(Last Update: February 4, 2021)
The best keychain flashlight in 2021 is a relative term – it really matters where you keep your keys and how much room you think you can take up with a flashlight.
Most of the time we use low lumen settings even with bigger lights so even a super small light will help you in the dark. The light you have with you when you need it is the best light.
Since flashlight keychains are usually really small, they are not as powerful as some other every day carry (EDC) flashlights. With that said most flashlight manufacturers produce some sort of a keychain light.
Tiny 450-650 Lumens
Great Light Color
Olight I1R 2 EOS
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List
- Best Micro Flashlight: Olight I1R 2 EOS
- Best Runner-Up Micro Flashlight: Astrolux M01
- Best AAA Flashlight: Prometheus Beta QRv2
- Super Durable AAA Keychain Flashlight: Sofirn C01S
- Best Budget AAA Flashlight: Lumintop EDC01
- Best Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight: RovyVon Aurora A23
- Best Runner-Up Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight: RovyVon Aurora A3x
- Brightest Keychain Flashlight: Nitecore TUP
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**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The two main varieties that you will find are the super small microlights that run off of a watch battery and lights that run on a single AAA battery. There are keychain flashlights that use other battery types like AA or CR123A, but they get a little wider than most want to keep on their keys. A keychain flashlight needs to be very durable and reliable. If we have the added luxury of high lumens in a flashlight, it is nice, but the most important things are size, durability, and reliability.
Our Picks For The Best Keychain Flashlights in 2021
Best Micro Flashlight:
The Olight I 1R 3 EOS is the perfect keychain light thanks to its extremely compact size and its ultra-lightweight design. The size and weight of this light make it ideal for attaching to lanyards and key chains; you won’t even notice the added weight or bulk. Coming in at 1.5 inches long, this light is shorter than your average AAA battery and only weighs .42 ounces with its battery in place. The body of the light is manufactured from a strong aluminum alloy ensuring it is durable enough to be carried on most key chains.
Powered with a built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, the Olight I1R 2 EOS offers users two brightness levels using a high-performance 5-sided CSP LED. The high-performance LED is paired with a TIR optic lens to produce a balanced and soft beam of light. To swap between brightness modes simply twist the head of the light.
The built-in battery is recharged by plugging the Micro-USB charging cable into a compatible power source. Full recharging of the battery takes 1 hour and 15 minutes, but the charging indicator light will alert you to the recharging process. With an IPX-8 rating the Olight I1R 2 EOS is able to be submerged in up to 2 meters of water for up to 30 minutes without suffering permanent damage. The simplicity and small size of this light make it one of the best keyring torches available.
- Can be hooked to keychain
- IPX-8 rating
- Must remove lens housing to recharge battery
- Weight: 0.42 oz with battery
- Dimensions: 1.51 inches long and 0.55-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 5 lumens for 6 hours
- Highest Setting: 150 lumens for 15 minutes
Best Runner-Up Micro Flashlight:
If you are in the market for a small, durable key chain style light you need to consider the Astrolux M01 100LM USB Mini LED Flashlight is an excellent choice. When compared to the Olight I1R EOS, the Astrolux M01 comes up short in a few different places which is why it is our runner-up rather than the best option in terms of micro flashlights. Featuring a Nichia 219C/XP-G3 LED the Astrolux M01 is able to emit a maximum of 100 lumens, so it’s not quite as bright as the Olight, but it’s lowest setting at 8 lumens is brighter than the Olight. The twisty style switch allows users to swap between high and low brightness modes.
The stainless steel body of the Astrolux M01 is not only durable but is a partial choice for the numerous ways this light can be used. The body of the light is used as the switch to provide power and swap between modes, simply twist the body to power the light on or off. The Astrolux M01 is powered by a 10180 battery which comes included within the light. To recharge the battery, remove the lens housing and plug in the micro-USB into the light and a compatible power source. Charging takes about an hour to complete and is monitored through a charging indicator light.
- Compact size
- IPX-7 rating
- Must remove lens housing to recharge battery
- Weight: 0.49 oz with battery
- Dimensions: 1.64 inches long and 0.51-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 8 lumens for 6 hours and 30 minutes
- Highest Setting: 100 lumens for 30 minutes
Flashlights that use AAA batteries are much bigger than the button cell flashlights above, but they have a much higher output. Since you have a higher output you are going to go through batteries much faster. If you want to invest a little into having the best rechargeable batteries the Eneloop AAA Ni-MH fits the bill. Our favorite charger for the Eneloops is the Opus BT C3100 since it easy to use, high quality, and works for both AA and AAA batteries. For non-rechargeable batteries the Energizer L92 batteries are superior, they are lithium and not alkaline so they have more charge and longer shelf life.
Best AAA Flashlight:
The Prometheus Beta QRv2 is the updated version of the original Beta QR. With this updated version users will receive the same core qualities that the original version offers, including superior beam quality and an appealing design, but you also get so much more. One of the greatest things about the Prometheus Beta QRv2 is its quick-release mechanism. This mechanism makes it an ideal key chain light because you can easily attach or remove the light from your key chain when needed. To prevent accidental detachment, the quick-release brass component requires 10 pounds of force. Plus you will hear an audible click when attaching the light, so you know its securely in place.
The light is powered by a single AAA battery, but the manufacturers do not recommend you use ordinary alkaline batteries. For optimal performance, you should use NiMH or lithium-ion batteries. Featuring a Nichia 219C High CRI 4500K LED the Prometheus Beta QRv2 offers superior light quality, you can see colors like it was the middle of a bright and sunny day as the light delivers 92+ CRI. Users have a choice between high and low brightness levels. High mode provides up to 60 lumens of light with a 37-meter beam distance, while low emits 15 lumens of light for up to 19 meters. Cycle through the modes and control your light through a twisting interface. With the innovative quick release it might even be a good backup to a bigger light or a pistol light.
- Two output modes
- Stainless steel body
- Quick-release feature
- Does not come with instructions
- Weight: 0.8 oz. w/out battery
- Dimensions: 2.95 inches long and 0.55-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 15 lumens for 4 hours
- Highest Setting: 60 lumens for 1 hour
Super Durable AAA Keychain Flashlight:
The small, key chain sized Sofirn C01S is the updated version of the Sofirn-BLF C01. One of the most important updates is the light’s ability to produce a maximum of 100 lumens. The other update is the light offering two modes rather than just a single brightness level. The Sofirn C01S features a Luminus 95 CRI SST20 4000K LED emitter to provide the 100 lumens of light, plus the high CRI allows users to see colors as they would on a bright, sunny day. The Sofirn C01S offers a simple user interface, screw the battery case on or off to power the light and to switch between brightness levels.
Made from a 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum body with a hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish the Sofirn uses a single alkaline AAA battery, but can also run off a 1.2V NiMH battery. The body of the light was manufactured to provide a better impact resistance and heat exchange. For excellent light stability, the Sofirn C01S offers potted electronics. These potted electronics were modeled after the Fenix E01, which is a favorite light among many flashlights enthusiasts despite it not having been updated for several years. The compact size of the light and its lightweight design ensures users never notice it on their keychain, but the tail cap design allows for tail standing and offers a round hole for a magnet and a trit hole. A great light that would be good as a survival flashlight.
- Simple interface
- IPX-8 rating
- Compact design
- No memory mode
- Weight: 0.53 oz. w/out battery
- Dimensions: 2.81 inches long and 0.57-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 3 lumens for 25 hours and 15 minutes
- Highest Setting: 100 lumens for 1 hour and 25 minutes
Best Budget AAA Flashlight:
If you are in the market for a bright and reliable key chain style light that is also affordable, look no further than the Lumintop EDC01. This compact light is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum and offers a military-grade hard-anodized finish. It offers the highest IPX8 rating, so it can handle being fully submerged in up to 6.5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The durable light can also withstand impacts of up to 5 feet, so no worrying about accidental drops. Although durable and sturdy, the light is compact and light enough to make it on of the best choice for key chains and EDC.
Using a CREE XP-G3 LED that offers a 50,000-hour lifespan, the Lumintop EDC01 is powered by a single AAA battery. The light offers three brightness modes and has the ability to emit a maximum of 120 lumens with a beam distance of 37 meters. To switch between the here brightness modes simply twist the light head. Twisting the light head will also power on the light while twisting the tailcap will power it down. The Lumintop EDC01 offers a hole in the tail cap for a lanyard or keychain, as well as a dual direction pocket clip. The included glow-in-the-dark diffuser makes it easy to find the light even in the dark.
- Easy to find battery
- 3 modes
- Looks a bit on the cheap side
- Weight: 0.39 oz. w/out battery
- Dimensions: 2.6 inches long and 0.57-inch diameter
- Lowest Output: 5 lumens for 36 hours
- Highest Output: 120 lumens for 30 minutes
Best Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight:
When you purchase the RovyVon Aurora A23 you will receive a key ring, lanyard, and a paracord with your light. These items allow you to carry your flashlight in a variety of ways. Coming in at 3.8 ounces not everybody finds carrying this compact-sized light on a key chain feasible. This compact light is an ideal choice for an everyday carry type of light as it is portable and easy to operate. The aluminum body is shock-resistant so it’s built for durability and will hold up under the roughest conditions. The light features an anti-roll body and comes with a stainless steel pocket clip for additional carrying choices.
With an IPX-8 rating the RovyVon Aurora A23 will withstand drops of up to 2 meters and can handle being fully submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. This high rating allows this light to be used in adverse weather conditions, including rain and snow. The CREE LED is built to be brighter and more efficient compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. The LED used in the Aurora A23 is the brightest one offered in the Aurora series and has the ability to emit a maximum of 1000 lumens making this one of the brightest keychain flashlights that we have reviewed. The light provides users with seven brightness choices, including a moonlight, SOS, and Strobe mode. The light is powered by a replaceable rechargeable battery that is long-lasting and is easy to recharge with an included micro-USB cable. The Aurora A23 is designed for one-handed operation with a comfortable switch located on the body of the light.
- Multiple brightness levels
- Memory mode
- Bit on the heavy side
- Weight: 3.8 oz. with batteries
- Dimensions: 2.9 inches long and 0.85-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 40 lumen for 9 hours and 30 minutes
- Highest Setting: 1000 lumens for 1.3 hours
Best Runner-Up Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight:
RovyVon specializes in designing everyday products, including mini flashlights like the Aurora A3x. The light is powered by an included lithium-ion rechargeable battery and with the micro-USB charging cable can be charged with any compatible power source. The red light indicates the battery is low on power, while the blue light means it’s fully charged. Charging is quick and is done within 45 minutes.
The RovyVon Aurora A3x utilizes a Nichia 219C to emit a maximum of 450 lumens of a beautiful color light. You could also get the Cree that will have an output of 650 lumens. The light offers 4 different brightness levels: high, medium, low, and moonlight as well as a special strobe mode. The light offers a user-friendly interface, simply double click the switch to turn on the primary light. The switch also allows you to cycle through the various modes and pressing and holding the button allows you to quickly turn the light on in HIGH.
- Multiple brightness modes
- Small and beautiful
- Proprietary battery maximizes capacity
- Could have a higher IP Rating
- Weight: 0.69 oz. with battery
- Dimensions: 2.26 inches long and 0.61 -inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 2 lumens for 32 hours
- Highest Setting: 450 lumens for 1.5 min then 60 min at 100 lumens
Brightest Keychain Flashlight:
The Nitecore TUP is a great little light that has been designed from the ground up to be a great keychain flashlight. Nitecore has been working for years on these smaller type lights like the TUBE and TIP which are some good goto lights for a small rechargeable light.
The Nitecore TUP utilizes a CREE XP-L V6 LED to emit a maximum of 1000 lumens. The light offers 5 different brightness levels: turbo, high, medium, and low, and ultralow. The light offers a user-friendly interface with lots of options. The small OLED display can show Battery level & voltage, brightness level, the user mode, and remaining runtime. There are two user modes for the light, demo and daily, demo makes it so the light will shut off after 30 seconds if there is no operation so you can use this for quick light and on and off and you do not need to worry about killing your battery.
We really like that both the turbo and moonlight modes can be accessed directly from the light being off. For turbo hold the mode button down and for moonlight hold the power button down. This light comes with a great super deep pocket clip but for the purpose of being a keychain light Nitecore has put a solid stainless steel ring at the bottom that is ale to withstand up to 30 kilograms of weight or 66 pounds.
- Multiple brightness modes
- OLED display
- Great keyring
- Super Powerful
- Larger than other keychain lights
- Weight: 1.88 oz. with battery and clip
- Dimensions: 2.77 inches long and 1.16-inch diameter
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 70 hours
- Highest Setting: 1000 lumens for 15 minutes
Keychain Flashlight FAQs
What are the top uses of a keychain flashlight?
The point of a flashlight is to have it when you need it. With a keychain flashlight you will most likely always have it with you, especially when you are in a pinch. Some common examples are dropping things, picking up small pieces of broken glass, looking in closets, and walking the dog.
What is the brightest keychain flashlight?
In 2021 the brightest keychain flashlight that will probably still fit in a pocket and has a good keychain ring is the Nitecore TUP at 1000 Lumens.
What is the smallest keychain flashlight?
In 2021 the smallest keychain flashlight that we would recommend would be the Olight I1R 2 EOS. There are some that are slightly smaller but either from manufacturers that are not reputable or are behind the times.
What are the best brands of keychain flashlights?
If you are looking for a super small style of light like the Olight I1R 2 EOS lots of manufacturers offer this option. Some brands seem to focus lots of research and development into this smaller size light. Some of those are Rovyvon and Nitecore.
What can I expect to pay for a keychain flashlight?
If you are willing to spend $25-$35 you can get a great flashlight. You can get keychain lights for as low as $5 but for recommended brands we would go around $10 for the super small size. On the higher end, you can go over $100 for lights that get close to custom.
Where’s the best place to buy a keychain flashlight?
As with most eCommerce products, Amazon is a good choice but we like dealing with manufacturers direct or with specialized flashlight online stores. If we can put more money in the hands of small business or direct to manufacturers we try.
Thanks for visiting the site, I hope that this has helped you find the best keychain flashlight for your needs. If you like any of the flashlights that you see in this article or in any of our other articles, please click one of the Buy Now buttons to make your purchase on Amazon.
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