This chunky, palm-sized torch is just 5.6-inches (14.1cm) in length yet it emits an admirable 3,500 lumens at full tilt and features four easy-to-use brightness levels along with a disorientating strobe. With half-a-dozen CR123 batteries on board, the new Eagtac’s six Cree XP-G2 S2 LEDs offer 1.6 hours of blinding brightness in ‘turbo’ mode and an economical 350 hours in low mode. It feels reassuringly weighty in the hand and comes with a nice old-fashioned thumb button and twist action for selecting the various modes. Excellent value.
£119 | Eagtac
LED Lenser M7R
The rechargeable M7R is a hugely impressive all-rounder. Aside from its ingenious magnetic Floating Charge system, the M7R also features a superbly machined illumination control that goes from pin-sharp spot to wide-angle flood with a simple one-handed push and pull of the lens barrel. At a tad over six inches in length, this torch feels solid in the hand and will go on producing an ample 200 lumens of light for up to 20 hours on a single charge. Top choice.
Olight X6 Marauder
The aptly-named Marauder uses a separate rechargeable clip-on battery pack and is Godlike in its ability to turn night into day. It uses a bank of six Cree XM-L LEDs to generate a frankly ludicrous 5,000 lumens of raw, mischievous grin-inducing searchlight power. Really, this monster is so bright it highlighted a subject 600m away and even attracted the interest of a police helicopter. There aren’t many urban situations you’d need a torch this bright, but you can be sure you’d be lost without it if stranded out in the wild black yonder.
Fenix enters the beam arena with a new three-in-one, eight-inch (22cm) torch that resembles the business end of the Starship Enterprise. Pin-point illumination is handled by a single Cree XM-L2 U2 LED capable of illuminating an object up to 450 metres away, while the torch’s two extra mini LEDs offer 60Ë and 120Ë flood beams respectively. Power up all three – each LED has its own multi-function switch – and watch aghast as you bathe the whole county in 2,800 lumens of intense dazzle. On the downside, it doesn’t come with batteries and the four Li-ion power cells it requires don’t come cheap.
Goal Zero Lighthouse 250
The last thing a camper wants is a gas-burning lamp setting fire to the tent and everyone else’s. This safe, 250-lumen, lantern-style LED lamp chucks out 360Ë of diffuse light and can be charged via USB or a hand-operated crank. Its separate USB port will also charge a mobile device. Run times are around two hours on the brightest setting and up to 48 hours on the lowest. Natty choice.
Petzl Tikka RXP
The head torch is a true camping essential – without one you’re guaranteed to stumble over your guy ropes. The USB rechargeable Tikka RXP features a ‘reactive lighting’ mode that automatically adjusts the strength of the beam to suit the level of ambient light. It has three beam patterns – wide, mixed and focussed – so it easily adapts to whatever you throw in its path, whether it’s lighting the route ahead, working hands-free under the bonnet of the car or snatching a chapter without disturbing a partner. It’s not the brightest torch under the stars – its maximum light output is 215 lumens – but it’s far and away the most versatile.
Safety Glow Stick
Rolson Shaky Flashlight
US-based Maglite singlehandedly changed torch design from the plastic-bodied EverReady tat of the 1970s to the ultra-tough, anodized aluminium models of today. Like so many pocket-sized torches, the military-esque Mag-Tac uses a button on the rear to control its three functions: momentary light, full beam and strobe. Its 320-lumen beam can’t be diffused but it’ll light up the other end of a football pitch no problem and go on burning for around four hours on a pair of CR123 lithium batteries.
This no frills torch is one of the simplest of all to operate: tap the rear button for momentary light or twist the back for a constant spot beam. At 15.25cm (around six inches) in length, it’s not the brightest torch for its size but its modest 200 lumens are more than enough for most situations. The lithium-powered X03 has two beam settings: low beam produces a rather dim 18 lumens but goes on burning for nearly 40 hours while high beam chucks out the full monty but dies after three hours. The X03 is superbly built but it’s not quite as punchy as the smaller and brighter Mag-Tac.
Clip this push-button LED device over any Yale-style key and bid farewell to fumbling about in the dark looking for the key hole. As you’re likely to have your keys on you at all times, it’ll be especially handy the next time you’re pursued to your front door by an axe-wielding psychopath.
£6.50 | True Utility | Buy it now on Amazon