/ head torches for fell running

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Alex@home - on 16 Oct 2012
i'm thinking about getting myself a new head torch for night running. i tend to do hilly, off-road runs so it will need to be pretty bright.
can anyone recommend any?
a lakeland climber on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

Gets asked a lot :-)

Hope Vision 2 is pretty popular amongst the fell running community.

ALC
Morgan Woods - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

the Petzl Nao looks pretty good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZb3k_x067w
a lakeland climber on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

Here's a link to the FRA equipment forum where there are a couple of threads about headtorches http://forum.fellrunner.org.uk/forumdisplay.php?6-Equipment

ALC
Aly - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:
http://forum.fellrunner.org.uk/showthread.php?15581-Head-torch-recommendations

I suspect you'll end up wanting something like a Hope Vision R4.

I got a cheapo Cree XML T6 off ebay recently:
http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/review-ebay-1800-lumen-cree-xml-t6-led-bicycle-headlight-...
First impressions are that it's a good torch, friends ones seem to give about 7 hours on low which is plenty light enough to descend off Higgar and Carl Wark on full gas. Headband isn't the comfiest, and there may be reliability issues in the future but at that price I'm not too bothered.
Aly - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber: beat me to it!
IainRUK - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home: I use the MYO XP.. at that price its pretty good, plenty good enough for general night time fell running.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home: I have an LED Lenser H7 and it's a fantastic headtorch. It has a focus system so you can fan the light to cover a wide area (or pin point if you wish) and you also have full control over the brightness.

Re fell running with it, the batteries are in a case at the back of the head but the front light is extremely light weight and tilts to three different positions. However I have never run whilst wearing it, so cannot advise if it's comfortable for long runs.
SteveRi - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:
Gamma here, great value but holds me back when it gets technical or my eyes start getting tired. Vaguely looking for something else.

This isn't a bad offer if you like the magazine:
http://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/store/displaybrand.asp?sid=5500
Irk the Purist - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

I have a FENIX HP11 which gives 4 hours of 277 lumens for 55 and it's built like a tank. It will last much longer on the lower settings which are plenty for normal running. I use the spot light for night orienteering and looking for path turnings and features from a distance mostly.

Turns night nav into day nav!

It's on the heavy side but doesn't feel it when it's on your head. It runs off 4 AAs which sit in a battery pack on the back. It got me through two nights of the Lakeland 100.

Rick Ashton - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home: I have the petzl nao and it's amazing. The beam on it is outrageous and the reactive lighting works really well as I was very sceptical when it first came out.

I also find the different profile activities you can set up on it for different activities a great function as I use it for more then just running.
Irk the Purist - on 16 Oct 2012
cbeard - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home: I use a ZebraLight H51, it's got a 200 lumen mode and takes only 1 AA battery, so doesn't weigh much. Battery life isn't fantastic, but 2 AA cells are fine for a typical weekend of winter camping and ski touring use.
The New NickB - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

I am not a fan of this lighting arms race we seem to have in relation to prancing around the fells at night. Nobody needs a light of more than 200 lumens for fell running, they can probably get by with a lot less.

I have got a Silva X Trail which is has about the same output as the Myo XP, possibly slightly brighter, but have happily used the Gamma in the past.

mountainpenguin on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:
sten light, its awesome
Alex@home - on 17 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

thanks all - plenty to look at there
i've got a hope 2 for biking but don't like having the lead flapping about while running so i'd prefer something with a smaller battery pack that's on the head strap somehow
Aly - on 17 Oct 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Alex@home)
>
> I am not a fan of this lighting arms race we seem to have in relation to prancing around the fells at night. Nobody needs a light of more than 200 lumens for fell running, they can probably get by with a lot less.

If you want to go for a steady run on trails then yes, you're probably right, and it do a good job.

If you are wanting to run, navigate well and descend fast on off-trail ground then I think the new high-power headtorches make a huge difference. I don't think you could descend rough ground with a 200 lumen torch as fast as you could in daylight, but with some of these torches you can.
That's not what everyone wants to do of course, but I think you'll have a job convincing night-orienteers do ditch their expensive Silva torches for a 200 lumen one!
Alex@home - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Aly:

the petzl nao advert linked above only showed people on nice even trails running in twilight so i'm not convinced by it yet. sounds like a really nice idea but does it really do what it says?
i would definitely want to be running on steep uneven footpaths so would need more than 200 lumens.
The New NickB - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Aly:

I think you are wrong. I will be out tonight, rough moorland, steep descents, mud. I am not talking about nice even trails.
fairweatherclimber - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:
I get by on local trails (Sheffield Porter-Clough) with a Petzl Zipka, super-lite and sufficient light; sometimes I'd appreciate being able to control the beam angle. I have a Myo XP for more demanding terrain and don't see why you'd need more.
So many runners and especially bikers seem to have super-powerful lights these days, I am getting regularly dazzled by what look like oncoming cars, I think it's OTT most of the time and anti-social...
ads.ukclimbing.com
IainRUK - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Aly: I'm with Nick..

But also I think having a huge head torch takes away something which is special about night running.. that limited view.. quick feet, I don't know there is something special for me..
Michael Hood - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK: I'm a bit frustrated by the "headlights" that lots wear when night orienteering - if it turns night into day, then where is the difference in the challenge?

I used to think that if it could be restricted to head-mounted only (i.e. battery pack on head as well) then that would be ok, but with the LED headtorches from the last few years, that would have little effect.
fairweatherclimber - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
Well said, I agree. The less the light, the more connected you are with your environment; better than existing in a flood-lit bubble.

Over 10/ 20 minutes your night vision develops if no light.

But no-one should go out and break a leg on that basis!
mattrm - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

I have a Hope Vision One, which isn't cheap but is stunningly bright. That's more of a bike light for me however.

But I mainly use a AlpKit Gamma, has lasted well and is plenty bright for 12.50. 88 lumens I think.
parkovski - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

If you're running with other people I actually think it's a bit antisocial to have a ridiculously powerful headtorch as the extra glare diminishes the apparent brightness of everyone else's modest torches. However if you're mates all have some 900 lumen monstrosities you're pretty screwed, as anything else less will seem like candle light. Running alone I would never want for anything brighter than a Petzl Myo XP to illuminate my footing. If you need something to route find with take a second powerful torch with a narrow beam that you can use sparingly and keep well away from your eyes so you're not blinded by glare from your own breath.

Failing this, I would recommend buying a full moon and gluing it to a clear sky.
IainRUK - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to fairweatherclimber: Yeah running at night with no torch is special.. you can do it on the moel eilio ridge as its just short grass.. so with a full moon and no cloud its superb
Alex@home - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:

sure i love being connected to the environment etc etc, but not to the point where i've just sprained my ankle on rough ground miles from home on a dark cold night.
there are questions of context - i have other head torches that are perfectly good for running on a predictable surface like a road or a smooth grassy surface, but i want something that will enable me to run on rougher/more uneven terrain safely
The New NickB - on 18 Oct 2012
In reply to Alex@home:
> (In reply to Alex@home)
>
> sure i love being connected to the environment etc etc, but not to the point where i've just sprained my ankle on rough ground miles from home on a dark cold night.
> there are questions of context - i have other head torches that are perfectly good for running on a predictable surface like a road or a smooth grassy surface, but i want something that will enable me to run on rougher/more uneven terrain safely

Yes, 200 lumens is fine for even the roughest of fell terrain. One thing to remember with torches is that however powerful it isn't natural light and can create strange shadows and also change the appearance of the ground. Super bright lights can flatten out bumps, also getting dazzled by your mate turning around, or even sometimes just picking up the reflection of something is bad enough with sub 200 lumen lights.

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