A head torch is a small light source fitted to a headband that you can wear to extend your outdoor adventures into the night or in low visibility levels.
The best head torch will have a powerful combination of lengthy burn life, high brightness, and a lightweight on the head. Onboard rechargeable battery technology adds to the functionality, providing for quick recharging from a power pack while on an adventure. For camping, the best head torch is useless if you don’t have these best waterproof jackets, wellington boots, and of course, you need the best all season tyres for your vehicle to go home safely, and other essentials. Also, don’t forget to bring your massage gun for helping you massage after a long walk, and for your shoulder and back pain, carrying heavier bags.
When compared to a standard hand-held torch, the head torch offers the significant benefit of hands-free operation – the light will shine wherever you turn your head. This allows users to quickly set up camp while keeping both hands free for the inevitable fiddly tasks.
We tested 8 of the best head torches on the market today in order to compare pricing to features and performance in this article. As with other technology, you usually get what you pay for. However, this was not always the case with LED head torches. it really depends on the level of features you require. We can’t argue, though, that the most sophisticated head torch is better than the regular ones.
Keep reading for our recommendations and a buyer’s guide to finding the best head torch.
PETZL SWIFT RL – Best Head Torch for Brightest
- Max lumens is absurdly bright
- Intuitive controls
- Smart ‘reactive’ lighting option
The superb Petzl Swift RL is one of our current best head torch options. If it’s the brightness you’re looking for, this has you covered plus some extra. Its maximum output of 900 lumens is brighter than the sun through a telescope.
Although you’ll probably never need that output, it’s great to know it’s available on the market. That’s important! Don’t worry, Petzl Swift RL hasn’t gone all-in on the brightness at the expense of performance. On the regular setting, you’ll get 2 hours of 550 lumen light, which is fairly good for a head torch. There’s also a ‘reactive’ mode that will detect how much light you need and adjust appropriately, in order to save battery power, however, this can be unpleasant at times.
Whilst normal batteries aren’t compatible, Petzl will allow you to replace the provided battery pack for a spare in your bag. Other design features, such as a convenient headband that wraps around the lamp for easy storage and a switch lock that keeps the batteries from running out while in your backpack, make this head torch truly stand out.
BIOLITE HEADLAMP 750 – Best Head Torch for Bright, Light, and Long-lasting
- Comfortable and stable
- Incredibly bright
- Easy to use
The BioLite HeadLamp 750 is a must-have if you need a head torch that can last for hours and give a bright beam of light on demand. When you really need it, it can put out a stunning 750 lumens. However, you’re more likely to keep it at 500, which it can maintain for seven hours of amazing illumination.
It includes eight light modes, including a red LED for tactical operations, that you can switch between with the touch of a well-placed button. Moreover, it fits perfectly and comfortably whether you’re wearing it straight on your head or over a beanie or helmet. We also like how the battery pack is placed around the back of the vehicle to equally distribute weight.
All in all, the BioLite HeadLamp 750 is indeed a reliable high-end head torch that’s simple to use and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. You can’t keep replacement batteries on hand because it’s rechargeable only. However, you can bring a different battery pack with you in case you run out of juice. It provides a wonderful blend of power and burns time, and whatever your favorite nighttime pastime is, this is a solid candidate that will not disappoint.
Black Diamond Spot 325 – Best Head Torch for Wet-weather Hiking and Hillwalking
- Highly water-resistant
- IPX8 waterproof
- Full strength in proximity and distance modes
When it comes to head torches, Black Diamond is one of the very few brands that come to mind. We’ve been very impressed with their products in recent years, and the Spot 325 is no exception.
The Spot collection premiered in 2017 with a 200-lumen model, was updated to 300 lumens in 2018, and then received a complete redesign for 2019, resulting in what we see today. Not only has the power been increased, but the unit has also been lowered in size. Then, a new mode selector was introduced, and the updated LED.
The primary button on the top of the headtorch may be used to adjust the power modes, while a smaller button on the side can be used to move between the lens mode settings, which include dimming, strobe, red night-vision, and lock modes.
The Spot 325 can run for 200 hours on the lowest power mode and four hours on the higher mode using three AAA batteries. The IPX8 waterproof rating on the Spot 325 was a feature we really admired. This implies you can submerge it for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water and it will still work – not bad.
PETZL IKO CORE HEAD TORCH – Best for Running and Hiking
- Extremely bright
- Ingenious, lightweight design
- Flexible battery options
For trail runners and hikers, the Petzl Iko Core head Torch is an excellent option. It’s not just one of the brightest head torches on the market, but its smart design makes it excellent for high-intensity exercises.
While you’re out and about, the elastic tension straps hold everything in place. Instead of having the batteries and light in the same spot, the weight is distributed differently here, with the heavier battery pack sitting neatly on the back of the head and the LEDs practically flush with the forehead. It’s extremely comfy to wear and will suit most heads.
The design may appear weird at first glance, yet it packs a powerful impact. You can raise the brightness to a blinding 500 lumens with the Li-Ion power pack. The middle level is 100 lumens, which provides a 45-meter beam for up to 9 hours and 30 minutes. You may charge it via a micro-USB connector, or you can use 3x AAA batteries instead of the rechargeable battery.
BLACK DIAMOND FLARE – Best Head Torch for Budget Option and for Emergency
- Robust and waterproof
- Extremely lightweight
- Simple but effective
The Black Diamond Flare is designed for emergencies. To that objective, it’s extremely light yet tough. It Has the ability to survive 30 minutes of complete immersion in water up to 1 meter and is dustproof. The bungee can be attached to pretty much anything. Moreover, the knurled aluminum ring enclosing the bulbs can be used to switch between lighting modes. A hinged backplate provides the lens 180 degrees of movement, and the bungee can be used to switch between lighting settings. Whereas the primary beam isn’t particularly bright, this torch does have an ‘SOS’ mode that could come in handy in an emergency.
NITECORE HC65 – Best Head Torch for Challenge hikers & Technical Users
- Extremely bright
This item is basically as tough as head torches get, with a casing composed of an aero-grade anodized aluminum alloy. It’s also waterproof, with an IPX8 rating that means it can be immersed for up to 2 meters.
Its main beam is extraordinarily bright, with an output of up to 1000 lumens and a beam distance of 110 meters. It has five brightness settings, as well as strobe, SOS, beacon, and red light functions. All of these options are cycled through using a single glove-friendly button that can be completely pushed, partially pressed, held, or double-clicked to cycle between them.
The maximum runtime is up to 800 hours – however, that’ll be on the lowest, most cost-effective level. A fully charged battery should give you roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes of runtime on its highest level. The Nitecore battery may be charged while in the head torch thanks to a built-in Intelligent Micro-USB port. To do so, just unscrew the cap and insert the cable.
BIOLITE HEADLAMP 200 – Best Head Torch for All-Rounder
- Great as a running torch
- Luxurious comfort
For a variety of reasons, the Biolite HeadLamp 200 is one of the best running head torches available. It’s bright, light, comfy, adjustable, and has a good battery life, all at a reasonable price. It is beneficial for colder and longer trips.
The wide elasticated strap adjusts effortlessly by pulling two glove-friendly sliders, while the broadcloth headband at the front holds heads, caps, and helmets alike. For night running adventures, a small reflective plate on the back provides some rear visibility. This entire torch unit pivots one-handed, allowing you to go from proximity to distance light in seconds.
BioLite’s ‘no bounce’ design does exactly what it promises, and the range is enough for most situations, with a spot out to 50 meters lighting the way in all but whiteout conditions. A basic multi-press on the primary button toggles between high/low beam, strobe, and a red light for nighttime map reading. The 700 mAh Lithium-Ion battery is recharged using a regular micro-USB port, making it convenient to charge at work, in the car, and wherever. In fact, if you’re looking for a running head torch, this is the one to acquire, and even if you’re not, it’s worth a look – especially when paired with the optional stuff pouch that doubles as a lantern.
SILVA TRAIL RUNNER FREE ULTRA – Best Head Torch for Running Torch
- Light on front and rear
- Visible up to 80m
Investing in a head torch that allows you to see into the distance when running through the woods is a very excellent idea. This is up to 80 meters in the case of the Silva Headlamp Trail Runner Free Ultra.
Silva’s latest running head torch has a long-reach spotlight and a close-floodlight upfront. It uses Silva’s Intelligent Light technology to optimize beam dispersion for the greatest illumination no matter where you are. This can produce up to 400 lumens in Max mode and down to 50 lumens in Min mode, and it can run for up to 23 hours on its 4.0AH rechargeable battery.
There really is a red safety light on the back. Additionally, you have a lot of options for powering the Silva Head Torch Trail Runner Free Ultra. The included rechargeable battery should suffice in most situations. However, you can also use three AAA batteries or Silva’s 1.15AH hybrid rechargeable, giving you plenty of backup for any trail run.
What is Head Torch Used for?
The first and most vital question to ask yourself is to determine your ultimate use of the Head Torch. This will help you decide which features of a head torch are the most essential and which you can go without. As much as we’d like a head torch that is as brilliant as the sun and as light as a feather. Most head torches will excel in some areas more than others.
For example, if you require a head torch for winter trekking, you’ll generally prioritize long battery life and a long beam length for navigation. Low weight and balance/a secure fit are more likely to be prioritized for trail running. You’ll want to be able to change between a dim flood beam for map reading and a powerful spotlight to pick out features. And then, it keeps track of your bearings for night navigation. Is there a chance you might fall in the water? Waterproofing will be a top priority for you.
Rechargeable Head Torch or Traditional with Batteries
With head torches, rechargeable batteries are becoming more common, and most will use normal USB charging. As a result, you can charge them almost anywhere. This is ideal for a nighttime run or overnight camp, and it’s also more cost-effective in the long term.
On longer trips, though, there’s always the risk that your battery will run out in the middle of an activity if you don’t have a way to recharge it. Additionally, these lithium-ion batteries lose power more quickly in colder conditions. As a result, rechargeable head torches aren’t always the best choice for mountaineering, when having backup batteries is always an advantage. It’s also worth noting that rechargeable batteries have lesser power outputs than standard AA and AAA batteries.
However, many head torches can now use rechargeable battery packs and AAA batteries interchangeably without sacrificing performance. You’ll be able to recharge your head torches multiple times, and you’ll be able to carry some AAA batteries in case it runs out in between charges.
How Much Do You Need to spend?
There’s always a head torch for every budget. If you only need one for evening dog walks, a simple and moderately priced model will suffice.
If you need a head torch for an activity where having a reliable source of light could save your life, such as night running or hiking. We highly recommend getting the most expensive one you can afford – and preferably one. That one which allows you to buy spare, high-quality rechargeable batteries so you always have a backup on hand, or one that you can charge via USB.
Are the Best Head Torch Comfortable to Wear?
They definitely should be. Before going on any longer travels with a new head torch, make sure it fits tightly and comfortably on your head. If you lean your head forward, it should stay place, and if you shake your head about, it should stay put. It shouldn’t dig in anywhere, which is important when considering the weight of a separate battery pack.
A top strap makes a head torch more stable for jogging and climbing, and it’s worth double-checking that the straps will fit properly around a beanie cap and any helmet you want to use with your new torch. Some of the straps are reflective, which is great for staying visible at night.
Are All The Best Head Torch Waterproof?
Not at all. It is determined by the body rating. Some headlights are waterproof, while others are water-resistant. Light rain and splashes are no match for water-resistant lights. Waterproof lights are completely waterproof. Some models can even endure 30 minutes of submersion in a meter of water.
Different Head Torch Types
Head torches are available in a variety of designs and sizes. There are a variety of head torches available, ranging from rechargeable to CREE and water-resistant. The best head torch for you will be determined by the activity you’ll be doing and the conditions you’ll be facing. This guide will go through the many types of head torches and how to choose the best one for you. However, there are three main varieties available on the market:
LED Head Torch
In today’s market, LED head torches are the most popular. These headlighting devices illuminate light with light-emitting diodes and are popular due to their minimal weight. LED head torches also offer a shatterproof construction and consume very little power.
Single LED torches are brilliant and available in a variety of power levels. To increase light output, most of these torches have a magnifying lens on the front. As a result, even a little single LED light will provide high-quality illumination for a long period of time.
Head torch with several LED arrays may not always increase beam distance. However, they are useful when adjusting the light intensity. If you have a 12 LED bulb, for instance, you can choose between 3, 6, or 12 light settings.
These torches are ideal for camping and other outdoor activities. Multi LED array lights are ideal for utility applications like hunting. This is due to the fact that these LED lights come in a variety of color spectrums. Alternatively, you might use CREE head torches.
As previously stated, some LED head torchs have red and green light modes. Red and green lights are examples of these. This Red light helps night vision preservation during activities such as stargazing. It also means you can shoot shots where the light is focused without compromising the quality of the image. On the other hand, greenlight helps to reduce your visibility to wildlife, which keeps you safe. It’s also useful for close-up work. As a result, the green light is suitable for tasks like map reading in the dark.
Single Bulb Head Torch
Halogen or krypton bulbs are used in single-bulb headlights. These bulbs have a high light penetration rate. However, because of their great energy, they emit more heat. They consume more energy than LEDs.
If you intend to utilize single bulb lights outside for an extended period of time, you should have extra batteries or a backup torch with you. As a result, they’re a superior alternative for everyday use or in the event of a power outage.
Hybrid Head Torch
Another option is hybrid head torches. Known as mixed light array torches, these lights use both single bulbs and LEDs. This design enables them to adapt to a range of situations.
Important Things to Consider When Purchasing a Head Torch
When packing your hiking kit, a head torch is an important must-have. Even if you plan to be out during the day, you never know what situations will occur that will force you to remain out after dark.
Today’s market is flooded with head torches, and we want to assist you in finding the best one for your needs. That doesn’t mean you have to spend more money — you want a head torch that meets your needs, and some may be overkill while others may be inadequate.
Below are the important features that you will look for before purchasing the best head torch on the market. This will help you in choosing the best one for you. It’s always important to remember all of these factors as you buy a new one.
Head Torch Battery
Three different power sources are available for head torches. Rechargeable, battery-powered, or wind-up head torches are all options. Permanent battery units are included with rechargeable batteries, as well as a USB cable. You may charge it via a household outlet, a solar charger, a laptop, or a power bank using the USB cable.
Rechargeable batteries are more cost-effective and dependable because they do not need to be replaced and can be recharged at any time. Disposable batteries are used in battery-powered headlights. These batteries are often made of lithium, alkaline, or nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and come in AA or AAA sizes.
When it comes to battery-powered lights, you need to be particularly cautious. This is due to the fact that low temperatures might have an impact on battery performance. If you’re going to use them in a cold climate, choose waterproof versions.
Head torches that turn on and off are a less popular option. These torches contain a winding handle that saves energy for use in the short term. These lights usually last about 20 to 30 minutes. As a result, they make excellent backup torches.
Your light strap should snugly fit around your head. You don’t want it to be too tight or too loose when you put it on. Many torches have adjustable straps to fit a variety of head shapes and sizes. A stopper is included on larger head torches to prevent the straps from becoming too loose and the head torch from slipping down.
The weight of the torch is determined by its design and capacity. The weight of different headlight models varies. A head torch’s weight typically ranges from 70 to 200 grams. The heavier the bulb is, the brighter it is and the more powerful its batteries are. You should think about the material as well as the batteries.
Head torches incorporate the electronics into a textile while the strap is composed of silicone. Its weight is greatly reduced because of this design. If you intend to use the headlight outside, you should choose a lightweight model. You don’t want it to be too light, either, because it will lose its performance quality.
Modes of Brightness
Most torches have three settings: low, medium, and high. Low mode is suitable for routine duties like in-camp chores or walking on well-worn paths. The high mode is for more strenuous activities such as alpine hiking, while the mid mode is for intermediate activities. When you require the lightest output, the high setting is also useful.
The high mode shines your bulb to its maximum lumen capacity. If you have a 700-lumen torch, for example, the maximum mode will provide 700 lumens of light. Some head torches, on the other hand, come with extra features like strobe and zoom.
The flash mode is also known as a strobe mode. It serves as an emergency flasher. Some torches even have two flash rates: slow and quick. The zoom mode, also known as boost mode, provides an unusually powerful beam of light concentrated on a specific region for a brief period of time — roughly 10 to 30 seconds.
It just helps in illuminating a focus object, as it would in normal circumstances. If you see an unknown object in front of your track, for example, you can use the beam mode to determine whether it is a stone or a small animal.
Head Torch: Lumens & Brightness
It’s important to pay attention to the brightness of your head torch. This determines whether it is suitable for your requirements. The lumens are a simple way to measure brightness levels. Lumens are a measurement of how much visible light a bulb can emit in a given amount of time.
You can find out how bright your torch is by looking at its features or specifications. Bear in mind, however, that a higher lumen value consumes more power in a shorter amount of time. High brightness torches have a lower battery life because of the increased power consumption.
Close-up jobs are best served by lower brightness of roughly 10 to 60 lumens. The lumen range is perfect for tasks like tent pitching and reading. Moderate activities, such as local trail runs, are best served by mid-range brightness levels of roughly 100 to 150 lumens.
Furthermore, for more intense exercises, stronger light lumens, such as 300 to 500 lumens, are better. These include tasks like navigation and mountaineering, which are especially dangerous in harsh weather like the winter. A lamp’s modes are important to consider in addition to its brightness.
Head Torch: Beam
You should learn about several beam kinds in addition to brightness levels and settings. Unfortunately, this feature is not available on all head torches. Most torches with this feature, however, provide a choice of three beam types. The flood, spot, or flood/spot beam are examples of these.
This flood beam, also known as the wide beam, covers a large region rather than a long distance. That mode is suitable for tasks that require close attention. Long-range vision is covered by the spot beam. The focused or narrow beam type is another name for the spot beam.
This type of beam is suitable for long-range sight in conditions like dark trail navigating. Some headlights have a combination of flood and spot beams that you may control as you drive.
Most head torches have a 45 to 90 degree downward tilt. Nonetheless, there are a few types that tilt upwards to a 90-degree angle. The tilting feature is beneficial since it allows you to direct your torch precisely where you want it to shine. Cooking, reading, and setting up your tent all benefit from the titling feature.
All head torches, without a doubt, have an on/off switch. Torches with additional functions, on the other hand, must incorporate the feature buttons. When looking for a torch, the first thing you should look for is an ergonomic button or switch. Remember that you’ll be using the lighting tool outside in the dark the majority of the time.
As a result, you want a switch or button that you can easily use while on the move. Some of the best head torches are even engineered to operate with just one switch. This means that a single switch will control all functions. Some switches even have locks on them to avoid unintentional battery waste.
For ultralights, the weight of the head torch will be of huge importance. Some people may also seek a red light setting, which aids in night vision preservation and prevents you from irritating everyone else in a bothy or mountain hut with your early-morning alpine start. Furthermore, think about the head torch’s waterproof and dustproof ratings (IP ratings), as well as any easily accessible dimming modes. If you’ll be using it in the winter, think about whether you’ll be able to switch settings and use the controls while wearing gloves or with cold hands.
Get Your NEXT Best Head Torch Now
Choosing the best Head Torch can be a daunting task with the abundance of options available. That’s why we’ve compiled a cheat sheet for when the technical talk gets too much.
Head torches are essential for a variety of activities, including hiking, camping, running, trekking, fishing, and everyday living. Circumstances will arise that will necessitate the use of not only a phone torch but also a good head torch. Certainly, most phones now have built-in flashlights, but they won’t help you in many circumstances, and you probably don’t want to be waving your money around all the time, especially in dark alleys. For the products we’ve mentioned above, you are free to look at the best head torches, including why you’ll need them, where you’ll need them, and which ones to get.
On long days out, it’s easy to run out of daylight. A strong head torch can mean the difference between triumphantly returning home and being benighted on a hillside, cold and unpleasant. The best head torches will strike the ideal balance between battery life and brightness, as well as other factors such as overall reach, water and dust resistance, comfort, use, and, of course, affordability.
You may continue to enjoy your outdoor adventures without worry if you have the best head torch. Head torches are useful for a variety of tasks, including reading and navigating difficult alpine terrains, thanks to their adaptable design. All you have to do now is figure out which model will work best for you. You’ll be able to choose a head torch that meets your demands from the list above. What are you waiting for? Get one now.