FINDING YOUR WAY IN THE DARK
Mountain rescue responders are obsessive about their head torches because they are literally your lifeline in the darkness of winter. A few years ago, as equipment officer for my team and after trialling dozens of torches, we chose Silva LED head torches and this has been my mainstay for years. So for something to topple this pole position it’s going to have to be pretty special.
I first came across LED Lensers, used by the tactical police officers I train, attached to their firearms and excellent torches, but not so their head torches. Then, six months ago, Paul Hitchen of Glossop MRT and fell-runner, told me he was using the new Lenser CREE LED head torches, so Scott and I bought a few and put them through their paces.
The thing that first struck us was the intense quality of the beam of light, a brilliant white, controlled through a smart lens that goes from flood (broad-beam) to focused (spotlight) with none of the dark spots or rings that we’ve seen on other head torches. Better still, wearing gloves it’s really quick and easy to change from broad to focussed and herein lies the next advance!
With most torch beams focussed into the distance, three quarters of the available light is scattered and lost, not so with the Lensers due to their smart focussing system, so when other torch manufacturers claim X metres distance, its only just, whereas with the Lenser it is the full distance, due of the excellent beam quality.
Simply put, LED Lensers are the best head torches we’ve tried and are now our mainstay when out on the hill.
The two head torches we believe offer the best value for money combined with excellent performance are the SEO5 and the H7R.2
We also really like the Dynamic Wheel Switch, which with gloves on and one click goes to red so that other members of your party can see clearly where you are from behind.
LED Lenser H7R.2
One of the best head torches available for the money, spending more doesn’t get you much more, it is phenomenal value.
The .2 part of its name refers to the fact that this is the new improved version that has a recalculated lens which ensures wider illumination, while the power supply has been upgraded to lithium-ion cells to provide longer run-times.
Truly fit for purpose, giving 50 metres of light for an incredible 60 hours from its rechargeable batteries and when needed a spotlight that easily reaches 160 metres. By carrying 4xAAA batteries you always have backup power, better still, you can charge it up en route to your trip by plugging it into your car adapters USB or from your laptop. Importantly too, it is comfortable to wear, doesn’t slip on sweaty heads when running or in driving rain.