1. Expert reviews

Top 13 Best head torches of 2021

Tobias Jacobsson

Updated July 28, 2021

Do you need some light, but also need to keep your hands free to do outdoor activities, exercise, or work? If so, a head torch might be just what you're looking for. We tested seven models of head torch and nominate the Lumonite Compass R as the best choice. It’s a top quality, powerful and functional head torch that can be used regardless of the weather.

Top 13 Best head torches of 2021

How we did the test

We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. In our head torch tests, we asked ordinary people to test the torches during different activities and weather conditions. In our head torch tests, we mainly assessed the following properties:

  • Light: How bright is the torch? Are there different settings for the light? Does the torch have different colours, such as red light for more visibility in darkness? How far does the light beam reach?

  • Battery: What type of battery does the head torch use? Is the battery rechargeable or do you have to carry extra batteries with you for longer periods of use?

  • Ease of use: How durable is the torch? Is it easy to change settings for the light?

  • Fit: How well does the head torch fit on your head during various activities? Is the torch heavy or light and convenient?

1. Lumonite Compass R – BEST CHOICE HEAD TORCH

User-friendly, high-quality head torch that lives up to its promise with impressively strong light performance and long range

Make: Lumonite Lumens: Min: 5 lm Max.: 1238 lm Maximum range: 115 m Number of light modes: 5 Battery: Lumonite tailor-made battery, 3500 mAh, li-ion Battery life: Moonlight mode: 4800 hours Turbo mode: 1 hr 40 min Weight: Torch with battery (without headband): 101 g. Torch, battery and headband (exc. central strap): 140 g Waterproofing: PX8 (waterproof to 2 metres depth) Accessories: Headband, central strap for headband, belt clips, bicycle mount, helmet mount, extra battery, charging capsule, extra charger can be purchased separately or as a package Guarantee: 60 months (battery 12 months) Video clip: Product demo

Lumonite Compass R 1238LM

The Lumonite Compass R is one of the best-selling head torches in the higher price class. The light performance, range, battery life, and construction are all really impressive and fully warrant the high price. This makes the Lumonite Compass R our best choice.

Durable build in aluminium

The head torch itself is made of a single piece of aluminium. This makes it very durable and waterproof. The design is reminiscent of a normal torch, making the Compass R different from other head torches. The torch comes with a user manual which is easy to follow. Additionally, a rechargeable battery, charger, and extra seals are included in the purchase. The fact that the battery is rechargeable is a plus in this context. The maximum light mode consumes your battery charge quickly, but the lower light levels are sufficient for the average user in most cases and for those, the battery time is more than fine.

Really good light with a long range

The Compass R has five different white-yellow light modes to choose from, but there is neither a green nor a red light. You change the light mode by holding down a button and choosing between low, medium and high modes. In off mode, a dim "moonlight" light can be activated by holding down the button for two seconds. Maximum brightness is activated by double-clicking the button and provides an incredibly powerful light with a long range. The Compass R lives up to its promise in terms of both lumens and range. The lower light modes are sufficient to provide enough light for an evening jog. In fact, if you’re running in an urban environment, you must use one of the two lower light levels as the maximum light mode dazzles passers-by.

Good fit even when you're moving

The Compass R isn’t the lightest in the class in terms of weight, but we feel that the long battery life for low and moonlight modes makes that extra weight worthwhile. The torch also fits very well on the head thanks to the adjustable and comfortable strap. It works really well if you wear a thin cap under the head torch. The head torch is also very easy to use even when wearing gloves. There’s only one large button to change functions and it’s easy to find even on the move.

Compass R for serious users

The Lumonite Compass R is a premium head torch that comes at a fair price. This is a head torch ideal for users who set high standards and want a head torch that’s extremely durable with an impressive light performance and long range that can be used for all types of outdoor activities. All of that, combined with a long guarantee period, makes this head torch a solid purchase.

Rechargeable batteryextreme brightnessgood battery lifeextra headband includedlong warranty
Slightly on the heavy side

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2. Black Diamond Spot 325

Stylish and powerful head torch that delivers everything you’d ask for.

Brand: Black Diamond Lumens: 325 lm Maximum range: 80 m Number of lighting settings: 3 (proximity and distance, muted and strobe and a night mode with red light) Battery: Powered by three AAA batteries (included) Battery life: 200 hrs at lowest brightness. 4 hrs at max brightness Weight: 86 g Waterproofing: IPX8. Tested to work at least 1.1 metres underwater for 30 minutes

Black Diamond Spot 325

The Black Diamond Spot 325 is a stylish and elegant head torch that you won’t be ashamed of wearing. It exudes an immediate impression of quality compared to most other head torches on the market. The instruction manual is available in English and several other languages. There are plenty of illustrations that explain the different functions. The head torch is attached with a double-stitched band, the size of which is easy to adjust. The band is soft but at the same time stable and fits securely on the head even if you move it a lot.

Shine bright like a diamond

The Black Diamond Spot 325 has three different basic lights: headlamp, work lamp and night vision. The latter is a dim red light that doesn’t affect your night vision, but still gives some illumination. You change between the three functions with a separate menu button. The power can be changed by holding down the power button. The light on the head torch is pretty powerful even in standard mode. By holding down the switch, the side lamp is also switched on, which produces a very strong light. However, that does draw heavily on the battery. According to the instructions, the head torch reaches a maximum of 80 metres, but our experience was that it goes much further.

Versatile

The head torch works well for all types of outdoor activities in the dark. As a work light, it’s suitable for use in a dark room where you don’t want to be dazzled. The night vision is just an LED light, which works well, for instance, on a boat in the dark. The separate menu button makes it easy to switch between light modes. Once you’ve learned how it all works, it’s very easy to change the strength settings.

The Black Diamond Spot 325 is powered by three AAA batteries (included) and these can be replaced by rechargeable batteries in the same format. At maximum brightness, the batteries last for about four hours, but with more normal use they last at least twice as long.

Waterproof – suitable for sailors

The Black Diamond Spot 325 is a functional head torch that also works for anyone spending time on a boat, because it’s waterproof. As the torch fits so well on the head, it’s also perfect for all types of outdoor exercise. A quality lamp for anyone who cares about both performance and appearance.

The Black Diamond Spot 325 has been discontinued and replaced with the Black Diamond Spot 350. The updated model has offers greater brightness (350 lumens) and a longer range (86 metres). Apart from those specifications, the products are basically identical.

Extremely brighteasy to change light modeattractive design
You must read the instructions carefully to understand how the strength can be changed in the different modes

3. Armytek Wizard C2 Pro LED head torch 2500 lm

Incredibly powerful, durable and versatile head torch that delivers an incredible amount of light for your money, ideal for anyone who places high demands on quality and performance

Brand: Armytek Lumens: 0.15 – 2 500 lm Maximum range: 131 m Number of light settings: 12 Battery: Rechargeable, included Battery life: 2 hr 40 mins (turbo), 200 days (lowest light level) Weight: 65 g, without battery Waterproof: IP68 (highest protection class, waterproof to 10 metres) Fall test: 10 m Accessories: Belt clip, two extra O-rings, battery, magnetic USB charging cable, headband with bracket for lamp, user manual Guarantee: 10 years Video clip: Product demo

Armytek Wizard C2 Pro

The Armytek Wizard C2 Pro LED headlamp 2500 lm is an incredibly bright head torch. At maximum turbo mode, it illuminates up to 131 metres. Which is like having a car headlight on your head. That brightness in combination with the design, robustness, number of light modes and functions makes it difficult to see why this head torch doesn’t cost twice as much. The bottom of the lamp is magnetic and can be attached to all metal surfaces.

Instructions for use in different languages

The Wizard C2 doesn’t look like a traditional head torch, and is more like an ordinary torch attached to a headband. The design is simple, hard and stylish. Because the headlamp has so many functions, it’s recommended to read the user manual carefully in order to get the most out of this model.

Head torch with twelve light modes

This model has as many as twelve different light settings. For everyday exercise, the three simplest settings of white light are good enough. The fourth white light setting has a definite wow effect. It’s extremely strong and lights up everything for 131 metres. It’s pretty impressive that the battery life is 2.5 hours on maximum turbo mode. There is an advanced setting that allows the torch to shine with a very dim light, and in that mode the battery lasts for up to 200 days without charging. The powerful lithium battery is included in the purchase and is charged with the included USB cable.

Head torch for tough activities

This is a tough torch that can handle hard work in extreme situations. Whether that’s cross-country running in mud, swimming at night, searching with a team in difficult terrain or whatever, this lamp works perfectly. The lamp is waterproof and can withstand both rain and snow. Because it shines very brightly, it works really well in slightly colder temperatures so it doesn’t overheat.

Headband fits well

The headband fits both around and over the top of your head. It is elastic and can be adjusted in several ways. The headband can be increased in size so that it can be worn on top of a riding or bicycle helmet. The sturdy headband is very helpful because the lamp itself weighs a lot. The fact that the head torch is so heavy is the only thing that prevents it from receiving the highest score. It is heavy to run with and you can feel the weight even after a long walk. The many different light levels are impressive, but they also make the lamp rather complicated to use. It’s also tricky to activate the weakest light levels.

Head torch for demanding activities

The Armytek Wizard C2 Pro LED head torch 2500 lm is an extreme torch designed for hard work. It is suitable for users who place high demands on their head torch and want a durable model that can withstand bad weather and impacts. This torch can be your best friend during any outdoor activity.

Robustimpressive turbo lightlots of settingsversatile
Heavydifficult to find right setting among all options

4. NiteCore HC60

Functional, user-friendly and durable headlamp that fits well on your head and delivers a strong light

Brand: NiteCore Lumens Turbo: 1 000 lm (1 hr battery life), High: 420 lm (2 hr 30 mins battery life) Medium: 210 lm (7 hr 15 mins battery life) Low: 38 lm (25 hr battery life) Ultra low: 1 lm (680 hr battery life) Max range: 117 m Number of light settings: 5 Battery: 1 x 3400 mAh battery (included) Battery life: 1 – 680 hrs Weight: 98.5 g without battery Waterproof: IPX7, withstands temporary exposure to water up to one metre deep for up to 30 minutes Fall test: Can handle falls from 1.5 m Accessories: Battery, micro-USB charger and adjustable headband. Guarantee: 5 years Video clip: Product demo Assembly instructions for headband

NiteCore HC60

The NiteCore HC60 is an easy to use, flexible head torch that has many different lighting modes. This functional head torch has a strap that runs over the top of your head as well as straps on the side. They can easily be adjusted for an optimal fit. Silicone on the inside of the straps means that the head torch fits very well on your head during use and also makes it suitable for intensive activities such as running or cycling and in different weather conditions.

Head torch with up to 1000 lumens

The HC60 is very compact in terms of design. The battery, which is charged with the included USB cable, was awkward to install because the protective cover was extremely tight. But on the other hand, that cover does ensure that the battery is well protected during use. One of the big advantages of this head torch are the many different light modes. The turbo mode with a full 1000 lumens gives a real wow effect, with a good spread over the whole light cone. This setting is great for doing stuff like trail running. However, the battery life in turbo mode is only one hour. At the next highest level, you get more than double the battery life and still have enough light for activities in the dark.

Can be used outdoors in all weathers

This head torch is sufficiently waterproof to be used outdoors in all conditions. It is also quite good at withstanding being dropped. A light rubberised housing around the head torch provides protection. The different light modes of the head torch are all regulated with a single button, and so they are easy to use. Even with gloves on. We would have liked to have seen the button for changing the light mode on top of or underneath the lamp housing. As the button is located at the front, it can be tricky to change the light position during movement without jolting it out of place.

Rechargeable battery

The battery is rechargeable via a USB cable. However, it would have been a plus if there had been an indicator to show how much charge is left, especially when the head torch is used at the two highest light levels which consume the battery very quickly.

Durable head torch with bright light

The NiteCore HC60 is a functional, user-friendly and durable head torch that fits well even during intense sports and leisure activities. It is ideal for anyone who is happy to pay a bit extra to get a torch that can withstand rain and impacts and which can deliver a powerful light in the two highest positions.

Lots of light modesuser-friendlydurable
Difficult to change light mode on the go

5. Varta Indestructible H20 Pro

User-friendly, robust head torch that can withstand impacts and water and delivers a strong light with a long range

Make: Varta Lumens: Up to 350 lm Maximum range: 100 m Number of light settings: 2 Battery: 3 AAA batteries (included) Battery life: Up to 23 hrs Waterproof: Waterproof and dust protection to IP67 (it is completely protected against dust and sand and has been tested to work for at least 30 minutes in water at a depth of 15 cm to 1 m) Fall test: Fall tested from 3 m height Impact resistant: Shockproof lens and reflector Accessories: Adjustable headband and 3 AAA batteries included Guarantee: 7 years Video clip: Product demo

Varta 17732

Stripped-back and solidly built sums up the Varta Indestructible H20 Pro. Here, the focus has been on function and not on any unnecessary effects. Just holding the lamp in your hand, you can feel the quality and see that this is a tough head torch. It has been fall tested and can withstand a few knocks.

Easy to use

As the H20 Pro only has two light modes, high and low, it’s never difficult to change the light, and nor is there any risk you’ll accidentally set the torch incorrectly. Just be careful when testing it at home. The stronger light mode is very powerful and not at all nice when it’s shining right in your eyes. In the dark, the light cone can reach a full 100 metres. The head strap is comfortable and can be adapted to different head sizes. It also works on top of a helmet. The torch fits well and it’s easy to access and change between the two light modes or adjust the angle even when you have it on.

Durable head torch

One well-thought-out detail is that the headband can be removed and washed, which is a good idea after a couple of heavy workouts or after you’ve had it out in the rain. The torch itself is both water and dust proof and has no problems with heavy rainfall. The H20 Pro can withstand a few knocks. If you have a job where a head torch can expect to be subject to impacts, or if you have hobbies that require a tough companion, this is a very good choice. The fact that it can also light up the darkest of spaces is no disadvantage.

Simple and solid headlamp

The Varta Indestructible H20 Pro is ideal for anyone who wants a simple and robust head torch. It can handle most things. It’s powered by standard AAA batteries and has a relatively long battery life. As it is both shock-resistant and water-resistant, this torch is excellent for outdoor training where you need something that really works. This LED torch will light up almost anything and you don’t have to worry about it breaking during use.

Robustsimplelots of light for your money
Small text in the manualonly two light modes

6. Silva Scout X

Lightweight, quality head torch with good light and excellent fit

Brand: Silva Lumens: 50–270 lm Maximum range: 55 m Number of lighting modes: 4: max brightness, min brightness, flashing and red light Battery: Powered by 3 AAA batteries (included) Battery life: Burn time max light mode: 25 hours Burn time min light mode: 65 hours Drop test: Can handle a two metre drop onto a wooden floor Weight: 51 g without batteries. 84 g with batteries Waterproofing: Meets IPX5 standard, which means that it can withstand heavy rain

Silva Scout X

The Silva Scout X is a head torch equipped with so-called "intelligent light", which means that one lamp illuminates a wide area right in front of you, and the other lamp illuminates the area further ahead. This is one of the torch's biggest pros, because it provides a very safe light pattern, especially when you're moving around outdoors in the dark and need to see where you’re planting your feet.

Good fit on the head

Despite its great light, the Silva Scout X is a lightweight head torch. It’s extremely easy to use, thanks to the easy-to-read user manual which consists only of pictures. The headband itself is made of a quick-drying material and is elasticated, which means that it stays in place even if you’re moving fast. It’s also easy to adjust. It can actually be expanded so much that it fits over a ski helmet! Since the torch can be used in temperatures down to -20 °C, that means you can take it on your next ski trip.

Strong light cone

In maximum light mode, the head torch lights up to 55 metres and in minimum light mode it lights up 30 metres. Bear in mind that maximum mode is dazzling for anyone coming towards you. The Silva Scout X is powered by three AAA batteries and is equipped with a battery indicator for the charge level when the head torch is off (green, orange and red indicator).

The light settings are changed by a button located on top of the lamp housing. By pressing the left side of the button (when you have the torch on your head) you turn on the red night light. It's tricky to find that setting when you're moving, and we had to stop to find it. If you’ve got narrow fingers, it’s easy to change the light settings if you’re wearing gloves, but with larger fingers, it’s a challenge and you may need to take off your gloves to manage it. We liked the fact that the lamp can be folded down, as this makes it easy to read a map, cook outdoors or read a book in a tent.

Suitable for all types of activity

The Silva Scout X is a versatile head torch, suitable for all types of outdoor activity – fast cross-country running, hiking, climbing, walking and even activities in cold temperatures. This is a head torch for anyone who won’t let rain or darkness stop them from spending time outdoors.

Stays put even for fast cross-country runningrain-resistantgreat lightcan be angledsimple and clear user manualeasy to change the fit of the strap
Difficult to change light settings with gloves on if you have big hands.Tricky to turn on the red light when you’re moving.

7. Petzl Actik Core

Head torch for outdoor adventures with powerful light and rechargeable battery

Make: Petzl Lumens: 450 lm Maximum light range: 90 m Number of light modes: Multi light and red light for use at night Battery: 1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery (included) Charging time: 3 hours Battery life: Max. 160 hrs Weight: 75 g Waterproofing: IPX4 (weather resistant) Guarantee: Guarantee 5 years, battery 2 years or 300 charges

Petzl Actik Core

The Petzl Actik Core has a stylish design, but don’t be fooled by the small lamp housing – this head torch produces a huge amount of light that will amaze you (or dazzle anyone you meet along the way). It’s easy to learn how to use this head torch because the user manual is uncomplicated and easy to follow.

Good fit

The Petzl Actik Core is easy to put on and take off and it’s also easy to adjust the headband. The torch fits well on the head, but there are no rubberised bits on the inside of the headband to make it fit even more securely. However, since the headband is washable, we can see why. The design gets a plus point for the reflective details that provide increased visibility in the dark. Mounting accessories also allow you to attach the torch to a helmet or similar if required.

Made for outdoor life

This is a model that’s made for outdoor use, such as mountaineering, hiking, running, etc. The torch itself is multi-beam and has a maximum power of 420 lumens, making it a very powerful head torch. There are several different light modes as well as a red night light, which makes it possible to take photos in the dark without ruining the images.

Rechargeable battery

The Petzl Actik Core is powered by a battery with a long battery life. And you can charge the battery quickly via USB, which is great when you’re out on a long hike and want to economise on your powerbank. Regardless of whether you want to take a photo on an early autumn morning or go skiing on a winter evening, the Petzl Actik Core is ideal for users with high demands for the brightness of a head torch and who want a torch they can bring for longer adventures.

Easy to usevery good lightreflective headbandcan be attached to a helmetrechargeable battery
A rubber strip on the inside of the headband would have made it fit even better

8. GP Xplor Lynx PH14

Lightweight, small head torch with good light cone – perfect for hiking or camping

Brand: GP Lumens: 5–200 lm Maximum range: 120 m Number of lighting modes: 5: High, medium and low white light, red light and flashing red SOS light mode Battery: Powered by three AAA batteries. Batteries included Battery life: 7 to 78 hours Drop test: Tested for falls of one metre Weight: 110 g (with batteries) Waterproofing: IPX6, which means that it can withstand being worn at sea or in heavy rain

GP Batteries Lynx PH14

The design of the GP Xplor Lynx PH14 doesn’t particularly stand out, but it gets a plus in that there’s a reflective detail on the headband. This means you’re visible while moving in the dark even with the torch switched off. It’s easy to learn how to use the torch as the manual is very simple.

Easy to adjust the headband

The torch is attached to a headband made of stretch material that can easily be adjusted in size. Because the torch itself is a little on the small side, it feels more ready to adapt to the forehead and doesn’t jump around as much as heavier lamps when you’re moving faster. It feels comfortable to wear and is good for running. It’s also great for an evening walk, on a hike, or a camping trip. On top of the lamp housing there’s a centrally located button that allows you to easily change the brightness.

Five different lighting functions

The GP Xplor Lynx PH14 has five different light settings: three different intensities of white light – strong, medium and weak – and two red light functions where you can choose between a constant red light or a flashing red light for emergencies. It’s also possible to adjust the angle of the torch so that you get the light beam closer to the ground. The performance of the light itself is good, and you can see quite far with the strongest light mode and also get a decent spread of the light sideways.

Lasts for up to 78 hours

The head torch is powered by three AAA batteries, which are non-rechargeable and have a maximum lighting time of up to 78 hours if you use the lamp on the lowest light setting.

The GP Xplor Lynx PH14 is a cheap and lightweight head torch, ideal if you need to have your hands free when hiking or camping and want to be able to set the light on several different settings. If you’re going on longer trips, you’ll need to bring extra batteries though.

Lightweightfits well on the headlong battery life if you use medium or low brightness
Feels plastickynot very impact resistant

9. Black Diamond Flare Head Torch

Handy, small head torch offering impressive brightness at a low price

Make: Black Diamond Lumens: Max 40 lm. Number of light settings: 5 Battery: 2 lithium batteries Battery life: Max 18 hrs Weight: 27 g Waterproof: IP67 standard, which means that it can tolerate 1 metre of water for 30 minutes Accessories: 2 batteries and elastic headband included Instructions for use: User Manual

Black Diamond Flare Headlamp

The Black Diamond Flare head torch doesn’t look all that exciting. But inside this small, round, aluminium head torch, there are two LED lamps that provide a surprising amount of light. This is all the more unexpected because this torch is relatively inexpensive. Everything about this torch is compact and minimalist, which isn’t to say the manufacturers have skimped on any of the usual features.

Good fit with elastic drawstring

The simple strap fits well around your head and can also be fastened around a helmet. The rubber band doesn’t provide the same level of security as found on other tougher strap systems, but it is less conspicuous. It's also easy to change the light settings on this head torch. This is done by rotating the round lamp housing. However, this does feel a bit stiff when you are actually wearing it. So it’s usually easier to choose a setting before you put the head torch on. Even tilting the lamp feels a bit awkward at times and it can be difficult to get it to sit exactly the way you want when you’re moving.

Impressively robust

Despite its small size, this head torch is impressively robust. The aluminium construction is waterproof. The fact that it is very light also means that, if you drop it, it probably won’t cause any problems. The torch is powered by two small lithium batteries which last for many hours at the lowest brightness.

Headlamp with five light modes

It can be set to five modes: two white lights, a red light, a flashing light and an SOS signal. Some people will find the SOS signal very useful, as the torch is easy to keep in a first aid kit and use in an emergency.

The Black Diamond Flare torch is for anyone looking for a small and convenient head torch. It may not be a head torch that you’d take on the craziest of adventures, but it’s perfect for a jog in the city on a dark autumn evening. Fewer functions would have made it easier to find the right mode when you’re running.

Small, handy head torch

The Flare Head Torch is easy to take out on adventures. You can fit this head torch in your jacket pocket. It isn’t the strongest torch on the market, but it does its job and most runners or cyclists will be happy with it.

Convenientlow weightimpressive light performance despite small lamp housing
Difficult to change light setting on the goheadband fit could be improved

10. Petzl IKO Core

Easy to use, futuristically designed head torch that illuminates everything in front of you

Make: Petzl Lumens: From 6 lm up to a max of 500 lm with the rechargeable Core battery. Maximum 350 lm with AAA batteries Maximum range: 75 m Number of lighting modes: 3 Battery: Rechargeable Core battery pack included, but the torch is also compatible with standard AAA batteries. Charged via micro-USB Battery life: 2.5 hrs at maximum brightness. Up to 100 hrs on minimum brightness. Weight: 79 grams Waterproof: IPX4 (resistant to water splashes from any direction) Accessories: Storage pouch included. Storage pouch can be used as a lantern

Petzl Iko Core

The Petzl IKO Core has a futuristic design and looks very advanced at first glance. Once in place on your head, however, it’s discreet and not all that advanced to use. The text in the accompanying user manual is so small that it’s basically unreadable. But really you don’t need a user manual as the pictures on the box provide all the necessary information you need to be able to use it.

Head torch that illuminates a wide area ahead

The IKO Core is surprisingly easy to use. A button under the light turns it on and off. The three different light modes are regulated by pressing the same button. The modes are dim light, medium bright and bright light. However, the instructions are more focused on power consumption and are stated as "max burn time", "standard" and "max power". Apart from the three brightnesses, there are no other types of light to choose from. In practice only the strongest light mode works in a dark outdoor environment. The other two levels are too weak and it is difficult to see what they could ever be used for. The strongest light is good and does give a good view ahead of you. The light differs from other headlamps in that it doesn’t give a clear light cone with darker surroundings. Instead, the entire forward area is lit up just as brightly. This is unusual and also one of the torch's strongest properties.

Good head torch for running and orienteering

The head torch is mounted on a soft rubber strap which you pull over your head. The fit is adjusted with a cord that pulls on the rubber strap at the back. Possibly the torch’s most ingenious feature is that the battery is located in a holder at the back of the head where the cord which adjusts the fit is sited. This shifts the centre of gravity from the front of the head to the back of the head. This means you can barely feel the torch on your head, but you don’t risk it falling down onto your face during rapid movements. Despite its size, the torch is easy to fold away and tuck into the included pouch. At maximum setting, the torch offers a soft, yet strong, light – not only forward, but also to the sides. The fit and design in combination with the LED lights make the IKO Core well suited for activities such as running, orienteering or sailing. The single button on the torch is located directly under the lamp housing itself and is easy to use even with gloves.

Suitable for anyone living an active life

The Petzl IKO Core head torch suits anyone looking for a torch to use when exercising outdoors and who prioritises low weight and a design that holds the head torch in place. The design of the torch means the entire environment in front of you is illuminated. Thanks to the fact that the battery is located on the back of the head and the rubber strap can be tightened, the torch is stable on your head even during violent movements.

Stablesafe & well-balanced fitlights up the whole environment in front of you
2 out of 3 light modes are too weakunreadable user manual

11. LED Lenser SEO 5

Head torch with strong light beam that can be focused

Brand: LED Lenser Lumens: 180 lm Maximum range: 120 m Number of lighting modes: 5: strong and weak white light, flashing white light, red light and red flashing light (emergency light) Battery: Powered by three AAA batteries. Two sets of batteries included Battery life: 7 hrs at max brightness. 25 hrs at min brightness Weight: 105 g Waterproofing: IPX6, which means that it can withstand being worn at sea or in heavy rain

Led Lenser SEO 5

The LED Lenser SEO 5 has a design that makes it look convenient and functional. It's easy to learn how to use this torch because it's very user-friendly.

Five different lighting functions

The LED Lenser SEO 5 has five different lighting functions. There are three different functions for the standard white light where you can choose between a bright light, a weaker light and a flashing light. There’s also a red light and an emergency light function with a flashing red light.

What we liked most, however, is that it’s possible to focus the lamp. You can choose to have a wide light beam for walking around, or you can choose to focus the beam, which means that you can see that bit further. The torch can also be tilted so that you get the light beam closer to the ground, which is useful if you need to read a map, for example.

At the maximum light mode, you should be able to see up to 120 metres ahead. However, we found that you can see at best perhaps 50 to 60 metres ahead, after which the light fades significantly. Still, the strong light is adequate, for example, when you’re out running in the woods, hiking or cycling.

The torch is powered by three ordinary AAA batteries. It comes with two sets of batteries. This is necessary because the battery life is only seven hours if you use the head torch on maximum light mode.

Easily adjustable headband

The LED Lenser SEO 5 is secured around the head with a headband made of stretch material. It’s easy to change the size of the headband so you can get the fit just right. We found that the lamp housing itself feels a little flat against the forehead and a bit heavy when running, but you get used to it. The light settings are changed by a button located on top of the torch. It’s easy to change the brightness and the focus on the light beam with one hand.

The LED Lenser SEO 5 is a good choice if you’re going hiking, cycling, or camping and need a reliable and functional head torch for a few hours of use. If you’re hiking for longer or doing something else outdoors that takes a long time, we recommend a lighter head torch with a longer battery life.

Clever focus functionpowerful light
Heavyflat against the forehead

12. Silva Trail Runner 4

Flexible head torch for the cross-country runner with a mobile battery pack you can carry in your pocket

Brand: Silva Lumens: 50–350 lm Maximum range: 75 m Number of lighting modes: 3, white light. A red safety light is included Battery: Powered by three AAA batteries. Two sets of batteries included Battery life: Maximum 90 h depending on brightness and temperature Drop test: Tested for falls of two metres onto wooden floors Weight: 121 g (with batteries) Waterproofing: Meets IPX5 standard, which means that it can withstand heavy rain

Silva Trail Runner 4

The Silva Trail Runner 4 is a lightweight, discreet and stylish head torch you won’t feel ashamed to wear. A clear user manual and two sets of batteries are included. It’s powered by AAA batteries and, unlike other head torches, the batteries aren’t mounted inside the torch housing but in a separate battery pack connected with a cable. You can choose whether you carry the battery pack on the headband or in a pocket when you run. If you carry the battery pack close to your body, body heat will make the batteries last longer.

Good head torch for running

As the name implies, the Silva Trail Runner 4 is designed for cross-country running. The stretchy head band has rubber reinforcement on the inside which means it stays in place even during fast running. It’s easy to adjust the size if you want to wear the head torch with a hat, for example. One of our testers, who has long hair, found it was a bit fiddly to get the head torch on, but after a few uses they got the hang of it.

The head torch gives off a good light when you run, so you don’t risk not seeing stones or branches on the ground. There’s also a battery indicator on the torch that shows how much battery capacity is left when the lamp is off. The indicator shows green, orange and red lights depending on the battery level. The Silva Trail Runner 4 also gets a plus for the fact that, thanks to the extension cable, you can carry the lamp's batteries in your pocket as you run.

Good choice if you run all year round

The Silva Trail Runner 4 is a good head torch for anyone who wants to be able to run even on winter evenings and who wants a lightweight and convenient head torch that lights up the road ahead.

Light weightcomfortable to run inmovable battery packstylish design
Batteries aren’t rechargeable

13. BioLite HeadLamp 330

Light and convenient head torch with several light modes, suitable for hikers and sports climbers

Make: BioLite Lumens: Max.: 330 lm Max range: 75 m in spot mode and 16 m in flood mode Number of light modes: 4 Battery: Rechargeable (included) Battery life: 40 hrs low brightness, 3.5 hrs high brightness Weight: 69 g Waterproof: IPX4, can handle precipitation Accessories: USB cable for battery charging. Guarantee: 1 year Video clip: Instructional video

BioLite HeadLamp 330

The BioLite Head Torch 330 is a small, super light head torch with the housing for the battery, which is quickly and fully charged with a USB cable, located on the back of the headband. That placement gives a nice feeling on your head. It’s easy to angle the lamp housing when you’re moving, in case you need to look at a map or your sports watch. The headband is made of a moisture-repellent material and the torch itself is, to some extent, waterproof against rain and snow. The torch is so lightweight that it feels as if you’re only wearing the headband. In terms of fit, the torch is quite flexible, which means it fits well even over a hat or a bicycle helmet. It sits where it should and doesn’t slip around even when you run. The head torch also gets a plus for its stylish design, available in several vibrant colours.

Head torch with four light settings

The head torch has four light settings. At the lowest light level, the battery lasts for an impressive number of hours, considering how small and lightweight the torch is. Of all the head torches we tested, this model certainly isn’t the brightest. So if you plan to use this torch in the dark, we recommend using the strongest light mode. At dusk or if the head torch is to be used to provide better visibility in traffic, it’s sufficient to activate the flashing lamp function or the spotlight function, which can also be dimmed, in order to get a longer battery life. The torch settings are controlled with a small button located on the front of the lamp housing. It’s fairly easy to change settings on the go.

The instructions have many good and explanatory pictures, which means you don’t need to bother too much with the text.

Practical and takes up very little space

The BioLite HeadLamp 330's biggest advantages are its slim design and light weight. If you are happy to pay a bit extra for a few less grams, it could be ideal. The low weight makes it attractive for both hikers and climbers. You can easily switch between functions with one hand and angle the lamp. It’s also suitable for runners who exercise on level ground. As the strongest light mode is comparatively weak, however, it’s not recommended for runners who are going to run in rugged terrain in the dark. Overall, given the price, we would have expected a brighter light.

Super lightweightdimmer functiongood fit
Low light on maximum settingshort battery life on maximum setting

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