My friend Stick works in maintenance for the MTA (New York City’s Subway system), a job where a flashlight is vital to inspect trains, tracks, and just check under seats and dark spaces. He uses the a Mini-One flashlight as a backup at work and swears by it for its small size, affordability, and reliability. He sent me a Jetbeam Mini-One as a gift and while not to seem ungrateful, I still thoroughly tested as I do with any other flashlight.
Keychain flashlights are not a new. I fondly remember owning a AA powered Disneyland keychain light that ran a small incandescent bulb. But today’s rechargeable LED powered flashlights are brighter than some AA powered tactical lights from a dozen years ago.
I’ve been reviewing more compact keychain EDC lights recently, but Mini-One stands out for its stainless steel construction. The Mini-One’s polished metal surface gives the flashlight a higher perceived value than the comparably priced OLIGHT I1R (and with twice as brightness). The unit recharges via USB-C port kept water-tight with a silicone plug cover.
A single tap on the silicone button activates the main CREE illuminator and a double tap activates the body panel lights. This is where I find fault in the design. A single tap could accidentally occur in your pocket when attached to your keychain. On one occasion, I pulled out my keys and found the light was on; who knows for how long. I would have preferred that the main CREE activate with a double tap and the side light with a triple tap to avoid this potential problem.
Another disappointment was in the light output. The packaging claims 500 lumens max. In my testing, my flashlight managed approximately 300 lumens. Jetbeam should have lead with that number, which is twice the output of an OLIGHT I1R but instead seems to have opted for inflating numbers like many budget light brands.
If you can get past the controls and the middling light output and controls, I can say that the light is well built. It survived my IPX-8 water immersion test and had a run time in excess of 1.5hrs. For a light smaller than my pinky, that was laudable.