Choosing the best head torch for your running needs

Choosing a head torch for running

Running at night can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s important to stay safe and visible while doing so. This is where a good running head torch comes in handy.

A running head torch not only lights your path, but also makes you visible to others on the road or trail.

However, with so many options available in the market, choosing the right head torch for running can be overwhelming, with weight, physical size, battery run times and brightness levels just to name a few. Here are some factors to consider to help you on making your decision on what running headlamp might be best suited to your needs. Remember its not always the brightest head torch that is going to be the best fit for where and what style of sunning you do:

Brightness and Beam Distance

The brightness of a head torch is measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light will be. For running purposes, you should look for a minimum of 150 lumens, and a maximum of what ever you think you’ll need and be able to still run with. For instance a 150 lumen running head torch is going to be great around the city for night runs as i will be more than enough light to be seen by anything oncoming bikes, people, cars ect. 150 lumens will also give you just enough light if you find your self down a dimly lit back ally or park. If you are running in more a trail landscape where these is limited or no extra lights thats where you should start to consider upping your lumen output. a good 600-2000 lumens is going to be great for these runs keeping in mind most of the running headlamps are designed to be a mix of both flood and spot light, having more lumens is never a bad option as these head torches can always been turned down to a lower mode. 600-2000 lumens will not only be able to light all the trail you need right in front of you but also be able to kick out light far enough to see any obstacles in your way.

Another important factor is the beam distance. This refers to how far the light can reach. For running, a beam distance of at least 50 meters is recommended. However, if you are planning on running in more remote or dark areas, look for a head torch with a longer beam distance. With an idea of light reflectors spot and flood you will be able to know what running head torch might be the best design.

Battery Life and Type

Battery life is crucial, especially for longer runs. Most head torches use either disposable or rechargeable batteries both built in and replaceable.

If you opt for a rechargeable option, make sure it has a long enough battery life to last your entire run. You will find on the more compact running headlamps will most likely have a inbuilt battery to keep the weight right down. These are more designed for shorter in town runs. Where the larger more trail designed running head torches will have bigger rechargeable batteries that you can remove to carry a spare and change out quickly ultimately doubling your runtimes. On the other hand, disposable batteries can be easily replaced if they run out of juice mid-run. Some head torches offer the option of both rechargeable and the option to also run disposable if you find yourself in a pinch and need to get out. You will find with this option it will usually drop the max outputs quite a lot and shorter runtimes.

Additionally, consider the type of batteries used. Some head torches use standard AA or AAA batteries, while others may require special or hard-to-find batteries. These batteries that were a couple years ago hard to find are becoming increasingly easier to get ahold of. Saying that be sure if you’re interest in a particular running headlamp be sure you can get spare batteries if you think you might require them, better to be looking at them than for them.

Weight and Comfort

Since you will be wearing the head torch for extended periods of time, it’s important to choose one that is lightweight and comfortable.

Look for head torches with adjustable straps and padding around the headband to prevent any discomfort or chafing. Majority of specifically designed running head torches will have a more robust and wider head strap with easy tightening and loosening (adjustable) features. With silicone anti slip so they do not bounce around even what you start to perspire. Some larger headlamps with an battery compartment seperate to the LED output will be situated at the back to balance the light out and not have all the weight in one place.

Be sure to check the weight of the head torch to see if you would be comfortable running around for long periods of time with that weight. A lot of the newer generations of running head torches are just all encased up the front with no back battery pack as they have made the head strap a lot better to handle the extra weight and with new advancements in LED and overall heat dispersion designs they are able to be simnifically more compact.

Water Resistance

Weather conditions can be unpredictable, so it’s important to choose a head torch that is water-resistant. This will protect your head torch from rain, sweat and accidental splashes of water. Some running headlamps will have varying levels of water resistance so keep this in mind when you are choosing not all water proof ratings are equal. But most will be fine for running in a light shower others will be more extreme and will be able to be used in any conditions you might face.

Additional Features

Some head torches may come with additional features such as multiple light modes, red night vision mode, and a tilt function to adjust the angle of the beam.

These features can come in handy for different running scenarios and add versatility to your head torch. So be sure to have your check box ready of features you require and you’ll be sure to find the one that fits your needs.


Choosing the right head torch for running is essential for both safety and performance. Consider the factors mentioned above before making a purchase to ensure that you find the perfect head torch for your needs.

Remember, a good head torch will not only make your runs safer but also more enjoyable. So don’t skimp on this important piece of running gear.

Happy running! No matter what type of runner you are, whether a casual jogger or an experienced marathoner, a head torch is an essential piece of