I’m a lazy carrier. I have big guns, big knives and big lights, but when it comes time to gear up, I almost invariably choose the smallest gun, the lightest knife and the slimmest light. I just don’t like to be weighed down. I want to carry the least intrusive gear possible.

That’s why when it comes to a light, the most-used (read: carried) models I own are 1xAAA lights.

The Olight i3T EOS is a mere 3.5 inches long and just under .6 inch wide.

Lots of people think of 1xAAA flashlights as keychain lights, but I don’t like something that large hanging off my keychain. That’s probably just me. Anyway . . .

Besides their light weight and slim form factor, they also have the advantage of being powered by one of the most universally available batteries on the planet. Unlike lights that run on, say, 18650 batteries which require charging, or CR123 batteries which are relatively expensive, AAA batteries are cheap and available literally everywhere. I always have a spare in the pocket of the bag I carry just about everywhere I go.

The Olight iT3 EOS flashlight is small enough for any pocket, powerful enough for most everyday uses and affordable enough that you can buy a few to stash in strategic locations…and you won’t cry much if you lose one.

Unlike a lot of 1xAAA lights that twist on, the iT3 EOS is actuated by a rubber rear switch. It’s about as simple a user interface as it gets. Push the switch half way to select one of two brightness levels — 5 or 180 lumens — then lock it on by pushing the switch the rest of the way until it clicks. Another click turns it off. A simple hi/low switch is all most people need, especially in a small EDC light like this one.

The i3T EOS is solidly built with brass internal threading, rubber O-rings and a nicely milled aluminum body. That body has what Olight calls “double helix body knurling.” I call them spiral grooves that are enough to give you a nice grip on the flashlight. The 2-way clip is convenient, too, letting you carry it lens up or lens down in your pocket…or clip it to the brim of a baseball cap to use like a headlamp.

The i3T EOS uses a Philips LED and is rated at 16 hours at 5 lumens or 21 minutes at 180. That LED puts out a clear, smooth, neutral colored beam. The lower 5 lumen setting is brighter than it sounds…plenty for most indoor use. The 180 lumens is enough to nicely illuminate a good section of your yard at night.

The i3T EOS has an IPX8 waterproof rating. That means the light should work after being submerged at 10 meters for 30 minutes. Since I don’t have a 30-foot deep pool, I just turned it on and dunked it in a dish for an hour. After drying it off, it worked just fine and has ever since.

The i3T EOS is widely available for $19.95, depending on the color you want. Olight offers the flashlight in black, desert tan, OD green and titanium. The titanium anodizing will cost you almost twice as much.

You simply can’t go wrong with one (or more) of these and should probably have a few spread throughout your house and another in your daily carry bag.

38 COMMENTS

    • This i3t Olight has been my EDC for a long time. Perfect size to stay out of the way on the hip, and I use it nearly every day.

  1. “You simply can’t go wrong with one (or more) of these…”

    Looks good, except for one key detail-

    The clip needs a reinforcing ring to slide on and secure that clip to the body.

    Were it mine, I’d secure it at the least with a small zip-tie…

  2. Agreed, Great EDC light for the average Joe. For severe duty use, pick Surefire. Olight is a good quality light that performs as advertised and just works.

    I recommend that you always use Energizer Disposable Lithium Batteries (Blue/Silver) in lights that take AA or AAAA batteries. These batteries last 3 times as long and weigh less than standard alkaline batteries and when/if they do do bad, they don’t leak and destroy your equipment.

    This is especially true for lights/radios, etc. that sit around for “Just in Case”. These Lithium cells have a 10 year storage life. Best choice for a Get Home Bag, Car Kit, etc.

    • Also agree on lithium. Duracells tend to last, but I’ve lost a few devices to their corrosion. Switched to Energizer alkaline and discovered the rabbit exaggerated on their longevity. Consumer Reports always recommends Costco’s store brand because of price, but I don’t like to change them out so often. Rechargeable lithium in a couple things and disposable lithium in the rest.

  3. Nice write-up, Dan! I’m with you on the size. I usually carry a Streamlight microstream, which looks to be about the same size. It’s bright enough for 99% of the needs I have, and it’s so small that it just rides around in the pocket with no problems at all. I especially like being able to clip it to the brim of a baseball hat for a temporary headlamp.

    Except for the rechargeable versus AAA batteries, these are nearly identical.

    https://www.streamlight.com/en/products/detail/index/microstream-usb

      • I’ve got the biggest Streamlight they make. It’s plugged into the wall and illuminates the kitchen, dining area, and living room when the electricity goes off. The thing is huge and is very heavy. So heavy firemen wear them on a sling. The light is good for many hours.

    • The microstream usbs are much brighter (250 lumen) vs. 45 for their AAA, so it’s my goto EDC. This olight splits the difference at 180. The ability to easily replace the battery makes it attractive for long use or away from a charger while giving up only a little brightness. I’ve been happy with the quality of my olights.

      • The battery question is as interesting here as the flashlight. I have a problem with non-rechargeables, in that if I use it for 5 minutes or so, I want to replace the batteries ASAP, even if they last an hour or more, maybe just me. I’d rather just recharge. Then, when lights are available which will last several days on a charge, I don’t even feel a need to recharge. And having a light which is dangerous to look at suits me real fine, I can avoid pointing it at your face if I choose, or not!

  4. While quite a bit larger and AA I’m satisfied with Open Trails made in China(yuk), the battery last longer and it’s pretty bright. I’ve got one on my bicycle, so its decently rugged withstanding bumps and a wreck going down a river bank, two in my kit bag, there water proof too. Cant remember what I paid maybe $3, you can find them in Dollar General.
    While not on topic but maybe useful. My cell phone started messing up, not making phone calls, , internet not working. I took the sim card out and wiped it down with WD40, sprayed a little in the slot too. Presto fixed it .

  5. THANKS ON INFOR ALWAYS
    WONDER IF ANYONE USED LEATHER SHOE STRING TO HANG IT OFF NECK SO WON’T DROP IT IN WET WEATHER ?. SOMETHING LIKE THAT .

  6. I’ve collected about a dozen Olight products, and I’ve been happy with the quality and value they provide. My favorites are actually the two cheaper ones: the i1R rechargeable and the i3E that is often available free. Both have taken multiple rides in the laundry cycle and still go strong.

  7. I ordered one of these a few months back. As soon as it arrived, I ordered another.
    It’s that cool.

  8. The only reason I chose streamlight over these ones is because they protrude less out of the pocket. My microstream has seen better days though, but just the right amount of patina. My bigger 2l-x hasn’t worn at all though. That’s my daily. I leave it on one touch full brightness. One thing I hate: the push for non removable recharge lights. What a great way to ruin a flashlight and waste some money.

      • Pretty sure he’s referring to rechargeable lights where you cannot remove (or replace!) the battery, when the battery fails the entire light is garbage. And I agree!

  9. i gave nitecore tip se lights to all for the weird, abbreviated holidays. about the size and shape of a medium domino, can’t roll, rechargeable and killer turbo mode.

  10. I can understand the idea of wanting a teensy light for carry, but I do have a problem with the overall gist, here. Other than the size, I’d have to say $20 for the capabilities described seems real high to me. Thrunite (and others, I think) will sell you an 18650 light for $50 which has 5 different powers from around 3 lumens to 1100 and more. The basic I have (T12) will maintain 1100 lumens for 90 minutes on a full charge, although it will be so hot you can’t hold it before then. Recharging is too tough for you, I recharge all of mine between Xmas and New Year’s, then forget it for a year, medium powers measure battery life in days, not hours or minutes. One I recall has the “firefly” setting battery life at 74 days. And at $50 I have one in each car, my wife and I each keep one close by, and I have gifted them to both sons and several friends. A 12 minute battery does not say “$20” to me, especially for a lumen strength equal to the next-to-lowest strength of a Thrunite. And no, I have no financial or other interest in the company. My most recent is the T2, uses a 21700 battery and has peak power of something stupid like 3750 lumens, and still costs around $50 with 5 settings. I have no idea where they are made.

    • Rechecked, Thrunite company based and products manufactured in China, O darn, most others apparently are as well. Didn’t mention, quality appears unbelievable, it is difficult to believe the value.

  11. I’m a flashaholic. Hi Jimmy. I clicked the link to Amazon and while this looks to be a very nice torch for $20. There was a Thrunite for $9 and that’s what I’m carrying now. I had an Itp stainless steel similiar sized light for many years that quit on me one day. It was $20 when I bought it. Single AAA light is perfect for keychain carry.

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