We bought this USB rechargeable head torch in the hope that it would save us money by reducing the amount of disposable batteries we go through. Although we are sure that this will be the case, is this piece of kit any good? Lets see.
Firstly, have you spotted the elephant in the living room yet? ITS MASSIVE. It weighs in at 115g, which when compared to other models doesn’t seem that unusual. Where some other models differ though is they have a separate battery pack which makes the whole device feel much more balanced. The decision to put the battery in the lighting unit itself is an odd one because if you wear it for any length of time, it feels like wearing a house brick on your forehead.
The headband is comfortable enough when on your head but the sizing system very poor. You have to resize it every time you put it on your head as the adjustment system slips when you take it off. It does however seem secure enough whilst in use.
Lighting. The package states 190 lumen’s but the device is actually 220 lumen’s making it enough for general use. There are many different light modes, wide, narrow and different brightness settings. We really like a head torch with a red light feature and this one doesn’t disappoint, it is however tricky to access this feature. The ‘reactik’ light adjustment feature is designed to save battery life and it works well enough, but is really annoying when your doing a task and the level of light is changing all the time! We don’t use this feature at all as we think it to be a totally useless gimmick.
The buttons are small and difficult to use, if you want to change lighting modes you have to access the side button. This is a two hand job, one to press the button and the other top stop the torch rotating around your head as you press. This is not a head torch to use with gloves.
This torch has bluetooth so it can be connected to your phone. We tried this and OMFG WHY???, it is a torch, why connect it to your phone? Another pointless gimmick.
The battery (1800 mAh lithium ion) last between 12 and 60 hours depending on lighting mode and takes 4 and a half hours to charge. A pack allowing the use of disposable batteries is available separately, however for us, this defies the point of the torch in the first place. The torch is considered to be water resistant, we find it takes heavy rain without trouble.
Conclusion Big, clumsy, cumbersome and its main selling points turn out to be annoying gimmicks. If it was not for the fact that it is rechargeable and will save a ton of money in the long run, not to mention the obvious environmental benefits, then we would consider it to be a terrible piece of kit. If you want a USB chargeable head torch, we would recommend that you look elsewhere.
Value for money 5/10
Overall rating 4/10
To buy a Petzl Reactik on Amazon click here