Time for a new headlamp...

Posted by: willie1280

Time for a new headlamp... - 07/06/17 01:27 PM

So my current headlamp is 10+ years old and it's a Petzl brand.
I'd like to get something new that's an LED and has tons of lumens that i can dial back if i don't always need it super bright.

I'm leaning towards the Black Diamond Storm (2017 model with 350 lumen max). Any feedback on this particular headlamp? Never used Black Diamond products before so any feedback on them in general would be good as well.

Always open to alternate suggestions as well!
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Time for a new headlamp... - 07/06/17 03:44 PM

Petzl Zipka has served me well for a number of years. The Petzl e+Lite works, but isn't very bright. (Of course, neither am I.) The little retractable cords always intrigued me, too - no stupid webbing band to deal with. The Zipka was bright, but you couldn't tilt it to aim it. The e+Lite could be tilted to aim, but was pretty dim.

Recently, I picked up a BD Ion - simple, red and white lights, with a tillable lamp, and a webbing band that is fairly narrow. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

For some reason, I keep coming back to Petzl.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Time for a new headlamp... - 07/06/17 04:01 PM

I have an older Black Diamond headlamp that I like a lot. I have a newer one that I don't like as much. The new has a smaller (more sensitive) button. On several occasions it has accidentally activate in my pack. Then when I role in to camp half my battery life is gone. The new one dims where the old one just turned on/off. This issue seems associated with that. My new one is a couple years old, so it is possible BD has corrected this issue.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Time for a new headlamp... - 07/06/17 04:56 PM

I have a Princeton Tec Aurora that I've had since 2006, with which I'm still very happy. It is regulated, so the light stays bright until the batteries are just about kaput. Also, being regulated, it can use lithium batteries which last a lot longer and work better in cold weather. I have no intention of replacing it. I did try a Petzl e+lite a few years ago and gave it up because it's not bright enough for night hiking. Saving 2 oz. was not worth it when an emergency arose requiring night evacuation!

My headlamp isn't just for backpacking! I use the Aurora a lot around home because it gives me hands-free access to dim places like under-counter cupboards, etc. It shows no signs of wear. It goes with me on auto trips, too. Unfortunately, as I discovered when searching for one for my youngest grandson, this model has been discontinued.

If I were searching for another headlamp I'd look for several things. First, regulation, as I mentioned above, and the ability to use lithium batteries. Second, as mentioned by BZH, a switch that can't get turned on accidentally in my pack. Third is enough lumens so you can see the trail (with its rocks, roots, holes, etc) when hiking in the dark.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Time for a new headlamp... - 07/06/17 08:06 PM

My favorite-ever headlamp was the Princeton Tec Scout. It tilted, and had a little lip that, when it wasn't in tilt position, covered the switch, neatly eliminating the chance that you would accidentally turn it on. Bright light, too.

Naturally, being a very good product, they quit making it.

I've used the e+Lite a few times as my primary light, but it's mostly been my back-up light, so I can see to change batteries. (For some reason, my batteries also seem to die at night, when it's dark.)
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Time for a new headlamp... - 07/06/17 08:44 PM

LEDs can be bright, but even the most efficient LEDs are around 100 Lumens per Watt. It doesn't take long for a lamp that consumes a Watt, or more, to run a battery down. It is nice to have a lamp that will produce a lot of light for a short time, while being capable of operation at low light levels for good battery life. I also prefer that my battery operated equipment all use the same type of battery.
Posted by: BigBill

Re: Time for a new headlamp... - 07/17/17 11:40 PM

Wally world, at least the local one, has a bunch of small LEDs, both clip on and headlamps for $1 each. They are fairly bright though I don't know their lifespan. They probably take a watch battery of some sort.