Most people depend on their phone flashlights when they need on-the-go lighting. However, if you frequently navigate dark places or feel the need to be ready for anything, EDCs or everyday carry flashlights can be a more practical and better long-term solution for everyday life. Everyday flashlights are often more compact, offer better grip, have more lighting options, and can be brighter than phone flashlights and other types of lighting.
If you’re looking for a reliable EDC flashlight, check out our list of the 6 best EDC flashlights on the market today. With their sleek and solid builds, they’re some of the most durable, versatile, portable, and best-looking EDC lights around. Before all else, however, let’s gain a better understanding about EDC flashlights.
What Is an EDC Flashlight?
“EDC” stands for “everyday carry,” so an EDC flashlight refers to any kind of flashlight that can be easily carried around with you wherever you go.
It’s a great addition to your everyday carry kit as it can be useful in case of emergencies or when you’re outdoors.
This type of flashlight differs from tactical flashlights and regular flashlights because of their more compact and portable nature. Although they are generally less bright than powerful tactical flashlights, they’re sufficient as everyday flashlights.
Which is the best EDC flashlight? Let’s take a look at the best EDC flashlights you’ll want to consider.
1. Olight S2R II
The Olight S2R Baton model has been quite popular since the first generation EDC flashlight emerged in 2016. The second generation doesn’t disappoint as it builds on the success of the first model and packs a punch in a small-sized flashlight.
Olight makes sure to excel in every department, making it one of the best EDC flashlights. You get the Olight S2R Baton II flashlight, a magnetic charger with a magnetic tail, a lanyard, a carry pouch, and an extra pocket clip with your order.
Don’t let the small size deceive you. This best EDC flashlight comes with a maximum output of 1,150 lumens, light intensity of candela calendula, and a beam distance of 443 feet (135 meters).
Easily switch between light outputs. It comes with three standard light modes (400, 120, 15 lumens light), turbo (max output), moonlight (0.5 lumens light), as well as a strobe mode. This best EDC flashlight features an upgraded TIR (total internal reflection) lens for a more balanced and wide beam.
The Olight S2R Baton II measures 3.94 inches (100 millimeters) long with a diameter of 0.91 inches (23 millimeters). It weighs a little over 98 grams with the battery.
The Olight S2R Baton II has a compact build with high-quality knurling to give you an easy grip. The EDC flashlight is IPX8 rated, meaning it is fully waterproof and can handle mild submersion.
Olight rechargeable flashlights come with 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable batteries with a capacity of 3,200mAh and a magnetic tail charging cord.
Although the max output is 1,150 lumens light, it’s best to use it in short bursts of bright light beams as the battery lasts only 2 minutes on this mode.
On a high setting of 400 lumens light, it has an impressive battery life of 4 hours. At lower settings, it lasts 14 hours, 100 hours, and 60 days, depending on the output levels.
The Olight S2R has a battery indicator on the side that tells you when to charge.
2. Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA
Streamlight is a well-known brand that comes to hand-held and weapon-mountable flashlights. It’s no surprise that one of its products has made its way to our list of which is the best EDC flashlight.
The ProTac 1L-1AA is a reliable lightweight, durable, and compact light. It comes with a removable and reversible pocket clip, a nylon holster for easy carrying, a CR123A lithium battery, and the option to run on alkaline power with an alkaline single AA battery.
With the CR123A lithium battery, the Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA gives a maximum output of 350 lumens of light with an intensity of 6,400 candelas, and an impressive beam distance of almost 525 feet (160 meters).
On low settings, the output is 40 lumens with an intensity of 720 candelas and almost 174 feet (53 meters) beam distance.
The pocket flashlight features proprietary TEN-TAP® programming that lets you select between three memory modes: high/strobe/low, high only, and low/high.
This best EDC flashlight from Streamlight measures just 4.25 inches (10.8 centimeters) in length with a 0.95-inch light head diameter and 0.85-inch barrel diameter.
It weighs just 2.5 ounces (71 grams) with the CR123 battery and 2.8 ounces (79 grams) with the AA alkaline batteries.
An EDC flashlight needs to be durable and the ProTac 1L-1AA checks all boxes in this regard.
This best EDC flashlight has a sturdy, anodized aluminum body that makes it resistant to falls. The body isn’t just water-resistant but has an IPX7 waterproof rating for depths of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
It’s also shock-mounted, AR-coated, and features an impact-resistant borofloat glass lens.
This everyday carry flashlight can run on 3 battery types: CR123A lithium batteries, AA alkaline type batteries (both come with the flashlight) and AA lithium batteries. The battery life when using the CR123A is 1.5 hours on high settings, 14 hours on low, and 3 hours with strobe.
Its lighting options make it a versatile choice and a worthy contender when you’re trying to decide which is the best EDC flashlight.
3. SureFire E2D Defender Ultra
After being in business for over 40 years, SureFire has learned not to hold back when it comes to its tactical flashlights.
Despite being higher priced, it’s justified when you consider the SureFire E2D Defender Ultra’s high-quality build and utility.
This powerful pocket flashlight has a maximum output of 1,000 lumens of light with a 10,600-candela peak beam intensity, and a splendid beam distance of 656 feet (200 meters).
On low mode, it gives a gentle output of 5-lumen rating that’s useful for map reading or when you’re looking for something in your glove compartment or your backpack.
It features a TIR lens that helps produce a tight beam of light with a long reach and sufficient surround light source for peripheral vision.
This SureFire E2D Defender Ultra is an ultra-compact flashlight for the insane power it provides, measuring just 5.6 inches (14.2 centimeters) long with a bezel diameter of 1.125 inches (2.85 centimeters).
The flashlight is a little heavier than other EDC flashlights, but it’s barely noticeable at 4.2 ounces (119 grams).
This everyday carry flashlight features a high-quality aerospace aluminum body (aircraft-grade aluminum body) and is Mil-Spec hard-anodized to provide you with exceptional durability. The light comes with self-defense capabilities as well with its crenelated striking bezel and the scalloped tailcap.
The device has an IPX7 waterproof certification so wet conditions won’t be a problem. It also features a weatherproof O-ring and is gasket sealed.
The E2D Defender Ultra comes with high-energy 123A batteries that promise a 10-year service life. On the brightest setting of 1,000 lumens, the light source has a maximum run time of 2.75 hours, and 63 hours on the lowest setting. It’s certainly worth looking at if you’re wondering which is the best EDC flashlight.
4. Fenix PD35 V2.0
Fenix’s second-generation flashlight doesn’t fail to impress. The PD35 V2.0 comes with six lighting modes that are useful in different situations. This best EDC flashlight comes with a holster, lanyard, 2 spare O-rings, and a spare rubber switch boot.
This best EDC flashlight features the Cree XP-L HI V3 LED that, in turbo mode, delivers a maximum output of 1,000 lumens, a max intensity of 15,600 candelas with an astonishing maximum beam distance of 820 feet (250 meters).
There are four other output modes — high mode, medium mode, low mode, and eco mode — which deliver an output of 350,150, 50, and 3 respectively.
The light also features a digitally regulated output that helps maintain constant brightness levels.
The compact light is perfect for outdoor use and easily fits in your pocket. It measures 5.4 inches (13.8 centimeters) long with a head diameter of 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) and a body diameter of 0.9 inches (2.3 centimeters).
The device weighs just 3.1 oz. (88 grams) without batteries.
The sturdy build of the flashlight makes it a great option for those wondering which is the best EDC flashlight. The tool is made from a high-strength and oxidation-resistant 6061 aluminum with a premium HAIII hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish and a toughened ultra-clear glass lens.
The dustproof light offers water resistance with an IP68 waterproof certification, and can be submerged underwater by up to 2 meters.
It can run on one 18650 Li-ion rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries. Note that this light won’t work with flat-top 18650s.
You get an impressive maximum runtime of 2 hours and 50 minutes on the turbo mode (1,000-lumen rating) while other memory modes offer a decent runtime of up to 430 hours on eco mode.
5. Nitecore T4K Lumen Flashlight
The Nitecore T4K 4000-lumen EDC flashlight will definitely pique your interest.
The company claims that it’s the world’s most compact keychain flashlight with a 4,000-lumen rating. We don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s one worth considering on your hunt for which is the best EDC flashlight.
Along with the flashlight, you get a USB-C charging cable and key clasp.
This best EDC flashlight features a massive 4000-lumen rating that gives a powerful light on its full output, albeit only for 10 seconds. The beam intensity is 10,900 candelas with the beam of light’s peak distance at 684 feet (208.5 meters).
The EDC keychain flashlight has 4 other brightness settings: high, medium, low, and ultralow. The output in these cases is 200, 65, 15, and 1 lumen respectively.
The manufacturer claims that the Nitecore T4K 4000 Lumen Flashlight is the world’s most compact 4,000-lumen keychain light. Adding to its portability is the adjustable pocket clip that ensures your flashlight stays securely in your pocket with minimum jostling.
Which is the best EDC flashlight? Certainly, this flashlight is one of them if you’re looking for models with compact construction. The pocket flashlight measures just 3.24 inches (8.23 centimeters) in length. The width and height of the flashlight are 1.15 inches (2.92 centimeters). It weighs just 2.72 ounces (77.1 grams).
The keychain flashlight is durable with an HAIII hard-anodized aluminum body. It features a built-in mechanical quick release design that keeps it ready for use on the go.
The Nitecore T4K features built-in 1,000mAh USB-C rechargeable batteries that can easily be recharged with a power bank.
The battery gives a decent maximum runtime of 2 hours and 45 minutes on the brightest setting, 7 hours on mid, 21 hours on low, and 67 hours on the ultra-low setting.
6. SureFire E2T-MV Tactician
If you’re wondering which is the best EDC flashlight in terms of versatility, the SureFire E2T-MV Tactician is an innovative tactical light that can be used as a regular EDC light or an improvised weapon light. It has a power button that you can use to quickly turn the light on and off and a tail-cap switch with a simple twist operation to prevent accidental operation while in your bag or pocket.
The device ranks as one of the best EDC flashlights in the market with its powerful beam, durable build, and multi-purpose use.
The SureFire E2T-MV Tactician flashlight features a dual-output LED. This is combined with the company’s proprietary MaxVision® Beam delivers an extensive wall of light.
This best EDC flashlight is packed with a maximum light output of 800 lumens, a maximum beam intensity of 3,200 candelas, and a maximum beam distance of 377.3 feet (115 meters).
The light also has a low output mode with a 5-lumen rating that is optimal for tasks like map reading, checking the engine, or rummaging through your backpack.
This EDC flashlight from SureFire is their smallest and slimmest dual 123A-powered light. It measures just 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) long and has a bezel diameter of 1 inch (2.54 centimeters).
With the batteries, it weighs just 3.5 oz (99 grams).
This best EDC flashlight ranks high in the durability department with a knurled aerospace-grade aluminum body, providing a superior grip. The mil-spec hard-anodized finish keeps the device protected from abrasion and corrosion.
This light runs on dual-CR123A li-ion batteries that provide it with ample juice for your outdoor activities. The total runtime for max output is a decent 1.5 hours while a low output can last up to 95 hours.
Wrapping Up the Best EDC Flashlight
That concludes our list of the best EDC flashlights. An important thing to consider is to know how often you’ll be using the device, and how roughly it will be handled. Based on these two factors, investing in a slightly expensive flashlight makes sense if you plan on using it for a long time under challenging conditions.
The EDC flashlights mentioned on our list are the perfect balance between utility, durability, and portability, giving you optimal and reliable performance over the years. If you’re looking for a flashlight for your survival kit, take a look at 18 Essential Items for Building the Ultimate Survival Kit List for more ideas.