Polymath Products OmniTorch Review
Tiny LED torch with multiple attachment options
A few weeks ago I was asked a very pertinent question:
“Do you really need another sodding torch?”
Open on my browser was the page on the TRC Outdoors website for the Polymath Products OmniTorch – a cube-shaped LED cliplight with multiple attachment options. I have enough LED lighting scattered around the office and my truck to light up the Western Hemisphere. Do I need to spend £12.99 on another lighting source?
(Spoiler: I clicked ‘ADD TO CART’ and now I have more things to lose)
These things are small.
Each torch unit is a (roughly) 30mm x 30mm cube with a short clip standing proud above the button on one side. The other five sides are the 60 lumen LED (COB, Chip On Board type), a neodymium magnet, hook-fastening fabric, loop-fastening fabric and finally a subtle Polymath Products Logo.
They are also tough – the only thing I think I could feasibly break in normal use is the clip itself. The aluminium body is tough enough to stand on (yes, even me) and the construction quality overall seems to be pretty good.
The power source for the LED are two CR2032 lithium cells, which are becoming the standard for low-profile lighting it seems. These are easily replaceable, but the light is not rechargeable.
The switch is rubberised, with a positive ‘click’ when pressed which is always a nice touch. It is also tucked away under the clip, preventing accidental activation in a pocket or pouch.
You get a pair of OmniTorch lights in each purchase.
I wanted these lights for one particular application – as an oblique light source for tracking courses. I hoped that they would be small enough to put in any pocket (or tuck into a radio chest harness) and have a light output low enough to illuminate without creating a distraction. So far they have performed that task and I suspect I have ‘sold’ a few of them to clients on the courses after seeing them in use.
The light pattern from the LED is even and diffused, without a clear ‘hop spot’ that needs to be accounted for.
The 60 lumen output is about right for creating contrast and shadows across a footprint without totally destroying any adaptive night vision, and is also the right output for quietly searching through pouches or kitbags in a vehicle without disturbing others. The manufacturer claims a runtime of 8-10 hours, but I haven’t reached that limit yet.
The supplied hook/loop strap would be handy for attachment to round objects (bars, branches etc) but I haven’t found a need for it yet. I have found the hook/loop panels useful for quickly placing the torch on panels on bags or pouches for brief hands-free use, but I wouldn’t trust them to stay put when moving around, or even just in storage.
The neodymium magnet is more than strong enough for attachment to any steel surface, but as with all magnetic kit you REALLY need to be aware of where you are stowing it, especially with regard to navigation compasses and other magnetically-sensitive items.