/ Winter Head Torch - recommedations
In regards to a post few weeks agao about head torches any one used this
Seems the biz for winter work? or Should I go for
Gives me something to wish for from Santa
I've got two, one has 100 lumens and was just over £20 but the build quality could be a bit better (I've had to restitch the headband) and the slightly more powerful 1200 lumen version.
Both are mega bright and can cast a beam of light to the other side of a field. The two you've quoted can't do that I can guarantee!
with the advances in NIMH batteries and LED lights there is no need to get a winter headtorch with a separate battery compartment (for UK use!).
I'd get the petzl tikka XP, lighter, bright enough (by a long shot), more compact and more importantly less to go wrong & more robust!
Bought one with a claimed 300Lm from *Bay for £7 (turned out to be a knockoff of a LED Lenser H7).
First time out, running down a country lane and an oncoming car stopped completely before I realised I was dazzling the driver!
Pretty light, very bright and very cheap.
Headband seemed a little short, so swapped it with a spare from a dead Gamma.
No idea about build quality, but can replace it several times and still be cheaper than a comparable brand-name item.
Petzl Zipka, 30-40 lumens, just enought for Winter mountaineering & walking?
LED Lenser H7, 160 lumens, good for trail running
Lupine Piko, 500 lumens, good for fell running/orienteering
Magicshine copy, 1000+ lumens, good for mountain biking
The Zipka was fine for technical night climbing, but a little underpowered for making navigational choices away from the climb. Amazing battery life though, and perfect for a little backup torch. I was mountaineering in Scotland all night (15 hrs of dark?) and my two partners exhausted two sets of batteries each for their torches, while my Zipka just kept going.
My Lenser H7 can, so I assume that the more powerful H14 can as well.
Lumens are a bit like mega pixels on a camera, in that once you get past a certain point, a small increase isn't going to get you much noticeable improvement.
I have an H7R I'm considering selling?
new black diamond icon is very good.
4 AAs make it a bit heavy but in winter that's not such an issue and the huge gain in battery life is a bonus for short days.
40 hours @ max output, 200 hours at minimum input.
200 lumens max.
flash mode, red mode, can vary the brightness to what you want. Excelent quality.
Now see, if they'd only do that with 2-3 18650's it'd be perfect.
"but in winter that's not such an issue"
No? I find my winter pack is generally too heavy and am always happy to find ways to lighten the load.
Want lightweight and enough power to get you up the last pitch and down a navigationally straight forward descent, or just to sit in your pack 'in case' something like the TikkaXP, 80 lumens. But be sure to have fresh batteries in it. Note fresh batteries 80m quoted distance, after 30mins your down to 50m...and the decrease in performance continues. Essentially AAA batteries.
Need more power and range, protracted extraction from your route either up or down, followed by/or navigationally challenging and time consuming something with over 100 lumens, and boost to over 200 lumens, will make your life alot easier, but you pay a weight penalty. For some the weight penalty is too great. These essentially take AA batteries
I went for a night stroll round Braeriach and others, started off clear and starry, but the mist came in. Our descent route had been deliberately chosen for a challenge. With 200 lumens looking over a cornice I could see the slope ease below. My partner couldn't and so had to front point down, not knowing how much further the steep ground would last. But if thats not your type of 'course, don't buy the horse'.
Alternatively consider what other electric kit you will be carrying, GPS or & camera ect and the batteries they have. Then get the headtorch with the same type of batteries, so one set of spares do all.
On past rate of developement, whatever you buy it will be completely outclassed at half the price inside three years.
One "type" of batteries will do all but not one set, if you're running out of batteries in one, chances are you've been out long enough to run out on the other too. The last thing you want to do mid epic is realise your head torch needs new batteries but that you put them in your GPS two hours ago.
If you buy the Ledlenser then for God's sake buy it from stuffplus - £56!!!!!!!
Winter cimbing No.1 priority is reliability. If your torch breaks you are in a world of hurt.
Battery life is also an issue as over a big day out you could be looking at 4 hours or more of head torch use.
Weight is always an issue in a winter bag.
TBH brightness comes fairly far down the list for me.
for me winter lighting has lots of factors. high on the lost is compactness, as i like to keep the light both handy and warm in an inner pocket or wrapped around my wrist when in a sleeping bag.
for this the zipka cant be surpassed - but its a bit weak.
glove-friendliness is big too - most torches fail this. petzl is worst i find.
power matters for long walks and route finding. a red light is vital for in the tent (i refuse to share tents with people who dont use them - sleep is a big deal when trips get long).
for all this i find the BD spot rates highest, with a petzl e-lite for tent use when trips get longer.
the icon is a great light but too heavy/bulky except for routes with known massive approaches on expansive ground (big snow slopes etc where knowing whats above is vital).
i tried the myo range and found them fiddly, over designed and unreliable.
have lenser torches for other things and like them, but find the spot the most 'climber specific' and stashable.
The L7 is ok, i know a few people and have run alongside with them but given that it is my life at risk if I go wrong (literally there's paths can be inches from the edge) my money's on something brighter.
Each to their own. Personally, if I'm inches from a sheer cliff face, I'll slow down a bit ;-)
> Each to their own. Personally, if I'm inches from a sheer cliff face, I'll slow down a bit ;-)
Never, this is my doorstep, my playground, Im privileged enough to be able to call this home :D
And I can't run that flipping fast ;)
That's interesting. Does it make a big difference red vs. white light in tents? I've never thought to try that.
Petzl xp 2 with core battery and USB charging cable for back at base. Set Core to maintain brightness at mid level. Usually means plenty for a full night out if necessary. Set boost to maximum
huge difference, especially for pre-dawn starts.
and being dazzled by 90 lumens then trying to use a piss bottle speaks for itself.
mind you, the list of personal traits i refuse to share a tent with is long...
I was in the same boat after my Alpkit Gamma died. I asked Santa for a Silva Ninox; 110 lumens, spot and flood combined in the one setting, IPX7 rated, similar weight to the XP and BD Spot, and you can rotate the lamp body to stop the switch being accidentally knocked. I'll confess that I haven't used it yet, but all the reviews I've seen have been positive, another one to consider?
It is the previous generation 50 lumen version (the one launched within the last few months is now 70 lumen) and I currently have mine set up to give 5 hours at c.35 lumens regulated (27 metres claimed visibility) or 35 hours at c.5 lumens regulated (10 metres claimed visibility). It can be programmed to any output in between these two.
As such, I think it is pretty much prefect. It is ultra lightweight (only 65 grammes) but I know that every time I go out I've got a guaranteed 5 hours at sufficient brightness for navigation or technical climbing which should be more than sufficient to cope with a fairly major epic or several days backpacking.
I keep a Black Diamond Ion (30 grammes, 3hours @ 22metres) in my first aid kit in case of a major disaster but I can't see myself ever wanting to, or needing to, carry anything heavier than the Zipka as my main torch.
I bought a Gamma, it lives in my pocket and goes everywhere with me, but the wire between the battery box and the LED unit failed within a couple of years, I took it apart, cut off the end of the wire and resoldered it to get it working again and shortly afterwards one of the lugs for the lid of the battery box broke off. I bought another one and the battery box problem happened again within a few months so I looked on the Alpkit website with a view to making a complaint and read several reviews from people who had suffered the same problem. A couple of them suggested using zip ties as a bodge to hold the lid on and that works pretty well, but the wire on the second one broke the other day and I had to fix it again, so all in all perhaps the Gamma isn't as robust or reliable as it could be.
"but the wire between the battery box and the LED unit failed within a couple of years, "
This is a common fault on head torches with separate battery compartments. I've had my tikka XP for about 7 years and it's been up a lot of mountains and been camping to many camp sites. Still going strong!
I prefer the design of the old tikka XP, which has a properly weather sealed battery compartment / torch. The new tikka XP 2 does not and only seals the rest of the case meaning the weather can penetrate and damp out the batteries, which has been known to cause problems. You can actually see through cracks in the casing ! I would quite like the extra power of the new tikka XP 2 though!
I hope you establish this before it comes to getting in the tent?
(and I agree the red light is much better for tents/huts. Though it does make some colours hard to distinguish. Sometimes pee and water look very similar, for example)
> Sometimes pee and water look very similar, for example
Thankfully, they don't smell the same!
I use a core pack in mine and it's been good in lashing rain and I've dropped it in a deep puddle and it's been fine with no issues.
Oooohhhh. Shiney kit....
Seems I'm well behind the pack here but I have 2 petzl tikka pluses, one on the helmet and one spare. I'll often swap these when one starts to dim after the walk in and the route, so a nice bright one for the walk out. Night climbs in the lakes or in and out of scotish climb areas. They seem to do the trick for me, only downside is 6 AAA batteries and packs come in 4s or 8s!
> I hope you establish this before it comes to getting in the tent?
Thanks for all the suggestions but already have a petzl which is bomb proof.
I have the H7R and really like it. The only quibble is the headband seems to be made for giants (or helmets), so I've had to resort to a few tucks to take it in a bit.
How old is it?
Mine was like that (about 3 years ago), but it developed a fault and was replaced, the new one had a normal sized headband.
Changed to a Fenix HP20 (?not made anymore? 230 lumens) because I wanted a remote battery pack and full immersion capability. Again light output was very good. Much more comfortable head cradle, but that is to be expected due to the remote battery pack. The 'fatal flaw' of petzls glooms and myos ect still present, namely power cable becoming damaged. On my second light under warranty.
I can't fault my Myo RXP to be honest. More than bright enough for what I need it for, and not too weighty.
Yep, I've been using the BD Icon for a few weeks and it's bright! It's dead easy to use too. You hold the button down for the brightness to adjust (it fades up and down) and just release when you're happy with it, and it stays on that setting til you change it. Or you flick to the wide mode for a better spread of light for running / walking. Also has a red mode and a battery level indicator. The battery life is incredible. With more careful use it'd be beyond anything I've used before. The only drawback was the weight of the battery pack on the headband but other friends tried it and had no problems - I have a tiny head (i have to buy kids hats!) and I'm used to a Tikka XP, so it just felt a bit cumbersome. No different at all to my old petzl zoom though! Really recommend it. I used to be really happy with my Tikka XP but this one blows it out of the water!
I use the Led Lenser H14 for trail running as I had a couple of falls and wanted to be able to run with confidence through night sections of races. The H14 definately allows that as it is similar to have a car driving behind you on the trail.
Only downside is the weight of the thing, but from a running point of view, I decided the confidence t gave me in my foot placements on a root covered trail overweighed any issues about the weight.
I've used this on UK 100 milers and out on the Ultra Trail du MOnt Blanc this summer and it was great, especially as I dimmed the light when I could and the torch lasted all night.
Hope do a really bright head torch as well but I've only seen people running with it and though "Cor Blimey, that's bright".
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