Qark rechargeable head torch
580 lumen rechargeable head torch. Compatible with AAA batteries for when you’re recharging your battery pack, it’s perfect for climbing, trekking, mountaineering, and multi-day adventures
What do we do when the nights grow longer and darker? Do we hibernate in our living rooms, or do we make the most of the opportunity to see the mountains in a different light?
Qark is small, mighty, reliable, and packed with such clever features that we don’t know what to tell you about first!
One of our favourite features is Qark’s dual battery compatibility which lets you choose your power source, making it excellent for multi-day trips. The main battery pack is rechargeable, with a micro-USB charging port that plugs directly into the battery itself. Whilst the battery pack is charging you can use your Qark with AAA batteries with no sacrifice to performance. This makes Qark hugely versatile, ideal for multi-day trips, continuous use, or if you’re just the kind of person who forgets to recharge your head torch.
With a brightness range of 30 – 580 lumens and a red front light, Qark delivers the right lighting whether you need to see every pebble and stick on the trail or are just reading in your tent. You shift through the settings with a single button, which means minimum faffing is required.
Focus control lets you adjust your beam width: twiddle the control to ‘flood’ for close-proximity activities like navigating and reading, then move over to ‘spot’ for trail finding. The light unit has a 90˚ tilt so that you can point your light in wherever you want.
Qark has a removable overhead central strap that stabilises the light on your head, making it ideal for dynamic activities like running and climbing. In fact, as it weighs just 95 grams, you’ll forget your even wearing it!
Qark has a water resistance rating of IPX6, so it can sustain rain but not submersion.
- 3 Year Alpine Bond
- Bright, light and compact 580 lumen rechargeable head torch.
- Battery pack recharges with micro-USB, light unit is compatible with AAA batteries so you can still use it as you recharge.
- Focus control lets you adjust between spot and flood.
- White main LED for general use, Red LED for preserving night vision.
- 90˚ tilt on light unit for reading, navigating, avoiding shining your light in people’s faces.
- Overhead central strap for a stabilised fit on your head.
- Rainproof body for durability in typical UK weather!
Weight: 95 g
Size: 62 x 41 x 43 mm
Light output: 580 lm
Bulb: 1 x XP-C Cree white LED; 1 x O.SW Nichia Red LED
Energy: 1 x 3.7 800 mAh proprietary Li-polymer rechargeable battery pack (Charge time: 2.5 hrs)
IP rating: IPX6 (Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.)
3 x AAA alkaline batteries
|Mode||Brightness||Beam Distance||Burn time*|
|Main High||580 lm||150 m||2h30|
|Main Med||270 lm||100 m||5h30|
|Main Low||30 lm||35 m||18 h|
|Red||10 lm||5 m||15 h|
|Red Flashing||NA||NA||30 h|
|*Burn time is measure in test conditions - typically 25°C in a laboratory. Real world conditions will have an effect on the battery life, and cold temperatures are likely to reduce burn time.|
What You Say: Customer Reviews and Comments
Used this product?Write a review
Best head torch from Alpkit
A much better product than Petzl MYA and far cheaper too. It works Justas well with 3 x AAA cells ( Duracell ) as per chargeable USB cable battery. Easy to operate - cycles through all the lighting options and the intensity is easily controlled by twist action !
What a great torch, plenty of light, the focus is brilliant. The rechargeable battery is a great idea and would be great in some of the other torches in the range too. The only things I would change, the small off centre button is a little harder to find than the button on the viper or original muon (I'm sure that I'll get used to it) and it would be great to have options like a bike light, to go straight to the last used setting and long press to turn off.
Used third FS for a few weeks now for night trail running. It is superb! Full beam more than enough for total of road, middle good for tracks and lowest enough for roads. Not too heavy and battery flexibility nice.
Minor niggles - a batteryife indicator would be nice (it goes to a lower setting and then turns off about 10 minutes later). And the button isnt easiest to find with gloves on.
Used this for an overnight run last night and the battery lasted all night, I only needed full beam occasionally though to search for gates and styles etc.
Bought as a spare torch but will probably use as a main.
Bought a Qark headtorch for my daughters Christmas. Arrived today so had a little play now its dark - Fantastic brightness, zoom is great and like ability to use AAA batteries as well. I don't need another headtorch but I can't resist - unfortunately sold out! Hopefully back in stock for my Christmas pressy to myself
Let there be light
This is very impressive and great value, the controls are intuitive and the light levels are spot on, also easy to use wearing gloves. If i could suggest a single improvement it would be to tighten up the strap adjustment so it does not slip when not on your head. Easily fixed with some tape and cannot recommend highly enough.
Great head tourch!!!
Great head tourch!!! This is the best head tourch l have used and it is reliable gives great light for running at night on the trails and gives you confidence to go for it. Great product just ordered another one for my wife .
Great performance and value
With the new old Qark head torch, it has two drawbacks. The rear battery pack added bulk and weight, and once the battery had drained, you'd need another head torch with you to continue your outdoor activities. Otherwise it is a great product. With the new Qark those two issues have been addressed. The option of using AAA batteries means you don't have to switch to another head torch or potentially sit on a mountain for 2 hours while it charges! Removing the rear battery pack was a good decision, I never found the rear light of any use. I was worried that it would make the light heavier at the front, but the difference is negligible as it stays secure and doesn't bounce around on your head.
The light is so bright, full brightness is useful when in the woods overnight or for route finding, but the low and medium brightness levels are much more frequently used. Adding a focus adjustment ring for the beam was also another great decision. Both that and the power button are easy to operate even with thick gloves on. The red light is brighter than on the previous design so is more useful.
The design overhaul for the Qark has been well worth it. The price is very reasonable for the quality and performance offered by this product make it a good purchase. After a few trips using this I'm still yet to find a problem or issue.
I still love this torch, but I've dropped a star on this review. Battery life/runtimes and lack of some obvious warning when you are nearing the end is a big issue. Yes the light gets dimmer as the battery runs down but that is hard to spot especially over a few days. But the sudden switch off is a killer. If I was running off road or using it on my MTB the sudden loss of light between steps could be a serious issue. I'd also alter the startup sequence to low, med, high red, flash so as to save power as most times I'm cycling to low power. Having my old or new muon as a back up is essential as changing batteries with no light is a little tricky.
I recently lost a much loved Petzl. Granted it was about a decade old, and back in the day cost a lot more than this unit. But, wow have things moved on with LED technology in that time period, and feature-wise you get a lot more features and lumens for your money. You could say the difference is night and day!
First off, this head torch even at medium is way brighter than the Petzl. Dialled down to medium and set to flood it is way more than enough to light up the local woodland tracks and keep track of my black dog. High and spot only come in handy when he smells something worthy of chasing.
Contrary to what the specs state, I found the battery recharged in less than 2hrs. It would be great to have the option to purchase spares.
My only gripe is that I found the straps can loosen too easily, they require a bit more friction in the buckles to address this.
initial impressions are good but a couple of shortcomings
only had the unit one day and love the light output for general use which aids my failing eyesight in the winter months. I have yet to verify the claimed run times are correct.(.I returned the previous version due to it lasting less than half the quoted time). Two small points that could be improved are the design of the focus ring ( it has excessive freeplay which produces a rattle if shaken about ) and the back of the head unit where it sits on your forehead is rather slippery where the strap passes through. I have inserted a small piece of grip mat into that area which should reduce the likelihood of it moving about or slipping off.Otherwise I'm generally happy with the performance / price and will update if that changes.
Good value for money
I have a few Alpkit head torches but bought this one as I really like the idea of a rechargeable battery and AAA compatability.
I would absolutely love to see the rechargeable battery sold separately as then you could be using one battery whilst another was charging (by external power bank as an example). That way you could potentially navigate etc.. most of the night with 3 or so batteries.
The reason I docked a point though is that the housing feels pretty cheap and not particularly sturdy. Time will tell I guess.
All in all a good buy.
Update to earlier review
After 3 timed indoor tests on Max power the unit shut down at an average of 1 hour 45 mins against the 2 hour 30 stated runtime. I'm unsure but suspect the light stepped down brightness during that time .Not bad to be fair but annoying that things are always exaggerated.Perhaps the times were estimated for tropical climates and optimum conditions re battery life.
I really wanted to love this but...
I wanted to love this headtorch - 500+ lumens, rechargeable, compatible with AAAs, super light and all for less than £30? On paper I thought I couldn't go wrong so ordered two, one for me and one for my wife for use as our main headlamps for trail running.
Firstly, what I liked:
Brightness - these headlamps really are super bright, on full beam they light up the trails impressively and for all but the toughest terrain I found the mid setting to be perfectly adequate.
Comfort - the lamps are super light, hardly noticeable when wearing. The triple band system keeps the light from slipping and was comfortable.
The not so good:
Beam pattern - although the beam is adjustable from flood to spot or somewhere inbetween, I found myself constantly adjusting to find the sweet spot. The spot is great for picking out objects far off (e.g. navigation use) but too narrow and bouncy for running. The flood did a good job of lighting up the trail immediately in front of me but lacked depth for the mid ground/oncoming obstacles. Setting the focus somewhere in between just didn't seem to be a good balance for me. Perhaps a twin LED lamp (spot and flood) would work better?
Functionality - the ability to run rechargeable and AAA batteries makes a lot of sense to extend run times but as the battery compartment is an all-in-one unit, you have to swap out the rechargeable unit for triple A batteries, which can be a bit fiddly in the cold/wet. A separate battery pack unit (i.e. with the AAAs already locked in and ready to go) which could be plugged in when the main battery dies would make switching a lot easier.
Run time - one of my lamps died after an hours use in not particularly cold weather. Appreciate it's unlikely that any headtorch's stated run time will be matched in the real world but was a bit disappointed at this. We got better run times from the second unit and respectable run times during an indoor test (2h,18min) but after that first failure my confidence in the lights dropped. There was also quite a pronounced step down in light output after a relatively short run time on full, again something that other lights do but it did seem quite short output at full power. Alpkit customer service was fantastic with advice and guidance, I returned the lights for testing which didn't show up any specific issues. I decided to opt for a refund as they just weren't quite what I was looking for and Alpkit were happy to provide a refund.
All in all I do feel a bit stingy giving the Qark only 3 stars, for the price it really does punch well above it's weight in terms of lumen output and puts it into the realms of headlights that cost double or even more, however whilst feature packed, it feels like the features were added in without much thought for use in the real world.
Strap and Design Flaws - Tried to like it,
I have tried and tested this since Autumn 2018, I really want to like the design but it fails in areas. It still feels like a prototype. The strap works lose and requires tightening about every mile, the torch is uncomfortable and pointed where it sits against your head, which I have not found with other torches. When the beam is directed to the floor the torch feels weighted badly, causing it to slip further. On a positive note it is mega bright!
third and final update
A few weeks in and the battery life is rubbish ..haven't timed it yet but on full beam it soon switches off after pottering about the garage for a relatively short time ..will be returning for a refund I'm afraid ..shame as I had the same problem with the previous version and this is a replacement.
Poor battery life
Had this about a month now and initially I was impressed but now not so mainly due to the very poor battery life no where near the claimed times .yes it is very cheap and bright head torch but I would expect much better performance .
A fatal design flaw mars an otherwise great headtorch
I started out loving this torch. It's light, but powerful. Unfortunately, I believe it has a terrible design flaw. When you switch on, the torch starts in high power. Most torches (including other Alpkit torches) require you press and hold to get high power.
This flaw means that when the battery is below the point where it can support high power, it won't switch on at all: even though there is probably enough energy in the battery to support lower powers.
I tried this with mine. Admittedly, I think mine has a fault as it drains the battery really quickly (like 15 mins) on high power. However, I switch on, the light flashes once and goes out. Presumably, not enough energy to power the LED. Try again by switching on and immediately pressing twice to get to low power, and LED stays on.