Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
Hyper Viper All-Nighter!
By Ashleigh Naysmith
22, Dec, 2014
When the sun decides to take maximum downtime the Viper shines bright
The Viper; a tiny, compact bundle of brightness. It’s not surprising that this little headtorch comes Trail Magazine Approved! And not just approved, but with the highest rating on test!
For some of us the winter solstice is an excuse to spend more time in bed, for others an opportunity to make self-imposed endurance events even more difficult than they need to be, whilst for others it is the opportunity to celebrate the ancient rituals of the Druids. I won't tell you what I did, but you can bet that my Viper was part of it! At 6 x 4 cm, the Viper fits perfectly in the palm of my hand but that would be no way to use a headtorch! The petite dimensions and wide headband allow the torch to sit happily on my head and when it's not on my head, it's kept neatly in my Filo pocket. Occasionally, I have one of those moments where I panic and think ‘sugar! I have lost my headtorch!’, only to realise that I have been wearing it the entire time. I have even used it to keep the hair out of my eyes whilst walking.
But don’t let its unassuming size fool you because, by George, it certainly packs a punch. The XP-C Cree focused LED main beam showers your surroundings with the 100 lumen long beam range; ideal for most walkers and campers. And that’s not all, the 2 x (über- cool) serpentine ultra-bright LEDs offer a wide angle close range beam at the touch of a button.
Ah yes the button... the question crosses the support desk once in a while.. 'How do I turn my torch on!!' or 'How do I switch between modes!!' It is a fair question, so why don't we provide instructions? The simple and honest answer is that our intention was to try not to create waste where we don't need to. We know that if we produce packaging and instructions they will end up in the bin. This surprises a few people, especially at this time of year when a lot of our customers are purchasing a gift. Our assumption has been that with a single button most users will learn how to use the torch by gestures, by interacting with it. As a team we are constantly questioning that logic, especially as our customer base expands from seasoned outdoor warriors to people just getting into the outdoors. I would love to know your opinion on that, but in the meantime I have put together some Viper intructions here.
The batteries are encased behind the body of the torch; the plastic construction keeps the weight low preventing the torch from wobbling around. The Gamma has been a previous hit amongst runners, but the Viper has recently been well received by the ultra running community who have found the extra brightness a bonus and that the Viper still maintains the required stability. The tilt ratchet is especially well designed, keeping the torch in place with reassuring steadiness.
So here is the fast start: the straightforward one-button operation makes the Viper effortless to use, even with gloved hands. A press of the button will switch through the different lighting levels, and holding down the button for 3 seconds will switch between the main beam and the 2 side lights. Easy!