From checking out what just went ‘ribbit‘ under-foot in the yard, to illuminating a gunfight, flashlights can come in handy almost every single day of anyone’s life. Whether you’re an outdoorsman or a homebody, work a blue collar job or a white collar job, we would all take advantage of it, if we could have a flashlight materialize in-hand whenever we need to illuminate something for a second. Most of us probably don’t even think about it every time we use our 4″ cellphone screen to make our way across our bedroom after everyone else is asleep, but we all do it.
It may not be possible to have a flashlight materialize in hand every time we need some light, but its less of a hassle to carry one all the time than most people probably think. Sure, like anything else you carry every day, it’s a lifestyle choice, but it’s not as big a deal as you think. You sure as hell never leave home without your cell phone, which is heavier and larger than any flashlight you’d carry daily. The iPhone 5 weighs 4oz. The Samsung POS…erm…Galaxy weighs 4.6oz. The heaviest flashlights for this purpose are going to weight less than the POS, and the lighter ones weigh half that. Once you adjust to having a flashlight all the time, it’s no more hassle than a cell phone, and you get used to even having it in your pocket around the house.
The trick with every-day-carry (EDC) flashlights is to find the smallest, lightest flashlight that will fit your needs. Small and light is key to keep you pocketing it ever morning before you leave home. Get a flashlight too big and heavy, and it’ll be like the fo’tay faaaive lovers who buy a 1911 for concealed carry and then never end up carrying, because it would be just as convenient to concealed carry a brick (sorry if the reference is lost on you). Bigger isn’t always better.
The first thing you should do if figure out what you’re going to do with your flashlight. If you don’t have a need to use it for any activities that might get your adrenaline flowing (for good or bad reasons), then go small. Specifically, go with the Inova X1. I spent a year carrying the X1 every day without fail, and loved it. At 55 lumens, its brighter setting was great for all your usual tasks, and the 6-lumen low setting was bright enough to keep me from tripping over shit on my way to bed, while being dim enough not to wake anyone up. The size of the X1 is its defining quality, but it can be good or bad depending on your needs. As a small light, I barely noticed it in my pocket, however it was hard to hold and operate in a tactical grip because it was too small. You might not care about that if you don’t carry a defensive weapon, of if you just need a flashlight for glovebox duty, but for someone that carries a gun, the X1 is too small for EDC duty.