Author Topic: Headlamps for night running/orienteering  (Read 886 times)

Offline SamT

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Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« on: February 08, 2018, 12:49:37 pm »
Yo,

After some knowledge about head lamps for night time running/orienteering.  My lads birthday coming up and was thinking it might be good pressie.  Don't want to break the bank but can run up to about 50/60 quid.

He borrowed my Fenix HL50 last night but complained it wasn't very bright.  I'm only running on a AA Li-ion which might have been a little flat.  Its quite a spread beam and not much of a spot too, which can be nice in cave passage, but not on a dark field/moor at night.

Zebra lights are an option but their range is baffling. (did I recall seeing a spreadsheet somewhere).

Any others I should be considering.  obv features need to be light/balanced so it doesn't bounce around too much whilst running.  Good spot/lumen output.

under £50 preferable.


Offline paul

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 01:01:05 pm »
You could try AlpKit: https://www.alpkit.com/featured/head-torches. They now have a shop at Hathersage if you want to look at them.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 01:13:43 pm »
I've done a lot of fell running this winter with an LED Lenser head torch, which I'm happy with.

But, as an aside, I reckon the running community should think long and hard about whether a "head" torch is actually the best option. The problem is when the lamp is so close to your eyes you get a lot of glare when it's misty or when it's chucking it down sideways. (For similar reasons many cave divers like to mount their "primary" light on the back of a hand rather than on a helmet, to reduce glare as the water is often not entirely clear.) I'm currently experimenting with mounting a lamp on my chest or waist for running and I'm finding it's much safer as your feet land more precisely. It also casts small shadows beyond obstacles, so they appear sharper in your vision (which doesn't happen with a  head torch).

That probably doesn't help with your specific question but there you go.

Offline Blakethwaite

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 01:41:40 pm »
I've a Silva trail runner @ <£50 online. Easily bright enough to use on open fells & for navigating but slightly faffy due to the waist mounted battery. Goes inside my  bumbag or clips onto my shorts waistband so not a meaningful problem. Also comes with a bike mount & is adequately bright for roads & well made trails.

Most of the time just stick to my bog standard 3xAAA Black Diamond lamp when I'm running on known hills however.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 03:28:09 pm »
I think you mean this?

Offline traff

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 05:07:06 pm »
I used a Petzl Pixa 3 when I ran Equinox24 last year. Proved more than adequet.

Offline mountainpenguin

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 04:13:28 pm »
I spent a lot of time running in the dark though rarly in races.
I found that a hand mounted spot plus a very bright head lamp more than offset the extra battery weight due to:
1) spot meant better long term line / route choice
2) spot added ability to deal with rocky bits and provided shadows to help with depth perception.
3) lots of light reduces eye strain (I assume this is less dialated puipils == greater depth of field so less need for eyes / brain to re focus when switching between close and far distance)
I was running in places without well defined paths

Offline rob87

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 04:25:18 pm »
New wisdom lamps
C.C.C

Offline glyders

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 11:06:48 pm »
I tried a LED Lenser Neo. Didn't get on with it as it pointed into the air. My partner loves hers. I think my problem was my brow ridges (yeah, I'm obviously Neanderthal).

I now use a Kalenji chest rig (http://amzn.to/2HdKdZ8). Mounting it there stops it bouncing around and takes all weight off my head. It's away from my sight line, which brings two benefits. Firstly, it throws shadows, showing me relief better - no more turned ankles on stones. Secondly, it doesn't back-scatter as much in the fog - perfect for pre-dawn runs on Dartmoor.
This particular model casts a very good wide beam, with decent brightness. It lasts for a few weeks of runs, and then can be charged by USB. It also has some good red lights at the back, which is good for road running.

Offline SamT

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 12:49:55 pm »
Hi guys, cheers for all the info.

I like the idea of the chest rig.  (Pitlamp - have you seen this one!)

I'll take a look at some of the options.  Was wanting to avoid the separate battery pack so that narrows it down a bit.


Offline paul

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 12:56:49 pm »
I haven't tried the chest rig setup but I wonder how it works on rough ground where you have to change direction quickly. With head-mounted lights the light is directed wherever you are looking as opposed to the direction your body is pointing, if you get what I mean.
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Offline Rhys

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2018, 01:33:17 pm »
I bought a Silva Trailrunner for night running last year. Initially it seemed to work well and was a good light. However, it developed some kind of electrical fault. The batteries would go flat extremely quickly and it massively overheated when new batteries were put in. I ended up returning it for a refund (from Cotswold), but haven't replaced it yet.

Rhys

Offline cooleycr

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2018, 05:04:41 pm »
For the past 3 years, whilst running along the Peak Forest canal from Romily to Disley after work during the winter months, I have used a Fenix HL50 (with a Lithium 123 CR17345 cell) and found it to be most excellent. The battery last ages, even on full beam, it has coped with all weathers and weighs only 100g (inc. battery).
Sam, you might find using one of these cells in your lamp instead of the AA adapter improves matters, with regards to the beam, I certainly find the spread to be ideal for running, but it is focused enough that I manage to avoid all the usual obstacles!
TSG

Offline Blakethwaite

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Re: Headlamps for night running/orienteering
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 06:51:52 pm »
I suspect ultimately that any cheapo eBay headtorch will do for running on straightforward tracks & paths & that any reliable brand 200+ lumens headtorch will be good enough for proper on the hoof nav.

From a personal point of view, developing a more proactive rather than reactive navigation technique would likely considerably outweigh the benefits any particular light could provide. Would remove the occasional randomness of foul weather races though...