REVIEW: Rechargeable headtorches: RidgeMonkey v Petzl

REVIEW: Rechargeable headtorches: RidgeMonkey v Petzl

What's the best fishing headtorch? Well, Marc Coulson has lined up two of this year's top rechargeable contenders for a head-to-head comparison...

RIDGEMONKEY VRH300

RRP: £49.99 | www.ridgemonkey.co.uk | 

RidgeMonkey head torch review

My first impression of the VRH300 was that it’s a fair bit bigger than most, but once I picked it up it was surprisingly light and, so, it didn’t matter.

If anything, the slightly bulkier body makes it easier to locate when fumbling around in the dark.

I really like the unique dual orientation, which means you cannot put it on the wrong way up, unlike every other head torch I’ve ever tested or used.

Just chuck it on your head and it will pivot both ways and has an on-off switch on the top and bottom.

The switch itself is just a single-button operation which, depending on how many times and for how long you hold it down, takes you through the multiple light phases.

These include three white-light options, the strongest of which is an impressive 200 lumens and the dullest is just right for close-up work such as rig tying.

There are also two green-light settings. Green apparently uses less power to illuminate than white, according to RidgeMonkey.

I’ve always sworn that a red LED is far less likely than white to spook carp when using your headtorch to aid landing fish, but I am told that it’s the same with green.

Sadly for me, in the few weeks that I have been using this one I have not had a carp oblige me in the dark so I can’t test that particular theory.

However, I have used the green light for other things and found myself favouring it over the white light most of the time.

A simple USB port, with rubberised plug, allows recharging and a single charge gives up to 4-5 hours' continuous use, which, when you consider your headtorch is rarely on for more than a few minutes at a time, is ample.

Four micro LEDs let you know how much power you have left so you know when it’s time to plug in and charge back up.


PETZL REACTIK+

RRP: £65 | www.petzl.com

Petzl Reactik review

Through such classics as the hugely affordable Tikka and then Tikkina torches, carp anglers in particular have long appreciated Petzl’s specialist heritage.

Many times I have written that when a company specialises in one field they very often lead the way. Think Delkim, for example.

Anyway, I’ve had several Petzl headtorches over the years and an old camo-patterned Tikka still lives in my tackle bag.

However, rechargeable is definitely the way forward, as the outdoor industry has known for quite some time.

Extremely lightweight and with a comfortable strap, you almost forget you’re wearing the Reactik, but switch it on and there’s no mistaking it. The max 300 lumens full beam is extremely powerful and will light the far bank on some waters.

It also boasts Reactive Lighting Technology, which allows it to automatically brighten and dim its own beam depending on the level of light around it, similarly to some car headlights. You can override this, but it’s an interesting feature all the same.

Another unique feature is the integrated Bluetooth facility, so you can connect the Reactik to your phone, via the free app.

This allows you to use (alter the power and spread of the beam) and program the unit itself, as well as monitor battery life.

And here’s a novel feature: when connected you can write a message on your phone which the Reactik then translates into a Morse code signal and then blinks out accordingly!

Okay, many of the Reactik’s features may be of limited use to carp anglers, and the available colours may also not be ‘carpy’ enough for some of you, but as an out-and-out performer, albeit at a price, it’s tough to knock the Reactik’s impressive make up.