For years, I’ve been in what many call the EDC Community. Basically, that means I’m more cognizant of what I carry on a daily basis. Technically speaking, everyone has an EDC (or Every Day Carry). For most people, that includes a phone, keys, and wallet. Others take it a step further with a pocket knife or leaps and bounds further with a fully stocked sling/bag.

One of the most common extra items is a flashlight. If you’re questioning the necessity of carrying a flashlight by asking, “Why not use the flashlight on your phone?” then you likely aren’t the individual who needs to carry a flashlight. But if you find yourself needing a legitimate standalone flashlight often (perhaps due to your job) or just want to see what it’s like to carry one, this list is for you.

Before we dive in to my list, I need to give a shoutout to the most exhaustive and celebrated list available. It’s updated twice a year and will take you down rabbit holes you never thought possible. Now let’s get to my favorites.

Beginner Light

If you’re looking for your first EDC flashlight, my recommendation is to get a solid rechargeable one that will easily fit into your front pocket. The two lights that I recommend are:

  1. Skilhunt M150 V3 (High CRI)
  2. Reylight Pineapple Mini (Aluminum)

The M150 includes everything you need to charge the light, whereas the Pineapple Mini will require you to get a separate battery charger. If you’d like to get a variety of different lights, you’ll need a charger anyway.

Into the Weeds

If you want to go a step further and really experience a quality light that’s functional, powerful, and will be noticed by people like me, these are my favorites.

Matt Langford's Zebralight
  1. Zebralight SC65c HI (or the SC64c LE if you can find it)
  2. FourSevens Mini Turbo MKIII

Both of these require getting a charger (the MKIII offers one as an add-on).

Enthusiast Level

If you want to dive full-in to the flashlight world and see how crazy things can get, this is where the fun begins.

  1. Emisar D4V2 Dual Channel

Before you order this, you need to have a basic understanding of what you’re getting. This is a light akin to getting a Raspberry Pi or similar. It’s for people who like to play and tinker and showoff and do things other people can’t do. This light can get so bright you can use it to start a fire. This is not the light you hand to your kid to play with. It also has a bit of a learning curve as it runs Anduril 2. Yes, flashlights have their own software.

Matt Langford's D4V2 next to a TRM Atom

It’s fun, it works an EDC. It also takes some time to truly learn all of it’s features. Luckily, it’s not crazy expensive. Every light is made to order. Here are my suggested options:

  • Color: Choose your favorite
  • Switch Back Light Color: RGB
  • Switch Retaining Ring Type: Raised
  • Channel 1: 519a 3500k with dome
  • Channel 2: W1 6000k
  • Additional Options: Extra SS Bezel, Pocket clip, Magnet in the tailcap

The above settings will get you a light with insane throw (it’ll light up things far away) with Channel 2. And with excellent flood (it’ll light up a whole room) with Channel 1. It can even do both at the same time if you want. Channel 1 will give a nice, pleasant to experience light while Channel 2 will have the awe factor. You’ll need to grab an 18650 battery and charger.

The world of flashlights goes on well beyond this list. You can spend $500-$700 on an EDC flashlight these days and find ways to justify the cost. For my list, I wanted to keep everything as affordable as possible for people who want a serious light. In most cases, you wouldn’t save any money if you went to a Sporting Goods store and picked up a random Fenix or similar. But the ones on this list are better.

A Quick Note About Batteries: While you can get lights that use common batteries like AA and AAA, they’re not recommended. Without going too far into battery chemistry, in order for a light to work properly with common off-the-shelf batteries, they have to be reigned in significantly. Go with one of the lights above and get manufacturers suggested batteries for each. They’re all rechargeable and will last ages.