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Walking Equipment and Accessories

GP Xplor PHR15 Headtorch | Review

An alkaline powered headtorch that's also USB rechargeable

Why We Chose The GP Xplor: Effective, good value and with clever charging options.

Have you ever reached into your backpack to find your headtorch battery is fully drained, even when you could’ve sworn that you turned the lock function on? Although spare headtorches and power banks make up a quick fix to this problem, it’s still frustrating when this happens. That’s why we like the Xplor PHR15 from GP Batteries. If this problem occurs, there’s still a solution with this headtorch.

The headtorch itself is rated to 300 lumens, offering a range of 157 metres on the highest setting. With just a single function button at the top, you’re able to cycle through the different brightnesses of 300-, 150- and 5-lumens. On the low setting you’ll get a maximum run time of 69 hours and on the 300-lumen setting you’ll get 5 hours.

“One AAA GP Batteries battery is rated to 300 recharges and can therefore theoretically replace the need for 300 single use batteries.”

Surrounding the relatively small device is a casing that is rated up to IPX 6 in waterproofing. That means it’ll hold off everything but full submersion in water. It’s also shock-proofed up to 1m.

Those figures are decent, but there are still torches with far higher performance levels. The thing is, the GP Xplor PHR15 comes with a little trick up its sleeve.

Rather handily, it utilises three rechargeable AAA batteries that come included and charged ready to go. These batteries can be recharged through the micro USB port on the headtorch, meaning that you don’t need to carry around a specific charger with you to charge the batteries – just plug in the headtorch and it’ll start charging the batteries.

These AAA batteries are worthy of a short mention in this review themselves. Featuring later this summer in our Green Gear Guide, GP are hoping that with these, they’ll be able to lure outdoor enthusiasts away from a dependance on single-use alkaline batteries (which are terrible for the environment). A single of these AAA GP batteries is rated to 300 recharges, and can therefore theoretically replace the need for 300 single use batteries.

The headtorch offers 300 lumens at a range of 157 metres. Photo: Chris Johnson
You're able to charge the AAA batteries via the USB connector. Photo: Chris Johnson
The headtorch includes three rechargeable AAA GP Batteries. Photo: Chris Johnson

An interesting thing to consider is that standard lithium-ion cells are rated up to a similar amount of 300 recharges, after that you have little option but to throw out the whole headtorch. The use of the GP batteries in this headtorch does away with this waste – you’ll only need to safely dispose of the AAA batteries after their 300 recharge cycle is finished.

Another benefit to the use of replaceable AAA batteries over an inbuilt lithium cell is that if you do find yourself out of juice and with no power source available to charge the batteries, then you’ll be able to add in any other type of AAA charged up battery (single use or rechargeable) that you manage to find around your campsite or steal from another electrical device – giving you light, potentially when you could need it most.

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer

“This headtorch offers a great middle ground between lithium-ion powered headtorches and those that rely on traditional batteries. The ability to recharge these batteries through the headtorch is a fantastic capability, meaning that you can charge them easily on the go – whether that be in the car or even on the hill, with a power bank.

“I’ve long been a fan of lithium-ion rechargeable headtorches, but it’s been great to go back to trusty alkaline battery tech, and knowing that finding a power source to recharge my headtorches isn’t the be all and end all for lighting has been great. I’ve been able to just swap out the batteries if I wasn’t within reach of a power source, or was looking to conserve my power bank charge for my phone battery.”

A simple head strap keeps the headtorch secure. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

James Tuck – Marketing Manager of GP Batteries UK

“The top of the range Xlpor PHR15 headtorch doesn’t just deliver unbeatable performance at a highly competitive price to the serious outdoor enthusiast, but it features more eco-friendly rechargeable batteries which can be recharged via a micro USB port built into the headtorch or swapped for freshly charged GP batteries. This means that once the rechargeable batteries reach the end of their life after hundreds of charges, you can easily recycle the batteries and replace them without having to replace your headtorch, as is the case with other most other rechargeable headtorches on the market – this not only saves the customer money but also helps eliminate needless waste and is better for the environment!”

GP Explor PHR15 Headtorch

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