Best EDC Flashlights: See Things More Clearly

Illuminate narrow passageways and small spaces with these EDC flashlights

Best Overall

Streamlight Microstream Flashlight

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Best Value

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

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Honorable Mention

ThruNite Ti3 V2 Keychain Flashlight

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An Everyday Carry, or EDC, flashlight can help you in everyday emergency situations around your home, garage, or when camping. If you drop anything under the hood of your car, drop your keys in a bush, or need to find your way in a dark room, you can whip out the flashlight and illuminate the area. If you are in the market for one of the best EDC flashlights, consider some of the options in our buying guide below.

Summary List

Types of EDC Flashlights

18650 Flashlights

These are some of the most reliable everyday carry flashlights on the market today. The name is derived from the length of the battery, which is 18 millimeters by 65 millimeters. The flashlights in this category use the latest LED technology to produce lights that can go up to 100,000 hours of service. The beam’s area of coverage is spectacular, and the battery can give you numerous modes of lighting.

Rechargeable Flashlights

Technology is slowly shifting us away from flashlights that you can only use again with a new set of batteries. USB rechargeable flashlights are the future. Armed with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, they can last more than a year with 1000+ cycles. The only downside with these batteries is that they take longer to fully—charge between 8-10 hours—but you can charge them at night before you use them.

AAA Flashlights

These tactical flashlights are smaller than AA flashlights. They are durable, sturdy, and produce enough light output for all your lighting needs. The greatest advantage of these flashlights is that they are easy to find. They are widely available all over the world, which makes them cheap and easy to carry.

AA Flashlights

These are the number one competitor of AAA flashlights. In terms of capacity, service duration, and brightness, AA flashlights top the competition. However, they are a bit bigger and bulkier than AAA flashlights. A big advantage of AA flashlights is that they are widely available and easy to find.

Best EDC Flashlights: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

Streamlight Mainstream Flashlight

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Best Value

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

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Honorable Mention

ThruNite Ti3 V2 Keychain Flashlight

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Honorable Mention

Anker Rechargeable Bolder LC40 Flashlight

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Honorable Mention

Streamlight 88061 Protac Tactical Light

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Honorable Mention

Olight S1 EDC LED Flashlight

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Honorable Mention

GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight S1000

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Honorable Mention

Maglite LED 3-Cell D Flashlight

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Our Verdict on the Best EDC Flashlights

Our top pick for the best EDC flashlight is the Streamlight Mainstream Flashlight. It has a sleek and compact design that can fit in your pocket. It also produces a super-bright beam that will help you see everything in a single glance. 

If you are looking for a simple and affordable EDC flashlight, consider the J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight.

Benefits of EDC Flashlights

  • Visibility in darkness: Whether you are looking for something under the car, bed, or sofa, the power went out at night unexpectedly, or you want to hike at night, tactical flashlights are ready to tackle any occasion. They produce powerful beams to fight the evils that lie in the dark.
  • Brilliant conservation: Sometimes getting your phone to use the flashlight app is hectic. Imagine you are in denim jeans with those small pockets. It’s a battle trying to reach your pocket, take out your phone, scroll through the applications, and switch on the flashlight. The battle continues when returning the phone. Plus, it sucks when you remember that you have to use the phone again to check on something. What do you do with an EDC light? You just pick it up, turn it on, and enjoy the powerful light output.
  • Ready weapon: The flashlight produces a super-bright beam that hurts the eyes so bad that the intruder will just walk away. Also, it has a rugged aluminum construction that you can use if the attacker does not back down.
  • It’s law-abiding: All the states in the U.S. have legalized the use of flashlights for your safety. This is good news, since not all the states allow everyone to carry weapons for self-defense. If you can’t carry a gun or knife, this can be a replacement.

Best EDC Flashlights Pricing

  • Below $20: Flashlights in this category have a compact size and are adjustable with exceptional value. Most of these flashlights have only two interchangeable modes between high and low but leave out strobe mode. They don’t have extremely powerful beams—just enough to keep you moving.
  • Above $20: Flashlights in this category produce powerful and brighter light to provide a long beam distance, some of which boast up to over 1,000 lumens that can cover distances of 900 feet. They are very versatile and of high quality. The more money you spend, the higher the quality you get.

Key Features

Battery Type 

The battery type matters a great deal because you know the duration you’d like to use the flashlight. Keep in mind that some batteries are easy to find while others aren’t. Other types, like CR123A batteries, are good performers and will serve you for many hours. However, finding them is an uphill battle because they are rare. On the other hand, AA and AAA batteries are available almost everywhere, but their performance doesn’t match CR123A batteries.

Waterproof Rating

Flashlights come in handy when it’s raining, but how good is the water resistance? A good flashlight should not be affected by water, in any case. Most flashlights with good water resistance are rated using the IPX code. For instance, you can look for flashlights with codes like IPX7, IPX8, and IPX4. IPX ratings are used to describe the level of protection (provided by the design of the device) against fluids. The rating goes from zero (the lowest) to eight (the highest protection level).

Size

There is no need to look for a bulky flashlight that will burden you for nothing. It’s true that the smaller the flashlight, the less quality it offers. But it’s not a bad idea to sacrifice a few things like brightness and service time for comfort. Your ideal size should not be more than 4 inches long.

Serrated Strike Bezel

You should only consider this feature if you live in an unsafe area. The serrated bezel acts as a lethal weapon that you can use to strike your attacker. This feature is very deadly, and it will inflict a lot of pain to the attacker.

Other Considerations

  • Type of Bulb: When the LED light was invented, most people shifted to them, leaving incandescent bulbs on the verge of extinction. LED bulbs have taken the cake in producing flashlights with greater efficiency and less battery consumption than their rivals.
  • Construction: Your flashlight will occasionally fall or get some knocks here and there. It’s important that you look for flashlights with construction that is high quality and sturdy to avoid breaking or cracking.
  • Weight: You already have enough weight to carry, and you don’t need extra. Look for a flashlight that is easy to carry. For instance, flashlights with an aluminum body are a bit lighter than flashlights made up of steel.
  • Lumens: The lumens of your ideal flashlight determine its brightness. While different flashlights come with different lumen ranges, look for the right range to fit your needs. Ideally, it should be between 100 and 1,000 lumens.

Tips

  • If you are a frequent camper, in addition to a flashlight, consider buying a pocket-sized knife or multitool, which can be useful for outdoor activities. 
  • Pack multiple batteries for the flashlight for hiking or camping trips. If your flashlight uses AAA batteries, it’s prudent to get a variety of different brands, so that you can always have a backup. 
  • If you need a flashlight for emergency situations, it’s better to use a simple design that’s easy to switch on when you’re in a rush. 

FAQs

Q: Where is the best place to store an EDC flashlight?

A: An EDC flashlight should be with you at all times since it’s easy to carry around. Attach it to your keychain or store it in the back pocket of your overalls. It will be within reach every time you need it.

Q: How many lumens should an EDC flashlight have?

A: Anything above 30 lumens is bright enough for any task. Also, the lower the number of lumens, the longer the unit will run. A 30-lumen flashlight can run for about 40 hours, and runtime is more important than lumen rating if you need the light for emergencies. However, you need a light with a higher lumen rating above 100 lumens if you need it for mechanical work.  

Q: How often should I change a flashlight’s batteries?

A: Change the batteries every four months to prevent battery leaks caused by extreme weather changes. The battery may drain faster if you store it in a hot environment, such as in a car trunk, or if you use it too frequently. 

Q: How do I prevent battery leakage?

A: A battery leak happens when the battery ages or discharges and excess hydrogen gas is produced. The battery eventually ruptures, and potassium hydroxide leaks out. To prevent that, store your batteries in a cool and dry place where the temperatures range from 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, remove the batteries from the flashlight if you aren’t using it.