HEAD TORCHES ARE one of the must-pack items for any trip into the outdoors. These lightweight, powerful light sources have become the light of choice for all adventurers, from climbers and hikers to vehicle-based camping families. The reason is simple: they take up little space and offer the best directional light-source you can get. There are many brands on the market and one that has been around for a while is LED Lenser. The German brand (the product of twin brothers Rainer and Harald Opolka) started in 1994 and now, 22 years later, is one of the top-end portable light source brands.
The LED Lenser SEO headtorch series is new to the market, and comes packed with the latest tech to ensure the three models – the SEO 3, 5R and this tester, the SEO 7R – offer excellent lighting in a lightweight, durable source. The SEO 7R is the flagship model and includes a white High End Power LED that pumps out a maximum of 180 lumens of light, out to a distance of 120m, for a maximum seven hours. You can, of course, lower the output (there are three light modes, each differing in intensity, plus a flashing-light mode), to stretch lighting time out to 25 hours. It is also IPX6 water-resistant (able to withstand showers, etc.) and there is a red LED with blink function included in the unit.
The SEO 7R weighs an unltra-light 93g. (Image credit: Justin Walker)
Ensuring you only use as much light as is needed, the SEO 7R features Optisense Technology – this regulates the light output according to how much ambient (or reflected) light there is. So, early evening you’d be using less lighting grunt than you would in the pitch dark of a moonless night. The SEO 7R also includes Smart Light Technology, allowing the user to focus the light down to a narrower (or wider) beam if needed; simply turning the bevel on the light accomplishes this. This simplicity of function continues with the tilt mechanism of the light; a hinge allows you to tilt the light to the angle needed, and again, it is easy to use/access, even when wearing gloves.
The SEO 7R feels very light on your head; weighing a paltry 93g you barely notice it. The washable headband is also very comfortable and easily adjusted. Power is supplied via both a lithium-ion battery pack, charged via USB, or you can throw in three AAA batteries. This dual-power option is brilliant: for shorter weekend trips – or when camping out of your vehicle – being able to recharge the power pack, rather than use batteries, is great. Of course, even in remote and long-distance scenarios, most adventurers carry solar/power packs that offer USB charging anyway, but having the option of using AAA batteries if there’s no available power certainly ups the versatility of the SEO 7R.
With its sensible combination of light weight, effective lighting tech and the brand’s reputation for reliability, the LED Lenser SEO 7R is definitely worth consideration for those looking for a light source for their adventures.