The Best Running Head Torches

September 14, 2022

Nick Hancock

Ah, the scorching summer days have finally bid us farewell, making way for cooler temperatures and longer nights. As we transition from the sweltering heat to the embrace of autumn, we find ourselves navigating through dewy mornings and encountering intricate spider webs at every turn. If you've never experienced the thrill of inadvertently plowing through a cobweb during an early morning run, then you're missing out on a quintessential runner's rite of passage. Fear not, for we have the solution to illuminate your path and ward off those eight-legged surprises. In this article, we'll unveil the best head torches for running, equipping you with the perfect gear to conquer the darkness and keep those cobwebs at bay. Let's dive in and shed some light on the ultimate running companions!

Choosing the Perfect Head Torch: Shedding Light on Your Running Journey

Anyway, so onto the darkness bit... it’s that time of the year to whip out last year's headlamp (if you can find the blimmin’ thing! Nope… no idea where I put mine either!) or it's simply time to buy a new one or your first one ever! The selection of head torches is becoming a bit of a minefield nowadays with so many features being added, including Bluetooth connection to phone apps and all sorts! As with most things these days, no two head torches are made the same! In this list, I have selected a range of great solutions for everyone’s needs, budget, and level of technical capability when it comes to chest torches for running. WTF is a lumen, you say!?! (Basically, the more lumens, the brighter the lamp will go… also usually means the quicker the battery will burn!)

Note: All the links we have provided are direct to the manufacturers websites… drop a quick search into your search engine for the best prices available!

What is the Best Head Torch to Buy?

Let us shine a light on the situation 😉

Best for: running around urban areas: Petzl Actik

A great headlamp that is comfortable to wear, easy-to-use and will suit those early morning or post-work runs around the local streets. 350 lumens is pretty good for a run around the pavements of Blighty and usesAAA batteries, although we recommend forking out a little extra for the CORE Petzl battery pack otherwise you’ll burn through batteries and end up spending a fortune!! Well worth the money this head torch!

Best for: trail runs up to 4-5 hours: Alpkit Qark

For the trail and ultra-runners who don’t need all-night long capability, the Alpkit Qark is a great option and at roughly £30-35, this is an absolute bargain. With up 580 Maximum lumens, it’ll light up the trails, woods and fells and give you great visibility of the track ahead. A Micro-USB rechargeable battery (included) means it’s simple to keep the battery full… it also takes AAA batteries if you want to go beyond the 5 hour burn time on the medium setting. UK-based company too for those of you who like to buy British!

Best for: Serious All-nighters and multi-day adventures: LedLenser MH10

Last year I touted the Ledlenser NEO10r but I can't even find a link to it, so I am back touting the incredible MH10 (I actually own this very head torch myself!). This is a serious piece of kit that will see the most serious of trail runners through a long, gruelling night on the trails without having to change the battery. At a burn time of 10 hours on a whopping 600 lumens and 15 hours on 250 lumens, this is an incredible option for those taking on 100 milers and long-adventures. For multi-day adventures, take a battery pack, whack in the Micro-USB whilst you get some tent kip and you’re good to go!

Best for: People with deep pockets looking: PetzlNao+

This bad boy does everything apart from make you a cuppa – how cool would that be in the middle of the night on a tough 100-miler?!

The Petzl Nao+ has a burn time of 15 hours on 320 lumens on the “Adaptive Lighting” setting and 5.5 hours on the mammoth 750 lumens setting which will, quite frankly, make you visible from space!! There are so many features with this lamp… some highlights include; the ability to set preferences and profiles in the app to suit the activity you are doing (e.g. trail or mountaineering or urban etc), multi-beam for flood lighting, Micro-USB chargeable, belt accessory to move the battery off the head into a bag or pocket… and so much more! This is a mega piece of kit in the plus £100 bracket!

And finally

Chest strap from Decathlon

to keep yourselves safe, especially for you road runners out there who run near traffic – let’s face it, there are some daft drivers out there who can get awfully close at times - this excellent chest strap from Decathlon will keep you visible in the dark and the run leader at your local club very happy!! Check out the KiprunRun Light


Stay safe out there, folks. Remember, a reliable headlamp is not something to skimp on—it's a worthwhile investment. So, choose one from this list of the best head torches for running, rather than opting for some ultra-cheap, unbranded option lurking in the depths of Amazon. Those alternatives tend to disappoint, with their subpar battery life or inadequate lighting, ultimately leading you to purchase a quality headlamp anyway. Save yourself the hassle and trust me on this. Invest wisely from the start, just as you would with an online running coach who guides you towards success.


Should you run with a head torch?

Running with a head torch can be beneficial, especially in low-light conditions or during nighttime runs. It enhances visibility, ensuring safety and reducing the risk of accidents. A head torch allows you to see the path ahead clearly and helps others to spot you. It also provides hands-free lighting, allowing you to focus on your running form and maintain a steady pace. Whether you're running on trails, roads, or in urban areas, a head torch can significantly improve your running experience, providing peace of mind and extending your running hours.

How many lumens do I need for a running head torch?

The number of lumens you need for a running head torch depends on various factors such as the environment, terrain, and personal preference. As a general guideline, a head torch with a range of 100 to 300 lumens should suffice for most runners. Lower lumen options are suitable for well-lit urban areas, while higher lumen options are better for trail running or areas with limited lighting. Ultimately, it's important to choose a head torch that offers enough brightness to illuminate your path comfortably and ensure your safety during nighttime or low-light running conditions.

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