- May 9, 2017 at 5:59 pm #3467130
A now-out-of-production Princeton Tec Scout. It uses 4 lithium coin batteries that seem to last forever.
This is the lightest headlamp I’ve yet seen that gives off a decent amount of light (at 3 different brightness settings, no less).
BTW, the back of this headlamp broke. I called PT ant they said “Send it in.” PT sent me back the headlamp with a new back even though the model is discontinued. I’m impressed.May 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm #3467152Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
The back of My Garmin 60Csx broke. I think the design if not very good, a thin plastic piece that gets a lot of stress, but maybe it was just me being clumsy.
I asked them and they said they’d send me a new back. If I first sent them $35.
I fixed it with a piece of aluminum, nail, and epoxy. Has worked good for years.
I like to complain about this when I have an opportunity. I would like to cause them $35 worth of bad will. Maybe I’m about there so I can quit complaining : )May 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm #3467164Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
There’s a new updated version of the Petzl e-lite out. Lumens increased, constant lighting until battery dead (that is a big thing to me), small battery life increase. Looks now really viable…the lumens are getting on par with the early days of Petzl Tikka…I used to go caving with one of these (and a handheld flicked on and off for when I needed more range)!May 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm #3467179MJ HBPL Member
Looks now really viable…
I hope so. I ordered one a couple of days ago. Haven’t got it yet.May 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm #3467193Greg MihalikBPL Member
The choice is highly dependent on utilization. I use my old e+lite for tasks around camp and in the tent. I seldom use the maximum setting. The falloff is slow enough that I have plenty of forewarning to change the batteries.
Old Version: 10 lumens(?) for 70 hours, 26 lumens for 55 hours
New Version: 15 lumens for 12 hours, 50 lumens for 9 hours
I won’t be getting the “improved” e+lite any time soon.May 9, 2017 at 8:46 pm #3467199Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
I have 2 of the older (2014?) model e+Lites (the ones with the retractable springy stringy thingy) 1 for regular use and 1 for reserve (Zombie Apocalypse) from a couple of years ago and they still look viable. I just don’t see how they’re going to squeeze significantly more lumens out of it without a decrease in duration (see Greg M post). No free lunch and all that.
I have a ‘Gen One’ Petzl Tikka that should be on display at the Smithsonian. My wife insists on using it for night-time dog walks. I remember very well the first time using it after all those years using the Petzls with twist-on/off bezel, incandescent bulbs and the 4.5 volt ‘pancake’ alkaline batteries… at the time I described the Tikka as ‘astonishingly adequate’. ;^)May 9, 2017 at 10:22 pm #3467217Cameron MBPL Member
@cameronm-aka-backstrokeLocale: Los Angeles
@Greg: I did not know about the new e+Lite. Last year I switched to a BD Ion as I occasionally need high power that the e+Lite cannot deliver, at only an extra .5 oz weight increase. I think the big news is not only that the e+Lite can deliver 50 lumens, which is both more satisfying and more useful, but I strongly suspect that the decreased run times you list are the result of what they list as “continuous” light- which is to say something regulated. A problem with the old e+Lites is while they last a long time, they just get dimmer and dimmer, to the point where I feel the need to carry a second set of batteries on a longer short-daylight trip. Not sure I will give up my Ion just yet, but I think that this development makes a strong UL argument for the e+Lite.May 10, 2017 at 8:59 am #3467278MJ HBPL Member
but I strongly suspect that the decreased run times you list are the result of what they list as “continuous” light- which is to say something regulated.
I was wondering about that myself. I’ve never held either version in my hands yet, but looking at Section Hiker reviews for the two versions, I see the older one lists battery life by “mode” not lumens. That is, it isn’t 26 lumens for 55 hours. It’s maximum mode for for 55 hours and the maximum lumens is 26. That’s not 26 lumens for 55 hours.
Though I have no doubt that same batteries last much longer at lower output. I may buy an older version also after I see if I like the new version.May 17, 2017 at 10:46 am #3468398Window walkerBPL Member
Titanium AAA, 9.4 grams is what I use tucked under the brim of a hat.May 17, 2017 at 12:20 pm #3468406JCHBPL Member
I recently bought one of the new e+Lites and used it on 2 different 3 night trips. Since I didn’t know what to expect I carried it in addition to my Princeton Vizz. Obviously those two are not in the same league but I find myself needing the high power of the Vizz less and less, and have noticed myself recently using it as much for amusement as out of utility :)
To borrow Bob’s phrase, I find the new e+Lite “astonishingly adequate”…so much so that unless I know for sure I will need the high power setting of the Vizz, I will most likely make the e+Lite my new go-to headlamp. The only thing that concerns me is durability of the “hinge” design, but time will tell.
Color me converted (for most trips).Aug 23, 2018 at 10:20 pm #3552782
What are 2018’s lightest LED headlamps? (NOT one with a “string” headband)Aug 24, 2018 at 1:32 am #3552804Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
The lightest that I know of that has a real headband and uses regular batteries is the Black Diamond Ion. The new version weighs 1.9oz with two Alkaline AAA’s.
I have seen the Nathan Neutron Fire listed at 1.2oz, but I assume that is without batteries.
I went through this same search eight years ago and ended up with a Mammut(sp) that is 1.7oz with a single AA.Aug 24, 2018 at 2:04 pm #3552863Gary DunckelBPL Member
Late last fall I picked up a couple of Black Diamond Iota headlamps that REI was dumping for cheap. This headlamp is pretty darned light, at <1.5 oz without the weenie (but adequate) headband, and about 2.0 oz with one. I figured out how to leave the headband at home and attach the lamp to the band on the back of a ball cap with a loop of Velcro (as an aside, I also swapped out the cap’s regular adjustable back band with a piece of burly elastic webbing, which the Iota will attach to nicely without needing the Velcro). The Velcro can also be used to attach the Iota to your sternum strap for night walking.
The thing I like about the Iota is that it employs a rechargable lithium battery, which provides a good life between charges (which you do with a USB at home- it cannot be recharged in the field unless you have some other electronic thingy to do it). I can easily get 3 nights on the trail per charge. If I think I’ll need greater battery life, it’s easy to bring 2 fully charged Iotas. They ain’t heavy, nor are they bulky.
The other great attribute is that the brightness can be adjusted easily, from pretty dim to fairly bright (max is I think 150 lumens, not great but adequate for most of my needs). You can program it to remember to come on at the last brightness setting when you turned it off. If you need more brightness you can dial it up at the push of a button.Aug 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm #3552889John KBPL Member
I use a Zebralight H52W. It’s not the lightest, but light enough and has been pretty much bulletproof for me. The real reason for my post is to mention the battery I use. It’s the Fenix ARB-L14-1600U USB Rechargeable 1.5V AA Li-ion. Holds a charge for what seems like forever and works great in most AA applications. At 19 grams it’s lighter than a standard Duracell AA at 25 grams. An Energizer Ultimate Lithium is lighter at only 15 grams, but I only need to carry one rechargeable. :)Aug 31, 2018 at 10:14 pm #3554078Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
There don’t seem to be very many Nitecore fans on this site and I’m not sure why. I’ve been down the Zebra/lemming path, the Petzl path, the Black Diamond path, and Nitecore just works for me.
I purchased this light through Litesmith.com for approximately $30, including a normal headband and a lightweight alternative which works great. I’ve used for over a year with spectacular success. 1.25 ozs., 1 – 220 lumens and ability to easily recharge with a battery pack….although a recent 10 day Sierra hike required no recharges. Very simple and basic.
Sep 1, 2018 at 5:31 am #3554134David ThomasBPL Member
- NU20 has a built-in, long-lasting 600 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery that holds power equal to three AAA batteries yet is much more sustainable. An intelligent protective charging circuit and a Micro USB connection make it easy to recharge. Since you probably already carry a spare battery to charge your phone, there’s no need to worry about running out of power or replacing batteries, just plug into a power bank, wall charger, computer, or car (USB cable provided). The light maintains full functionality while charging.
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I recently got a Petzl Bindi headlamp from MassDrop. It lists for $59.95, I’m guessing it was about $35 on MassDrop.
5 lumens for 50 hours
100 lumens for 3 hours
200 lumens for 2 hours.
The 5 lumens is more than I need to hike a developed trail. I thought to test the run time and left it on. And on. And on. It went for more than 58 hours (but less than 62) although it might have switched to “reserve mode” of 3 lumens for the last 10 hours.
It recharged (micro USB connector) fully in less than 3.5 hours.
It fits comfortably on my head but the very adjustable bungie can also fit around my waist (which is where lights belong for hiking so you can see the dip and bumps in the trail) but you could also loop it could a trekking pole or tent pole to point wherever you wanted.
I weigh mine as 34.5 grams. 23 grams for the light only, without the bracket or bungie cord.
I like that it wakes up (one click) in the low, 5 lumen mode so I’m not blinded by a higher level. If you do two clicks, you get 100 lumens. Three clicks give the 200 lumens mode. A long push switches to red and there’s a 1-lumen red light. Alas, the red light also has one of those stupid S-O-S modes, but at least it’s not the first one up and thankfully, there’s none of that foolishness when set to white.
I’m happy with it. More capable and longer lasting then other options I have at this weight/size and being able to top it off before each trip is a nice reassurance. 60 hours of night hiking (and camp chores) is a LOT of night hiking.Sep 2, 2018 at 11:07 pm #3554314Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
During my SUL experimental phase I tried a number of coin lights, I found the eQ my favorite, but all the coin lights were inadequate for anything but camp chores, I ended up using a iTP Light A3 EOS Upgrade Edition clipped to my hat which worked pretty well. Sounds like ThruNite Ti3 would be superior version of this sort of light I still use the A3 around town…
… but as soon as stopped counting grams to get to a SUL carry weight, I switched to a Zebralight H51 which I have used for the last 8 years. Bright enough to way find, on the lowest setting runs for an extremely long time, good brightness settings in-between. Works well on the head or in the hand.Sep 2, 2018 at 11:18 pm #3554315Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I got a Photon coin light but it didn’t work at cold temperatures. It works good at normal temperatures. Maybe above 32 F?
I have another coin light that’s on when you hold the switch, other wise off. All it is is a springy piece of metal that you push down to make contact with the battery. That works at cold temperatures. I use it as emergency back-up and never use it. Along with my space blanket.Dec 4, 2018 at 7:16 pm #3567393Alexander SBPL Member
I finally settled on the Nitcore NU20. There are slightly lighter models out there (NU25 is 1 oz) but being able to recharge with a USB and not dealing with finding and fiddling with lithium batteries anymore is well worth it. I replaced the heavy headband with bungy chord.Dec 4, 2018 at 11:01 pm #3567435Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Zebralight H53w, used with Eneloop AA batteries. Good mix of spot + flood, natural tint which I prefer, strong throw when you need it and long run times on low settings. Tough metal casing. And came with a GITD mount thrown in, which makes it easy to find at night.Dec 20, 2018 at 9:40 pm #3569622
NMDec 20, 2018 at 11:12 pm #3569639Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
The Petzl Bindy and the NU25 are looking pretty appealing. I’m leaning towards the NU25 due to the 38 lumen mode….a bit more than an original petzl tikka. I do kinda wish it had something around 5 lumens as well like what David talks about…
Maybe in a future generation Petzl or Nightcore will do programmable versions? Maybe I’ll just wait.Dec 23, 2018 at 6:09 am #3569841Jay SBPL Member
I use the Petzl e-lite on every backpacking trip where weight is an issue – it operates with a simple old fashioned switch that you flip with your finger – foolproof as opposed to the modern frustration filled headlamp buttons. It’s not a night hiker, kind of a close range light. I always bring a back up, one that can clip to my cap and uses the same button batteries – these back-up cap clip lights usually weigh a little less than an ounce – so for about 2 ounces, or a tad less, I have a good lightweight foolproof camp light and a back up – Browning makes a little spare light, think they call it the night seeker – other companies make one as well, I think Naturehike does also – Gander Mountain had a nice little gem of a cap light which used the button cells.
If I expect to night hike I just go with a Nightcore or a 3 AAA battery model with high lumens and heavier weight (currently the classic Petzl Tikka). Going to check the Zebra light mentioned, curious, always looking for better performance, eh !!Dec 23, 2018 at 12:53 pm #3569849matthew kModerator
Unfortunately, the switch on the e+lite is not foolproof. It can jam with a piece of sand. I won’t ever trust the design again. I strongly advise you bring a backup light source if you use the e+lite.Dec 23, 2018 at 2:19 pm #3569853Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I had an e-lite that jammed after one week long trip. It works now most of the time, but I never will trust it in the field again.
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