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When you’re preparing for travelling, a head torch is something that might not immediately cross your mind. You may think that head torches are only used by cavers and mountaineers, but they can be very useful for the average backpacker too! So, while they may not be the trendiest item in your backpack, there are many situations where a head torch comes in super handy when you’re backpacking, enabling you to use two hands!
- Trekking during the night time. (Many treks in Southeast Asia will have you rising before sunrise. For example, if you plan to try one of the volcano treks in Indonesia or you plan to tackle Mount Kinabalu, you’ll be getting up in the pitch black and a head torch will be essential.)
- Exploring caves of Southeast Asia. (You don’t want to miss this!)
- During a power cut. (Believe us they happen frequently in Southeast Asia!)
- Finding your way to the bathroom at night when camping.
- Finding your way home at night when you’re staying in the countryside or in dimly lit areas.
- When you can’t sleep and want to read on an overnight bus.
- In a dorm room when you don’t want to disturb your fellow roomies.
After buying myself a head torch last year as a last minute purchase, on the recommendation of a fellow traveller, I’ve found that it’s been one of the most useful items in my backpack for sure!
Choosing a Rechargeable Head Torch
It goes without saying that you don’t want to be messing around trying to find batteries in each location when you’re travelling. Nor, do you want the extra weight that comes from carrying batteries around, or finding yourself in dire need of some light only to find that your batteries are dead! Without a doubt, a rechargeable head torch is the best option for your travels. You may also want to consider the following key features:
Choosing a head torch that uses LED illumination is a great investment because you will get a bright light that will last much longer than a traditional torch. With an LED torch, you won’t need to worry about where you’re using your torch, as LED lights are super durable and designed to stand extreme heat and rough conditions.
Make sure that you find the best head torch for your preferences. This means paying attention to what kind of band will be wrapped around your head all day/night. You don’t want to invest in a torch that will leave you feeling uncomfortable during your explorations. Think adjustability and stretchy fabrics.
You will come across torches that have different ways of recharging. The best-case scenario is to find a torch that has more than one recharging option. Both electrical plug and USB chargers are practical, and if you have a vehicle (a car or a camper van), keep your eyes peeled for car chargers too! Before making your investment, it pays to read the odd head torch review to be sure that the one you choose will fit all your backpacking needs. We’ve done the hard work for you below!
The Best Head Torches for Travel
1. GRDE Super Bright LED Headlamp with Rechargeable Batteries
- Price – $23.99
- Battery Life – 7 hours on low setting. 4 hours on high setting
If you like the feeling of wearing a piece of sturdy equipment on your head (and you plan to be super adventurous with your torch!), then you’ll want to check out the reliable GRDE headlamp. This torch is designed with bands around and on top of the head for ultimate security and comfort. Ideal for caving, trekking or finding your way to the toilet in the dark on a campsite! The GRDE torch uses a bright LED light that will last for up to 100,000 hours before it needs replacing! This torch gives you the ultimate experience in flexible charging, as it comes with a wall charger, car charger, and USB charger, so you will never be without a light while backpacking! If you plan to explore many places in the dark of night, this lamp’s extra bright light could be just what you need. Keep in mind that when using the light on the high setting, you will have up to 4 hours of straight light using before you need to charge it.
2. Vont ‘Spark’ LED Headlamp Flashlight (with normal batteries)
- Price – $9.99
- Battery Life – up to 90 hours
An excellent choice for the backpacker, with over 1300 reviews and an excellent rating of 4.8 on Amazon, this headlamp is an absolute bargain at only $9.99 USD! The battery lasts up to 90 hours and during that time the LEDs remains super bright. (Unlike the other head torches in this list, the batteries are not rechargeable.)
The headlamp is a great one for accident prone travellers being waterproof and drop resistant! So if you get caught in the rain or happen to drop your head-torch, you won’t damage it. And the best thing about the Vont headlight? Its lifetime warranty! If you’re not happy with your headlamp after buying it, you can return it and request a refund – no questions asked! That shows a brand that is confident in its product!
3. Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp Flashlight
- Price – $29.97
- Battery Life – Claims 100 hours!
If you’re looking for illumination without wearing a large light on your forehead, the Foxelli headlamp is a good choice for you. This torch has a small, but powerful LED lamp which produces a 400-foot beam and provides up to 100 hours of light with a single charge. This waterproof torch is lightweight yet durable enough for rough conditions. Just in case you find yourself in an emergency situation, this torch includes an SOS mode and comes with an attached emergency whistle to signal for help. This torch has a strap made from elastic and comfortable fabric that can be adjusted to suit your needs.
4. MsForce LED Rechargeable Headlamp
- Price – $24.49
- Battery Life – 2 hours on high setting
MsForce provides you with a durable and waterproof head torch that will be reliable company while you’re backpacking throughout Southeast Asia. This torch has an elastic and adjustable band that will help you forget you’re wearing anything on your head. The LED light is bright enough to light up the night and the lamp can be adjusted up to 90 degrees to focus on specific things. This torch uses a wall charger, so you will need to plan ahead in terms of fully charging it before heading out to explore. Overall, this is an affordable torch which is practical and aesthetically attractive. The best thing about it is it offers a 7 year warranty.
5. Totobay Rechargeable LED Headlamp
- Price – $29.99
- Battery Life – 4-6 hours
The Totobay headlamp is another option that gives you the full range of flexibility when it comes to recharging, as it includes a wall, car, and USB charger. This torch uses an LED light which keeps things bright and will last for a long time before needing replacement. If you choose to use this torch on its highest setting, you will have light for up to 5 hours at a time. This lamp is brighter than many other models, so it’s a great option for night walks. One of the best features of the Totobay headlamp is that you can use the power bank to charges your mobile devices in a pinch!
6. Akale Rechargeable LED Headlamps
- Price – £7.99
- Battery Life – Full brightness: 4 hours. Half brightness: 25 hours.
If price value is your number one priority when it comes to finding a torch for your backpacking travels, check out the Akale. This torch is super affordable, but still provides the effectiveness and convenience you’ll need while discovering what Southeast Asia has to offer. This torch uses bright LED light for optimal illumination and battery life. The headband is elastic and adjustable for your comfort, and the torch is very light at just 80 grams, making packing it a breeze. You will be able to recharge this torch with the included USB cord, and if you use the torch at half brightness, it will last for up to 25 hours.
7. Ledlenser H7R.2 Rechargeable Professional LED Head Lamp
- Price – £51.84
- Battery Life – 60 hours
The Ledlenser head torch rechargeable is a bigger investment which will pay off in quality and functionality. This torch is professionally designed and is made with advanced focus system optics for the ability to see more clearly and farther. You will have your choice between three pre-set light programs with five light options. You will be able to use your torch for up to 60 hours when on low light and when your battery starts running low, you will receive a warning message. You can use the USB rechargeable battery or bring along standard AAA batteries if you want a backup option. The band is adjustable and designed for ultimate comfort.
8. Boruit LED Head Torch Headlamp Rechargeable Headlight
- Price – £13.15
- Battery Life – 4-6 hours
The Boruit Head Torch has a more industrial look to it, as it has a band that goes over your head in addition to the one that goes around. This torch uses an LED bulb that will provide with up to 100,000 hours of light before it needs to be replaced, so it should keep you exploring the nights for a while! The Boruit headlamp is specifically designed for backpackers like you, as it is waterproof and made to withstand extreme conditions. If you want to turn your attention to something specific, you can adjust the body of your torch up to 90 degrees for better focus. The torch works with 4 AA batteries, so it’s up to you whether you want to continually replace your batteries or invest in rechargeable ones. The battery pack sits on the back of your head, and the band is comfortable and adjustable.
9. FFEXS USB Rechargeable Head Torch with Waterproof Design
- Price – £9.97
- Battery Life – Claims 30 hours. Customer reviews suggest it’s more like 10.
Another super value in price, the FFEXS head torch is a reliable option to carry with you on your backpacking journey. This torch uses a very bright LED light to keep the nights illuminated so your exploration never has to stop. You will charge your torch using the included USB cord, so it’s completely flexible. The band of this torch is elastic and adjustable, so there’s no need to worry about getting annoyed when wearing your torch for long periods of time. This torch has a sleek look and is super lightweight and compact for easy storage when you’re not using it.
Best Running Head Torch?
If you’re a keen runner, and you want to keep up your hobby while you travel, you’ll quickly learn that the best time to go for a run in Southeast Asia is at night time when the temperature drops. For safety, it’s wise to take a head torch with you during these situations and you’ll be needing a brand that is particularly comfortable and sits sturdily on your head. From research, we’d recommend the Petzl brand, which is consistently mentioned on running blogs as the best head torch for runners. Check out the Petzl Tikkina below…
The Conclusion of our Head Torch Reviews!
So, whether you go for a cheaper version, one with extra-long battery life or one with a super-powerful light, investing in a head torch will be one of the best packing decisions you make! Let’s face it, trying to use a handheld flashlight while backpacking just isn’t convenient. Investing in a head torch will allow you to light up your path without having to give up a hand that could be used to take photographs, help you climb, read a book or, navigate a Southeast Asian toilet in the pitch darkness! Once you hit the road, you’ll be happy you added a head torch to your pack!