Jan 26, 2014 at 3:33 pm #1312484
I am currently in the market for a new headlamp, as my Princeton Tec Byte has "bit the dust" like others have experienced and will be returned to REI. On my last trip it left me in the dark, good thing i brought a back up flashlight (fenix pen light).
Anyways, I am looking for a headlamp that will be reliable, wont break the bank, and is of course lightweight. My budget is around 50 dollars, will spend more if it is really worth it. I dont need it to be extremely light weight, but still want to keep the weight down. It will be used mostly for backpacking- setting up camp, midnight bathroom walks, occasional night hikes. Since the Princeton only put out 35 lumens, anything above that I will be a happy camper.
I am pretty much sold on a Zebra light, H51 or H31, but am turned off by the idea that it can accidentally be turned on in your pack… easily fixed by unscrewing the end while storing. While that seems easy enough I still don't like the idea of having to fuss with it and risk forgetting (likely) to unscrew the battery before I pack.Jan 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm #2066494
Rick MBPL Member
delJan 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm #2066504
I've always loved having my core battery with the Petzl OS software. The above article outlines the reasoning. The software allows me to set up the lamp to run at the same brightness throughout the battery life which gives me a more realistic idea of the "useable time" I can get from the lamp. They're spendy, but I use mine for running in the morning quite frequently so it's worth it to me.Jan 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm #2066506
@geokiteLocale: Southern California
Any idea why Zebralight headlights didn't show up in that review?
SteveJan 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm #2066509
I forgot to unscrew my Zebralight H51 once. It came on in my pack and melted a hole in the cuben stuff sack.
I love Zebralights (just bought an H52w), but there are still improvements to be made. A cap retainer would be nice, because if you drop that cap in the dark you can be in a bad spot. A "safety" switch would be nice too.Jan 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm #2066511
Rick MBPL Member
delJan 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm #2066512
check out the headlamp from Ruta Locura…I have one and I think it is great headlamp, easy to use and plenty bright..think it weighs a tad over 1 ounce and cost about $12.Jan 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm #2066523
I should mention that the H52 has a switch that is much more recessed than the old H51, so it should have fewer issues with coming on inadvertently.Jan 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm #2066559
"I forgot to unscrew my Zebralight H51 once. It came on in my pack and melted a hole in the cuben stuff sack.
I love Zebralights (just bought an H52w), but there are still improvements to be made. A cap retainer would be nice, because if you drop that cap in the dark you can be in a bad spot. A "safety" switch would be nice too."
"Yep. My wife's came on in her hipbelt pocket while the pack was stowed in the overhead bin on 2hr flight home. Feeling how hot it got, we felt fortunate it didn't catch fire and take the plane down!"
All things I want to avoid, I really like the Zebras but don't want to deal with this issue. I know it's minor, but for me I need the convenience of simply turning it off and knowing it stays off, and now that I know it gets hot enough to melt things I'll hold off until they update the design.
Or maybe there is a way to modify the switch? Maybe "add" something around the switch to make it more recessed? Hmm…
I will check out the article as well as the Ruta Locura, thanks for the input!Jan 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm #2066566
You could potentially find a cap that slides over the button end. Something like a plastic thimble.Jan 26, 2014 at 10:44 pm #2066693
Mike WBPL Member
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
The Black Diamond Storm is a pretty good headlight if you don't mind a slightly heavier light. It uses 4 AAA batteries, and has an infinitely adjustable beam so the battery life is easy to manage. The Storm also has a very nice "lock" to prevent it from turning on accidentally (hold down the power button for a few seconds and it locks). A small blue light flashes to let you know it's locked. The Storm also has a red light as well if that is important to you. The Storm weighs a bit over 3 oz which includes 4 AA lithium (disposable) batteries.
I have switched over to all AA batteries so I don't carry the Storm anymore but it's a good light.Jan 27, 2014 at 4:05 am #2066723
@thebenternLocale: Central Arkansas
+1 on the Black Diamond storm.
It has one of the best UIs I've seen in a multimode flashlight, and I am a flashlight nerd. :)Jan 27, 2014 at 5:12 am #2066730
Remove the battery for transfer.
Cr123 holds more energy than AA or AAA.Jan 27, 2014 at 8:16 am #2066756
Phillip AsbyBPL Member
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
I really like my H31w Zebralight. I do unscrew the tailcap a quarter turn to "lock out" the light when packed but surely get why this may be problematic to some. It is more or less an issue with electronic switches – and the ZL is not as recessed as it could be. I've had it come on in a pack but noticed it immediately and lock it out now.
Having said that – I have a couple other headlamps that all have their merits.
I recently did a cave/cavern trip and mostly used a Solite 250. It is expensive but it has a lot of oomph and runtime – and I multitask with it mounted to my bike as well. Hate the UI however.
I also use a Surefire Saint periodically and if you look around you can find one used a bit more than your 50 budget. I got mine used. It is a bulletproof light, typical surefire quality, and no chance of inadvertently turning it on. The only flaw to me is it does not support RCR123 cells.
For $50 if not a zebralight I have used a PT EOS which is a fine light. Rugged, regulated and three well chosen levels with a stiff switch you won't turn on by accident. I'm not crazy about 3AAA lights simply because I am almost exclusively a CR123 person in other items (flashlights and headlamps and when I have it Steripen).
At that price range a Zebralight is about as good as it gets from a weight, power, flexibility and beam options perspective. I'd still recommend that and deal with the tailcap lockout (which is in the flashlight world a very conventional method to lockout a light – in fact a lockout tailcap is a desired and valued feature in a lot of lights – Surefires being a good example for one). It's just a habit to get into but like I said I understand why some may not like it.Jan 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm #2066916
Black Diamond Storm looks nice but the Spot is lighter, any one have experience with it?
Thanks for the insight, giving the Zebra some thought.Jan 27, 2014 at 5:13 pm #2066956
Check out this mod, 9 or so posts down:
This is a different and older looking model, and it appears this isnt possible with the H51 or H31. Food for thought.Jan 30, 2014 at 6:28 am #2067846
Spot is decent all-around. I really liked the Storm…until I put it on! Sorry but 4AAAs is a little much; this also begs for solar recharging on longer trips since I'm not carrying 4 extra batteries for any single device. I'm liking the PT Remix (http://www.princetontec.com/remix) right now. It defaults to red light on each activation which is a feature I've come to prefer. On nights w/light-craving insects hovering around the red light significantly reduces attraction. Very good here in the SE. But, it doesn't have a dim feature.
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