Silva Trail Runner II Headtorch

This is a 2 stage review; stage 1 is conducted when the product is first worn, stage 2 is a summary after several weeks of steady use.

They Say - The Trail Runner II is a lightweight choice for running and lets you exercise anywhere and at any time. The ergonomic headband is extra wide and anti-slip treated, for a comfortable fit on your head when running. The small battery compartment with 3 AAA batteries is placed on the headband. Silva Trail Runner II uses the light distribution technology Silva Intelligent Light®, a unique combination of long distance spot light and close range flood light at the same time – light where you need it!

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We Say – Stage 1; I wore this headtorch tonight for the first time on a 7km run that took me partly on unlit trails and partly through the town. It’s very light, about 118g, and it felt pretty comfy as I set off through my housing estate. I usually do my running in the daytime so never have reason to wear a headtorch but Silva sent this through so I thought I’d change my habits, and I’m glad I did.

I ran a route that is very familiar to me but tonight it felt totally new. Turning down an alley I had two sparkling eyes before me – it was a fox, something I never see in the daytime. I reached the beach and rain began to fall, slanting down into my face, illuminated by the beam of light and looking really beautiful. There were no people around – usually in the daytime this trail is always full of dog walkers and tourists. The only sound was my shoes crunching along over the pebbles, and then I hit a patch of beach grass and all was silent. There was just the beam of light ahead, and the sea off to my left, it was like I was discovering the place I live all over again.

The on-off button was easy to operate. One click got you full beam, a second got you half beam, and then holding it down for a second turned it off. I think I would prefer to have it so the first click got me half beam, so when I turned it on I was able to keep a little of my night vision.

If you hold the button down for a second whilst the torch is off, then it will start to flash brightly. I guess this would be of use to cyclists using it to alert cars to their presence or if you were in trouble whilst in a remote area and wanted to attract attention.

I often preferred half beam to full beam as the full is so powerful that I had difficulty seeing beyond the beam, which I like doing at times. But on half beam it illuminated the track whilst still allowing me to see others things around me, such as the sea. On full beam the reach of the light was about 5 meters ahead, on half beam it was about 2. Both strengths were perfectly adequate for my needs; I should imagine I’m only going to use full beam when I’m in really dark alleys, or forest.

Running back through the town the light helped me avoid the dog poop, and alerted drivers to where I was. I had got used to the torch by now and I found myself drifting off into thought, forgetting that I was wearing it, which is testament to how light it is, and comfy.

So I can say that first impressions are that this Silva Trail Runner II headtorch is a nice bit of kit. It opens up a new world for me, and I’m going to keep going on night runs this month to continue testing it, seeing how long the batteries last, and how it copes with the rain and cold weather that’s due to make an appearance anytime soon.

UPDATE – It’s been a joy testing this headtorch. It really has opened up a new world for me. The other night I was running alongside the beach, the moon was rising over the sea, which had been turned into a mass of shimmering silver, all was quiet, it was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for this headtorch.

It’s very comfy, and though there’s a slight mark across my forehead when I take it off after wearing it for an hour or so of use, it’s not long lasting. And it’s probably due to me having it a bit tight anyhow.

The battery usage that Silva states (30 hours on maximum power or 90 hours on minimum) is about right. I have used the headtorch for about 15 hours whilst out running, with the setting fluctutating between full and minimum, and then I have left it on indoors for about 25 hours whilst on full power, and the batteries are still throwing out as much light as they ever did.

November was a pretty calm month actually so I never got to test this in a storm, which was a shame. If December is any worse, I’ll do so and update here as to how the unit coped with a good soaking. It did get a little wet though and it hasn’t effected it, which it shouldn’t as Silva do say that it’s splash proof. All in all, from what I’ve seen, this is a very nice headtorch. Very light, comfy and robust. I recommend it.

If you want to see the headtorch online, complete with specs, guides and manuals, please visit http://silva.se/products/sport/trail-runner-ii

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