Everyday Carry

Have You Carried the Fenix E05?

Mikey Bautista
Have You Carried the Fenix E05?

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Editor's Note: In this series, we revisit tried-and-true EDC classics from over the years to see if they hold up alongside today's latest and greatest, and recommend the best gear to carry instead if they don't.

It wasn't so long ago that the best compromise for an EDC keychain flashlight was one that used an AAA battery. They were a good size to live on a keychain, inexpensive, and gave off enough light for everyday tasks. Plenty of lights fit this description (you could probably walk into any hardware store right now and still see them at the checkout counter), but one stood head and shoulders above the rest in EDC circles…

What Is It? Why Was It Popular?

That light was the Fenix E05. An update to the Fenix's original E01 AAA flashlight, the E05 featured the same familiar bombproof build and design. It was compact, yet rugged — full-body knurling felt good in the hand and worked well with its twisty interface. Its latest iteration in 2014 featured improved output, with an updated lens, three modes, and a maximum of 85 lumens from its XP-E2 LED providing a floody beam pattern useful for general tasks. No frills, no complicated UI. Just a solid light you wouldn't think twice about carrying.

Should You Still Carry It Today?

85 lumens is still plenty useful and its form factor remains barely larger than the AAA that powers it. But in terms of output and materials, there may be better choices.

Our Recommendation

Olight's popular keychain lights get better with every generation, and their latest i3E-CU EOS copper AAA flashlight improves on compact performance in every way. Like the E05, it uses a single AAA battery, a simple twist mechanism, and a lens optimized for a floody beam pattern. But for the same price, it’s even smaller than the E05 with double the output (to the tune of 120 lumens) thanks to its Philips LUXEON emitter. If you highly value the tailstand capability and multiple modes on the E05 but can get by without the floody beam, the ThruNite Ti3 is a popular upgrade option.

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Have you ever carried the Fenix E05? If so, is it still a part of your EDC? What have you replaced it with if it isn't? Let us know in the comments below!

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Discussion (7 total)

Chuck ·
I carried this light for probably a year before upgrading. I still keep it in my edc drawer as a backup. Great light!
Brandon ·
I have the original version of this light, and it still is a daily useable item. A great small flashlight.
Bernard Capulong ·
I picked up the first iteration of the E05 for its easily replaceable battery, keychain-compatible size, and floody beam pattern. I ended up gifting it to someone who needed a light, and my modern day replacement is the Nitecore T360: it's got the floody beam, 3 modes, similar output, and a USB rechargeable battery. It's not for keychain duty (which the Nitecore Tube can pull off), so I keep it on my bag strap as a hands free worklight.
Thomas Jones Jr ·
First EDC flashlight I bought and still carry on my keychain setup. When I first started carrying it, I would have it loose in pocket...so, of course, it was washed and dried a few times. Popped in a new battery and never missed a beat!
Fahamy Nordin ·
I have this on my keychain. Very basic, yet very handy and reliable.
saint_shinobi ·
This light has stayed with my keys since day one of purchasing. Awesome value and functionality.
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