UKC

/ Head torch recommendations (for Scottish winter)

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t_hume - on 29 Dec 2017
Particularly interested to hear from any Winter MLs...

Sods law being what it is, now that we're in the middle of winter my 7 year old Petzl myo has just given up the ghost. I have a back up light (Petzl Tikka) but need something a bit stronger as a primary torch.

I've read as many reviews etc that I can but would be interested to hear from the UKC/H collective. So far my biggest usage consideration is Winter ML training that's on the horizon.

Thanks
subtle on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

If you can’t make the decision on your own about which head torch to buy is the Winter ML course for you?
63
Tommy Harris - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

I have recently purchased the Alpkit one and used in the Alps a few times and got to say I love it, good Light, battery life is good and pretty cheap too which is always a bonus.

https://www.alpkit.com/products/viper
1
Exile - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

I've got a BD Icon which I got specifically as a winter climbing torch and is very good.

JayPee630 - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to subtle:

Dick. He's just asking for recommendations, not asking if he needs one.
3
jezb1 - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

My LED Lenser SEO7 helped me through my assessment a few years ago. It’s bright enough, auto dims, focuses and has lasted well.
StuDoig - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

This season i've been using a petzl Nao+. Great so far, powerful good quality beam and autodim function works well and is handy when looking up and down at your map, and avoiding blinding your mates! Doesn't work if there's lots of snow falling as a lot of refraction tricks the sensor, but constant lighting mode to switch to if that happens. I like the pre-sets you can customise, though wish that you could switch the red rear light on / off other than via the control app.

spare batteries available and an extension cord to move the battery off your head if you want to keep the battery warm. So far no issues with it being a lithium ion battery, rather than AA or AAA, esp with spare battery. I used to be fairly cynical of rechargeable batteries vs AA / AAA but pretty sold on this one now!

Cheers,

Stu
Wayne S - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to StuDoig:

Second vote for NAO been using the first version for a couple of seasons now and really like it. TBH I tend to use it more because it is rechargeable, always thinking about batteries otherwise.

I did also pick up a Black Diamond Cosmo, because it was in a sale and cheap as chips. For the money it’s pretty impressive as a less bulky -just in case option.
Dave Kerr - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to Tommy Harris:

> I have recently purchased the Alpkit one and used in the Alps a few times and got to say I love it, good Light, battery life is good and pretty cheap too which is always a bonus.


Why spend more when these work so well and cost so little?
3
jezzah - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

I use a Petzl Myo and it works for me in winter- got me through my Winter assessment ok. On the other hand, I might be tempted with one of these newer rechargable ones... part of me thinks there is possibly more to go wrong with the new torches and I am a big fan of keeping kit simple if possible.

Happy shopping!

Lord_ash2000 - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to StuDoig:

Just got Nao+ for my girlfriends fell running. Not cheap but seems to be the go-to torch for when you need decent light.
pass and peak - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

If it's specifically for your WML then here are some things that are a must in a head torch.

a) Being able to turn on/off and dim while wearing thick gloves or mitts.
b) long burn time on high(ish) setting ie 6hrs min. + ability to take normal batteries if a rechargeable type!
c) Weather resistant to IP6 or higher.
d) Robust
e) An adjustable focusing spot beam can be a real advantage.

If it ticks those boxes and is in your price range its a winner! 2 things thing I might add are it has to be comfortable on your head for many hrs at a time! Ones with the battery pack at the rear tend to be good in this respect. Also straps long enough to fit around helmet! Only way to tell is to try them on I guess, a good reason to support the shops as opposed to online only!!

M
nniff - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

I have recently decided to go small and bought a Silva one with a removable battery pack (3 AAA). Not as bright as some, but sound enough and small enough to put in a pocket if your sack's left at the bottom. Unplug the cable to stop it turning on inadvertently. Cable extension allows the small battery pack to go in a pocket. Supposed to be a runners one really.
Dave the Rave on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to t_hume:

Another Myo?
Goucho on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> Why spend more when these work so well and cost so little?

+1 for the Alpkit Viper, it's a cracking piece of kit, and hard to think why you need to bother spending more, unless you spend a lot of time in darkness on your climbs each year.

Used one on the Eiger at the beginning of the year, with a midnight start, and a night at the Corti bivi, and it was superb. Carried a spare set of batteries, but didn't need them.
StuDoig - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I'm deeply suspicious of the Alpkit torches unfortunately. I had a Gamma, and it failed very quickly. Replaced by Alpkit, with no quibbles (so top marks for customer service) but the 2nd one has also randomly stopped working. Among my group of friends, we've counted 5 x alpkit torch failures. Other folk seem to have been more lucky with them and had no problems. The lack of reliability I've experienced with them really put them out of the equation for me. They are very cheap, compared to the big brands, but my experience of them has been that you sacrifice a LOT of quality and reliability for the saving.

That isn't everyone's experience though and I've no doubt they've worked well for others, but personally I won't touch them.

There are other cheap brands out there (Fenix, LED LENSER etc) that cost a bit more, but again seem to have high levels of reliability for folk on more of a budget that I'd recommend first.

Cheers!

Stu
Dave Kerr - on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to StuDoig:
I've been using a viper for about 5 years with no issues. Had 3 Myos fail within 2 years!

Also, the Gammas were pretty crap. Vipers seem much better.
Post edited at 19:53
TobyA on 30 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Oddly my first Gamma worked for years with no problems. For many winters it was attached with zip ties to my bike helmet so did many hours of use through the Helsinki winters, and never let me down. But I know others broke the battery compartments very quickly.

I got a replacement one from Alpkit for some reason, a few years back. They really didn't need to replace the original but still did, I think after reading some comment I made here! That one still works fine although I bought an LED Lenser when the first broke which I use more as it has a power control and focusable beam. Great torch too.
Pedro - on 01 Jan 2018
In reply to t_hume:

I really like my LED Lenser, but it has a habit of switching on in my bag. I know I can take a battery out, but thats a pain. I've never had this with any other make.
girlymonkey - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to t_hume:

I use the led sensor SE07 and I am very happy with it. I like that it's a rechargeable battery but can also take AAA if you need to. I like the beam being able to be focussed or wide depending on what you are doing. The brightest setting is very bright too.
StuDoig - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to TobyA:

LED Lensers do seem to be a really good torch. I did a lot of comparative testing of torches last year and the model I was looking at was definitely one of the best, both in brightness and beam/light quality. Good pricing as well!

Though I did blind myself driving when I forgot it was on my head, leaned back and the dial button on the battery pack switched the torch on, and into full beam! Though not sure I can blame that one on the torch!

Cheers,

Stu
harlequin100 on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to t_hume:
Fenix head torches (hl55 or hl23) are the mutt's nuts. Used in caving extensively so most are at least IP67 and take a battering when caving. Rubber push button on the sides are easy to use with gloves.

As you dont need ip68 maybe the fenix hp25r would be good ?

Quin
Post edited at 17:53
Ridge - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Pedro:

> I really like my LED Lenser, but it has a habit of switching on in my bag. I know I can take a battery out, but thats a pain. I've never had this with any other make.

What model? With the headlamp off try holding the 'on' button down for around 5 seconds ( until the lamp turns on for a few seconds and then goes off again). That locks the button against accidental presses, and it won't turn on again unless held down for another 5 seconds (until light comes on again). Works on my H7 and some other models).
mbh - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Ridge:

That does not work with my 3.5 year old H7. It must be a newer than that feature.
Ridge - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to mbh:
Interesting, mine's a couple of years old. Worth a try I suppose.

Edit: Mine's a 7.2
Post edited at 21:56
D.botts87 - on 03 Jan 2018
In reply to t_hume:

+1 for the LED Lensor
Andi_FJ - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to t_hume:

For trackfinding in Winter i always wanted more light and came across the Lupine Pika. With 1500 Lumen (max) it is o.k. For trackfinding, in lower settings it make a good wide light for climbing in the dark.Not cheap but well worth the money. Additionally i use the usb-charger with a spare batterypack (6,6Ah) to Charge my GPS/telephone.

A Lot of skimountaineers swear on Lupine Wilma, but for me this one OS too heavy to wear without helmet.

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