One of the most used items in my EDC kit is my flashlight. I have acquired quite a few torches over the years, some better than others, nut not all flashlights are good for EDC.
You may not be able to find exactly what you are looking for when searching for the perfect EDC flashlight, you will need to compromise here and there, based on your needs and budget. Because an EDC flashlight must be easy to carry, it may not have the longest throw, or be the best survival flashlight, but if it’s the only flashlight you have in a survival situation, it’s better than nothing.
Here are my 8 tips to consider when buying an EDC flashlight.
Recommended EDC Flashlight: OLight H2R Nova
- An end power button, not a side switch
Because I like to keep my flashlight in my pocket along with my phone and EDC knife, flashlights with a side switch often get switched on when in my pocket if they have a side switch, and I usually tend not to notice until I feel the heat on my leg.
- Waterproof Rating
Flashlights, just like many other items, are rated by the IP code. Basically, the code is listed with numbers beside it, which indicate how waterproof, dust proof and crush proof the device is. Check the link above for more details on this.
If it’s not rated for any of them, it’s either left it blank or an X is put in the spot if there are ratings after that spot. For example, IPX7 means it hasn’t been rated for solid intrusion or mechanical impact, but has a liquid ingress protection rating of 7 [Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion). Test duration: 30 minutes – ref IEC 60529, table 8. Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1000 mm below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm below the surface, whichever is deeper.]
For many, an IPX6 or IPX7 will be sufficient.
- Rechargable via USB
This one is a must in my books. Being able to recharge your EDC flashlight from a USB power source means you can charge it almost anywhere; at a computer, in the car, at home, work, even from a USB power bank while on the move.
- Size Matters
Ensure it is small enough to fit in your pocket without digging into you leg or taking up all your pocket space.
- Buy a Reliable Flashlight
I always check the internet for reviews before I buy anything. Amazon is a great source for reliable reviews from customers who have actually bought and used the product.
I have reviewed my EDC flashlight here, and so far, it is the best I have owned, to date. It is actually a headlamp, but the flashlight can be removed from the head strap, making it very suitable for EDC.
- Brightness Modes
Don’t be tempted to buy a flashlight with only one brightness setting. It will either be too bright, or not bright enough. Trying to read a map with a 500 Lumen flashlight will be very hard, as it will be too bright for your eyes.
You don’t need to have loads of strobe and SOS modes, although an SOS mode is good in a survival situation. Instead, look for a flashlight with a low, medium and high mode.
- Only Consider LED
Most flashlights made now only use LED, but there are still some available using old technology. When shopping for your EDC flashlight, pick one with LED technology. The battery will last longer, it won’t get as hot when using, the LED will last longer than a normal bulb, and generally they are more efficient.
- Lock Mode
This may not seem important if you find a flashlight with a top or bottom switch, but there is still a chance you will switch on your flashlight by accident. It’s pretty easy to switch it on when putting things into your pocket. To combat this, try and find a flashlight with a locking mode. My Olight can be locked and unlocked by holding the power button for 3 seconds.