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Thread: Best headlamp

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDave View Post
    I really like the Black Diamond Spot. The newest version puts out a peak of 130 Lumenss, has One-touch dimming and seems to have a reasonable battery life. Retail MSRP is $39 but is frequently sale priced at $29. My only complaint is that the red light is pretty useless.
    I purchased a Black Diamond, not sure which model it was, but it does have the red light option, which I also can't find a reason for using. However, I do like it that it has a "lock" on it that prevents one from turning it on accidentally and draining the batteries. I do carry it around with me in daypack though to use when I'm out walking around at night in case of rattlers. I've had it almost a year now and it works great. The batteries still work and it uses AAA batteries which I can find just about anywhere.

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    The older model of the petzel tactikka plus (4 LED version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=341BjGlxiYw) has a flip-up red filter rather than an extra red LED, and I love that. Battery life is good (3 AAA), intensity is good for night hiking, and its been durable - lasted for a few years now including a thru. Good luck!

  3. #23

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    Love my spot. Red light is good for late night pee trips because it lets you keep night vision but still "see" stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    Zebralight H52. As light as the dinky plastic headlamps at REI, but 300 lumens with a single AA, or 500+ lumens with a lithium ion battery. Since it's a right angle light, it works just as well as a headlamp as it does a flashlight. Even though it's a very bright light, the low settings can be configured to be fantastically low...no worries about blinding anyone with the lowest settings! It is by far my favorite long distance backpacking light.
    ++++11111 best by far imo

  5. #25
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    Black Diamond Spot works great for me.

  6. #26

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    I am looking for my second headlamp. I have one with a battery pack behind the head and not bad but not weather proof.

    Any one tried the Petzl NAO? I just saw it on REI for the first time.

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  7. #27
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    Bought several Black Diamond Cosmo lights a while back on Steep and Cheap. One of the on/off switches finally broke (the one I used for my attempt - 2012) and I sent it back for a replacement. The ones I had didn't have the red light, the new one I was sent does. I like the sliding dimmer on the Cosmo. It blinks when you have reached max or min.

    I also have a Leatherman S2 my son gave me. This one goes into the pocket of my sleeping shorts, so I don't have to fumble around on the floor of my tent trying to find my headlamp that rolled somewhere. Nice and bright, dimmer switch, really nice.
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  8. #28
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    Another vote for the BD Spot. I had to replace my previous light (cheap Energizer model) because it didn't have a lock on the switch. I spent several days hiking all day with the light on inside my pack. I like the red light for reading/writing in my log each night.

  9. #29
    Registered User Big Dawg's Avatar
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    andother Black Diamond Spot fan!!
    NOBO section hiker, 1066.4 miles... & counting!!

  10. #30
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    Not only is the Zebralight lighter, brighter and have longer battery life, but it gets another 10+ grams lighter and another 50% battery life if an Energizer Ultimate Lithium battery is used instead of the heavy Eneloop AA that Zebralight uses in their specs.

    Here's another thing to consider. The Spot claims to have a sensitive button. Has that ever turned on accidentally? Is there any easy way to prevent accidental turn ons without removing the batteries? With the Zebralight the battery cap only has to be twisted a fraction of a turn to lock it out completely.

  11. #31
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    Zebralight: $64, Spot: $30 on sale at REI. Matters to some folks, though the Zebralight was cheaper than I expected.

    The Spot does have a lockout feature so it doesn't come on in my pack.
    Ken B
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  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    Curious in how max runtime is calculated here. Was the Zebralight run for three months straight, or off and on for three months? The Spot shows 200 hours, but was that over a several month/week time or 200 hours straight?

  13. #33

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    Also, was the Spot's dimming feature in use? Anyway, the zebralight looks fantastic though but I don't want to spend $64 on a headlamp.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AT Traveler View Post
    Curious in how max runtime is calculated here. Was the Zebralight run for three months straight, or off and on for three months? The Spot shows 200 hours, but was that over a several month/week time or 200 hours straight?
    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    Also, was the Spot's dimming feature in use? Anyway, the zebralight looks fantastic though but I don't want to spend $64 on a headlamp.
    I haven't looked into headlamps in a couple of years, but generally whenever a manufacturer gives you a max run time of any sort, it is based on the most efficient setting. In the case of dimming headlamps, this time is typically based on the lowest setting the headlamp has.
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  15. #35

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    I have the Petzl Zipka, which is the only headlamp I've seen with a retractable head band. This feature makes it extremely compact and easily put into a pocket. Other headlamps I've tried the headband eventually gets stretched out. My first Zipka lasted me 7 or 8 years...when I first bought it I assumed the tiny string that acts as the headband would eventually break, or the spring in the retractor would break. Neither happened. I used to sleep in a loft bed and used it as a reading light and after dropping it 7ft to the floor below enough times the case eventually cracked...but it took quite a few times of doing that before it finally bit the dust. I've since bought another one. And because I live off grid this headlamp gets a lot more use than the normal weekend backpacker...I'm using it a couple of hours a day to read...sometimes more in the winter time.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Zebralight: $64, Spot: $30 on sale at REI. Matters to some folks, though the Zebralight was cheaper than I expected.

    The Spot does have a lockout feature so it doesn't come on in my pack.
    Yep. It's good to have another piece of data. Not fair to compare a full price against a sale price though. Full price to full price is $39.95 for Spot, $64 for H52. I got my H52 for %54.40 including shipping.

    Still, when people ask for the best without mentioning a budget, I mostly disregard price.

    How does that lockout feature work?


    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    I haven't looked into headlamps in a couple of years, but generally whenever a manufacturer gives you a max run time of any sort, it is based on the most efficient setting. In the case of dimming headlamps, this time is typically based on the lowest setting the headlamp has.
    Both companies give run times in all modes.

    Here's how Zebralight describes their testing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zebralight
    Light output are ANSI out the front (OTF) values. Runtimes tested (and parasitic drain estimated) using Sanyo 2000mAh Eneloop AA batteries. Light output with 14500 batteries are the same except that the H1 is 535Lm for the first minute and then step down to 300Lm.
    Black Diamond has very little info about how they determined their runtime.

    The H52 hasn't had a detailed technical review done on it, and probably won't because the SC52 is virtually identical other than the direction the lens is pointed at, so this review of the SC52 should translate directly to the H52. The results match the specifications quite well.

    Maximum runtime was probably calculated. Since Eneloops have very low self discharge, and voltage sag is nearly non existent at the lowest setting, calculating the runtime based on current draw at any moment should be very accurate.


  17. #37
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    I think max runtime numbers are exactly as accurate as sleeping bag temperature ratings.

    The lockout feature on the Spot is simple - hold the button down for six seconds, and it's locked. Repeat to unlock.

    I guess the appeal of the Spot is that it's widely available, often on sale, and not too expensive. I also particularly like the red LED feature for nighttime use.
    Ken B
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  18. #38
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    Returns and warranty claims are easy too if you buy at REI. I wish some of the flashlights brands I like were sold at REI, at least the premium brands anyway. Lower cost lights I build myself, so I'm not worried if it breaks because I can fix most issues myself.

  19. #39
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    Zebra Light H52 amazing light.

    Blackdiamond Revolt for longer trips because I carry and external battery pack so I can charge my headlamp if I need some extra power.

  20. #40
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    I like the spot in terms of functionality (strong highlighting beam, diffused white light, and red light). But it just burns through lithium batteries. I'm getting toward the end of my Colorado Trail thru hike and I've gone through three sets of batteries using the light an average of an hour in camp each morning/evening plus two 2-3 hour predawn starts using the spot beam at full blast.
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