Head torches

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reohn2
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Head torches

Postby reohn2 » 5 Nov 2016, 3:26pm

Does anyone keep one in the bag at this time of year for emergency use either for breakdowns or as a backup be seen light?
I've had a Petzl Tikkina for a few years now and whilst there are other better and more powerful Petzl h/lights,I think it's great for what I use it for.
That said I saw this on Ebay:- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/401066709020? ... EBIDX%3AIT
and this one:- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/361484083553? ... EBIDX%3AIT
Both claim to be more powerful than the Petzl,they get good reviews,and also look very similar in build quality to the Petzl.Anyway cut a long one short I ordered both,the cheaper of the two for my S in L who commutes on a towpath so will make a good back up for him.
Anyone any experience or any other makes and models?

I'll post this in the camping section too.
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fast but dim
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Joined: 15 Sep 2013, 8:48pm
Location: Just far enough from Chorley, lancs

Re: Head torches

Postby fast but dim » 5 Nov 2016, 3:44pm

I've always been impressed by alpkit... I've got a couple gamma's ( with a rear led) which I have had for years.

https://www.alpkit.com/products/gamma

They're perfect for cycling helmetless at night, If I'm going the shop I just throw one on.

I've also got a muon

https://www.alpkit.com/products/muon

Bit lighter, still got a decent beam... plus you get a little rear light.

Alpkit are a British company, big on value and customer service. I've got loads of their gear.

robc02
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Joined: 23 Apr 2009, 7:12pm
Location: Stafford

Re: Head torches

Postby robc02 » 5 Nov 2016, 3:58pm

I've got an Alpkit Viper https://www.alpkit.com/products/viper-2015, but I only routinely carry it when on camping trips (though it gets plenty of use for going into the loft, car maintenance etc.).
When commuting I tend to "run the risk" that I'll be able to limp to the nearest light if I need to fix a puncture in the dark. Despite a predominantly rural commute on unlit lanes there is some lighting as most of the farms and houses have outside lights for the owners convenience and security. ......... I suppose I ought to put a small light in with my spare tube and puncture kit.

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meic
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Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Head torches

Postby meic » 5 Nov 2016, 4:06pm

I am another fan of Alpkit's headtorches.

My daughter has an obsolete all singing and dancing multicoloured Manta.
I have the Muon, which is a rather boring headtorch for somebody who isnt a headtorch enthusiast and just wants something to do the job.

Points to consider
What batteries? Muon takes 1AA battery others take AAA and two or three batteries.
If you use rechargeables, one battery lights which are left on will not destroy your battery.
While touring I can charge AA with my dynamo but not AAA.

Waterproofing, they come with different IPX ratings. For a real outdoor life IPX6 can get challenged and survive, not so sure with IPX4.

The Cree lights are rapidly being developed, you can google a table of the LEDs and see how each generation is more efficient than the last. The Alpkit site shows which Cree is in each light.
The Muon has an XPG2 which is quite recent.

Zoom/Focus The Muon doesnt have it or different colours, it is kind of fun on my daughters Manta.

The switching on the Muon is a little irritating, you can only turn it off by going through all of its different functions for the LEDs that you are using. Others are probably as bad.
Yma o Hyd

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Head torches

Postby reohn2 » 5 Nov 2016, 4:19pm

meic wrote:I am another fan of Alpkit's headtorches.

My daughter has an obsolete all singing and dancing multicoloured Manta.
I have the Muon, which is a rather boring headtorch for somebody who isnt a headtorch enthusiast and just wants something to do the job.

Points to consider
What batteries? Muon takes 1AA battery others take AAA and two or three batteries.
If you use rechargeables, one battery lights which are left on will not destroy your battery.
While touring I can charge AA with my dynamo but not AAA.

Waterproofing, they come with different IPX ratings. For a real outdoor life IPX6 can get challenged and survive, not so sure with IPX4.

The Cree lights are rapidly being developed, you can google a table of the LEDs and see how each generation is more efficient than the last. The Alpkit site shows which Cree is in each light.
The Muon has an XPG2 which is quite recent.

Zoom/Focus The Muon doesnt have it or different colours, it is kind of fun on my daughters Manta.

The switching on the Muon is a little irritating, you can only turn it off by going through all of its different functions for the LEDs that you are using. Others are probably as bad.


A very enlightening(sorry) post from a chap who claims not to be a "head torch enthusiast" :roll: :mrgreen:

I didn't give Alpkit a thought TBH,I own a bit of their stuff and really should have given them coat of staring at before I bought the Energisers.
Anyway I'll give them review when they arrive.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Head torches

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Nov 2016, 4:29pm

In my relatively limited experience, Petzl build quality is better than anything else I've tried. I particularly like their Zipka range for compactness. I've had one since they first came out (around 1999?) - 4 leds in a row version and although I had my doubts when I bought it, the fine retracting cord to hold it on is still reliable. I've never used it for anything energetic so I don't know how it would deal with bouncing up and down in use. I treated myself to a replacement - Zipka Plus 2 (December 2013 according to my Amazon account) but frankly, it's too complicated for me with a choice of white or red lights and a range of effects with each. That model seems to have been dropped - probably too clever by half. The current Zipka is much brighter than the original but with similar simplicity.

I've an Energiser kicking about somewhere which I bought (Wilko's) when I had to do some work in my late mother's windowless kitchen with the electricity off. I don't know the model but it's nothing special in a market where there are all sorts of offerings. No point in over-complication. In my own circumstances, I cannot imagine ever needing to signal SOS by flashing in Morse Code. If simple flashing didn't attract attention, I can't imagine anybody responding to morse code.

TKMaxx can be pretty good for this sort of thing and sometimes so cheap that they border on being disposable.

tatanab
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Re: Head torches

Postby tatanab » 5 Nov 2016, 4:45pm

thirdcrank wrote:I particularly like their Zipka range for compactness. I've had one since they first came out (around 1999?) - 4 leds in a row version.
Me too but 3 small LEDs in a row. May be an earlier version since I bought it in the USA. It is very compact for camping. The cord reel means I can fit it too the back of my hand when trying to look for something around the back of the fridge for example. It is also easy to wraparound handlebars as a bobby dodger, or it fits very nicely in the end of the Rixen kaul bar bag fitting. More expensive than the Alpkit stuff, but it has served me well for about 18 years so far.

thirdcrank
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Re: Head torches

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Nov 2016, 5:17pm

tatanab wrote: ... Me too but 3 small LEDs in a row. May be an earlier version since I bought it in the USA. It is very compact for camping. The cord reel means I can fit it too the back of my hand when trying to look for something around the back of the fridge for example. It is also easy to wraparound handlebars as a bobby dodger, or it fits very nicely in the end of the Rixen kaul bar bag fitting. More expensive than the Alpkit stuff, but it has served me well for about 18 years so far.


This had me checking and mine's three in a row too. It's never a good idea for me to rely on my memory. :oops: Talking about memory, when did anybody last see a bobby to dodge? :lol:

That checking reminded me that the Petzl stuff has switches which tend to be unlikely to be activated by rolling about in luggage etc. My original had a positive action slide for on/off and the current version has a good push-button which also toggles between high and low power.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Head torches

Postby reohn2 » 5 Nov 2016, 5:20pm

Never thought about it before but a head torch with the elastic head band around a barbag would make a pretty good 'see me' light and could even be used as a 'see with' light in an emergency if the torch is good enough :)
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Phil_Chadwick
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Re: Head torches

Postby Phil_Chadwick » 5 Nov 2016, 5:25pm

I recently got an ONnight headlamp 410 V2 from Decathlon. I like it. much better than the old Petzls I used to use.

USB charging, good bright light etc.

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squeaker
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Location: Sussex

Re: Head torches

Postby squeaker » 5 Nov 2016, 5:28pm

fast but dim wrote:I've always been impressed by alpkit... I've got a couple gamma's ( with a rear led) which I have had for years.

https://www.alpkit.com/products/gamma


Do not use re-chargeable batteries in Gamma, this will invalidate the warranty
Wot's that all about :shock:
"42"

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meic
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Re: Head torches

Postby meic » 5 Nov 2016, 5:49pm

There are quite a few reviews which complain about the battery case breaking.
I have had quite a few rechargeables which were that little bit larger than alkalines, many of the makes would not fit into the Tesco Cree torches (and would not come out again if they went in).

So I am GUESSING that the larger batteries may have been breaking the hinges when people tried to force it shut with batteries too big for it inside.
Yma o Hyd

jb
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Re: Head torches

Postby jb » 5 Nov 2016, 9:28pm

Petzil lamps are always good quality, what always seems to kill them off is the elastic strap perishes. My latest one is a Tikka RXP which can be recharged from a USB point or run on normal batteries. It adjusts light output to conditions as well & full beam will fry sausages at fifty yards.
Cheers
J Bro

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The utility cyclist
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Location: The first garden city

Re: Head torches

Postby The utility cyclist » 5 Nov 2016, 9:47pm

I just slide my light out (1.5ec) so no need for a head torch, does your light not come out easily?
Yet another advantage of battery operated lights IMHO.
my lights never fail though I carry a spare rear, more than ample on its own to see by for side of the road repairs.

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freiston
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Location: Coventry

Re: Head torches

Postby freiston » 5 Nov 2016, 10:52pm

I carry a Fenix HL23. It's relatively small and light, takes one AA battery and has three brightness levels (3, 50 and 150 lumens). It has a metal case (though it is attached to the elastic strap with a plastic bracket) and has an IPX-8 waterproof rating (whatever that means - EDIT - I just read from the link below that it is rated waterproof submersed to 2 metres for 30 minutes). Battery life on full is given as 1hour 20 mins (NiMh) and the beam is quoted as 50 meters. I've never timed the battery life or measured the beam but it would work quite well in an emergency and I have used it experimentally through parkland and a churchyard at night and been happy with it. The low setting is very useful for maps, books etc. and you are not blinded by the light reflected back. You get two hands free for roadside repairs, map folding or anything else too - which is why I like to carry a head torch specifically. I use it a lot when not using the bike too. The beam is not as wide as some head torches but is still a useful spread. I wanted a small AA powered light to make it most useful to me - I didn't want anything big or cumbersome with a separate battery pack and I didn't want anything powered by AAA batteries.

I do like the look of some of those Alpkit lights mentioned earlier

Link for the Fenix HL23: http://www.fenixtorch.co.uk/Shop/Fenix- ... dlamp.html
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)