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Bright Idea: The 5 Best EDC Flashlights

Flashlight are perhaps the most overlooked of all everyday carry gear. Which is a supreme shame, considering that they, arguably, come in handy the most frequently. Chances are, you're not going to need to loosen a bolt with your multitool every single day. You might not even need your favorite pocket knife to cut or chop anything for days at a time. But, without fail, the sun goes down once in every 24 hour period. And that presents an opportunity to use a flashlight every day of the year.

That doesn't even account for the darkness caused by shadows - like beneath a desk, in a garage, an attic, the wheel well of a car, under a kitchen counter, etc. Even in the light of day, we sometimes find ourselves surrounded by darkness. And unless you are some kind of nocturnal genetic hybrid, chances are you won't be able to see too well in those spaces that are out of the sun's reach.

The point is, there are far more reasons to carry a flashlight with you than there are not to, so it's about time you picked one up. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of options that suit the needs of just about anyone. If you don't need anything fancy and you haven't got a lot of room, you're covered. If you want a flashlight that can operate on just about any battery chemistry, that's been created already, too. Really, in this day and age, there's no excuse that can't be circumvented. So, here are the best we have to offer. Really, if we're being honest, they're some of the best you'll find anywhere.

TEC Accessories Pixel

If your reasoning behind a lack of a flashlight in your everyday carry includes the phrase "not enough room," then consider your argument rendered obsolete by this offering from TEC Accessories. This miniature keychain flashlight is smaller than most keys (we're talking less than 2" in length and a width less than 0.32"), weighs less than half an ounce without batteries, and features a unique squared design that keeps it from rolling around. It also has an output of 25 lumens, thanks to the Nichia LED it's equipped with, which is more than enough for your daily use. It also operates with just a simple twist. And the stainless steel case is water resistance, in case your keys take a dive.

Purchase: $36

MecArmy Illuminex-3

Another keychain mountable option, the Illuminex-3 is slightly bigger than the Pixel, but it also has a bit more to offer. For starters, this is the world's smallest flashlight that's rechargeable via mini USB. Which is especially impressive and handy in itself. It can also reach a full charge in just an hour. And the CREE-XP G2 LED emitter packs a whopping 130 lumens of output and two brightness settings. It's also waterproof up to 2 meters, impact resistant from a height of up to 1.5 meters, and has a potential runtime of 6 hours. And, as an added bonus, the brass exterior will age beautifully over time. Or, if you want it to keep its golden facade, it takes very little effort to maintain.

Purchase: $40

Prometheus Lights Beta-QRV2

For anyone that wants an easy-to-carry keychain flashlight but doesn't like the idea that your keys have to travel with it every time you need to make use of it, there's this one from Prometheus Lights. Equipped with the brand's quick-release function, this light detaches from your keyring easily, reattaches just the same, and will stay secure when you don't need it. The Nichia 219 CRI LED has an output of up to 60 lumens across two brightness settings and has a runtime of up to 4 hours per battery. This torch also handily works with AAA alkaline, lithium, and NiMH type batteries, so whatever you've got rolling around your junk drawer is probably fine. It's also constructed from lightweight and extremely durable 6061 aluminum, so it can take some punishment.

Purchase: $59

Foursevens Preon P1

Let's say your keychain is plenty heavy enough, but you've got enough pocket space for a lamp. Well, you could do far worse than the Foursevens Preon P1. This unobtrusive EDC flashlight is only 3.35" in length, weighs just over an ounce and a half without the battery, but is still absurdly capable. Its output ranges from 5 to 100 lumens for up to 20 hours thanks to the inclusion of a CREE XP-L LED emitter, but it still runs on just one AAA battery. It's also one of the most customizable flashlights on the market, in regards to illumination modes, as it comes with 5 - normal, strobe, SOS, high beacon, and low beacon - that are infinitely reconfigurable. And the solid copper exterior is certain to acquire a gorgeous and unique patina over its course of service.

Purchase: $60

Peak LED Solutions Eiger

Easily one of the most impressive everyday carry flashlights we have ever seen, the Eiger was actually envisioned with professional applications in mind. It also might be the most versatile when it comes to battery compatibility, as it functions with alkaline, lithium, NiMH, and 3.7v lithium-ion 10440. This stainless steel flashlight, which can be attached to your keychain or stashes easily in a pocket, is also water and shock resistant, features a simple twist operation, and is equipped with a variable output CREE XPG LED emitter. But our favorite part of this torch's story, is that each and every one of them are made in Arizona. And you just can't beat American made quality.

Purchase: $80


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