First look: Silva Trail Runner Free H headtorch review

A cleverly designed headtorch that mixes great form and function, is this an ideal lamp for walkers?

First look: Silva Trail Runner Free H headtorch review

by Ben Weeks |

Silva’s Trail Runner Free H headtorch might have been conceived for running (the clue’s in the name) but in truth its appeal is far broader. After all, some of the key requirements for runners – light weight, reliably robust, powerful and adaptable illumination – apply to almost any user of headtorches, and particularly to hill and mountain walkers.

Before we go any further it’s worth mentioning the things that are missing here, just in case they turn out to be deal breakers. Firstly, there’s no night-vision maintaining red light, so if this is something you really want in a headtorch (and ask yourself honestly, how often do you really use it?) the Trail Runner Free isn’t for you. It’s IPX5 rated, meaning it’s robustly water resistant, but not waterproof like some IPX7 rated torches. And finally, it doesn’t have any fancy auto-adjusting wizardry, just three manual power levels and a flashing option.

But with those omissions aside (and they’re only omissions if they’re features you’d use), the Silva Trail Runner Free H still offers some great features...

5 things you need to know...

Integrated power cord

The cord that carries the power from the battery unit to the lamp is integrated into the headband and is invisible. This means there’s no awkward tangling of cables to get in the way when adjusting the size.

Integrated power cord

Extendable battery pack

An extension cable is provided which allows the battery pack to be removed from the head band and carried on a belt or in a pocket for greater comfort and protection from cold weather-induced battery drain.

Extendable battery pack

Intelligent twin LED illumination

Two bright LED bulbs – one spot and one flood – provide a unique combination of long reach light and close wide light for a clear view of both near and far obstacles.

Hybrid Battery Case

The Trail Runner Free H comes with a battery case that will accept either the supplied rechargeable battery or three AAA batteries, giving you power options on remote trips. It also has a switchable red rear safety light to make the wearer more visible from behind.

Hybrid Battery Case

Power boost accessory

The Trail Runner Free H can be retrofitted with a larger 4000mAh rechargeable power pack (£64), more than tripling the power of the supplied lithium battery.

Power boost accessory

Serious stuff

- Price £109

- Light modes Maximum (400 lumens), Medium (200 lumens), Minimum (50 lumens), Blink

- Maximum beam distance 80m (400 lumens)

- Maximum burn time 12 hours (50 lumens)

- Batteries 1x rechargeable 1150mAh lithium battery (included) or 3x AAA (not included) - Weight 108g

Silva Trail Runner Free H headtorch

Silva Trail Runner Free H headtorch

Buy now

Trail verdict Although missing one or two features that are nice to have on a hillwalking headtorch, the considered form and function of the Trail Runner Free H greatly outweighs any minor omissions.

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