Currently reading: Autocar product test: What is the best head torch?
Head torches can be invaluable in low light, but they vary in cost and performance. So which one is best? 

Back to top

Run time: 10 hours

We seriously considered giving the Sofirn the win here; it’s the brightest with a huge 2700 lumen when both LED lights are on - one of which is a more focussed, bright white light and one of which is a broader, warmer white beam.

It’s also seriously heavy duty, so if you want a military-style, go-anywhere, waterproof head torch, this is a better bet than the BioLite. You even get spare seals for the metal, waterproof torch case, should you need them to keep the removable lithium-ion battery from coming into contact with water.

However, the torch body is hefty, so it can slide down your head if you move around a lot - despite the central, over-your-head strap.

If you’re mostly staring at a vehicle’s dark innards, or if you want a camping or fishing head torch that’s got go-anywhere durability, the Sofirn could well be your best bet. But the BioLite is more comfortable for running, cycling and anything more mobile. 

Autocar says: 5 stars

Best budget buy: Blukar K9112 LED head torch

3 Blukar img 0593

Run time: 

30 hours

This is near enough identical to the Everbrite; it comes with the same motion sensor function, the COB LED is bright and has two dimmable phases, and there’s a red light with fixed or strobe effect settings.

It’s comfortable to wear, even if there’s a bit of bounce movement when you run or cycle. Blukar claims a much longer running time, though, but we left it on and found that it has started to weaken noticeably after twelve hours, so take that with a pinch of salt…

Even so, as a very well-priced, rechargeable head torch it’s not bad at all. Together with the EverBrite, it’s our pick of the cheaper head torches.

Back to top

Autocar: 4 stars

EverBrite 350 Lumen head torch

4 Everbrite img 0579

Price: £9.99

Buy from: Amazon

Run time: 11 hours

The EverBrite’s COB LED light has a motion sensor function, which allows you to turn it on or off with the swipe of a hand.

It works surprisingly well, although we’re also glad that you can turn the function off as it could be really unhelpful in a garage situation for accidentally turning the torch off… The 350 lumen light can be dimmed, and there’s a red light, too, both of which have strobe settings.

The torch head tilts for better illumination without giving you a crick in your neck, too. It doesn’t throw its beam as far as some others, and it doesn’t last as long, but as a comfortable yet useful head torch for everyday use, and at a very low price, it’s not bad at all.

Autocar: 4 stars

Aplos H330 LED Headlamp

5 Aplos img 0570

Run time: 5.5 hours

The Aplos is a three-phase dimmable LED torch, and also has various strobe and flash modes. It’s similar to the Sofirn in design, with a removable, cylindrical, metal-bodied torch that can be rotated in the single strap.

The Aplos also feels durable and hefty thanks to its metal body, if not as hefty and well-built as the Sofirn. Even so, with 1600 Lumen, this is one of the brightest lights we tested, and it’s a neat touch that the on-switch glows red when the battery gets low.

Our main issue is that the narrow strap doesn’t keep the torch all that stable when you’re moving around, and the run time isn’t great.

Autocar: 4 stars

Kingtop Zoomable head torch

6 Kingtop img 0605

Back to top

Run time: 18 hours

The Kingtop comes with a storage pouch, which is a nice touch for keeping it tidy in that random drawer full of gubbins in the garage. It also gets a strap that goes over, as well as around your head, and a row of small LEDs lets you know how much battery power is left.

But, while the torch body itself feels durable in parts - the metal surround around the led feels good - it feels quite cheap in others, especially the plastics immediately around the LED.

The ‘zoomable’ lense is another unusual feature; twist the barrel and the beam tightens to a brighter, tighter point, which can be great for fiddlier work. A red light on the back of the strap is also great as a safety warning when running or cycling at night.

Even so, others here have a usefully brighter main light, even without a changeable beam, and feel usefully better quality. 

Autocar says: 3 stars

Lovcoyo head torch

7 Lovcoyo img 0588

Run time: 10 hours

On paper, the Lovcoyo looks really impressive. It’s waterproof,  has a spotlight torch with a ‘zoom’ function that focuses the light beam, and a floodlight for a wider beam beneath the spotlight.

They can be used individually or together, and there’s a strobe light setting. But, it’s supposed to throw light for up to 150m yet we didn’t see anything like that, and it’s nowhere near as bright as some of the others here, either.

The plastic backing to the torch also feels really hard and uncomfortable against your head, so it’s not comfortable to wear for any length of time. Sure, it’s cheap, but that’s very evident when you use it.

Autocar says: 1 star

Add a comment…