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Headlamp recommendations
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Nate Boyer
(NateB123) - MLife
Headlamp recommendations on 12/27/2012 07:01:39 MST Print View

I recieved a rather large black diamond headlamp for xmas (retail $50). It is nice, but it is overkill. I don't recall the brand, but it is really bright, and heavy.

It is 4 oz and I'm thinking I could return it and knock off a few oz with a lighter one.

I'd like to find a lighter one and I really like the red night light feature.

Any recommendations?

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Headlamp recommendations on 12/27/2012 07:39:25 MST Print View

They don't have the red feature but the Black Diamond Gizmo at 2oz and the Mammot S light at 1.7oz are nice lights, I have both. The Petzel e lite at .95oz has a red light and I liked it until the switch crapped out after just a few trips.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Headlamp recommendations on 12/27/2012 09:20:39 MST Print View

That is a broad question. Things to consider: lumens, battery life, battery type, modes that fit your use, waterproofing, and regulated output.

I picked a Fenix HL21. It uses a single AA battery, rated up to 53 hours, has 4 brightness levels and I have a flip up diffuser for it. I matched it with a flashlight that uses the same batteries. I can carry one AA for backup for either light vs say 3 AAA batteries to backup one headlamp.

IMHO, once you get into the 3AAA models, they will hover around 3oz, so you won't save much weight. The Petzl e+ is okay for camp or tent, but you won't want to travel at night with it.

Steve Martell
(Steve) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Washington
Re: Headlamp recommendations on 12/27/2012 09:35:17 MST Print View

As Dale stated there are many variables to consider. My personal favorite (that I use the most) is the PT Remix with the secondary red LED option. The red option is a nice bonus to have in thick fog/mist at night. I usually carry a small Foretrex 301 GPS (off trail hiking) that uses the same size (AAA) batteries. This allows me the option to swap batteries around (if I had too) w/o carrying spares.

Edited by Steve on 12/27/2012 10:03:46 MST.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Hmmm... on 12/27/2012 10:02:06 MST Print View

Fenix HL21 weigh 41 gram + 23 gram 1 AA battery = 64 gram or 2.26 oz
Petzl Tikka XP 2 weigh 3.1 oz with batteries.
Difference: 0.8 oz?

Fenix is waterproof though...
But you won't save much with either. Move on to photonlight at 7 grams and use it as your primary light (I use it with a clip on hat) :) Not that good for night hiking... Be aware of snakes.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Headlamp recommendations on 01/07/2013 15:39:19 MST Print View

If you regularly wear a hat, consider a 1xAAA LED flashlight with a hat clip.

I have an ITP EOS A3, which has been replaced by the Olight i3. It weighs less than 1oz, including battery and is effectively waterproof. You have a high-lumen mode for spotlighting, a medium-lumen mode for intensive activities, and a low-lumen mode for normal activities. I find I can hike off-trail just fine with low mode, using the medium or bright mode at important route-finding points.

You can't compare it directly to the Petzl, because the Petzl is unregulated (it gets darker as the battery gets lower). The Olight gives you guaranteed lumens for the guaranteed amount of time. The Petzl is also designed for close up work - a floodbeam - whereas the Olight is designed for more penetrating light (better for route-finding or spotlighting things in the distance). Different applications.

Edited by lindahlb on 01/07/2013 15:42:30 MST.

James Wyse
(Ravelyn) - M

Locale: The Crossroads of the Revolution
Headlamp recommendations on 01/07/2013 18:15:35 MST Print View

You should really take a look at the Zebralight headlamps, either the H51 models (1 AA cell) or the H31 model (1 CR123 cell). They are fantastic lights, with an excellent UI, and are very light weight (27.6 grams without battery or headband). You can lighten the headband arrangement by removing the elastic headband and instead using a simple lanyard with a cord lock threaded through the holder. Or, the light can be removed completely from the holder and handheld. I have the H31w, since I use CR123 batteries for other gear (Steripen). I love mine.

Note, they make variations on these models. The differences have to do with the type of beam. For example, the H31w has a neutral white beam. The H31F has a floody beam (good for close range, but no so good for distances). There are also high color rendition variants. It's easy to prevent the light accidentally turning on in your pack by simple unscrewing the battery cap a half-turn or so.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Headlamp recommendations on 01/07/2013 19:09:14 MST Print View

The Remington RMHL 2AAA B
BPL reviews and photo are at: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews.html?forum_thread_id=27607&skip_to_post=231013#231013

About 2.6 oz., including the batts and headband.

What I like:

No fiddling. Push button switch that works with gloves on goes to on-bright, on- medium, and off. You only have to hold the switch pressed to get the flasher.
There are pull down diffusers for white and red light. The light is so bright it stays on medium with the white diffuser pretty much all the time.

Battery life: I walk the dogs almost every night for two miles, or for a little over an hour. Two Energizer lithium AAAs have lasted me since daylight savings stopped, with 3-4 night walks weekly. I don't believe it either, but just got back from a night walk, and the light is not yet beginning to fade. Don't know how long it would go on continous use on medium, because haven't had to try it for more than 2 hours continuously.

Am using the heavier new Snow Peak collapsing globe combo headlamp/lantern light for backpacking now because it is a little brighter than the Remington, and can be hung from a tree in lantern mode to pitch the tent in the dark. But for everything else, especially for an emergency light when dayhiking, the Remington's the one.

I think they are made by another company now, but are probably still available at Amazon.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Headlamp recommendations on 01/07/2013 20:02:13 MST Print View

"My personal favorite (that I use the most) is the PT Remix with the secondary red LED option."

+1 It's a great little light. Lots of lighting options, lightweight @ 2.6 oz with lithium batteries, and very long battery life.

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
depends what you're using it for ... on 01/08/2013 09:41:36 MST Print View

I remember descending Mt. Shuksan's Fischer Chimney route at night with a Petzl Tikka [one of the early models] - it was a very scary descent. Had I had a better light, it would have been much a emore enjoyable experience. For general use around camp an eLite is fine, but for moving over tricky terrain, it's just not enough. I've been caught-out at night on steep terrain and the eLite, while better than nothing, slowed my pace waaaay down.

LED tech changes rapidly and I try to keep pace every few years. I'm currently using a Surefire Minimus - it's a 100 lumen powerhouse with a rotary switch that enables the user to dial-in any amount of light: from 1 lumen to 100 lumens and anywhere in between. It uses a small, energy dense lithium CR123 battery, which has fantastic cold weather performance. It's probably "heavy" for you guys [3.3 oz], but it's an awesome, well made headlamp [as all Surefire products are]. Because the output is variable, you can really conserve your battery.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: depends what you're using it for ... on 01/08/2013 20:29:54 MST Print View

"I remember descending Mt. Shuksan's Fischer Chimney route at night with a Petzl Tikka [one of the early models] - it was a very scary descent. Had I had a better light, it would have been much a emore enjoyable experience. For general use around camp an eLite is fine, but for moving over tricky terrain, it's just not enough. I've been caught-out at night on steep terrain and the eLite, while better than nothing, slowed my pace waaaay down."

Fisher Chimney is a bit edgy even in broad daylight. I can only imagine what it must have been like with an eLite. Yowie!!!

"I'm currently using a Surefire Minimus - it's a 100 lumen powerhouse with a rotary switch that enables the user to dial-in any amount of light: from 1 lumen to 100 lumens and anywhere in between. It uses a small, energy dense lithium CR123 battery, which has fantastic cold weather performance. It's probably "heavy" for you guys [3.3 oz], but it's an awesome, well made headlamp [as all Surefire products are]. Because the output is variable, you can really conserve your battery."

That sounds like a great climber's headlamp. As a matter of fact, it sounds like a great lamp, period.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Headlamp recommendations on 01/09/2013 00:51:02 MST Print View

I'm gonna echo James' Zebralight recommendation. I have an H51, and absolutely love it. If you want the absolute lightest, then there are many other options, but Zebralights are fantastically made and put out a wall of light.

At any rate, they're worth a look. The beam pattern is smooth, clear, and artifact free. They have good run times on medium and low settings, and will light up the area really well on turbo. Even around the house and car camping, I'd use my H51 which runs on 1 AA any day over the biggest and baddest D cell incandescent Maglite.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Fenix HL10 is new on 01/09/2013 06:41:28 MST Print View

Fenix just came out with their HL10 headlamp, which is AAA powered.
3 brightness levels.
Very light at 1.4 ounces including battery, according to their specs.
Rotating head, for aiming purposes, and it also easily comes out of the headband attachment and can be used as a right-angle style light that can hang on your keychain.
Very small, at 69mm long.

Reported to be under $30 price.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Headlamps on 01/09/2013 07:31:57 MST Print View

I am personally very fond of my Zebralight H31w. Like others I use a Steripen so CR123 batteries work fine for me - if I carry another pocket flashlight it will likely be a CR123 light as well (typically a modified Novatac 120P or sometimes a Surefire G2X Pro for car camping with the Scouts when weight size is less of an issue).

I'd like a Surefire Saint - that is certainly the Cadillac in my opinion. But I find the Zebralights at half the price to be extremely well made lights - very flexible brightness options (6) to dial in your brightness/efficiency sweet spot - decently intuitive UI that most importantly for me lets me start at either high or low. And the design allows them to be used pretty conveniently has a handheld light. I don't really need another light other than a Photon as a last ditch and close to zero weight backup.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Fenix HL10 is new on 01/09/2013 07:46:58 MST Print View

On Fenix's website it states that the HL10 is 1.6oz Excluding battery. Still a very lightweight headlamp though.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Re: Re: Fenix HL10 is new on 01/09/2013 11:03:06 MST Print View

Hmm, so it does.
I read something else the other day where I got the info, or I wouldn't have written what I did.
At any rate, the specs are as you stated.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Headlamp Spark on 01/09/2013 11:12:39 MST Print View

Don't forget about spark headlamps.

They make a good tough single battery waterproff headlamp.

Nate Boyer
(NateB123) - MLife
red light on 01/09/2013 11:17:40 MST Print View

I really like the read light feature that I have in my black diamond lamp. I'd like to find a lamp that is under 2 oz with battery and still has the red light.

Maybe I should forget about the red light.

Edited by NateB123 on 01/09/2013 11:18:12 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Princeton Tec REMIX PRO MPLS on 01/09/2013 13:38:54 MST Print View

I ordered the "tactical" version of the REMIX - the REMIX PRO MPLS. This is a good headlamp with two focus options and several lumen levels and a strobe mode.

I bought the tactical version because, unlike the "civilian" version, this model has a REGULATED circuit that keeps the lumen level from dropping off as the battery drains. Also it uses a CR 123 battery as does my SteriPen. Fewer spare batteries to carry.

P.S. All my headlamps except the tiniest now have regulated circuitry. Also ALL my headlamps can safely accomodate lithium batteries. They are lighter, have the longest shelf life and work the best in cold weather.

Edited by Danepacker on 01/09/2013 13:40:15 MST.

Jared Baker
(simply_light) - MLife

Locale: Midwest, US
PETZL e+LITE on 01/10/2013 04:58:09 MST Print View

I really like my PETZL e+LITE.

Regularly runs @ $30, but you can often find them on sale for a little less.

Mine weighed in at .92 oz with batteries.

That lightweight and it still has the red led feature and is waterproof.