Best keychain flashlight

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Best keychain flashlight

Post by madoka » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:23 am

My second Fenix P1D has died on me and it is no longer available. BTW, their warranty is useless. They literally tell you that it's too expensive to mail it back to them internationally. That was the comment I received when I emailed them. It did last 9 years though.

My keychain is already pretty full, so I prefer something small and lightweight, though I can live with a CR123 powered light.

So what should I switch over to?

Bonus question:

What is the successor to the Fenix P1D?

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by majorhavoc » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:23 am

I wouldn't even consider a Fenix P1D (or any CR123 powered light) a keychain flashlight, but that's just me. I favor keychain accessories that are super compact so they're comfortable enough to actually live in my pocket.

I'm a big fan of this little keychain flashlight https://smile.amazon.com/Energizer-High ... r-mr-title. I've had it for over three years now and remain very impressed. It lacks brand name cachet and is no lumen output monster, but per my 2/20/16 Amazon user review, this thing is rugged, reliable and extremely low profile; it's something you'll always have on your person because it's so comfortable in your pocket.

A similar keychain light with more brand recognition is the Nite Ize Microlight STS. Similar output as the Energizer at 16 lumens with a 64 hour (!) 2 lumen low light mode. https://smile.amazon.com/Microlight-STS ... olight+STS

Knowing how people feel about lumen output however, I've picked up good chatter on these two USB rechargeable keychain lights:
Nitecore Tube 45 lumens, about $10. https://smile.amazon.com/NiteCore-Infin ... ecore+Tube
MecArmy SGN3 apparently da bomb with a 160 lumen max output. But insanely priced at $60. https://smile.amazon.com/MecArmy-SGN3-R ... cArmy+SGN3

If I were looking today, I'd consider the Nitecore if I were OK with rechargeable versus user replaceable batteries. Otherwise a toss up between the Nite Ize or the Energizer.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by shulatt » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:02 pm

majorhavoc wrote: I'm a big fan of this little keychain flashlight https://smile.amazon.com/Energizer-High ... r-mr-title. I've had it for over three years now and remain very impressed. It lacks brand name cachet and is no lumen output monster, but per my 2/20/16 Amazon user review, this thing is rugged, reliable and extremely low profile; it's something you'll always have on your person because it's so comfortable in your pocket.
I'll add a +1 to the little Energizer LED. I've had one for a couple of years that I use at my pizza delivery job on a regular basis. I've had to replace it once due to it getting dropped directly on the lens and the lens cracking. I still works, but warps the beam and throws if off to one side, so I set it off to the side as a back up. I've had to replace the batteries a couple of times over the years, but considering I use the 'high' setting to spot addresses on houses from the street pretty often, I expect to go through batteries. Fortunately, the CR 2016 coin batteries are fairly cheap, and changing them is simply a matter of a few screws. Amazon says 2 hr continuous runtime on 'high' (13 Lumens) from fresh batteries, but that seems an underestimate in my experience. The 'low' setting is sufficient for checking maps or addresses in the car without blowing your night vision all to hell. I haven't found any real use for the slow strobe, but suppose it'd make a reasonable 'oh shit' beacon that's always handy.
For the price (under $10 on Amazon) it's durable, reliable, and comfortable to carry.

I've pulled the keyring off of mine and added a little s-biner and regularly swap it between my keychain and clipping it to my shirt lapel as an inconspicuous light for when I've got my hands full of pizza and someone's porch light is burned out (or if they're just rude and don't bother turning it on) or dark driveways and such.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by eugene » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:19 pm

I went back to the maglite solitaire now that they are led.
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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by acropolis5 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:28 pm

Best bang for your buck, stick simple, practically bombproof, long lived with a lithium AAA, light, good enough lumens for most everyday tasks, really light & compact= Fenix EO1 ( or an EO5 if U need more lumens & settings). I back it up with a yellow Photon Freedom, carried switch -in, in its neck holder , but dangling on my keychain. That prevents a pocket turn on and a dead battery when u need it most. This has been my flashlight EDC for more than a decade. Never failed me or came up short.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by JIM » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:34 pm

madoka wrote:My second Fenix P1D has died on me and it is no longer available. BTW, their warranty is useless. They literally tell you that it's too expensive to mail it back to them internationally. That was the comment I received when I emailed them. It did last 9 years though.

My keychain is already pretty full, so I prefer something small and lightweight, though I can live with a CR123 powered light.

So what should I switch over to?

Bonus question:

What is the successor to the Fenix P1D?
I feel sorry for your loss, dropped my P1D in a river. One of the best lights ever. Replaced it with a Olight I1 EOS
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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by B9ev » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:17 am

I really like my Surefire Titan.
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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by Close_enough » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:41 pm

acropolis5 wrote:Best bang for your buck, stick simple, practically bombproof, long lived with a lithium AAA, light, good enough lumens for most everyday tasks, really light & compact= Fenix EO1 ( or an EO5 if U need more lumens & settings). I back it up with a yellow Photon Freedom, carried switch -in, in its neck holder , but dangling on my keychain. That prevents a pocket turn on and a dead battery when u need it most. This has been my flashlight EDC for more than a decade. Never failed me or came up short.
I have the same. The E05 is the most bang for your buck, but has some minor problems switching rapidly between modes (turn it off, count three seconds, turn it back on). The E01 is the most reliable. The Photon Freedom (I have the white covert) can disappear onto a keychain, but has an annoying habit of switching itself on in your pocket. It's really best as a very capable backup or neck lanyard light.

If I had to have just one, it would be the E05

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by echo83 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:52 pm

eugene wrote:I went back to the maglite solitaire now that they are led.
Thread necro, but I totally second this. I can't say enough good things about the Solitaire LED. Great blend of affordability, durability, light output and it runs on a single AAA.

OP, I'm not sure how frequently you use your light, but I would recommend the Solitaire LED.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by Asymetryczna » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:28 pm

I dislike being the superlatives manager but "BEST" just doesn't work well for me. Now, if one were to say "best use off one battery," or "best at being the smallest with the most lumens with lowest cost" I would be more likely to look at the reasoning. "I've used for over 3 years" works and remain impressed," for example.

Also, you don't always have to think small. On one of my jackets I have a large pocket, which allows me to use a bigger light attached to my keys.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by 50 Mission Cap » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:04 am

I've switched to the Nitecore Tube. $11, weighs nothing, bright enough, fully adjustable output and best of all USB rechargeable. Downsides - it's plastic and only "splash proof" not submersible. It's actually holding up very well about 4 months in.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by majorhavoc » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:46 am

50 Mission Cap wrote:I've switched to the Nitecore Tube. $11, weighs nothing, bright enough, fully adjustable output and best of all USB rechargeable. Downsides - it's plastic and only "splash proof" not submersible. It's actually holding up very well about 4 months in.
http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights ... d=10315376

Add promo code SDTUBE at checkout to get price down to $3.99. Translucent color option only, shipping is very slow.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by turbo6 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:11 pm

9 years for a keychain light is impressive, IMO. Fenix has great warranty service but I believe it's 5 years for most lights.

Their E15 is particularly impressive at 450 lumens. Also the UC01 is convenient with its internal battery and usb charging, similar to the Nitecore Tube, which is another option.

I don't necessarily recommend the Tube right off the bat because I've owned 3 and 2 of them died within weeks. But when it's not a dud it is a good light

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by MPMalloy » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:25 pm

eugene wrote:I went back to the maglite solitaire now that they are led.
That's what I have. It works, & it's not expensive.
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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by 50 Mission Cap » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:38 am

majorhavoc wrote:
50 Mission Cap wrote:I've switched to the Nitecore Tube. $11, weighs nothing, bright enough, fully adjustable output and best of all USB rechargeable. Downsides - it's plastic and only "splash proof" not submersible. It's actually holding up very well about 4 months in.
http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights ... d=10315376

Add promo code SDTUBE at checkout to get price down to $3.99. Translucent color option only, shipping is very slow.
Lots of fakes out there. This Youtuber tore one down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZNA8vxBcJE

The fakes go cheap on the battery and electronics - which is pretty much the entire light.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by yossarian » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:13 pm

50 Mission Cap wrote:- it's plastic and only "splash proof" not submersible.
It will survive at least one run through the washing machine. :crazy: I've lost count with my Streamlight Microstream.
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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:15 pm

50 Mission Cap wrote:
majorhavoc wrote:
50 Mission Cap wrote:I've switched to the Nitecore Tube. $11, weighs nothing, bright enough, fully adjustable output and best of all USB rechargeable. Downsides - it's plastic and only "splash proof" not submersible. It's actually holding up very well about 4 months in.
http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights ... d=10315376

Add promo code SDTUBE at checkout to get price down to $3.99. Translucent color option only, shipping is very slow.
Lots of fakes out there. This Youtuber tore one down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZNA8vxBcJE

The fakes go cheap on the battery and electronics - which is pretty much the entire light.
According to that video, mine is an authentic Nitecore, which I had purchased from Gearbest. Your link was a huge help because in the last few days, my Tube inexplicably stopped working. I even tore it down to no avail. I felt bad recommending the Tube to ZS'ers (and just recently ordering a second one) when just days after doing so, my original crapped out without warning.

However, that same YT'er, BigCliveDotCom, produced another video on the Tube demonstrating an undocumented lockout feature, which can cause an authentic Tube to appear dead. I followed his instructions and voila! My Tube sprang back to life! So thanks Mission Cap: your caution about counterfeit Tubes is well taken, but your link also helped me discover why mine suddenly stopped working.


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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by kesomik » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:28 pm

Anyone have experience with a SureFire Sidekick keychain flashlight? It is very small and can carry this easily. Although, the price is high($70). Maximum lumen is 300. I am thinking to buy this keychain light. Is it worth to buy? I read other website review like the totalguide site. But, don't understanding what should buy.
Last edited by kesomik on Fri May 11, 2018 5:04 am, edited 5 times in total.
Need to know.........

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by majorhavoc » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:57 am

kesomik wrote:Anyone have experience with a SureFire Sidekick keychain flashlight? It is very small and can carry this easily. Although, the price is high($70). Maximum lumen is 300. I am thinking to buy this keychain light. Is it worth to buy?
I confess I don't own this or any of the really high end keychain flashlights. The Sidekick seems like a great product that is poorly positioned in the marketplace. The 300lm output and Surefire quality reputation are impressive, but $70? If I were going to spend that kind of money, I'd sooner spend $5 less and get the MecArmy SNG7, with an even higher 550lm output and doubles as an emergency powerbank. https://www.amazon.com/Mecarmy-Recharge ... B01MXUBQGZ

If the Surefire were completely waterproof, it might make sense for some users at this price point. But I understand it's only water resistant, which makes it roughly equivalent to a number of other offerings, and falls short of completely waterproof (and cheaper) alternatives from Olight, Fenix and Thrunite.

I think the Sidekick is overpriced for what it is.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by yossarian » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:58 am

I just wanted to revisit this thread to officially rescind my endorsement of the Nitecore Tube. Early on it took a spin through the washer. After a thorough drying it worked fine and performed light duty for a few months. I really did like it for its size, weight and output. I was using it just a little bit ago and it died mid-use.

Bleeding demised, passed , it is no more, it has ceased to be, it's expired and gone on to meet it's maker, it is a late flashlight. It's a stiff, bereft of life, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible . It is an ex-flashlight!!
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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by gary83 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:33 am

Streamlight Nano gets my vote. It has a decent output.

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by JackBauer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:18 am

Another vote for the Nitecore tube from gearbest. The USB jack is awesome for a top off on the charge.
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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by majorhavoc » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:41 am

Bit of a deal at the moment for those interested in the Nitecore Tip:

https://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlight ... d=10315376

$34.99, but currently the coupon code NichiaNT brings the price down to $16.99.

Two caveats:

1) this is the Nichia emitter powered Tip CRI versus the Cree emitter powered regular Tip. In a nutshell the CRI version has slightly lower max output and run times, but has a noticeably warmer tint.

2) this is, again, Gear Best we're talking about. This vendor has been completely reliable for me (over a history of maybe three or four orders), but shipping times are measured in weeks, not days.

FYI: here's a really nice video comparing the CRI Tip versus the regular Tip:

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Re: Best keychain flashlight

Post by 50 Mission Cap » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:59 am

Ordered.

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