The Byte 200 has been around for a while but has been revamped recently with a brighter white LED. This is the smallest, lightest torch tested, and one of the most compact available that has enough oomph for general use as well as emergency backup duties. Construction is solid and it feels high-quality and dense, despite the low price tag. Unusually, this torch defaults to red mode; you have to long press to access the white beam, which is described as ‘spot’ but in reality is more of a tight flood. If you prefer red mode and find yourself using it most of the time, this is a winning feature.
The Byte 200 is powered by 2xAAA batteries, which explains the relatively low run time. You can only get 140 or 66 hours in the two red modes (with a bit more in reserve at even lower brightness levels); the 50 and 200lm white modes offer only 12 and 3.4 hours, again with a bit in reserve. In practice, brightness drops off quickly and you won’t get maximum brightness for long. It’s not ideally suited to night walking although it will do for short periods (carry spare batteries). If you want rechargeable batteries, you’ll need to use NiMH cells and charge them in an external charger – there is no easy way to charge it from a power bank.
The Byte 200 is fine as a lightweight summer torch or for general use around camp if you mostly use red mode. It’s well made and good value.
Want to see more head torches? Check out our guide to the best head torches for hiking