The bigger the battery pack the more light output you get, but the less comfy and stable a headtorch is. To overcome this problem the Silva X Trail has a remote battery pack that can be worn around the waist or placed in a jacket pocket.
The Silva X Trail’s light output is described as ‘intelligent lighting’ as it combines a wide-angle floodlight with a long-reach spotlight. This means the two white LEDs provide a general light while a high-power LED provides a longer light and all these lights are on at the same time at maximum power. The battery pack comes fitted to a belt that can be worn around the waist. A 1m cable links the battery to the headtorch. The battery housing itself houses 4xAA batteries or you can get the X-Trail Plus with its additional rechargeable battery unit. There is a very clear battery status indicator that glows green, orange or red just after the headtorch is turned off.
On the hill
Fitting the batteries was very easy as the Silva X Trail’s battery cover has no screws: just a simple thumb action over a lip that allows the cover to be opened. The cover is attached with a hinge to the battery housing, so you don’t have to worry about losing it. I tended to throw the battery pack into my jacket pocket, but a belt works too. Head tilt is provided by a rotating the lamp housing, and this worked well. Turning on the headtorch is pretty easy as there is just one button that is big and very easy to use even with gloves on. When you turn it on you get maximum power straight away, which is an ideal light source for walking as you get a general wide light and a strong beam. A couple more button presses lead to just the two LEDs before you go back to full power. The battery power indicator is very clear, although it is potentially annoying that you have to turn the headtorch off to see how much power you have left. The overall weight is higher than most, in part as this has four rather than three AA batteries plus an extra battery belt and longer cable. But as the batteries are not on the head unit the headlamp is more comfy and stable. The burn time is much shorter than other headtorches though, which is a drawback.
Bulbs 1 x high power LED, 2 x 5mm white LED
Brightness 145 lumens
Maximum beam 75 metres
Max burn time 30 hours
Batteries 4xAA (included)
Weight with batteries 298g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 80
Stockist details tel. (01506) 406277: www.silva.se
The Silva X Trail offers single button use; the brightest light output on test; optional rechargeable battery package option (X-Trail Plus); well-made and easy to use.
But it has a short burn time; heavier than others; separate battery pack may be over complicated for basic use. It’s ideal for biking, running or short night action as you get high power, but the short burn time is a drawback for hill-walkers or expeditions.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2011