Black Diamond Spot
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30
Worked great with brand new batteries, however it would quickly diminish the battery. Carried on my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2012.
- Bright like the sun
- Nifty dimming feature
- Red light was never bright
- Battery life
This was a pretty good product, although I had a few problems with it.
First off, it drained batteries like nobody’s business. It lasted full-strength for maybe four days, and after that would slowly peter out. I think I replaced them probably every month or two, but that’s because I was stubborn and refused to replace them any sooner. When I did replace them, it was like someone turned on the sun though. I mean…dang. I’ll bet scientists in Japan were scared of an unexpected sun flare or something.
And for whatever reason the red light (which me and my friends affectionately nicknamed the “night pee light”), was just not that bright, no matter whether I changed the batteries or not. I don’t know if it was something wrong with just mine, or with the entire model but I do know that when you wake up in the middle of the night, and in the middle of the woods, you’ll probably want a brighter red light so that you don’t pee yourself from getting scared before you’re ready to go. That may or may not have happened to me one night in the Grayson Highlands.
Worked fine in the cold and rain, also. The red light is just a nitpicky thing, this really isn’t an item you should worry about too much.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25
Battery runs down when not used.
- Very bright
- Small package
- Battery runs down when not used
- Not enough pivot settings
When I first got it I was very impressed with the amount of light from a small package, however I have since found 2 drawbacks.
First, the fixed positions when tilting are not in quite he right places for me — twice as many detents would be perfect.
Second, the batteries wear down quite a bit in storage. I got it, put new batteries in and used it briefly, then took it on a trip a few months later and it was not very bright and the battery indicator was red.
One of my favorite aspects of LED lights is how long the batteries last, and it takes away from that if most of the battery power drains off when it is off. (I understand that for the push button with a light touch to work or to have the infinite brightness settings, a small amount of power has to be running through the switch at all times.)
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25
Great, works and is tough.
- 3 modes
Great headlamp, very bright with a wide, direct and red mode. A great addition to anyone's pack and a great way to reduce weight.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35
Light, bright, and adequate headlamp. The only gripe is the method used to cycle through the modes.
- Mode cycling can be annoying
I am nowhere near an expert on headlamps and I use mine for hiking/camping only (as opposed to climbing, night running, night biking, etc.), but I will say that this is a decently-powered headlamp and is more than enough for around the campsite.
In my opinion, it goes through batteries more than I would like, but that could be due to use, battery type, temperature, and/or my ignorance. My only legit gripe is that cycling through the modes can be annoying (holding the button half-way in took some getting used to).
Other than that, not a bad headlamp at all.
Price Paid: $39.99
I bought this Titanium- Spot -2011 model headlamp at my local R.E.I., and was fortunate that they held the last one in stock for me to pick up. Apparently this headlamp has a lot of bang for the buck! I would personally say yes this Black Diamond Spot is indeed awesome.
I purchased this item for 39.99$ at R.E.I.. I was looking at the store's provided spec sheet on Headlamps, Lanterns, and Flashlights, and this headlamp light was one of the best I believe out of the "High-Output Headlamps", considering my adventuring style.
It has a Flood/Spot Bulb Type, 6 modes, Spot, 2 strobe-(2) white-adjustable brightness- & (2) red. The Lumens output is 75 on high & 4 on low(adjustable brightness). The Max beam distance is another major functioning role and it can have a distance of 70 meters, about 229 ft, and reduced to about 6 meters on low, That's far!
It takes 3 AAA as its consuming power source, the batteries were included which is nice. The run time is 50 hours on high and 100 on low. The unit weighs 3.1 oz. This headlamp is also pivotable up and down.
Overall I am Super Satisfied with my new purchase of this headlamp as I plan to continue to Adventure/Hike/Camp throughout the Southern California mountain areas. This headlamp is not only unique but features many functions that will be able to provide me more than enough functionality to be around camp, my tent, on trail, or even an Emergency situation.
I would recommend this to anyone!
Below is a link of my review on this Headlamp-
Price Paid: $25
I gave this a poor review because the new Spot headlamps are nowhere near as good as the old Spots in both construction and optical quality.
I have two old BD Spots, one with a worn headband, so I though I'd get a replacement with a promotion coupon. Upon opening the package the first thing I noticed was how much more flimsy the new one was compared to the old — reduced mass in critical areas and paper-thin battery compartment hinges.
I probably could have lived with this if the main beam quality wasn't so poor. The entire lens/reflector is a completely different design over the old design and results in a very poor quality beam. This is indicated by the lack of light in the center of the beam, there's actually a dark spot which means the beam is not uniform in light projection.
The old Spots had a uniform coherent beam that probably went out to 50-60 meters. You could easily distinguish objects in the wilderness night. The main beam quality in the new ones isn't much better than a $5 incandescent flashlight but I'm sure people will like the low-level peripheral LED function.
I also checked out another new Spot in a local store just to make sure I didn't have a defective unit but it exhibited the same poor quality beam. I also checked out the BD Storm which seems to have the same optical design as the old Spot.
BD is giving the consumer less and hyping it as an improved design. It's not, it should be a $20 entry level headlamp. If you have or can get an old Spot – hang onto it.
Price Paid: 40$
Sturdy, bright, and lightweight. Went to the local outfitter back at home last Spring and the fella there talked me into this lamp over a couple others I was considering. And in the end I owe him big thanks.
Took this headlamp on my 200 miles of the AT last summer, and several hikes since. Never disappointed me. In fact, the first trip I took it on, I was enjoying a night scope of the conasauga river down in GA, and some how or another it ended up taking a dip in a puddle and smacked a rock...didn't phase it. Also, for what it's worth.. recently was rated 'brightest' by BACKPACKER magazine.
One tip- The norm goes with this headlamp as with others... fresh and high quality batteries bring out the best in the product, and it shows.
Price Paid: $39.99
I've taken the Spot on several trips, a humid Perusian cave, a winter camping trip in -30 weather north of Whitehorse Yukon, and I also used it in the mountains of central Madagascar where it rains constantly during monsoon months and I haven't had a single problem.
Battery life is great, the brightness speaks for itself and it's light weight is key for my ultralite backpacking trips. The headlamp itself looks good cosmetically and after falling off several ridges and slipping on Yukon ice it's never failed me. Very reasonably priced for what you get out of this headlamp as well.
Price Paid: $34
Looking at the wide assortment of headlamps can be seriously overwhelming. I ended up choosing the Black Diamond Spot because
- it had the right mix of high light output and low price;
- the option for beam or spotlight;
- having red LEDs accessible without cycling through the white light; and
- I had previously purchased the Black Diamond's Orbit lantern and was extremely pleased with the quality of BD products.
I don't regret my decision - the Spot is a great, light headlamp with lots of goodies (the battery indicator light and lock feature will come in handy).
Price Paid: $42
I was very impressed with this headlamp. It provides both great area lighting as well as a proximety lighting. The three light levels provide enough light for any situation. As opposed to the Petzl Tikka XP, the boost feature is good, but the fact that you have to hold the button down to use this feature discouraged me from buying it. As it states in all the product descriptions that I have read, it sounded like you tap the button and boom, a burst of light, not the case when I handled the product myself. Headlamps are meant to be hands free, that is why I chose the Black Diamond Spot.
Did I mention that the Spot is also great for cold weather activities, large button is easy to operate while wearing gloves.
Price Paid: *
This is the best headlamp that doesn't have a separate battery compartment. It has all the features you'd expect from a headlamp (different intensities and strobe on both settings) The 3 regular LEDs serve the same purpose as every basic led headlamp, but this one really shines with its upper light. It's more than powerful enough to hike in the dark and is all the power I need unless I'm doing something extraordinary (ex: caving, mountain biking at night and some alpinism).
Price Paid: $30 (sale)
I have zero complaints with this lamp. After careful research I purchased two of these headlamps. One each for my wife and I, and we love them. No problems with the lamp staying in its position. It has all the features and benefits found on the Black Diamond Zenix IQ but the Spot weighs half that found on the Zenix and lasts twice as long. Frankly, I don't care where it is made as long as it is quality. This headlamp is quality and does everything I need it to.
Price Paid: $42
The price was good for all the things this headlamp can do. I use it all the time and haven’t found anything to complain about. I really like the run time it has. On no moon nights there is nothing lacking, as far as light output or options. The lightweight aspect is nice when you are backpacking.
Price Paid: $45-ish
For the price, weight, and light you can't beat it. Bought it right before a trip and don't have any reason to get another.
Price Paid: 40.00
This is a product that I must sadly give a bad review to. I say sadly, because this is a product that I want to love.
Its unique electronics package, which gives you just about every feature imaginable, puts this headlamp head and shoulders above the competition. It is lightweight, has great battery life, and its variable intensity multicolor LEDs work exactly as they should.
Unfortunately, the case design is defective. The narrow — WAY TOO THIN — plastic catch, which is supposed to keep the headlamp securely at the desired set angle, is absolutely inadequate. I refer here to a portion of the same piece of plastic that the headband is woven through.
Mine lasted about three weeks under moderate use, with no abuse, either intentional or otherwise. After that, it started wobbling up and down as I moved around. Now, the catch makes no contact at all and it is permanently in the down position.
I stress, that this is not a case of getting a bad apple. It is definitely a design defect. Therefore, sending it back to Black Diamond for repair is somewhat pointless because the new piece will eventually just break again. The best I can do is permanently superglue it in the up position. Otherwise, it is utterly useless.
I also have Black Diamond's next model up, which is called Storm. Interestingly, its catch design is not the same, and I believe that it will prove to be far more durable over the long run. Even though it's a little heavier, four batteries instead of three, I recommend buying it instead of the Spot.
If Black Diamond redesigns the Spot's case, they will have a five star product.
Price Paid: $29.95
This is a great lamp EXCEPT for one very critical feature. The " tilt" or adjustment that allows you to angle the beam. It is very poorly engineered and comes loose allowing the beam to flop up and down. Very annoying and makes the lamp all but worthless.
I plan on taking this back to REI and informing them of this defect. For the price you pay one would expect quality and this lamp is plain cheap and not well built. I would normaly do a long review but this feauture kills the lamp for me. Too many good lamps on the market -- pass on this one and you will be happy you did.
Price Paid: $25 on eBay
I just had to buy one to find out how good it was... well...it's not that great I was really disappointed. :('
What I liked: It's lightweight -- has three smaller low current LEDs for proximity lighting with three levels of light for both sets of LEDs. Spot is comparably bright to the other headlamps.
What I didn't like: Made in China. Lens is easily scratched -- the light pivots up and down far too easily -- any unintentional movement knocks the headlamp out of aim. Appears to be cheaply made so I have my doubts about its long term durability. Far too expensive of a headlamp at retail prices when compared to similar but superior headlamps such as Princeton TEC EOS and Petzl Tikka XP. :)
Princeton TEC EOS is hands down a far better choice. Assembled in the USA at (least they are making an effort), very durable design and even regulated LED that DO NOT flicker! The Petzl Tikka XP is another excellent choice. I really like the diffuser which makes it great for reading or some improved proximity lighting and the instant extra bright boost feature regardless of previous light settings or even being turned off.
Bottom line: Buy if you must -- but do yourself a favor & seriously consider the Princeton Tec EOS and Tikka XP instead. If you COULD purchase one new for less than $12 I would rate it 4 stars for value. Only trouble is it retails for far more. Arrggh! Do
Price Paid: About $30
I bought the Black Diamond Spot headlamp some two years ago and have used it frequently ever since. I walk in all weather in all seasons from valleys to mountain tops and as a result I am very demanding of the kit I use.
The B.D. Spot is one tough little cookie to crack, over the last couple of years it has been dropped on rocks, kicked (not intentionally mind), bashed against countless branches and had more than a few baths and, surprisingly, it is still intact and has never stopped shining.
The batteries seem to go on for ever and even when almost depleted provide enough light to get to ones destination, then some. I find the max setting too bright for most of my exploits and tend to stick to the low or med proximity and only use the max if I am looking for something. The max beam setting gives a usable light for about 30-40m (7-9 car lengths).
Min provides a soft light that will not strip you of your much needed night vision but that will allow you to study a map or traverse a difficult patch of terrain. If you come across a cave you wish to venture into and investigate the max setting will serve you well enough.
The lamp tilts through about 60 degrees and is still comfortable to wear even at full downward tilt. As a guide to the size of this lamp it will fit neatly into a 6oz cup, strap and all, and at only 85g (INCLUDING batteries) it is feather light.
Sadly there are some con's to this great product. There is only one button that does all, on/off and adjusts the brightness. On and off is simple as is swapping between single and proximity lighting, what is not so simple is adjusting the brightness.
This is done by gently pushing the button about half way between on/off and released, with bare hands this is easy enough, with winter gloves on it can be infurating as you will inevitabley end up turing it off or missing the requried setting.
The second problem is that the settings are cyclical, so you have to go through everyone to get to what you want. This is fine if you are just doing your late night dog walk, but if you just wanted to check the map for a moment with the min setting you can kiss goodbye to your night vision for the next 20 mins or so because you will be dazzled by the other six light intensities.
NOTE: I have found that one can avoid the latter annoyance by turning the lamp on in your pocket or covering it up with your hand before you turn it on and then pressing the button 3 times, once for on, once for med and once for min. This is how I get by.
I am sorry to drop one star for the sake of a switch because in all other respects this is a surprisingly well built little beauty that I will not be easily parted from.
Price Paid: $42.95
My biggest complaint about this product is that the hinge mechanism (which controls angle of lamp) seems like it has loosened up quite a bit. This might contribute to longevity of product. I would not buy this lamp if I had the purchase to make over again.