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Zebralight H600
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Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Zebralight H600 on 03/04/2013 19:30:02 MST Print View

Hello. Following up on the excellent thread from December (, I'm wondering if anyone has tried the H600. I made my way over to the candlelight forums, but I already fell down the BPL rabbit hole, and don't think I can handle another. :)

I'm looking to replace my BD Storm, which has been nice but I now find too bulky. I know the H51 is probably the most popular, but wanted to take a look at all options. I do like the red light mode of the Storm, but I'm okay loosing that feature. I'd rather have a spot over a flood, though most of my use is camp chores (seems like a low light mode on any of the models is sufficiently floody). I'd also love to hear feedback on neutral vs. soft white and any other options. If I end up buying a steripen (that's a thread for another day), I may opt for the model that uses the same batteries.

Thank you.

Maciej Parvi
H31W rulez on 03/05/2013 07:18:44 MST Print View

All 18650 base lights are HEAVY. I have H60W and SC600.
I like very much H31W. Not narrow, not wide, just universal.

Warm light is much nicer, even if a bit less powerfull.
I have also H51R (red), but don't use it a lot.

The winner is H31W. Very universal, CR123 based.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: H31W rulez on 03/05/2013 07:31:03 MST Print View

I love my H51. The output settings are really nice, and really let me dial in my needed amount of light.
It's very powerful and reasonably light. If you're also getting a Steripen, then I see how the CR123 model would be attractive. A word of caution about that though... Bring extra batteries for the Steripen!

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
AA on 03/05/2013 08:39:30 MST Print View

Most all of my electronics use AA batteries, Sterpen and Zebralight included.
CR123 may be smaller and lighter, but you are going to probably carry more spares. This is especially true if your resupply options aren't so great.

Maciej Parvi
Re: AA on 03/05/2013 08:50:14 MST Print View

well, not a problem with H31W:

Light Output
High: H1 189 Lm (0.9 hrs) or H2 103 Lm (2 hrs) / 4Hz Strobe
Medium: M1 37 Lm (12 hrs) or M2 21 Lm (23 hrs)
Low: L1 4.3 Lm (3.7 days) or L2 0.4 Lm (21 days)

I usually use M1/M2, 12/23 hours for camping is a huge amount of time, so one CR123 for a 1-2 weeks trip is just ok.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
+1 on H31W on 03/05/2013 08:59:14 MST Print View

I long ago dropped into the CPF rabbit hole - and have too many lights to prove it.

Anyway - relevant to this forum - the H31W is fantastic. I went through a AA consolidation phase but just didn't like the available lights as well - or their form factors - so I'm generally a CR123 light person in flashlights and in this case headlamp (I use a handful of Photons - but have a bunch of other 2016/2032 devices mostly bike computers so I don't have to buy a bunch of different cells).

I mostly use RCR123 rechargeables - ability to use them is one but not the only factor in my light choice. I do us 18650 cells in a couple larger lights in place of the 2xCR123 form factors (mostly a modded Surefire 6P) - but it is a big cell and heavy as well. I can't see using a headlamp with one.

I also have a Steripen that uses CR123 including rechargeables. I haven't as of yet gone on any long hikes - so battery power is less of an issue - but the benefit of rechargeables is that I can top them off and know they are at full strength before I leave for a trip.

The H31W for me is about ideal - 6 great levels of light - super small and light form factor - comfortable headband. It's hard to beat I think.

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Zebralight H600 on 03/05/2013 10:20:54 MST Print View

I have the H51, and the light is a little harsh when it manages to get in your eyes (or your girlfriends). Yet, I don't know if I would want to go with anything more subdued and lose trail visibility. Thinking about making some type attachment to diffuse the light, and take it off when I need the unadulterated beam, but I'll probably just continue to think about it.

Went with the AA, because the only other electronic device I take is a GPS that uses those... also really liked the high potential availability of that battery (especially in my junk drawer for use in power outages).

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Electronics set for each battery type on 03/05/2013 13:10:43 MST Print View

I think this makes sense.

AA batteries --> gps model, mp3 model, water treatment, headlamp
CR123 batteries --> gps model, mp3 model, water treatment, headlamp

And for hardcore UL:
CR2032 batteries --> Photonlight, ...

May be this will help to choose electronics for backpacking...

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Electronics set for each battery type on 03/05/2013 13:34:03 MST Print View

"AA batteries --> gps model, mp3 model, water treatment, headlamp
CR123 batteries --> gps model, mp3 model, water treatment, headlamp
CR2032 batteries --> Photonlight, ... "

However, none of this applies to the Zebralight H600 headlamp, which is the topic of this thread.


Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
battery weight on 03/05/2013 13:44:22 MST Print View

FWIW, my Eagletac 18650 weighs in at 47 grams.

Energizer lithium AAs are spec'd in at about 15 grams.

As someone mentioned, 18650s, which are used to run the Zebralight SC600, are heavy. Relatively speaking.

Maciej Parvi
Re: battery weight on 03/05/2013 14:25:35 MST Print View

But the whole sc600-135g
Whole H31w with headband-72g

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Battery standard on 03/05/2013 14:48:02 MST Print View

Thanks for the insights. I definitely want to stay consistent with my batteries. The good news is that I haven't bought a Steripen yet.* I thought all Steripens used CR123 batteries, but I now see that they do have AA models available. Starting from scratch and having the option to choose a battery standard, is it safe to say that the AA is more sensible because of the availability despite the weight penalty? Or is CR123? I know the internal USB recharge option on the Steripen is probably not a good idea...

*Btw, I'm in the Sawyer/Steripen rabbit hole as well. I'm planning an international trip so I thought a Steripen would be helpful to handle international water treatment issues. But that is a thread for another day.

Edited by passanis on 03/05/2013 14:48:40 MST.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Steripen on 03/05/2013 15:02:58 MST Print View

I have the adventurer with CR123 batteries but it's easier to find AAs obviously when you are hiking or traveling overseas.

My input for your future thread (I'll take the liberty of going off track since you are the author of the OP) is that you'll need to do something in addition to filtering water (UV or chemical). Pakistan KOd me for a solid month and I was hit to a lesser degree for ~ 1 week after catching a stomach bug in Cambodia from drinking re-bottled water from a restaurant (some people would call this a run on sentence but hey, go big or go home.)

Germane to the OP, CR123 is fine for my travels which are ~ 1 week whether it's in the woods or overseas. If I was taking off for a through hike or an extended trip overseas where the water is questionable, AAs all the way.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
H600 on 03/05/2013 15:06:31 MST Print View

I have had the H51 and H600, and I can say they are different tools for different uses. The H51 is super versatile and puts out a bit of light when you need it but the H600 is in a completely different ball park and allows you to actually enjoy walking at night rather than just getting by (with the H51).

With the H600, I have gone night time skiing and mountainbiking, which I simply wouldn't attempt with the H51.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Which Battery Option on 03/05/2013 15:07:47 MST Print View

The thing that moved me towards AA battery as my standard was tha fact that I was often stuck having to resupply at places where AA and AAA were the only options. Many gas stations and remote convenience stores carry a limited choice of batteries, and often only in an alkyline version.

So it depends on where you hike and how long you are going to be out.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Steripen on 03/05/2013 15:19:30 MST Print View

Off subject:-(
Steripen or boiling are probably the safest way to treat water in many places. Filters do not block viruses and chemicals take a very long time to work on some of the bigger parasites.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
AAs on 03/05/2013 18:05:58 MST Print View

Thanks for all of the feedback.

Sounds like AAs are the way to go, making the H51w a logical choice. What is the difference with between the H51 and the H502?

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: AAs on 03/05/2013 20:43:31 MST Print View

My guess, maybe it is just a newer version of the same thing. Primarily little lighter, and they recessed the switch to help prevent accidental power drain.

Site says...

What's New:
Record breaking 260Lm ANSI from one AA Eneloop (more output with Energizer L91 lithium)
Record breaking 3 months runtime at min output (longer runtime with Energizer L91 lithium)
All levels are current regulated.
Battery capacity indicator (LED flashes 1-4 times. 4 short clicks to start)
Low battery alert when the light is switched Off (LED flashes every 80 seconds if the battery voltage is below 1.06V)
Programmable M2 and L2
LED driver circuits sealed completely from the battery chamber
Unibody design (improved from the H501, similar to the H51)
Recessed switch (improved from the H51 and H501)
11 mm shorter than the H51 and 7 gram lighter than the H51
GITD 'reflector'

Edited by Beeen on 03/05/2013 20:48:12 MST.

Andrew Stow
(AndyS) - F - MLife

Locale: Midwest USA
Re: Zebralight H600 on 03/06/2013 09:45:35 MST Print View

I have a Zebralight H600 and love it, but it is overkill for general backpacking. I also found it a bit heavy... not as in too heavy to pack/carry, I can deal with that, but too heavy to hang well on the provided strap, which is a simple, but nice, elastic headband. Tight enough to not keep slipping down my forehead is tight enough to give me a headache. I ended up using a spare Zebralight strap to add a top strap front to back.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
AA vs CR123 Zebralights on 03/06/2013 09:56:15 MST Print View

Note that the runtimes/ouput for the H51/H502 are with a rechargeable eneloop while the H31 is with non-rechargeable lithium batteries. Specs note that H31 runtimes are much lower with rechargeables. Even though I usually carry a steripen, I still went with the H51 for this reason.