Overall Rating: 5/5
I have always liked the range of Petzl head torches available and have a few for different outdoor adventures. Upon hearing about the new for 2018 Petzl Bindi, a super light running head torch, I was intrigued but sceptical. I was lucky enough to test one of the first samples to arrive in the UK so I went all in for the week or so I had it. I used it during night running on a range of different local routes and a two day run in the Lakes with an overnight stay with this as my only torch. I was hugely impressed.
The Bindi weighs in at a ridiculous 33g making it ideal for runners and weigh conscious adventurers alike. With three settings and a battery indicator this head torch isn’t without some practical features too. The unbelievably small, rechargeable lithium battery uses a USB lead to charge and has a good burn time depending on the setting you are using. At a hugely impressive 200 lumens, the maximum beam beats many other head torches that would be at this price point or claim to be in the same light weight category. The three white light settings cover the high beam 200L, a mid bean 100L down to a low beam 5L. The max setting will have a burn time of around 2 hours while the low setting will have a burn time of up to 50 hours. Amazingly it is also fully waterproof, as advertised: to -1m for 30 minutes. I didn’t test this to any great extent as I’m not a fan of swimming or wearing my head torch in the bath but I did wear it while running in the rain and it was spot on.
This head torch was unbelievably good for running. Normally I simply change my routes depending on the amount of light but the settings on this meant that I could do any of my normal runs regardless. When running on footpaths I found the full 200L beam was unnecessary and the mid beam was good enough which extended the burn time greatly. The max beam was great for trail runs through the forests and on more technical terrain. The button to change the brightness is the same as the on/off and it felt a bit stiff and fiddly to begin with. By the end of my first run I had got the hang of it so it’s not something I’d criticise. The simple, elasticated headband was a much more comfortable strap than I was expecting too. The light weight nature of the torch meant that it was never putting any pull on the strap so once fitted and comfortable it needed very little adjustment. It does adjust easily with a toggle and I never had any problems doing this even when wearing gloves.
The Bindi is expected to be on the market at around the £50 mark which is pretty expensive for such a small head torch. However, after trying it out I can safely say it is worth it and I will be ordering one as soon as they become available which is a reflection of my opinion in this review. It is ultralight, comfortable, easy to adjust, powerful and versatile. The negatives with this torch are so insignificant against the benefits it seems unfair to dwell on them but that’s not to say I won’t mention them. Firstly, the price is pretty significant for such a small item. It will put some people off but it shouldn’t if you know you will use it. Secondly, the torch pivots on the casing so you can direct the beam to suit your needs. This is stronger that it looks and I can say that it doesn’t rotate or move around when running hard. However, if you are going to change the settings while in use the button on top is a bit stiff and to press it fully it does mean that the torch starts to move around so it takes a bit of practise and care to get this right.
Overall, I will be buying one of these for myself as soon as they come on sale in March 2018. At such a low weight this head torch does all you’d expect and so much more. In your pack or even your pocket for emergencies, on full beam for technical terrain, quick charging it is great. There is very little to complain about. Yes, the £50 price tag may put some people off but as with most outdoor kit, you get what you pay for and in this case the ultra light weight and practical features. The fact that I’m desperate to buy my own says it all and I will be recommending it to everyone I run with!