• Armytek Tiara C1 USB XP-L headtorch review

    Hi all,

    Just a quick review of the Armytek Tiara C1 USB XP-L headtorch I picked up a couple of days ago. Note that this is the warm version which I prefer for use outdoors.I was looking for a headtorch upgrade from a Petzl TacTikka thing I have. Wanted something more drop proof and also more waterproof with some more outpute. I'm not going to go into all the deepdive technical details, there are a couple of stonking reviews here if you are interested;

    http://budgetlightforum.com/

    And a review of the pro version here (not much difference, Pro has more modes and stuff...)

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/

    The above 2 reviews are top notch, full of the technical stuff... this one, not so much! This is more of a first impressions, things I like and don't like. First off, some in hand photos etc



    I have medium hands and as you can see it's a dinky wee thing, feels very robust though. Strong magnet in the base for attaching to (ferrous) things and the button is quite prominent but needs a good positive click so not prone to accidental switch on.

    Size wise it's this long! Gratuitous knife photo as usual but it's 80mm and 60g.



    It comes with a USB charging cable which will charge from just about any USB port, even a laptop one. The difference will be in the speed it charges at. You can get USB ports with 2A output but I suspect the Tiara will control the current anyways so maybe not that important that it's 2A. Really into USB charging for torches, same as the Big Larry Pro, super convenient for occasional light use.



    Wee nubbin thing glows red when charging and green when charged. Not really done a timed, fully discharged to fully charged test yet, but 3-4 hours is the time quoted and not seeing anything to dispute that. One little thing I like is that you need to rotate the tail cap to get it to charge (red flashy nubbin tells you it's not charging) and this also acts as a lock out for the power button if you were chucking it in a bag or something, it stops accidental switch on.

    Headband and clip.





    Headband is fine, very adjustable, not keen on the colours but I guess it makes it easier to find in the dark... Torch clips into the headband plastic really well. Nice solid click. I can knock it out if I try hard though so perhaps some velcro, tywrap, elastic or inner tube would help secure it. Probably not required for normal use, I probably wont bother. The clip has entirely the opposite problem, super strong spring, had real trouble getting it on and off, maybe just needs some stretching. You can see some marks it left on the anodizing, most wiped off but did leave some shine on the matt anodizing. I like the clip, would like to have left it on but if you do, it doesn't clip to the headband. Missed a trick there methinks so will probably leave it off, I'll use the headband more than the clip.

    Right, lighting modes... Specs and runtimes from the manual are;

    Firefly1 - 0.37 lum / 60d
    Firefly2 - 2.3 lum / 8d
    Main1 - 32 lum / 15h
    Main2 - 84 lum / 6.5h
    Main3 - 205 lum / 2.4h
    Turbo - 840 lum / 30min

    I did a test on my desk and ran the torch in main3 mode continuously and it got to a smidge over 2 hours before starting to drop the input. Slightly less than the quoted 2.4 hours. Firefly 1 and 2 modes are great for just providing a little illumination, 1 is very low intensity but you can read by it, 2 is easily enough to read by and provides enough illumination to move about in a tent or something. As for the other modes, I've a rough and ready field test. Photos were taken on my phone so no doubt the exposure is all over the place but I took 2 sets and they were quite consistent, also photos kinda match the impression I got using my MkIb eyeball.

    Main1 - 32 lum - tree is about 2m away, Post is about 10m, path curves out of site at about 25m



    not bad, easily provides enough light to walk by

    Main2 - 84 lum, same position



    Decent light, sign is readble

    Main3 - 205 lum



    Good light, some decent penetration into the trees too, picking up deatures at curve in path.

    Turbo - 840 lum



    Seriously bright! Not for use around camp!!

    There are some other/better pics in the 2 reviews above.

    Bottom line, pleased with it, really good upgrade from my old Petzl and it being waterproof is good for when canoeing, not that I'll be swimming with it but if there is water in the boat or working by the water, the 10M impact resistance and 10M waterproofing won't go amiss! It's also small enough not to be too heavy which was a concern.

    That's all folks!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Armytek Tiara C1 USB XP-L headtorch review started by Chainsaw View original post