When choosing an Everyday Carry (EDC) flashlight, several factors have to be taken into consideration. Size and weight are very important as your EDC flashlight needs to be compact and easy to carry around.
Light output should also be considered; EDC flashlights should be a minimum of between 50 and 100 lumens, while some give the option to go much brighter than that. The best EDC flashlights provide high light output while remaining less than six inches long.
Battery types contribute to the weight of the flashlight. Using AA batteries is a cheaper option; however, the flashlights that use them are heavier. Using CR123 batteries means your flashlight will be brighter, lighter and perform more efficiently in the cold.
EDC Flashlights also need to be durable. If they are being carried around constantly, they are likely to be dropped and bumped from time to time. Metal-cased flashlights solve this problem. If they are made out of a light metal such as aluminum or titanium, they will also remain light in weight.
An EDC flashlight should be waterproof or at least water resistant.
Our recommended everyday carry flashlights
The Fenix E12 is an upgrade from the old E11 and is a very pocketable 3.5 inches. Weighing 2.1oz, it is compact, light and easy to carry around for everyday use.
With this flashlight, you have a choice of lumen modes; High – 130 lumens (1.5 hours), Medium – 50 lumens (6.5 hours) and Low – 8 lumens (40 hours).
It comes with a lanyard, spare O-ring and a spare rubber switch boot. The flashlight has digitally-regulated output to maintain brightness and is able to tail stand.
It also has an IPX-8 waterproof rating (underwater 2 meters for 30 minutes).
Amazon buyer rating 4.4/5
Surefire E2D LED Defender
The two-stage E2D can produce 500 lumens of tightly-focussed white light for two and a quarter hours. The high output is generated from an LED rated to last for thousands of hours and is six times the intensity typically generated by a 2 D-cell flashlight.
Low power mode generates 5 lumens, giving the E2D a maximum run-time of almost 68 hours.
While the E2D only has the two power modes, it makes up for this with its solid tactical credentials. The 500-lumen output is more than enough to temporarily blind an attacker, while the crenellated Strike Bezel gives the user another option if they need to defend themselves.
Weighing just 4.2oz including the two 123A batteries, and at 5.6 inches in length, the E2D is a worthy contender for an EDC carry.
Amazon buyer rating 4.7/5
Streamlight 88040 ProTAC HL
The Steamlight 88040 ProTAC range contains a variety of lights from tiny AAA models to headlamps to high-output tactical models.
The 88040 ProTAC HL (for High Lumen) is our choice for best EDC flashlight in 88040 range, providing the perfect balance of weight, power and flexibility.
The HL has a high-power output of 600 lumens with a run-time of 1.25 hours, while the low-power mode of 33 lumens will last for 18 hours. There’s also a strobe mode which will function for 2.5 hours.
Manufactured from airplane-grade aluminum, it comes in a choice of black or pink. Its LED solid state power regulation provides maximum light output throughout battery life and it runs on two CR123A batteries.
Amazon buyer rating 4.5/5
At an impressive 960 lumens max power output, the PD35 provides a stunning amount of illumination in a compact package.
Five modes will run from just one hour 10 minutes in turbo mode, right through to 150 hours in the economy mode (14 lumens). There’s also a strobe mode, which operates at the maximum 960 lumens.
Digitally-regulated output means the flashlight maintains constant brightness, and a low-voltage warning reminds you when it’s time to replace the batteries, which can be either one 18650 rechargeable or two CR123As.
At 5.5 inches long and three ounces without batteries, the PD35 is a fantastic tactical flashlight and will suit many people as an EDC option as well.
Amazon buyer rating: 4.9 out of 5
Olight S20 Baton
With a maximum light output of 550 lumens, this is a great EDC flashlight. Highly efficient thanks to its driver circuit, it runs on either two CR123A batteries or one 18650 battery.
It has a magnet on the base and is very durable as well as waterproof. It also comes with a removable embrace clip.
Its four brightness levels (moonlight, low, medium and high) as well as its strobe mode mean it will come in useful no matter what situation you find yourself in.
The S20 comes with time-based thermal management. After lighting on high mode for 4.5 minutes, the output is automatically reduced to 50% of high brightness to avoid overheating.
The S20 baton weight in at 1.83oz without batteries, and measures 4.17 inches in length.
Amazon buyer rating 4.9/5