Our gun is the least often used of all the everyday carry (EDC) tools we carry, mainly because it takes extreme circumstances to pull it out. But a flashlight – now that's a different matter. Aside from our wallet and keys, the flashlight is one of the most commonly used EDC items. Of course, if you drop something in a dark movie theater, you aren't going to pull out a gun with a weapon-mounted light to look under the seat, but a small pocket-carry flashlight is perfect for the job.
While spending a small fortune on a tactical flashlight is easy, you don't have to. Here are six EDC flashlights under $100 each.
Streamlight 66608 250 Lumen MicroStream USB Rechargeable
From one of the most recognizable brands in the tactical light business comes a pocket-carry flashlight with a ton of features normally found in much more expensive setups. First of all, the Streamlight 66608 250 Lumen MicroStream USB Rechargeable is, as the name implies, rechargeable. No more replacing batteries after every heavy use. Granted, its 250 lumens are on the low end of the EDC torch bulbs, but it's more than adequate for most low-light situations. The pocket clip doubles back on itself to create a hat bill clip when you need to go hands-free. MSRP is a very reasonable $29.95.
OLight Baton 3 Rechargeable – Premium Edition
This flashlight barely squeaks into the sub-$100 category, but it counts. The OLight Baton 3 is incredibly bright for its diminutive size at 1,200 lumens on turbo setting, but that only lasts a few minutes. The battery lasts 95 minutes on a normal high setting, but it recharges, so there are no new batteries to buy. Unlike many of its peers, the Baton 3 comes in a recharging case that provides over three charges before the case has to be plugged in for more juice. As for size, OLight's website compares it to a car key and a Zippo lighter. MSRP is $99.95.
RovyVon Aurora A23 LED Flashlight
One of the smallest pocket carries on the list at 2.9 inches overall length, the RovyVon Aurora A23 LED Flashlight cranks out an impressive 1,000 lumens for its size on the highest of its five settings and includes two emergency modes. The aluminum-alloy body is IPX8-rated waterproof for up to 30 minutes submerged. In addition, the built-in memory remembers the most recent setting you used for at least three minutes. Like the first two on the list, the Aurora A23 is rechargeable with an included USB cord. MSRP is a mid-ranged $46.95.
NEBO Redline Flashlight
Also called the Torchy 2K, the NEBO Redline Flashlight pours out an impressive 2,000 lumens on turbo with four other settings down to 50 lumens for maximum battery life. The aluminum body houses a side-mounted switch, an anomaly in the tactical flashlight industry, but there is a strong purpose behind it: the end cap is magnetic, allowing for easy mounting on anything metal for hands-free use. The included lithium battery recharges with the included USB cord. The business end featured a beveled edge for striking and breaking glass. MSRP is $44.99.
SureFire G2X Series LED Flashlights with Tough Nitrolon Body
What EDC flashlight list would be complete without at least one entry from SureFire? The G2X Series LED Flashlights with Tough Nitrolon Body puts out 600 lumens at the top, down to 15 on maximum battery mode. Though non-rechargeable, the G2X runs off standard, readily available Lithium 123 batteries. The face features a beveled edge and durable, crack- and scratch-resistant lens, while the tale cap houses the on-off button switch often preferred by law enforcement and military customers. Even though we typically think of SureFire as an expensive light brand, the G2X's MSRP is only $70.99.
Nitecore Tube Keychain Light T Series
On the inexpensive yet rugged end of the EDC flashlight spectrum comes this beauty, the Nitecore Tube Keychain Light T Series. At 45 lumens, this won't turn night into day, but it will help find what you dropped on the ground and offer just enough light to distract a would-be assailant. And with a full-strength run time of one hour, there is plenty of juice before recharging the two CR2016 or one CE2032 battery. But you will need to bring your cable to the charging party because there isn't one included. The T Series is easy to hold and manipulate with a flat design and gripper ribs on the case. Plus, it can hang on your keychain with a handy loop. MSRP is $15.20.