The Astro 300-R takes an entry-level position in Black Diamond’s new range. It looks like a slimmed-down version of the Storm 500-R, and shares much of the same design: similar strap, same hinge, same battery charging method, many similar features. However, for just over half the price you only get a single LED and a smaller battery. That means no red mode, no spot beam, less brightness and lower battery life. It is, however, noticeably lighter; and the simpler controls make it easier to use. It’s a high-quality unit at this price.
I think that the Astro 300-R is a great torch for 90% of the scenarios most walkers will ever need. You get great battery life at the lowest setting, and a very competitive 12 hours at 150 lumens, which is just about enough for comfortable night walking. If you can live without red mode and a super-bright boost, this is an excellent, well-made, competitively priced option for three-season backpacking. I found the Astro-R great as a general hillwalking head torch – fine for use around camp, in huts and the occasional bit of night walking. I’d pack something beefier if I expected to need a torch for long periods on big mountains, but it’s fine for getting yourself off the hill if unexpectedly benighted.
Want to see more head torches? Check out our guide to the best head torches for hiking