You may already have seen our unscientific review of the Magicshine lights and how they’ve seriously revolutionised our night runs and hill walks. Despite the bulk, it was a step forward, like those early pioneers who carried mobile phones the size of briefcases and shouted loudly into them that their business deals were going nicely thank you very much for asking, and did they know they were calling them from the street of all places? The street! Of course, the main difference being that we just look like idiots with the giant headlamps on our heads, rather than acting it.
Well of course, the technology is available in a smaller package. While putting the magicshine on your head is a pure kludge, you can get one that’s designed for just that. The Led Lenser comes in a few different varieties, and we went for the top of the range H7, but decided against the rechargeable one as you need the flexibility of spare batteries and the ability to use lithiums for winter.
The box it came in, and i don’t usually do an unboxing as I’ve better things to do, is reassuringly tiny. Comparing it to my Petlz Myo, which is the minimum spec head torch for doing serious stuff at night; you can see immediately the smaller size of the Lenser. The Myo has been an effective, albeit heavy, torch for running and had taken me off a few mountains in the dark, but I think that it’ll either be on EBay or the spares drawer from now on. Just testing it out in my study, the quality of light is clearly incomparably better than the older technology. It even comes with batteries (3xAAA) and a storage pouch. I’m still annoyed with torches that take 3 batteries as my battery charger only charges in pairs. I’ve decided that I’ll just invest in lithiums for these as they’re going to get their main use in the winter, they’re usually on sale with 6 for 4 and I’ll buy a better charger for the spring.
Bloody bright, we’ll have to get out on the trail with a tripod and all the torches soon to test these out as i know there’s loads of you who’ll insist on knowing the aperture of the shot and so on. It has a massive dimmer lever on the battery pack, so you can extend battery life, that’ll be easy to find and adjust on the move and with gloves. The lens on the front, like the Petzl, is adjustable from flood to spot. In spot, it’s a very clean beam and I can see on the bike how that would be the perfect combination with a powerful bike light in flood. It feels mostly well manufactured, with the only gripe so far being with the battery panel. It doesn’t feel very sturdy, and also ill fitting, which is a concern if, like me, you’ll be using this out in all weathers. I may take to cable tying it at both ends, and maybe adding a few hacked o-rings to complete the seal.
So, the light’s bright and while i was initially concerned about its reliability in real weather when you’ll most likely need a light that will just work, it has passed the test . I’m going to have my magic shine in the pack for night walking anyway as it provides so much emergency lighting (probably too much for regular use), but this took some serious pounding over the winter for running and coped well with with the abuse. The only problem I had was that i managed to flatten the batteries in my pack a few times, so always carry spares! It also passed the change batteries while running test, so coudn’t be much more user friendly. Here’ some images taken on the hill recently (i don’t know the f stop of the images, just that it was bright!)
You can’t go far wrong with this. Perfect for running and now my wild camping and walking torch of choice. Works effectively coupled with the Magicshine on the bike as well. The only thing it doesn’t do is give you a tidy desk..