I opened my emergency pack yesterday, it's not been opened for over a year... I'm pleased to report.
Inside I discovered an old mars bar (Wrapper torn so no longer edible), a spare set of AAA batteries (Now without charge) and a Petzl Tikka that no longer works. Thank goodness I didn't need to use the pack in anger!
I'm now in need of a new headtorch, one that is light, not too bulky and ideally rechargeable.
I'm currently looking at the Petzl E+Lite, but thought I'd get a few collective thoughts before pressing Purchase.
Depends what sort of emergency the pack is for
I have an E+Lite as my back up running/walking torch. I've changed the battery (or is it batteries, I can't remember, CR20 something anyway) once in about 20 years, (it only gets used when required).
Not the brightest but can be left for ages and still work.
I've got a petzl something or other that's possibly 60% the weight of my main (and now aged) petzl myo. I've still never had to deploy the back up in anger.
Depends how much you push it (I really don't). If you're at the cutting edge, laying it on the line every day you're out, then I'd go for the lightest, brightest bit of kit I can afford. If not, I'd go for whatever is reasonably bright, reasonably light and preferably, on offer.
> Depends what sort of emergency the pack is for
Hopefully the 'never to be used' type of emergency
It's mainly for Scottish winter walking (with the odd I and II climb) and summer hiking in the UK and abroad (Hope springs eternal). It will stay in the pack unless my main torch (Petzl Nao) fails when walking in the dark.
The E+Lite uses two small lithium batteries, so no need to keep recharging.
I'd take issue with the idea of your Mars Bar being inedible. Fine for some years yet I think.
I just carry a second alpkit gamma, same as my main torch. I've had it with expensive ones.
> Black diamond storm
The BD Storm uses 3 x AAAs and is bulkier and more expensive than the E+Lite or even the Zipka. It would make a good main torch, but I already have a Nao for that.
> I'd take issue with the idea of your Mars Bar being inedible. Fine for some years yet I think.
Send me your address and it's yours! :-D
> I just carry a second alpkit gamma, same as my main torch. I've had it with expensive ones.
Yeah, too bulky and the E+Lite is only a few quid more.
I thought mine was a Petzl, but it's actually a Princeton Tec (plus spare batteries); I think I must have picked that up in the US. It's pretty similar to Petzls of the same size, and similar in performance.
I was gifted a black diamond flare for Christmas by a pal as part of a "kit for when you're having an epic" - absolutely microscopic thing but designed for stashing in your bag and leaving there for emergencies - I've tested it in the garage in the dark and it's good enough for a few metres' vision. Might be worth a look!
For an emergency light I don't think you want a rechargeable - the self discharge and cold performance can be worse than a primary (i.e. disposable) lithium and you won't be cycling it much so could lose the bottom end performance.
For a small unit it would be good to find a single AA powered light, like one of the old BD ones whose name escapes me. The single AA Lithium can have a shelf (bag) life of 10+ years (which always seems to be the selling point of the eLite, but just comes with primary Lithium cells) as well as better cold performance and lighter weight.
> Another recent informative discussion of the same question here: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/gear/small_headtorch_for_emergency_climbing__descents-740835
Excellent - thank you Alan. Lots of extra info in that thread.
Try cleaning the connections on your old Tikka with vinegar, this can sometimes revive it (I take a cafe sachet of venegar and a cotton bud in my pack with the spare batteries for this reason).
I just have one of the amazon special 'Gritin' brand ones that take AAAs. 2 for 7 quid. Gets used every now and then when someone in the party forgot theirs, no complaints, plenty bright enough.
£15 Decathlon rechargeable lithium headtorch. It's light, it's simple, it's bright and lasts a decent amount of time
> I'v got a Silva Trail Runner 4, similar to recently tested but even better as it's possible to physically disconnect the battery from the light unit so it can never go on accidentally. 3 * AAA battery and reliable ,brighness just right , comfortable, just seems to be good.
Opposite experience to me - totally unreliable - one replaced under warranty and the second thrown away in disgust. The 3 AAA batteries just died in no time at all and it would switch off randomly. I think they both had short circuits that switched it off and drained the batteries. It seemed to be OK when it was on, but that never lasted for long before it switched itself off again. Useless
PS - my spare is an elite - lives in a shirt pocket for winter climbing and the zip pocket of my chalk bag for long rock routes. Not in a rucksack, because one disaster scenario involves a rucksack bounding off down the hillside
petzl bindi, it is only 10g heavier than the e-lite but is vastly more useable. I've used if for night-time runs on the fells and I think I was as fast downhill as I would be with a "proper" lamp. rechargeable
I often take it climbing as my main lamp for those spring/autumn climbing evenings where I expect to walk out in the dark.
I also have an E+lite (and spare batteries) in my emergency pack. However, I now also have a Petzl Bindi that I use for running at night around town. The Bindi is a small rechargeable headtorch on a bungi cord headband - ideal for running around town and on local footpaths. However, if I'm out on a longish night time trail run outside town I use a brighter light (Petzl Swift) but carry the Bindi around my neck so that if I need it in a hurry its right there and I don't need to fumble in the dark.
I might extend this approach to night time winter walking/climbing so that the Bindi is readily accessible.
> petzl bindi, it is only 10g heavier than the e-lite but is vastly more useable. I've used if for night-time runs on the fells and I think I was as fast downhill as I would be with a "proper" lamp. rechargeable
I think a lot depends on intended use. Rechargeables are great (pretty much every headtorch, normal torch or bikelight I own is rechargeable, apart from the big D-Cell maglite for unwanted night-time visitors). However rechargeables do discharge over time.
If you want something to live unused in a bag for a number of years, (as the OP seems to want), rather than another additional torch for 'normal' use, then the e+lite takes some beating.
I’ve just upgraded from my Petzl aktic core thingy, as it was rubbish to a Lifesystems intensity 500
£30 on Amazon
500 lumens, u can use batteries or the removable rechargeable battery u get with it.
Fair point. if the OP truly is going for a true emergency light emergency light then the E-lite wont let you down.
I guess I must reach for my backup light more often than some, so rechargeable and light output is what I prefer.
> I guess I must reach for my backup light more often than some, so rechargeable and light output is what I prefer.
I have an alpkit qark that was supposed to be the backup for my LED lenser, but ended up getting as much use as the main torch as it was lighter and more compact…
Always have the e+lite with me, even if it's just to swap batteries over.
I have a cheap USB rechargeable head torch in there. The same as the one I use normally. I check it re-charged regularly too. :-;
I have done a several all night walks using them. Perfect for the job. Did have the rubber switch cover come out on the last one, a couple of years ago now, it was in horrendous weather. I turned it upside down. Fortunately the torch kept going until I replaced it.