Posted by in Gear Categories: Camping, Gadgets, Gear advice, and Gear tests.

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Hands-free lighting is handy to have. Some of the latest and greatest in flashy headgear to find the one that’s right for you.

Tech explained

Lumens: A measurement of the total amount of light produced by a light source. The higher the number, the brighter the light. Lumens are dependent on battery power; amounts given here (and on most product specs) are measured on the brightest setting, on a fully charged battery.

For more info on understanding lumens, click here

Beam distance: Beam distance is also dependent on battery power. As the torch is used and battery power is diminished, the light range will decrease. Amounts given here (and on most product specs) are measured on a fully charged battery.

Battery life: This depends on the brightness level you use. If you’re using the brightest setting, the battery will drain faster. Below, 40/80 represents 40 hours on the brightest and 80 on the dimmest.

Waterproofing: Some products present their waterproof ratings as a code: IPX4 for splash-proof, IPX7 for immersible and IPX8 for submersible. These are based on an international, laboratory-tested system. The X means it’s fit for dusty conditions.

Expect to pay anything from R100 to R2000 for a head torch, but the costs involved don’t stop there. Consider battery life or rechargeable options to reduce future stings to your pocket. 

Simple and Affordable

1. Nextorch Eco Star

Lumens: 30
Beam distance: 30 metres
Waterproofing: IPX4
Battery life: 9/105 hours
Costs from R150
Features: Four modes including SOS, adjustable light angle and a glow-in-the-dark logo.

It beats other head torches in its price range in terms of battery life, brightness and modes. It comes in six colours, is small, light and durable. This, along with its affordability, makes it perfect for kids.

From Lite Optec

2. Silva Tipi

Lumens: 170
Beam distance: 25 metres
Waterproofing IPX4
Battery life: 40/80 hours
Costs from R285
Features: Three modes including SOS, adjustable light angle and acts as a mini torch when removed from its unit.

Its lightweight, versatile design makes it all you need in a general-use head torch. Perfect for camping, travelling and as a backup light source in your car or home.

From Lite Optec

Smart and Sexy

3. Petzl Tikka XP2 Core

Lumens: 50
Beam distance: 58 metres
Waterproofing: IPX4
Battery Life: 13/70 hours
Costs from R750
Features: Five modes including SOS, open- close feature to change focal to flood beam, rechargeable core battery and the strap contains a built-in whistle.

Although it’s not the brightest in its price range, its light and rugged design makes the Tikka XP Core a reliable headlamp for any outdoor activity. Also, the core battery can be recharged with any standard USB charger or a solar panel for longer outdoor adventures.

From Cape Union Mart

4. Lenser H7R

Lumens: 170
Beam distance: 150 metres
Waterproofing: IPX4
Battery Life: 7/54 hours
Costs from R650
Features: Advanced focus system, sliding power switch for adjustable brightness, adjustable light angle, rechargeable and equalised weight distribution for added wearing comfort.

The H7R is another good all-round option. It’s well priced for the power it emits and it’s rechargeable further bringing down it’s costs to run. Perfect for extensive and frequent use.

From Awesome Toolspage1image19000 page1image19160 page1image19320

5. Black Diamond Sprinter

Lumens: 75
Beam distance: 30 metres
Waterproofing: IPX7
Battery life: 6/42 hours
Costs from R900
Features: Three modes including SOS, red tail light, dimming feature for adjustable brightness, immersible for 30 minutes down to a metre, rechargeable battery, regulated illumination on brightest setting and remov able top strap.

As the name suggests, it’s designed with runners in mind. It has a wide light beam for optimal light fall when on a trail and its handy blinking red light on the back strap keeps you safe when you take to the streets.

From Ram Mountain

 

Above and Beyond

6. Lenser H14R

Lumens: 220
Beam distance: 210 metres
Waterproofing: IPX4
Battery life: 4/25 hours
Costs from R1170 

Features: Eight modes including SOS and defence strobe, advanced focus system, two energy modes, adjustable brightness, adjustable light angle, versatile mounting system, one-handed speed focus, power meter to show remaining battery life, rechargeable but can also run on normal batteries and removable top strap.

The multitude of modes and versatile mounting system are its most attractive features. It gives you the ability to turn your headlamp into a body lamp, a belt lamp, bike lamp or mobile spotlight. Making it all you’d need for any outdoor activity. 

From Awesome Tools

7. Petzl Nao

Lumens: 350
Beam distance: 108 metres
Waterproofing: IPX4
Battery life: 5/8 hours
Costs from R1799

Features: Reactive and continuous lighting modes, resistant to extreme temperatures, power meter to show remaining battery life, removable top strap, lithium-ion rechargeable battery but can also run on normal batteries and allows for computer-programmed light modifications. 

This is one serious piece of equipment with the latest in smart lighting technology. Its reactive light system means your head torch will automatically adapt to your viewing needs and save power in doing so, making it the ultimate in professional outdoor lighting gear. 

From Cape Union Mart