A collection of head torch reviews, all under £20! Offering surprising bang for your buck, this category represents the value option.
Petzl Tikkina – best all rounder
This value offering from Petzl is small and compact, whilst still offering the essential features in a well made device. The proximity lighting mode offers an 80 lumen beam at 35m, with a 120 hour run time. The lower output ambient mode offers a 20 lumen beam at 20m with a run time of 180 hours. The modes are selected using a push button which can still be operated whilst wearing thick gloves and the beam angle can be changed. Small and compact, weighing in at 85g the tikkina is a great lightweight head torch.
With an IPX4 water resistance rating this torch is splash proof and rain proof (but definitely not waterproof!), although the adjustable head band is washable for any particularly sweaty adventures. The single LED bulb is powered by three AAA batteries (included) but it is also compatible with rechargeable Ni-MH power. This flexibility allows you to choose which type would work best for you.
The Tikkina doesn’t offer constant lighting, so you will notice gradual dimming as the batteries are used up. Without a red light or strobe setting the light modes are also limited- so if that’s a deal breaker, move onto the next device. However, if what you’re looking for is a high quality, comfortable head torch for basic use then look no further.
The elastic band is comfortable and strong enough to hold the lamp in place without it slipping down your forehead and the overall device feels well made- as you’d expect from Petzl. Lightweight and easy to use, the Tikkina is the best head torch in the under £20 value collection.
Buy it here for £13.11 or scroll down to the comparison table
Ledlenser H3 – best for variable brightness
The H3 uses a three LED configuration to produce a single white beam, complete with adjustable dimmer which can change the output from 60 lumens down to 3.5. This feature is particularly useful for those that want more control over the brightness rather than being restricted to two levels. At high output, the beam reaches 31m and lasts for 17 hours. This changes to 9m and 62 hours on the low output.
Again, with a comfortable elastic headband the H3 also has a directional head up to 90 degrees. Different to the tikkina, the triple AAA battery pack of the H3 is at the back of the band- quite necessary to balance out the heavier 118g device. The upside of this being it feels slightly more robust than the competition, although still rated with the IPX4 water resistance.
The H3 is limited when it comes to lighting modes, offering only the variable brightness control- no strobe or red light and the maximum 60 lumen output can be quite limiting for outdoor use. Overall, a rugged, comfortable head torch with a useful dimmer switch.
Coleman CXO+ – best for brightness
The impressively bright 150 lumen beam is the main selling point of this head torch, with a run time of 6 hours and beam distance of 60 metres. On the low 15 lumen setting the run time increases to 60 hours and the beam distance reduces to 20m. Although it has no directional head, this torch does have a red light setting and high/low light levels. Weighing in at 110g this is still significantly heavier than the tikkina, but also has IPX4 water resistance rating and is 2m drop certified.
This head torch has a neat extra feature called Battery Lock, which acts as a second off switch to ensure the longevity of the 3xAAA batteries. In use, the elastic headband has a tendency to slip and the button could do with being bigger so it’s easier to use with gloves.
Overall, a very bright and robust torch with multiple lighting modes, and the cheapest of the three.
|Head Torch||Lumen Output||Beam distance||Runtime||Lighting Modes||Price|
|Ledlenser H3||60 – 3.5||31m/9m||17hr/62hr||Variable brightness||£17.95|
|Coleman CTO+ 150||150/15||60m/20m||6hr/60hr||High/Low/Red||£11.99|