CAMPING & HIKING

Best Keychain Flashlight: Stay Safe In The Dark!

Rita Warfield
Written by Rita Warfield

The nightmare of coming home late when it’s already dark, looking for keys, finding the right one and then trying to find the keyhole on the first try happened to all of us at some point. Add in the freezing temperatures and the challenge becomes even greater. And, what is the solution to this? Getting the best keychain flashlight you can find (but even this can be a challenge)!

A useful keychain flashlight should be small enough to fit with your stack of keys you carry around. It should also have a decent battery life and be strong enough to illuminate your steps and tricky keyholes. So many demands and so many flashlights on the market!

Keychain Flashlight

We want to make your life a bit easier, so we compiled a list of what we consider to be some of the best options on the market. We pointed out the qualities that would make your life a bit easier, making sure we cover a diversity of brands. So, worry no more – we got you covered!

Our Top Picks

ProductBattery TypeBeam DistanceLight OutputPrice
LUMINTOP Mini Worm1x AAAMax 47 metersUp to 110 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Helius Mini Rechargeable LEDLi-Ion rechargeableMax 50 metersUp to 130 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Olight i3E EOS PMMA1x AAAMax 48 metersUp to 120 lumensCheck price on Amazon
KeySmart Nano Torch4x LR521 179 button cellMax 4 metersUp to 25 lumensCheck price on Amazon
LUMINTOP Tool Mini EDC1x AAAMax 47 metersUp to 110 lumensCheck price on Amazon
GLAREE E03 Keychain1x AAAMax 45 metersUp to 150 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature4x IEC-LR41 coin cellsMax 2 metersUp to 10 lumensCheck price on Amazon
Coast G5 LED4x AG5 (included)Max 2.4 metersUp to 12 lumensCheck price on Amazon

Things To Consider Before Buying

Keychain flashlights have been around for a while now. However, with the low cost and development of LED technology, they are more accessible, cheaper and will last you longer. We would still like to suggest you think of some features and properties of these flashlights and first of foremost, of your needs before deciding on one.

Size

Considering we are talking about keychain size flashlight, not standard ones, these will be significantly smaller. They should be small enough to nicely fit on your pack of keys but still big enough so you can hold it and use it. Some are sleeker and some are more robust – this is a personal preference you will have to decide upon.

Small Flashlight

Image credit: thecoolist.com

If you plan to simply attach it to your keys and go you may want to look for smaller ones that won’t add much bulk. However, if you have different plans and would rather clip it onto your belt, you might want to consider a more sturdy design. Whichever you end up choosing, one thing isn’t a problem – they are small enough to not be in a way of your everyday life.

Weight

As the size, weight is also slashed considerably due to its intended use. And as with size, you might want to consider your needs before you jump onto the lightest one available. Those will look great next to your door key, but we have you covered also if you need something larger.

Keychain Flashlight Attached on Jeans

Image credit: gearmoose.com

The products on our list range from flashlights so light you won’t even notice them, to those you can’t miss. The lighter ones have a disadvantage – if your hands are tougher or you need the light for the dark winter months only, they might be too fiddly for you. If this is the case, choose one that is a bit more substantial so that they’ll be easier to find and use.

If you just need something to illuminate the door keyhole than the smallest, lightest one will do just fine. Most of them are also a good option for older kids and seniors because they don’t get in the way and are easy to use.

Battery Type

The most widely used battery type for these kinds of flashlights is AAA batteries. You can usually find them in small house gadgets and remote controls. They are widely available in most stores and gas stations.

Batteries

Some of the products on our list use cell batteries. You might think these are more sophisticated, but in reality, most of them are the same or similar as those for the wristwatches and bedside alarm clocks. Still a good option and quite easy to find if you need replacement.

However, with the development of USB and lately more and more popular Micro USB you can now find a rechargeable keychain flashlight at a very affordable price as well. The cables come in the package, so you can easily charge it in the office or while in the car. This is a good, green option if you don’t want to worry about your flashlight going off and you needing to get replacement batteries.

Beam Distance

This is a feature worth considering if you need your keychain flashlight to do a little bit more than just illuminating the door keyhole. Some products on our list have incredible capabilities for such a small product, being able to illuminate objects even 48 meters away! However, there is a downside to this strength: if you use if often at these settings, you will drain your battery much faster.

Flashlight Beam

Image credit: shootingmystery.com

Simpler models have shorter beam distances. If you just need to look under your driver’s seat because you dropped something, you don’t need these impressive numbers. However, if you plan to attach it to your backpack and use it as a backup camping torch, you might consider these stronger models with longer beam capabilities.

Light Output

A lumen is a measuring unit for total quantity of visible light, or light output. To put it simply: the higher the number, the brighter the flashlight. The range of lumens on our list is from 10 all the way up to 150.

What do 10 lumens even mean in practicality? If you need to illuminate the keyhole, quickly check for mail or read a name on the doorbell, 10 lumens are more than enough. If you use your flashlight when you go walk the dog and you hear something in the bushes, you might want a stronger one to properly see the object.

Flashlight Light Output

Image credit: stylepursuits.com

Batteries used the flashlights correspond to maximum power or brightness that they are able to provide. However, remember that more lumens mean higher energy consumption. So, simple products with low lumen number will last you much longer than frequent use of maximum capabilities of the stronger models.

Water Resistance

Not the first property you might think about when we say “keychain flashlight” but nevertheless, still an important one to consider. Majority of smaller products like flashlights today on the market are water resistant. However, producers of most of those on our list went a step ahead of a secured a standard of water resistance up to 1.5-2 meters.

Waterproof Flashlight

Image credit: fenixtorch.co.uk

This means that in case you drop your keys that also have a flashlight attached, you will be completely safe. The product is supposed to work normally and not have any water damage. However, if you noticed, we are talking about water resistance, not waterproofness, so don’t go swimming with any of these.

Best Products On Today’s Market

Now that you gave your needs and some of the more important features some thought, we kindly invite you to check out the products. We selected eight products from today’s very busy market. Some from well-known producers, and some from creative people who gave light to an innovative design previously not available. We are sure one of this will fit your needs.

LUMINTOP Mini Worm Keychain Flashlight

Price: Approx. $14LUMINTOP Mini Worm Keychain Flashlight

Weight: 0.43 ounces

Dimensions: 2.64 inches

Specific features: 3 modes of brightness, impact resistance to 1.5 m, IPX-8 water resistance, non-slip silicone ring, sprint steel clip

Best use: Keychain, camping (for backup)

This simple looking flashlight definitely packs a punch. Lovingly called LUMINTOP Mini Worm Keychain Flashlight, it is available in 7 different colors, all made of aluminum. It is small and light enough to not add any bulk to your set of keys. It is also resistant to impact up to 1.5 meters so you don’t need to worry about dropping it.

You can change between three different modes by simply twisting its head and also to turn it on or off. The three modes are divided by the brightness (lumens). At 110 lumens (high) battery lasts for 30 minutes, at medium setting (default) you get 32 lumens for 4 hours and at low setting 5 lumens but for 36 hours.

These features make it perfect for many different occasions. It will come useful on a keychain, but you will also find a good use for it if you attach it to your backpack when you go camping or hiking as a backup. Leave it in your car so you have it on hand if ever needed or give it to your friend so he or she can make it home safely in the evening.

People love it because of its silicone ring which prevents you from slipping when turning it on or off, even when it’s cold or wet. It can double as a candle in case the electricity goes out. Impressive beam length at maximum of 47 meters will be handy when calling for your pets in the evening to come inside.

PROS:

  • Non-slip silicone ring
  • Impressive max beam length
  • Variety of colors to choose from
 CONS:

  • Twist to turn on/off hard to use if you’re in a hurry
  • Clip weakens and falls off

Related: Flashlights can be a way of feeling safer when you are walking home in the evening. If you would prefer something that will attract more attention we suggest this Thosdt 130dB Emegency Personal Alarm Keychain. It still has a LED flashlight but is also has a loud alarm that can be easily activated by pulling out a pin. It will add another layer of feeling safer when out on a run, it is small and very portable so you can attach it to your purse, backpack, belt loop – there is plenty of options.

Check the price on Amazon

Helius Mini Rechargeable LED Keychain Flashlight

Price: Approx. $19Helius Mini Rechargeable LED Keychain Flashlight

Weight: 3.4 ounces

Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.5 inches

Specific features: Rechargeable battery, aircraft-grade aluminum with anti-abrasive finish, IPX-8 standard waterproof resistant, impact resistant up to 1.5 m

Best use: Keychain, short emergencies

Not many keychain flashlights (or flashlights in general) today come without having to worry about batteries but instead simply pack a charging cable. This Helius Mini Rechargeable LED Keychain Flashlight is one of those special ones. With its Li-ion battery that you charge with a Micro USB cable that comes in the package, you don’t have to worry about extra batteries anymore.

The battery will last 30 min in high mode, which produces 130 lumens. In low mode, you will get 20 lumens for 4.5 hours. Don’t get scared by 30 min time mark as 20 lumens is sufficient to help you find the keys, unlock the door and other little tasks here and there that you might need it for.

This little number comes in four different colors – black, blue, grey and pink. You will easily find one that fits the rest of your keychain, your backpack or anything else you might attach it to. It is small enough to fit in your pocket so you can have in you all the time.

Taking your dog out in the evening won’t be a scary task if you are afraid of dark anymore. It is tough and reliable. You can use it in rain or snow due to its IPX-8 water resistance standard and aircraft-grade aluminum.

PROS:

  • Feels durable
  • Strong beam
  • Very lightweight
  • Red and green light to indicate if its charging or charged
 CONS:

  • Stiff twist mechanism
  • O-ring very thin

Related: To accompany you on your late night dog walk in the winter that is already showing its teeth across northern hemisphere we suggest these Peach Couture Plush Fleece Winter Gloves. They will bring some fun and excitement to your evenings. Wintery design, warmth and comfort will definitely bring a smile to your face whenever you will put them on.

Check the price on Amazon

Olight i3E EOS PMMA Flashlight

Price: Approx. $20Olight i3E EOS PMMA Flashlight

Weight: 4 ounces

Dimensions: 2 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches

Specific features: IPX-8 water resistance, Philips LUXEON TX LED source of light, PMMA TIR lens

Best use: Everyday carry, emergency kit

This Olight i3E EOS PMMA Flashlight is definitely one of the more beautiful and special designs on our list. Delivering amazing luminosity at such a small size and low weight is a big plus point for this flashlight. Silver and solid copper can deliver 120 lumens whereas other colors peak at 90 lumens.

It is powered by single AAA battery, which is widely available, so you don’t have to worry about looking for specialty battery types. The runtime depends on the battery a little bit. It will run for 90 min straight on a more sophisticated battery and reasonable 35 min on a no-brand one. Considering it is usually used for a few seconds here and there, it will last you a while no matter which battery you end up using.

A simple twist is needed to turn it on or off. With one setting regarding strength, only you won’t need to worry about unscrewing on its own as you might with some other models on the market. Maximum beam length of 48 meters is plenty so apart from everyday use, it will also perform well as a backup light for running, cycling, dog walking etc.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • One setting only
  • Variety of colors
  • Works on widely available AAA battery
 CONS:

  • Aluminum-based colors don’t feel as sturdy
  • Head tends to unscrew itself

Related: For those of you who like to carry a keychain flashlight and some other little bits and pieces, we suggest this Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer. It will easily hold keys, a pocket knife, small notepad, and pencil, etc. It is made of 800-Denier lightweight fabric for durability and it has Teflon protection, so it won’t get dirty easily.

Check the price on Amazon

KeySmart Nano Torch

Price: Approx. $20KeySmart Nano Torch

Weight: 0.48 ounces

Dimensions: 0.3 x 1.8 x 0.3 inches

Specific features: Smallest on this list, sleek design, made of stainless steel

Best use: Everyday use

The smallest keychain flashlight on our list, this Keysmart Nano Torch is perfect for all of those looking for sleek and simple design. It is a lightweight addition to your stack of keys, won’t add any bulk and is just strong enough to illuminate the keyhole when you need to unlock your front door. It can power up to 25 lumens, which is quite impressive for a torch this small!

We love the design! If bulky, military-inspired or colorful keychain flashlights aren’t your style, you will definitely love this one. It is made of stainless steel and doesn’t have any unnecessary dents, design features or extra buttons.

This little monster runs on four LR521 179 button cell batteries, which are included in the price. They will surely last you a while since you won’t really take out this flashlight on a camping trip. It is made for the keychain and you’ll happily use it this way.

People love it because it is super useful, beautiful to look at and reaps compliments whenever pulled out of the pocket. It will illuminate your way to feel safer since it is bright enough. You can also put it on your car keys since it won’t add any bulk.

PROS:

  • Sleek design
  • Very, very small
  • Stainless steel
 CONS:

  • Can be fiddly because of size
  • Extra batteries not as widely available as some other types

Related: Apart from a flashlight, another product we are often looking for but can never find is a pen. This True Utility Telepen Key Ring Pen is just what you need. This pen is the size of your door key but it extends to the full length of 4.5 inches when needed. You will also receive three refills, so you don’t need to worry about replacing in for a while.

Check the price on Amazon

LUMINTOP Tool Mini EDC Flashlight

Price: Approx. $19LUMINTOP Tool Mini EDC Flashlight

Weight: 0.5 ounces

Dimensions: 0.5 x 3.2 x 0.5 inches

Specific features: Aerospace aluminum alloy construction, anti-scratching anodized finish, glow in the dark front O-ring, IPX-8 2 m water resistant

Best use: Manual laborers, everyday use

If you are looking for a beefy, hardcore flashlight that is small enough to have in your pocket but strong enough to shine a light on your path in the dark, then this is it. This LUMINTOP Tool Mini EDC Flashlight is made of high strength aerospace aluminum alloy and features and anti-scratching hard-anodized finish. It has a tail push button switch; so one hand operation is easy.

You’ll be able to find it easily in your backpack or purse due to its Glow In The Dark Front O-Ring. Stainless steel reversible and detachable clip makes it possible to clip it to your belt or anywhere else you might need it for easy access. The design is sturdy with fine threads in 3 parts of the flashlight to make sure it doesn’t slip out of your hands.

It has three modes of use. It always starts in “Mid” mode, with 32 lumens, which is practical for everyday use. The “High” mode provides 110 lumens, which is a lot, it is quite useful if you need to illuminate something a bit more far away. The “Low” mode provides only 5 lumens, but this is enough to illuminate a keyhole for example, and it will run for 36 hours in this setting.

PROS:

  • 3 settings
  • Sturdy
  • Good performance in different settings
 CONS:

  • Beefy design – adds bulk
  • No memory for the modes
  • Fussy clip

Related: To make sure you can always use this flashlight, we suggest you get these Panasonic BK-4HCCA4BA Eneloop Pro AAA rechargeable batteries. The pack includes 4 batteries and they are the size you need for the above mentioned flashlight. Just live them in your glove compartment in the car so they are at hand at all times.

Check the price on Amazon

GLAREE E03 Keychain Flashlight

Price: Approx. $14GLAREE E03 Keychain Flashlight

Weight: 0.42 ounces

Dimensions: 2.75 x 0.55 inches

Specific features: IPX-8 water resistant up to 2 m, clip to carry easily, 4 modes of use

Best use: Everyday use

This GLAREE E03 Keychain Flashlight is the brightest on our list. With the maximum of amazing 150 lumens and a cool LED color of the beam, you don’t need to worry about not finding your way in the dark. The beam can illuminate objects up to 45 meters away.

It operates in four different modes. The “Moonlight” mode provides 0.1 lumen and it can run for 120 h. This setting is enough to lightly illuminate an object close to you.

The “Low” mode provides 15 lumens and runs for 6.5 hours, the “High” mode gives 150 lumens and runs for 30 minutes and the “Strobe” setting gives 150 lumens for 60 minutes. Note that not many little flashlights like this one provides strobe mode. 15 lumens is enough to illuminate a keyhole, fin your way etc., whereas 150 lumens is quite a lot, so you can illuminate an object quite far away.

To understand the brightness of different settings we’ll give you some examples. “Low” setting is bright enough to walk around the house in the dark and read by. “High” is bright enough to illuminate an object for example in your backyard. The beam isn’t so much of a spot, more a flood, so you are able to see the surrounding area, not just the spot you want to illuminate.

You can operate it with a twist switch with one hand as well. Two Way Clip makes it possible to attach it to a hat, bag, belt or wherever needed. It is water resistant up to 2 m and impact resistant up to 1.5 meters.

PROS:

  • 4 settings
  • Very bright
  • Strobe option
 CONS:

  • Fiddly with different settings
  • Twist mechanism unreliable

Related: Apart from keychain flashlights, battery chargers are the most useful item to have. We suggest this Eastshine Universal Battery Charger that features an LCD display so you always know what is your charging situation. You can use it for the variety of batteries – from a standard AA to more specialized 10440 ones.

Check the price on Amazon

Streamlight Nano Light Miniature Keychain Flashlight

Price: Approx. $9Streamlight Nano Light Miniature Keychain Flashlight

Weight: 0.8 ounces

Dimensions: 1.47 x 0.51 inches

Specific features: Aircraft aluminum construction, parabolic shaped 100,000 hour LED, and nonrotating snap hook

Best use: Keychain, outdoor workers

This Streamlight Nano Light Miniature Keychain Flashlight is made of aircraft grade aluminum and features an anodized finish. It is weatherproof and thus ideal for people who work outdoors most of the time and are exposed to the elements. Those who work in search and rescue, law enforcement and also weekend outdoor warriors like it.

Apart from black, it is available in 6 other colors, each representing a cause to spread awareness for. For example, pink for breast cancer awareness or blur for Concerns of Police Survivors. To make it as useful as possible it includes elastic and rubber head straps.

It runs on 4 IEC-LR41 coin cell batteries that are included in the package. Batteries last up to 10 hours, which is plenty for a short time, use that this product is intended for. It gives 10 lumens, which is bright enough to illuminate objects close by.

You can turn it on/off by rotating head approximately a quarter turn. The hook is non-rotating and can be managed single-handedly. This really is a no-fuss, easy to use flashlight you can attach to coats, zippers, belt loops, backpacks, key chains etc.

Compared to others on the list, it isn’t the brightest, however, it is bright enough to find the keyhole, check for something you just dropped sitting in the car or check mail. It is so small that it won’t add bulk to your keychain. It is quite sturdy so it can handle normal wear and use.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Non-rotating hook
  • Weather resistant
 CONS:

  • Fiddly because of small size
  • Too easy to turn more than required 1/4 turn

Related: While 8 hours of battery life is plenty, we still suggest you also get these Streamlight Nano Light IEC-LR41 batteries, which are the exact same type you need for abovementioned flashlight. You can pack them away close to where you usually use the flashlight, so in case the batteries get low, you can replace them quickly.

Check the price on Amazon

Coast G5 LED Keychain Flashlight

Price: Approx. $7Coast G5 LED Keychain Flashlight

Weight: 16 ounces

Dimensions: 4.75 x 4.88 x 3.15 inches

Specific features: Sturdy aluminum finish, keychain hook, Crystal Reflector Tube System, rear on/off switch

Best use: Everyday use, keychain

Last on our list but still a viable option to think about. The Coast G5 LED Keychain Flashlight is a product to consider if you just need something affordable that works well. This is simple keychain flashlight with a rear on/off switch runs on 4 AG5 batteries.

The batteries that come included in the package produce up to 12 lumens and they would run for 1 hour. Despite the seemingly low light output, The Crystal Reflector Tube System is in place to intensify the light beam. The casing is made of lightweight aluminum, which reduces the weight.

This is not the lightest, the smallest or the sleekest of all keychain flashlights on our list, but it provides all you might need. It is convenient and small enough to not take too much space. At the same time, it is substantial enough for those with bigger hands who might find some of our other recommended products too fiddly.

Users of this little flashlight praise it for its simplicity and for doing its job well. You can put one in your car in the middle console so you always have it at hand. It is also a good fit for every purse or backpack in case you might need it.

PROS:

  • Simple, no fuss
  • Rear on/off switch
  • Aluminum design to avoid slipping
 CONS:

  • Feels cheap
  • Heavier and bulkier in comparison

Related: Keychain additions are there to add practicality to your life. To add another useful option, we suggest this Lancher Key Chain Bottle Opener. Seems funny at first, but you can’t deny its usefulness. Its made of stainless steel with zinc alloy, so it will never rust, it is very heavy duty and durable, so with holidays quickly approaching, it would be a perfect stocking stuffer or office Santa present.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

We truly believe that we gave you enough information for you to be able to choose smart and choose well. The market is fighting for your money, so we want to make sure you get the best product for your needs. When it comes to a product you will use all the time, having one that works perfectly is even more important.

We hope we made your life a bit easier by compiling all the important facts and figures about keychain flashlights. However, if you missed a really good product please, do let us know about it in the comments! We strive to get better every day and love to hear from our readers!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rita Warfield

Rita Warfield

Fully passionate about the outdoors and totally committed to a life of exploration and learning, Rita is the perfect guide when it comes to choosing the right gear for your adventures. She gathered years of practical experience in testing her survival skills and knowledge in a wide range of difficult situations but she is also a passionate mountain climber. Even more, Rita loves hunting, she knows her way around a weapon, and she doesn’t back off in a difficult situation.