Buying Guide: Headtorches

Cameron Sims3 min readAdvice & Guides

Don’t let dark skies stop you from getting out and about. Pick up a headtorch to keep you visible and illuminate the path ahead.

The following guide will shine a light on all the key features you should look out for when buying a headtorch.

Headtorch

 

Price

Headtorch prices will vary depending on factors such as durability and effectiveness. It’s not a good idea to buy cheap – we maintain that the only way to guarantee reliability and safety is to find a well-constructed product that’s truly fit for purpose.

 

Bulbs

The ideal headtorch bulb is bright and energy efficient. We’ve summarised bulb types below so you know which ones to go for.

Brightness is measured in Lumens and ratings are usually provided in product descriptions.

 

Tungsten:

Tungsten bulbs feature somewhat outdated technology and this quickly becomes apparent when you see the lacklustre levels of brightness they produce. They’re battery guzzlers too, so worth avoiding if you can.

Halogen versions are much brighter, but equally dire in terms of battery consumption.

 

Xenon / Krypton:

Xenon and krypton may sound a bit sci-fi, but they’re actually just bulb types. They’re commonly used by headtorch manufacturers due to the balance they strike between brightness and battery life.

 

LED:

LED bulbs are about as reliable as they come. They last several times longer than conventional bulbs, using far less energy in the process.

Halogen bulbs do tend to be brighter, but you’ll certainly get by with an LED headtorch anytime you’re out  in the dark.

Headtorch Mist

 

Batteries

All batteries have positives and negatives (pun intended), but ultimately you want something lightweight and long-lasting. You’re usually left to choose between the following options when purchasing a headtorch.

 

Alkaline batteries:

This traditional battery type is the cheapest on the market. However, they soon run out of energy and are heavier than Lithium counterparts. Not ideal for a headtorch.

 

Lithium batteries:

Lithium batteries have become common since the introduction of  smaller, cheaper electronics. Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than alkaline, but they last much longer and in many cases, they’re rechargeable.

What makes them especially good for headtorches is their slim, lightweight design. They’re easily incorporated into the torch itself and won’t weigh you down when you’re getting active.

 

Burn Time

‘Burn time’ simply refers to the combined life expectancy of the bulb and battery.

Manufacturers estimate how long a headtorch will function for with continuous use. This type of test is obviously hypothetical because nobody leaves their headtorch switched on for such prolonged periods. However, it does highlight how different products are likely to perform in comparison to each other.

 

Ease of Use

Practicality is a top consideration; if you need to faff around looking for the ‘on’ switch in dark conditions, it’s not going to be much use to you.

When shopping for a headtorch, make sure buttons and switches are easy to access and use. If the controls seem fiddly, it’s probably best to walk away and find something else.

 

Comfort & Fit

You want your headtorch to sit snugly on top of your head, without the straps and buckles causing discomfort. Strap adjustability also means you can loosen things up when you want to wear on top of a hat, helmet or hood.

For optimum comfort, it’s important that you find a lightweight headtorch that’s non-intrusive. Heavy ones quickly become uncomfortable and will drive you mad after a while.

 

Find a headtorch that will brighten up your day at Millets.

Shop Headtorches

Cameron is a young(ish) family man finding whatever time he can to read, write and kick a football around. His weekends involve getting the kids out in the Cheshire countryside for adventures, increasingly involving tents! Photography is the newest of his hobbies – documenting days out and doing his best to capture wildlife on film. Follow his blogs here for a candid view of family fun in the great outdoors.
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