Head torches are a must for many types of travel, hiking, camping, trekking, fishing, and daily life. Situations will pop up that require the need for not just a phone torch but a good head torch. Sure, most phones these days have built-in flashlights, but they won’t do the job in a lot of situations plus you may not want to wave your $500 iPhone around all the time, especially not in dark alleys.
If you’re camping and using outside toilets dropping your phone into the WC is a definite possibility and really – you’re going to want your hands free in these situations. Reading in bed, on a bus or train is also easily taken care of with a head torch. And should you have to hike or trek after dark you’ll 100% need one. Not having your hands free on rough terrain is dangerous.
Below I’ve listed 5 great head torches across multiple price points and abilities from solar-charged to waterproof. I’m sure there is something for everyone including the most adventurous travelers.
3 main things to consider in choosing or buying a head torch would be the first 3 factors below. If you’re looking for a more expensive headtorch or the best available, consider higher-end features.
- what batteries your torch will take. you either have one use AA/AAA or rechargeable batteries.
- how bright the torch is (measured in Lumens)
- the weight of the torch.
- waterproof features
- adjustable brightness
- and even solar charging
Best Head Torches
Best Sellers in Head Torches Today
These are the current ( today) best selling and most popular head torches available. In the US people tend to call them head flashlights or headlamps. In the UK and Australia, head torch is more common.
Obviously, a lot of people go for cheaper or low-cost models. But is this always the best idea?
You can view the full list of bestsellers in headlamps and torches here
Our Pick of The Best Head Torches and Flashlights
I love that modern head torches are better, lighter, cheaper and better suited to the purpose than those we were using 30 years ago. These are sleek and functional. My personal favourite is the Lightess LED headlamp below. So if you’d like to skip all our blub below and just buy this one, go ahead. It’s super bright at 3,000 Lumens, zoomable, waterproof and rechargeable. I’d go for solar, but we already carry solar power packs, so on this occasion, I’d go for rechargeable instead.
Black Diamond Storm Head Lamp
This small and sturdy torch is brilliant for just about anything. With the ability to move between various brightness modes this is handy if you just need a small amount of light. The warning light to tell you how much charge left is a great feature too. 4 AAA batteries are common and unlike the torches that take 3 you won’t have a battery left over each time.
- 1 Quad Power LED and 1 Double Power white LED emit up to 250 lumens on max setting
- Power Tap Technology lets you transition between full and dimmed power
- Red and Green Single Power LEDs for night vision modes have dimming and strobe settings
- Uses 4 AAA batteries and three-level power meter shows remaining battery life for 3 seconds after switching on headlamp
- Fully dust- and waterproof with sealed housing and latch opening (IP67)
Petzl – TIKKA XP Headlamp 180 Lumens
One of the oldest and most trusted headlamp companies, I’ve been using Petzl for nearly 30 years without any issues to date. Extremely easy to use with just one push button this will keep working long into the future. The only downside is the 3 AAA batteries meaning you always have one leftover from each packet.
- 180-lumen maximum output
- Beam switches to reserve mode when batteries are getting low in order to preserve remaining battery life
- Choose from three different modes(proximity, movement, or focused) for various situations
- Simple push-button system for quick lighting mode selection
- Uses 3 AAA batteries
Hybridlight Solar / Rechargeable 75 Lumen LED Head Lamp with Detachable Compact Solar Panel. Solar Panel Charges indoors or out. Quick Charge with included USB Cable
The most versatile torch as it can be charged either with the solar panel indoors or out or just plugged into the wall via USB fast charging. An impressive 25 hours of light can be obtained with one charge. I’d recommend this if you were heading off-grid and needed to make sure you had enough light without taking loads of batteries. The Himalayas springs to mind for this torch.
- Hybrid solar and mains charger: Charge using the detachable solar panel outdoors OR indoors under incandescent lighting, OR by connecting via the included USB cable for rapid charge
- The perfect comfortable Headlamp to wear for hours. Rotates 120 degrees vertically
- 25 hours of light on one full charge guarantees you will never run out of light. Even when you’re out for weeks
- Durable and water-resistant. Perfect for Biking, trekking and, hiking.
- Once charged it holds its charge for months. Always ready when you need it.
- Rechargeable battery.
LIGHTESS LED Head Lamps Waterproof Headlamps Zoomable Head Light Rechargeable Torch Lights 5 Modes XM-L2 with USB Output Power Bank
This is my pick of the bunch and the modest price barely reflects this. The 3000 Lumens will light up a whole campsite or outdoor area effortlessly or with the zoom adjustment, you can pinpoint certain areas in light. Five separate modes allow for extending the battery life to get the most out of the torch. Rechargeable battery allows for continued use and not a constant supply of AAA batteries. It comes with a satisfying lifetime warranty.
- High performance LED bulb delivers 3000 lumens to give you the brightest illumination up to 100,000 hours.
- When you’re doing work up close or you want to focus on a specific object, zoom in to project a bright spotlight. Zoom out and you easily turn your beam into a wide floodlight.
- The kind of light you’ll need will depend on your actual environment. Switch modes from 5 Light Modes: High, Mid, Low, Strobe and SOS
- 2 x 3.7V 18650 Rechargeable Batteries, Wall Charger, Car Charger, and USB Cable are supplied so many options on how and when to charge your batteries.
Picking The Right Travel Torch For You
There are so many options on backpacking, trekking and travel torches with numerous sizes and price points. There is no one size fits all. Do you need one for hiking through the dark in the wilderness or are you just reading a book in bed while staying in a hostel? Looking at the above selection there will be one that can tick all of your boxes. Back to our main page of Travel Gear.