There are times that keychain flashlights are not sufficient as the only light in your everyday carry kit. You will find the need for a larger light, brighter output, and longer run-times. But it should still be compact and lightweight for comfortable pocket carry. In this case, we need the best small flashlight as a companion for our keychain flashlights and more powerful flashlights.
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Benefits of the Best Small Flashlights
- Compact size – Mini flashlights are typically small and uses appropriately sized battery. Due to its size, it is easy to carry in person, or put it in your bag without worrying about the weight.
- Features – Unlike their keychain flashlight counterparts, mini flashlights have additional features. Replaceable battery, tail or side switch options, tailstand mode, better UI (user interface), and longer battery life are some of the benefits.
- Small battery – The small flashlights in our list use a single CR123 battery. This battery type gives the best power to performance ratio and they are readily available.
- Brightness – Even though these flashlights are small in size, they provide enough power to light up your surroundings. One flashlight in our list is capable of up to 2000 lumens output, and some are able to deliver up to 1000+ lumens of brightness. Enough power for something pocketable.
Why have the Best Small Flashlights
When carrying a flashlight for EDC, it is recommended to always have two. If one fails, you still have another one to use as a backup. It is best to have a primary light and a backup handy and readily available for general use and emergencies.
In our list of the best small flashlights we will look at flashlights that use a single CR123A sized battery as they are usually compact and offer better performance compared to AA/AAA cells. They are also great first flashlights for beginners as CR123A cells are generally available and some can use similar sized rechargeable batteries.
Here are the best small flashlights that you can add to your everyday carry rotation.
Best Small Flashlights
Niteorer EC11 is a tiny, sub-compact flashlight that produces up to 900 lumens of light. Its small size is only under 3″ in length. It features a bright Cree XM-L2 U2 LED powered by a single rechargeable IMR 18350 high-discharge rate battery. The dual side switches are convenient to use, one switch is for powering the light and the other is for changing brightness levels. There are 5 brightness levels with the lowest at 1 lumen. Three special modes are also available, beacon, SOS and strobe. The flashlight also features a red light using a dedicated LED. This is useful in the dark when you want to maintain your dark-adapted vision, and also works as a signal light. This kit includes two Nitecore IMR18350 batteries and a Nitecore UM20 charger.
Fenix E16 is one of the best small flashlights with a super bright output. Using a CREE XP-L HI LED, it is capable of up to 700 lumens maximum brightness and powered by a single USB rechargeable 16340 battery. The four brightness levels and strobe function makes this an ideal flashlight for EDC. The flashlight is ultra compact at only 2″ in length. It has a sleek and modern design built from high-strength and lightweight aluminum. The two way pocket clip and magnetic tail cap allows hand free use.
A new generation of Olight’s flashlights, Olight S1R Baton II is the best mini flashlight that uses a single IMR16340 high-discharge rate battery. This small flashlight is capable of up to 1000 lumens output from a Cree XM-L2 CW LED emitter. Even though the small size, Olight S1R Baton II has a well textured body for a good grip. A single side switch makes it intuitive to use and the magnetic charging base offers convenient way of charging the battery. The dual direction pocket clip offer the deep carry capability in your pockets, cap, or bag. Olight
S1R Baton II is the best small flashlight ideal for camping, fishing, hiking, or general use.
The new 2018 edition Klarus XT1C is a small tactical flashlight ideal for your daily carry. Featuring a CREE XP-L HD V6 LED with a high efficiency driver circuit that produces a max output of 1000 lumens. It uses a rechargeable 16340 Li-ion battery with a micro-USB charging port. Using CR123A cells are also possible. Klarus XT1C is suited for tactical applications as it has a patented dual-switch tailcap that allows one touch access to turbo, low, and strobe. The flashlight is tough, durable, and has an IPX-8 rating which makes it waterproof and impact resistant.
Armytek Prime C1 Pro utilizes a CREE XP-L LED with powerful electronics and temperature control to produce an amazingly bright beam. The brightness level reaches up to 1050 lumens maximum with a range of up to 180 yards. The simple design consists of a cylindrical body built from thick aluminum with a single side switch to control the flashlight. It is powered using a single 18350 that is recharged through a magnetic charging port at the tail end. A strong removable pocket clip allows for carrying in your pocket or gear bag. Armytek Prime C1 Pro is a great small flashlight that features 8 modes plus strobe.
ThruNite T1 is an ultra-bright high performance flashlight with a CREE XHP50 LED that delivers up to 1500 lumens. The flashlight is powered by a single 18350 11000 mAh battery which is included in the package. It features stepless dimming mode plus strobe, firefly, sos special modes. The magnetic tail cap allows hands free operation and the built-in Micro USB charging port makes it easy to keep the flashlight charged while on the go.
FourSevens Mini Turbo MKIII is one of the best mini flashlight that offers a good combination of performance and size. This high performance LED flashlight is small at only 2.5 inches but extremely powerful. Capable of delivering up to 700 lumens, it is an intense flashlight that easily fits in your pocket. It features the latest Cree XPL-HI LED with neutral tint and 75+ CRI. The upgraded UI offers easy configuration and will suit its owners needs. Four modes with burst feature to allow access to the brightest setting without cycling through different modes. For hands-free operation, the flashlight features a magnetic base which attaches to any metal surface. Uses RCR123 high discharge battery for optimal operation.
Jetbeam E20R is a small pocket friendly flashlight using a SST40 N4 BC LED emitter. With a maximum output of 990 lumens, this flashlight is a great addition to your EDC kit. The flashlight body is constructed from CNC machined high grade aluminum alloy with type-III hard anodized finish for additional durability. A covered micro-USB port allows recharging without removing the rechargeable 16340 battery. The flat tail end with removable lanyard ring makes it possible for the light to tail stand. There is a single side switch that operates the light and changes the four brightness levels. Jetbeam E20R all in all is one the best small flashlights for everyday carry.
The MecArmy PS16 is an ultra compact stainless steel body flashlight. Having a quad-Cree XP-G3 S5 LED makes it possible for this small flashlight to produce up to 2000 lumens of bright light. The flashlight uses a single 16340 or 18350 Li-ion rechargeable battery. Flashlight body is built from high grade CNC precision machined stainless steel with textured pattern for grip. It has a stainless steel tail switch and a tail end design that allows for tail stand capability. It also includes a sturdy stainless steel pocket clip.
SureFire is a popular manufacturer of flashlights and other tactical gear. The best mini flashlights they make are commonly used by law enforcment, military, and emergency personnel. The SureFire E1B-MV Backup is a high performance LED flashlight with a MaxVision reflector that produces a wide smooth beam. This ultra-compact flashlight was built for law enforcement as a backup light hence the name. It uses a single CR123A battery and the flashlight produces 400 lumens on high and 5 lumens on low mode. This makes it an excellent tactical flashlight and also great as an everyday carry light. As with SureFire flashlights, the body has a hard-anodized aluminum construction with excellent ergonomics, useful two-way pocket clip, and functional tail switch. SureFire E1B-MV Backup is the best small flashlight if you need a reliable light for EDC.
Grab the Best Small Flashlights
The best small flashlights are good backups for your primary light. Carrying a couple of flashlights with you always is important for when during emergencies, you won’t be caught off guard.