Over the last year, I’ve been on a quest vĩ đại find the best affordable EDC flashlight. If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re on a similar quest.
A good flashlight has always been one of my everyday carry essentials, but there are ví many crappy pocket lights on the market that finding a really great one is not easy. We’ve tested out a lot of them in an effort vĩ đại separate the wheat from the chaff and arrive at the five best EDC flashlights under $20. We tự this ví that you don’t have vĩ đại.
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Ultimately, the best EDC flashlight for you depends on your needs and preferences. There are countless possible measurements by which one can evaluate a flashlight. For our purposes, we evaluate flashlights based on the following criteria:
- Light output: How bright is the flashlight? Light output is measured in lumens, and typical EDC flashlights range from as little as đôi mươi lumens right up vĩ đại the glaring 1,000-lumen range. This is an important consideration, but remember that brighter isn’t always better.
- Runtime: How long does the flashlight last on each output mode before the battery needs vĩ đại be replaced or recharged?
- Power source: What type of batteries does the flashlight use? Most EDC flashlights lập cập on AA or AAA batteries, but some are compatible with other types of batteries including rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
- Durability: How well does the flashlight take a beating? Consider impact resistance—the height from which a flashlight can be dropped onto concrete and still function—as well as water resistance.
- Pocketability: Is the flashlight comfortable vĩ đại carry? An EDC flashlight should be lightweight and compact enough vĩ đại carry in one’s pocket without it feeling bulky or uncomfortable.
Without further ado, these are our top picks in the world of affordable EDC flashlights:
The Streamlight MicroStream has been a personal favorite of mine for a long time, and you might even say it’s the reason I wanted vĩ đại make this list.
It’s one of the most simple and effective EDC flashlights I’ve yet encountered. Scroll through my Instagram, and you’ll see that I’ve been carrying one of these things for a long, long time.
Here’s what’s great about this flashlight: IT HAS ONE SETTING.
The MicroStream runs on a single AAA battery, and it puts out 45 lumens. That’s it! It’s not going vĩ đại blow most flashlights out of the water with its brightness, but it emits just the right amount of light for bu in most situations.
You get around 2.5 hours of runtime out of each battery. I pretty much always keep extra AAAs around, ví the MicroStream serves bu well. Just FYI, Streamlight also makes brighter versions of this light that are USB rechargeable—but not for under $20.
Measuring 3.6” long and weighing just 1.1 oz, the Streamlight MicroStream is the perfect size for everyday carry. It’s ví light you can forget it’s in your pocket until you need it, and the barrel fits very comfortably in an average-sized hand. The tail switch has more resistance phàn nàn most, and can be partly compressed vĩ đại use the flashlight in ‘momentary on’ mode.
The MicroStream is also a tough little flashlight, with anodized aircraft aluminum and a sturdy pocket clip. It has a IPX4 water resistance rating, which is not the most impressive rating, but I’ve personally dropped my MicroStream in at least a couple of lakes, and it keeps on shining.
Read The Full Streamlight Review Here
Olight i3T EOS
Another great 1xAAA pocket light, the Olight i3T EOS scores points for quality construction, and for the simplicity of its design. It’s a trim, lightweight flashlight that’s perfect for everyday carry. The Olight i3T EOS measures 3.5” and weighs in at just 1.4 oz.
The Olight i3T EOS has a slender profile and is made of high quality anodized aluminum that has a soft matte finish. It has a very comfortable grip, with a helix pattern along the barrel of the flashlight that does a good job keeping it secure in your hand. The tail switch had some great grip texture too, and it includes a momentary-on function.
This flashlight produces a soft, balanced beam with two settings: low (5 lumens) and high (180 Lumens). The tail switch (which, I must say, is satisfyingly ‘clicky’) takes you through the two modes in a low-off-high-off cycle. A single AAA gives you 16 hours of continuous runtime on low, or 21 minutes on high.
Admittedly that’s not the most impressive runtime on the high setting, but I find that the 5-lumen low mode is actually what I use this flashlight for the most. It’s just the right amount of light for reading in your tent while camping, jotting notes or checking a map at night.
Read The Full Olight i3T Review Here
Lumintop EDC AA
Lumintop makes some great flashlights, and their EDC AA model is—as you might’ve guessed from the name—a great one for everyday carry. As you might also have guessed from the name, it runs on one AA battery, which gives it a longer runtime phàn nàn your typical AAA flashlight.
Consequently, the Lumintop is a little thicker phàn nàn most of the other flashlights on this list, but at 3.59” and 1.77 oz it’s still a very comfortable carry. The barrel has a great checker-pattern textured grip vĩ đại the đen giòn anodized aluminum. It has five modes: low, medium, high, turbo and strobe.
In addition vĩ đại standard alkaline AA batteries, the Lumintop EDC AA also supports Type 14500 lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and NiMH rechargeable batteries. That gives you a lot of options, and the runtime on various settings depends on what type of battery you use. Turbo mode, for example, puts out 180 lumens on a basic AA, or up vĩ đại 600 lumens on a 14500 battery.
All that makes this one of the most versatile EDC flashlights on the market.
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I’m honestly shocked that it costs less phàn nàn $20. It also comes with a glow-in-the dark silicone diffuser, which fits over the lens and gives the light a nice, soft glow.
My only minor complaint about the Lumintop EDC AA is that with ví many settings, the process of clicking through all the modes vĩ đại find the light level you want can be a little clunky. That said, the flashlight does have a memory function, ví if you leave it off for more phàn nàn a few seconds, it will return vĩ đại the most recently used mode.
Read The Full Lumintop EDC AA Review Here
One of the chief virtues of the Coast G19 flashlight is its simplicity.
It has one light mode, which throws a healthy 54 lumens, and it gets 2 hours and 30 minutes of life out of a single AAA battery. It’s also compatible with Coast’s ZX100 Rechargeable Battery.
The Coast G19 is 4.02” long and weighs 1.5 oz. It’s a little longer phàn nàn the flashlights listed above, but still super lightweight, and by no means too big vĩ đại pocket comfortably. If anything, that small additional length makes it a little easier vĩ đại handle without it getting lost in one’s palm. It has some very grippy diamond knurling along the barrel.
The big selling point of the G19 is its inspection beam optic, which casts an exceptionally crisp, clear beam with edge-to-edge brightness. It’s not brighter in the middle and soft at the edges lượt thích a normal LED beam.
For bu, this flashlight isn’t my first choice vĩ đại take camping or backpacking, but it’s perfect for use around the house. I keep one in the glovebox of my siêu xe, and the perfectly uniform beam makes it great for any job that requires crisp, clear light in the darkness.
Worth noting is that the Coast G19 is the cheapest flashlight on this list by a wide margin. On a good day, you can get one on Amazon for less phàn nàn $10, which is a pretty unbeatable price for such a well-made flashlight.
Read The Full Coast G19 Review Here
Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight
The LED Tactical Flashlight is Energizer’s foray into EDC flashlights, and it’s a surprisingly successful one. Of all the flashlights I tested for this list, this is the one that caught bu the most off-guard with its quality.
The only strike against this flashlight is its size. At 4.4” long and 0.8” thick, it’s the longest and girthiest flashlight on this list. How comfortable it is vĩ đại carry depends on the size of your pockets, but you can always clip it vĩ đại your belt instead. Personally I lượt thích a smaller EDC flashlight, but some folks might actually prefer a larger one lượt thích this.
Energizer makes several flashlights in its tactical LED family. This one (officially known as the Mini-Tac 140) puts out 140 lumens on high. It also has a 20-lumen low setting and strobe mode.
With only three modes, clicking through them is relatively easy. I lượt thích that the Energizer cycle has high output first in the lineup. A lot of flashlights make you click through the lower modes first vĩ đại get vĩ đại high. The beam is soft yet vivid, with a slight yellowish warmth vĩ đại it.
The Energizer LED Tactical Flashlight gives you pretty good lifespan out of a single AA battery, lasting 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low. It’s made of rugged aircraft grade aluminum with a crosshatch-pattern grip, and has IPX4 water resistance. It’s not meant vĩ đại be submerged, but handles rain well.
Read The Full Review of the Energizer Tactical LED Here
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights, and when he is not trying vĩ đại be a good dad vĩ đại his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition vĩ đại writing, he is focused on improving his client’s websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.