Buying A New Head Torch? Check These Things First

Apr 17


Justin Mountford

Justin Mountford

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Advances in technology means we don't have to carry around cumbersome gas lanterns or fire sticks if we want portable light. Problem now is there is too much choice. Find out how to best spend your money when looking to get a head torch.



A head torch gives you the ability to operate hands free at night. Thanks to advances in batteries,Buying A New Head Torch? Check These Things First Articles material weight and manufacturing there is lots of choice. The main considerations when buying a new head torch are weight, battery life, power and cost.

Primary Usage

First work out how your head torch will be used. Generally the type of activity you're going to do drives the decision for how much power and weight your head torch should have. If you are going to jog or run at night you will want a lightweight unit. If you are going to be cooking or working around a campsite at night you will want a medium power unit with switchable settings. If you are planning on doing some adventuring, climbing or caving you may want a high power unit.

Let there be light

LEDs are the most popular light source. You can get models with halogen bulbs, they are brighter and more powerful but will use more power. Some units have multiple LEDs and some only have one LED. Multiple LED's mean a brighter and or wider beam light, however a single LED is light and bright enough.

More power

The global standard for measuring the power of light within head torches is called a lumen. The more luminance you have the brighter and more powerful the torch is. A 50 lumen torch is more than enough for getting around the campsite where as a 300 lumen torch is extremely powerful and will completely illuminate the entire camp site and surrounding areas. There is a trade off however. The more power the shorter burn time and the heavier the unit. Some units have switching modes for moving between high and low power preserving the burn time.

Burn Time

Most LEDs are regulated to provide a constant beam while using less power. If you're planning a long term camping trip you'll want a more efficient unit so look for a unit with a low power setting and regulated LEDs. To increase burn time some torches have an external battery pack. An external battery pack allows the torch to work for a much longer time however will significantly increase the weight.


If you're planning on running at night you'll want a light weight unit single LED, however if you need high power you'll have to sacrifice some of the weight to get a unit with an external battery pack.

Others things to look for:

- Type of beams includes high power, low power or economy mode

- Is the unit easy to operate?

- Is the battery compartment easy to get to?

- Is the design strong and sturdy, will it shatter if dropped?

- How does it feel on your head?

Where to from here?

Choose a head torch that is comfortable and suited to your main activity. There are lots of choices so try out the various models and look for one that's right for you.

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