Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???





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  1. #1
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    Default Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    I have got to the point in my life where I no longer buy the cheapest item available. I want quality, I want it to last a long time, and i want the item to be considered amongst the superior models in the market.

    Which gets me to the subject of head torches.

    I have traditionally purchased something like a 250 lumen Energiser head torch every year. Its pretty useless. But it does the job around camp, get me to the ablutions, gets thrown into the glovebox, and sooner or later replaced the next year.

    However I notice other overlanders have some pretty awesome head torches - very bright, and they can follow wildlife on the edges of camp over 50 metres away.

    What is everyone using for head torches? And which brands and models are the best for overlanding and camping around Namibia, Botswana etc? Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    I only buy LED Lenser,head or hand held
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    LED Lenser make some really epic torches. The rechargeable ones are pretty good too and will save a pile on batteries in the long run. They actually do get decent battery life. I have used them for fishing previously. I stopped using them and reverted to Energizer headlamps though as the pain of losing one to water is too great.....

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Nitecor. Commercial member on the forum.

    We have gone through an unknown number of Led lensers (SEO 7R) between the 3 of us. Most common gripe was that as they get older, they just randomly switch off. Not so nice when moving about in areas where the guys with the long teeth and sharp claws operate.

    Now I know I will soon be told by many, many members that they have been using Led Lensers for 112.75 years and never had issues. Well we had issues.

    So we went with rechargeable Nitecor headlamps last year. Very happy, they keep their charge very long and no more dragging expensive batteries along.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/06/04 at 02:40 PM.
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Fenix is also very good and they have good service so is Petzl

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    What do you want to use the light for?
    If for "normal" camping - eating, preparing food etc. be careful to buy these ultra bright lights. Not nice while sitting around campfire if someone "blinds" you every time they look up!
    For game spotting, security etc. - buy bright light.
    Just my experience!

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Personally I don't find much difference between the Lensers and the China mall options, if I were going to go for a Lenser I would actually rather just buy an el cheapo China mall job and replace regularly.

    When you go up to Nitecore, O light etc you have a serious jump in quality. Unfortunately they do also come at a price

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post
    What do you want to use the light for?
    If for "normal" camping - eating, preparing food etc. be careful to buy these ultra bright lights. Not nice while sitting around campfire if someone "blinds" you every time they look up!
    That is why one should look for a headlamp with at least 3 brightness settings. The models we have a very weak setting for exactly things like food preparation and moving around the direct vicinity of the campsite where there are other people close by. But the brightest setting easily lights up any movement on the periphery of the site. Generally when we sit down to eat, we all switch our headlamps off and only use the silicone solar laterns on the table and one light from the caravan. If this draws to much bugs, we go to red mode on the headlamps.


    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Pint View Post
    ...When you go up to Nitecore. Unfortunately they do also come at a price
    True, but we found Nitecor very competitively price for what you get.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/06/04 at 11:14 AM.
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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Have a look at the Olight Nova series.

    The H1 is the smaller version (I have one of these), a few modes, from 0.5 lumens (great for reading in the tent without eye strain), to about 500 lumens on the high setting.

    However, it is a floody beam, so you wonít be following animals at the edge of the camp, as it doesnít have the reach. For a general work light, it is fantastic.

    The H2 series is bigger, with better runtimes and output.

    And then you also get the rechargeable series of the above (The H1R and H2R), which I suppose is better for people who arenít flashlight ďenthusiastsĒ, such as yours truly.

    Nitecore have a similar offering that uses an 18650 rechargeable battery. I have seen it in action and it has a pretty impressive reach.

    All of the above lights are fully waterproof, with aluminium bodies, and use batteries which are energy-dense (unlike LED Lenser and their useless AAA batteries). If I say waterproof, I once gave one of these to my daughter (toddler) to play with in the bath during a power outage. It was on at the time.

    What I wonít advise, is to go for a plastic-bodied headlamp. While Petzl and Black Diamond are okay lamps, they are micromarketed to the hiking / mountaineering guys, and they really arenít all that great. AAA alkaline batteries are terribly inefficient, especially under the loads that modern LEDs draw from them. And alkalines leak. You can get rechargeable NiMH or NiCad batteries for them, but you lose about 50% in capacity.

    And the plastic bodies break. From the ratchety adjustment system, to the battery compartment covers.

    I can go on but I think Iíve said enough for you to at least have a look at and consider one of these lights.
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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    I normally go for mid range because they can become pretty expensive. What I did find though is that the led lenser top range lights can become cumbersome with the battery pack on your head and the front part on your forehead isn't as comfortable as other brands. It hurts after a while. I'm currently using the mh7 and mh5. They are nice enough since they only use one AA battery so it's nice and compact. I've had 3 H7r's in the past with the battery pack and those really didn't hold out on the coast and rain. The wired connections always seem to degrade.
    You need to figure out what's more important to you. Long life....spread of the light....illuminating distance etc.
    What I can well say is that my 8 year old petzl (old technology and not as bright obviously) has outlasted 5 led lenser and still going strong. The distance is not as good but the light has a better spread.
    Btw, my headlights get used at least twice a week all through the night in all seasons and the occasional big splash from the ocean.

  15. #11
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    I buy the cheapest lamp that has 2 brightness settings and maybe a red lamp. So probably Energiser type stuff. AAA batteries.

    I threw my LED Lenser away, the battery pack just irritated the crap of me, and the focus ring started sticking.

    I fail to see why you need a headlamp with a 50m range unless you're scared of an impending predator attack. And even for that, rather get a proper LED torch with a focus option. I have a 5D maglite LED for that.

    Or else fork out for a decent rechargeable pistol grip spotlight.
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    A guy that gives very good advice is Torchguy from Somerset West. He has a very good web page with a lot of information. I have some good Fenix torches (Awesome tools) and Nitecore chargers. My son recently bought headlamps for his family from the Torchguy and was very impressed by the advice given and the service. Apparently he operates by word of mouth recommendations and does not advertise.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    I had a head light with 2 switches, one is on and off and the other is the bright and dim etc, but lost it somewhere, since then could not found such a one yet. Looks like nowadays they only have one switch, which is quit irritating to go through all the settings to switch is off.
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  19. #14
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Nitecor. Commercial member on the forum.

    We have gone through an unknown number of Led lensers between the 3 of us. Most common gripe was that as they get older, they just randomly switch off. Not so nice when moving about in areas where the guys with the long teeth and sharp claws operate.

    Now I know I will soon be told by many, many members that they have been using Led Lensers for 112.75 years and never had issues. Well we had issues.

    So we went with rechargeable Nitecor headlamps last year. Very happy, they keep their charge very long and no more dragging expensive batteries along.
    Led lensers do switch off when older but it is usually because battery is old and needs replacement.

  20. #15
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Hylton View Post
    Led lensers do switch off when older but it is usually because battery is old and needs replacement.
    Nope, new fresh batteries as well. We had 2 torches replaced. But then just got fed up with this issue.
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  22. #16
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    I have Lensers in three sizes and the smallest one (SEO3)with three AAAs gets the most use by far, simple and light with two brightness settings, flashing and a red light.
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  23. #17
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Nitecore.

    I have been using their headlamp for about 3 years maybe more, never had an issue, the rheostat type switch works well because it gives you infinite adjustment.

    Rechargeable batteries via USB or just chuck in a new one from the charger.

    Also has red, green and blue single LED's good if you want to keep you night vision.

    Best of all really great service. Like you say you want to buy one and buy right. I would go Nitecore.

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  25. #18
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    +1000 for TORCH GUY. His torches are brilliant. Been using it for many years without fail. Brightness can adjust and battery life is excellent. Good quality head straps that is washable. Price in my opinion very competitive. Best of all he has head lamps that charge off USB, so you wont be left in the dark easily.
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  26. #19
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Went through similar exercise beginning of the year. Researched online a bit and decided on this option:

    https://www.blackdiamondequipment.co...=Black#start=4

    Check online reviews for the options you have in mind and compare them
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    Default Re: Best Head torch for Overlanding & Camping ???

    Not an expert but when buying a Led torch or head lamp. Consider how many lumins you need. The brighter the lumens the shorter the battery time when on full bright mode. Pointless getting an amazing bright headlamp if it needs recharging after 1.5 hrs and you already 1.5hrs away from any electric source to recharge
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