Gear Review Headlamp roundup

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by The_Prepared, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Just finished researching over 200 models to pick the best headlamps for emergency preparedness.

    At this point in the headlamp market's development, there's no reason not to buy one of the models that can use either normal disposable batteries or the USB rechargeable ones. That kind of optionality is key in an emergency.

    The overall winner is the Black Diamond ReVolt. It's well-reviewed and often in the top 10 of other outdoor-oriented headlamp reviews, but usually #5 or so. But for prepping it has the right mix of features like red light night vision, spot and beam modes, battery life meter, lockout mode, waterproofing, etc.

    Best choice for spares/backups or cheaper options is the Energizer Vision HD+ at $15. Some other decent options too, like the $20 Petzl Takkina (which, like most Petzls, is frustrating because it lacks a lockout feature to prevent accidental turn-ons.)

    Do you have any favorites?
  2. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I have had a lot of different headlamps over the years for work. I now have a Black Diamond Spot headlamp and it's the best I've ever had. It isn't the rechargeable one listed above.
  3. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I like this one...
    No batteries, just Calcium Carbide :D
    SB21, Witch Doctor 01, Hanzo and 7 others like this.
  4. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Yeah the Spot is usually one of the winners of reviews done by hiking/camping/etc publications. It's a great lamp, but the lack of power versatility kept it out of the prepper running.
    Seepalaces, Ura-Ki and Zimmy like this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I might be interested, if you were not hocking your own site....
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  6. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    Well, given that John has been very open and up front about his site from the very beginning. And given that someone posted one of his articles here(Hello from The Prepared)...I don't see an issue with it.

    You never say word one about folks from preparedham mentioning their site(What Is Next..... The Modern Prep Dilemma., Ham Radio - An Elmers Guide), in fact you and others send people there(Extra ham license help, General license study material, wouxun-us-stops-selling-wouxun-radios, My path to hamming.). John is being up front and honest about what he does and why he writes the reviews, and then links to them much like someone going to his site and linking to it.

    What's the issue? Little bit of a double standard because someone is your buddy and someone else isn't?

    ***Poster's Note***
    I take no issue with either or AD1
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    All well and nice, but posting any of these arguments in the open forum is not following a civil approach, so I must ask that we cease fire. Please continue with the topic, if you will.
    GrayGhost, oldawg, Seepalaces and 7 others like this.
  8. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I use professional/industrial grade head lights, sold by source 1 (Police/fire/rescue) spendy, but super tough, water proof, long charge life, and super high output, 650 lumin, Also has beam focus!
    Will post up the specs and such if any one wishes!
  9. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    Go for it
    Seepalaces and sec_monkey like this.
  10. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    The article was interesting, but has problems. Some mistakes such as their comment the Fenix HL50 requires a special battery. It can operate on a CR123 but works just fine with a AA.

    I disagree with some of their recommendations. AAA batteries are much more expensive than AA relative to the amount of power they can provide so that is a disqualifier to me and kills their Black Diamond ReVolt recommendation. AA batteries are everywhere and easy to find cheaply.

    More importantly lots of other stuff operate on AA batteries- camera flashes, hand flashlights, handheld ham radios, AM/FM radios, phone chargers, almost all portable GPS units, some medical equipment, etc. The AA is the most widely used battery there is. This makes it easy to commonize a lot of gear on AA batteries. Makes little sense to have stuff run on two or three battery types when it can all run on one if just a little careful selecting stuff. And AA rechargeable batteries and chargers are very plentiful, far more so than AAAs. I used to perform SAR stuff and had a headlamp, hand torch, FRS radio, ham radio and GPS all running on AAs so I needed to carry only one battery type.

    Rechargeable batteries that are built-in are a no go as the lamp is worthless when dead if you can’t pop a fresh battery in.

    I have had good luck with the Fenix HL23 and an earlier model (don’t recall number). I'd buy the HL50 next time.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It could be instructive to do a site search on the various mfrs flashlights, there are quite a few reviews that have been done in the past here on SM. Some pretty good comparos, which while not headlights will give some insights into the various manufacturers products.
    GrayGhost and Seepalaces like this.
  12. Big Ron

    Big Ron Monkey++

    My dad talked about a car they had with carbide lights on the front. He said they worked really well.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  13. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Yes, please and a website.
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  14. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I find head lamps useful beyond belief in the present, hands free getting firewood, closing up buildings etc, walking at night with weapon looking for what is bothering chickens, walking the dog at night, shoveling snow, etc. I can not even imagine not having one if things go bad. Have had several models over the years, each better than last, but limit them to ones that will use rechargeable AAA or AA batteries and find that even the 10 plus year old ones, stored without batteries in a cool dry place, would still do the job if needed. My preference is a system, small solar cell with 12 volt controller and a 12 volt rechargeable battery originally for a deer feeder, came all put together at Tractor Supply a few years ago and dumped cheap after deer season in a sale, AA rechargeable batteries and a 12 volt charger. Solar cell is mounted on outside of lawn mower shed with battery, etc, inside with a switched 12 v LED for shed light and charger and spare AA batteries next to battery. Have spare head lamp with batteries installed there as well. Has worked well for several years. Used carbide lamps as a kid, love them but carbide is strange and dangerous stuff and will not be around after things fall apart and the open flame could set fire to things, the odor is not pleasant, and if blown out and not turned off, could make a very good IED in a closed building. Would rather have a workable long term solution, looking for new and better battery, preferably Lion, but the present one has worked well for 4 years and shows no sign of failure, sealed lead acid, than try to have the newest, latest, and greatest. YMMV.
    If I did have to leave in a hurry, the whole system weighs a few pounds and the solar cell is a 15 watt one that is about 15 inches by 24 inches and is quite rugged. I am sure that with all new choices I could cut the weight by half and probably double the solar cell output with the same dimension cell. As mentioned by Airtime, the AA batteries fit most of my other lights, walky talkies, greenhouse meters, etc.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I see these are available on Amazon now, although they are about 1/2 the price I got them for when they first came out!
    Boruit 18000LM XM-L T-6 Rechargable with wall charger and USB charger
    Takes rechargable 18650 batteries which can be a challenge to find! Auto Zone and Napa auto parts carry them in stock and sometimes have spar chargers to run multiples at the same time!
  16. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Thanks for the catch, I'll look into it and correct.

    I don't disagree / I'd prefer AA too. But I couldn't find many quality AA options in the <$50 tier, which is where most people want to buy. Any AA lamps you particularly like?
  17. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I wish.
  18. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Yeah the Fenix HL23 is one I have now and like. $35 if I recall correctly.

    My EDC pocket flashlight is a Fenix LD21 which uses a AA. The cool part is one can turn the pocket clip around so it opens toward the back of the light and then clip it onto the bill of a ball cap making an instant head lamp. Works great in a pinch for hat people. Probably some other small pocket lights could do that.

    One last thought on head lamps. If you plan to use it outside in sub freezing temps extensively, consider a light where the batteries are in a separate box and with a long enough cable to keep the battery pack warm in side your coat. Really cold temps kill battery life, especially with alkalines.
    The_Prepared and Ura-Ki like this.
  19. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I'm confused folks.
    The specs say "Low-profile design uses three Black Diamond AAA Rechargeable Batteries or standard alkaline or lithium batteries"
    So in short it appears to be a better setup since you can charge the batteries if you have a source and it takes throw aways too?
    Ura-Ki and Zimmy like this.
  20. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Now if I've derailed the subject enough it is only because the reviews and the Amazon adds fail to describe how the the Revolt is charged. And why it is better. Sure I can assume but the details are what I work in daily.
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