The handheld torch was invented way back in 1899, made possible for the masses by the development of tungsten-filament lamp in 1906. By 1915, miners were attaching electric lights to their helmets to keep their hands free while hacking away at the earth – an ingenious application of the new technology.
Even so, we'd hate to run a marathon wearing one of those things! Fortunately, head torch technology has evolved significantly, in both weight and brightness. Now that summer's coming to end, and nights are getting longer, getting some exercise in the dark is on our minds. Here's a couple (very different) headtorches that caught our eye!
Lightweight and well-powered, pumping out 355 lumens of darkness-piercing light. At 191g, it's not the lightest, but it's one of the brightest. What makes it really stand out is the automatic adjustment – the Nao senses the ambient light, and adjusts its own output to suit. The unorthodox-looking headband is lightweight but works wonderfully.
Petzl Nao €139
Black Diamond ReVolt
Small, lightweight, and versatile, the Black Diamond ReVolt is great to have stashed in the pack. A mere 97g means it's one of the lightest headtorches around. It pumps out 110 lumens of light from 1 TriplePower LED, 2 SinglePower white LEDs and 2 SinglePower red LEDs, and includes strobe settings for runners hitting the road at night. The coolest thing? Since it uses AAA batteries, you can swap 'em out mid-adventure – or simply recharge it when you get home. Another bonus? While it's not the brightest headtorch, you can't go wrong with the price!
Black Diamond ReVolt €49