can you SEE me now?

4:19 p.m. on March 22, 2014 (EDT)
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110 forum posts


petzl's= suck

suggested alternatives?

BD cosmo I hear is sound?

merci. :)

8:12 p.m. on March 22, 2014 (EDT)
2,161 reviewer rep
493 forum posts

BD Spot. Under $40. 130 lumens. Only needs 3 AAA batteries. Only drag is it isn't waterproof - get the Storm for that (but more expensive and requires 4 batteries).

9:31 p.m. on March 22, 2014 (EDT)
11,422 reviewer rep
1,393 forum posts

What are you looking to use it for? Basecamping? Backpacking? Caving? Ultralight?

It's hard to recommend a light without a clearer picture of how it's to be used.

7:36 a.m. on March 23, 2014 (EDT)
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110 forum posts

great question, goose!

fastpacking. :)

8:20 a.m. on March 23, 2014 (EDT)
2,590 reviewer rep
1,630 forum posts

+1 on the BD Spot. Its a awesome little light for the price. While ktbisnt "waterproof" it is water reaistant and asblong as you dont submerge it you should befine. I have had my Spot for about 4 years nowbi think and I love it. Its seen lots of rain and snow too.

11:39 a.m. on March 23, 2014 (EDT)
271 reviewer rep
1,863 forum posts

+ 2 on BD spot..I also use it for trail running...


12:21 p.m. on March 23, 2014 (EDT)
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If you'd like 1,000 Lumens, waterproof....

Cavers are using this, but the short battery life is probably prohibitive for long distance trekking.

2:03 p.m. on March 23, 2014 (EDT)
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I'm not sure why you do not like Petzl headlamps. Saying "suck" is uninformative. Perhaps if you said what specifically you do not like about them (presumably you have had bad experiences with more than one), we could help you more.

Over the years, I have tried many brands, testing some for Trailspace, plus have bought some and, for some unknown reason, have gotten several as gifts or samples (a large fraction of which are mediocre).

Couple things to look for - 1. battery case is easy to open intentionally but hard to have come open accidentally (I have had to replace batteries in the dark, so easy replacement is imperative ALL of the companies whose headlamps I have had have sold models of headlamp that were extremely difficult to open - some of these companies have improved the situation ove the past 5 years). 2. Battery placement has to be easy to remember in the dark (of course you could, and should, carry a second, maybe tiny, lamp to aid in replacing the batteries) 3. consider the tradeoff between AA and AAA, and maybe even the tiny button lithiums that last a really long time but are hard to line up in the dark. 4. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT - switch that cannot be switched on accidentally - I have had more batteries on not only lamps, but also electronic widgets get turned on in the pack, only to be dead when I needed the light.

If you like Black Diamond and want waterproof, check out the Storm. It is waterproof (not scuba-capable, but more than capable of heavy rain and dunking up to a couple feet. The TS review ratings are mostly 4-star (4), with 2 at 5-star. The big quibble seems to be that it takes 4 AAA batteries. Well, if you want brightness and good longevity without too much weight and bulk, it takes 4 AAA. I get more than adequate battery life with Energizer Ultimate Lithium - better cold capacity, as well. Eneloop rechargeables are ok for rechargeable life, though much shorter between changes than the Ultimate Lithiums.

I do like my Spots, but my big complaint about the Spot is that they upgrade it every 4-6 months. My first one (which I ruined by leaving the batteries in it after a very rainy trip, and they, of course, corroded - plus the batteries were Fry's cheap store brand - it pays to get good quality batteries, even though they cost more - 1. Energizer 2. Duracell, 3. Eveready, forget the rest, especially Fry's and Kirkland) was 50 lumens. Then came 60 lumens, 90 lumens last year, currently 100 lumens. Similar battery life, just much more efficient LEDs

I like the Storm, Icon, and Icon Polar (which I reviewed for Trailspace - but the Polar is more for someone going into really cold conditions).

I use the Petzl RXP I reviewed for TS a lot - the auto-adjust works well and saves battery, with the flood being just right for trail hiking and around camp. The brightest spot is great for orienteering or bicycling in the dark, but is short battery life - long enough for a Red or Blue course for an elite runner (or Green course for us M60+ runners).

Pelican (the indestructible camera case people) has a scuba division that makes excellent underwater lamps, as well as headlamps that work well for hiking. I have a couple of these that work well, though they are not as adjustable in brightness as the BDs with the continuous adjustments. I have one of their headlamps that is intended for bicycling (adjustable spot on the front, red blinker on the back, intended for your bike helmet)

I have tried a number of the popular, widely distributed brands and found they really do not work all that well. One of the instructors for the scout leaders courses I teach works for one of the Big Brands that you see in the Big Box Sporting stores (Cabela, Bass, Big 5, Dick's, etc). He is always handing out samples to the rest of us on staff. After my experiences with them, I wouldn't lay out the money, even at discount. They have mediocre light patterns and don't last.

2:07 p.m. on March 23, 2014 (EDT)
351 reviewer rep
287 forum posts

I have used my Petzl Tikka XP for years in all kinds of different weather conditions and it is still going stong. It has served me very well.

6:02 p.m. on March 23, 2014 (EDT)
2,093 reviewer rep
295 forum posts

Goose is right in that you need to decide in what application you will use most use your light.

The cosmo is a decent little light that is well made but it does not have many bells and whistles. That is the lamp my daughter and best friend scored on sale two years ago and have been pretty happy.

I stumbled on my Princeton Tec Vizz on sale as they were clearing last year's model. While both the Spot and vizz are dimmable, the Vizz is water proof, not just water resistant. I not only hike and backpack in the Washington Cascades, i also use mine for biking and canoeing. With the rain and water potential for me, this lamp was a better choice.

The new version has gone from 150 lumens to 165 for about $50.

I get how hard it is to jump in with some of this stuff!

6:21 a.m. on March 24, 2014 (EDT)
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110 forum posts

chalk it up to poor luck...

all of my petzl headlamps have been host to moisture & tempermental connections that change for the worst when I need them most.

I've since decided that sending one bad headlamp back for another is but a cyclical headache that I no longer want or need.

I purchase gear with intentions of it's routine performance.

let there be light!

normally "suck" isn't part of my uninformative vocabulary (agreed, bill)...

faulty and unreliable would be more like it. :)


2:37 a.m. on March 26, 2014 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
1,902 forum posts

I have an old Princeton Tec Aurora. There are a lot of newer and better (meaning brighter) lights around, but this one has lasted a long time, so I would recommend the brand. Mine runs on 3 AAA and I use rechargeables in it.

April 23, 2018
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