Torches can shed light that ranges from a weak puddle to a dazzling laser-like beam that could leave someone stunned, wide-eyed and open-mouthed like Bambi in the headlights. We’ve opted to ignore the light-up-a-runway flashlights and instead focus on some quality torches from compact stash-away-in-your-pocket lights to medium-sized handheld ones.
1. Nebo Twyst 3-in-1
The Twyst torch from Nebo is a cleverly designed, versatile light that can be used as a work light, lantern or torch. It has a magnetic base, which is great if you need to tinker under your bonnet in the bush, or on some deserted road, at night. It also has three little stablisers that flick out from the base, so that you can stand the Twyst upright to use as a lantern. The 250 lumen lantern gives 360-degree light coverage for 15m, the 110 lumen work light has a 120 degree spread over 15m and a 300 lumen LED torch has a 233m range.
Where Camp and Climb stores and at www.campandclimb.co.za
Run time 4/96 hours
2. LED Lenser M14
This 400 lumen torch is lightweight, bright and fairly compact with an adjustable beam that can go from wide-angled to a narrow focused spotlight. It’s comparable to the Coleman Divide+ 350; however, you pay more for the extra 50 lumens and the fact that it burns for twice as long on the brightest setting.
Price R1 199
Run time 4/20 hours
3. LED Lenser K2 Torch
This little keyring torch is not very intimidating at only 25 lumens, but then nor is its price. Attach it to your keys and you will be able to find something in the dark recesses of your handbag or backpack – unless, of course, it’s the keys that you’re looking for.
Run time 0.75 hours
Battery 4xAG13 1.5V
4. Coleman LED Divide+ 75 [Tested]
When we tested this one we found it to be decent for regular rummaging around in the tent at night, but we definitely prefer the more powerful Coleman Divide+350 for illumination outdoors. Still, it does the job and has an 84m beam range. On the plus side, it’s smaller and lighter than the Divide+350 and also features the BatteryLock technology. When we gave this more petite torch to some of our offspring to use, they were quite happy with its performance.
Run time 5 hours
5. Coleman LED Divide+ 350 [Tested]
We love this torch. It’s bright. It’s sturdy and comes with BatteryLock technology that allows you to disengage the batteries when it’s not in use. We hung it from the middle of the tent and it lit up the inside like, well, let’s just say Guy Fawkes would have been proud. Outside, when on the 350 lumen setting,
the light reached into the nether regions of the campsite (300 metres to be exact). Its size lends itself to a firm grip and although it has some weight to it, it doesn’t feel too heavy.
Run time 2/50 hours
6. Olight S1R Baton
The S1R Baton is a tiny (66mm long) but powerful LED torch with a maximum beam distance of 145 metres and a maximum output of 900 lumens. It is has an IPX8 rating, which means that it’s waterproof up to a depth of two metres. The S1R Baton has four brightness modes and a strobe mode, comes with a magnetic base and is charged via USB. This mite of a torch has a side switch that can be locked to prevent accidental operation when in a pocket or a bag and features a pocket clip and a hole for a lanyard.
Price R1 099
Run time 0.5/33 hours (or 15 days on 0.5 lumens)
Battery RCR123 rechargeable lithium battery
7. Black Diamond Ember Power Flashlight [Tested]
If you like fancy tech, this Black Diamond powerbank/torch will appeal to you. The high-quality construction of this compact device left us with a subtle sense of satisfaction. A heat-activated swipe pad is used to switch the light on or off and also to dim or brighten the light. The torch is charged via USB and has a second port so you can use it as a power bank; we charged a Samsung S4 Mini from 25% battery power to 75% power in an hour using this feature. The Ember Power light provides 150 lumens of light, which is more than enough to find your way along a footpath at night or from your campsite to the ablutions. It also illuminates interior areas of a car or tent amply. There is a handy lock mode that disengages the battery to ‘eliminate drain and increase shelf life’. All in all, it’s a nifty, well-constructed product.
Run time 50/300 hours
Battery rechargeable sealed lithium polymer