In recent times I’ve been walking the dogs an awful lot more than I ever used to and during the winter months that has meant going out during the hours of darkness more frequently. I wanted for several reasons a torch to take with me.
Being the inquisitive type I wanted to know what is the best dog walking torch?
If you want to know I can say that in my opinion, the best is the H&S LED Torch Super Bright CREE T6 Torch. In actual fact it is marketed as a camping torch, so I guess that makes it the best torch for camping as well.
After looking into this for a while and even trying several different ones I can conclude that the best dog walking torch is in fact a camping torch!
I’ve actually tried all three of the options below and I do, on balance, think the standard torch rather than the gimmicky beanie hat one, or head torch is superior.
|LED Camping Torch||Bright Knit 4 LED Beanie Hat||GRITIN LED Head Torch|
|AAA or 1x 18650 Li-ion (Not inc)||Rechargeable||1 Lithium ion battery. (inc)|
|1,600 Lumens*||120 Lumens*||2000 Lumens*|
|My rating 8/10||My rating 7/10||My rating 7/10|
You need to decide though which type you would rather have, a handheld, head torch or a beanie hat one. Once you’ve decided which you’d like then the 3 listed here are probably the best of their individual type in the price range I looked at.
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They all have pros and cons
The H&S LED Torch Super Bright CREE T6 Torch Zoomable Waterproof Flashlight Camping Light – XML, is the best of the three when it comes to brightness and how far I can see with it at night. Big positive, power output plain and simple. It has the best light for dog walking in my opinion, it is as simple as that. Also when not using it I can just put it in my pocket and not feel self conscious about looking a bit daft.
No beanie hat within my price range is going to illuminate as far/wide and as brightly as a good handheld torch can. On the negative side, sometimes you need three hands to hold the torch, the dog lead and pick-up poop at the same time!
I looked at more expensive torches and some of the top of the range ones with rechargeable batteries are close to £100 which is just daft for what I want. I’m walking my dog not working on a north sea oil rig.
At less than £10 it is great value, it’s lightweight (made from Aluminium) and has 5 light settings, though I only ever use one of them. It comes with 3 AAA batteries included. You can also use a 18650 Li-ion battery, but it doesn’t come with one of those.
Best dog walking beanie torch
The best beanie torch is the Bright Knit 4 LED Beanie Hat.
A bit of fun and they will keep you warm and the hands-free aspect is useful for sure. My brother is a fisherman and slightly mad as he goes night fishing. He wears one of these and wouldn’t be without it. The amount of light they generate though is OK, but a bit limited. One other drawback is when you meet your neighbour out walking their dog and stop for a chat, you will inadvertently be dazzling them when you look at them as the beanie torch will shine straight in their face.
If you are going jogging or riding your bike though, then they (and the head torch) are far more practical than a handheld torch. If like my brother you sit in a tent all night reading while waiting for fish to eat your bait, then it is convenient not having to hold a torch.
Best dog walking head torch
We rate the GRITIN LED Head Torch Hands free really highly. It is super bright etc and has a real professional look and feel about it.
Very good if you are working and need bright light to see what you are doing etc.
If it wasn’t for the way I felt when wearing it I would have had this as my top pick.
My husband and kids used to say I was a miner and whistle “Hi ho, hi ho” from Snow White and the seven dwarfs every time I went out with it on. Also, not so comfortable to wear as the beanie hat.
Range of beam? Well, if you ask me “what is the range of a dog head torch” I’d have to say much better than a beanie hat one but not so good as a proper camping torch. Though it is bright enough to dazzle people you meet on the path if you look at them!
How did I come to my conclusion?
I’m not an electrician or an expert in torches but I had a good idea what I was after, so I decided to do my own research. When I started looking to buy a torch, I had no idea even what “Lumens” were, but I do now!
I’m confident that my investigations will be able to save you some time and money, so read on as I’m going to shed some light on the best dog walking torches. (See what I did there?)
What I considered when choosing a torch.
The type of torch, meaning handheld or hands free. Hands free means a head torch, or one to clip on/attach to your clothing in some way, or a hat torch. Then the batteries are a factor, are they normal AAA batteries or are they rechargeable ones?
Another option I considered was a torch combined with dog poop bags, yes that’s actually a thing.
I considered price of course and decided against any of the frankly ridiculously overpriced options. Unless you need a something out of this world I don’t see the point in spending close to £100 for a torch.
Torch with dog poop bags
They think of everything don’t they, so now you can buy a “poop bag dispenser torch”. The idea isn’t as daft as it sounds.
Combining a couple of problems into one item that can solve them can be good but if I’m honest. The torch bit isn’t the best torch but if you don’t need the torch part as much as I do and would only use it occasionally, then having this “allrounder” with the poopbag dispenser is something you could consider.
I do like using a poop bag dispenser though as I get fed up finding, thankfully unused, poop bags in all my pockets of every jacket, coat and pair of jeans pocket I own. Accidently putting them in the washing machine isn’t a great idea.
What prompted me to buy a torch?
Like a lot of people, I do struggle to keep the house clean and dog smell free and to make sure I don’t get mud all over the carpet in the hall I don’t take the dog in or out through the front door.
That does create another problem though because going out via the kitchen brings me into the back garden and to get out onto the road, I have to go through 6-foot-tall solid gate.
When it’s dark it is difficult for me to unlock the back gate and I often spend time fiddling with the key and the bolt, whilst Max (the dog) is getting overexcited to get through the gate.
I started trying to use the torch on my phone so that I could at least see what the hell I was doing. The only problem was trying to hold the phone when you really need three hands to hold the dog lead and fiddle with the key and hold the phone all at the same time!
I’d seen other people using the head torches and thought they looked a bit daft to be honest, but I started to wonder if I shouldn’t care if I looked silly and buy one anyway. Whenever I see someone wearing one, I always think they look like a potholer!
However, as the darker winter nights carried on, I found that generally I cared less about what I look like and more about how I felt. So, I decided to take the plunge and buy a head torch. I didn’t like wearing it though, so my other half bought me the beanie hat torch. I liked it a lot, but I just wanted something a bit brighter.
I may be a bit weird but on occasions if I’m having trouble sleeping, I go out really late at night for a walk. The lane near me only has a few lampposts but they turn those off at about 1.00 am so sometimes I’m totally reliant on the torch.
So now when I go out late at night I wear the beanie hat as it’s great for opening the gate etc, and carry the proper torch in my pocket until I get down by the park.
Why you might want to buy a torch?
It is certainly an advantage to have a torch for walking at night, and there is now quite a big uptick in the amount of dog walking torches being sold in the UK. I think lockdown started a huge increase in the number dog walking hours we do as a nation.
Although I live in a town (which means street lighting) I’m quite lucky as I live near a park and on the edge of some fields down a nearby lane. When I start my walk, I have the benefit of streetlights but if I want to go across the field or through the park then I really need a torch.
If you live in the countryside or want to walk anywhere off the beaten track, then visibility is going to be an issue. Even with streetlighting it can be difficult sometimes to see what you are doing when you are trying to use a poop bag in the dark.
Regarding how long should should wait before exercising your dog after it has eaten its food this article covers that in some detail.
As I said at the start, I had no idea what lumens were, but I now understand it’s the way they measure how bright a bulb, or lamp is. Basically, the higher the number the brighter the light is.
Since the arrival of LED bulbs, they can now produce brighter lights while using less power, so a good thing all-round. All bulbs create heat and light, but LED’s are more efficient as they switch the balance to produce more light and less heat from the power it uses.
This means that a 10w LED bulb will be brighter than a 50w bulb. As the technology has improved it means looking at the watts to judge of how bright a bulb is, just isn’t relevant anymore.
I know we are talking about dog walking torches here, but on a side note since learning about this I’m on a mission to change all the bulbs in my house over to LED’s. They use less electricity for the same or better brightness.
About us and our dogs
I’ve always loved dogs and luckily for me my other half has been a “dog person” since childhood. His mom and dad used to breed and show “Bernese Mountain Dogs”. (BMD) They had quite a bit of success and several dogs bearing their kennel name of “Forgeman” became champions. In fact the first ever BMD to become a champion was a Forgeman. Their most notable success was when “Ch Folkdance at Forgeman” won the working group at Crufts.
Although my mother and father in-law did the dogs together it was my mother-in-law who was the real expert. She was well respected in the dog world and rated highly as a show judge. I learnt so much from her about dogs and although I’ve never wanted to breed or show dogs myself her tips on diet, exercise and the general well being of your dog has been invaluable.
I hope you have found this post about torches for dog walking useful, and you’ll have gained at least some pointers towards the best torches to buy.
If you are going to be taking your dog(s) out early in the morning or after sunset, then a torch is a godsend. It makes me feel safer and is certainly particularly useful to have one. Whether you disagree with me and opt for a head torch, that’s fine, I hope you found this article useful.
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