Winter is coming people! Time to invest in some high vis and all manner of torches! I strongly recommend purchasing a head torch, especially if you are considering trail running in fading light.

I run really early in the morning so I always use a head torch and thought I’d share some tips I’ve picked up about buying the right one for you:

  • Try them on. Check for how the weight is distributed (particularly the battery) and whether it irritates you or moves around when running.
  • Check the brightness is appropriate for where you are running – the higher the lumens the more powerful the torch (10 lumens is basically a reading light, 60 lumens is ok for poorly lit areas but you need at least 100 lumens for off-road)
  • Don’t be cheap. I’ve bought about 15 torches over the years and you definitely get what you pay for! You don’t have to spend millions but check out reputable companies like Unilite and LED Lenser
  • Over-head strap? Does the head torch have a strap over the top or is it just a band? Which suits you best? I find that overhead straps make for a slightly heavier but much more stable and comfortable torch.
  • Rear light? If you can afford it then I’d recommend you have a torch that has front and rear lighting. My Unilite headtorch is very high spec and has this included. It makes me feel a lot safer during early runs
  • Reflective – try and get a torch with a reflective band – it never hurts to have more reflectives!
  • Weight / Weight Distribution – the guys at LED Lenser do some very light but powerful torches which I would recommend. The Unilite model I use is a bit heavier but feels light when worn as the weight distribution is so good

Headlamps are a personal decision and just like trainers you need to find the right fit for you. Out of all the brands I’ve tried the two that I use and recommend are Unilite and LED Lenser . If you are running longer distances then always carry two with you and always check the batteries!

We will have lots of head torches for you to try at the National Running Show at the NEC on 20 & 21 January 2018 so come and see us there. If you have any questions or suggestions for me on this subject then please tweet me @raccoonrunner