Help! Need a lightweight LED lamp gift for my hiker sister

2:17 p.m. on November 30, 2006 (EST)
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My sister is an avid hiker/backpacker and for Christmas has requested a lightweight battery-operated lantern to take on hikes and camping trips. I saw the Brunton Glorb LED lamp but it got mixed reviews. Any suggestions? (I don't hike or camp myself so I appreciate any help!) Thanks in advance

8:28 p.m. on November 30, 2006 (EST)
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http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews_index/reviews_index_headlamps.htm
This should help. Watch the weight and beam style though, some of the "best" are bulky/heavy and more suited to climbers than hikers.
Generally speaking , look for a multi LED, with a pivitong head and 3 AAA bateries packed in the front. Something like the or Princton Quad is popular and versitile for GP hiking and camp usage.

8:44 p.m. on November 30, 2006 (EST)
MODERATOR
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Weehooker is on the right track. Lanterns look cool in the store and are fine for car camping or taking along with a group, but a headlamp is much more practical and very light. I became a convert after I bought mine and found that having two hands free is a big benefit. I have a Princeton Tec Aurora, but the Quad Weehooker mentioned has one more LED than mine and isn't much bigger. REI sells them, as do a lot of other stores.

Headlamps are great for walking at night, reading in your tent, cooking and just about anything else. Sure, they look kind of dorky, but out in the woods, who cares.

9:19 p.m. on November 30, 2006 (EST)
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I'd also make sure it's waterproof. These newer LEDs need a heat sink, and some of the sinks are nothing more than a grill that opens to air. A few of these units output amperages of 8 watts or more. I can see where a hat that is close to the sink could possibly get scorched. The waterproof units are enclosed, and rain won't affect them (much).

It takes a little getting use to, but some of the LEDs also put out a hot spot when viewing close distances. It tends to distort the depth of field perception. So a diffusion lens helps to avoid this.

I have the Princeton Tec Corona and Quad. Both are really great little tools. The Quad has a low battery indicator, which could save you a little extra weight and inconvenience by knowing that you might change batteries before leaving, and carry a fresh set for replacements. The Princeton Tec web site can teach you a lot about these things by comparing the different options each have.

Wal-Mart also sells some units by Energizer, Brinkman and others. Some of these have red filters for night vision. I don't know the real quality of these, but I bought my wife one to wear around the house when the power goes off. Not as cozy-feeling as a candle, but sure smells better when you put it out. She can also use it to look for the dogs at night when they don't return home on time. They really light up the retinas on animals from quite a distance.

Hope this helps!

Blackbeard

9:27 p.m. on November 30, 2006 (EST)
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Oh yeah, one more thing I've found from my Corona.

As mentioned before try to get one with the battery pack in the front. The kind with the pack on the back of the headband is hard to use under a hat, so you have to wear it over the hat. If you use a baseball hat, you get a shadow right in front of you by wearing it over the hat. If you wear either type under the hat, you really light up the bill, and this can be a bothersome quality. A black color on the bottom of the bill helps a little.

Blackbeard

4:34 p.m. on December 8, 2006 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. c, M, Miles Trail

I've used Petzl Tikka/ Tikka Plus/ Zipka Plus all are exelent lights the only reason I've had so many is I lost two of them.
the Tikka can be a little hard to turn on and off becuase it uses a small switch and it only has one brightness setting but if your sister likes to keep things simple it is a great light I used mine for just under 1 year before losing it at summer camp and I never had any problems with it.
the Tikka Plus is pretty much the same but with 3 brightness settings, a strobe feture, 1 extra LED, it uses a rubber butten for switching between the different sttings and it can be pivited up and down for whatever angle will work best for the task at hand again just under a year of use before losing it once again at summer camp.
last but not least is the the Zipka Plus it is exactly the same as the Tikka Plus but it can not be pivited and instead of a regular head band it has a very strong litle string on a spring loaded coil wich is pretty cool but if your sister has long hair then it may not be ideal I speak from experiance as I have long hair however this is still my faveret headlamp so far beacuase... well mostly becuase the spring loaded head band string thingy is just realy cool and I've gone 2+ years without losing this one wich makes it the most long lived so far.
all of these lights are of the afor mentioned 3 AAA stored in the unit type and all wiegh less than 3 OZ you can also get different colared lenses for night vision and these lenses can be swaped out in 30 seconds with just a pocket knie of maybe realy tuff finger nails

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