In a survival situation, there are some things in your equipment arsenal that you shouldn’t be going without. An EDC light is a great little tool for everyone to carry around in their car, camping gear, or on hikes, or any other situation where you could potentially find yourself in a survival mode for a while. EDC lights are small, easily portable tactical flashlights that can fit on a keychain or inside a pocket comfortably.
Many underestimate the importance of having a tactical flashlight on you at all times. In the unfortunate event of any kind of disaster, having a flashlight can help to see dangers at night, send signals to rescue workers, keep away animals or other pests, the list goes on. However, when it comes to a great tactical flashlight, you might feel lacking for options that are convenient for you. Most tactical flashlights are bulky and impractical to carry around–EDC lights are precisely the opposite.
If you are in the market for a great EDC flashlight to carry with you at all times for safety, and survival, here are five great options to choose from. Let’s take a look at five of the best EDC lights available to you.
1. J5 Tactical V1-PRO
A tactical flashlight will always come with a few more bells and whistles than a standard flashlight–the J5 Tactical V1-PRO is no exception. With three different light settings and a wide-to-narrow beam adjustment feature, you can get the perfect effect no matter what your situation is. From strobe lighting to attract attention, to focused beams for hunting or personal use.
This flashlight is incredibly compact, as well as supremely durable. It packs a punch for sure! With a safety rating of up to a 9ft drop, you are guaranteed never to be able to break this thing unless you are trying to. Also, the J5 Tactical V1-PRO is water-resistant. Which means it is ideal for water excursions, or even the rain and snowfall.
The J5 Tactical V1-PRO comes with an output of 300 lumens, and can remain bright and efficient at up to 600ft away. This is an exceptional flashlight that brings a lot in the way of power, and durability into such a small frame. If you are looking for an easy-going, powerful flashlight that won’t put a hurt on your wallet–this is a great option.
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2. ThorFire 18650 Flashlight
The ThorFire 18650 is a bit more bang for your buck if you are concerned about pure lumen output. At a maximum output of 1070 lumens up to 600ft, this is one incredibly powerful flashlight in such a small frame. In addition to the raw power, the ThorFire 18650 also comes with a host of extra features that make it an appealing tool for everyone. It comes with five different light settings, and an easy to access tail switch that makes changing settings and turning the flashlight on and off a breeze–this is important in survival situations.
Another great aspect of the ThorFire 18650 is the extended battery life. The ThorFire 18650 uses a 1850 lithium CR123 battery that is guaranteed to last longer and provide more juice than standard AA or AAA batteries. You can also expect a bit more tactical functionality with the removable clip, and lightweight 2.76oz frame. The ThorFire 18650 fits easily on your belt, and won’t weigh you down when carrying it around daily.
The ThorFire 18650 is an amazingly powerful tactical flashlight that is easy to use, lasts for extended periods of time, and won’t weigh you down when bringing it along with your gear.
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3. Olight S1R II LED Flashlight
The Olight S1R II is not the most potent EDC flashlight on the market, but it does pack a pretty decent punch. At a maximum output of 1,000 lumens, this flashlight is still no slouch. However, where it shines (pun intended) is in the quality of the components. The real star of the show is the 2nd gen TIR lens, which creates a more focused beam performance, and improves the clarity through an improved hotspot.
The S1R II LED uses a rechargeable IMR16340 lithium CR123 battery that will provide stability and reliability for those who need extended use out of their flashlight. The battery power indicator is clear and precise and will indicate clearly whether the battery is fully charged, half charged, and low on battery with the green-yellow–red LED lights.
For those who are purchasing their EDC flashlights for actual potential survival situations, you need it to be sturdy, reliable and work efficiently. The S1R II comes with an easy to grip, and sturdy frame that won’t slip out of your hand even when wet, and the frame itself is exceptionally tough for heavy use while in rough terrain or situations. This all comes with a magnetic USB charging cable rated at 1A fast charging speeds, which is also easy to pack away and fit easily into your gear.
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4. COAST G22 Eye Spot Beam LED Penlight
If durability in your EDC light is the most essential factor for you, you would be hard-pressed to beat the COAST G22 Eye Spot Beam LED. This penlight is water-resistant, and the aluminum chassis can survive drops 3-5ft rather quickly; this means that standard height drops during use won’t send the unit into an early grave. Paired with the extra focused eye spot beam, you will be able to use this light to hone in on hotspot zones for precision lighting that is perfect for tracking game, working on vehicles, and minimizing glare spread in survival situations.
The maximum lumen output of the COAST G22 does leave something to be desired, but it still manages to put out enough juice to be worth its purchase. The two light output settings can handle 45 lumens, and 100 lumens, respectively–this isn’t too bad for a penlight. The 45 lumen setting has a maximum distance of 120ft, with the 100 lumen setting reaching 180ft.
The COAST G22 is designed for prolonged use during outdoor or survival situations. With the low setting having a lifespan of up to 5 ½ hours, and the high setting reaching 1 ¾ hours. This is a great light for those who want something easy to carry around, with little concern for having the most power. This is a great backup EDC light that you can keep on you and forget is there until you need it.
5. The Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED Flashlight
The Streamlight 88850 is a great little EDC light with a maximum output of 600 lumens, which is a nice little sweet spot for EDC lights. The three different light settings make this flashlight versatile, as well as simple to operate for those who don’t want to fumble with too many options in a survival situation. The strobe effect is excellent for attracting rescue help, or even for disorienting dangerous animals or attackers if the situation becomes dire.
One of the main selling points of the Streamlight 88850 is the 50,000-hour lifespan that the makers claim proudly. This means that the Streamlight 88850 will last you for years upon years of use, and won’t need to be replaced frequently for those who get a lot of miles out of their flashlights. This is paired with the durable easy grip chassis that can handle plenty of palm sweat or moisture without becoming slippery.
The Streamlight 88850 comes packed with dual-lithium CR123 batteries that ensure you are getting a lot of juice out of your flashlight, and will remain bright for a very long time. Overall this is a great EDC flashlight for those who value continued performance over the years, rather than months. This might be the longest-lasting EDC flashlight you are likely to find on the market.
Buying Guide For EDC Flashlights.
It’s safe to assume that if you have read this far, you are likely in the market for a reliable and powerful EDC flashlight for your own personal use. Whether you would like extra lighting for hunting, camping, tactical use, or general flashlight use; an EDC flashlight is always a great tool to have around. If you are unsure of what traits that you should be looking for in an EDC flashlight, here are a few for you to consider.
Lumens are the unit that manufacturers use to measure the brightness of a beam of light. A standard EDC flashlight will have anywhere from 50-1,000 lumens depending on the size and power of the flashlight. The lumen count will be a direct indicator of how bright and powerful your flashlight will be. A flashlight of only 50 lumens is likely to be only useful in smaller scale situations. A flashlight of around 600 lumens will be ideal for the power to size ratio of an EDC–that is why 600 is the ‘sweet spot’ for EDC flashlights.
Size & Weight.
When it comes to survival gear, a huge factor to consider is the actual size-to-weight ratio that you will be getting. When you are planning for survival situations, every piece of gear needs to be as small and lightweight as possible, while still putting out enough power to be useful. EDC flashlights are by their very nature compact and lightweight–but not all are the same.
As far as weight is concerned, you are unlikely to really encounter any problems with an EDC flashlight. Most EDC flashlights come in at under 5oz, which means that you should be able to hold any EDC flashlight up for extended periods without fatigue. The actual size of the flashlight is going to be more of a factor. Try to aim for an EDC flashlight that can easily fit inside your pocket or clip on your belt. This will be a good indicator that it won’t be too cumbersome for survival or outdoor situations.
EDC flashlights are designed for tactical and survival situations. This means that you don’t want something that will break at the first sign of harsh weather or ‘abuse.’ An ideal EDC flashlight will be certified for up to 3-9ft drops, and at least water-resistant up to a certain point. While you may not plan on taking your flashlight underwater, survival situations can cause any number of unforeseen outcomes.
If you drop your flashlight and find yourself using it in heavy rain, you want to ensure that it will still work. Always consider how strong a flashlight is before buying one for survival or tactical use.
As with anything that operates on electricity, the battery is going to be a huge factor for most people. Usually, EDC flashlights will use either AA, AAA, or CR123 lithium batteries. These are the most standard format for power output used in these types of flashlights, although you might find other options on the market as well if you look.
With AAA batteries, you are going to have a bit more cost involved compared to AAA, but they are a bit harder to find as well. In addition, they are more suited for slim form flashlights like penlights.
AA batteries are more powerful and typically cheaper than AAA. In addition, they are usually easier to find due to being a more common choice.
CR123 lithium batteries are rechargeable lithium batteries, and as such, can store more power and can put out higher levels of light and energy. However, they are more expensive than AAA or AA.
When it comes to a tactical EDC flashlight, you really only have one option that you should even consider. While you can get multiple bulb choices on the market, an LED bulb is really all you want. This is because LED bulbs consume less energy, do not overheat, and can have a far longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs by comparison. If you want a bulb that will last, and won’t drain your battery quickly, LEDs the way to go. Trust us on this one, don’t even consider another bulb type other than LED.
When choosing an EDC flashlight, you’re going to want to consider a few factors:
- What is your size limit?
- How long of battery life do you need?
- Is it rechargeable or not?
- Is it durably built?
- Can it handle the ‘abuse’ that a survival situation will put it through?
With these questions in mind, you will be able to accurately assess and evaluate the EDC flashlights you are shopping through, and determine the best option for your personal preferences and situation.
Bear in mind that no one can tell you which flashlight to buy–everyone has different needs. For example, a hunter might want a different type of flashlight than a hiker or rock climber, or even a soldier. Your own personal use needs are going to dictate which options and features you value. Just make sure that your EDC flashlight checks all your boxes before making your purchase!