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Thread: Top performing Headlamp

  1. #1
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Top performing Headlamp

    Please help me find a great headlamp. Weight isn't an issue as much as performance. I'd like a real deal forest tromping light that will guide me out when I'm later than usual. I'm starting to mark my trails with reflective tacks and a strong light is important durring the late season here in SE AK.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    All depends what you want to pay. Ballpark figure is $1 per lumen. If you want the brightest then the Petzl Ultra at 350 Lumen is about the best from a quality maker;

    http://www.amazon.com/Petzl-E52-AC-U...9127526&sr=1-1

    Other options for less $$ are from Fenix, I have been using their flashlights for a while and I would compare them to surefire quality, but have no experience of their headlamps

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...refix=fenix+he

    Others to look at are Black Diamond and Princeton tec. All depends what specs you want and how much $$; High output usually means less battery life, weatherproofing can be an issue with low $$.

  3. #3
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Wow, great info nbh....
    Proud to be an American!

  4. #4

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    I have Fenix-HP20, it's super bright and waterproof. Also with separate battery box you can keep
    it from freezing inside your clothing. BUT, my first one just stopped working (remote switch broke and only one power setting was possible via the main switch). I got new one via Amazon and before recommending this lamp to anybody I will test more. Maybe my first one was just "monday piece"
    Note that diffuser lens is not included and it's needed IMO.

  5. #5
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    That Petzl is a spendy piece of gear. I'd love to see what a broad beamed 350 Lumen beam would be like in the timber at night. I find myself roaming down and out of the hills at dark sometimes this time of year and having a real light would be safer.

    The fenix isn't bad Lumen for dollar piece of gear. I ordered the fenix, for the dollars it's worth a try. If I'm still not satisfied then maybe do a huge upgrade.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Whatever Craig has/had during our blacktail trip was phenomenal! I thought my little cheezeball headlamp was OK until he powered up the head-mounted sun....I was impressed...

  7. #7

    Default Petzl

    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    That Petzl is a spendy piece of gear. I'd love to see what a broad beamed 350 Lumen beam would be like in the timber at night. I find myself roaming down and out of the hills at dark sometimes this time of year and having a real light would be safer.

    The fenix isn't bad Lumen for dollar piece of gear. I do need water proof though.
    The Petzl is sweet but I wouldn't want a rechargble battery. The head lamp only lasts an hour and half on high. It would be sweet for cross country skiing or dog mushing though. I would go with one of the higher end Petzl or BLack Diamond headlamps with replacable batterys.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    I've got the same lamp as Craig. They are nice but still not ultrabright. I think it's a high end multi led Princton Tec.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I've been using the Apex pro Extreme for about a year now. I like that the battery pack can be stored in my jacket pocket close to my body temp so I don't loose power in the winter time. Because I use it so much in the winter, head lamps with a battery pack attached to the head band isn't practical. It's very bright and holds 8 double AA's.......lotta juice.
    http://www.princetontec.com/index.php?q=apex-extreme

  10. #10
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    My best one was a Cabela's XPG model. It is brighter than most and I would still have it if the battery clip had not broken off.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  11. #11

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    I have the NitroMax by Browning. 110 Lumens for $44.95 at Bass Pro Shops. Two levels of white light plus a red and blue light. Easily shines 100+ yards on high setting. I will put it up against my 6-D Cell Mag light anyday. The battery drain is reasonable for that much light. Batteries are $5 photo batteries but you only need one and it lasts for my entire hunting season. The beam is focused so if you want a camp light, stick with the cap lights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    That Petzl is a spendy piece of gear. I'd love to see what a broad beamed 350 Lumen beam would be like in the timber at night. I find myself roaming down and out of the hills at dark sometimes this time of year and having a real light would be safer.

    The fenix isn't bad Lumen for dollar piece of gear. I ordered the fenix, for the dollars it's worth a try. If I'm still not satisfied then maybe do a huge upgrade.
    FWIW I know a few of the volunteer search and rescue guys up here use the 350 Lumen Petzl and are very impressed with it. Guess you could probably use it to cook your Mountain House and ditch the Jetboil for some weight saving

  13. #13
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Petzl makes great headlamps. I have a couple older ones, and have used them for many years. The newer models get more impressive all the time.

    Here's one not widely known outside cycling circles, but worth a look, if only for the wow factor: http://www.niterider.com/rechargeabl...-led-race-new/
    I have one of these, several generations earlier, and have used them for winter cycling, backcountry skiing, working around the homestead at night etc. These things light up the night.
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  14. #14

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    My buddy bought the Apex (not pro so he can run it with AAs) from princton tec.....pretty nice. Though I do like the adjustable beam focus on my Mammut "coal miner". What the Mammut lacks in lumens (only 80) it equals in lighted distance due to being able to focus the beam. Plus the battery life is way impressive.

  15. #15
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    Been using the Princeton Tec Apex for several years now. Great light! 200 lumens for $60. The four side LEDs are good for most things, but when you need a long range blast the main light is the ticket. Battery life is surprisingly good.

  16. #16
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    I don't have any fancy numbers to give you, just my experience with my new headlamp. Did a bunch of research last year and decided on the Mammut Lucido TX1. Part of the decision was the AA batteries.That way I only needed to carry one size of battery on trips to use in the gps, headlamp, and camera. There are some negative reviews about the narrow spot light beam, but it works great for me. It helped get us off the mountain this september two different times. Also put it to the test crossing the delta river 6 round trips last january at 2am.

    Also will add that I was given a Streamlight Super Tac to take sheep hunting. I was glad to have it when a friend, my sister, and I left 6000 feet in the dark headed for camp at 3300. It was nice to be able to spot light several waterfalls on the way down and see the routes to get around them.

  17. #17
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    Thumbs up Apex Pro Extreme - Sold!

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I've been using the Apex pro Extreme
    Great recommend. I just now placed my order for the same model. Found it at 20 percent less than the link you provided though - check this out: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._ya_os_product

    Got free shipping too, via Amazon Prime (that membership can be had for free if you do it right).

    I liked the features of: remote battery pack, AA usage, 200 Lumen, etc...

    Thanks again.

  18. #18

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    I think there's more to "performance" than simple brightness. There's even more to it than brightness / battery life (lumens/watt). I want a light that's comfortable, survives drops or falls, switch won't break, conserves batteries in between uses, and where I can change the batteries in the dark while wearing gloves without losing any of the small parts.

    So far I've been happiest with carrying two lights, one flood for walking and one spot for working. Each one does its job slightly better than any combo I've seen yet. The pairs don't usually weigh much more than one honkin' huge light. If you're out tromping about late, the redundancy can be a safety issue in the dark. And I guess I'm just used to it.

    I mix and match from among several lights depending on mood, conditions, and goals. Most often I wind up choosing an older AA Petzl headlamp for walking and a big Mag on my belt. (I modified the holster so it carries canted to avoid hitting my leg.) My only complaint is having to carry two sizes of battery, like mod elan I'd much prefer to only carry AA's.

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    Been using this model I bought from Barney's for a couple of years now to include an Afghanistan tour:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mammut-Lucido-...9181433&sr=8-2

    More than once I've had friends comment on the brightness and effectiveness of its spotlight. It also features a couple of levels of "close work" light.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    and a big Mag on my belt. ... like mod elan I'd much prefer to only carry AA's.
    Give it a few more years (or decades) and you'll not hike with a big Mag anymore.

    Multiple lights? Of course. One would be dumb.

    But there's no reason to go all heavy-like unless you're looking for a workout.

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