Alpkit Gamma 2010

Alpkit is well-known for providing incredible value for money, and so it is perhaps no surprise that the Gamma’s performance matches that of many headtorches costing twice the price. You get a battery pack at the back of the head and the red LED is fitted here. This can be set on strobe or as a red light. The front headlamp has the high-power LED, which can be set at two levels plus strobe. The single LEDs are green, red and white so you have a useful light for reading maps (green), maintaining night vision (red) and seeing while maintaining maximum battery life (white). On minimum output you can get 80 hours of light. The headtorch has a good tilt action that is held in place well by the ratchet system. A top-of-head strap adds further stability. But in reality the Alpkit Gamma’s LEDs for white, red or green are not really bright enough to offer much useful light so I found I tended to use the main beam mostly. Maximum output is only 26 lumens, so this is not the brightest light here. There is no battery power indicator either, while at 118g there are lighter headtorches with similar performance if you are prepared to pay more. Also it is only available direct from Alpkit.

Bulbs 1 x 0.5 watt white LED; 1 red LED, 1 green LED, 1 white LED; 1 red LED on battery pack
Brightness 26 lumens
Maximum beam 70 metres
Max burn time 80 hours
Batteries 3 x AAA (included)
Battery charge indicator no
Weight with batteries 118g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 1

Verdict
The Alpkit Gamma is unbeatable value (indeed, it won ‘Best value’ in our test) but you do get a better headtorch if you pay more.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2010