The Silverpoint Search SC280 Headtorch is a new arrival on the night running scene for 2015/16. We've always been Petzl fans due to the quality of the product and for that reason, we're always hesitant of 'cheaper' products. However, price point certainly is an issue for many first time night runners, so a worthwhile torch at 39.95 is something which interested us!
1. The brightness of the Silverpoint Search SC280 is more than sufficient. It has 4 settings but realistically, only 2 of those are on interest to trail runners.
The 'medium' setting offers 95 lumens for 8 hours (100 lumens is our minimum recommendation for trail running so 8 hours would get your through a summer night if racing ultra).
The 'high' setting gives you 200 lumens for 4 hours. That's a lot of light for trail running and 4 hours is a long time to be out for most runners. Realistically, you could run it in 'high' mode for pretty much all of your runs, unless you were going through a full night.
2. The battery life is something we talk a lot about. When a torch says '200 lumens' the reality is that after a couple of runs, your batteries will already be sufficiently reduced and will struggle to give that light output. Unless you're going to buy batteries every week, ignore the 'stated lumens' as they're unlikely to be true. For that reason, NEVER buy a torch with normal batteries, get something which is rechargeable, so it can be 100% for every run. On that note, the Silverpoint Search SC280 has a rechargeable battery.
3. The beam pattern influences performance. Is it a single focused beam ahead of you or a wide spread of light? The Search SC280 has a 'diffuser' which is a frosted piece of plastic, which slides down to cover the bulb. When down, you get a wider spread, when up, it gives a focused beam. It's very similar to the old Petzl RXP in that manner. If you just need to see where you're putting your feet in front of you, have the diffuser up and the beam focused.
In summary, why buy it?
1. 200 lumens for 4 hours is great for trail running
2. Rechargeable batteries mean you can have it operating at 100% for every run - it plugs into your USB port on computer, in car or iphone charger.
3. It's 39.95, which is very cheap for all of the above and likely to perform much better than most other things at that price point.
GO HERE to see the Silverpoint Search SC280