Headtorches^

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MikeB
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Headtorches^

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:09 pm

Anyone got views on the latest headtorches? Notably those which combine LEDs for proximity use and a bulb for distance?

Petzl Myo 3 and Black Diamond Icon 3 Watt being the examples I'm thinking of. I've got an early example of the Petzl but have to say I'm disappoined with it from the perspective of the spotlight effectiveness. Even with fresh Duracells the output isn't fantastic and nothing like as good as my ancient Petzl Zoom. (Which eats batteries of course)

Mike.

Owen
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Re: Headtorches

Post by Owen » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:47 pm

I replaced my old Petzl zoom with a LED one, can't remember which model. It has four LED's and a red filter - very handy for not blinding your friends. There are three power settings but it can't be zoomed. The light output is far better than the old zoom and the batteries have lasted a year so far. I use it all the time paddling, on the hills and as a bike light, I cycle to work early. I'm really impressed.

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Re: Headtorches

Post by johnb » Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:40 pm

I've got a Petzl XP which I think it is excellent. Such an improvement over the early Petzl Tikkas and the Halogen zooms.

Do people paddle with headtorhces much? I was advised to mount a light on the front of my boat for going on a canal because a headtorch is a pain with your arms continually crossing the beam.

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Re: Headtorches

Post by Owen » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:08 pm

I don't do a great deal of night paddling but I use a light stick hung down the back of my BA, plus another taped to my compass. I wear my head torch but generally keep it switch off, that way it's ready to use if I need to see whats close. You can see better without it on all the time, but you don't see details.

For camping, packing up, loading the car, fixing the car (something I've been doing a lot of lately) and early starts there invaluable.

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MikeB
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Re: Headtorches

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:19 pm

I want one of these - a snip at only £299.00

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Re: Headtorches

Post by chrism » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:53 pm

MikeB wrote:Anyone got views on the latest headtorches? Notably those which combine LEDs for proximity use and a bulb for distance?
I had to double check the date of your post that it wasn't an old thread somebody had dredged up with a comment like that! The latest headtorches don't use "bulbs" at all - the sort of thing you're talking about is rather old hat given LEDs are now significantly more efficient than traditional bulbs at converting electricity to light. Depending on what you want there are a variety of options with headtorches, from a Petzl E+lite which is tiny yet more than adequate for looking at a map (is also IPX8, and what I'd probably take with me paddling if I took a headtorch), via a Fenix HP10 or Hope Vision 1, which certainly has a better beam than any of these archaic Petzl head torches using traditional bulbs up to a Hope Vision 4 which blows that Petzl Ultra away (also other options at that point - I have a homemade one with similar output).

Of course, as others have mentioned, do you really need a headtorch for paddling? I've paddled on the river for years with no lighting at all, relying just on moon/starlight and night vision to see what I need to. Not been on open water so much at night, but I'd tend to rely on night vision mostly there too (to see shore/islands) just carrying the E+lite for navigating if necessary.

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MikeB
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Re: Headtorches

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:00 pm

chrism wrote: The latest headtorches don't use "bulbs" at all -
Really?

Petzl and Black Diamond are both offering combination LED and filament bulb torches. The Myo5 I currently use has excellent LEDs but the filament bulb output doesn't hold a candle to the halogen bulb in my old zoom and I've yet to find an LED torch capapable of throwing a beam any distance.

To put that into context, I was quite happy to route find / come off a hill at night with my old Zoom - I certainly wouldn't with the Myo5 on LED's alone and I have so say the spot beam isn't up to it.

Try landing a loaded sea boat thro surf on an unknown shore without a decent light capable of shining a decent distance.

Regs, Mike.

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antbjanne
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Re: Headtorches

Post by antbjanne » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:11 pm

I'll second the Hope vision 4,absolutely astonishing light output,use it on the Mtb on these dark evenings,would make a superb if wee bit expensive headtorch.
Seems fairly well weather sealed too.
Tony

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Re: Headtorches

Post by Dave28 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:20 pm

Yes, I got a Petzle led/halogen with a four AA battery pack for the back of the head, and I wish I'd saved the money.

The LEDs aren't as good as in a dedicated LED head torch, and the halogen spot eats batteries and provides a lousy beam.

Can't think of anyone I dislike sufficiently to recommend it to!

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MikeB
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Re: Headtorches

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:25 pm

antbjanne wrote:I'll second the Hope vision 4,absolutely astonishing light output,use it on the Mtb on these dark evenings,would make a superb if wee bit expensive headtorch.
Seems fairly well weather sealed too.
The words "money" and "silly" come to mind, but not in that order. I guess if I was doing serious mountain biking in the dark tho - - -

Returning to the real world, lets assume the budget were no more than £60.

Mike.

chrism
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Re: Headtorches

Post by chrism » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:27 pm

MikeB wrote:
chrism wrote: The latest headtorches don't use "bulbs" at all -
Really?

Petzl and Black Diamond are both offering combination LED and filament bulb torches. The Myo5 I currently use has excellent LEDs but the filament bulb output doesn't hold a candle to the halogen bulb in my old zoom and I've yet to find an LED torch capapable of throwing a beam any distance.
Yes - the ones you're suggesting are both several years old, with little LEDs not really designed to throw a beam. Both from before recent huge advances in LED technology. If you've not seen an LED torch to match a Zoom, that's presumably because you've only been looking at older lower powered ones with old technology LEDs, and doesn't mean they don't exist - of those I mentioned before, only the E+lite wouldn't completely blow away a Zoom (not something I was ever that impressed with). Even the diddy Tikka XP2 which I should have mentioned before should be as good as a Zoom.

For a £60 budget the best bet will probably be the Fenix HP10 I mentioned before (though I've not tried one - just going on how good Fenix hand torches are). The Hope Vision 1 should be signifcantly brighter if you can push the budget a bit.
Last edited by chrism on Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeB
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Re: Headtorches

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:28 pm

Ah! That's useful - cheers.

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Re: Headtorches

Post by fenix » Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:14 pm

For the head torch - check out the alpkit gamma - great torch £15 with batteries - has a main beam plus red and green. Bit heavy on batteries but you can't have bright and long running.
As to waterproof torches - the fenix range are waterproof - I have used them for mtbing and they're great. Bit of a spotlight beam on the ones I have but quality is great. If you need more light you can get a p7 from dealextreme - huge amount of light - but you won't get much more than an hour and I don't think it would like being submerged. Works fine in rain though and its about 600 lumens for 50 all in.

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Re: Headtorches

Post by journeyman » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:37 pm

Princetontec Apex
Not quite the same power as the Fenix HP10 but still fairly bright (130 lumens), it does have the advantage though to change to a wider beam using the 4 smaller LEDs for close quarter work, or in the tent etc. It is also waterproof.
I've had one for about a year, no problems, only gripe is the head band has slipped out of the guides that hold the battery compartment to the head band at the back once when I retrieved if by given a good tug out of a dry bag (if you look at one of the photos on their website (pic 4) you will see what I mean).
Last edited by journeyman on Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Boots
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Re: Headtorches

Post by Boots » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:42 pm

Hope 4 worth every penny, run on the fells in winter, mtb with it canoe with it sorry (kayak) and take it out on rescues as its lighter brighter and lasts longer than the teams lights :0) roll on winter!!!!! ( but never geocach with it) lol

Boots

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Re: Headtorches

Post by John N » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:44 pm

Has anyone tried the HOPE VISION 4 on a boat, is it waterproof? Bit pricey but as I need a good light for cycling to work it might be a good option for me.
I normally use a BLACK DIAMOND SINGLE with either a 1.0/0.5W LED (3 levels and flashing) with 2 little side LED's (3 levels and flashing). About £35.00 at Cotswold and seems O.K. for what I need. Battery life seems excellent; I always put top brand AA's in it.
I also use a bike rear LED clipped on the BA. It's not what I can see in the dark - it's so that others can see me!

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Re: Headtorches

Post by Boots » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:29 pm

John, its not designed to be submersible but will take some harsh conditions, as its designed for mtb ing it gets wetter doing that than kayaking mind you not tried a G4/5 river with it. maybe ill try the kent at night there wont be any fishermen then lol

Boots

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Re: Headtorches

Post by Nick P » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:50 pm

Another vote for Alpkit gamma.
For £15 its a super bit of kit.

Nick

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Re: Headtorches

Post by geordiekez » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:57 pm

I'll always sing petzls praises, but I'm rather biased.
Where I work we sell petzl and black diamond predominantly, with a small offering from Silva - currently the Silva Alpha, which is not dissimilar to the Petzl Ultra. The Petzl untra is an amazing bit of kit, but as it is not a waterproof unit, theres no guarentees.
I use a myo(lite) 3 and its brilliant, holds up nicely in damp conditions, though last year my original one developed a fault with its wiring and due to it being under 3 warrenty I got a replacement extremely quickly, I find the halogen bulb projection is about right for night paddling; though in colder conditions the battery life is significantly reduced; however the LED function is pretty consistant. I pretty much soley use this headtorch now, having collected a range over the years, and find this to be the most useful - I do like the long range projection if I'm away with my explorer scouts - if the kids are sneaking about, you get a great 'rabbit in the headlights' response if you catch them in the beam...
With regards to the Petzl zoom, I always used mine with a 4AA battery converter rather than the original square battery and it seemed to last, I suspect, though can't confirm until I see this years workbook, that petzl still make an aqua zoom, as well as the aqua saxo - which is the torch I used for years prior to the myo(lite) 3 being purchased (if it aint broke...)

Cheers, Kez.
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Re: Headtorches

Post by ga2.s » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:38 am

i use one of these, http://www.primuscamping.com/product.php?id=56. Its one of the only headlamps that is truly waterproof. On my recent trip to Croatia i even used it for a spot of night Snorkeling. The other thing that is always missing on headlamps is a nice big button so it can be operated with cold/gloved hands (petzl are the worst for this) this has one large on/off button and one function button. I strongly recommend it. I wish i had got the one with red LEDS in it.
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Re: Headtorches

Post by tenboats1 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:21 pm

I have both the Hope 4 LED and the Petzl yellow waterproof LED/Halogen. Both great, but for different uses. In fact I have two of the Petzels: the 5 LED and the 8 LED with the halogen bulb being replaced (retro) with a 1amp LED.

Mike, if you want a loan / trial let me know. (not the Hope, that's in daily (err, rather nightly,) use. (MTB and roller ski)

TB

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Re: Headtorches

Post by geordiekez » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:12 pm

tenboats, is that the petzl Duo? A legend amongst poor competitors! Available with 5, 8 or 12 leds and waterproof, how'd I forget about this little beauty!

Cheers, Kez
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Re: Headtorches

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:20 pm

Has anyone used one of these?

(Shakelight Battery-Free LED Shake Torch)
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Re: Headtorches

Post by tenboats1 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:59 pm

geordiekez wrote:tenboats, is that the petzl Duo? A legend amongst poor competitors! Available with 5, 8 or 12 leds and waterproof, how'd I forget about this little beauty!

Cheers, Kez
I think so. It has been much improved by changing the spot bulb for an LED. The total waterproofness seems like a good idea for paddling. I'm keeping the 8 version but will probably punt the 5 in favour of something lighter for summer camping.

I'm planning on using the Hope 4 for winter climbing and ski touring this year. Skiing off the hill by head torch has always been a bit hairy. I'm hoping for better things now:)

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Re: Headtorches

Post by MikeB » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:16 pm

Thanks Tony - I had a Duo once - good torch.

Juust by way of update, I contacted Lyon who are the UK Petzl agents - the upshot was that they sent me a couple of replacement bulbs and interestingly the effect is significant. Not quite sure why, as they seem "like for like", but whatever the difference is, it's turned a fairly useless filament lamp into a useful filament lamp so I'm a happy bunny.

Great service from Lyon!

Regs, Mike.

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Re: Headtorches

Post by Richard Moss » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:26 pm

I gave my petzl zoom a new lease of life by putting one of these LED replacements into it. It is much brighter and the batteries last longer.

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Re: Headtorches

Post by tenboats1 » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:57 pm

Richard Moss wrote:I gave my petzl zoom a new lease of life by putting one of these LED replacements into it. It is much brighter and the batteries last longer.

That's what I used (see above). Apparently, with older Duos you might have to put the batteries in 'the wrong way round' for these LED bulbs to work. I didn't with have to mine, but don't think it would be a problem if it were necessary. Certainly worth the money and effort, though it took me ages to find someone with stock.
TB

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Re: Headtorches

Post by chaiwallah » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:16 pm

Have a look at LED LENSER - V good LED Head torches - some even have red LED to the rear for following etc - EBAY I got mine for 25 punds.

Ginger

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