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Best EDC Flashlight

Last Updated: January 21, 2020
Terry Daine
Product Review by Terry Daine

There are some items you just shouldn’t be without, especially in a survival situation.

An EDC flashlight is one of the most crucial everyday carry items you’ll need. They are more portable and convenient than tactical flashlights, and can instead fit into your pocket or even on a keychain.

Having a flashlight on you at all times will help you to stay safe in an emergency, and could even save your life during serious disasters. But with so many pocket flashlights to choose from, you can be spoilt for choice.

That’s why we’ve reviewed five products to help you find the best EDC flashlight to suit your survival needs. Once you’ve read our reviews, along with our handy buyer’s guide, you’ll soon be able to find the best pocket flashlight to carry with you all day, every day.

Our Reviews
1

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

The J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight is described as ‘tactical,’ so you can expect more features than a standard flashlight.

It comes with three different light settings (high, low, and strobe), with a wide-to-narrow beam zoom to give you optimum vision no matter what. The beam zoom works great for survival situations, where you may need to hunt or scope out enemies.

It is compact as well as durable, and can survive a drop of up to 9 feet. This is ideal for survival, as you’ll need a flashlight that can last even when you’re on the run.

The J5 flashlight can also be submerged in water temporarily without too much damage, and it is suitable for use in rain or snow.

It has a maximum output of 300 lumens, so while not the brightest light, it remains a good brightness level for an everyday carry. It can also reach distances as far as 600 feet.

As a tactical flashlight, you’d expect heavy-duty performance, but maybe not in such a lightweight form as this flashlight. It weighs only 2.29oz, so it will fit perfectly as a pocket-sized flashlight.

With a great combination of power and durability, it’s surprising to see this flashlight as a budget-friendly option that won’t break the bank.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Three different light settings makes it versatile
  • Can light up distances as far as 600 feet
  • Durable and can survive a 9ft drop
  • Will still work after temporarily being submerged in water

Cons

  • Battery not included
  • Not the strongest lumen output
  • Some customers have claimed that the battery life isn't great, and that the brightness can start to dim after a few uses
2

ThorFire 18650 Flashlight

The ThorFire 18650 Flashlight has a powerful Lumen output, delivering a maximum of 1070 Lumen. Not only is the light powerful, but it can reach long distances, with the beam lighting up as far as 600 feet away.

It is equipped with five different modes – Firefly, Low, Mid, High, and Turbo. It comes with a tail switch to turn the light on, and only requires a simple click to turn it off.

You can expect a long-lasting battery with this flashlight, which is exactly what you need in a survival situation. It has a 1850 lithium battery, which will last you longer than more conventional AA batteries.

The flashlight also comes with a removable clip, so you can easily attach it to your survival gear or belt. It is lightweight and compact, weighing 2.76oz, so it will fit nicely in a pocket and won’t weigh you down when you’re on the run.

The ThorFire 18560 has one of the brightest lumen outputs we’ve seen in an EDC flashlight. For such a small and compact product, it’s great to see it not compromise on power and brightness, so you can feel safe whenever you need to use this flashlight.

Pros

  • Powerful and bright light, reaching 1070 Lumen at maximum output
  • Five different light modes for versatile use
  • Far-reaching beam is useful for survival
  • Easy to attach to survival gear
  • Switch is simple to operate

Cons

  • Some customers have found that the switch button isn't always reliable
3

Olight S1R II LED Flashlight

The Olight S1R II LED Flashlight is able to emit 1000 lumens at its maximum output.

It comes with a second-generation TIR optic lens, which enhances the beam’s performance and gives you a balanced hotspot for excellent clarity.

It is powered by one IMR16340 rechargeable lithium battery, so it is a reliable flashlight and can deliver a lot of power from one single battery. The power is measured by three different colors (green, yellow, and red, respectively), so you can always know how much energy your flashlight has left.

As the second generation in the S1R series, this flashlight is an upgrade from the previous model due to its smaller and lighter design, making it ideal to keep in your pocket during a survival scenario.

In a survival situation, you will need all of your gear to be reliable and safe to use. With this in mind, the S1R II is designed with a texturized body pattern, so you’ll be able to grip the flashlight firmly and comfortably. This ensures that it won’t slip out of your hand when you need it the most.

Included with the flashlight is an MCC II magnetic USB charging cable, which is also compatible with all Olight MCC rechargeable products. The cable is thin and easy to carry in your backpack, and has a fast 1A charging speed for extra convenience.

Pros

  • Powerful maximum output of 1000 Lumens
  • TIR optic gives increased clarity and precision
  • Colored power indicator to show battery life
  • Powered by a single IMR16340 lithium-manganese rechargeable battery
  • Compact design, with a texturized body pattern for a firm grip

Cons

  • Not budget-friendly
  • Some customers have found that it gets too hot on the brightest light setting
4

COAST G22 Eye Spot Beam LED Penlight

When it comes to choosing a tough EDC flashlight, the COAST G22 Eye Spot Beam LED Penlight is a great option to consider.

It is IPX4 rated, so it is designed to be water-resistant. The flashlight is made from water-resistant aluminum, and can also survive a drop of 1-meter.

This flashlight offers a precise light, as it features a bulls-eye spot beam optic. This means the beam will fix a ‘hot spot’ on an object, and surround it with a soft halo of transitional light, in order to enhance the overall field of view. This is an excellent feature for when you need to identify an animal or enemy in the darkness.

It comes with two light modes, one that projects 45 lumens of light (low), and one at 100 lumens (high). The low setting has a beam distance of 38 meters, while the high setting can reach up to 55 meters.

It is designed to run for 5.5 hours on low, and 1.75 hours on high, so it should last you during a survival scenario and you can alter the settings where necessary.

Although this flashlight doesn’t project as brightly as other flashlights on our list, it is worth considering whether you need an extremely bright light for an everyday carry, or whether 100 lumens would be sufficient.

Pros

  • Water-resistant and IPX4 rated
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • High and low light modes
  • Bulls-eye spot beam optic for precision
  • Comes with pocket clip, so you can attach it on your gear for convenience

Cons

  • Not as bright as competitor flashlights
  • Some customers have had issues with the on/off switch and claim that it isn't reliable
  • Not the most lightweight option
5

Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED Flashlight

The Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED Flashlight is equipped with white LED technology, and can emit light as bright as 600 lumens, which is ideal for an EDC.

However, it comes with three different light settings, so you can adjust the light depending on your situation. The strobe setting can be used for rescue purposes, or to disorient an enemy, which is exactly what you need in a survival scenario.

It claims to have a 50,000 hour lifetime, so this flashlight should see you through many expeditions and potential survival situations (although we hope you don’t have to face any at all)!

It has a slip-resistant grip and is comfortable to hold, so you don’t have to worry about it falling out of your hand during a crucial moment.

The flashlight comes with a multi-position, detachable pocket clip, so you can keep it on your person at all times. It also includes two 3V CR123A lithium batteries, so it can store energy for longer and therefore stay bright during its lifespan.

Not only is it a powerful flashlight, but it is also compact and lightweight. It weighs 4.2oz with the battery included, and would fit well in a pocket to make a great everyday carry.

Pros

  • 50,000 hour lifetime
  • Slip-resistant grip, with the body designed from high-impact nylon polymer
  • IPX7 rated, so it is waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
  • Includes two CR123A lithium batteries that will provide long-lasting brightness
  • Three different light settings (high, strobe, and low)
  • Maximum output of 600 Lumens

Cons

  • Some customers have found the on/off switch to be unreliable

Size and Weight

As is true of most survival gear, size plays an essential factor in its convenience. EDC flashlights are designed to be compact, or else their purpose is defeated.

You’ll need an EDC flashlight that can be carried around and stored away easily, while not compromising on its performance. While there is no set size that your flashlight needs to be, aim to choose one that can fit comfortably in a pocket.

Any bigger than this, and your flashlight will likely become more of an inconvenience and less suitable as an everyday carry.

Your flashlight shouldn’t be bulky or sticking out of your pocket. It needs to fit comfortably.

The weight of your flashlight will go hand in hand with its overall size. If your flashlight is too heavy, it will add unnecessary weight to your journey, and you would be better off with a larger, tactical flashlight instead. Opt for something lightweight and easy to hold.

Lumens

Lumens are the measurement of light being emitted from a light source. A higher lumen corresponds to a brighter light.

For an EDC flashlight, around 100 lumens or more would be sufficient. However, when it comes to choosing the best EDC flashlight, that can help you to search and rescue or find enemies, around 300 to 1000 lumens would be even better.

Type of Battery

When it comes to EDC flashlights, you’ll typically find that they use AA, AAA, or CR123 batteries that can be recharged. It’s important to think about which type of battery would work best.

AA batteries are easy to find and a budget-friendly option. Despite this, they’re generally more powerful than AAA batteries.

AAA batteries are similar to AA batteries, but because of their design, they’re more suited to slimmer flashlights. If you’re budget-conscious, these will be the best option for you.

CR123 batteries use a lithium cell, and can they store more energy than other batteries. Because of this, they emit a brighter light and can last for longer.

Type of Bulb

The type of bulb will have an impact on not only the brightness, but also the battery life.

As you’re looking for a flashlight that will work in survival situations, you shouldn’t settle for less than an LED bulb ideally. These are far brighter than incandescent bulbs, and can withstand more impact.

LED bulbs will last longer, and require less effort from your batteries to emit a bright light. They can also have more power behind flashing and signaling modes.

Durability

It’s crucial that your flashlight is durable against the elements. That’s why we recommend an EDC flashlight designed from metal.

However, metal isn’t always the lightest material, so you’ll need to choose carefully. Flashlights constructed from alloy, aluminum, and stainless metal are great choices, as they’re sturdy but won’t weigh you down.

Metals such as these will provide shock resistance, and can often prevent rust and corrosion if they have special coatings. These are important things to look for in any piece of survival gear, but especially one that you’ll have on hand every day.

Tactical Features

Your EDC flashlight should be capable of helping you in serious emergencies, despite its small size. That’s where signaling and flashing features can save the day.

A flashlight with a strobe function will make it much easier for people to find you, or for you to find them. Flashing can be used to communicate with people who are at a distance as well, and could be a life-saving feature. It’s definitely not something to overlook when finding the best EDC flashlight.

In addition to signaling capabilities, your flashlight should also have a beam, and its output should ideally be adjustable.

A beam adds a level of versatility to your EDC flashlight. It allows you to illuminate your campsite or shelter, and can increase your vision during a search mission.

Attachment for Convenience

EDC flashlights are defined as everyday carry items because of how easy they can be transported. This will be made even easier if your flashlight can be attached to you, instead of just fitting into your pocket.

The flashlight can be attached through various means. It may come with a lanyard or a loop so it can fit around your neck for extra convenience.

Keychains and keyrings are also great ways to keep your flashlight in an easy to reach place. You can also use these attachment features to hook your flashlight onto your bag or belt, so you won’t have to worry about rummaging for it in your backpack when it gets dark.

Switch Functions

For most EDC flashlights, the convenience of the switch won’t be an issue. Because of their tactical purposes, these flashlights will usually have switches that easy to control and access.

There are different types of switches though, and it comes down to personal preference as to which one is best for you. Whether its a head button, a twisting head, a tail switch, or a sliding switch, there will be a switch that you find more comfortable.

However, some of the best EDC flashlights will have two switches instead of one. They may have a combination of a tail and head switch, which may give you better control and provide you with more versatility and room to make adjustments.

Recap

As far as everyday carry items go, an EDC flashlight is undoubtedly one of the most important to have on hand.

With its versatile uses and life-saving capabilities, choosing an EDC flashlight is a decision that should be made carefully. After considering all of the products, however, my pick for the best EDC flashlight would be the ThorFire 18650 Flashlight.

Despite its budget-friendly price, this pocket flashlight does not hold back on power, having the brightest light output on our list. In a serious survival situation, this kind of illuminating light is exactly what you’ll need for optimal vision and clarity.

It is simple and easy to use, so you don’t need to worry about adjusting lots of switches and panicking when the time comes to use it.

And the best part about this product? It packs a powerful light despite comfortably fitting in your pocket.

Thanks for reading, and we hope our reviews have helped you to find the best EDC flashlight for you. Please leave any feedback in the comments section below and share your thoughts with us!

If you have any suggestions for future topics, please get in touch with us via our social media pages, which are linked below. We’d love to hear from you!

Good Luck and Happy Survival Prepping!

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