The EDC or Everyday Carry concept is not a new one but seems to be growing in popularity. It basically refers to items that one carries on a daily basis in an effort to be prepared for various situations ranging from everyday tasks to emergencies. Though my personal EDC gear list isn’t nearly as extensive as some that I’ve seen, there are some items that I always carry. One of the most useful to me is the EDC flashlight.
Because I carry my EDC flashlight in my shirt chest pocket; balancing size, weight and brightness used to be a hard to do and pretty much limited me to a pen light. It was during this time that I developed a particular liking of the Streamlight Stylus Pro LED Pen Light that still lasts to this day. At 5.3 inches in length and.6 inches in diameter the Streamlight Stylus Pro LED Pen Light fits nicely in the pocket and is powered by two plentiful and inexpensive triple A batteries. Yet at 24 lumens output there were times that I found myself wanting a brighter flashlight. (Streamlight has since upgraded the Stylus Pro to produce 48 lumens of light, which made a great pen light even better!)
As a long-time Streamlight fan, when they introduced the ProTac Series of flashlights I bought a Streamlight ProTac 2AA LED Tactical Flashlight for my EDC flashlight. With two brightness levels and strobe mode I found the ProTac 2AA to be much more versatile and at 120 lumens on high, a lot brighter than the Stylus Pro light. The only down side with the Streamlight ProTac 2AA LED Tactical Flashlight for me is that at.90 inches in diameter at its thickest point and 5.97 inches in length it’s just a little larger than I prefer for carry in my shirt pocket. The ProTac 2AA LED flashlight would probably be better suited for belt carry in the nylon holster that comes with the flashlight or in a cargo pocket or pouch.
Recently 5.11 Tactical introduced their new ATAC line of flashlights and I picked up a 5.11 Tactical ATAC PLx Flashlight. At 2.2 ounces with batteries, the triple A battery powered ATAC PLx is 5 inches long and.7 inches in diameter, which is very close in size to the Streamlight Stylus Pro Pen Light. What sets the ATAC PLx apart is that it has a 69 lumen output, almost a 45% increase in brightness over the current Stylus Pro. So far I’ve been very pleased with it in the role of EDC flashlight. The beam obviously isn’t as bright, nor is it as focused as the Streamlight ProTac 2AA LED Tactical Flashlight but so far the reduced size has been worth the trade-off.
All three of the flashlights that I’ve mentioned above will work very well in the role of EDC flashlight. All three are well-built flashlights from reputable companies with great warranties and customer service departments. So which flashlight should you choose? That depends on how you plan to use and carry your EDC flashlight. As I mentioned, I carry mine primarily in my shirt pocket, which dictates a flashlight that is sized accordingly. If you carry your light in a different way or have different lighting requirements than I do you may want a larger or smaller flashlight. The Streamlight Stylus Pro LED Pen Light and Streamlight ProTac 2AA LED Tactical Flashlights have both proven to be very durable and capable and I have no reason to doubt that the 5.11 Tactical ATAC PLx Flashlight will perform as well.