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Headlamp for night boating


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Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #3381427
    David Chenault
    BPL Member

    @davec

    Locale: Queen City, MT

    I need a headlamp for packrafting at night.  I do not need feedback on how silly doing so may or may not be.

    Requirements include (in order):

    • 300+ lumens
    • ~100 meter beam throw on max
    • 4-6 hour run time on max
    • light as possible
    • cheap as possible
    • must mount on head

    In an ideal world I prefer to stay in the AA or AAA realm, but realize that with the above taken into account that is probably not possible.

    The Zebralight H600w MKII is a leading contender.  Not thrilled about the goofy batteries, and I think the Zlight user interface sucks, but it ticks the other boxes.

    The Fenix E35 could be mounted to a headstrap (adequate) and has good specs and an interface I like.

    Other ideas are very welcome.

    #3381433
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    Dave,

    I don’t have a suggestion, but do have a question…

    In California all watercraft, including my 10’6″ inflatable raft, require a fixed white light in the rear and a fixed colored running light in the front (I get confused with such nomenclature as aft and stern), even if powered by oars. A headlamp doesn’t meet the requirement, as I received a citation a few years ago to validate that fact. Is this something you need to check out where you raft?

     

    #3381453
    Richard Fischel
    BPL Member

    @ricko

    Nick – I think you got ripped off by the fuzz.  “A vessel under oars … or have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light, which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.”

    Required Equipment

    #3381469
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    Richard,

    That may be the case, and where Dave floats not even a concern.

    #3381473
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Yeah, night boating is pleasant if you have a prepared destination in mind or if you have a base camp somewhere. It is difficult to set up shelters, pads, sleeping bag, and cook after dark, meaning you can miss the early morning paddles, too.

    It is very difficult to spot campsites from the water at night. Good navigation skills and a good map are a must. I have done this several times while canoeing thru the NFCT. Lakes and ponds are much easier for a nice paddle, of course.

    One thing you did not mention was waterproof. In any sort of wet conditions water resistance is often not enough, especially if there is a risk of flipping. (Make sure your gear is anchored in the boat and in dry bags.) You need some sort of light to see the shore line (often in shadow from the moon.) And to avoid any traffic on the water, not usually a problem.

    http://www.rei.com/product/898760/black-diamond-spot-headlamp-2015-closeout?cm_mmc=aff_AL-_-34947-_-46631-_-NA&avad=46631_ca92030a&CA_6C15C=120217890002278783  (This isn’t water proof, just water resistant and can get a bit heavy on your head.) It does use AAA batteries, though. I believe they rate this with lithium batteries.

    Here is another link to some water proof ones (well down to 1m for a half hour.)

    http://search.nrs.com/boating/Headlamp%20Waterproof?utm_campaign=sli_champion&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=champ_se&utm_term=sli_Headlamp%20Waterproof

    I usually have a E+light from petzel as a backup.

    Petzel makes others, but most use a battery pack in the lumins >100

    https://www.petzl.com/US/en/Sport/ACTIVE-headlamps#.VrzaWEB2G01 and search for “waterproof”

     

     

     

     

     

    #3381516
    James holden
    BPL Member

    @bearbreeder-2

    18650 is the only way to go with your desired runtimes at that output at a light weight …

     

    the problem is your 100m throw distance … not many lighter headlamps have that kind of throw, most are flood type and throw realistically ~30-50 m or so despite the propaganda … you need to decide if you really need that much throw

    i use a HL55 for night climbing where the realistic limit is 30-40m … it weights 145g with bats but without the top strap … and it last ~3-4 hours @ 400 lm, IPX8, simple interface … the new HL60R is a bit more efficient and has a built in usb charger …

    fenix makes some dual mode (throw and flood) headlamps for night hunting and fishing … however they arent light

    the nice thing about fenix is that they fit protected bats a bit better than some others (if yr changing bats in a wet situation youll want protected no matter how careful you are) ….

    buy from a authorized retailer for the full warranty, not some chinese site ….

    and for nightime activities where yr life is on the line .. youll also want some kind of backup lamp (even if yr lamp doesnt die in certain situations it might not be realistic to change the bats or you might screw it up)

    a ~30m pitch being lit up ….

    ;)

     

    #3381524
    David Chenault
    BPL Member

    @davec

    Locale: Queen City, MT

    Thanks Eric, realistically a solid pattern at 40-50 meters would be quite adequate.  Is that photo the HL55 on full power?

    Nick, suffice to say that I’m not worried about regulations.  This isn’t for puttering around the finger lakes.

    #3381532
    James holden
    BPL Member

    @bearbreeder-2

    the above was at 900 burst …

    the difference between 400 and 900 lm isnt as great as one would think, as double the lumens doesnt mean double the brightness … for climbing anyways i mostly keep it at ~50-150 lm until i need a burst for routefinding

    some headlamps like the thrunite have a bit more throw than the hl55 at the expense of flood …

    YouTube video

    it all depends what yr looking for when packrafting … flood or spot mostly

    i believe the new HL60R (basically my HL55 with usb charging and red light) is ~70$ including a 2600 mAh bat … as always a new model may have bugs so buy authorized …

    regardless of the lamp make sure you get panasonic 18650 3400+ mAh protected bats (make sure they fit) … this will give u the max runtime

    http://www.mtnelectronics.com/ is a small business run by the owner that has very reasonable prices on bats, an he wont sell you fakes … dont buy of those chinese sites unless you really know what yr doing

    heres a pic, i think it was 400 lm, my memory is as foggy as the PNW these days

     

    the other thing to ask is how CRITICAL is it that the bat doesnt run out …. perhaps if yr doing white water rapids in the dark then getting one with a seperate 18650 pack that takes dual bats or other such is a good idea … as you cant just stop to change the bat

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