There are legions of reasons that every EDC enthusiast should be carrying a flashlight. Even the reasons that place them squarely in the “in case of emergency” column are enough to warrant adding one to your everyday carry loadout. From things as simple as helping you look between the cracks of your car seat or under your desk for wayward change all the way up to producing illumination for you when the power goes out in the middle of the night, portable torches are remarkably useful.
However, just as they boast a huge number of uses, there are also literally hundreds of different options available for purchase. In regards to EDC, there are a few things you want to look for: pocketability, durability, reliability, and how many lumens a flashlight can produce (around 50 is normally enough for simple tasks, but more is better if you dabble in the outdoors). Of course, even if you narrow down the choices with strict scrutiny, there are still a ton of flashlights on that list. That’s where we come in; we’ve rounded up what we believe to be the 15 best EDC flashlights around on the following guide.
Slughaus Bull3t Micro Flashlight
Now in its 3rd generation, the Slughaus Bull3t is remarkable for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s so small (about the size of the tip of a finger) you might just forget that you have it on your keychain — until you need, that is. But it’s also waterproof, fireproof, and crushproof. In fact, it can literally survive being run over. And it produces an impressive 100 lumens. Truly the “I don’t have room” argument is undone by this flashlight.
Material: Aluminum or Titanium
Fenix E12 Flashlight
Fenix has been making flashlights for a long time and they’re trusted by plenty of professionals — including those in the everyday carry space. And their E12 flashlight is a pretty good example as to why. It’s small enough to stash in your pocket with plenty of room leftover, it has a lumen range of 50-130 across a trio of levels, it’s IPX8 waterproof and can take quite a bit of punishment, and it boasts super-easy push-button operation.
Streamlight MicroStream 66604 Flashlight
Like Fenix, Streamlight is also a staple brand of the portable illumination industry. And that’s easy to understand with just a glance at their MicroStream flashlight you see here. This tiny titan is available in two varieties — AAA alkaline power or USB rechargeable — so you can pick which one works best for you. It also has a two-direction pocket clip for easy hands-free attachment. And it measures up at just 3.87 inches and 1.2 ounces in total.
MecArmy Illuminex-3S Keychain Flashlight
Proof positive that a tiny EDC flashlight can also still be quite stylish, the MecArmy Illuminex-3S keychain flashlight weighs just over 0.7 ounces and is just 1.7 inches in length. Yet it’s still made from your choice of gorgeous copper or brass — both of which will age beautifully over time. It’s also IPX8 waterproof, produces 8-130 lumens, has a simple twist operation, and — best of all — is micro USB rechargeable. In fact, it’s the smallest rechargeable flashlight around.
Material: Brass or Copper
TEC Accessories Pixel Keychain Flashlight
Absurdly small — essentially smaller than a standard key — this keychain flashlight is also remarkably durable, thanks to its construction of ultralight, ultra-durable titanium. It’s also water-resistant, boasts a squared design to keep it from rolling off flat surfaces, weighs 0.3 ounces with batteries, has simple twist operation, and produces 25 lumens of light. Need we say more?
Olight S1 Mini Baton Flashlight
Olight is legendary in the everyday carry lighting industry and their S1 Mini Baton flashlight is a pretty superb example as to why. This extremely small pocketable flashlight measures up at 2.13 inches in length but produces up to 600 lumens. It’s also IPX8 water-resistant, has a dual-direction pocket clip, runs up to 15 days straight, and is rechargeable. If you want to maximize capabilities while minimizing space, this is your flashlight.
EagleTac D25C Clicky Flashlight
Boasting four output levels that range from one to 453 lumens, as well as seven different lighting modes, the EagleTac D25C Clicky flashlight is one of the most comprehensively useful EDC flashlights around. And you’d probably expect it to be a lot larger than it is, but it actually fits in the palm of most hands. And with all that capability, it can still run for up to 150 hours straight. And that definitely earns it a spot here.
Prometheus Lights BETA-QRV2 Flashlight
From a stylistic standpoint, the Prometheus Light BETA-QRV2 flashlight is hard to beat, as it is available in four different finishes — brass, copper, nickel, and HAIII black. And that makes it uniquely customizable to your style. On top of that, this is one of the only keychain flashlights that comes with its own quick-release keychain — so you can use it on or off your keychain without any fuss. It’s also tough, produces up to 60 lumens, works with multiple battery chemistries, and more.
Material: Aluminum, Brass, Copper, or Nickel
Olight M1X Striker Flashlight
A bit on the big and hefty side of the spectrum for some, Olight’s M1X Striker flashlight may just be the best self-defense flashlight around that could feasibly fit into your pocket. It’s built from sturdy aerospace-grade aluminum, has a beefy toothed bezel, boasts a bonkers lumen range of 0.5-1,000, can run for a whopping 360-hours on a single battery, and it’s IPX8 water-resistant. Truly, this is a magnificent portable torch.
Peak LED Solutions Eiger Flashlight
With most of the flashlights on this list, you’re stuck with either a single lighting mode or a number of non-variable modes. The Peak LED Solutions Eiger, however, uses something called Quantum Tunneling Technology that allows you to set the flashlight at any brightness between an ultra-dim glow to the top end of its output spectrum. This also happens to be the world’s most powerful single AAA battery flashlight around and that makes it even more special. Perhaps best of all, it’s made in the USA.
Material: Aluminum, Brass, or Stainless Steel
SOG Dark Energy DE-01 Flashlight
Known for their tactical bladed tools and everyday carry knives, SOG knows a thing or two about building sturdy gear. And, as it turns out, that translates beautifully into their EDC-friendly, self-defense focused Dark Energy DE-01 flashlight. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but made to survive an impact with an oncoming attacker, this tooth-bezel flashlight is built from sturdy aerospace-grade aluminum, weighs three ounces, has IPX7 waterproofing, and produces plenty of light for all your illumination needs.
Foursevens Mini Turbo MKIII Flashlight
Clocking in at about the size of a small thumb, the Foursevens Mini Turbo MKIII is the very definition of a tiny titan. Despite its minuscule size, this portable, pocketable torch offers up an illumination range of 0.5-700 lumens across several levels — making it perfect for normal everyday lighting situations, as well as those that call for a bit more. It also has a save function, so you can turn it back onto the last mode used. Plus it boasts IPX8 water-resistance.
SureFire Defender Ultra E2D Flashlight
SureFire makes a wide variety of flashlights, but their Defender series of self-defense flashlights are about as legendary as portable torches come. The Ultra E2D you see here is an ideal size for pocket storage, but its aerospace aluminum body and toothed bezel ensure that it can take plenty of punishment and dole it out, as well. It also puts out 600 lumens at its brightest setting, five at its lowest, and has a simple push-button tail cap.
Nitecore TM10K Tiny Monster Flashlight
Although it’s a bit on the bigger end of the everyday carry flashlight spectrum, there’s a reason the Nitecore TM10K is so beefy: it produces a monstrous 10,000-lumen burst at its highest output. That’s enough to blind any attacker — human or otherwise — that might be coming after you. Of course, it’s also useful as a regular flashlight with its other illumination modes ranging from 400 to 2,000 lumens. Plus, it’s rechargeable and super durable with its aerospace aluminum body.
Muyshondt Flieger Flashlight
The cream-of-the-crop of the flashlight world, Muyshondt is quite legitimately a luxury portable torch brand of the highest caliber. And while they have a number of different models, we’re particularly fond of their flagship offering, the Flieger. This particular model is made from ultralight, ultra-durable titanium; it has an impressive range of 1-720 lumens across a whopping five different levels; it’s completely weather-sealed for use in all conditions; and it boasts simple push-button functionality.
What Are Lumens & Why Do They Matter?
One of the most important metrics to take into account when choosing a flashlight is light output. Learn all about how it is measured on our comprehensive guide explaining what lumens are.