Headlamp, Helmet questions

10:21 a.m. on March 13, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Paul, Paul R., Paul Raphaelson, PaulR, PR

Any opinions on the Black Diamond gemini headlamp? It looks great .. but I don't have a sense of how reliable and bombproof it is.

Also, any thoughts on BD vs. Petzl helmets?

Thanks,
Paul

5:36 p.m. on March 13, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Lots of thoughts, but I will share only a few

Quote:

Any opinions on the Black Diamond gemini headlamp? It looks great .. but I don't have a sense of how reliable and bombproof it is.

It is a good headlamp. A friend of mine did alot of the design work on it. I havent heard anything bad about its durability(no news is good news). It is a nice little combo set up. I like BD's headlamps better than most except for the zipka and Tikka.

Quote:

Also, any thoughts on BD vs. Petzl helmets?

I do not like the BD helmets though. They are over built with a rather archane harness system. They are not terrible if they manage to fit on your head, but they are heavy as all get out.

Petzl puts alot of thought into all their stuff and they rigorously test them. The Ecrin Roc is tried and true, easy to adjust and has a good harness system. The meteor is a one hit on the head wonder bicycle type but it is also nice if your head is the right shape and it is light. They are coming out with a new one along the lines of the BD halfdome, but a step up in fancier harness system and goog UIAA impact rating.


matt

10:11 a.m. on March 14, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Paul, Paul R., Paul Raphaelson, PaulR, PR
Re: Lots of thoughts, but I will share only a few

Thanks Matt.
someone just pointed me in the direction of the HB dyneema helmet. looks great. costs $100 but there's a site that has them on sale for $69.
Any thoughts on this? I talked to one guy who owns it and loves it but that's about it.

 

Quote:

Quote:

Any opinions on the Black Diamond gemini headlamp? It looks great .. but I don't have a sense of how reliable and bombproof it is.

It is a good headlamp. A friend of mine did alot of the design work on it. I havent heard anything bad about its durability(no news is good news). It is a nice little combo set up. I like BD's headlamps better than most except for the zipka and Tikka.

Quote:

Also, any thoughts on BD vs. Petzl helmets?

I do not like the BD helmets though. They are over built with a rather archane harness system. They are not terrible if they manage to fit on your head, but they are heavy as all get out.

Petzl puts alot of thought into all their stuff and they rigorously test them. The Ecrin Roc is tried and true, easy to adjust and has a good harness system. The meteor is a one hit on the head wonder bicycle type but it is also nice if your head is the right shape and it is light. They are coming out with a new one along the lines of the BD halfdome, but a step up in fancier harness system and goog UIAA impact rating.


matt

11:26 a.m. on March 14, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

I got one

It passed the drop object test with 5 hits before cracking, the UIAA standard is just 1 good drop. Sits sort of high on the head and doesnt offer as much side impact protection as others. Contrary to myths, it does have on-the-head just-as-easy-to-adjust harness system as Petzl Ecrin Roc. Its a dork maker though.

If I did it over again, I would go back to the HB El Cap. As light as, same harness system, offers better side impact and rain brim and looks way cooler. A tad cheaper too.

Headlights: the Zipka and Tikka, well mine and most of those I know who use them, the on / off switch doesnt last past about a week of good use before intermitent function. They beam doesnt adjust up / down like the BD Moonlight, which is my current favorite.

The Gemini is OK but it does nothing well for what you get. Heavy for a small light but for its wgt you dont get much brightness, not real good for Arctic temps / climbing.

6:10 a.m. on March 15, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: I got one

Quote:

Headlights: the Zipka and Tikka, well mine and most of those I know who use them, the on / off switch doesnt last past about a week of good use before intermitent function. They beam doesnt adjust up / down like the BD Moonlight, which is my current favorite.

I've got the tikka and love it... but yeah, the switch can be a bit dodgy. I spoke to the guy at the shop where I bought it though and he tells me it's got a warranty of 3 years... if the switch becomes unusable, just take it back!

I've also seen a different brand (sorry, I foget what it was but don't think it was a BD) with the 3 LEDs in it... it also had a pivot on it (unlike the Tikka) to adjust the angle of the beam, and you could turn on and off the three LEDS independently to adjust brightness and save power even more (no idea if that'd be useful considering the go-time of the tikka). I reckon the switch on this one would be darn near impossible to operate with mitts or fat gloves on and about impossible with numb fingers if you pulled off your hand covers :-) Its one of those little micro-switches which you press with your tiny finger tips.

Alan.

1:46 p.m. on March 15, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Just one comment

Anyone ever try to do any climbing with an led lamp?

Dont recomend it, just not enough light. See if you can get a halogen for the BD lamp. It will burn batteries up, but you cant beat if for climbing.

The tika and zipka rule for reading though, none of those crazy circles on the pages from an incandescent bulb.

matt

6:24 p.m. on March 17, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Just one comment

Quote:

Anyone ever try to do any climbing with an led lamp?

Dont recomend it, just not enough light. See if you can get a halogen for the BD lamp. It will burn batteries up, but you cant beat if for climbing.

Do you mean tech. stuff? I've not done anything too technical with it on. I find it great for late night/early morning walks in and out though, it spreads a nice wide clear beam for about 20 metres ahead I guess.

Yeah, great for reading... and cooking, and blinding your tent mates.

12:50 a.m. on March 25, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

I just bought a gemini and used it for a two week trip. All up its not too bad, although it fell off my head early in the piece onto a wooden floor and the battery casing cracked badly...so not real bombproof (thereafter held together with cable ties). The LED is great for reading and cooking by, and a single set of batteries lasted a fortnight easily with a hell of a lot of use, which even with a tikka would likely have chewed through at least a set. Even climbed with the single LED to save batteries, although it was pretty marginal doing this, and had to keep switching to the incandescent bulb (which, frustratingly, doesn't seem to be *that* much brighter...from reading the instructions on getting back, the spare bulb is brighter yet, but makes for a very short battery life).

Definitely not as bright as a Petzl Duo, but then again, not as heavy, and much leaner on the batteries. Possibly best for longer expedition-type trips where you only want one torch, and can't afford to take 5 sets of batteries. Even then it's a bit of a compromise.

Andrew

4:46 p.m. on April 17, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Chris
Re: Lots of thoughts, but I will share only a few

Quote:

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Any opinions on the Black Diamond gemini headlamp? It looks great .. but I don't have a sense of how reliable and bombproof it is.

Nothing wrong withthe Gemini. I tried it but ending up returning it because it lacks a voltage regulator and I've decided that my next expensive headlamp needs to have one. Without the voltage regulator, the light is really bright at first but then dims fairly quickly. If you use incandecent bulb much, the LED will be fairly dim too, due to the drop-off in the voltage from the batteries.

Some of the new headlamps (BD Spaceshot, LEDlite Illuminator, Photon Fusion) have voltage regulators. A voltage regulator is circuitry that, well, regulates the voltage coming from the batteries and keeps the light fairly steady for most of the life of the batteries.

I think that more headlamps are going to come out with voltage regulators--there are things I don't care for on all of the existing headlamps that I know of that have voltage regulators.

My perfect headlamp would be the Gemini w/ 3 LEDs instead of 1 and a voltage regulator.

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