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Thread: Which (£30-£40) headtorch?

  1. #1
    Widdler Tricky Tree's Avatar
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    With the light starting to go around 4pm at the minute I've realised that a headtorch should be on my Christmas list (or indeed my pre-Christmas list). If the boss and I are out walking and get delayed at all, or we misjudge how long we're going to be out or how quickly the light will go (which has happened twice this month, oops) then we're currently relying on a Maglite to get us back to the car. This is kinda ok, but it seems to me that a decent headtorch is a much better plan, and will also be much more useful when we're camping etc etc.

    I've done some research, as I always do, and it seems like the Petzl Tikka XP or Black Diamond Spot are the front-runners.

    What does the OM brains-trust think? Does anyone have particular preference between the two, is it six of one and half-dozen of the other, or are there any obvious alternatives which I should think about spending my £30-£40 on?

    Ta

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch
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    I had the Petzl Tikka XP for a while but found it uncomfortable and replaced it with a BD Spot which I find to be perfect (for me).

  3. #3
    Initiate
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    Go with Alpkit - just as good as the Myo3 (I know not as good as what you were looking at, but still) and less than half the price!

    www.alpkit.com

  4. #4
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    I am a Sad Gear Junkie who spends far more than he needs and will usually buy levels of performance beyond what I need because I'm daft enough.

    But even so, I bought and use an Alpkit Gamma, £12.50 including postage. It's a very good bit of kit, better by far than the stuff folk were using in the years before LED lighting, and it's very cheap. If you're doing mountain rescue of caving or the like you'll be better off with more but for almost any other thing you're likely to need it's fine.

    And it leaves you £20 to spend on beer or the like...

    Pete.

  5. #5
    Ultra King
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    Have got both, used for different things, Tikka is good for paths, (so is BD), but I find the BD lot better for getting off unused bits. Also better for climbing if you have to start early, as using it at brightist is IMO better than the Tikka. H

  6. #6
    Widdler Tricky Tree's Avatar
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    Beer... yes, how can you tell, is it my prose?

  7. #7
    Ultra King
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    The LED's should mean that you don't need to replace batteries so often. Can make 'beer tokens' more available!

  8. #8
    Goon Phil S's Avatar
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    I have both the Spot and XP and can't really split 'em.

    They do the same thing in different ways (XP has one led and a diffuser whereas Spot uses different leds for different things).

    Suppose on balance I'd go for the XP as it's simpler (for me at least) but both are really excellent.

  9. #9
    Mini Goon daverave999's Avatar
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    I've only got/used the Tikka XP but I love it. I have found the diffuser facility most useful, and the batteries seem to last forever!

  10. #10
    Mini Goon
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    Ditto daverave999

  11. #11
    Initiate
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    my head torch uses 3 aaa batteries-----my rechargercharges 4 batteries ----so recent birthday present------fenix lod----wieghs 14 gms plus weight of 1aaa battery-----tiny sized great light-----so maybe alpkit and fenix for £40

  12. #12
    Mini Goon Davie B's Avatar
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    You won't go far wrong with a Tikka XP. I don't know how many hours (a lot) I've used it for but it's still on theoriginal set of batteries.
    Quote Originally Posted by </blockquote>lentenrose View Post
    my head torch uses 3 aaa batteries-----my rechargercharges 4 batteries ----so recent birthday present------fenix lod----wieghs 14 gms plus weight of 1aaa battery-----tiny sized great light-----so maybe alpkit and fenix for £40

    I've been meaning to ask; are you a ship's radio operator or is your keyboard broken?


  13. #13
    Widdler
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    Petzl e-lite.

    Tiny and runs off watch batteries. £20.

  14. #14
    Goon Phil S's Avatar
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    The Petzl e-lights an emergency torch only. The beam strength is OK butnothinglike a Spotor Tikka XP

  15. #15
    Ultra King
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    BD Spot of course. Simply better than Petzl. Don't like Petzl stuff. The spot is really bright on the high setting and the lower settings have an excellent battery life. I think BD make the better head torches and for a while Petzl has had to catch up by adding the 15% better performance to old models like this one.

    Could be wrong though as it is all down to preference as they are both good, just one is more good (BD).

  16. #16
    ‹bermensch
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulB View Post

    BD Spot of course. Simply better than Petzl. Don't like Petzl stuff. The spot is really bright on the high setting and the lower settings have an excellent battery life. I think BD make the better head torches and for a while Petzl has had to catch up by adding the 15% better performance to old models like this one.
    I'd agree with all the above.


  17. #17
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I also reckon BD beat Petzl for torches these days, but I also reckon Princeton Tec out-do BD a lot of the time. Not sure that they have a model equivalent to the Spot though....

  18. #18
    Widdler Tricky Tree's Avatar
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    It seems like opinion is split, which isn't a huge surprise.

    I don't think I'm going to go for the e-lite. I'd considered it since it's a "chuck it in your pack and forget about it" type of thing, but on reflection I think I'd rather have something which is designed for more than an emergency if I ever get into an emergency. The e-lite seems like a sensible backup option, but only a backup.

    The Alpkit Gamma is very tempting. I could even assign some of the saved £20-£25 to one of their sleeping bags (or to beer!). Alpkit stuff is good quality, great value, and their customer service is fantastic. My only concern is that the Gamma is simply not as good a headtorch as the Tikka XP and the Spot, and for that reason alone the extra £20-£25 (which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't a huge amount) is well spent.

    Between the Tikka XP and the Spot, I think I'm leaning towards the Spot. It doesn't seem like there's much to choose between the two, so the Spot wins purely on the basis that it's £5 less.

  19. #19
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    My only concern is that the Gamma is simply not as good a headtorch as the Tikka XP and the Spot

    It's back to the usual distinction between "best" and "perfectly adequate". The Gamma is perfectly adequate as a general purpose head-torch, and that's coming from a dedicated gear pedant.

    Note the OM review which compares against the much more expensive Myo XP and suggests it doesn't come off much worse.

    Pete.

  20. #20
    Ultra King Mikel el Bastardo's Avatar
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    No one has mentioned battery life. If you use the head-torch a lot, one could be much more expensive than the other to run.
    Also, you don't want to be carrying a bag of spare batteries on a multi-day trek.

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