For most guys, your pocket everyday carry consists of a wallet, knife, keychain, and probably a bunch of screwed up receipts. But none of those things will light up the way as night draws in. Sure a full-sized flashlight is going to illuminate a wider area but when size matters a compact light source is a must have EDC item.
What keychain flashlights lack in power compared to their full-size counterparts they make up for in portability. A well-engineered pocket light will stand up to extreme weather conditions, have various basic settings, a long battery life, and powerful LED bulb, and still be compact enough to slide onto your keychain or slip into your pocket without hassle.
As LED technology gets more sophisticated, the range of keychain flashlights grows. Having so much choice can be a real headache when trying to choose the best power source. So we’ve done the hard work for you with our list of the best keychain flashlights on the market, ready to help you out in the dark.
The Atom AL from Foursevens is designed as the ultimate EDC flashlight. Unlike some keychain flashlights, the Atom is a flood-type light, removing the hot spot giving you a smooth, wide viewing angle. This makes the Atom perfect for close-up work such as working on your motor, where you need to see everything nearby.
Featuring a simple two-mode interface, extended run times (up to 40 hours), and a neodymium magnet embedded in the tail the Atom can be attached to any ferrous surface. With IPX8 water resistance and a CREE XP-G2 LED emitting either six lumens on low or 110 lumens on high the AL is a very accomplished keychain flashlight.
Length: 1.9 inches
Weight: 1.03 ounces
Brightness: 6 / 110 lumens
Carrying a keychain flashlight is a sure way to cover off all situations. It’s a handy item that acts as both a light source and a survival tool, but it’s not always comfortable carrying one on your keychain with a large bunch of keys in tow. That’s why the quick-release function on the Prometheus Flashlight is a welcome addition.
As well as being detachable from the accompanying brass keyring the QRv2 is typically small and weighs in at just under one ounce plus the powerful Nichia 219 CRI LED will light up to 60 lumens in the highest mode.
Length: 3.4 inches
Weight: 0.75 ounces
Brightness: 15 / 60 lumens
Unlike most keychain flashlights that rely on a traditional push-button switch, the Bolt Mini uses a sliding bolt mechanism, just like a pen, allowing you to turn the light on and off, change modes, all with a smooth and natural swiping motion.
The Bolt Mini has three brightness levels and four special output modes and uses a single AAA battery to power the CREE XP-L HD LED for up to an hour on 100 lumens or 20 hours at 5 lumens. Fitting perfectly in your hand the Bolt Mini will also clip onto your pocket with the aircraft-grade aluminum pocket clip.
Length: 4.98 inches
Weight: 1.13 ounces
Brightness: 5 / 20 / 100 lumens
A no-nonsense keychain flashlight, the Eiger uses a simple twist on/off mechanism making it a reliable choice for an everyday carry pocket light. A small addition for your keychain it comes with a keyring attachment and is entirely manufactured in the USA.
Using the much admired Quantum Tunneling Composite Technology you have the choice of variable light output from a dim glow to the highest mode, making this the brightest of any single AAA battery flashlight available.
Length: 3.75 inches
Weight: 0.99 ounces
Brightness: 1 / 200 lumens
Billed as the world’s smallest USB rechargeable flashlight the Illuminex 1 from MecArmy is small in size but big on power, with a maximum output of 130 lumens. Unscrewing the lights head reveals a mini USB port to attach to a charging cable and will return to full power in just one hour.
Designed with a one-handed operation, the Illuminex 1 uses a reliable twist switch for quick access to either low or high mode. Also featuring IPX8 waterproofing to two meters the end cap can be hooked to any keyring and will run for six hours on a single charge.
Length: 1.6 inches
Weight: 0.31 ounces
Brightness: 8 / 130 lumens
Like it’s slightly smaller cousin the MecArmy Illuminex 3 is a compelling choice when picking a mini keychain flashlight. Like the Illuminex 1, the 3 boasts two modes of eight and 130 lumens but wraps all the functionality up in a handsome Copper casing, or Brass if that’s your style. Also waterproof to IPX8 to two meters the Illuminex 3 is also impact resistant to 1.5 meters.
Length: 1.7 inches
Weight: 0.73 ounces
Brightness: 8 / 130 lumens
Out of all the keychain flashlights on our list, the Pixel is one of the toughest LED flashlights designed for hard-use everyday carry. Its diminutive size makes it easy to attach anywhere, making it handy to carry and have anywhere you need it.
From reading a map in the waning light to finding your way around the campsite, the Pixel is the ultimate flashlight at your fingertips for convenience and durability. It features a choice of a conventional white LED (cool white or warm white), or an available red LED to preserve night vision, which makes this a tactical choice as well.
Length: 1.69 inches
Weight: 0.45 ounces
Brightness: 21 / 25 lumens
An ultra-functional flashlight the compact Preon P1 is powered by a AAA battery that is amazingly bright from such a small carry. With a low pocket profile, it measures in at just 3.35 inch and features an optical-grade glass lens, stainless steel clip and ample knurling for grip.
There are three brightness levels; low, medium, and high, as well as three modes strobe, beacon and SOS for simple or more complex tasks as you need it.
Length: 3.35 inches
Weight: 1.51 ounces
Brightness: 5 / 20 / 100 lumens
The Quark Click is slightly larger than most other flashlights on this list, so it’s not an exact keychain flashlight, but it will happily attach to a carabiner on your keychain. What it does do is bridge the gap between a standard flashlight and the smaller models on this list, offer more power, durability, and versatility.
Equipped with a CREE XM-L2 LED, the Quark runs on dual lithium CR123A batteries and is turned on/off with a simple click of a button. The tail cap button also toggles between three modes; high, low, and burst, with a maximum beam distance of 160 meters. It’s also waterproof to three meters and impact-resistant up to a meter.
Length: 4.5 inches
Weight: 1.8 ounces
Brightness: 55 / 780 lumens
The Mini Mark II raises the bar of everyday carry flashlights and features Mil-Spec electronics and advanced optics, achieving 550 lumens from a standard single CR123A battery. The MK II also benefits from a true, current-regulated sub-one lumen moonlight mode.
A versatile option the MINI can be configured to your needs with six selectable modes and includes a two-way pocket clip and detachable key ring option.
Length: 2.17 inches
Weight: 0.62 ounces
Brightness: 0.8 / 20 / 250 / 300 / (Burst) 550 lumens
The Nano Light is tiny, at just 1.47 inches long and weighing in at a minuscule 0.36-ounces it has been designed as the perfect personal flashlight. Weatherproof, the Nano features a 100,000-hour lifetime white LED powered by four alkaline button cells.
The non-rotating snap hook attaches to any keychain for easy one-handed operation with a run time of up to eight hours and is constructed from a machined aircraft-grade aluminum with anodized finish.
Length: 1.47 inches
Weight: 0.36 ounces
Brightness: 10 lumens
The KeyMate USB’s unique shape for a flashlight allows for easy attachment to your key ring thanks to its sping-loaded clip. The perfect addition to your keychain the KeyMate will be on hand to light up a dark basement, when you go for a nighttime jog or to provide emergency lighting during a power outage.
With a long runtime combined with its USB rechargeability, the KeyMayte can be left turned on for up to two hours. Featuring three modes: High (35 lumens); Low (16); and Strobe (flashes at High lumen level) the small light measures only 2.9 inches wide, 1.08 inches thick, and weighs a mere 0.5 ounces. It is IPX4 rated for weather resistance and is impact resistant-tested to one meter.
Length: 2.9 inches
Weight: 0.5 ounces
Brightness: 16 / 35 lumens
The Micro Torch is designed as a survival tool; a compact LED light that can attach to any zipper on your jacket, vest, backpack or fleece. Built with a long-lasting LED bulb with four settings; Low, High, Beacon/Blinking and Off, the soft rubber switch makes it easy to use in any condition, even when wearing gloves. Every bit of light goes a long way in the wild.
Length: 1.7 inches
Weight: 1.4 ounces
Brightness: 3 / 8 lumens
Incredibly small but packed full of features, the i3S is a solid choice on our list of best keychain flashlights. The highly efficient CREE XP-G2 LED outputs up to 80 lumens and is powered by a single AAA battery. Twisting the head cycles through three brightness levels and a strobe mode and is perfect for emergency lighting or close up tasks.
With a pocket clip and keychain, the i3S is always close at hand — in a pocket with your keys, in a purse, or clipped to a hat or shirt pocket. Built from a sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum the flat tail cap allows you to stand it up on a table for a wider light distribution.
Length: 2.75 inches
Weight: 2.89 ounces
Brightness: 0.5 / 20 / 80 lumens
The last pocket light on our list of best keychain flashlights, the Slughaus Bullet LED. It’s everything that represents a mini everyday carry – functional, minimal, and refined. The Bullet eliminates bulkier flashlights from your everyday carry and lightens the load thanks to its 0.2-ounce weight and 1.18 inches length.
A quick quarter rotation on the head of the Bullet turns it on, and a quick rotation back turns it off making it slick and precise and no need for additional buttons. A built-in clip allows you to carry the Bullet on any keychain and will produce 15 lumens of light making it perfect for everyday use.
Length: 1.18 inches
Weight: 0.2 ounces
Brightness: 15 lumens