Black Diamond Ion
In my ubiquitous quest to lighten my pack weight,…
Price Paid: $18
In my ubiquitous quest to lighten my pack weight, the Black Diamond Ion Headlamp was an exciting find. I was skeptical about relying on a such a tiny headlamp but much subsequent use has put my mind (and my back!) at ease.
Black Diamond describes the Ion as “The ultimate emergency backup light.” At 1oz you can definitely afford to throw it in your first aid kit as a backup to a more powerful light but in my experience, the Ion provides adequate illumination to leave the bigger, bulkier, heavier headlamp at home for most backcountry trips.
The Ion’s two SuperBright LED’s, powered by a 6v battery (included) offer proximity lighting at a range of 10-15m for 15 hours. The narrow, adjustable, elastic headband can be worn on your bare head, over a helmet, wrapped around your wrist, draped around your neck, or a tree branch, anywhere really. The head pivots, which is handy for anything from reading to late night blister treatments.
I used the Ion to hike out 16km in the pitch dark and while it didn’t light up the trail like a runway, it got the job done. This particular trail was a nice wide horse track with a gentle grade. I would not recommend using it for night hiking on trails with significant elevation changes or obstacles (rocks and roots for example) along the way.
During a winter trip where temperatures dropped down well below freezing, the Ion performed flawlessly.
When I accidentally left my Ion in my jacket pocket (which is very easy to do by the way... it’s so light and compact that you’d never even notice it in your pocket) it ended up going through one additional test. After a full wash cycle and tumble dry, it’s still working perfectly.
My only problem I have ever had with this product is finding it. It’s so small that it’s very easy to lose. To prevent this on trips, I keep a safety pin on the headband and keep it pinned inside my first aid kit when I’m not using it.
For around camp and in the tent, the Ion is all you need. And with a price tag of $18, you can afford to lose one once in a while.
I've used an Ion for a couple of seasons. It's sturdy…
Price Paid: $25
I've used an Ion for a couple of seasons. It's sturdy and certainly very lightweight.
However, this is my big gripe about it: it uses a unique battery that can be hard to find, that is pretty expensive -- about a buck a volt -- and that doesn't last very long. After I put in a fresh battery, the light's peak brightness drops off rather quickly. I seem to get about 16 hours of truly useful light from these batteries. You can't find these batteries in the average drugstore or hardware store -- not even in most outdoors stores.
So I've changed this season to a Petzl Tikka Plus, which uses AAA batteries, as does my GPS unit. Now I need a camera that works on AAAs....
So far, the Tikka Plus has given me plenty of light at the lowest setting for many hours. The Tikka Plus weighs more than the Ion, but I think the extra ounces are worth it for the battery commonality, lower cost, and (apparently) longer life in this application.
This headlamp is in its element around camp. However…
This headlamp is in its element around camp. However I've used it for night hiking on established trails. I would use something a little brighter on rougher ground. It's super lightweight and simple, it's either on or off. If you get one and happen to drop it the battery can bend one of the contacts and it won't turn on, but it's an easy fix. The cord lock on the strap has a bump that fits a notch on body of the lamp. Insert bump into notch and twist and the two halves of the lamp pop open. The contact can be bent back into place with something like the nail file on a Swiss Army knife (do this with the battery removed). All and all this is a good little light, and I have, and will in the future, use it as my only light source.
This isn't a bad product, but I have to say there're…
Price Paid: $20
This isn't a bad product, but I have to say there're far better ones out there. A big problem with prolonged uses of the Ion is the lack of a third vertical strap that's on most headlamps can make its light bouncy with moving around. Also it's not nearly as bright as others which makes it a bad choice to use when pushing for a few more miles at the end of the day. In its defense the Ion is probably the lightest headlamp on the market. Ideally it should be used as a replacement for your flashlight because of the option of not requiring a hand.
The battery is terrible. It lasts less than 3 hrs…
Price Paid: present
The battery is terrible. It lasts less than 3 hrs and costs like $6-9 to replace _if_ you can find it. At ~30g (incl battery) it is a good emergency backup, but you don't want to actually have to use it. A better choice IMHO is the Wiz, a 2AAA model weighing 56g (incl battery) with better light and 35hrs life.
Also, the part that stabilizes it to your forehead is a bit skimpy so it bounces a little more than I would like.
I've used this light for 3+ years mainly for an emergency…
Price Paid: $20
I've used this light for 3+ years mainly for an emergency light in my pack.
It's light, tough as can be expected for such a lightweight compact light,and gives plenty of light for getting out of the woods.
It would get 5 stars except for the expensive and hard to find battery.
The greatest headlamp I have ever owned not only due…
Price Paid: $15
The greatest headlamp I have ever owned not only due to the great price I got it for but also because of its miniscule size and weight. Can go anywhere, I've even taken it kayaking.
The bummer is its expensive battery...
Black Diamonds Silver Oxide batteries are expensive, but it is okay because REI carries them.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
With its compact size and ultralight weight of just a single ounce, the Black Diamond Ion Headlamp is perfect to stash in your glove box, backpack, or pocket. The Ion can cast a beam 22 meters long on the high setting, and the IPX4 water-resistant rating means a surprise rain shower won't leave you stranded in the dark.
Black Diamond Ion Headlamp FEATURES of the Black Diamond Ion Light 1 SinglePower LED emits 12 lumens 2 LED settings powered by a single 6-volt battery Momentary switch powers lamp on and off and prevents accidental battery drain Protected against splashing or sprayed water from any angle (IPX 4) SPECIFICATIONS of the Black Diamond Ion Light Led Type: 1 SinglePower Max Lumens: 12 Max Distance(S) ON Highest Setting: 22m Max Distance(S) ON Lowest Setting: 3m Max Burntime(S) ON Highest Setting: 8H Max Burntime(S) ON Lowest Setting: 15H Batteries: 6-volt (included) Weight with Batteries: 1 oz / 28 g Case Pack Quantity: 12 Retail Package Dimension: 7.9 x 3.7 x 1.8in. / 20 x 9.5 x 4.5 cm
Black Diamond Ion Camping Headlamp - An excellent ultralight backup light, the Black Diamond Ion is small enough to stash in any pocket, plus the reflector-housed, 1/2 watt LED casts a far-reaching beam for finding your way up that final pitch or down that last mile back to the trailhead in the dark. BD's lightest headlamp at 30 grams (1 oz), the Ion has a pivoting head that angles the light anywhere you need it, and a replaceable 6-volt battery provides power for 15 hours at the low setting and 3 hours on high. Yes, the Ion is unnoticeable in size and weight, but don't let its diminutive size fool you'this two-setting headlamp is Black-Diamond-tough, able to withstand apocalyptic levels rain and sleet.
The light that should be in every pack you own, the Black Diamond Ion provides ultralight, just-in-case lighting for anytime the sun goes to bed before you're back at the car. A single, 12-lumen SinglePower LED helps you make it down the rappels or find the trail, and the momentary switch prevents accidental battery drain when the Ion is in your pack.