Last night, a group of fearless runners braved the cold to help us test over 20 of the leading running head torch models available in Hong Kong. After running a 1.3km loop (including up and down stairs, a trail contour, some more technical terrain and a road finish), each runner was asked for comments and a score out of 10.
The final results have been tallied here, alongside some relevant stats like brightness, battery life, weight, price and other features.
For us, the key takeaways were:
- Not unexpectedly, everyone's favourite was a dead heat between the two Lupine models, the 700-lumen Neo and the 1,500 lumen Piko. Lupine makes some gorgeous head torches, with best-in-class light-to-weight and some rugged German construction, but you definitely pay for the quality!
- The 300-lumen LED Lenser H7R.2 also ranked highly as a mid-range option that was highly flexible (zoom and power dials), stable and comfortable.
- Next was the Ferei HL40, which testers liked for the very bright power, the adjustable zoom lens, and stability. It would have scored higher except for one runner who wanted a more diffused light.
- The Ay Up Run Kit was also a winner for the two light cannons, which could be pointed independently. Light quality was very good, although one felt the cushioned head strap was a little bulky.
- In the Hiking / Slow Running category, the LED Lenser NEO came out best, though we think it just doesn't give out enough light, especially for the weight. We couldn't test the Black Diamond Spot 2016 but the specs look pretty interesting at 200 lumens for just 91g and fully waterproof.
- Both backup torches were well liked, though the LED Lenser K1L was emergency-only while the Petzl e+lite was on the expensive side.
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