Knog have absolutely racked their brains for ways they could make head torches ‘unboring’. The Bandicoot completely changes the headtorch game, especially when it comes to appearance.
When my violently orange Knog Bandicoot arrived in the mail, I have to admit, my first reaction was, ‘What the heck is that thing?’ When I showed my friend a photo of it, she mistook it for a sweet potato. But this compact device has more functions than your average starchy root vegetable. And your average head torch for that matter. Allow me to shine a light on the Bandicoot, (no not literally).
On a recent camping trip, I whipped out my brand spanking new head torch while sitting around the campfire. It immediately sparked questions from my mates and everyone passed it around to try on. I found myself raving about it. And I’d barely even used it yet.
Light Mode and Brightness
The Bandicoot doesn’t have just one light with variable brightness, no siree. There are five different light modes on this baby, all with the ability to be dimmed up to four times. Plus, if you download the Modemaker app, you can choose between an additional 13 modes to program onto your head torch. Did someone say ‘disco flash mode’?
The five standard modes include a spotlight, red LED light, ambient lights, reading, and combo lights. A mode for every mood. I made good use of the spotlight while a couple of cheeky possums were ransacking our dirty camp dishes.
The Bandicoot’s battery life differs depending on how many lumens you like to use. Max battery life is in reading mode, on minimum lumens and lasts for 80hrs. This drops down to 2hrs of battery life when using all 100 lumens in the combo mode. Not bad, but not quite enough if you’re on a multi-day expedition.
All the light modes are bright when used at a short-range, but when it comes to shining a light on something in the distance, or brightening up an open area, 100 lumens doesn’t quite cut it. This may be a bigger issue for some Explorers than others. If you’re just planning on sitting around the campfire and occasionally wandering off to collect sticks like me, 100 lumens should be fine.
Knog have certainly reimagined the standard chunky head torch. The Bandicoot is streamlined, with the main body of the torch sitting more widely across your head, allowing for an even distribution of weight and pressure, rather than one oversized lamp weighing you down. In fact it’s so light (60g) that I often forgot I was wearing it and kept blinding people when I turned to talk to them. Whoops.
The Bandicoot is made of silicone, which, unlike elastic, isn’t supposed to stretch or lose its shape. I haven’t had it for long enough to determine whether the silicone stands the test of time. Check in with me in a few years.
The silicone does feel like it’ll get stuck in your hair, but the matte finish makes sure it doesn’t. It’s certainly a strange material to wrap your head around (and to wrap around your head), but it’s growing on me.
The only complaint I have about the design is the clips that are used to adjust the head torch to fit snugly around your head. Although there’s plenty of variance in how tight or loose the head torch can be, the small clasps that are used to lock the straps into place are fiddly and difficult to pop into the narrow holes.
I’d be very surprised if anyone was able to adjust the Bandicoot while it’s on their head. It’s definitely a job that has to be done before you pop it on.
There are certainly some additional functions of the Bandicoot that I haven’t come across on any other head torch I’ve used.
It’s USB chargeable. And the USB port is sneakily hidden right inside the light itself. That means no more lithium batteries and no additional charging cable to pack. Just plug it straight into your laptop, USB power plug or portable charger. It’s definitely worth bringing a portable charger with you if you’re off on an extended trip or hike.
It’s lockable. Ever had your head torch accidentally turn on in your bag and drain its entire battery? Not any more. Holding down both buttons at the same time locks the Bandicoot, so no light will switch on unless you want it to.
It’s waterproof. No, not just water-resistant. Waterproof. Up to one metre. So it’s totally fine to keep wearing even in torrential rain, and may even help you out on a cheeky night snorkel.
It’s programmable. I said it before but I’ll say it again- download the Modemaker app to personalise your head torch. There’s more modes than you could dream of – SOS, eco flash, pulse, red reading.
Knog have definitely achieved what they set out to do when designing the Bandicoot. This is certainly not a boring head torch. The slick and eye-catching design, multitude of light modes and useful features make the Bandicoot a handy light tool, rather than your standard head torch. It’s great for standard camping use, but without more power and lumens, it may not be ideal for the activities of every Explorer.