Alpkit Gamma and Manta Headtorches: Head-to-head

Home Forum Bike Forum Alpkit Gamma and Manta Headtorches: Head-to-head

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Alpkit Gamma and Manta Headtorches: Head-to-head
  • Premier Icon Stoner

    Since I havent seen a comparison on here before I thought a quick note comparing the Alpkit Gamma and Manta headtorches may be of interest.

    The Gamma’s been around for a while now (3? 4 years? more?); The Manta Ive only seen this year. Im comparing a 2011 Gamma with a 2013 Manta.

    TBH not much point with beam shots as a) I dont have a suitable camera to hand and b) it’s not really about the beam at this level but the usability.

    (on posting their site is borked, too much bandwidth gorging been done this xmas by the look of it)

    On paper, £15 each:
    88 lumen
    9hrs High

    120 lumen
    7hrs High

    On the scales:
    Gamma 118g
    Manta 110g
    so bang on.

    As for brightness, there’s naff all between them. Really, nothing. The Manta was a little yellower in colour but you’d only notice it next to a bluer LED and that difference would be just down to bins.

    Both have an identical beam pattern (with manta on fully focussed), and no discernible difference between them in light intensity at 5yds or indeed up to 10yds.

    So the main differences are the obvious ones:
    – Manta focusable beam.
    Both beams at 5yds give a c.2yd spread. If the Manta is “zoomed out” you get a 5yd spread at 5yds of perfectly usable light showing plenty of ground texture and contrast.
    – No top strap on the Manta
    – Manta can be dimmed and it has an extra blue LED on the front and a second red LED.
    – Gamma has a red LED on the battery case aiming rearwards.

    So in summary:
    Both perfectly excellent bivvy/camping/utility lights
    Almost identical light output.
    Similar weight.
    Both bright enough for running.
    Mrs Stoner happily can run with either although seems to prefer the batteries on her forehead in the Manta over the Gamma with the batteries at the back. Lack of top strap doesnt seem to be a problem.
    She does though have to tie another red LED aiming backwards to make up for the Manta not having the battery box LED. Only really applies on road stretches obviously.

    I personally still prefer the Gamma.

    Premier Icon paul4stones

    I agree but I’m afraid neither of them is a patch on the Chinese Cree lights or the knock off led lenser ones which cost half as much. Granted the latter may have questions about the reliability and the former weigh a bit more but I’ve not found the gamma to be particularly reliable and the extra weight doesn’t trouble me with my strong neck 🙂

    Good comparison though. I just can’t understand why Alpkit haven’t embraced the current tech as far as lights go.


    The red light on the Gamma swayed me for running. Perfect for putting the chickens away too 🙂

    Agree with p4s.

    I already own 2 Gamma’s but they really are rather Sh1t in comparison to the 2 LED Lenser clones I’ve just bought at less than half the price. In practice I’ve never actually needed the coloured LED’s and I certainly wouldn’t trust my life running along the road with the power off that rear light.

    The Cree/ LED lenser head torches are amazing. I’ve been out running in pitch black with mine – no need for anything brighter and it’s nice and stable, light enough not to feel it and plenty adjustable (strap, beam width, height, brightness). I’m sure it would do for commuting / road riding as well.

    Makes my petzl (tikka xp pro) look like an expensive children’s toy! I have no idea about the alpkit ones btw.

    Yeah, I threw one in the bag recently just in case and ended up riding c. 20 miles on the road. Crazy level of output, esp for the money. Wouldn’t have fancied the Gamma in that situation – it’s completely outclassed these days for any kind of serious use.


    Good comparison though. I just can’t understand why Alpkit haven’t embraced the current tech as far as lights go.

    ^^This bit, all day long.

    Like Apple only making a 2GB Shuffle, Alpkit not updating their LEDs, even once a year, given the advances being made, really annoys me.

    The sad thing is, as soon as the eBay/Chinese light brigade manage to make a strap/mount comparable to the Alpkit’s Gamma, then they would have nailed the perfect head torch for me…..and I will buy one, and stop using the Gamma.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    cheers guys. Id not heard of the lenser headtorches. Anyone got any links?

    Premier Icon paul4stones

    Think I got one of these which runs on AAA batteries.

    The real LED lensers are supposed to be excellent but they cost £40+ Probably worth it if you needed to rely on it – they’re highly rated on the FRA head torch thread.

    Surely the lenser ones are just the exact same model (albeit with a different / rechargeable battery)? I assume the company selling lensers are just ordering them from the Far East anyway. Ie I doubt there’s any difference in quality, bar the battery of course.


    i dont know what the lenser quality is like but id bet that they are far better than the chinise copies
    i have the copy above from a different supplier and theres no denying it has decent light output that probably nothing can compete with at that price point but the strap and battery, compartment, zoom and adjust is fairly poor in useability, design and quality.
    works fine and a bit of diy sees it all good.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Biggestproblem with Gamma is the shonky battery compartment

    i dont know what the lenser quality is like but id bet that they are far better than the chinise copies

    Hmm, from the pictures I’ve seen there is very difference between the LED Lenser and (my) Cree ‘copy’. I’d imagined that they weren’t so much a copy as a ‘leaked’ item from the same factory that made the Lenser lights. Sort of like MTBBatteries vs eBay Chinese lights.

    I might be wrong – does anyone have both to compare, perhaps?


    you know what superficial, i just googled some lenser h7 pictures and they look very very similar to my copy. so i may well be wrong. im standing by the quality issues though. i have a alpkit gamma as well and the quality of that is better but obviously not as bright.

    i would be interested to hear from anyone that has both.

    Premier Icon Simon

    Been very happy with my gamma. Only one downside – having the battery pack at the back means it’s uncomfortable lying down on your back to read when camping.


    MoreCashThanDash – Member

    Biggestproblem with Gamma is the shonky battery compartment

    +1 the catch broke on my lightly used one tonight, now held by tape

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

The topic ‘Alpkit Gamma and Manta Headtorches: Head-to-head’ is closed to new replies.