Ledlenser MH5 Head Torch Review by Derek Cullen Outdoors

I’ve been testing out the Ledsenser MH5 for the past couple of weeks. It is definitely one of the best head torches that I have ever used. That being said, the standard of headlamps has improved so much over the past few years. It’s unsurprising to feel impressed with a piece of gear from a reliable brand. Just so you know, I also have nothing but great things to say about the Actik Core by Petzl!

But do you even need a headlamp for hiking or camping?

The short answer is “Yes, you really do need one!”.

Why You Need a Head Torch for Hiking and Camping

Headlamps are especially important for camping because you’ll spend the night outdoors. But then a head torch also allows you to keep your hands free. This means you can pitch the tent or cook without having to re-direct a hand-torch every few minutes. It’s also so much easier to use a headlamp rather than a standard torch inside a tent. And you’ll always know exactly where to find it – on your head!

More reasons to have a head torch

A head torch is perfect for hiking in the dark because light is directed in whatever way you look. It’s not likely you will drop or misplace a headlamp unlike what can happen a lot with a hand-torch. Further, you can use a head torch to look for items inside your backpack. You simply must have one in case of an emergency after dark. I know this is one of the first items I place in my backpack on every trip.

As for the Ledlenser MH5, I would like to talk about some of my personal observations about this head torch. And why you might consider investing in this piece of gear…

Ledlenser MH5

Brief Introduction to the Ledlenser MH5

Ledlenser is a German brand and maker of one of the very fist “hybrid” head torches. Their latest model is the MH5 which is a powerful and versatile head torch that features a 400-lumen beam. The low setting beam (20 lumen) is also useful. The large button is easy to locate/use- even when wearing gloves.

There is also a hybrid power source. This means you have a rechargeable battery and the torch can take standard AA batteries as a backup. It also has the ability to switch between a flood beam to a focused beam. You simply do this by pressing the button several times. If you don’t wish to wear the torch on your head there’s a clip that enables you to attach it to your belt/sweater.

By the way, the Ledlenser MH5 is rustproof and weatherproof to IP54. This keeps out the vast majority of gunk that can clog up the inside of a standard head torch. As if that’s not enough, it comes with a 7-year warranty which should be more time than you’ll need!

I’d like to highlight some of the most important things to keep in mind with a head torch and how I believe the Ledlenser MH5 fares in each of these areas:

My Opinion on the Features and Benefits of the Ledlenser MH5

Overall Functionality

Functionality is everything with a head torch and using this type of light should be quick and easy. Many hikers/campers will also use gloves on occasion. So the buttons should be designed in such a way that you can quickly toggle between settings at all times. The Ledlenser MH5 responds to all the above. It also has a locking mechanism that stops the head torch from turning on in your backpack without you knowing.

Light Settings

The Ledlenser MH5 has variable light settings which allow you to change the lighting to suit your activity/environment. For instance, you might use the low light settings for hiking on the path or reading in your tent. You can then switch to the red light for reading a map. In case you might be asking yourself. A map is likely to reflect a white light back into your face which is not ideal in terms of “night vision”.

The Battery

Most headlamps have a decent battery life. Some of the more recent headlamps such as the Ledlenser MH5 can take both rechargeable and standard batteries. This means you can interchange batteries if one runs out and ensure you never lose power on a night out. If you carry a power bank, which you should, this means you always have another way to top-up some power to your head torch.

The Beam

It goes without saying that the actual beam is one of the main reasons to choose a particular head torch. In short, this beam should be able to focus on objects far away and then disperse when it comes to reading maps or hiking a trail. This versatility is great in terms of convenience but also a feature that you will likely appreciate without even noticing. ie. How often do you pay homage to the beam of a head torch?!

The Head Strap

The strap on a head torch should be comfortable and easy to adjust. For most activities, you sometimes need to adjust this strap and not all headlamps have a comfortable head strap. While the head strap on a Ledlenser MH5 is somewhat fidgety to adjust, it’s comfortable in use and not something you need to adjust often. Overall, it passes the test in my book and not something to put you off.

Some More Thoughts about the Design of the Ledlenser MH5

The Ledlenser MH5 has a simplistic design with just two light settings. This means it’s a rather simple headlamp that you should find easy to use. The headlamp comes with a useful belt clip and can be detached from the head-strap which might be useful on occasion. There is also a hybrid battery source. I found the battery lasted for more than 4 hours on my first outing and this was using the high light setting. You can also recharge this battery via USB or replace with a standard AA battery.

I can’t really see what else you might want or need with a head torch. It’s slightly heavy at the front but not enough to make a point about it – in my opinion. In short, I just really like the design and functionality of the Ledlenser MH5. I would happily recommend this item to a friend or family member that wants to go hiking/camping.

My Opinion on the Performance of the Ledlenser MH5

The performance of the Ledlenser MH5 is impressive. Walking through the forest, the floodlight mode created a nice circular light ahead of me. This might not make sense until you see it for yourself. The light enables you to focus much more clearly on what lies ahead. And even though you cannot dim the beam, it’s not an inconvenience and it didn’t even cross my mind until writing this review. You can also focus this beam further by twisting the lens of your head torch.

The Ledlenser MH5 also has a constant current of light and this light blinks when the battery is running low. In fact, this is the only way to know that your battery is running low with the Ledlenser MH5.

Final Thoughts – The Good, Bad and the Ugly

I’ve used many head torches over the years and it’s clear the standard has increased immensely in recent times. The Ledlenser MH5 is a good example of this evolution and I was impressed by every aspect of the light. It’s easy to use and doesn’t have too many functions. I prefer this with a headlamp as simplicity is best with certain pieces of gear. The battery seems to last a long time (I didn’t need to recharge after a couple of nights out) and the beam is both sharp and powerful.

As for the “bad and the ugly”? The headband is just a tad fidgety to adjust. I really must emphasize that all considered, this is an extremely competent piece of gear to take hiking or camping. It is one of the best headlamps I have ever had the pleasure to use.