Author Topic: Head torch recommendation.  (Read 514 times)

Head torch recommendation.
« on: March 09, 2019, 04:17:56 pm »
I've just broken my 3rd Alpkit head torch. It's been the same failure on each of them, the tab that holds the door of the battery case closed.
It's bad design and/or poor material.

I'm not inclined to get another one even though it has everything I want:-

rear battery case
AAAs
a low power and a higher power front beam (I use the small light for visibility, repairs and for seeing what gear I'm in at night)
a low power flashing rear light (I only use that when I'm leading the MCR-BPool FNRTTC so that the other riders can see where I am with having their retinas lasered. I've got a bright rear helmet light for commuting etc)
long battery life

Any suggestions ?


Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2019, 04:46:46 pm »
I've just broken my 3rd Alpkit head torch. It's been the same failure on each of them, the tab that holds the door of the battery case closed.
It's bad design and/or poor material.

I'm not inclined to get another one even though it has everything I want:-

rear battery case
AAAs
a low power and a higher power front beam (I use the small light for visibility, repairs and for seeing what gear I'm in at night)
a low power flashing rear light (I only use that when I'm leading the MCR-BPool FNRTTC so that the other riders can see where I am with having their retinas lasered. I've got a bright rear helmet light for commuting etc)
long battery life

Any suggestions ?
I don't have one, Andrew, so not in much of a position to comment. But I do have a couple of hand torches from LED Lenser - which I picked up for a song from Maplins before they ceased to exist.
First class products, (They're really f*cking bright) with an excellent (non-Maplins) warranty service.
I cannot fault them.
I should think that they're worth a look.

ETA - They sell direct to the public.

ETFA - I've just ordered a head torch from them.

Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 09:48:08 pm »
The Alpkit model you refer to is known for this defect. I have had two lights replaced over the years. They are now offering alternative models at differing price levels.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2019, 10:26:54 pm »
Coast. https://www.torchdirect.co.uk/coast-led-head-torch.html.I've had LED lenser and these are made more robustly (although my LED Lenser would have been an old model now) or Black Diamond for more waterproofing https://eu.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_GB/search?cgid=lighting

Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 05:47:25 pm »
Thanks for the sugestions, some useful links there.
In the end, I bought another Alpkit because they've changed the design of the battery case.
It now hinges shut and appears to be much more robust. The rear light also does a funky disco flash so what's not to like ?
There was also a price reduction.

So far, so good.
I'll report any issues.


Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 06:16:43 pm »
Thanks for the sugestions, some useful links there.
In the end, I bought another Alpkit because they've changed the design of the battery case.
It now hinges shut and appears to be much more robust. The rear light also does a funky disco flash so what's not to like ?
There was also a price reduction.

So far, so good.
I'll report any issues.


ETFA - I've just ordered a head torch from them.
This arrived the other day, and I can confirm that it is A. Beast.
Focus-able beam.
Tilt head.
2 levels of dazzle: Dazzle, and Very Dazzle.
Magnetic on/off switch.
Ingress protection to IP66 - which means that not only is it waterproof, but can safely be used in an environment where explosive dust is present (always handy :thumbsup:)
Runs on 3 x AA batteries.
Elasticated headbands have grippy silicon on their inner surfaces, making it suitable for use by a bald man with a sweaty pate.
It is yellow.
Yellow, as in Air Sea Rescue.
Over-specced as f*ck.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 10:30:19 am »
ETFA - I've just ordered a head torch from them.
This arrived the other day, and I can confirm that it is A. Beast.
Focus-able beam.
Tilt head.
2 levels of dazzle: Dazzle, and Very Dazzle.
Magnetic on/off switch.
Ingress protection to IP66 - which means that not only is it waterproof, but can safely be used in an environment where explosive dust is present (always handy :thumbsup:)
Runs on 3 x AA batteries.
Elasticated headbands have grippy silicon on their inner surfaces, making it suitable for use by a bald man with a sweaty pate.
It is yellow.
Yellow, as in Air Sea Rescue.
Over-specced as f*ck.
that sounds anti-social, impractical, and almost completely useless to me.

Gotta link?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 10:39:34 am »
Here y'go.
https://www.ledlenser-store.co.uk/head-torches-c71/exh8-atex-led-head-torch-zone-0-20-p1309
I should add that I'm unlikely to use it whilst riding a bike - Its main use is to free up a hand when fixing something in the dark / poor light conditions.

Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 12:16:54 pm »
ATEX rated too.

You can go into an area with an explosive atmosphere and be completely safe


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Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 12:30:41 pm »
I've just broken my 3rd Alpkit head torch. It's been the same failure on each of them, the tab that holds the door of the battery case closed.
It's bad design and/or poor material.

I'm not inclined to get another one even though it has everything I want:-

rear battery case
AAAs
a low power and a higher power front beam (I use the small light for visibility, repairs and for seeing what gear I'm in at night)
a low power flashing rear light (I only use that when I'm leading the MCR-BPool FNRTTC so that the other riders can see where I am with having their retinas lasered. I've got a bright rear helmet light for commuting etc)
long battery life

Any suggestions ?

Check the Decathlon offerings... variety of spec with 3x AAA   https://www.decathlon.co.uk/Buy/headtorch#product_8384995

I've been using one of their previous Geonaute models for a few years,  80 lumen 3xAAA (rear pack), and it's been great.  Has low, hi and flashing mode.

Very similar to this £12.99 100 lumen...  https://www.decathlon.co.uk/onnight-210-trail-head-torch-id_8503712.html

"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Head torch recommendation.
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 12:51:13 pm »
Also from the department of over-specced as f*ck, it appears that I never actually wrote a review for my Petzl Reactik+

Highlights:

Single unit so highly pocketable.
USB-rechargeable, swappable battery pack.  Will last for about 2.5 hours at full power, or about 2.5 weeks of normal camping use.  Probably 2.5 overnight bike rides at sensible brightness.
Spot and flood beams, plus token night-vision-preserving red.  Like most high-end Petzls, the illumination is very even.
Tilt head, which like most this doesn't quite tilt high enough for a road bike riding position (unless you're interested in the ground immediately in front of your wheel) - it's fine on a MTB or recumbent.
Strap you can tighten while it's on your head.
1kHz PWM (not barakta-proof, but fast enough that it doesn't bother me).
Reactive-beam modes, where the brightness and beam shape[1] is adjusted in accordance with the amount of light reflected by what you're looking at.  This works surprisingly well, and is excellent for loitering within tent (particularly when carrying washing-up to and from an illuminated area, and for not blinding fellow head-torch-wearers) useful some kinds of fettling  activities, actively unhelpful for others and is best switched off in the presence of oncoming vehicle lights.
Wanky Bluetooth capabilities that, with a suitable app, allow you to:
- Program an arbitrary sequence[2] of beam shape / brightness onto the buttons.
- Remote-control the brightness, but not to the point of 'off' which would make this feature actually useful for something.
- Transmit arbitrary strings in Morse code.

Lowlights:
Not Intrinsically Safe.   ;)
Mine's got a seemingly-cosmetic hairline crack in the case from (presumably) being dropped on a hard surface.
Button state-machine is slightly too complicated for my 3am full bladder brain.
Bluetooth status LED that defeats the point in the night-vision-preserving red.  But that's okay, because you'll program your preferred sequence of modes once and then switch the bluetooth off.


I really like it, but it's overkill if you just need something to avoid tripping over guy ropes, and the physical design might not be optimal for cycling.  It's the fettling that I really appreciate it for - particularly the even diffuse optics.  The reactive modes take a bit of getting used to, but once you get a feel for it, they have their uses - if nothing else, it's a great way to conserve battery.  The bluetooth stuff is wanky, but I appreciate the programmability, and being able to program it with a smartphone rather than a proper computer makes sense.  It's more versatile than the Core.


[1] Achieved by cross-fading between two LEDs with different optics.
[2] So you don't have to put up with that coming-on-at-full-brightness rubbish, and you can have it do the Right Thing for toggling between low/high for cycling.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...