Although marketed as a lamp for trail running, the new PHR17 has a good feature set for hiking and backpacking. Although GP Batteries claims it weighs 60g, read the small print and you’ll see that this excludes the strap – this adds an extra 17g.
You get two buttons. Left cycles between low, medium and strobe red modes, or long press for white flood; right cycles between low, medium and long spot, or press and hold for 500lm turbo. To switch off the light you have to either double-press the right button or cycle through modes. I found this unintuitive. There is no memory function. None of this is a dealbreaker, but it does make it slightly less easy to use than some torches. I like the fact that red mode has a dedicated button, though.
Red mode is both bright and broad, and amongst the best tested, whilst the white spot mode is good for trail finding. Battery life is ok, but not amazing, and I found real-world run times a little worse than the claimed figures. It charges via USB-C – hooray! – but the port is recessed and some of my USB-C cables wouldn’t fit (it works fine with the included cable).
Another downside is that the strap is a bit stiff and not the most comfortable, and it easily tangles. However, these drawbacks are easy to forgive at this price. Although not yet widely available in the UK, the PHR17 offers plenty of features, good brightness and acceptable battery life for general mountain use.
Want to see more head torches? Check out our guide to the best head torches for hiking