I don’t carry spare torch batteries on overnighters, in fact in recent months there’s been no point as I’d need my laptop to bring life back into my main torch (more later). What I’ve done for years now is carry a big torch and a wee torch, which is often lighter and also means I can light the tent up and still see where I’m going with my tripod in the dark.
My wee torch for the past year or so has been the Princeton Tec Byte which I got in for test and has now lived a very full life having been everywhere from mountain tops to ships engine rooms.
The Byte is a simple thing, 2 inches by 1 inch and weighs F/A, this is now a standard measurement on here, anything under 100g doesn’t need to be any more accurate. The headband is 3/4 inch and is comfortable with a good range of adjustment from bare head to over a thick hat.
It takes two AAA batteries, including lithium flavoured, which last very well if you pack it carefully. A couple of times I’ve had the button pressed and drained it, but I now swivel the light when I pack it away to keep the button out of harms way.
The button is also one of the best things about the Byte, the dotted black patch on the top you can see below, as it’s easy to use with gloves. The logo and labelling on the Byte tell you that the button is on the top, but flip the torch upside down and the button is now even easier to use with your thumb and the beam positioning isn’t compromised as it would be on most torches, the swivel mechanism giving you the same range of movement whatever way you wear the Byte. Once I tried this I decided that all headtorches shoiuld have their bottons on the bottom, much more natural to use.
The light itself is a good one and it’s camp-friendly too. One press brings on a lower output red LED which is great for camp, you can see what you’re doing and ypur nigt vision is maintained. The next press brings up a low white light and one more press gives you full power which is a very impressive focussed beam rated at 50 lumens which is enough to navigate rough terrain in total darkness, although it will eat your batteries in a couple of hours. It’s quite enough of a torch for main use and as a backup I feel like I’ve got a Colt .45 strapped to each thigh.
Some folk will want a flashing setting, some folk will want longer buring time at full power, and at IPX4 it’s less waterproof than some, but you can get all that stuff elsewhere. If you want an emergency rocket in your pocket, the Byte’s ready to burn.