In reply to Roberttaylor: I've been using a Petzl Myo XP for many years without a problem. It's been used on alpine trips, camping and DIY around the house. I would probably buy the same again even though the LED Lenser torches are cheaper and brighter.
It appears that the entire led lenser range is made in the same factory / is effectively identical to the chinese led headtorches. For confirmation, go to led lensers website and look at the h11; then go back to ebay and notice the same torch, same moulding, same band, same cables, all with options of battery and for 14 quid.
This is from someone who owns an h7r, likes it, but was dismayed to discover the above.
On ebay i have just found a Cree Q5 for £6 and a Cree XP-G R5 for £12. They are cheap chinese imports.
I dont have a good headtorch (just a simple led one like a tikka) and i was thinking of upgrading soon, is it worth buying one of these cheap knockoffs (i cant really afford a £50 lenser)? Do they rinse batteries/ not work properly/ die quickly etc or are the ok? I understand the 600 lumen statement on the R5 is obviously not true but even if it put out 50 lumens that would be good. I Guess even a cheap cree headtorch is going to be better than my old LED one... opinions?
In reply to Roberttaylor: Anyone got any more experience of the Cree ones? I they are made in the same factory and just branded differently, has anyone got an idea which Cree is the same as the Led Lenser H7?
In reply to Roberttaylor: the silva runner 550 is pretty damn good. the light unit is ridiculously lightweight and the batteries will either sit on the headband or extend to a pocket. I've used it skiing in the dark and loved it. more expensive than 14quid tho!
In reply to Roberttaylor:
I have the new 205 lumen Myo Rxp
Brilliant lamp and u can get it for £50 if I've a keen eye, I also have the
200 lumen B/D icon which is brighter with a better light pattern however its heavy,bulky needs 4AAs and doesn't last long on Max output, can't beat the Myo Rxp for
All round usage. New tikka xp2 is decent as is the Alpkit gamma
Maybe best to wait as they've got a new gamma update on the way
> icons are good but really heavy. unless you really need 200 lumens, consider something at about 100 which will be lighter, fit in a pocket and on a helmet better.
I'd completely agree. 100 lumens is more than sufficient. I'd even go as far as saying that 50-70 lumens regulated output is far more useful in the real world than 100+ unregulated.
I'm currently using a Petzl Zipka +2 with Petzl Core Li-Ion batteries for regulated output. It is the previous 50 lumen version, but I find it more than sufficient for anything I'd want to do climbing or mountaineering related.
It is not the cheapest option, but given that the latest version now has a 70lumens output with better battery life, I really struggle to see why most climbers or mountaineers would want anything larger or heavier.
I've got a Life Sysetems one (70 lumens). Much cheaper than Petzl, Black Diamond etc. Excellent, non fiddly battery container (in contrast with Petzl's which are always a nightmare with cold hans in the dark). I am very happy with it for all use.
I have a Fenix HL30. Goes up to 200 lumens which is nice to have if necessary but most of the time I use it on low.
What I really like is how it uses 2 AA batteries rather than odd numbers of AAAs which are lower energy density and more of a faff. But it is small enough to be an all in one design rather than having batteries round the back. A!so waterproof and cost me about £30 on Amazon.
In reply to Roberttaylor: I've been through a Myo XP and an H7, both because of the wiring/ failing connections. Currently have an oldstyle Icon (the green one) that's lasted longer than them both combined. Decent torch and way easier to use with gloves than the Myo and H7.
Only downside is occasionally catching the torch on the rock when looking up from your feet - changing the angle a bit.
The newer version seems a bit more compact at the front, so might solve this.
I've accidentally thrown the new icon 10m onto rocks inside a rope bag - no problems
In reply to Roberttaylor:
I have a BD Icon and it's great.
The 'Polar' version has a remote battery pack so you won't even notice the weight of the lamp on you head.
The dimming function is very good, has a lock mode so you won't waste battery if the button is acidently pressed in your pack.
Batteries last ages, also give an indication of the power left. I have used my icon for about 5 or 6 weekends away in dark bothies and huts, hours of early walk ins, hours of late walk outs, around the house etc and still on the first set of batteries.)
i've just bought a Cree XM-L T6 headtoprch off ebay item number 400417798838 for £18. I've read a quite a few reviews of various cheap import headtorches and this seems to be the best in terms of power/ light throw/ build <-they all seem rubbish, this is apparently a bit better.
One complaint i have read a few times is that the li-ion 18650 batteries are a bit of a lucky dip. Some are fine others are terrible, i suppose i will just have to wait and see...
Surprised no-one has mentioned the Petzl Nao (altho' I suspect it may be something to do with the price...)
However, if you can run to it, it's currently by far the best thing out there for mountaineering, biking, fell running - the lot.
Even though it's only a few grammes heavier, it makes things like the Myo RXP look like a candle (those extra lumens really are useful in poor visibility at night when you're trying to pick out descents from mountains).
Despite some initial scepticism, the reactive technology turns out to work a treat and battery life is excellent. The USB connector makes it a doddle to recharge just about anywhere these days - including the cigarette lighter socket in a car.
It's also extremely well designed with big chunky on-off switch for gloved hands, a fool-proof lock-out mechanism so it won't come on in your 'sac and an ingenious cinch mechanism for transport and storage so you never get your head band in a twist again.
I'd not been a fan of Petzl torches for many years, thinking they'd lost their way a bit with fiddly little buttons and poor build quality and had preferred American designs such as Princeton Tec or BD. But they seem to have have come storming back with this - I think it really is a game changer.
in my local branch of Robert Dyas for £9.99 a couple of years ago and found it's just as bright as my LED Lenser H7 which cost £42. Both use the 3W Cree LED.
The Robert Dyas one only has full power/half power/flashing/off settings, unlike the Lenser where you can vary the power level to any level you like, but for £6.99 (current price) in a High Street shop I think it's a bargain. Takes 3 AAA (alkaline or rechargeable.) It has a headband which includes an extra strap going across the top of the head making it quite secure despite the weight of the batteries at the front (LED Lenser has a separate battery pack at the back of the head).
I think Robert Dyas stores are all in the SE and Midlands. Standard postage at £4.99 bumps the price up to £11.98, so not such a bargain if you can't visit a store.
In reply to flaneur: This would be a great thread to put on the caving forum if we get one.. No one knows lamps like cavers.. Oh what about the Fenix HP11 only £55.00 lasts for bloody ages, Has 4 settings. Loads of power 275 lumins, and its solid..
In reply to Roberttaylor: The Cree headtorch off ebay arrived today. Initial impressions are good, I scorched my retinas by looking into it on high beam. The slider on the back that controls brightness causes is not a 100% smooth transition from high to low but almost. The battery pack is half rubber (the part that goes against the helmet) and this seems a little odd but other than that it is superb, really, really bright. I'm off to the Ben so will see how it performs there.
Has a spot and a flood. The spot is very powerful and can illuminate things up to 80-100 meters away. Good battery life. The lens rotates into a covered position to keep the glass from getting dinged and scratched when in your pack.
In reply to Roberttaylor: I have narrowed it down to the Petzl Myo XP and the Black Diamond Icon.
Which of these would you recommend, and why?
Don't get the Myo, it feels very much like a squashed nutrigrain elevenses bar in the top of your rucksack. If you can't see why this may be a problem then I suggest you attempt to decend rough ground by the light of a nutrigrain bar.
In reply to mkean: lol, that's about as bad as me, got to the col du midi during the day, set up tent ,darkness descended got my petzl out to find it had been on since I packed it at home and was dead as a dodo. Didn't bring spares for weight reasons.