When you absolutely need both hands on the job and you need lots of light then a head torch is invaluable. We put the LED Lenser MH7 through its paces.
Let’s face it, when the inevitable breakdown, traction challenge or just general adversity strikes, it’s usually at night, and you’re gonna need both hands to get yourself out of the proverbial.
That is where the humble head torch comes in. Most of us will have a $10 eBay jobbie floating around the back of our four-wheel-drive (I’ve just thrown out two) that hasn’t got batteries, takes the sort of batteries a servo doesn’t sell, or just flat out refuses to work no matter how hard you belt it against the tailgate.
So, I finally did the thing that ‘adults’ do; I bought a proper one. If you’ve been following my antics for a while now, you’ll realise that I do things invariably by halves or, well, over-kill. Strangely enough, with my new(ish) head torch (I’ve had it near 12-months now), I nailed a pretty solid middle-of-the-road piece of kit, that’s saved my bacon more times than I care to remember.
So, without further self-deprecation from my end, let me show you my LED Lenser MH7, and why I think everyone should have one in their rig.
Don’t stare at the light
The head torch itself is a pretty solid bit of kit; made by the folks at LED Lenser who’ve been making gear for punters and military professionals alike for donkey’s years. So, there’s no shortfall of manufacturing experience from these guys, and chances are, you’ve seen their gear around.
The MH7 I got my hands on, is rechargeable via a magnetic USB charger, so I keep mine plugged into the USB port in the back of the ‘Cruiser permanently. This way it’s ready to go when I need it, and I’ve not gotta go pulling batteries out of the TV remote when I need to work on the ‘Cruiser at night in the driveway (my wonderful wife approves of this).
It’s got five lighting settings: high-power, mid-power and low-power modes, as well as a blinking pulse for signalling or searchlight use, as well as a boost mode, that’ll give the torch absolute power for a short period of time (yep, it’s bloody bright).
The MH7 has a fully-focusable beam, that can be operated one-handed no less, and you can easily remove it from the head-mount and straps to use wherever you need it. One of the thoughtful additions to the MH7, is the red LED they’ve mounted on the front – if you’re like me and head out to take photos of a night, keeping your night-vision intact is a must – this little fella does just that.
If you’ve got young’uns that like to get into everything while you’re driving, the light even has a lock mode; where you can keep tiny hands from turning it on and flattening batteries. Or, from rolling around inside your baggage when you’re travelling all over the countryside.
Insofar as brightness is concerned, these things put out a respectable 600 lumens and will throw light out to 200m. Not bad for a little head torch that weighs in at just 139 grams, right?
The MH7 is also IP54 rated, which translates to it’ll protect against dust ingress (that’s the first number) and can be sprayed on from different directions (that’s the second number) so don’t go immersing it in water, but it will handle being lightly rained on. Running time ranges from seven-hours to about 60-hours depending on the power mode you’re using, but I’ve never run mine flat from use.
All in all, not a bad bit of kit, and mine now has a permanent spot in the back of my LandCruiser. You don’t realise how badly you need one until you’re wishing upon shooting stars to grow a third hand to hold a bloody torch.
• Comfy to use, and fits on big boofheads (I’m living proof);
• Bright, and easy to use;
• Rechargeable, and via USB no less;
• Quality and solid build; and
• There are many different options and models available – cheaper, smaller, more expensive, bigger.
• Price: They retail at $164.95 (they can be had cheaper if you look around), but you’re paying for the quality of the product, to work when you need it to.
LED CONFIGURATION: 1 x Xtreme LED
LUMINOSITY: MAX 600lm – MIN 20lm
LIGHTING RANGE: MAX 200m – MIN 20m
BATTERY DURATION: MAX 60h – MIN 7h
BATTERY: 1 x Rechargeable Li-ion 14500 Battery Pack 3.7V
DUST AND WATER RESISTANCE: IP54
This article was originally published in Unsealed 4X4 Issue 69