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Best head torches for travellers

Cottage Sami in Tromso camping, cittage whits ice.

Travelling around you get to learn what products are useful and what are just taking up space in your backpack. Head torches should fall into the former category, but only if they meet several crucial needs. They need to be small, lightweight and throw out enough light to be useful. But aside from this, different features can be either practical or downright pointless, depending on what type of traveller you are and where you’re heading.

But if you’re camping, heading to a rural escape or tackling some active adventures, a head torch is a handy bit of kit that could save you from getting into muddy waters. So, here’s what head torches are good for travelling and why.

Why take a head torch travelling?

Head torches are great for so many reasons, but mostly because you can keep both hands free to do things like reading your map, scrambling up rocks or putting up a tent in the dark. And although you may think taking a torch isn’t necessary, it’s easy to get caught out in unfamiliar surroundings as daylight fades.

But there are many brands and models of head torch to choose from. And each has its plus and minus points. You need to consider the weight, not just for carrying in your backpack but for strapping it to your head. A large battery pack can be uncomfortable. Similarly, the headband needs to be fully adjustable, so it stays in place.

There are other features to consider too. Can you rotate the light or adjust the brightness for different situations? How bright is the light? And does it illuminate the space around you enough? Finally, how long will the battery last and can you recharge it?

Best all-round head torches

BioLite’s 330 is a great all-rounder with a comfortable band, spot and floodlights, and it’s lightweight at just 69g. It can also be used as a lantern for camping and charges via a USB. However, at 330 lumens, it isn’t the brightest and it will only last for 3 and a half hours on the brightest mode.

Petzl’s Swift RL headlamp is a bit heavier at 100g, but it puts out an impressive 900 lumens. It has a flood-lit beam for seeing in the distance and a proximity light for close-up tasks such as map reading. It too is chargeable by USB. It’s only guaranteed to work for two hours at maximum brightness but there is a handy battery-life indicator on it. Plus, you can buy spare battery packs for it, should you find yourself away from power sources for a while.

Both head torches have a locking function, so it won’t accidentally turn on and drain power while it’s tucked away in your backpack. Although you might not realise it, this is one of the handiest features a torch can have when you’re travelling around.

Best head torches for difficult conditions

If you’re an adventurous traveller who’s not averse to trekking through tough terrain and visiting far-flung places where heavy rain can roll in quickly, a waterproof head torch is a sensible option. The same is true if you like heading out on the water to sightsee by boat or like to kayak and canoe. Of course, a head torch must have other handy features too.

Black Diamond’s Storm 400 Headlamp is, as you might expect, designed for just such adventures. It’s waterproof and dustproof. It has six light settings including a night vision mode and a white light for close-up tasks such as adjusting your kit. It’s easy to change functions with a tap of the finger and a battery indicator is also present on this torch. However, it does need four AAA batteries and that makes it a bit weightier at 120g.

Silva Explore 4 head torch is also waterproof, so it’ll survive should you accidentally drop it in the water briefly. It also takes AAA batteries, but only requires three. It too has night vision and a white light to help you tackle different situations. Helpfully, it also has a blinking SOS light, to help you get rescued should you get lost or stranded.

Both torches emit 400 lumens of light, so they’re not the brightest, but are probably more than adequate for your adventures.

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!