Small EDC flashlight recommendations

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Charlie_K, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    For a while I've been looking for a small LED flashlight for EDC purposes. Small as in it takes only one battery, either AA or AAA. I'm hoping something that uses a button to turn off and on for easy one handed operation rather than one that needs to be twisted with both hands. However Amazon is lousy with thousands of LED flashlights in this size range, and I don't know where to start is sorting through them all.
  2. bladefixation2


    Mar 28, 2004
    You could consider the following

    - Streamlight Microstream (1 x AAA) or Stylus Pro (2 x AAA)
    - FourSevens Quark
    - Several Fenix models

    Other manufacturers that I have no first hand experience of but seem to be popular
    - EagleTac
    - Nitecore
    - Jetbeam
    - Olight
    - Sunwayman
    - Zebra
    - Thrunite

    Check out Candlepowerforms. There are a lot of reviews on that site. Beware flashlights can get expensive!
  3. Dknight16

    Dknight16 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    Skip the alkaline AA and AAA models. A single lithium A123 model is the way to go for EDC. More power, consistent power, zero leak risk, and unaffected by temperature.

    Olight T10 is a good one to consider. About as compact as you can get, tail cap push switch (twist switch for pocket carry blows), variable output capability, no sharp edges to wear a hole in your pocket.
  4. bladefixation2


    Mar 28, 2004
    AA and AAA have their place, if you buy a regulated light you get consistent output. You can run them on NiMh rechargeable or Energizer lithium AA primaries for better performance and unlike CR123A lights you can easily and cheaply buy alkaline if you're caught short.
  5. benzology


    Jan 19, 2011
    Personally I prefer singe AA due to the fact I travel a lot. I totally agree with the CR123 superiority but trying to find one when youre in a foreign country can be difficult.

    I have a Zebralight SC52 which will run on a 14500 3.7v for high output or a regular AA and still give great results.

    I rate both fenix LD10 and 4sevens quark also... good luck with your search charlie!
  6. teranaut


    Oct 23, 2011
    A Fenix E05 has done me well for a few years now. Change the single AAA cell every so often and you're good to go. There are no brightness settings to futz with; and it delivers a good spread of light for its size. Makes a great companion to the LD12 I carry as well.
  7. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    What Mr. Bladefixation said.
  8. I.N.F.K


    Jul 7, 2012
    I had this little Pelican 1910 LED flashlight that I loved. It was probably around 3 inches with a 3/4 in diameter. My only complain was there wasn't any way to attach to my key rings (it was that small). But boy that thing was bright and Pelican says the runtime is only 1hr, but mine went much longer than that. I still carry it every now and then, but mostly I carry my Fenix PD32 in my left side pocket. Which it is also awesome, but probably too big for you.
  9. hapasnyper


    Sep 11, 2012
    Four sevens preon1/2. The preon one comes with a twist operation so you would have to buy the button tail cap.
  10. Bigfatts


    Mar 12, 2012
    I like my little Titanium Innovations IlluminaTi. Single AAA with 3 modes, 80 lumen max I believe. I run it on an Energizer Lithium and it has served me well. It's tiny too, so easy to carry every day.
  11. jmarston


    Dec 6, 2010
    I carry a Fenix LD01. It runs on a single AAA battery. Small, light and AAA are cheap and easily available. More than bright enough for my uses. I use it daily.
  12. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    I carry a Fenix LD01 frequently and I bought my daughter the slightly cheaper E05. These are very small but have good output on a single AAA. These are both "twisties".

    I am starting to carry a new Fenix PD22 sometimes. It runs on a single CR123A and has very good output. It is a "clicky". Fenix makes a somewhat similar model that uses a single AA, that is probably what the OP wants.
  13. KnottyEagle


    Aug 10, 2012
    I carry an Olight S10 Baton with the XM-L2 emitter. It takes one CR123A battery and throws out 400 lumens on max (for a short time), medium is 70 lumens, low is 5 lumens and the moonlight mode is 0.5 lumens. I find the moonlight mode to be very useful, especially when walking around the house and trying not to wake others. Its also got a strobe mode which is at 400 lumens. The clip can be positioned for bezel up or down. I have mine for bezel down and it carries well in the left-rear pocket. The side button has a very positive click to it too. The interface is very easy to adjust and get used to. One gripe I have is sometimes you can accidentally hit that button and the light turns on without you knowing. Other than that, I LOVE it!
  14. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    I carry the fenix e05 and really like it. it is a twisty, but its easy to one-hand unless you had some range of motion troubles, or the like. I also have the E11 which is a two mode 1xAA with a tail switch, and I really like it as well. Both of these are on the bottom of the cost range of good lights. I would say that you could spend more, and get a better light, but I highly doubt that you would spend much less, and still get a light with as good of a design.

    If cash is no option, by all means, go for one of the high end lights. But for value, start with something like the E11, and then see where your preferences go from there. That and a small Eneloop charger and some of the regular eneloop AAs and you'll have a good reliable light that will last you a long time.
  15. Les Snyder

    Les Snyder

    Jul 6, 2010
    +1 on the Fenix E05.... with a lithium cell ... I upgraded from an E01, and as the specifications suggest there is about twice the light output, but naturally a decrease in run time... for my hurricane standardization to AAs, I went with an E21 (2xAA) but it is about the size of a Mini MagLight
  16. GotThemKnives


    Oct 1, 2013
    I love the Mini Cree LED 3 mode flashlight. Afforadable and effective.
  17. El Bandit0

    El Bandit0

    Feb 4, 2013
    Streamlight Protac series usually has something for everyone, great little lights. I carry the 2AA myself and it does all I require.
  18. hookshot


    Nov 20, 2013
    I carry an EagleTac d25c Ti. I love it.
  19. jmclfrsh


    Dec 1, 2012
    +1 on the Foursevens Preons. The 1 is 90 lumens, the 2 (2 AAA) is 160 lumens and comes with the clicky tail cap.

    As hapasnyper mentioned, you'd need to buy the clicky tail cap but they are not expensive.

    Great lights, I have both.
  20. yoda4561


    May 28, 1999
    There was a time when output of the AA and AAA lights was woefully lacking compared to a cr123 light, but the times are a'changin. My sunwayman V11r with AA extender will do around 190 lumens for an hour and there's no reason a AA only light couldn't do the same in a slimmer package. I do recommend you use eneloop rechargables though, not due to cost savings or runtime, but rather avoiding flashlight damage caused by a leaky battery. Duracell/rayovac/energizer usually have a replacement policy that covers anything damaged by their batteries, but I prefer to avoid the hassle by using high quality NiMH batteries. Not to say that you can't really step the performance up with lithium batteries, but for an EDC they're almost not with the hassle unless you want to get into the 400+ lumen range.

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