This last winter has seen the start of some night walking.
A fairly new experience for me, yes, I’ve done often take a ‘passeggiata’ on holidays but up in the hills, away from the sodium lighting of the roads, towns and villages was something very different. It can get dark, very dark!
I needed to invest in a decent head torch, however, given that I was new to night walking, I wasn’t prepared to spend large sums of money.
I went to my local GoOutdoors to pick up the Coleman CHT 15 Ultra Bright Headlamp. Winner of Trail Magazine’s Best Value award (February 2014), it is surprisingly good despite it’s ‘budget tag.
Powered by 3AAA batteries, it provides 150 lumens which illuminate up to 180 feet on it’s highest setting. This setting can be activated with a single press of the big easy to use (even with gloves) button. This button is also used to cycle between the different modes, red, blue, low (35 lumens), medium and full power.
The red setting is useful when taking a break and don’t want to dazzle the people you’re with as the colour does not appear as bright to the human eye as white LED and it prevents loss of night vision.
The blue light makes for easier map reading as it retains the map’s colours. Blue is the also only light which can cut through fog.
The battery life is around 6 hours on full power. There is a red battery power indicator that warns when the battery is running low. however, changing the batteries is fiddly and best first attempted in the comfort of your own home until you get the hang of it.
A mounded key is attached to the strap buckle and used to unscrew the battery housing end cap. Reattaching doesn’t give a reassuring click but does appear to be tight enough.
It is a reasonably comfortable fit, stays on well, doesn’t feel too heavy and doesn’t leave mark on your forehead. The headband is elastic, fully adjustable as is the light itself which can be moved to aim the beam. I’ve worn it in the rain without issues and it does feel durable and can withstand being dropped – although I don’t want to test that too much!
To conclude, for my first venture in to night walking this head torch proved to be a good purchase Yes, I would always take a spare torch (or two!) but I’m pleased with the Coleman and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to a novice night time walker or camper.