Which headtorch has good battery life?

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R3XXY

Settler
Jul 24, 2009
670
0
Crewe
Hi everyone, I'm looking for a headtorch with decent battery life, I recently bought a Biolite 330 but I'm returning it due to the wildly exaggerated claimed battery life of 40 hours, which is actually less than 15 hours. I've looked at the Fenix HM65R but discovered that they're also very dishonest about their runtimes.
Is there a brand or model out there that is actually honest about the runtime? Do any of you have any recommendations?

Thanks in Advance.
 

MikeeMiracle

Full Member
Aug 2, 2019
183
65
44
Northampton
I would look at the OLight range, they make top quality torches but are not cheap, not had mine run out on me yet for a weekend trip out. Ultimately if you need extended battery life then you need a model with replacable batteries or a means of recharging during the day.

Also might be worth considering a secondary light like the one I have pasted below. I put that up around camp and leave it on until bed time. That way you don't need to use your headtorch as much.

 

Paulm

Full Member
May 27, 2008
1,091
181
Hants
I've been running a nitecore one for a few years now, forget the model but it wasn't the cheapest ! Even after a few nights out it barely has any impact on the rechargeable 18650 battery, can't put any quantification of hours usage on it but it still does surprise me how little it runs down. I bought a spare battery with it thinking I could swop them over if needed when out and about but never needed to !

It also has a built in cable socket for recharging from a portable power pack or at home without removing the battery, so could be recharged easily in the field if needed.

I'm thinking it may be best to focus on the battery technology used rather than the brand so much ? Previous, decent, ones I had used aa or aaa and were fine in use but did seem to eat the batteries somewhat.
 

Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,984
281
Knowhere
I would say, one that does not get accidentally switched on in your pocket or your bag. Many years ago, as anyone who used to cycle out at night used to know, battery life was the bane of the incandescent bulb, especially back in the days before alkaline batteries became a thing. Then along came LEDs and the problem went away, only to come back when LEDs started getting super powerful. You can't win.
 

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,857
137
50
Kent
Iv'e got a Led lenser MH6 with a spare rechargeable swap able battery. Recharging is micro USB on the battery. can also run 3 AAA.

Cant say how long the battery lasts because its so random when i use it, so i have backup battery available if it should go flat.

The torch has a safety trick so it doesn't switch on by accident in your pocket.

Does everything i need. Only gripe is its too bright and Id like another lower power option.

 

Brizzlebush

Full Member
Feb 9, 2019
210
104
Bristol
Alpkit Gamma.
3 LED settings, white, red, green, flashing red.
High beam, low main beam as well. I use the main beam for night running, so it's pretty bright. It's also got a rear red LED that flashes, or not, or off.
The battery life seems pretty good, I have no idea how long it lasts, I've never tested it, but I replace the batteries twice a year maybe?
It runs on 3 AAA batteries which are easy to find, and I use the same for my little LED Lenser pocket light, so I only need to carry one type of battery for spares.
Mine's 5 years old.
I had to replace the battery case this year. The previous one was an old, flawed design and was held closed with elastic bands. Alpkit sent me a new one for £5 including postage which was easy to fit.
You can't go wrong for £26!
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,428
1,387
Bedfordshire
Hi R3XXY,

What is the intended use of this head torch? Do you have a very technically demanding or life critical job to use it at, or do you need something for general hiking/camping, or do you want something for distant expedition? Foot based or vehicle based?

My choice of lights has been based on camping, 5-7 day canoe trips, 2-3 week road trips, possible foreign travel/exped where battery availability or longevity could be important.

I have been generally happy with my Fenix HL50. Only complaint is that it has got itself turned on in packs and run the battery down. On the plus side, I have the option with it of using a CR123A, or a AA, and I have other Fenix hand held lights which use the same batteries. Not many places in the world that you could not find a AA, and carrying a spare CR123A is very light, and they have very long shelf life. I have been completely happy with brightness and run-time. I miss the spot feature of my Tikka XP, but most times I have been willing to carry a separate hand held light for spot/throw situations.

I have an Olight SR1 Baton II hand torch that I like very much, but I cannot speak to its run-time or accuracy against claims.

Just been to read comments on the Fenix HM65R, run time being time till only 10% of original output remains...So 400 lumen runtime given as 22 hours, but at the end you only have 40 lumens.

Now, I wouldn't buy that Fenix because a) the discussions on Candlepowerforum make it sound like the marketing is a bit disingenuous, and b) I really don't like lights that need an over the top strap, and c) I am not 100% sold on a rechargeable light for field use. Its bad enough keeping a phone and camera charged in the field!

Regarding brightness and runtime as determining factors in purchase, I remember when I bought a couple of Surefire tactical flash lights. They were awesome bits of kit, REALLY bright, but the runtime wasn't great, you did have to take care with them on a trip, and carry batteries if you were going to use them for long. However they were so bright that mostly they just got flashed around and off again.

Those lights had an initial brightness of 60 lumens, and a quoted runtime of 60 minutes. They didn't maintain that brightness for that time either!

I wonder whether we are putting too much emphasis on the lumens these days.
 

Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,682
188
48
Wales
Yeah, looking at the manufacturer specs on that Biolite 330, seems they're claiming 40hrs @ 100lm. Not going to happen with a 900mAh battery capacity.
40hrs @ 100lm is impossible with a single high capacity (3000mAh+) 18650.

I have been generally happy with my Fenix HL50. Only complaint is that it has got itself turned on in packs and run the battery down.
Tried unscrewing the cap half a twist? A lot of aluminium lights use the body as an electrical path, so can use that as a mechanical lockout.
 

R3XXY

Settler
Jul 24, 2009
670
0
Crewe
Hi C_Claycomb, the intended purpose for the light is to go in my three day bug out bag, and for multi-day hikes. Brightness isn't an issue really, as long as it's bright enough to see ten feet ahead on the trail and allow me to do general cam;p tasks that's fine. Battery life and build quality are the most iportant criteria, price isn't really an issue, I can afford £100 or a bit more.

Jared, I have emailed Biolite about their battery life claims and am waiting for a reply.
 

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