I try and use the same go-to bag for everything exploratory outdoors related. Every time I go and actually use it, I end up wanting to reduce and simplify more and more. My current target of optimization is lighting and power. I want to simplify my lighting set up to only use AA batteries. My previous headlamp was the rechargeable kind, but I’d always forget to recharge it. In comes the Thrunite TH20 review. It’s small, built solid, and is powered by 1-AA battery. Simple, right? I think so.
Thrunite TH20 Review: The Quick Version
I like it and bought it with my American dollars. Here’s Why:
- It’s one of few single AA battery headlamps
- It has a Solid Aluminum body
- That body is small, lightweight, and compact
- A regular Alkaline AA battery gets 250 lumens on Turbo mode
- A hopped up Lithium Ion 14500 Battery gets you 520 lumens
- One AA Battery gets you 1.5-hours of use on high-power
- Firefly Mode runs it as a sub-lumen light for two-weeks of use on low power
- Has infinite adjustability from Firefly mode to max-power
- Submersible in water to IPX-8 Standards
Why an AA Battery Headlamp?
I can easily put a headlamp or flashlight into service with rechargeable batteries or last-minute gas station AA batteries.
Over the years, I’ve become forgetful. I went hunting this weekend and in attempts to optimize my time when getting there, I took my binoculars out of my pack, set it on the washing machine with an intent to put them on after putting the case back into my backpack. I didn’t put my binoculars on and left for the mountains at 4:00am. When getting to where I needed to be, my hike in was powered by phone flashlight because my batteries weren’t recharged.
While the binoculars situation couldn’t be avoided, I could have easily stowed a handful of AA batteries in the pouch where I keep my first aid kit.
With my new headlamp and soon-to-be AA flashlight, I’ll have a more hardened system to battle my forgetfulness. I’ll spend less time worrying about what was charged and more time adventuring carefree.
I’ve been keeping my eye on the Thrunite TN4A as my AA flashlight. More to come.
What are the Best AA Headlamps?
While this is a Thrunite TH20 review, I’ll mention the honorables.
There were a few AA headlamps I ran across when looking to buy my own. However, the market isn’t bursting with options here.
- Best Single AA Headlamp: Thrunite TH20
- More Expensive, Not Better: Fenix HL50
- Still Not Better: Zebralight H53
- Chineseium Version: Colorday 2 in 1 LED Headlamp
The things that these have in common are aluminum bodies and the use of a single AA battery in headlamp form. The Thrunite TH20 has better adjustability. The two main competitors have 3-levels of lighting and the Colorday 2 looks like it’ll break if you look at it funny. It could work fine, it could not. For my money, I want something to work when I need it to, and frankly, the Colorday isn’t cheap enough for me to try out over the Thrunite TH20.
What is Firefly Mode?
Firefly mode allows the Thrulite TH20 to run power to a sub-lumen (0.3) level. Have you ever used your phone screen’s light to navigate your dark house? It’s kind of like that, but slightly brighter. Frankly, this mode alone makes the Thrulite TH20 a better value than the rest.
How Bright can Single AA Battery Power Be?
I don’t expect anything powered by a single AA battery to be a torch. Additionally, the Thrunite TH20’s beam isn’t set up to focus on a small area. Rather, the beam is dispersed giving a wider range of view. It compares easily to my cheap 3-AAA headlamp I’ve been using for years.