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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Ultimate Performance ‘Performance’ Head Torch | Review

It's not super bright or ostentatiously clever, but UP's emergency-friendly Performance Headtorch is decently light and very compact.

‘Rarely has a product name been less appropriate, the Ultimate Performance Headtorch is light and compact, but of limited use for anything other than emergencies.’

Outdoors Magic: Light, compact, pivoting head, light comes out of it.

Outdoors Tragic: Beam is spotty and not very powerful, batteries fiddly and expensive.

Outdoors Grabbit? The UP Performance Headtorch is best used as a ‘just in case’ emergency option thanks to its 28g weight and compact size. The beam is spotty and not very strong, but it’s better than nothing. Pill-type CR2016 batteries are relatively expensive too. In all honesty, we’d spend a little more and splash out on the latest version of Petzl’s iconic e+LITE which weighs around the same but offers a red LED option for rearwards visibility and a zip-type mounting.

 

 

Full Specification

Single LED / magnifier lens / pivoting head / uses 2 x CR2016 pill-type cells

Full Review Below

Super simple design with a thin but not uncomfortable elasticated headband - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)
Light switches on by screwing bezel inwards. Lens is 'magnifier' giving quite a narrow beam - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)
The torch uses two CR2016 watch-type cells accessed by unscrewing the front housing - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

UP ‘Performance’ Headtorch | Performance

Ironically ‘performance’ is a bit of a relative term here. The actual lighting output is unimpressive, UP don’t quite a lumen output, but we’d say it’s about enough for pottering carefully about campsites minding out for guy-lines and careful walking on uneven paths.

It’s quite weak and what light there is, is quite spotty. But then the real point of this torch is it’s lightness and compact size, which means you can stick it in a small pocket – a running shorts one for example – just in case you get caught out.

Simple Operation

Switch on is by screwing in the bezel clockwise, it’s basic but reasonably comfortable and it uses two watch-type CR2016 cells which are readily available, but not always cheap. On the plus side, battery replacement doesn’t require any tools or even a coin.

The one touch of sophistication is that the head pivots so you can adjust the angle of the torch rather than ricking your neck. And that’s it really, nothing terrible, but nothing outstanding either.

Claimed burn time is a reasonable ‘up to 16 hours’, so it should last a good few moonlit strolls back from the pub. One tip, if you’re not using it, is to reverse the cells so that it can’t switch on accidentally in your pack or pocket.

The compact head unit pivots and stays reliably in place once adjusted - Photo: Lukasz Warzecha (lwimages.co.uk)

UP ‘Performance’ Headtorch | Verdict

The UP Performance headtorch is simple soul that does a limited but not awful job as a dedicated emergency headtorch. Viewed like this, it’s decent enough value at just over a tenner and slips unobtrusively into pockets, bum-bags and other small receptacles.

That said, the limited light output and spotty beam means it’s very much a just-in-case option rather than an ideal light for regular use.

If you can run to the extra expense, the excellent little Black Diamond Iota torch isn’t that much larger or heavier, but is far brighter and has the bonus of providing far better illumination and beingUSB rechargeable.

Alternatively, at around £20, you can pick up the latest incarnation of the neat little Petzl e+LITE with 50 lumens output and an additional red LED for added versatility.

More Information

See ultimate-performance.co.uk

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