Qark rechargeable running head torch
Rechargeable 300 lumen LED rain resistant headtorch with optional motion and light sensor mode for tasks when you need hands-free operation
Bright, lightweight with the convenience of a Micro USB rechargeable battery and sensor technology, Qark crams a lot of torch into a small pack size.
Qark has two operational modes; manual and sensor which are controlled by two accessible buttons on top of the frontal lamp unit.
Manual works just like your standard headtorch, turn it on at the press of a switch and cycle through the modes from the high power 300 lumens mode through 100 lumens, 10 lumens to flashing. The main beam chucks out a really useful 300 lumens of light - there is really not a lot you can't do with that amount of light, running off-road, chasing through tall fairy tale forests, or winding down mountain trails. Most of the time you will want to dial that down to medium power, which at 100 lumens is a great compromise for when you still need to illuminate the path ahead but battery life needs to be conserved. The low power 3 mm LED's are ideal for reading in your tent, cooking and fixing your bike.
Sensor mode frees up your hands to do important stuff. The motion sensor detects movement via infra-red so you can switch your torch on and off just by waving your hand across the torch. Qark powers up only in HIGH mode so if you need access to the other modes you will have to go manual. The light sensor is aware of ambient light, so if you move from a bright to a low light situation the power moves from the low energy 3 mm LED's to the bright main beam. Neat!
Rain resistant protection means Qark is protected from rain coming from any direction.
As well as containing the sealed USB rechargeable cell the battery pack illuminates as a red safety light - with 3 modes you can toggle between on, flashing and pulse. The battery pack sits on the back of your head, nicely balanced, it is where the majority of the weight sits and reduces weight in the frontal lamp unit.
- 3 Year Alpine Bond
- Manual and hands free automatic sensor modes
- Maximum 300 lumens power output
- Rechargeable Li-Polymer battery pack via micro USB cable
- Adjustable head angle
- Removable elastic headstrap
- Bright rear safety light
- Rain resistant with IPX4 water resistance rating
1 x Luxeon TX white LED
High power: 300 lumens / 3 hours / 115 m
Medium power: 100 lumens / 10 hours / 65 m
Low power: 10 lumens / 50 hours / 25 m
2 x 3 mm Nichia White LEDs
On: 15 lumens / 21 hours / 10 m
Flashing: 120 hours
On: 68 hours
3 Hz flashing: 68 hours
Pulse flashing: 21 hours
1 x 3.7 V 1200 mAh Li-polymer rechargeable (sealed)
1.5 hrs charging time (DC5V 1000 mA input) via micro USB cable
Weight: 130 g (inc battery)
Size: 36 x 82 x 37 mm (headlight)
Size: 47 x 89 x 29 mm (battery pack)
Origin: United Kingdom
Used this product?Write a review
Short version: great value high power light with good range of modes and cool light sensitive adaptive mode I haven't found at this price point!
Head band issue, easily resolved - turn it around!
Received this the other day and I have used this for pottering about in these dark winters and for running my local loop - rural Mid-Wales so street lighting count is about 2... I choose the Quark as it is rechargeable and has the light sensing option intrigued me! Whilst this only allows a selection of the whole modes, it has proved very useful and I have used this mode the most. It works well and provides plenty of light. Yes, as the previous review has stated, the beam is fairly centrally weighted, but show me a high power LED in this price point that isn't, however, I am hard on my kit and have gone through several different models, and the Quark provides a lovely halo of softer light around - whilst running, I can see the way ahead... way ahead! and the ground in front of me.
Another review mentions the headband, mine came like this too, so I turned the band around, easy 2 minute fix - certainly no issues.
Review update; 'Justdrew' you're a genius-swapping the head band around works a treat and now the two cable clips are unhindered by the buckle and are free to slide fully between the torch at the front and the power pack at the rear. Good work and worth an extra star!!
my go to running head torch now and loads better than my old petzl tikka 2. nice focused beam, really comfortable torch and nicely balanced battery pack. i havent had any problems with the strap. i love the motion control as its so much easier to turn off quickly/easily when running with friends so you dont blind them. solves a problem i didnt know i had.
My go to torch
I scour coastlines for driftwood. So I need lots of light where I'm looking, I bike to isolated locations so need a light for that too, it has to be rechargeable and a hands free on off would be nice too. So this is my wish list. Thanks alpkit elves this was in my stocking, it's already done six hours work and it's been great, I hardly notice I'm wearing it, but I can see everything I need too, for a long way in front and if ne'er traffic I can use the rear red light so people see me too. I do some animal photography so hands free lights on and off is handy. Ok it takes a few mins to work out the functions so without a thought, by feel in place on your head you get what you want but that's true of any new kit. So far I haven't found a down side, it's better than my old torch which was twice the price and heavier. Thanks guys, another bit of my essential kit now has alpkit stamped down the side of it!
Best trail running headlamp ever?
I have been using this lamp for trail running for just over two months now and feel compelled to write a review because it is so very, very good. It holds charge comfortably throughout a 2 hour run without any discernible dimming at full power and whilst using both front and rear lights. The front light is just the right amount of brightness for technical trail running. The optics are a bit more focused than I am used to but once I got accustomed to them, I found them absolutely spot on for running. The rear light is pretty decent too - certainly more useful than some of the puny pinpricks of light offered by some competitor products. The strap is good quality and shows no sign of losing its elasticity after a lot of pretty sweaty use. It's also nicely balanced as a unit between the front lamp and rear battery storage. Way, way better than anything I have tried before and a fraction of the price of many. I love it.
The Qark has replaced my old Gamma as my main head torch.
I do find the main beam narrower than I like for trail running and the headband isn’t as comfortable as my old Gamma with its central head strap but being able to recharge via a micro USB cable is a major feature for me. Also the nice bright pulsating rear light is reassuring when I’m running narrow unlit country lanes late at night.
Overall it’s typical Alpkit, well made, lots of features at an amazing price, all backed up with great service, if it had a wider main beam and a central head strap I’d give it 5 plus stars
Very bright, fits well, cable clips can be removed and refitted to suit head size - great value for the money. Used for fell/trail training sessions in the Welsh winter hills!
Superb head torch, great value
Used for running, walking, pottering about campsites and up in the hills this ticks all the boxes for me. Hi power mode illuminates well with centre weighted beam, but a pool of light surrounds it. Headband is firm enough for running, and the red lights on the back of the battery pack give confidence that drivers might notice you when walking as the rear marker or cycling. Cannot fault this device, especially now I have worked out how to activate the light sensing mode!
Great piece of kit
I love this light! I'm recently back in love with running after having my second child, I run with my dog but as much as the drivers can see her I still worried that they'd not see me as easily (she's white!) so I bought a cheap head torch, it was/is fine but after Christmas I treated myself to a better one and at this price why wouldn't you!? It's awesome for its price I've recommended it to all my friends (not that anyone was able to get one!) I love that it has the spot for distance but gives a local glow too so you can see what's under your nose but also what's up ahead, the rear light means that on these country roads I have to run any cars coming up from behind can see me in advance too.
Super delivery fatso and kept me well informed so thanks guys x
Love it, but it slips
Excellent head lamp for trail running. Seems to hold up to rain and snow well, and the different models are excellent. The back light is literally a life-saver.
My only concern with this torch is it's weight. It's not the lightest, and the lack of a third band to go over your head means it will slip down. To be honest, if the gamma came with a rechargable battery i would have gone with that in hindsight.
Great little head tourch
Found the light adapting function of qark really useful for setting up camp when it's dark and the 300 lumen output is more then enough for walking or running.
Great but not perfect
This has been my go-to headtorch for trail running for 2 years. I generally run on tight technical singletrack trails with lots of twists and turns.
- Price - really great value
- Quality - battery lasts, everything works and keeps working
- Rear light - good option if you are leading a run or on roads
- Quality of light and 'throw' of light good for trails ahead (but spread limited)
- My main gripe is that the beam of light is too focused, a slightly wider spread of the beam would be good. That said I got very used to it and despite having wider beam lights the qark remains my go - to light
- No top head strap to hold rear battery in place. Some reviewers mentioned this. I agree - the rear battery eventually falls down a bit and can cause the straps to rest on your ears. I got around this by moving the rear head strap top go OUTSIDE THE rear battery and glued some rubber on the rear battery block so it stuck better to my sweaty head. Worked a treat but slightly blocked my rear red light.
- Auto on-off proximity sensor setting - works great in camp but on very tight technical singletrack the occasional close call with an overhanging branch etc can cause light to go off. I generally don't use this feature or the auto light feature. Note that it is GREAT feature in camp, just not in Clarinbridge woods tight singeltrack!
Overall - I have this and about 6 other lights and the Qark (and the Viper II also) remain my go -to lights for all running, trail running, night hiking and camping. My other torches (magicshine,exposure) are generally used only for biking
Quark head torch
Hhmmnn......having been sold by the sexy ad for this head torch on face book I'm a little disappointed.....the light is bright but first thoughts were the beam is too focused, creating quite a small field of view. Having just gone out for a run in the dark however I'm reassured that there is a dimmer outer ring of light which illuminates th road around you nicely. Having had a quick play the light sensor option works well and may be useful, the motion sensor I'm not so sold on. I just don't find the simple on/off with the wave of a hand useful-sadly other functions aren't available in this function-the only time I would want to switch off the light is when I've finished with it and one click of a button is hardly difficult! My main issue is as the review above; seems like one of the power lead retainer clips should have been positioned either side of the adjuster buckle and not both together. Not a huge issue but a little annoying having some loose cable flapping around. Alpkit, can these clips be prised open and moved around? In all I'm happy with the purchase but with just a couple of changes this good torch could have been a great one....
I first used this to hike up to a mountaintop in the dark so that we could paraglide off the top at first light. Lugging a huge pack with all the gear in up a very rooty single track, the two of us could see everything around off the one head torch clearly. I've since used it for night time trail runs and is great for that too. The only slight criticism I have is that the lighting units could be slightly more cushioned against the head or ergonomically shaped for comfort. Also, as with seemingly all lights you have to cycle through the beams every time, which is a bit of a faff. It would be easier to have two controls: one for on/off, another to set the beam. But compared to other head torches for the same price, this is fantastic and crazy bright.
Very good for the money
I went out for my first run with the Quark tonight, an hour across Dartmoor searching for sawdust.
It's not perfect but it's very good. The main beam is plenty bright enough for running off road but it would be nice if the pattern was a little wider. The battery pack doesn't have any padding on it but it doesn't weigh much so it wasn't a problem for me.
I wasn't to fussed about the clever sensor mode but it does work and i did find myself using it.
Ive used this trail running and night navving across dartmoor, it has stood up well however it is quite a narrow beam. The sensor mode works well but it would be better if it went from 300 lumens to 10 rather than just on and off as im not sure why that is needed as a simple press of the button turns it off. The ambient lighting is ok if looking closely at a map so the main beam reflects and turns off but its not sensitive to general light. Overall a great light for the price.
Great but tweaks needed
Firstly I'm very impressed at the weight, balance and light output of this little torch. I've got much brighter handheld LED 1200 lumen torches that throw light further, but are not anywhere near as convenient as this and the output Vs weight balance is better with the quark than almost any other torch I own.
That said, there are some niggles.
The biggest for me is that the edge of the lens is clear, so that any light produced by the LED is not only projected forwards, but also down onto your face and eyes. That's great for others to see your face, but makes your night vision significantly worse and makes around 50% of the projected light completely redundant because your pupils are now contracting and reducing the amount of light allowed in. If you block this light out with your hand or a baseball cap, the headtorch seems MUCH brighter.
I've tweaked this by colouring in the bottom outside edge of the lens with a paint marker pen - ordinary markers won't really help as the ink layer is too thin to block the light.
The second issue is the hands free mode seems a little insensitive - this may just be the unit I have, but the light only seems to drop down from 100% if I shine it on something 50cm or less away which is reflective. Otherwise people in front of me get blinded or inside my tent it's working at full power, which is unnecessary.
The similar petzl hands free head torch seems to have a greater detection range and is sort of what I was expecting. Maybe the petzl has a proximity sensor and the quark only has a light sensor, maybe light reflected = proximity to a nearby object? It would be good to know
Other than that the tilt/click mechanism seems a little coarse, not allowing me to point it where I'd usually aim my head torch - it's either slightly too high or slightly too low, but that's a minor issue and possibly because I'm used to a more floody beam pattern than the tight and secondary flood of the Quark.
This sounds like a negative review, but I hope it's taken as constructive comment for the next revision, as I'm certainly happy with my torch and would give 4 out of 5 stars all day long!
The only other improvement I can think of would be a simple charge level indicator to avoid taking it out when only 50% charged etc. But that's likely to add more cost, so is something to live with and make sure to charge it before any longer uses.
Great little light, all in all...
Almost (but nearly) Perfect
I've been using this torch for trail running at night for about a year and I keep going back to it. After about 200 uses the battery still lasts about the same as it did when I first bought it and it still looks brand new. It's a perfect size and weight, gives out a perfect amount of light and is an (almost) perfect price. There are only two aspects of the torch that I would improve: 1 - black out the bottom of the lens housing as it shines down into my face (I've already done this with duct tape) and 2 - make the rechargeable battery removable! I often use the torch to the point of draining the battery (even on mid-brightness) and would love to have a spare battery pack to swap in.
I prefer the light from my headtorch a bit wider to flood the ground around me more and light up the end of a tunnel a bit less.
Well balanced light, rear light feel bright and reassuring.
Reactive mode is not as reactive as I feel it needs to be. Running in a well lot area, it is still in high power mode, need to have map close to face before it dims.
Wave to switch off mode is OK, but feels like it should swap to side lights instead of leaving me in darkness.
There is a lot of light overspill from the main beam down face which degrades night vision. I plan to apply tape to the bezel to reduce the spill down my face and hopefully improve night vision.
Generally torch is good for what you pay.
Agree with about everything said but Freddie's comment about the clear lens edge is a bit of a deal breaker. I've had this before with other head torches and it dazzles your peripheral vision. The only solution is to wear the torch over a peaked cap. Sort that out and the torch is well worth the money.