/ Head torch recommendations

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tingle 13 Nov 2019

This probably gets asked on a monthly basis but I couldn’t find a recent post.

Im looking for something comfortable for running but powerful enough for early start navigation. 

The nao plus is a bit off putting due to needing an app to customise, can the custom settings be used while not connected to the phone? Also the LED lenser range is mind boggling.

Run_Ross_Run 13 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

Petzl actik core 450. Just got one for trail running etc. Plenty bright enough and has the core USB rechargeable battery. Very pleased with it so far. 

pavelk 13 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

Until I bought Lucifer M5 i had no idea what head torch could do.

It´s not cheap but great (I have no vested interest there)

http://luciferlights.net/led-headlamps

In reply to tingle:

As per Run Ross Run's recommendation, I've been using the Actik Core for several years and have really rated it. Just got my hands on the Swift RL, which is similar in terms of size, but has around double the output (up to 900 lumens) and double the price (RRP £95).

More info can be found here, as well as a whole range of other suggestions + alternatives within the thread: https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/camping/lighting/the_new_petzl_swift_rl_headlamp-11884

tingle 13 Nov 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

900 lumin capability sounds great from such a small torch. What is the realistic 900 burn time? Am I reading the article correctly that it’s between 2-30 hours. Seems a wiser investment than the bulky nao

Tringa 14 Nov 2019
girlymonkey 14 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

I really like my Fenix hp25r. 

DaveHK 14 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

I've got an LED Lenser MH10 which I'm very happy with. Plenty bright, lightweight, well made and excellent battery life.

Stuart (aka brt) 14 Nov 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I really like my Fenix hp25r. 

I cave. I know lots of cavers. Fenix are gaining a strong reputation for the quality and reliability of their lights for caving. 

I have HL 55's. Not sure the OP needs to get bogged down in having 900 lumens as that's way more than needed for night running (my HL 55 is usually on one of the middle settings when I'm caving - 200 to 400 lumens range. It can do a short burst to 900 which is useful to light a chamber). 

Post edited at 09:16
Garethza 14 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

Qark from Alpkit is basically a copy of the fancy Petzl some people above were recommending - but its only around £30 ! Just got one and went for a trail run last night and it was great!

girlymonkey 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I do use the brightest at times when running, I guess it depends where you are running! I do canicross, so going through rough forest paths with plenty of trip hazards and a crazy dog puling me along. You want as much light as you can get at that point! Lol

In reply to tingle:

I have one of the new pezl Swift lamps. Great bit of kit and its absolutely tiny for the amount of light it can put out.

First time i've owned a lamp with reactive lighting and i am completely sold on that technology after the first few trips out. The only drawback i have found is that due to my big head i don't get the benefit of the fancy headband design (it might as well be a single strap). it'd be nice if petzl sold a slightly bigger headband option but having said that its still very comfortable. 

As others have mentioned its expensive (i found it for £80 in rock and run) but so far i'd say its worth it if you get out in the dark regularly.

In reply to tingle:

I have a suspicion - and this is pure speculation btw - that the Nao will be updated within the very near future, as the introduction of the Swift into the range makes it look distinctly unappealing. 

With regards to the burn time, it gets quoted as different things in different places. Petzl suggest 2-30 hours, which is (in my eyes) a somewhat unhelpful figure, but I guess it's trying to factor in the use of RL. What you're realistically looking at 2hrs as an absolute bare minimum, but can expect that to be quite a bit longer if you're looking regularly looking at a map (hence giving the main beam a bit of a break).

I've also seen 2 1/2 hrs quoted, but given the complications in calculating a single accurate figure I can't really see how they could have come to such a finite conclusion.

Post edited at 10:26
In reply to paul_the_northerner:

> First time i've owned a lamp with reactive lighting and i am completely sold on that technology after the first few trips out. 

I was pretty cynical about RL when I first saw it, it just seemed like yet another gimmick, but having used it I'm going to have to eat my words - I'm converted.

Having read previous reviews of the original Nao it sounds like they've tweaked the technology a lot since it was first released, as it seems to react near enough instantly on the Swift. In fact, you come to appreciate it even more when you turn it off, only to look at your map and have 900 lumens boring through your eyeballs!

yorkshire_lad2 14 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

There was an article on headtorches in tgo in March 2019 if it's any help (sorry, don't have it to hand at the mo).

Post edited at 10:45
Graham Briffett 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Agree 100% with this. I have the second version of the Nao and its been superb. The reactive mode is so fast that its hard to tell its doing anything and I'm also totally sold on it. I also have the Reactik with RL, but this seems to react quite a bit more slowly than the Nao. It is still a good torch, with enough light for me for most of the time trail running . The main downside with the Nao is that I find it awkward to get it onto a climbing helmet - maybe just my helmet though.

One other thing I do really like about the Nao is the big chunky switch - very simple and easy to operate with gloves on.

tingle 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I should have been clearer it’s for mountaineering too, and I recently lost a whole days climbing due to fannying around on approach (00:00 wake up call) having a torch as bright as the sun might have saved the day! Thanks for the advice 

afx22 14 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

I have the Reaktik Core+ and it's been great. 

I have found that the reative lighting does get through out in heavy mist or fog.

tingle 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Great. I’m leaning more towards the RL Swift . Maybe even a second battery! 

In reply to tingle:

If I was climbing/mountaineering with it I I’d definitely buy a second battery and stuff it into a safe pocket in my rucksack. I’m hoping to do the Bob Graham later this year and had planned to the do the same then.

Beanmanclimb 14 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

More powerful than the Nao and compact https://www.urbanrock.com/petzl-swift-rl/

DaveHK 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> If I was climbing/mountaineering with it I I’d definitely buy a second battery and stuff it into a safe pocket in my rucksack. I’m hoping to do the Bob Graham later this year and had planned to the do the same then.

I'd take a second torch rather than a spare battery for a BG attempt. You don't want to have to sack it because of a torch malfunction!

Post edited at 15:52
In reply to tingle:

Deal on wiggle at the moment for the 350lumen Silva Trail runner 4 at £37

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/silva-headlamp-trail-runner-4/

Not as bright as some of the pricier ones but probably bright enough for most needs and good value at that price.

Petzl UK 18 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

You don't actually need the app to customise the NAO+, it works fine with it's default settings.

Although the new SWIFT RL is brighter, many still prefer the NAO+ as it can feel more balanced on the head with the battery at the rear, the battery is also higher capacity for longer burn times and can also be mounted on an extension lead for very cold use.

Post edited at 13:01
Petzl UK 18 Nov 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

It's very hard to give an accurate figure for the burn time in reactive mode! 

If you're out in very dark conditions with no other runners/etc and are constantly looking up/ahead then the burn time will be at the lower end of the scale, as mentioned a minimum of around 2 hours.

If you're out in conditions where you're with others, moving through built up/well lit areas and are maybe looking at your map, etc more then you'll see far higher burn time, the headlamp will dim itself to meet your need and give a longer burn time. e.g. We often see longer burn times running in snowy conditions as the headlamp reduces the power when looking at your feet more than in normal conditions.

A top tip for longer burn time is to angle the headlamp down more than usual, this will reduce the light output but you can still look up for the full beam.

 


 

yorkshire_lad2 25 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

FWIW, latest edition of Trail  magazine (Jan 2020, just landed on my doormat) has a review of headtorches. 6 models reviewed

  • Lifesystems Intensity 235
  • GP xplor PHR15 (Trail Best Value)
  • Silver Scout RC
  • Black Diamond Revolt (Trail Best in Test)
  • Ledlenser MH7 LED
  • Petzl Swift RL

I have no connection with Trail magazine other than as a subscriber.

Mike505 27 Nov 2019
In reply to tingle:

I have used a Zebralight H600 for years now it runs on 18650 rechargeable batteries that cost £5 - £10 a pop and a decent charger will cost £20. If it breaks Zebralight will repair it for £15 (if you don't mind posting it to China)

I've just got mine back from repair, after 6 years of use it didn't owe me much and it looks like they sent back new unit rather than my old scratched one :D 

Here's a link to the spec sheet

http://www.zebralight.com/H600w-Mk-IV-18650-XHP35-Neutral-White-Headlamp_p_215.html

A further note on the batteries, the torch has voltage regulation so can run unprotected 18650 cells, I use these

Sanyo NCR18650GA 3350mAh - 10A

The charger will need to be decent to safely handle unprotected 18650 cells as well and this does me fine

XTAR VC2

Post edited at 14:42

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