Gear > Everyday Carry

8 Best Mini Keychain Flashlights: Bright & Practical

By Andrew Peloquin  |  Updated December 5, 2023

8 Best Mini Keychain Flashlights: Bright & Practical

You have no idea how many times one of these tiny little lights saved my bacon: the night I got a flat tire driving down a snowy Canadian road, the day I had to get into my buddy’s crawlspace to find my house keys that I’d dropped through a hole in the floor, even my last vacation when I got off track cave-exploring and the battery in my larger flashlight died.

I will never not carry a flashlight on my keychain (or sometimes clipped to my carabiner keychain), that’s a promise I intend to keep for the rest of my life.


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Size first, power second. Keychain flashlights typically prioritize compact size over brightness or battery power. After all, the flashlight has to fit in your pocket as part of your keychain, right? But thanks to modern LED technology, you can find some surprisingly bright, micro-sized flashlights—anywhere from 500 to 700 lumens.
  • Battery power matters. Keychain flashlights that come with their own built-in battery will be easier to charge frequently but may run out of juice with infrequent use. On the other hand, AA, AAA, or even the coin-sized batteries won’t last as long but won’t need regular changing if the flashlight isn’t used frequently.
  • Brightness modes for the win. You may not need full-intensity brightness every time you turn on the flashlight. Flashlights with multiple brightness modes make it easy to use less power so you need to charge or change the batteries less frequently. However, having that ultra-bright mode is handy when you need a whole lot of light for a short amount of time.

I dove deep into the many options available on the market to find the best of the best. After testing every one I could get my hands on, not to mention combing through lots of reviews on both Amazon and everyday carry sites, I’ve put together a list of the top keychain flashlights you’ll want to carry everywhere you go.

Best Overall

Nitecore TINI 2 Ultra Compact Keychain Flashlight

Why did I choose it?

Though small, the Nitecore TINI 2 is mighty. Built from sturdy aluminum, it’s capable of withstanding inclement weather, harsh environments, and frequent drops. It’s less than 2 inches long and weighs just 0.66 ounces, but can generate an impressive 500-lumens of light.


Best for Water Resistance
LUMINTOP EDC01

Super Bright Keychain Flashlight
RovyVon Aurora A3

Best Cylinder-style Flashlight
OLIGHT I1R 2 Pro Eos


Best Overall

Nitecore TINI 2 Ultra Compact Keychain Flashlight


$40
 

Compact, durable, and ultra-bright, that’s the Nitecore TINI 2. On its brightest setting, it can generate 500 lumens and cast a beam 97 yards, but weighs just one ounce.

The integrated OLED display lets you know exactly how much battery life is left, and fast-charging is available thanks to the USB-C port. The dual-switch design makes it easy to switch it on, off, and change modes.





Best for Water Resistance

LUMINTOP EDC01


$13
 

Drop this bad boy into any river, stream, or lake, and you’ve got nothing to worry about. The IPX8 waterproof rating is higher than any other flashlight on our list, making it the perfect companion to carry with you when kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, or boating.

It’s not the brightest light—just 120 lumens—but offers a reliable 32 hours of runtime and uses easy-to-pack AAA batteries.





Super Bright Keychain Flashlight

RovyVon Aurora A3


$23
 

The RovyVon Aurora A3 earns the distinction of being the brightest flashlight on our list at 650 lumens, with the longest beam distance (357 feet), too.

The 70-minute run-time is impressive, as is the 30-hour lifespan when on moonlight mode. With five brightness modes to choose from (including strobe and moonlight) and user-friendly, single-button controls, it’s a flashlight you’ll be glad to have anywhere you go.





Best Cylinder-style Flashlight

OLIGHT I1R 2 Pro Eos


$22
 

Barely larger than the AA-sized lithium-ion battery that powers it, this flashlight weighs just 0.78 ounces and fits comfortably in your hand.

The high-performance CSP LED bulb and TIR optic lens maximizes performance, brightness, and durability. The high beam generates 180 lumens and runs for 23 minutes, while the 5-lumen low setting can run for 12 hours before draining the battery.






Streamlight 73301 Pocket Mate


$26
 

The Streamlight 73301 Pocket Mate is built to look and feel just like your car keys. The battery life ranges from 20 minutes on the full-intensity 325-lumen, 76-meter beam to 1 hour on the low-intensity 45-lumen, 28-meter beam.

Charging is made easy thanks to the integrated battery and USB port. Four hours of charge time is all you need to be back at full power.






NEBO Mycro


$32
 

The NEBO Mycro may be smaller than your key fob, but it’s far tougher, thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum used for its body.

It has a whopping six settings: high, medium, low, green, red, and Turbo (which casts a 400-lumen beam up to 269 feet). Though the battery life isn’t the best on our list, charge time via microUSB is just two hours.






Fenix E03R v2.0 Keychain Flashlight


$31
 

Take this little flashlight hiking, hunting, or camping. Built with aero-grade aluminum, it’s IP66 waterproof rated, impact-resistant, and fits comfortably in your hand or backpack.

The two built-in LED lights are capable of generating up to 500 lumens of white light, but also a 5-lumen red auxiliary light that will last for hours rather than minutes.






Nitecore Tiki GITD


$25
 

The Nitecore Tiki GITD isn’t the brightest flashlight on our list (just 300 lumens, with a 77-yard beam), but it is one of the most budget-friendly as well as one of the longest-lasting (at 40 hours on low mode).

The glow-in-the-dark shell ensures you’ll never lose the flashlight even if you drop it. The integrated UV light comes in handy when cleaning your RV, tent, or car, too.





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