An everyday carry kit consists of few basic but important items and a flashlight is one of them. How many times have you been stuck in a situation where you needed a reliable flashlight? It is not fun fumbling in the dark, looking for dropped keys, jewelry, or even checking on whats broken after the lights go off. Flashlights have always been useful to find things or help you move in the dark. You may not realize the importance of having one with you until you need it. Don’t be caught in a situation where you do not have the best EDC flashlight available.
As with most EDC gear, there are hundreds of different options to choose from. There are different everyday carry flashlights available from different manufacturers so you can easily be confused on searching for the best flashlight for EDC. When it comes to getting one, there are a lot of factors to consider. Your choice will eventually be based on what you deem important depending on your needs. Everyday carry flashlights comes in many types and sizes with each suited for a particular task. One thing to keep in mind that since you are getting a daily carry light, you must get something that you will be comfortable with carrying. You must always have the flashlight in person, or near you, easily accessible when needed.
Flashlight technology has come a long way, and we no longer need to carry around large bulky flashlights that houses multiple large cells (remember C-size and D-size batteries?). Nowadays with improvements in LED and battery technology, it is possible to pack more power in a compact handheld size. Small and compact flashlights are now common and widely used. But if you are looking for something that has more power and additional runtime, here are some of the best EDC flashlights available to get.
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How to Choose the Best EDC Flashlight
What you do for a living, personal circumstances, and the features you must have determines what the best choice of light is for you. It is highly recommended to get something reliable and tough just like any other EDC gear.
Size and Shape
An everyday carry flashlight should have the appropriate size and shape. Larger flashlights with big reflectors may be difficult to carry in the pocket and will be best to keep them in a holster or a bag. If pocket carry is a necessity, a flashlight with a classic tube design will be more comfortable to carry. Small or medium size is the best EDC flashlight size. Anything under 6 inches is generally considered medium size.
There are a lot of battery options for EDC flashlights. From the common CR123A cell to various rechargeables like 18650, 16340, or an 18350. There are benefits to certain battery types. Some flashlights performance relies on the battery type used. CR123A are easy to find and you may find that it is better for your choice of flashlight to support multiple types of batteries for added versatility.
As you can see in our list, there are a variety of features that caters to different needs. Some flashlights are best for daily use, others excel in outdoors, and a few are good all-around flashlights.
Lumens and Runtime
A high lumen rating is not always the main deciding factor when selecting the top EDC flashlight. A minimum of 60 lumens is good enough for everyday use, 150 lumens is ideal for outdoor activities, and anything about 800+ are powerful searchlights. You may tend to find that firefly or moonlight mode at 1 lumen or less will be most used and perfect for closeup work like reading a book, or going about without disturbing anyone sleeping, or preserving your night vision.
If you need more help on finding the right flashlight for your needs, read on how to choose a flashlight for EDC.
|MecArmy PT16||Modes: 4 + strobe/SOS
Brightness (lumens): 5 low, 1000 max
Length: 2.66 in (67.5 mm)
|Klarus Mi1C||Modes: 4 + strobe/SOS
Brightness (lumens): 1 low, 600 max
Length: 2.15 in (54.5 mm)
|Lumintop EDC05||Modes: 4 + strobe/beacon/SOS
Brightness (lumens): 2 low, 800 max
Length: 3.4 in (86.2 mm)
|Lumintop EDC25||Modes: 6 (including strobe)
Brightness (lumens): 40 low,
Length: 5.4 in (137 mm)
Tail switch to activate
Side switch for modes
|Nitecore EC23||Modes: 5 + strobe/beacon/SOS
Brightness (lumens): 1 low, 1800 max
Length: 5.07 in (128.7 mm)
|Fenix FD30||Modes: 5 + strobe
Brightness (lumens): 8 low,
Length: 5.53 in (140.5 mm)
Tail switch to activate
Side switch for modes
|ThruNite Neutron 2C V3||Modes: 3 (with infinity) + strobe
Brightness (lumens): 0.5 low, 1100 max
Length: 4.9 in (125 mm)
|Olight S2R Baton II||Modes: 4 + strobe
Brightness (lumens): 0.5 low,
Length: 3.9 in (100 mm)
|ThorFire C8s||Modes: 5 (including strobe)
Brightness (lumens): 0.5 low, 900 max
Length: 6.3 in (160 mm)
|Fenix FD41||Modes: 4 + strobe
Brightness (lumens): 10 low, 900 max
Length: 5.74 (146 mm)
Tail switch to activate
Side switch for modes
The Best EDC Flashlights
MecArmy PT16 is a small EDC flashlight that has a maximum output of 1000 lumens from three Cree XP-G2 LED. This LED flashlight is unique in a way that most similar sized flashlights does not use three LEDs. Due to the lack of a deep reflector, it results in a wider beam profile with less throw.
It uses a rechargeable 16340 Li-ion battery with a maximum run-time of 39 hours when using the lowest mode. Charging this powerful flashlight is an easy task, just unscrew the head to access the mini-USB charging port. The flashlight has a charging indicator which will indicate if charging is complete.
This bright compact flashlight has a side switch. It makes it simple to operate the pocket flashlight and change modes. There are four modes, turbo-high-medium-low, plus strobe and SOS function. The user interface is simple and intuitive. With specific button presses, you can directly go to low, turbo, or strobe, , then cycle through the modes afterwards. The output automatically drops to 70% after 3 minutes when using the highest mode. This is to protect the flashlight from damage due to overheating.
At only 2.66 inches (67.5mm) MecArmy PT16 is a small and compact single cell flashlight that is capable of outputting 1000 lumens. If you need a good flashlight for everyday carry, you should check it out.
Klarus Mi1C is the smallest side switch EDC flashlight in our list. It has a single Cree XP-L HI V3 LED with a maximum output of 600 lumens. This single LED flashlight has no reflector to keep the size minimal, and an optical lens design which results in a soft and wide floody beam.
This small EDC flashlight has four brightness levels, plus strobe and SOS modes. The lowest mode is moonlight at 1 lumen which allows it to have a maximum runtime of six days. It has a memory feature which remembers the last mode used and one touch access to moonlight mode. Succeding switch press will cycle through the modes from moonlight to high. Klarus Mi1C is compatible with a CR123A or 16340 protected Lithium Ion battery. The 16340 battery that comes with the LED flashlight has a micro-USB charging port.
The compact flashlight has a host of other features like low battery warning, lock out mode, intelligent temperature protection system, and fade in/out protection when flashlight is turned on or off in the highest setting. It can be attached to metal surfaces for hands-free operation due to the magnetic end.
Klarus Mi1C is only 2.15 inches (54.5mm) in length and the smallest pocketable flashlight in our list. It is a good flashlight and best for urban everyday carry due to the floody beam pattern. It is also available in Copper or Titanium models.
Lumintop EDC05 is a small flashlight that takes in a single AA sized battery. A very versatile LED flashlight that can use easy to find alkaline or NiMH battery, and can also use a 14500 cell for best performance. It has a Cree XP-L LED with maximum output of 800 lumens when using a 14500 battery. The flashlight is available in cool white or neutral white versions.
This is a side switch operated which controls four general modes, moonlight-low-medium-high, plus strobe, beacon and SOS flashing modes. It is easy to access moonlight mode with a short press of the switch. The last mode used is remembered and can be access by a long press of the button. The user interface is simple and intuitive which is always good. No one likes confusing button presses.
The body is made from hard anodized aluminum with good knurling to provide better grip. It also comes with a reversible pocket clip. It can be attached to metal surfaces due to the magnetic tail cap. Total length is 3.4 inches (86.2mm) and the size makes it the best EDC flashlight for pocket carry.
Lumintop EDC25 is a powerful LED flashlight that uses an 18650 cell. It has a Cree XP-L V5 LED capable of outputting a maximum of 1000 lumens and has a long runtime of 15 days when using the lowest mode.
The flashlight has two switches, one on the tail to turn the flashlight on/off, and a side switch for changing the modes. There are six modes, moonlight-low-medium-high-turbo and strobe. The user interface has two main settings group, outdoor and tactical. The outdoor setting has all the modes available, whereas the tactical setting only has turbo-strobe-low modes. The flashlight also has mode memory function that stores the last mode used.
EDC25 is a good flashlight and has an excellent build quality. The body has a hard anodized aluminum alloy construction with a durable finish. Unscrewing the head reveals a hidden micro-USB port. This allows the flashlight to be charged without the need for an external charger. A built-in charging LED indicator shows if the flashlight is fully charged. There is a low power indicator in the side switch which flickers when the battery is low.
This is a larger flashlight due to the use of a single 18650 battery, and at 5.4 inches (137mm) in length, it still is an ideal size for everyday carry.
Nitecore EC23 is an upgrade from their previous EC20 LED flashlight. This high lumen flashlight’s maximum output is now 1800 lumens using a Cree XHP35 HD E2. It is one of the brightest flashlights out in the market powered by a single 18650 battery. Using ultralow mode, it has a 330 hour runtime. It is compatible with two CR123A or with two RCR123. But it is recommended to use an IMR 18650, or an 18650 with >8A output to get the full range of output.
The side switch operates the flashlight and changes modes. There are five modes, ultralow-low-medium-high-turbo, plus strobe, SOS and beacon. Cycling through the modes needs to be done within 3 seconds after powering on which makes it a little bit tricky. There is a blue power indicator under the switch that will blink once power level reaches 50%.
The flashlight body is constructed using aluminum alloy with hard anodized finish. In-body charging capability is not available so an external charger is needed to charge the 18650 battery. The flat end allows the flashlight to tail stand, and has a notch to attach a lanyard. It is still compact in size at 5.07 inches (128.7 mm) in length. This is a good flashlight but it doesn’t come with a pocket clip.
Nitecore EC23 is a small powerful flashlight capable of emitting 1800 lumens with a up to 255 meters beam distance. The flashlight is ideal for outdoor applications. If you are looking for a powerful EDC flashlight, this may suit your needs.
Fenix FD30 is a compact focusable flashlight with a 900 lumen light output using a Cree XP-L LED. The flashlight features a dual reflector that can be adjusted by twisting the rotating ring on the head. Adjusting the ring will allow choosing between spotlight or floodlight beam output. The beam can reach up to 200m when using the spotlight in turbo mode. The flashlight is compatible with both 18650 and CR123A batteries. It also has an IP68 rating making it waterproof and submersible up to 2 meters.
This compact flashlight has a tactical tail switch and a stainless steel side switch for mode selection. The tactical tail switch allows for momentarily on. Fenix FD30 has five modes, eco-low-medium-high-turbo, plus a strobe function. When the flashlight is turned on it will cycle through turbo-eco-low-medium-high modes. The last mode used is kept and will be selected the next time you use the flashlight.
Fenix FD30 focusing capability makes it an ideal pocket flashlight for indoor and outdoor environments.
ThruNite Neutron 2C V3 is the latest iteration of this flashlight. It has a compact design with impressive output of 1100 lumens using a Cree XP-L V6 LED. The LED is available in cool white or neutral white versions. The flashlight is compatible with different battery types, single 18650/18350/16340, or two CR123A/16340 which makes it very versatile.
The compact flashlight body has a unique three piece design that allows it to accommodate different battery sizes. Instead of a tail “cap”, the tail consists of a longer tube. It is possible to remove the middle section to shorten the flashlight. Using the tail section along with the flashlight head will allow use of smaller CR123A sized batteries. It also features a stainless steel side switch with an integrated low battery indicator. On the opposite side of the switch is a covered micro-USB charging port. This makes it simpler to charge the small flashlight as there is no need to remove the head to access the charging port.
ThruNite Neutron 2C V3 has strobe plus three modes, firefly-infinity low/high-turbo. The infinity mode as the manufacture calls it is a unique feature. It consists of a variable output starting low from 12 lumens going up to high of 650 lumens. There are no fixed modes and the output ramps up or down. The flashlight has mode memory retains the last mode used. You can go can go straight to firefly or turbo with a long press or double-click of the switch when the flashlight is off.
Thrunite Neutron 2C V3 is a very versatile small flashlight that can accommodate different battery types, and has features not commonly seen in flashlights from other manufacturers. With an output of 1100 lumens and a choice of LED types, long run-time of 49 days in firefly mode, good user interface, and easy charging, this is an excellent choice.
Olight S2R Baton II comes from the same “Baton” family as the Olight S2R Baton. It is the larger version of the two. It uses a Luminus SST-40 LEDwith a maximum output of 1150 lumens and powered by a customized 18650 rechargeable lithium battery.
The body is 3.9 inches in length and has a typical pipe design with square knurling pattern for better grip. It has a side switch with a battery indicator LED underneath which glows to indicate when the battery is low. The tail cap is flat and has a magnetized end which makes it possible to attach to a steel surface for hands-free use. You can attach a proprietary magnetic charging cable to the base of the flashlight. It makes it easy to charge the flashlight as the magnetic base clicks in place. Note that even though this flashlight can use other 18650 cell, the charging system only works with the included Olight battery (both the poles are available on one end).
Olight S2R Baton II has four modes, moonlight-low-medium-high-turbo plus strobe. It has mode memory and direct access to turbo and moonlight mode. It has a long runtime of 60 days when using the moonlight mode. You can set a 9 minute or 3 minute timer if there’s a need to automatically turn the flashlight off. Attached to the head of the flashlight is a non-reversible deep carry pocket clip.
Overall, Olight S2R Baton II is an easy to use bright compact flashlight. It is the perfect size for the pocket or bag, and the magnetic charging cable make it simple to keep the flashlight charged. No need to mess around with ports and connectors.
ThorFire C8S is an inexpensive high performance flashlight. The upgraded version has redesigned tailcap with a U notch for better access to tail switch. C8S uses a Cree XM-L2 to deliver 900 lumens of maximum output.
The flashlight has five modes, moonlight-low-medium-high, plus a strobe. The body has a classic design with a larger head that houses a deep smooth aluminum reflector.
ThorFire C8S is a best budget flashlight. A good combination of flood and throw beam output makes this ideal for outdoor use.