highest setting of 500 lumens. Going for less than $50, the Olight S10 Baton has packed a ton of functionality into its tiny 1.6 ounce body.
General Thoughts on EDC Flashlight Usefulness
A portable, light weight flash light is part of any well thought out EDC kit. As you probably know, that acronym means “Every Day Carry”. What makes a flashlight an EDC-ready flashlight. It simply is small enough to fit in one’s pocket or carry kit. Whether you opt for one of the best keychain flashlights or best mini flashlights, you’re going to be happy you went smaller for your EDC pick.
You may be the sort of individual that only considers a knife, phone, wallet, and keys as your everyday carry essentials. We honestly can’t blame you because we felt the same way for quite some time. However, times are changing, and phones are being used for more tasks than ever before. A person can always count on their phone battery being juiced. As phone batteries get older, they don’t hold charge as well. This, on top of demanding apps on phones nowadays, is the primary reason we recommend adding a EDC flashlight to your person.
Furthermore, the story is different today than it was even a few years ago. It used to be difficult to get a compact, bright flashlight without spending a ridiculous amount of money. In the old days you’d need to get a MagLite to pump out a decent amount of light, and that baby used three D-cells. They were a burden more than anything, after holding them for a few minutes you would feel as if your hand was going to fall off.
LED technological innovations helped the flashlight industry take flight. The lighting world has changed for the better, flashlights were not left behind. LEDs are more energy efficient, saving battery and electricity costs alike. We still can’t believe how a small penlight can be so compact and yet blind eyeballs. That is what today’s EDC flashlights are like: you can comfortably fit it in your pocket, clip to your hip, or attach to a keychain. EDC Flashlights can light up a dark parking lot, help with home and auto repairs, and are perfect for camping and hiking trips.
Factors to Consider When Buying EDC Flashlight
Buying a flashlight can be daunting to those who are new to these portable gadgets. After some time, you may close all your browser tab windows and curl up in the corner in the fetal position with the shakes. At the very least, there are so many options you may get tired of looking at all of them and end up adding one to your cart that doesn’t have the specific features you desired in the first place.
The batteries used in flashlights determine both the luminosity and overall power. For so many years the AA batteries have done the job of powering flashlights. The problem is, they are somewhat bulky and when it comes to designing the smallest EDC flashlights possible, they get in the way. CR123 batteries are more powerful per pound and much more efficient. The challenge with the CR123s is their availability and cost, whereas AA’s are readily available.
LED or Incandescent
For a long time, incandescent bulbs have been utilized. This continued until the Light Emitting Diode (LED) brought about a revolution of sorts. Today, most flashlight bulbs use LED technology. We would advise that you select a LED flashlights unless you have a strong preference for incandescents.
The versatility of your flashlight isn’t determined by brightness alone. The shape of the beam determines how useful these handheld gadgets can be. We have beams that are narrower and are capable of focusing on a smaller area. On the other hand, there are those beam shapes that are capable of illuminating a wide cone. We recommend getting a flashlight that you can adjust the width of the beam and get the best EDC flashlight for the money.
If you are new to the world of LED flashlights, you may be wondering what the heck a lumen is. Lumens are the SI (International System of Units) unit of luminous flux which is equal to the amount of light emitted per second (light intensity) in a unit of solid angle of one steradian (area light is illuminating). We used to use mostly use watts (and still do in many cases) but lumes are a more accurate representative of the amount of brightness you receive. Simply put, the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light bulb. Most EDC flashlights typically have lumens ranging from 50 to 100 but others can be more than 1000. Some manufacturers fudge these numbers a little bit but by reading the reviews and doing your research you can avoid the duds.
Size and Weight
This is one of the most important considerations, not only for a flashlight but also for any EDC addition. A good flashlight should be compact enough to fit in your pocket, bag, or even man purse. It should also be lightweight. For serious hikers that go on longer trips, every ounce matters. Some of that wisdom carries over to everyday life, you want all your EDC items to be as low weight as possible. This is why the top EDC flashlights are made of high-end aluminum that is lightweight and durable.
The quality of a flashlight will determine its durability. A flashlight being used as an everyday carry is prone to falls and bumps. High-grade aluminum is preferred in this case for its lighter weight, but stainless steel and titanium are also decent options. Being waterproof, shock-resistant, and having a scratch-resistant lens are also big time bonuses. A sturdy flashlight that checks all the boxes will obviously have a higher price tag.
Benefits of a Quality EDC Flashlight
Even though each of these factors may not be as important as the next, you still reap all the rewards when you buy one of the best EDC flashlights. They are durable, great illuminators, and have style.
- Low Power Consumption. The top models use LED technology that is very efficient both in terms of performance and power consumption. They can serve you for weeks when set to low and normal light modes.
- Durable. Flashlights are prone to bumps and falls. High-grade aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium with rugged builds can withstand the beating.
- Lightweight and Compact. The best EDC flashlights are lightweight and compact. Some are even small enough to fit on a keychain.
- Adjustable Beams & Light Modes. The top models will enable you to narrow or widen the beam to adjust coverage and intensity. Furthermore, they’ll offer several modes such as moonlight, medium, high, strobe and SOS options. You can opt to conserve battery when you don’t need bright light or switch to SOS mode when there’s an emergency.