During a recent fishing expedition to a classified location (which every fisherman in Cape Town seems to have heard about, judging by the number of anglers on the beach) I had an opportunity to test my new Cyclops D10 headlamp. It's a compact headlamp with a solid metal housing and rechargeable battery. I challenge you to go to any store countrywide and ask about lumens and lux to test the salesperson's knowledge. Well, I did exactly that with Mark the Torch Guy – and did I get a lesson and a half! I was impressed beyond my wildest expectations, not only with his knowledge (and good banter) but also by a superb product that really speaks for itself. The lighting modes are in a league of their own, with five brightness levels, strobe, SOS and a "bliksem mode" (you think it's off, so you look at the lens...). It's well designed, solidly built and comfortable to wear, with a glow-in-the-dark green button and rubber o-rings to seal the two screw caps. The output of the LED is the best part – in fact I got a few questions regarding this on the beach. It's brighter than any headlamp or torch that I have ever owned. The cons: the different modes take a bit of getting used to. Standing waist-high in water in the dark with waves crashing around you may not be the best place to try it out for the first time. On the other hand, by the end of the night I had the modes REALLY figured out. The weight of the headlamp is heavier than some but I was wearing a beanie and the strap provided is excellent – I didn’t feel the weight at all, and my head didn't feel like it was in a vice. I bought the D10 with the optional high-capacity 3500mAh battery for longer runtimes and I’m not sorry at all. Another two features of this little gem are the price and the backup service you get. So how was the fishing? Well, I landed a barrow load of kelp... Kevin Gardner, Cape Town

The build quality, light output and beam colour of the D10 are all good – even very good at the price. The USB charging is a real joy, and the user interface seems dead right to me. The beacon and strobes are a nice touch even though they may be of limited usefulness. The new Cyclops delivers a good light output on max but does get hot and does not step down. The medium output when you turn on is ok I guess, but the lowest setting is brighter than I would choose – I'd like to see it turning on at the last-used level, and the lowest setting to be one lumen or less. Apart from those reservations I'd say that this is the best value that one can get in a torch! Andre Wessels, Bryanston

Have a laugh. While playing with the settings on my new Cyclops D10 l looked at the low beam... and then turned it on to high. That was 20mins ago and I'm still seeing stars!! It's a great headlamp. More feedback when l return from a motorbike trip to Lesotho in May. Kim Selwood, Assagay

I have just received the Cyclops D10 headlamp and used it for a trail run and a braai. I am impressed! The torch and strap are robustly built – the black aluminium casing is strong and appears to be able to withstand the rigours of use that I attend to put it through while camping and trail running. This is my first headlamp which I can recharge just by plugging in my cell charger, which is so much easier than having to remove AAA batteries and put them in a charger. The 600 or so lumens that it puts out are more than enough for trail running, and all obstacles can be seen with ease. At the braai this weekend the lower brightness setting was more than adequate to determine the state of my rump steak! A big thumbs up for this torch so far. Dave Hensman, Umhlanga

I received my D10 Cyclops headlamp and tested it against the old CH10 – the new one is far better and I like the neutral white light – very nice! Thank you as always for the fast delivery and a quality product. Mike Blyth, Howick

My Cyclops D20s are perfect! The flood is exactly what I wanted – together with the dimming they are ideal for cooking, reading and other close work, while the high beam is okay for walking. They have passed the darkest camp test - all round very happy! De Waal Fourie, Midrand

Well, well, well. I got home and charged the battery on the D10. What a surprise! This headlamp outperforms the ******** ***** by a fair margin and is on a par with the old CH10 Cyclops, except that the ******** costs 4 x more than the D10, and the CH10 was about double! What makes the D10 one of the best buys currently is the battery life, which is over three hours at full power! This is everything for night work! Where else in SA can you buy a quality headlamp with that kind of battery life for R395? Derick Welgemoed, Beaufort West

My wife tested her Cyclops D10 by seeing if she could read music with the house lights off while sitting at the piano – a situation that does happen when she is trying to teach pupils during load shedding – and the Cyclops passed! Thank you for including your own instruction leaflet which is informative, practical and not all technical jargon. I am always astounded at how an advanced nation like the Chinese can make such wonderful appliances and then provide a set of badly-written instructions in print so small I literally have to use a magnifying glass to read it! Stewart Paterson, Edenburg, Johannesburg

The D10 Cyclops won't break the proverbial bank but the cost-savings do show in some areas. The housing is built from lightweight aluminium with a fairly coarse square thread, but the weight saving is an advantage and I've not had any problems with cross-threading. I found the user interface to be intuitive and functional although a mode memory would be useful. Having onboard charging (at this price!) is a brilliant feature – it tends to slightly short-charge the battery but this doesn't seem to affect the run-time and actually serves to extend the battery life. I've also found the onboard charger allows you to use the light while it's connected to a USB source even if there's no battery fitted – a great feature during power-cuts. The fact that the Cyclops uses an 18650 battery gives it an outstanding run-times, which is the primary reason I bought it. During the recent Jaguar Simola Hill-Climb event in Knysna I used it for extended periods from the Thursday to the Monday, both day and night, on the mid-setting and not once did I need to re-charge the 3400mAh battery. Just amazing!! The beam is a fairly floody neutral white with a noticeable hot-spot. Sitting at a desk the brightest part of the beam is around 20cm across, which is ideal for repair-type activities, while using it outdoors at a braai is perfect in all respects. The tilt system offered by the D10's bracket is stunning – it's easily adjusted with one hand in small increments – but the head-strap itself will probably show signs of wear after limited use. The nylon adjustment-restraints offer limited resistance but I found that by re-positioning the bracket to where the strap is doubled (after adjusting it to the size of my head) solved this problem. Overall, if you require a great all-round headlamp without taking a loan from your bank manager, this should be your first choice! Brian Turner, Port Elizabeth

I recently upgraded from the Cyclops CH10 to the D10 and use it mainly for cycling. The new version of the Cyclops is noticeably smaller than the old one, so fits more cleanly onto my bikes, and it weighs quite a bit less which is always a bonus. In terms of price it’s an absolute steal compared to most cycling lights, and it doesn’t have the external battery and annoying cables that go with them. Despite the price it performs like a beast! The on/off switch is better placed, larger and easier to use – a major improvement. Charging is also much improved – no need to take the battery out and charge it in an external charger, just plug a mini-USB cable right into the torch! All-in-all I’m delighted, and highly recommend either upgrading or treating yourself to a decent headlamp-slash-cycling light for the first time. James Baber, Higgovale

I received a Cyclops D10 headlamp for my 83rd birthday. It is fantastic! When not camping I use it to read in bed at night. Really a brilliant birthday gift. Muriel Williamson, Port Elizabeth

I’ve just spent the last 20 mins playing with the D10. Very nice headlamp indeed! It has one of the nicest tints I have seen on any flashlight – I love neutral tints and this little beauty gets four thumbs up. The different modes have just the right output levels and are very well configured for all purposes. The balance between flood and distance is simply outstanding. This is really a fantastic all rounder! José Murta, Kempton Park

I apologise for taking so long to get back to you but I've now had some time to test out the D10. It arrived on time and all in order. I recently climbed and summited Kilimanjaro via the Umbwe route and had the Cyclops with me the whole way. I used it every night, including the summit night, where I had it on from 11pm till 7am the next day. Although I had a spare battery I didn't need to use it. I am very impressed and happy with my purchase. Thank you for a great product! Murray Church, Pretoria

My Cyclops headlamps are exceeding my expectations! I use them every morning while getting ready for work, and most evenings to either read or do household chores. I am really happy. Maximillian Nebe, Cape Town

The D10 Cyclops has arrived in good order and is working very well as always. I particularly like the USB facility, so you can charge the battery without having to remove it. The friend to whom this is going will appreciate this feature as he hates all the different chargers and gismos – he is always ranting about the electronics industry not standardising so he will be delighted to find this comes with a standard USB cable. The headlamp as a unit is impressive. I like the switch on the side and rank it right next to my Cyclops as far as quality and performance are concerned. The reduction in weight is also noticeable. All in all I think it is a good product and I will certainly recommend it to my friends in future. Bazil du Preez, Pretoria

As you say – the D10 Cyclops is built to a price point. I bought a lot as gifts and will probably give them all away rather than keep one for myself as originally planned. For the price it's a great torch as a gift but unfortunately overshadowed in terms of quality by the more expensive torches in your range. Matt Archer, Sandton

I love the D10 Cyclops – there are some substantial improvements over the old model, and I particularly like the new charging system. When I'm in Botswana I just plug it into my cellphone charger and off we go. I am not as excited about the new headstrap and in particular the holder. It seems a bit flimsy and I have found that it's too easy to accidentally knock the torch out – I may just put the new torch in the old head strap. Once again thank you for your tremendous service. Jan Arkert, Uniondale

I have just returned from a 23-day St Alban's College Journey across 480km of our country from Pretoria to Machadodorp. We traveled through mielie fields, mountains, rivers and some of the most beautiful wilderness areas our country has to offer. Our first two days merged into one as we cycled through the whole night, had a quick breakfast, then put on our backpacks and started a 20km hike, arriving at Camp 2 at 8pm. Luckily I had my new D10 Cyclops headlamp! After cycling and walking through the entire first night I still used my headlamp to pitch tent, cook meals and pack up early in the morning for the next four days. On day six I replaced the 2600mAh battery and my headlamp lasted for the remaining 17 days, using it every night for pitching my tent, cooking, reading, packing up and cooking again, as well as a few visits to the "lavor-tree". What an excellent product! Mel de Kock, St Albans College, Pretoria

I go out on my mountain bike before five in the morning when there's limited visibility and I seem to be the target for all taxis coming from Tembisa township. Even lights I bought from the supposed specialist, a cycling shop, did not solve my problem – I found they could not strap onto my bike safely (it's an extra small ‘S’ shaped frame) and those that were bright enough bounced around on rough ground so I spent a lot of time adjusting and re-attaching them. However the D10 Cyclops headlamp is amazing both as a regular headlamp and cycling light. I now have one on the handlebar, one as a rear warning light (with a "traffic wand") and one on my helmet. Their brightness is easily adjustable while cycling, so I feel safe on the road and do not blind oncoming cars and pedestrians. I love the concept of USB-rechargeable lights which you can charge from a powerbank or cellphone charger. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries initially cost a lot but in the long run they work out cheaper and give more runtime. With a click of the button I can choose between five light intensities and the Cyclops even has an SOS and "find me" feature for emergencies. The D10 doubles as a practical torch, slips easily into a pocket, handbag or car cubbyhole so it's always handy, and can even be turned into a lantern with a white plastic bottle. I'm really enjoying the lantern feature as I rent a cottage which shares a window with the owners' bedroom – with me getting up at four in the morning to go cycling I'm sure they appreciate me not putting on my bedroom light! And now I can offer a whole lot of lights from cycling shops – going cheap, very cheap! Julie Horvitch, Midrand

Over the years I've acquired a few torches from Mark. His quality and service have made me come back every time, despite other attractive offers out there. A headlamp cannot give you the power a handheld torch can but, even though I have a few headlamps and torches, the D10 Cyclops is my most practical and most used light. I highly recommend it, and highly recommend the service provider! Ivor Smith, Gordon's Bay

The D10 Cyclops head-torch is a real success – it is so much more user-friendly than the older (CH10) version. I think a big plus is that it can be switched on using one hand (two fingers actually) and the variety of functions are perfectly adequate for my purposes – I use it every day! GB, Kloof

Picked up my parcel today wow that was fast delivery. ******** should learn a thing or two from you. On paper the Cyclops D10 might not look that impressive but it performs way above its weight class. It really surprised me! I love the old Cyclops CH10 but the new D10 Cyclops will probably replace it and go into my braai bag because it's just so much lighter with the same performance. Great little torch for when you need both hands to braai that perfect steak. Jaco van Wyk, Rustenburg

Thanks Mark, the Cyclopses were received in good order and they work great! As always your passion for what you do and your confidence in your product sets you apart. Brent Fairlie, Parkwood

I bought my D10 Cyclops last year and it is truly a gift that keeps on giving! Thanks again for the AWESOME service and quality. Tehan Botha, Centurion

I've just bought two D10 Cyclops headlights – they are amazing, and so superior to the store-bought variety. They also make living through load shedding semi tolerable. I have a camping-mad son who is jaundiced about my ravings about the quality of my TorchGuy torches, so I gave the second of my headlamps to his delightful girlfriend with the proviso that he is not allowed to use it when they go camping this weekend. At his first glimpse of the beam strength he started to turn green – when they get back I suspect he'll be looking like Shrek unless she capitulates and allows him to test it. Love does silly things to people, but maybe camping with a grumpy headlampless boyfriend is worth sharing a torch for! Your customer for life, Rose Poultney, Linden, Jhb

My headlamp has arrived and been unpacked and first impressions are very good. The zoom on the D20 is far more useful than I thought it would be – being able to change the spread of the beam for use indoors and outdoors is fantastic. Overall a really fantastic little light! Glen Dowie, Lone Hill, Jhb

Having spent many frustrating evenings as the Eskom giant slowly ran out of power and "loadshedding" became the buzzword among us light-deprived South Africans, we decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and try the D20 Cyclops head torch supplied by Mark Loudon – fondly known as The Torch Guy. Mark proudly says ‘he saw the light’ many years ago and, in the pukka South African spirit, has shown us the way (so to speak) to obviate the many frustrations of living in the murky glow of third-world illumination devices. We purchased the D20 mainly for reading at night when the lights get switched off at prime time, before the old bod is quite ready for doodoobyes. This little chap is super easy and comfortable to use, complete with an onboard USB charging facility – it's a no brainer for everyone to own this little beast! Do yourself a favour and check out Mark’s comprehensive range of torches and experience his great service – it's BETTER than world class, and a surprising rarity in good old South Africa! Grant Wood, Umzumbe, Hibberdene

The D10 Cyclops headlamp is awesome, whether I'm starting a hike in the dark or mucking about at a cabin in the Cederberg when the sun drops below the horizon and suddenly it's pitch dark. The Cyclops is the best headlamp I have ever owned and very comfortable to wear – it's not nearly as heavy as it looks – with the added bonus that it can be a very good pocket torch by unclipping it from the headband. Thanks for your brilliant service. CWB, Pinelands, CT

I totally fell in love with the old CH10 Cyclops headlamp, so much so that I ended up with a few of them. So when the D10 came out I had to get one, and I found that "good" had become even better! It's lighter, more compact, and the in-device charging makes it a winner for me. The only thing better than your torches, Mark, is your service. Ivor Smith, Gordon's Bay

I like to use my Cyclops headlamp for reading in bed before nodding off, especially when we're in a BnB as the reading lights in most places are appalling. On one occasion I was reading (Cyclops assisted) when I heard a rustling noise coming from one of the roof rafters above me. I switched my Cyclops on to full beam and found, perched on the rafter above the bed, a little mouse (which I later identified as a Spectacled Dormouse ) peering down at me, apparently transfixed by the brightness of the Cyclops beam. He was a cute little fellow, a sentiment not shared by my wife, and I quickly switched the Cyclops off in the twin interests of the mouse’s eyesight and marital harmony. Talk about game watching from the bed!! Tony Newell, Bedford View, Jhb

My D10 Cyclops stays much cooler compared to my other headlamp – I've even used it to light up the ceiling. The USB charging option is a first for me. It replaced the old headlamp. Anton Ingram, Springs

Having been a Torchguy fan for years, I was recently asked by my new daughter-in-law to help her as she’s doing her internship at Addington Hospital where there’s often poor lighting or no lighting at all! I bought her the Cyclops D10 headlamp, and it has changed her life and caused my son to be extremely envious. It lasts for absolutely ages and delivers an incredible punch of light. I have one of these headlamps and cannot recommend them highly enough. Craig Campbel-Gillies, Berea, Durban

I've gone through at least five headlamps over the years but the D10 Cyclops has become my go-to light. It's small, relatively light and has different brightness levels (quite frankly the lowest level is enough for a braai!) I've used the torch on the Orange River and did not have to change or charge the battery for the whole trip. I found two downsides to my setup: although I really like the option of removing the light from the strap, I would like a slightly sturdier clip to hold it in place – I've knocked the torch out by accident once or twice. Secondly, although the built-in charging port is extremely convenient, if you remove the battery to charge it, it's difficult to remember which end should go in first (both ends have a spring), so a little "+" or "-" mark on the ends of the torch would be good. Overall this is a very neat torch – I would highly recommend it to someone who wants a headlamp. Chris Trauernicht, Cape Town

I had a couple of the original Cyclops CH10 headlamps for years, and gave several to friends who all loved them. Recently I bought a new D10 and was pleasantly surprised to find it was an improvement in just about every way despite costing less. It's lighter than the old one, which helps when you wear it for a long time, and it is even brighter. But the real improvement, for me, is the new on/off switch – it's easy to operate and avoids having to unscrew the end cap to turn the headlamp off fully. The other particularly useful change is the new USB charging socket – ideal for travelling. Really, at this price there is no competition! Chris de Villiers, Somerset West

The Cyclops have arrived. Thanks again for your usual prompt response and delivery. The Cyclops certainly are lighter than the predecessor (the CH10) which is great as they will be used especially for evening trail runs. Added bonus of course is the USB charging. Packaging and instructions are complete and intuitive, as we have come to expect from the TorchGuy. Helmut Niebuhr, Kempton Park

This is without doubt one of THE best torches I've ever owned. Of course it's not the brightest compared to the big boys but it’s plenty bright enough for my needs – mountain- and road-biking, keeping an eye on the braai, slipping into my luggage for a weekend away etc., etc. Its fairly unusual shape is a game-changer, making it really easy to handle and to stand on its end or side. The plug-in charging is really neat and saves the need to take the battery out every time (I charge it after every bike ride). I can't recommend it highly enough! James Baber, Cape TownFirstly I would like to say thank you for the headlamps and for your advice. I received the Cyclopses late Friday evening and they are just brilliant! The handle bar mounts fit perfectly over the stem which allows the light to be mounted in the middle of the bike, and the light doesn't move around at all, which is another plus point. I rode with one early Saturday morning and now I can't wait for the night ride on the public holiday on Wednesday. PS: They are great for bird watching – I spotted an eagle owl catch and feed on a swallow last night, and used the light on low to identify him and get a photo. Fred Aslett, Johannesburg

My impressions of the Cyclops? Honestly? I loooooove this light! On full power my backyard looks like sunrise! Amazing for such a small light! Really like the fact that when you switch it on, it's always on half power and it's easy to change the brightness settings. The lowest setting is perfect for reading and the built-in charger is a stroke of genius! I wish I had a reason to buy another one! Louw Burger, Albertinia

My thoughts on the Cyclops – I am very impressed to say the least! The first click (half power) already puts my cheap ********* headlamp to shame! The Cyclops is very versatile with all the settings, and varying levels of brightness for long distance and close up. And the charging port is a cool upgrade. No regrets! Daniel Chupp, Alexandria