The Olight i3E EOS is the perfect keychain flashlight, and is even a great flashlight beyond the Every Day Carry (EDC) scope.
It has great throw, a perfectly-tapered soft halo, and is the smallest and lightest AAA LED flashlight out there. It also costs the least.
My main criteria for a keychain flashlight was that it take standard-sized batteries.
I used to have a Streamlight Nano, and while it was a compact and bright flashlight, the batteries were impossible to find. The head also constantly came unscrewed by itself which rendered it worthless.
Although I vowed never to buy another head-screw on/off flashlight for keychain duty, the options were slim when it came to AAA flashlights. After a bunch of research, I bought the Olight i3E, the ThruNite Ti3 V2, and the Olight i3T.
The Olight i3T really isn’t a keychain flashlight, but I am including it here because I was surprised by how the i3E outperformed a more expensive and larger pocket flashlight.
The ThruNite is just slightly larger than the i3E. It has 4 modes: low, medium, high, strobe. You do an on/off twist to cycle through the intensities. It’s a shame there’s no memory for the last-used intensity level. I also opted for the natural-white version, which has a more yellow tone to the light and comparing to other cool-white lights, I prefer the natural.
The Ti3 has decent throw, but also a very distinct spot of light at the edges. I’ve found that distinct edge to be very distracting when hiking through the woods at dusk.
The i3T is also a AAA flashlight, but it’s oddly quite large. Perhaps it’s just for a more comfortable grip in the hand. It has a tail switch, with two modes: low and high. It only comes in cool-white, and has decent throw with a softer beam halo than the Ti3.
The i3E however, trumps these two with a brighter beam, more throw, and also has a soft halo. The soft halo also has a better gradation than the i3T. It’s also the lowest-priced flashlight of the three (about $10 USD).
If the i3E was available in a natural-white bulb option, it would be the more perfect keychain flashlight. But it’s still perfect even with the cool-white lamp bulb.
I also bought a Lumintop ECD01, but it arrived damaged and I was unable to test it out. I disliked the feel of the ribbed body right off the bat, and chose to just return the light.
I really feel no need to experiment further, the Olight i3E EOS is the perfect keychain flashlight.
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