Tested: LED Lenser M3R torch

By Carolyn Barry 2 March 2016
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Headlamp or torch? Why choose? Both can come in handy.

THERE ARE TWO camps when it comes to lights for the outdoors – headlamps and torches. But why settle for just one? While a headlamp is great for active, hands-free activity, a torch can be mighty handy for spotting animals, and quickly lighting the way in any direction without having to crane your neck to do it; all the better for hiking needs if the torch is small, not to mention powerful.

Enter the LED LENSER M3R. This torch is bright. Pumping out 220 lumens (the amount of light emitted from a source), the M3R is surprisingly powerful for its size; it’s only 45g and 100mm long. By comparison, bigger heavy-duty torches hover around the 180g mark. At its best, the beam reaches 150m – enough to spot any creatures in the furthest trees, and all at pocketsize. 

The M3R is the latest in LED LENSER’s M-series line-up and is the smallest. M is for multiple output, and the M3R has, you guessed it, three settings: strong, dim and strobe. Though there’s little use for a strobe on such a small torch, it’s a standard feature to include. The R is for rechargeable. The lithium-ion battery comes with its own USB mini-charger, which is compatible with standard phone wall chargers. You can also use a AAA battery in a pinch.
The Advance Focus System took two years of R&D to perfect, and the result is a combined reflector/lens system that lets you easily transition from a broad to a narrow beam using just one hand to slide the sleeve forward or back.

The challenge with LEDs is maintaining a cool operating temperature. LED LENSER torches have managed this better than most. Depending on the type of use, the battery lasts between 1-6 hours, with a three-flash warning system when the juice is low.

You do pay for the high-end technology and solid, metal casing, so don’t be fooled by cheap prices from non-authorised sites – there are many knock-offs around. For genuine LED LENSER products, you get a five-year guarantee for repair or replacement. Accessories include a pocket clip, lanyard and belt loop.