10 of the best head torches for running
Need a new head torch for running? Here are ten of the best to keep you safe, well-lit, and on track with your training this winter.
With the cold, dark, and winter nights approaching fast, now’s a perfect time to invest in a headtorch for running. Not only will this increase your visibility when running at night, your visibility to both cars and other road users will also be increased.
The majority of head torches for running are now rechargeable, easy to use, and make use of several different light settings for a variety of conditions.
To help you on your way, and of course, to help you see on those cold winter nights, we’ve provided ten of the best head torches currently available for runners in 2021.
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1. LED Lenser rechargeable headlamp
- Powerful 300 lumens
- 160m beam range
- Perfect for running on the fells or trails
Arguably one of the best for serious runners, this LED Lenser rechargeable headlamp contains a 300-lumen design and a 160m beam range. With such a large range on the headtorch, this makes it ideal for running on country roads, busy streets, and especially when running on the fells or trails.
The LED Lenser also utilises a Li-ion hybrid battery which can be recharged via USB or alternatively can be removed and fitted with four AAA batteries. However, there are brighter head torches out there, such as the Victoper Wesho at number five in our list.
Related: A beginners guide to fell running.
2. USB rechargeable LED head torch
- 45-degree tilt
- USB rechargeable
- 160-lumen ultra-bright light
- 5 different light modes
You’ll struggle to find a better value for money running head torch than this one – IPX4 waterproofing, USB rechargeable, and a choice of five different light modes.
Choose between red strobe light and regular brightness for those late-night runs – bright enough for those early starts but not too bright that you’ll burn your retinas.
Despite this, as with the previous head torch, there are brighter options available – but this one will certainly get the job done!
3. Petzl Actik headlamp
- Sixty-hour battery on a single charge
- 300-lumen brightness
- Several light modes
- Attachable emergency whistle
Coming in three different colours, this headlamp is lightweight, provides up to sixty hours burn time, and can be used with a rechargeable battery. As well as this, you can make use of its 300-lumen brightness alongside its several different light modes.
This includes the popular red lighting to preserve night vision without blinding other members of your running group or passerbys.
Finally, an additional feature not seen on many headlamps is an attachable emergency whistle for rescue situations. This is something we’d like to see included on more running head torches and gear in the future.
4. ActivRunner USB rechargeable running head torch
- Fully adjustable and lightweight design
- USB rechargeable
- Motion sensor and multifunction settings
Another basic rechargeable running head torch is this one from ActivRunner, budget-friendly, but certainly good enough to get the job done. The head torch contains several different brightness modes, including a motion sensor (activated by a hand wave) for hands-free running.
Despite this, the brightness is not the best when compared to other head torches. However, if you’re shopping on a budget, then this lamp will not break the bank and is more than good enough for a daily commute or late evening run.
5. Victoper Wesho rechargeable 4 mode headlight for running
- IPX5 waterproofing
- 6000-lumen design
- 90-degree pivot
- Four different modes (three regular and one flashing)
Next up, we have the Victoper Wesho rechargeable 4 mode headlight for running, a more advanced light intended for those looking for maximum brightness, ideal for stomping the fells or trails in the peak of winter. With IPX5 waterproofing, this makes the torch ideal for the British winter – which let’s face it, is far from ideal.
This is further complemented by the four different light modes, each used for a different purpose. For example, you can use the flashing mode when running on roads and near traffic, or the brightest mode when running on your local trail or fell for maximum visibility.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent head torch for the winter months, then look no further – you’ve found the perfect match.
6. Energizer Vision LED headlamp
- Perfect for beginners with an affordable price tag
- Runs on batteries
This headlight from Energizer is affordable, lightweight and durable – ideal for beginners. However, only providing 100 lumens this headlamp isn’t as bright as others, but that is to be expected given the price.
Unlike other head torches, the Energizer vision only runs on batteries, triple-A to be precise. If you’re looking for a headlamp for recreational running or just a one-off training session, this one is definitely a great choice. However, if you intend on using it throughout the entirety of winter, we’d consider investing in a brighter, higher-quality head torch.
7. Babacom head torch for running
- IPX6 waterproofing
- 250-lumen brightness
- Lightweight and durable
- USB rechargeable
The Babacom head torch for running is another budget-friendly option ideal for those shorter evening or early morning runs. While the design is not as bright as others with a mere 250-lumen design, it’s plenty to light up the road ahead in low to mid-traffic areas.
The design is lightweight and durable and can withstand the harshest weather – great for the colder months and an excellent choice for runners not looking to break the bank. Ideally, it would be a little brighter, but it still ranks in our top ten list thanks to other top-of-the-line features for runners.
8. USB rechargeable headtorch
- 500-lumen brightness
- Over 30-hours of use per charge
- 60-degree tilt and 200m range
Perfect for running, walking, or even fishing, this running headtorch makes use of a 1000mAh-li-polymer battery, providing 500 lumens and over 30-hours of use per charge. Not only can you recharge the headtorch via USB, but there is also a 60-degree tilt to light up all areas as well as a 200m range to look long into the distance, whether that’s lighting up a route or increasing visibility toward incoming traffic.
Very similar to other more straightforward options (e.g. number seven and four on our list), this one is slightly brighter for further increased visibility.
9. LED USB rechargeable 1000 lumen head torch for running
- 1000 lumen design
- Six different modes
- IPX5 waterproofing
- Individual on and off switch for increased ease of use
Second to last, we have a 1000 lumen head torch with six different modes and IPX5 waterproofing – an excellent piece of kit. These modes can be switched using the motion sensor – a simple wave of the hand, making mode switching easy and hands-free. Also, unlike other headlamps out there, there is an individual on and off button (instead of cycling through all the modes) – making it super easy to use when out running.
10. Ultra-bright Vekkia LED Headtorch
- Five different light settings including dim and strobe modes
- Quick and easy to use
With quick and easy control and five different light settings, this portable running head torch is great for running in low light conditions. Modes include full brightness (160 lumens), dim and strobe modes, red LEDs and a constant mode – perfect for saving your night vision.
One downside, however, is that batteries are required instead of USB recharging. This issue is easily solved by purchasing a battery charger.
So, what is the best running headtorch?
This ultimately depends on two things: your budget and what exactly it is you’re looking for. If you’re a recreational runner and run no more than two times per week, then chances are you’ll be looking at a cheaper option, possibly with reduced brightness. However, if you run six or seven times a week, you may be looking to upgrade to a more expensive, long-lasting battery for those long dark runs throughout the week.
Best running head torch FAQ
What is the most powerful headtorch?
For runners, we recommend the 6,000-lumen headlamp, ideal for even the darkest of conditions.
How many lumens do I need for a head torch?
The higher the lumens the brighter the light of the torch. For runners, we recommend a head torch with at least 100 lumens. The majority of regular head torches contain between 30 and 100, however, more powerful ones are available such as those listed in this article – ideal for running in low light conditions.
How bright is a 100 lumens torch?
In comparison, a 100-watt light bulb equates to roughly 1,750 lumens. Some head torches are brighter than this, however, the majority fall within the 100-lumen range.
What is the best head torch for runners?
This depends on what you’re looking for. If running in darker more treacherous conditions, we recommend choosing one with brighter lumens and a longer battery life.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.