What to Look for In An EDC Flashlight

Knives usually get all the spotlight as the cornerstone of an everyday carry (EDC), but there are a few reasons why a flashlight is just as useful. Whether you’re tinkering impromptu under the hood or searching for candles after a power outage, you never want to be without a flashlight. Given the variety on the market, it can be hard figuring out exactly what makes a good EDC flashlight. So, here are five things to consider before you make your purchase.


While this might go without saying, the first thing to look for in an EDC flashlight is its portability. Balancing overall size with battery life is generally the main goal for choosing the best portable flashlight. You have two options: a small keychain flashlight or a pocket penlight. Both have their advantages, but I’ve found that many keychain flashlights wind up being far bulkier than I’m willing to put on a keychain. It’s best to look for ones geared toward law enforcement or military personnel. While they are usually more expensive, they’ll also have more value crammed into their compact form.


Coming in right after portability is durability. Stainless steel, aluminum, or single-construction hard plastic are what to look out for. Cheap plastic knock-offs are just as likely to be crushed in your pocket as they are to work. While considering durability against potential damage is important, also consider how resistant a light is to water. 5m waterproofing will go a long way in making sure your flashlight works in the rain and after long, sweaty days outside.


You’re probably noticing a trend here but, like most options, there are pros and cons to choosing between an internal and rechargeable battery and replaceable ones. I always prefer an internal battery, as I’m much more likely to remember to throw it on the charger than I am to remember to run to the store to pick up watch batteries when it’s going dim. However, removable batteries can last a long time without needing to change batteries; I have a penlight that I’ve used for years that’s still on its first set of batteries.


Ten years ago, I would’ve put this topic at the top of the list. However, recent advances in LEDs have made them more cost-effective and energy-efficient than in the past. There’s no need to hunt down a 1200 lumen floodlight for everyday use. 100 lumen penlights are still plenty strong enough to leave spots on your eyes, and easily illuminate anything you could think of.


You’re probably planning to carry this thing with you every day. While everything else is roughly equal in terms of importance and in the same ballpark on price, make sure to pick the one that you like looking at the most. Something as minor as color or shape could make the difference in you being excited enough about it to bring it with you. Remember, a flashlight is only useful if it’s on hand when you need it.

There are countless options for flashlights that you could add into your EDC, and most of it comes down to lifestyle and picking the specs that mean the most to you. When shopping for yours, keep these factors in mind and keep it simple – you’ll probably know the right one when you see it.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Garrett Ferrara

Garrett is a writer, perpetual student, and seven-year Army veteran. Currently studying Anthropology and Writing & Rhetoric at the University of Central Florida, he's hoping to stretch the G.I. Bill all the way to a PhD. Bilbo Baggins is his favorite literary character; a character that traveled, fought battles, and finally settled into a simple life. He's looking forward to squaring away that last phase.
Garrett Ferrara

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