In this guide we’ll take a look at the best head torches for the UK market.
I’ve compared brightness, battery life, comfort and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Head Torch?
More Detailed Head Torch Reviews
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Olight H2R Nova Head Torch Review
The Olight H2R Nova Head Torch is extremely versatile as it can be attached to a comfortable head strap, used as a hand-held torch with a pocket clip, or attached to a metal surface such as a car bonnet. When attached to the headstrap it feels comfortable and secure to wear even when running. It ticks all the boxes for me, and wins top spot for the best head torch for the UK market.
The torch is powered by one 18650 battery which is included and provides a maximum brightness of 2,300 lumens. It also has cool white and neutral white settings. The torch has 3 brightness settings of 650, 150 and 50 lumens as well as providing 2300 lumens on turbo mode. It will light up or fade gradually when switched on or off from the medium, high or turbo setting to protect your eyes from sudden light changes. It has a beam distance of 153 meters and there is also an SOS mode.
The torch is rechargeable, and you do not need to remove the battery to recharge it, you simply attach the magnetic charging cable to the tail cap of the torch. There is also a low battery warning light which blinks once per minute when the battery is running low. It also comes with a reassuring 5-year warranty.
The torch features a honeycomb lens which produces a nice natural spread of light to help you see your way over rough terrain. The brightness modes are excellent, and 600 lumens is plenty to see your way when running, walking or doing evening chores around the campsite. The lower brightness modes are ideal for reading or fishing.
The battery life on a single charge is very impressive- you can keep it running for up to 2 1/2 hours on high and 50 hours on low. It’s impressive features all round makes this the best head torch for the money.
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Coast HL6 Head Torch Review
This Coast HL6 Head Torch provides 344 lumens through three settings, low, medium and high. The beam is adjustable from a spot beam to a flood beam with a simple twist of the focus ring. It also has an incredible beam distance of 207 metres.
The torch requires 4 AA batteries which are included, and the detachable battery pack has an extension cord which allows you to clip it to your belt or carry it in a pocket, reducing the weight of the head torch and making it more comfortable to wear. The runtime on one set of batteries is over 19 hours on high. It also comes with hard hat clips.
This torch is very versatile, and the medium setting is fine for simple tasks like walking the dog at night. It is also comfortable to wear and feels secure. If you are looking for the best head torch this is a worthy option to go for.
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Nitecore LED Head Torch Review
This Nitecore LED Head Torch features a built-in lithium ion battery and has plenty of different brightness modes including turbo, high, mid, ultralow, and two red light modes. On the turbo setting, the battery will last 1 hour and 15 minutes while on the mid setting it will provide 36 lumens for over 25 hours. It has a beam distance of 121 metres.
The red output is handy for night vision, watching wildlife and emergency signalling. It’s red output makes this the best head torch for versatility.
The torch is waterproof, comfortable to wear and provides all the illumination you need for outdoor activities.
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Led Lenser LED Head Torch Review
This Led Lenser LED Head Torch provides up to 220 lumens over a distance of up to 130 metres. It comes with a rechargeable battery, mains/USB charger and a belt hook. The torch also takes AA batteries which is handy as a backup.
There are a variety of settings including two Energy Modes (Constant Current and Energy Saving) plus four Light Functions (Power, Dim, Optisense and Signal). On high power, it will provide 220 lumens for up to five hours and on low power, it will provide 20 lumens for up to 20 hours.
This head torch is comfortable to wear and the casing glows when not in use, allowing you to be easily seen in the dark for additional safety even when it is not on.
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Ledlenser SEO5-RD LED Head Torch Review
This Ledlenser SEO5-RD LED Head Torch has three settings, power, low power and signal. On the power setting, it provides 180 lumens to a distance of 120 metres and will last for 7 hours. The fully adjustable beam works very well, and instantly changes the beam from a spot to a flood light.
The torch also has glare-free red light to protect night vision. The torch is powered by 3 AA batteries that are included.
The head strap is light and comfortable to wear and the torch housing glows in the dark. The item also comes with a belt hook.
This head torch is affordable and comes with a 7 year warranty which is impressive. This is the best head torch to buy if you are on a budget!
Head Torch Buying Guide
Whether you are competing in a round the world yacht race or simply reading in bed, a head torch allows you to see clearly in the dark and still be able to use both hands. The best head torch is an essential item for dark outdoor activities from walking the dog to camping. Many head torches can also be used as a hand torch, too.
There are a range of head torches available and the best head torch models use LED lights to give bright illumination. Most have a range of brightness options and some include flashing and red lights, too. You can choose from torches powered by traditional alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries or a choice of both.
When choosing a head torch there are several things to take into consideration.
Firstly, you want to make sure the torch is bright enough for your needs. The brightness is measured in lumens so in general, the higher the lumens the brighter the light. However the quality of the bulb, the battery and the torch technology will also affect the brightness.
The beam distance is another important factor, especially if you are taking part in sports activities outdoors and need to see a way into the distance. The best head torch will also be essential for activities such as search and rescue.
Head torches can be powered by alkaline or rechargeable batteries. Torches with rechargeable batteries may cost more to buy but will save money in the long run. A torch that uses several alkaline batteries may also be heavier, so with these, it is handy if the battery compartment can be detached and carried in a pocket. For some torches, you can buy extra rechargeable batteries or even use alkaline batteries as a backup, which is handy if you are going to be out in the dark for many hours.
Of course, security and comfort are also an important factor – you want a torch that is comfortable to wear but also secure enough that it won’t slip off. The best head torch will be comfortable for frequent and reliable use.
How bright do I need a headtorch to be for general activities such as walking the dog and the occasional camping trip?
The following is a guide to the recommended number of lumens required for a range of activities.
- 10 lumens for close up work such as reading and cooking.
- 60 lumens for walking on reasonable clear paths without the need for much navigation.
- 150 lumens for trail running on reasonably clear paths without the need for much navigation.
- 300 lumens for walking or running with a lot of navigation.
- 400 lumens for navigation in winter conditions when snow covers many landscape features.
- 500 lumens for winter mountaineering on difficult terrain.
I need a torch for use in very cold conditions. Which type of battery would be best?
Lithium batteries usually fair better in very cold conditions. Alkaline batteries can lose up to 20% power at temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius or below. If you prefer to use a torch with alkaline batteries, then you might like to choose a type with an extension lead that allows you to keep the batteries in your pocket. This will keep them warmer and help them work more efficiently.