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distinguished member (139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/14/2024 09:23AM  
I used the search function and also looked back 4 pages of topics and didn't see any headlamp discussion that wasn't a year+ old, so with ever evolving technology in mind I pose a few questions.

After much research and conversation on a few other forums I recently purchased a new headlamp for ice fishing, the boat, camping, and BWCA as main uses. Went with the Nitecore HC65 UHE and additional Cold Weather Battery. Few dollars over $100 with case, unit, extra battery. Was looking for something bright (2000 lumens...wowza), adjustable, good red light (high/low, nice for night vision), long battery life, able to operate in the cold (ice fishing), and water/weatherproof. May find I wish it had a direct spot feature but the 2000 Lumen "Turbo" throws a heckuva shine supposedly 243 yds. Time will tell.

Passed down the Black Diamond Storm to my son. This has been a great unit, especially when paired with lithium batteries.

I have an everbeam unit that runs off a rechargeable lithium battery pack and can run off AAA batteries (3) as well. Doesn't handle the cold well at all, but otherwise seems fine for $20.

We use our lights a pretty decent amount of time in the BWCA around camp, in the canoe, in the tent. I plan to bring the Nitecore with extra battery for me. Should have plenty of run time, if not I have a small battery pack for at least 1 recharge of each battery. Bring the BD Storm for my son, with 4 fresh lithium batteries and 4 extra AAA regular batteries in the carrying case. Plan to throw the everbeam in my pack as a backup, with full charge and 3 AAA batteries in the carrying case, in the instance one of ours malfunctions/gets lost or someone in the group has issue with there light...seems to happen a lot.

Anyone else run these units or do something similar...or very different...for their personal lighting needs on trips?

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02/14/2024 09:39AM  
As I've gotten older and lights have gotten ridiculously bright I've found myself dimming down my headlamps and flashlights quite a lot. Bright light destroys my night vision, uses a lot of battery, and usually annoys people around me. It's nice to have once in awhile but I tend to only use as much as I need. When shopping I prioritize run times more than brightness because that matters more to me these days, and I try to avoid lights that don't remember the previous brightness setting when turned off.

distinguished member(690)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/14/2024 10:02AM  
I have been taking a small ZebraLight with one spare battery. I rarely use my headlight but when I do I prefer a flood beam at the lowest required intensity for most situations.

02/14/2024 10:07AM  
I have the Black Diamond Storm as well and while I'd positively rate the functionality, the construction has caused me issues. The plastic clasp that closes the battery compartment is thin plastic susceptible to breaking. I am on my third black diamond only because the store I purchased from continues to replace without question (good customer service). I've been able to use duct tape in the field when this happens to keep it working, but this design flaw could certainly be improved upon.
distinguished member (139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/14/2024 11:17AM  
I agree with all three previous posts. Use the level of light needed for the situation. The bright light is great for canoeing back to camp and seeing rocks/camp, locating shore/dock, on the boat, etc. I like the red light for around the fire and in the tent as to not blow out a friend's eyes or my night vision. These new headlamps with these 18650 and 21700 batteries seem to offer the updated technology of crazy bright lights to soft white/red lights with ample run time at a fraction of the size and weight of what these were 5 years ago. I also agree the Black Diamond Storm has some flaws but mines been around approaching 10 years and still going strong. With the son being an early teen and misplacing things often it'll serve the purpose admirably until its lost or another option seems reasonable for price and responsibility.
member (30)member
02/14/2024 11:47AM  
I'm not one to use a headlamp excessively, only as needed to perform the functions around the camp late at night (or around the house as needed too), so I'm not into super strong and/or distance headlamps. I have owned a Petzl Tikkina (250 or 300 lumens) for about 5 years and bought a Petzl Tikka (a step up at 350 lumens and a red light) for my wife about 3 years ago. They are simple, lightweight, and I've never had to change the batteries (3 - AAA) during a 4/5 day trip.

I use my headlamp much more extensively for hunting purposes. I put new batteries in the lamp in early September and it lasts me through the mid-to-end of January (when bow hunting ends in southern WI) without any noticeable change in light. Now, I only use the low or medium settings for about 15-30 minutes at a time as walk in or out of the woods but that happens 20-40 times during a season. In addition, I'll use the headlamp for things around the house too. If it has been a heavy use season and I've had several things I've used around the house, I may have to change batteries (may have done that once over the 5 years) during this timeframe. So battery life meets or exceeds my needs.

What I really like about my Petzl is the ability to adjust it with the tilt feature.

So simple, effective for my needs, long lasting in my opinion, and inexpensive ($35 for the Tikka at REI).

But headlamps are a definite must for me on any outdoor adventure!

distinguished member (193)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/14/2024 12:17PM  
I work a few months of every year in China and love when I can make it to Shenzhen, the electronics capital of the world. I found the best headlamp I’ve ever used at a marketplace for ¥30 (Chinese Yuan) which equates to around $4 USD. It charges with USB-C, lasts for several hours even on high, and I love that there is no brand, it simply says “headlamp.” :-) I ended up spending about $80 USD purchasing twenty of them. Brought them home and gave them out to friends that go camping. Everyone loves them!

I can’t wait for the thread about “$5 illegal-in-the-USA green Chinese lasers!” I never worry about signaling at night in the event of an emergency. It’s like carrying a mini light saber.

02/14/2024 12:35PM  
This is a great thread. I have had a number of headlamps, each of which had some shortcomings. I hope more people will post their experiences with headlamps.
distinguished member (139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/14/2024 02:13PM  
Agreed, lots of great conversation already. For me one thing that really separated products and drove my decision is the use of this headlamp during ice fishing. Lithium batteries (AAA) are a huge upgrade in the cold that accompanies ice fishing, which helps. These new batteries are another step it may seem, time will tell. Having anything electric in your pocket or in a sled for 8-10 hours when it is 0 degrees F or below will cause some products to shine and others to not.
02/14/2024 03:48PM  
$1.25 COB LED Headlamp

Not waterproof, not a ton of features, but very bright, small and light.
02/14/2024 05:44PM  
I have a Fenix HM60R and now use my Petzyls for back up. Cold weather battery, 4 levels up to 1300 lumens and a red light.

Went for a hike last night and mostly used the red but was fun to use the high beam to scan the tree tops.
distinguished member(1934)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/14/2024 10:21PM  
I'm a huge fan of the Nitecore headlamps and own a number of them. The functionality is easy to use, they are sturdy, red light/3 level white light, long battery life, super lightweight, and rechargeable without needing to remove the battery pack. Battery has easily lasted for 2 weeks without needing recharge. I actually carry one all the time with my new job, just to have for loading or unloading vehicles/materials on dark mornings or nights.
02/15/2024 07:40AM  
I'm one of those whose needs are fewer and usage is less than some of you, so I just tend toward simplicity. I had a Black Diamond Spot for a few years, used minimally, which inexplicably stopped working. A couple of emails to Black Diamond produced no response whatever. I replaced it with a Petzl Tikka, which I have only used for a couple of trips, so not much experience, but I do still have a Petzl over 20 years old that still works.
02/15/2024 03:11PM  
Another Fenix fan here I have an old hl60r that has been going strong for 7 years or so now and it's more than bright enough and lasts long enough for just about any situation. It goes to 1000 lumens, but I rarely find myself in need of more than half that. I can really attest to the durability and waterproofing as well. It's been caving, canyoneering, mountaineering, hunting, fishing, paddling and more and it just keeps going. If it ever dies I plan to buy another Fenix.
distinguished member(1372)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/15/2024 05:31PM  
This is the one I take. 2500 lumens on the high beam, but can cycle down to lower levels. You can take it out of the head strap and use as a flashlight, and even clip it on your belt. What I like best is that it has a USB/magnetic charger. I bring a 21,000 charger with me that has a built in solar panel. If the light runs down I can charge it back up in a few hours.

The 2500 setting is way to bright for in camp use. The only time I have used it to shine into the woods if we suspect a bear or moose coming into camp. Nothing can hide in that much light. Perun 2 Olight head lamp
distinguished member (139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/16/2024 01:26PM  
O-Light, fenix...both came up and were considered in my search. I've heard/read great things about the headlamps these companies produce. Coast was another that came up often. Lots of great options for what a person deems they need in a headlamp.
member (9)member
02/17/2024 07:35AM  
FWIW, Fenix has a 25% military/EMS/first responder discount

Fenix discount details
02/17/2024 11:34AM  
keth0601: "Another Fenix fan here I have an old hl60r that has been going strong for 7 years or so now and it's more than bright enough and lasts long enough for just about any situation. It goes to 1000 lumens, but I rarely find myself in need of more than half that. I can really attest to the durability and waterproofing as well. It's been caving, canyoneering, mountaineering, hunting, fishing, paddling and more and it just keeps going. If it ever dies I plan to buy another Fenix."

Another big fan here of the now aged Fenix HL60R. I've had mine for about 8 years and it's been fantastic. I know for a good many people all they need is a light to clean up the pots and pans or make it to the privy after dark, but that does not work for me. Traveling solo with my dog I want to be able to light up the night if I hear something in the woods behind camp, am helping (or needing help) in an emergency, or if I have to travel at night for some reason. I have two older Black Diamond (storm and revolt), and I do not like either one. I find them fussy and hard to open, the function of switching beams confusing, and just not bright enough.

I've used my HL60R on many 7-20 day trips including fall and winter trips as well as many nights working at a dog sled race checkpoint where I run it all night. Even with temps in the -30ºF range, I don't think it has ever run below 50% battery power. I could recharge the 18650 battery via USB if I had to, or I also usually carry two CR123 batteries which also work. The downside is it weighs a bit more at 6.05 oz vs 3.75 for my Revolt, but it's very worth those 2.3 oz given the massive performance difference.

I think the HL60R is being replaced by the HM60R, which looks a little brighter, has more red light options, has a better battery, and amazingly weighs a little less. If I had to replace mine today that would almost certainly be my choice.
distinguished member(1210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/19/2024 03:29AM  
My son bought me a Fenix for Christmas two years ago and I love it. We use them for bowhunting exclusively in the fall. They are bright when needed. I keep mine out for jobs around the house as well, now that my vision is getting poorer with age.

+1 on the Fenix.
Canoe Dude
distinguished member (400)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/21/2024 01:23PM  
Black Diamond Storm 500-R Headlamp

I like the Red, Blue and Green night light options. USB chargeable and usually lasts me a week or longer on a charge while on a trip.

Used to just use cheaper Energizer headlamps and had a Petzl that no longer functions.
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
02/22/2024 12:48PM  
got my first headlamp last year. about 21 cad on aliexpress. wish i had bought two. love it. high, med, low light settings. red, blue, and green also. rechargeable. head strap. the lamp tilts. and i believe has an IXP6 waterproof rating. what more do you need?
02/22/2024 04:07PM  
I bought an expensive Black Diamond and a cheap Energizer at the same time. Energizer still works, BD doesn't.
distinguished member (120)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2024 05:23AM  
I love my petzl rgb headlamp.

I have 2 old black diamonds that used to turn on by accident in my pack. The petzl has yet to do that. The black diamond headbands have pretty much completely lost their stretchyness.
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2024 08:38AM  
Good thread. I’ve had several over the years. I now stick with the Petzl Tikkina with the core battery for most applications. The Tikkina has ridiculously good battery life on low. I also have a little Nebo Mycro that is solid. I had an energizer brand lamp that I accidentally left at the base of a tree stand for an entire year. Put new batteries in it and she fired right up.
distinguished member (139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/26/2024 10:00AM  
Quick update after a couple of ice fishing trips and using the Nitecore HC65 UHE. Good light, lots of options inside the shack, with both red light and white light, and the bright floodlights are a positive. The highest setting turbo lighting was bright/wide and lit up the shore more than 100 yards away. Should work well for my intended use. I would say if you want a light to focus it’s high output on a small spot this light may not be ideal, But the flood does light up a long way and a wide swath.
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