I met up with Si from Lyon Equipment a couple of weeks back to see some new kit and first up are two developments from Petzl. The big news is the new Nao headtorch which is a different beast in many ways.
Below is the business end where the two LED’s sit, one wide beam and one focus throwing out a maximum of 355 lumens, which is plenty. The mix of beams should be good on the move with a bright spot ahead and a good pool of light around you, a trick I try to replicate with single LED lamps which have a sliding diffuser by sliding it half across the bulb.
The top “eye” is a light sensor, which is the clever bit. It changes the output of the lamps to suit the darkness in front of you, hopefully saving you faffing around with settings all the time, helping stretch out battery power as well as avoiding dazzling yourself when you pull a map out of your pocket to check it at night. Check the video below of Si demonstrating how it works, it’s impressively fast reacting.
The rechargeable battery sits at the back of your head in a wee water resistant pod which has a USB connection for charging and forms part of the unusual cradle which makes up the headband. It’s partly elastic tape at the front with cords and an adjuster at the back, it looks a bit like the arrangement from a waterproof shell’s hood and that’s kinda what it feels like when you wear it. It’s unusual at first, but it’s light on your head, incredibly stable and I’m hopeful it’ll be comfy over long periods of use.
I’ve got a Nao in for test so I’ll be updating on its performance after trips and I’ll do a proper review in time for its arrival at the shops in the summer.
Don’t mess with a winning formula? Usually I’d agree with that, but the e+LITE update below does improve on the current model.
The elastic headband is gone, replaced by a Zipka-style retractable cord which gives it a fatter base plate making it easier to operate when it’s on your forehead. It’s 1g lighter which means room in your pack for an extra Jaffa Cake and like every new LED torch that comes out it’s a little brighter too. Well done says I.