I have a lot of torches. It’s something of an obsession. They’re everywhere; cupboards, shelves, packs, vehicles. But now I have a problem: They’re all completely redundant.
I’ve been spoilt. Broken. I’ve seen the light, literally and figuratively, and even my favourite torches have become anachronistic bystanders as I walk out into the night with the Silva Sprint Plus.
To say that it’s bright is like saying that the South Pole can get a bit chilly. This thing isn’t just bright, it’s car headlight bright. You have to be careful how you angle it when walking near roads because you can dazzle drivers. It’s brighter than a full moon. Brighter even than the combined brightness from 4 other people’s handtorches all shone on the same tree. It’s IMMENSE!
In number terms, it kicks out 1030 Lumen, which is enough to stop most ‘my torch is bigger than your torch’ conversations, but what it does with those Lumen is more impressive. A central extremely intense LED throws out a spot of light bright enough to run, cycle or pinpoint your lost keys with at 30 metres away. Four smaller LEDs then add a wide angle of light so that you get an excellent sense of depth. You don’t need to move your head around in order to see things off to the sides of the trail.
I’ve worn the Silva Sprint Plus as a headtorch now on a couple of Search & Rescue operations at night, and it is simply stunning. Areas that a lesser torch would have meant needing to scramble in to for a closer look are lit up like a floodlit football pitch. Even scanning opposite river banks at night is easy. The Silva website claims you can light up to 140m away. This is true, and expect to see a sea of eyes appear from the bushes as you light up any particular field.
The trade-off for this brightness is size and weight. The Sprint Plus is a weighty beast. My scales are broken at the moment, but I just balanced it with a 550g bottle of water… so it’s ballpark half a kilo.
That said, I’ve worn it continuously for 6 hours and it didn’t get too uncomfortable or heavy. It was a little sweaty under the very large straps, but any mockery about looking like a miner was instantly silenced by turning it on and looking towards people!
It has a proprietary battery pack, which is charged via the mains. Silva state a battery life of 20 hours (presumably on minimum brightness). I can vouch that it was fine over approximately 7 hours of searching on maximum brightness.
The Sprint Plus differs from the Sprint in that it comes with adaptors to fix to a bicycle or helmet. I’d say only use it for off-road mountain biking because you WILL dazzle oncoming cars on the road.
The Sprint Plus is £320. Now, whilst you get your breath back and have a little sit down in a darkened room I shall go on to say that I think it’s probably worth it. Whilst you can buy other 1000 lumen torches for less money, the battery life, throw of light, waterproofing and quality of build on the Silva Sprint Plus makes for an excellent combination and quality product.
If you absolutely need the most useable, bright light you can buy, then have a look at this light.
SUMMARY: I’m deeply in love with this light. It’s so bright, so well patterned, so well built and feature rich I am going to throw a massive sulk when Silva ask for it back. I’ve never seen as much usable detail on the trail as when using this light. Simply awesome.