Need a flashlight for your EDC? Here’s a list of our favorite options to choose from.
Here’s a funny story. One evening, I was out for beers with co-workers. When the check came, I pulled my wallet out of my pocket, and my Hoto flashlight fell out. One of my companions asked why I carry a flashlight around. “You’re not a cop or a Navy SEAL, after all.”
There was a city-wide blackout no more than two minutes later.
I’m not saying that having an EDC flashlight means living life hoping blackouts would constantly happen to feel useful. The point of everyday carry is self-sufficiency and preparedness. Simple everyday problems, like dropping something in a small, dark corner, might require some light.
In this article, I’ll cover 15 useful flashlights for your EDC curation.
Here are our recommendations from the list:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
15 Best Everyday Carry Flashlights
Here they are, representing a range of levels and, of course, price points:
Hoto Flashlight Lite
I love a flashlight built for the outdoors. They can sometimes be pretty 101 when it comes to function, but that’s all some of us need. The Hoto Flashlight Lite is easy to use, has three brightness levels, and even comes with an SOS and strobe mode — so it’s sort of like a basic flashlight plus.
It’s lightweight but also durable. I’ve definitely hung this flashlight in my tent as a makeshift ceiling light on camp trips.
Other cool features include a detachable diffuser and a focus option that lets you zoom or spread the light.
Nitecore P10i Tactical Flashlight
Built for law enforcement and military personnel, the Nitecore P10i Tactical Flashlight is an efficient partnership of tactics and technology.
Its 1800-lumen light has a max throw of 317 yards and is fully strobe-ready. By the way, as much as this is a serious flashlight, that strobe is also a fun little party trick.
Additionally, this flashlight is wildly durable. It’s impact-resistant and impressively waterproof. It has an IP68 water-proof rating, which means it can handle 1.5 meters of immersion for half an hour. This rating also means it’s dust protected.
Plus, this flashlight even comes with a cool holster.
Olight SR1 Baton II Flashlight
Believe it or not, the Olight SR1 Baton II is literally finger-sized. If I were giving out awards in this round-up, I’d definitely give this guy the “most portable flashlight” win.
Despite being so tiny, the Baton II has a 44-meter beam with 1,000 lumens, thanks to its TIR optic lens. This lens essentially assembles the light and concentrates it at full intensity. It’s not a hardcore military flashlight, but it’s the best in its size.
It’s equipped with a dual-direction pocket clip. I’ve attached this light to my backpack, my belt, and even on my hat brim during night hikes to light the way.
And if you have big hands, no worries. The body is textured and ergonomic to help even the gentlest giants with grip.
Smith & Wesson Military & MP12 Tactical Light
The Military & MP12 Tactical Light from Smith & Wesson is a high-value flashlight, sitting in the sub-100 price category but offering a lot of specs.
Its beam projects 242 meters, or just 32 if it’s on the low setting, and a respectable 875 lumens balanced out with a highly convenient 43-hour runtime in the low setting.
The flashlight’s body is made of aerospace aluminum, anodized for abrasion and corrosion resistance, and has a nice surface sheen. Speaking of its construction, the polygonic edges on the cap make it easy to use and prevent the flashlight from rolling away.
Streamlight 88810 Wedge
There’s so much to like about the shape of the Streamlight 8810 Wedge.
From a function perspective, the extra swerves near the light make it highly graspable. It obviously won’t roll away because of its blocky composition, while its thin profile makes it easy to slip in and out of your pocket sans bulk.
Also, you can adjust the pocket clip depending on whether you’re right-handed or left-handed.
And finally, from a style perspective, it just looks so sleek and streamlined, especially if you remove the clip.
The power switch is operated via rotation. I personally prefer this to an up-and-down switch because, as it is, I use my thumbs way too much, scrolling on my phone throughout the day. Use this switch to activate one of two levels: a 300-lumen low setting and a 1,000-lumen high setting.
Barebones Vintage Flashlight
Okay, so I’ll get to the practical functions of the Barebones Vintage Flashlight in a second, but can we take a moment to look at how stylish it is?
This flashlight flaunts a specific kind of vintage, from the wire halo on the reflector and glass to the Jetsons-esque sculptural build of the light end. It’s that retro-futuristic aesthetic that has old-school World’s Fair vibes.
Of course, it’s also made out of water-resistant aluminum and steel.
The LED light is adjustable and can last a full day. Meanwhile, the USB-rechargeable battery is a nice modern creature comfort.
18650 Flashlight Convoy S2+
Yes, you can find an EDC-quality flashlight without having to spend too much more than you would on a basic and standard model at Walgreens. It’s a great option for EDC beginners and quite a popular base for modders (and would-be modders if you’re interested in getting into that).
The 18650 Flashlight Convoy S2+ checks all functional prerequisites, including a decent 440-lumen output. It also has a lightweight and strong aluminum construction, and even options to change the beam’s color and tint.
As insurance, this flashlight has reverse-polarity protection, meaning it won’t break down if you accidentally connect the batteries incorrectly.
The Thrunite T1S is user-friendly enough for beginners but has enough functions and specs to satisfy your advanced EDC gents. And that magnetic tailcap makes this flashlight quite versatile when it comes to placement and hands-free options.
Exceedingly tiny and slim, the T1S (weighing only 1.4 ounces) can fit in any EDC bag or pant pocket. But, like the Olight flashlight, it’s equipped with a TIR optic, which ups the beam’s intensity — a welcome upgrade from the Thrunite T1S’s predecessor.
In turbo mode, in its first few minutes of activation, the light is actually way brighter than the 1212 lumens it claims to have.
It also comes in a green and sort of gold mustard colorway. The aluminum surface really shines in both of these options.
Helotex 1000 Lumens Tactical Light
A tactical piece of gear, the Helotex 1000 Lumens Light is a performance-forward flashlight with a lot of power. First, as its name indicates, its output is 1000 lumens, which is usually the case with lights used in search and rescue missions.
It boasts almost three hours of runtime on high and a whopping 72 hours on low.
Naturally, this light comes with a strobe mode, three levels of light, and an anodized aluminum body that’s light and tough as nails. The O-ring seals provide extra protection from pressure, temperature, and, of course, water.
HDS Rotary CR123A Flashlight
Undeniably professional, the HDS Rotary CR123A Flashlight is bomb-proof, a strappingly overbuilt tank perfect for those who put your gear through the ringer.
If it can handle a bomb, it can handle you occasionally dropping it onto hard floors.
Despite its advanced build, this flashlight is quite instinctual. You can hold the button down for a one-push activation of the maximum brightness, though there are also 24 whole clicks of adjustable settings via the rotary control.
That’s truly an unmatched range of sophisticated and nuanced brightnesses.
1TAC TC1200 Pro Tactical Flashlight
The 1TAC TC1200 Pro Tactical Flashlight was originally manufactured for the Armed Forces, so it can truly handle any job regarding day-to-day occurrences.
My favorite part about this 1200-lumen flashlight is how crisp the beam is. It’s a Cree LED light, which means a Cree chip powers it. This type of light is especially low-glare and stable, and you get it in five modes here.
Unsurprisingly, this flashlight is a favorite among firemen.
Construction-wise, the body is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, which has a high level of fatigue resistance, while the base is magnetic, providing great adaptability.
For you, more advanced enthusiasts, the Lumintop FWAA is equipped with an Andruil interface. Andruil is a complex UI, but if you take the time to learn it, you can take advantage of several sophisticated functions.
These functions include an adjustable frequency for your strobe even at a static level of brightness.
Ever popular, the FWAA is portable, with a triple LED composition and, of course, a TIR lens. Again, this lens ups the intensity of the beam because it collimates the light.
The turbo option starts at over 2000 lumens for a few seconds, though it’s advertised at only 1400. That’s a lot of power in a three-inch long pocket carry.
Smith and Wesson Galaxy 9 LED Flashlight
Basic and straightforward, the Smith and Wesson Galaxy 9 LED Flashlight is portable, lightweight, and can sit in your toolbox, any random drawer, and, of course, your jacket pocket.
Simplicity and user-friendliness aside, it has a 60-hour runtime and is made of anodized aluminum. It can handle banging around in your backpack and is one of the most functional and durable basic flashlights.
I also love the diamond-cut knurling. It’s small but not difficult to hold or use.
It boasts all the specs you can expect from a premium flashlight, from its 1000 lumens of power to its 210-meter beam. I also love how you can switch from a general flood light to a beam without clicking through some interface.
Plus, its 40-hour runtime is pretty respectable.
Another fun feature is its floating charge system. You mount it on the wall, which is convenient but also kind of cool-looking. Charging systems like this make me feel like I’m in my own advanced Batcave.
Fenix PD35 V3.0 18650 Flashlight
I don’t mean to get caught up in looks again, but the multi-surface, textured body of the Fenix PD35 V3.0 18650 Flashlight gives it a techy, advanced aesthetic. All that to say, it really is an advanced flashlight, and all of those visual features have practical purpose.
It’s strong yet light, easy to grip, and flaunts a maximum brightness of 1700 lumens. There’s a total of five levels here, as well as a strobe mode, so all boxes are checked.
That battery indicator, by the way, is so helpful. Flashlights either don’t have a power indicator or require you to click through a menu to get there. I’m an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of guy, so the latter is equivalent to the former in my world.
And if your battery does start to run out, just recharge it via the micro USB.
Are you still wondering about EDC flashlights? Here are some common questions (and the answers to those questions, of course!).
What flashlight do Navy SEALS use?
They use tactical, durable, and waterproof flashlights, like the 1TAC TC1200 Pro Tactical Flashlight.
What is the highest power EDC flashlight?
The world’s brightest flashlight has a maximum output of 120,000 lumens, which is a lot more than most people need.
How many lumens should an EDC flashlight have?
They should at least have anywhere from 300 to 980 lumens, though a lot of the more advanced ones can have over 1000.
Don’t Get Caught in the Dark
I hope I’ve convinced you to add at least a simple flashlight to your everyday carry items.
Think about how useful it’ll be if you have car trouble at night, drop something in a tight corner, or, for you fashion buffs, need to assess the knit of a fabric.
Plus, doesn’t everyone want to be the designated useful guy in a group of friends?
Is a flashlight part of your EDC? Why or why not?