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Thread: Looking For A Headlamp

  1. #1
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    Default Looking For A Headlamp

    I was wondering if anyone could give me a recommendation on a good headlamp that you use? I want to buy two of the same type and have looked at a few on LL Bean's site, but I am not sure if they are the best type to buy. If one model that they stock is, then I can click on their link from the Obs site so they get a cut. Thanks for your help!
    Bob

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    We've got a couple of Princeton Tech headlights (can't remember the model offhand) and they've performed very well. One thing I like about these is that they're OK with lithium (non-rechargeable) batteries which give much longer life. Some of the other brands (Petzl for one) specifically say that you can't use lithiums (presumably because they don't use voltage regulation in the LED circuits) and that it is possible for the lithiums to overhead and even explode. Not something that seems like a good idea for a device that is strapped to your forehead.
    Mark

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    I was in the LL Bean store the other day and there was a sign about rechargeable batteries in headlamps. There was a date range where there was a problem. Any new lamps should have a sticker on them saying rechargeable batteries are fine - all the ones in the store had the stickers.

    I had a headlamp which worked fine till I saw the light that was thrown out by a Petzl LED unit. I got a Petzl and have used it last winter and also this summer. It says Petzl Tikka Plus. Press the button and it is on or off. Press the button twice quickly and it shifts to different levels of intensity - high - medium - low - and a flashing mode. It would be nice to have a red light as another feature as I use the headlamp when taking pictures at night.

    All in all I am very pleased with it.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    I was in the LL Bean store the other day and there was a sign about rechargeable batteries in headlamps. There was a date range where there was a problem. Any new lamps should have a sticker on them saying rechargeable batteries are fine - all the ones in the store had the stickers.

    I had a headlamp which worked fine till I saw the light that was thrown out by a Petzl LED unit. I got a Petzl and have used it last winter and also this summer. It says Petzl Tikka Plus. Press the button and it is on or off. Press the button twice quickly and it shifts to different levels of intensity - high - medium - low - and a flashing mode. It would be nice to have a red light as another feature as I use the headlamp when taking pictures at night.

    All in all I am very pleased with it.
    The problem with the Petzl (including the Tikka and others) is with single use Lithiums (like the Energizer e2):

    Here's the link to the notice on the Petzl website: http://www.petzl.com/us/news-corpora...es-information

    Rechargeable batteries are OK in most of them. The latest high capacity rechargeables probably give as much or more life than the single use lithiums (when they have a fresh charge) but the shelf life is poor where the lithiums last forever. The other benefit to lithiums is that they work better at low temperatures.
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

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    I will give my two cents having been the night observer on the summit for sometime, I have used a lot of headlamps. If you are looking at the LLBean site for two, I have only tried two they have. The first is the Petzl Tikka Plus and the Black Diamond Icon. Two other Black Diamond brands I have used up here is the Cosmo/Moxie Headlamp and the Lunar model (which I am not sure they still make). And lastly, my personal one is the Princeton Tec Apex Pro. Overall, they all give off plenty of light and work good enough for what they are for. But there are a couple things to consider. Brightness: if you are looking for a really bright light, the Black Diamond Icon and Princeton Tec Apex series are tops. Downside is though, if you want to extend battery life, brighter is not always a great thing. Rechargable batteries: while we do not use rechargable batteries on the Obs lamps because of the short life they have in the cold, when I was researching mine, the Petzl did have a lot of complaints of battery explosions. I went with the Apex Pro since every review they had said they had heat sink technology which is key. The last thing to consider is summer vs. winter. If you are using if for a three season headlamp, batteries on you head are fine. If you are using it for winter, look for a battery pack that goes in your coat to keep the batteries up for longer.

    Out of all the ones I tried, my personal one is the one I would recommend above all others. It was about 60.00 with free shipping on Sunnysports.com. Kind of pricey but if you read up on it, it is well worth it. I probably should have gone with the extreme version for better use in the winter but the pro is so much lighter.
    Ryan Knapp
    Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)

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    LED headlamps have reduced/eliminated the need for complicated re-charging systems. Batteries last so long now it's just not worth it.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys! You've given a wealth of information and a few good models to take a look at. One thing is for sure, I will go with a non-rechargeable model. It's always easy to carry a couple of spare fresh batteries in the backpack, then just properly dispose of spent ones back at home.
    Bob

    I never want to see a day
    That's over forty degrees
    I'd rather have it thirty,
    Twenty, ten, five and let it freeeeEEEEEEeeze!

    My Seek the Peak 2014 Photo Set

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    I'll throw another vote in with Knapper for the Black Diamond Icon.

    Though its really the only "good" headlamp that I've purchased, I bought it based on several glowing (ha! get it? get it?) reviews from hiking/backpacking related publications.

    The extra $30 for the rechargable battery pack and plug is well worth it.

    When I first bought it, I was doing some Adventure Racing. At 3 am, thigh deep in a swamp in southeastern VA, my Icon did let me down. How? Glad you asked... well, when looking for orienteering flag I flipped on my spotlight and it blew everyone elses away in terms of the distance and brightness... the let down was that since I had the brightest light, I was voted as the person to lead the way through the swamp.
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    My wife has a Petzel E+ Light which has high, low, blink settings as well as a Red led for mapreading at night.

    The unit runs on 2x cr2032s, has a basball cap clip-wire on it if you need to use it.

    She has used it for a few camping/hiking trips and says she likes it. And the small size of the batteries makes it easy to carry some extras with you if you will be out for a long time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Miser View Post
    Thanks guys! You've given a wealth of information and a few good models to take a look at. One thing is for sure, I will go with a non-rechargeable model. It's always easy to carry a couple of spare fresh batteries in the backpack, then just properly dispose of spent ones back at home.
    Last winter I did an early morning hike back into HoJo's and right as I was leaving PNVC the batteries in the headlamp went. The next set did not like the cold either. The 3rd set worked fine for that hike and the next one. Even with the same brand of battery there seems to be a difference in how well they handle the cold. My rule now is 3 sets of batteries and no fewer in the cold.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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