Author Topic: head torches  (Read 855 times)

Islandplodder

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head torches
« on: 11:42:45, 17/01/20 »
Birthday coming up and have asked for a rechargeable head torch.  I have been pottering round websites and looked at Petzel and Ledlenser and a few others.Please, any recommendations?And this is probably a silly question, but how do you recharge them?  Do they come with a pack that you plug in somewhere.I realise this must be obvious as none of the product descriptions tell you, but have pity on the elderly and techno-stupid.

vizzavona

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Re: head torches
« Reply #1 on: 12:10:39, 17/01/20 »
Just remove the batteries and charge them up using a charging unit.
With my Hope unit and a wee Petzl torch I use non rechargeable batteries.

alan de enfield

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Re: head torches
« Reply #2 on: 12:13:35, 17/01/20 »
Birthday coming up and have asked for a rechargeable head torch.  I have been pottering round websites and looked at Petzel and Ledlenser and a few others.Please, any recommendations?And this is probably a silly question, but how do you recharge them?  Do they come with a pack that you plug in somewhere.I realise this must be obvious as none of the product descriptions tell you, but have pity on the elderly and techno-stupid.

Some are rechargeable and have a dedicated 'mains' charging unit.
Some are rechargeable and can be charged with a USB type connector (via a cigarette lighter socket, power bank, solar panels or mains adapter.
Some are not rechargeable and you need replaceable batteries.

Try and go for a model with the "18650" batteries as they are much higher AH than typical AA size batteries.

Most (I think) have a select button for 'very bright' and 'not so bright' and 'flashing', some even have a red light at the back of the battery pack so you can be seen if out on the road at night. Some will have a focus allowing you to have a spotlight beam going 200+ metres, and also a 'wide-beam' for close up work.
The 'dim' setting is more than bright enough and gives you approx. 2x the duration to that if on 'high beam'

I made sure that all of my 'electronics' (Watch, GPS, PLB, Head light, tent light, phone etc) all use the same USB type connector (there are about 4 or 5 different ones now) and will all work with my Power Banks and Solar Panel.
(Even Apple are changing away from their Lightning' connector now)

You could end up carrying loads of different leads / connectors or spare batteries. My new Samsung phone now has a USB C connector so I have had to buy a small adapter to convert from Micro USB to USB C

My headlight has a removable 'light unit' which has a USB plug so it can plug directly into my powerbank to form a tent-light.

I want as much multi-use and redundancy as possible.

« Last Edit: 12:20:59, 17/01/20 by alan de enfield »

vghikers

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Re: head torches
« Reply #3 on: 12:19:04, 17/01/20 »
We use Petzl Actik head torches that can take 3xAAA standard batteries (normal or rechargeable versions) or their own CORE rechargeable battery that is charged via USB.

We use standard AAAs for head torches, but in the past we have used rechargeable ones that fit into a charger device that plugs into a 3-pin socket.
 

Patrick1

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Re: head torches
« Reply #4 on: 13:14:49, 17/01/20 »
Most rechargeable headtorches recharge through the same mini USB socket that your phone does (assuming its not an iPhone). For the moment, at least, this seems to have become almost a universal standard for plugging low voltage items in for charging. Obviously some headtorches don't recharge and use replaceable batteries - some people prefer that, but I've come round to idea that the advantages of the rechargeable ones now outweigh any disadvantages.


You didn't ask for any specific recommendations, but I acquired a Nitecore NU25 at Christmas and am very impressed. Negligible weight (under 60g, or 2oz), output from 180lumens for 5 hours (easily bright enough for walking at night) down to 1lumen for a ridiculous 160 hours (dim, but enough to read by in the dark), and only around 30. If I did ever run it down in the field it would recharge via USB from the powerbank that I carry anyway for my phone in just a couple of hours.

richardh1905

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Re: head torches
« Reply #5 on: 13:28:16, 17/01/20 »
Petzl make the best, in my opinion. I've used their headtorhes for decades - alpine starts, occasional caving, mine exploration, camping, foul weather dog walking, unplanned late finishes.... bombproof, simple to use, will not let you down.

The Petzl Actik Core comes with a USB rechargeable lithium battery, and is the one that I would go for if my existing Petzl Tikka+ wasn't so damn reliable.

Bhod

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Re: head torches
« Reply #6 on: 13:41:34, 17/01/20 »
Petzl Nao+ is my go to torch with a Petzl Tikkina as back up.
Not a complete idiot, bits of me are missing.

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: head torches
« Reply #7 on: 07:39:11, 19/01/20 »
I use the Petzl NAO+ for (back country) road running. It's a trail runners torch, it's overkill for road running and rural walking. Having said that, it's the daddy and I'd rather have more than required than less. My girlfriend has the Petzl Reactik+, it's a lot less money and more than good enough for walking unless your (night part of your) walk is long and your night vision is poor.

They're both rechargeable but you can carry spare (rechargeable) batteries if you need them.
« Last Edit: 07:42:15, 19/01/20 by Rob Goes Walking »

Skip

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Re: head torches
« Reply #8 on: 18:05:52, 19/01/20 »
Alpkit do a range of head torches. Well worth looking at - good quality, good value.
https://www.alpkit.com/collections/lighting
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Jim Parkin

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Re: head torches
« Reply #9 on: 18:49:38, 19/01/20 »
Alpkit do a range of head torches. Well worth looking at - good quality, good value.
https://www.alpkit.com/collections/lighting
I think you've seen me using an Alpkit Gamma.  But unfortunately, it's battery compartment clip broke, and whilst I understand that I could get it repaired, I decided that as my kids' gammas also failed like that I decided I wanted something more reliable, so have now gone to the (more pricy) LEDlenser. So far it seems pretty decent.

It comes with a micro-USB chargable pack that is the same size as three AAA batteries, which it can also take - although I've not used that.  There is a keylock option to stop it beeing inadvertently turned on in a pack.


Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: head torches
« Reply #10 on: 10:28:46, 20/01/20 »
Ive just recently bought a new Petzl Actik Core head torch.
According to the printed instructions on its box, it emits 450lumen's, which is more than enough for general walking.
The torch comes supplied with Petzls own Hybrid rechargeable battery pack,which is a set of three lithium battery's molded together, with a small connector allowing the user to recharge them with the  small USB lead that is also provided.

Thankfully the torch also uses regular AAA battery's, so if you find the battery pack gives out, you can easily install a fresh set of AAAs.

On its highest setting, the light emitted is so powerful, that i cannot really imagine wanting something that bright, but on its lower setting, the light is still pretty useful.

I bought it in my local Blacks store, for a more than reasonable 31.


On my recent jaunt up and down Snowdon for New Year, i found my Petzl Tikkina ok, but not really bright enough to illuminate my surroundings.


Wisely or unwisely, i thought i would get a model, whose Lumens capacity was so bright, that i would never need to buy one again.


The Actik Core was being sold at a decent price, and wow is it bright, and well made.

BlackDiamond, Petzl, and various others, there's a huge choice of head torches, but over the years, Ive found Petzl ultra reliable, and they have never let me down.
« Last Edit: 10:34:48, 20/01/20 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Islandplodder

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Re: head torches
« Reply #11 on: 13:43:09, 20/01/20 »
Thank you all for your help, it gave me an idea what kind of thing I should be looking for.I am thinking of either the LEDlenser MH10 or the Petzl Actik core, and leaning towards the Petzl as it is lighter and cheaper.  It is really for when I get caught out in the dark rather than for regular night walking, and the occasional camp, so I don't think I need anything too high spec.Either way it will be so much better than the cheapo Mountain Warehouse ones we use at the moment.  The problem is that most useful things migrate to Mr I's boat, and then get dropped into the bilges, so we tend to go cheap and cheerful.  The new torch will be locked in the walking gear drawer, which you raid at your peril!

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: head torches
« Reply #12 on: 13:47:22, 20/01/20 »
The main benefit of the high spec Petzl torches over cheaper (non Petzl, haven't tried the Actik core I'm sure it's fine) torches has been not so much the brightness though that helps but the beam pattern - the light is distributed in a fashion that makes pretty good vision at night possible rather than squinting around the bright, small, point of light emitted by cheaper torches I've tried.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: head torches
« Reply #13 on: 14:23:41, 20/01/20 »
The main beam of the Actik Core is exceptionally bright, and i wonder just how many Lumens of power, is actually been emitted.


According to the literature printed on the packaging, it also has a wide coverage for its beam, not like my Tikka and Tikkina models, which only have a narrow beam.


A narrow beam is fine, if you just want to focus on say, your feet and a small area, like the llanberis Path up Snowdon, but a wider angle beam of huge intensity, is essential, if your traversing a large plateau, such as the Carneddau or area in Scotland.


The only issue i have with the full beam capacity of the Actik Core, is that the battery life of three AAAs is used up, in just a shade over two hours.


For three AAAs to be consumed in a fairly short time, the candle power being given off, must be pretty powerful.


This is where their Hybrid battery pack comes in useful, you can use three cheap Duracell AAAs for the first few hours on the lower setting, and when you really need the firepower of 400+ lumens of light, install the small lithium battery pack.
Its ever so easy to install, as it can only fit in one way, and takes seconds to do it.


It states the headtorch is a 450 Lumens model, whatever it is, on its full beam setting, its dazzling, far too bright to even look at, so its packing quite a bit of candle power.
Another nice aspect of the Actik Core, is its red strobe light, which also has a intermittent flashing mode.
The strobe lighting may not be very bright, i think 5-10 lumens, which is not that much,  but i could easily see its benefits for someone giving a distress signal, and wanting to attract someone's attention a long way away.

Also it might come in handy if your broken down in your car, and want a small warning light, that will not dazzle approaching traffic from the rear.



There are far too many torches really, on the market, so many, that its down to personal preference, and past experience in their use.


I own two of the more basic Petzl head torches, and their very well made, and no doubt should last many years, if looked after.




On my New year jaunt up Snowdon, i thought having a brighter light would have come in handy, and a much wider field of view in hindsight, is quite important.


I thought 31 for the Actik Core was a good price, and i am not sorry with my purchase.
« Last Edit: 14:46:03, 20/01/20 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

sussamb

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Re: head torches
« Reply #14 on: 14:59:56, 20/01/20 »
Wow, two hours is not very impressive, despite the ease with which you say batteries can be changed.  Hate doing that in the dark, when hands are cold and it's pouring with rain.  I carry two head torches to avoid that very event happening.  A LED Lenser H7.2 headtorch.  It's my go to head torch, with a 250 lumens boost mode, 200 high power and 20 low.  Even on high power it has a run time of 12 hours, and that lights up the terrain as though it was daylight.  My back up used to be a Petzl but we've recently been issued the Alpkit Quark.  That's 580 lumens on max, 270 medium and 30 low, with burn times of 2.5, 5.5 and 18 respectively.
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