Head torch

Having been shamed into some early morning runs elsewhere on this forum, and living in the country where the sheep don't wear hi-vis jackets, I'm looking for a decent head torch. I'll only be running on road or pavement, but I could do without turning an ankle. Loking on EBay, there's a vast variety of prices, and I'm sure some of the cheaper ones are probably less use than a transparent trisuit. Anyone actually use these and can recommend a decent one that doesn't cost a fortune?



  • I use one of these http://www.alpkit.com/gamma for dog walking and running, find it very good.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Alpkit from Gamma £15...bombproof.

    Even has a red light on the back to warn cars

  • Another Alpkit vote

  • TRTR ✭✭✭

    and me !

  • I use my alpkit for pitch black runs and it's fantastic.  Great value

  • and me. Alpkit rocks, dead cheap and a nice little Derbyshire company
  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    Alpkit image

  • Another vote for Alpkit Gamma

    Bright Light
    Ouput designed for running rather than focussed just on distance. A pool of light rather than a spot in the distance.
    Light at front/battery at light gives good balance
    Rear flashing unit

    Slight Downside
    It doesn't run on rechargeables due to being non-regulated output or something. So you have to buy real batteries. One of the new Petzl's is rechargeable and/or takes AAA normal/recharable batteries.

    There is also a new lenser that seems to have had good reviews.

  • Alpkit ordered image
  • Alkpkit vote here too image great bit of kit, just need some rechargables (mine works with them okay) and your good to go.

  • Don't know if anyone mentioned it but....





    Alpkit! image

  • Tired Badger wrote (see)

    Alkpkit vote here too image great bit of kit, just need some rechargables (mine works with them okay) and your good to go.

    What rechargeables are you using? I thought it was a voltage thing. Normal 1.5V and rechargeable typlically output 1.2V.

    Having said that my Alpkit headtorch is several years old and maybe the newer ones work with rechargeables.


  • careful of the lenser ones - my battery compartment leaked, which also houses the PCB that controls the LED = fecked light, they dont claim them to be water proof - just water resistant or whatever, i now use a Fenix with a retina burning 277 lumens, excellent and its waterproof image


  • The number of votes for Alpkit, I'm starting to wonder whether its secretly owned by the Pirates or something....or it could just be a good piece of kit. Alpkit ordered - thanks for the recommendations, everyone. I now have no excuse for not doing morning runds, unfortunately!

  • No conspiracy - although we clearly drive a lot of sales for them! Maybe we should ask for commission.

    It is a good product and I do prefer the light it throws compared to my £70 Petzl which is brighter and throws farther but is simply not as good for running with. Took the Petzl last night as I have leant the Gamma to a colleague to try. Want the Gamma back - sod him.

    However the key decider is its brilliant price. At £15 you can afford 4 torches for the price of a Petzl! You don't have to worry if it breaks - get another. Having said that mine was only £11 or something!


  • Alpkit also sell some nice waterproof backpacks amongst other things. Their down jackets are excellent too.
  • Maybe we should ask for a pirate coloured one. Or put a group order in, they're £13.50 if you get 5 or more.


  • Does anybody run with their Alpkit on trails, through woodland, etc - rather than just on roads?  How does it perform during those runs?


  • OrbuttOrbutt ✭✭✭

    I use an Alpkit and I'm really happy with the performance but I had a problem with one of the lugs on the battery compartment - it snapped off.

    Currently using a cable tie to hold it together and it works well,

    Aside from that - great bit of kit

  • I broke mine too - being clumsy - so bought a new one. Looks like you can get replacement lids from Alpkit though ? 



  • Hey,

    I'm from Alpkit, thought I would give some more info. for you guys. I'm a runner myself and have been using the Gamma for a while - an interesting tip came in a  few weeks back to use one around the waist while offroad to help with the shadow, maybe that's something more to think about.

    In regards to batteries, the Gamma has a simple circuit inside which has been designed for normal alkaline batteries, the different voltage and output range on re-chargeables and lithium batteries can cause problems. From overheating and short circuiting to the most common which is a longer than usual high intensity light, but then just stopping, instead of a gradual dimming. We recommend not using them - that said we know many people who have used them and been fine, but if any minor electrical faults arise it is most often due to the incorrect batteries.

    Our Gamma's are used in extreme environments, dark, damp and muddy places and we have had a few breakages on the battery compartments. But we do sell a lot of head torches and after examining the figures, the return rate is a miniscule number. But we offer the spare part for a few quid if you happen to break it. We also have our alpine bond, if there is a manufactuting fault we will repalce it, or if you need a repair we will do it as quick and cheaply as possible.

    Thanks for all the positive comments - we love the Gamma it's nice to know others do as well!!



  • Jay - do you mean wear it around the waist instead of, or in addition to, wearing on the head?

    Has anybody tried this off-road?

  • It's in addition to, running at night is always better with two torches as it makes things stand out. It's hard to spot tree roots and pot holes with just one light source as it looks like 2d if that makes sense.
  • Thanks Doner.  I'll definitely bear that in mind before hitting the trail.

  • Hey Tenjiso, 

    I mean as well as - seems to help if running on challenging ground, down by the canal or the local park doesn't make much difference image


  • Tenjiso wrote (see)

    Does anybody run with their Alpkit on trails, through woodland, etc - rather than just on roads?  How does it perform during those runs?

    Yes all the time, most of my running is trail. Also use it on 50 mile ultra's with navigation in the dark.

    The only issue with head torches (and that is all of them) is that the light is directed down your line of sight. Consequence is no shadows. Often when trail running it is shadows that make objects visible.

    Try running with light in your hand - many get sea sick as the light waves around. On your head, no shadows. Take your pick. Two torches one head one waist/hand gives the best of both and does help a lot. A few of the ultra competitors have chest clips, I have seen some for Petzls - the little 4 LED ones. Always in addition to the head torch which is the only one that looks where you do.

    I have had three Gammas but got one as soon as they were out so more than happy with the longevity of them. One stopped working, one broke the clip. I never queried Alpkit, for £11/£12 and now £15 they had lasted more than long enough. I run 3-5 times per week in the week for 6-months of the year. I did all my marathon training in the dark. 3-hour long runs on Monday evening. However I am generally 8-10min miling.

    If you are really quick then two may be the best option.


  • Jay Oram wrote (see)

    Thanks for all the positive comments - we love the Gamma it's nice to know others do as well!!


    I have a couple of Fat Erics as well, very comfy. Keep up the good work.

  • I love my alpkit gamma, used it loads on the road and will hopefully be taking it off road tonight (if the weather doesn't stop us...), only thing is my back light has stopped working image.  I get loads of comments from other runners in my club about how good the brightness and the beam is, they can never believe it costs £15!

  • Thanks guys, I really appreciate the advice.  I'm going to wear my Gamma and try using a second lamp as well (I've got a couple of camping headlamps I can use to experiment to start with).  Most of my trail is over open countryside, but there are a couple of miles of woodland to negotiate too.

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