- Useful Modes
- Long battery life
- Comes loose easily
- No over head strap
I bought this Sunix headtorch from Amazon.co.uk in the summer of 2015 for roughly £16, I have used it almost daily since that time while jogging, camping and hiking at night. I chose this headtorch mainly because it was the cheapest rechargeable headtorch I could find, but since purchase the durability and performance of the product has constantly surprised me.
The standard of the materials used in the construction point to an origin somewhere in China, that is to say they aren’t the highest quality; the strap feels like very cheap plastic, as does the headtorch itself. After some Googling I found that “Sunix” doesn’t appear to have a website, and the same model can be seen branded as a “Shuofang Spower” elsewhere. This probably means that you shouldn’t expect much to come from the lifetime warranty guaranteed on the Amazon page, but the good news is that it seems to function well enough that you shouldn’t need to find out!
The LEDs, buttons, water-resistant seals, charging port and peripheral bag and charging cable are all of acceptable, if somewhat lacking quality, but nothing has broken in two years of near constant use. I have exposed the IPX 6 sealing of the unit to many a rain, sleet and snow shower while jogging and hiking, but nothing seems to have penetrated, and the LEDs are still working.
The physical design of the unit is fairly nice, the single button gives a satisfying click and springy response, navigating the modes with different clicking patterns is very easy indeed, as well as being simple enough to memorise straight away. For me, the one thing the design is missing is an over head strap, just to make it that bit more secure, because the lateral strap can works itself loose quite fast when you’re running.
The unit features a bright, 120 lumen spotlight mode, with a 50 lumen floodlight setting for normal use around camp, both of these can be set to strobe with three successive button clicks. The red night light mode is bright enough to perform any tasks around camp without ruining your night vision, a must for any stargazers, and very handy if the inside of your tent is white or reflective. There are also charging and over-discharging warning lights to let you know when you might be damaging the life of the battery.
I’m constantly surprised by the length of burn time I can get out of the battery, if I use it an hour a day jogging in the evening, with the odd camp thrown in, I probably charge it once every 2 months, sometimes longer. The provided 4 inch micro USB charging cable weighs roughly 10 grams so you can carry it everywhere, just in case you need a boost on the trail. Micro USB means you can pack just one cable to charge your phone and headtorch!
The torch, strap and charging cable all pack down to a handy pocket sized lump in the provided black dry bag. Everything packed weighs only 119 grams (4.2 ounces) so it’s no hassle to throw in any coat or bag, even on longer trips.
Alternatives to the Sunix 120 within the same price range seem to be either unbranded cheap tat, require normal AAA batteries, require you to buy separate rechargeable batteries or weigh a lot more.
Petzl are generally regarded as the top dog in the world of headtorches but that comes with a bump in price, the Petzl Tikka matches the functionality of the Sunix but you’ll have to drop a further £20 on top of the ~£20 unit cost if you want a rechargeable battery pack.
The Sunix, although a bit tacky on first impressions, is astonishingly good value for what is a very handy and feature-laden item. It’s served me well over nearly two years of jogging in all weather as well as being handy to read by in a tent. I don’t think you can find a better headtorch for less than £25, let alone £16, it’s the outdoor gear holy grail; light, compact, cheap, reliable, convenient. I have since bought a second one for my father to use in the garage/under cars, he is sold on it too.
At this price, this is the best head torch I’ve seen.