Best EDC Flashlight in 2020 Complete Reviews with Comparisons

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Whether you need an EDC flashlight to help you at work, on nature walks, or you just need it for safety reasons, choosing the right one has never been an easy decision. That’s why we’ve reviewed five fantastic models to show you all the options available.

We hope this article helps you to learn more about essential features every flashlight should have, and to select the best EDC flashlight for your needs.

Comparison Chart

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J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight – The Original 300 Lumen Ultra Bright, LED Mini 3 Mode Flashlight
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Streamlight 88033 ProTac 2AA 250 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight with High/Low/Strobe w/ 2 x AA Batteries – 250 Lumens
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OLIGHT 90 Lumens i3E EOS PMMA TIR Lens AAA Flashlight Compact Keychain Flashlite EDC Flashlight
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Fenix E12 Flashlight Pocket-Sized bright flashlight 130 Lumens
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COAST HP1 190 Lumen Pure Beam Focusing LED Flashlight

Best EDC Flashlights Reviews

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight – The Original 300 Lumen Ultra Bright

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This model has been the company’s bestseller for years now. It’s universal, powerful, and it’s safe to say it may be the only EDC flashlight you’ll ever need.

Product Highlights

It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular EDC flashlights around. It’s small, compact but super-powerful. You can use it in three modes: high, low, and strobe.

All you have to do if you want to switch from one mode to another is to half-press the mode button. That way, you’ll always be prepared for whatever may come your way.

In the high mode, it can reach an impressive 300 lumens. In other words, the beam can reach up to 600 ft., or you could create ambient lightning for one whole room.

What’s more, it can run for hours on a single AA battery, so it won’t let you down.

This is one of the most resistant models; it can survive being temporarily submerged in water as if nothing happened. It’s also been tested by putting it in a freezer for a designated period – nothing happened. Therefore, it may be the best EDC flashlight for heavy rain, snow, or hiking.

This model comes with a 1-year no-questions-asked warranty. If you’re not satisfied, you can have it replaced or get your money back.

The Good

A feature that makes this model so universal is its adjustable focus range. In other words, you can zoom in when you need an intense beam, or you can zoom out when you need wider illumination. This makes it suitable for all situations and allows you to adjust quickly.

The Bad

The only thing that could be improved is the quality of the buttons. If you switch modes too often, after a year or so, the flashlight may not be turning on as fast as it used to.

It’s not a major issue, but it can be irritating when you need it urgently. Therefore, we suggest you don’t play with switching modes for fun, even if it is tempting.

Pros

  • Very bright
  • Three lighting modes
  • Zoom in and out
  • Compact
  • Climate resistant

Cons

Minor issues with buttons

Streamlight 88033 ProTac 2AA 250 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight

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This model is designed with optimal functionality in mind. It has some unique features for your comfort and convenience. And, as you’ll see, it’s versatile and suitable for professional use as well.

Product Highlights

If you’re looking for an EDC flashlight to carry in your pocket, you have to check out this model. It’s compact, and has a beautiful marker pen like design. Thanks to the removable pocket clip, it’ll be safe in your pocket even though you might be carrying sharp objects, such as keys.

There are two different modalities. If you apply the highest mode, you can get up to 250 lumens, which is impressive. In fact, it’s the kind of flashlight law-enforcement agents use. If used in the highest mode, the battery lasts up to 2 hours.

On the other hand, if you opt for the lowest mode, which is 18 lumens, you can get more than 40 hours of light. As you can see, this model is very versatile; it can be used in emergencies, but it’s also handy when you go camping and need some background light.

It has an IPX 7 rating, which means it can be underwater (up to 1-meter deep) for 30 minutes without any problems.

The Good

As much as we like the overall design of this EDC flashlight, there’s one feature that stands out even more. It has an anti-roll head, designed for your convenience. One would think that all cylindrical flashlights have this feature, but that’s not the case. If that’s important to you, be sure to check out this model.

The Bad

Although it’s perfect for emergencies and police officers, ordinary people complained that there should be more modalities. On a regular basis, most of us don’t need a 250-lumen flashlight — what we need is something in between, nor too high, nor too low.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Very bright
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Anti-roll head

Cons

It could have more options

OLIGHT 90 Lumens i3E EOS PMMA

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This OLIGHT model is the smallest EDC flashlight we’ve seen recently. If you’re looking for something lightweight that you could carry on your keychain, this may be the best EDC flashlight for you.

Product Highlights

This model has the size and weight of an AA battery. Whether you carry it in your pocket or on a keychain, you’ll barely know it’s there until you need it.

However, don’t let that fool you into thinking this model isn’t powerful. Its features could easily be compared to those of larger and more expensive models.

With only one AA battery, it can reach up to 90 lumens, which should be enough for most people. It’s straightforward and easy to use, without any unnecessary buttons. That’s why many people pick this model as their first EDC flashlight.

Finally, we were pleasantly surprised to find that this model has an IPX 8 ranking, making it one of the most waterproof flashlights on the market.

It can stay underwater for several hours, which makes it perfect for night fishing.

OLIGHT gives a 5-year warranty for this model. Therefore, if anything happens within that period, you can have your flashlight repaired.

The Good

The feature that strikes us the most is the size of this EDC flashlight. It makes it suitable for everyone, even for children.

Others who could benefit from this flashlight are those who carry multiple EDC flashlights. You always need the one that would be most accessible and easiest to use, and that’s what you have here.

The Bad

It’d be unrealistic to expect miracles for less than $10. Therefore, this EDC flashlight isn’t made to last forever, and after a while, you may experience some issues. However, the low price and the warranty make it worth the risk.

Pros

  • Very small and compact
  • Lightweight
  • IPX 8 ranking
  • Easy to use
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

Somewhat lower quality

Fenix E12 Flashlight Pocket-Sized Bright Flashlight 130 Lumens

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This is one of the most popular models from the Fenix Everyday Carry series. It’s practical, adjustable, and easy to use. As you’ll see, it’s suitable for various purposes, both in daily situations and emergencies.

Product Highlights

If we had to point out only one feature that makes this model exceptional, we’d say it’s its flexibility. There are three modalities available. In the highest mode, it can generate up to 130 lumens with a single AA battery.

If you opt for a medium modality (50 lumens), the light can last up to six hours and 30 minutes, while the lowest modality (eight lumens) guarantees 40 hours of light. This makes it perfect for outdoor parties, evening barbecues, or camping.

It’s carefully designed, keeping in mind that you won’t always have both of your hands free. In fact, you can use all its features and quickly switch from one mode to the other, with only one hand. It makes this EDC flashlight the perfect partner for hiking, climbing, or any other outdoor activity.

You can take it on any adventure with you, as it’s waterproof. It meets an IPX 8 standard, which means it can be fully submerged in water, up to two meters deep. That’s not all as this model is protected from corrosion and abrasion, thanks to the anodized aluminum.

The Good

As just mentioned, the coating made of premium anodized aluminum guarantees additional protection. You don’t have to worry about water, moisture, or even damage due to dropping. This is an ideal model for camping and adventure lovers, no matter what the weather conditions may be.

The Bad

When used in the highest modality, the battery can last up to two hours, which is excellent. However, be careful, as this EDC flashlight tends to get hot after a while. We haven’t experienced this issue at lower modalities, but it’s something to think about.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Corrosion protection
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Perfect for outdoors

Cons

It can get very hot

COAST HP1 190 Lumen Pure Beam Focusing LED Flashlight

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In the shape of a traditional flashlight, this model has so much to offer. It’s small and compact, but reliable. Moreover, it’s adjustable, which means you can choose the type of batteries on the go – perfect for indecisive people.

Product Highlights

If you’re into flashlights, then you may have heard of COAST. It’s a family-owned company that’s been producing flashlights for more than 100 years. This model is a combination of their well-known quality and some of the most modern features, such as zoom.

Small size and lightweight, you can carry it in your pocket wherever you go. What’s more, it comes with an adjustable pocket clip for more convenience. Talking about comfort, this may be the cheapest model on the market. That makes it perfect for those who already have an EDC flashlight but may need another, smaller one.

Considering its small size and affordable price, this model has an excellent brightness. It can reach the intensity of up to 190 lumens, which is suitable even for challenging conditions in nature.

The zoom, or the Pure Beam Focusing Optic as they call it, allows you to illuminate small objects with fantastic precision. It’s perfect for outdoors, but it can also be an excellent option for people who work in their garage. It allows you to see everything with high precision, even in the darkest rooms.

The Good

The coolest thing about this model is that it can be used with various types of batteries. This makes it perfect for those of us who aren’t sure what’s more convenient for them until they try. Therefore, you can use it with standard AA batteries, but you could also use it with rechargeable batteries (NiMH or Lithium 14500).

The Bad

It’s not surprising that this one doesn’t come with a battery. That’s not a significant issue as you can buy ordinary AA batteries or use it with rechargeable batteries you have at home. However, it’s worth mentioning to avoid an unpleasant surprise when it arrives.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Zoom in feature
  • Very bright
  • Versatile
  • Can use different types of batteries

Cons

It doesn’t come with a battery

Buyer’s Guide

There are two groups of people — those who use a flashlight daily and those who like to have one close by for emergencies.

No matter which group you’re in, it’s essential to pick a reliable EDC flashlight. If you’ve never been in this situation before, you can read our guide to find out the most important factors to consider.

You have to pay attention to many details, such as lumen or battery type. However, there are also some personal factors, like design and your budget.

Build Quality

The flashlight is one of those things you buy once and that lasts for years if you’ve chosen well. Therefore, we suggest you opt for high-quality models, even if they cost a bit more.

When it comes to material, the two most popular choices are either plastic or anodized aluminum.

You can find really cheap plastic models, but to avoid disappointment, we suggest you invest in high-quality, durable plastic. Moreover, some EDC flashlights feature stainless steel in the head area, for extra impact resistance.

If you choose a cylindrical flashlight, look for profiled models, as they won’t roll when you put them down.

On the other hand, if you often feel like a flashlight is slipping from your hands, look for models with a knurled pattern on the surface. They provide a more secure grip, and you’ll feel more confident.

Design and Ergonomics

Design plays an important role when choosing the right EDC flashlight. Not because of its looks, but because they need to be very convenient.

You should always select a model that can be held with one hand, as that’s the most practical solution. The good news is that nowadays almost all manufacturers meet ergonomic standards.

Another important factor is the size of your flashlight. As you know, a bigger flashlight doesn’t guarantee more light, and vice versa. Therefore, everything depends on your needs.

If you plan to carry your EDC flashlight in your pocket all day long, we suggest you opt for small, compact models.

Battery Type

Choosing battery type depends a lot on your habits and your budget in a given moment. EDC flashlights usually come with one of the following three types of batteries:

Disposable Batteries

Most models come either with AA or CR123 batteries. While AA batteries are available everywhere, bear in mind that CR123 may be somewhat more expensive and more difficult to find.

Rechargeable Batteries

At first, rechargeable batteries seem like a more expensive solution. However, for people who use an EDC flashlight often, they can actually be a far more economical solution.

All you have to do is invest your money once, and you can later recharge them through a USB connection.

Renewable Batteries

Emergency kits usually contain flashlights with renewable batteries. The battery is energized either by a hand crank or a solar panel, and it’s perfect for those situations when you don’t have time to think about charging.

If possible, we always suggest you opt for rechargeable batteries. In the long run, you’ll save some money, produce less waste, and you won’t have to think whether you’ve forgotten to buy a new set of batteries.

Waterproof

Although most flashlight manufacturers claim their products are waterproof, there’s a big difference among them. Like many other items, flashlights use the IPX system to indicate the level of protection against water or any other liquid. The higher the IPX rate, the product can resist more water.

Let’s see some of the most common ratings when it comes to EDC flashlights.

IPX 4

This means the flashlight is waterproof, but just to a certain degree. It won’t get affected by rain, moisture, or condensation, but that doesn’t mean you can submerge it in water.

IPX 7

This means the flashlight is waterproof even if submerged in water for 30 minutes. The depth of water shouldn’t be more than one meter. A flashlight with this label should meet almost anyone’s need, except if you’re a professional diver.

IPX 8

This means the flashlight can stay under the water for a long time, even several hours. There will always be an additional sign that says how deep you can submerge the item in water. For most flashlights, the maximum depth is 20 meters.

Lumens

Every flashlight packaging has information about the number of lumens. A lumen is a unit that measures how much light a flashlight can produce.

Of course, the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light produced. EDC flashlights can have anywhere from 10 to more than 1000 lumens.

Everything depends on what you’re going to use the flashlight for. Here’s a guide that might help you:

< 20 Lumens

You can use it for basic things such as walking in the dark or finding the keyhole.

20-35 Lumens

Most people use flashlights of this range for doing housework or working in their garage.

35-100 Lumens

You need an EDC flashlight at least of this range if you want to go camping or hiking.

> 100 lumens

This is what police and firefighters require.

> 10,000 Lumens

You’ll need this powerful flashlight only in extreme outdoor conditions, such as rescuing.

FAQs

How Many Lumens for an EDC Flashlight?

Most EDC flashlights have from 50-250 lumens, which leaves a lot of room for choice.

Of course, everything depends on what you need, but we’d say that 150 lumens should be enough for everyday use. The best thing you can do is buy an EDC flashlight with multiple lumen modalities, so you can adjust the light according to your needs.

How Do Carry Your EDC Flashlight?

Everything depends on the size of your EDC flashlight. Most people carry it in the front pocket of their trousers, as it allows them to react quickly.

However, if you already carry your phone in your pocket and there’s not enough space, there’s an alternative. You can make a simple belt holster and tie it to your trousers.

Another good idea is to carry it in the internal pockets of your jacket. However, this doesn’t work all-year-round for most people. If you have a small EDC flashlight, you could carry it on your keychain. There are even small leather cases available for that purpose.

How Long Does an EDC Flashlight Battery Last?

It’s hard to estimate as everything depends on the battery type and the number of lumens. Generally speaking, the more lumens your flashlight has, the shorter time it will last.

If your EDC flashlight has less than 50 lumens, it can last from 20 up to 50 hours, depending on the quality. Those in a range from 50 to 150 lumens will last from 6 to 12 hours.

If you purchase an EDC flashlight with more than 150 lumens and use it on the highest settings, it can last from 2-8 hours, at best.

Final Verdict

All the EDC flashlights we’ve shown you are high-quality and practical. Of course, everything depends on your needs and where you’re going to use it.

If we had to select the best EDC flashlight, that would be J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight – The Original 300 Lumen Ultra Bright. It’s compact and very resistant.

With three different modalities, it should suit everyone’s needs. The feature we love the most is a fantastic zoom-in option.

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