Black Diamond Spot

23 reviews
5-star:   8
4-star:   8
3-star:   2
2-star:   3
1-star:   2

Reviews

2

1) Purchased on sale at REI in 2011. 2) Purchased…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: On sale for $29.95

Summary

1) Purchased on sale at REI in 2011.
2) Purchased due to high ratings in a magazine.
3) Only used for camping, backpacking and in the tent, or when answering the call of nature. It is more than adequate for those purposes.
4) I can't speculate on its use for other types of activities.

Yes, I would recommend it particularly since the current model has a higher lumen output, although I have not used that version. I am happy with this one.

Pros

  • 2 types of light, 1 BRIGHT spotlight, 2 smaller LED's for area light
  • Main LED is very bright - 75 lumens
  • Dimmer feature for white LED's
  • 2 red LEDs for preserving night vision, with Strobe setting. Can turn on Red light without cycling through all settings.
  • Relatively lightweight considering it uses 3, AAA batteries
  • Lock feature to prevent accidently turning on lamp
  • Red LED's have strobe feature
  • Several colors to choose from

Cons

  • Red LEDs are dimmer than expected

CAVEAT: The Spot that I have is the model sold prior to the model currently on the market.  The lumen levels for each LED type are lower than the currently selling version, but are more than required.  In light of that...pun intended, I am very pleased overall with this headlamp.

I backpack and camp with my scout troop, and this product does everything I want with the exception of the output from the Red LED's. I was very disappointed at the low brightness level.  I had expected more considering the white LED output is phenomenal.  It was not until I used it while camping that I realized the red LED output was far from satisfactory.  I have a less expensive but heavier model from EverReady that has red LEDs that far outperform the brightness of the red LED's on the Spot.

Beyond that, I could not be more pleased.  The distance the high setting illuminates objects is far more than adequate for what I do.  However, if I were participating in an activity that consumes distance faster than walking, such as bicycling at night, I would have no qualms about using this headlamp. 

I have used both NiMH rechargeable and alkaline batteries with no noticeable loss of brightness.  But, I would guess that the possibility exists that rechargeable batteries may not produce the brightness of alkalines, and might be the reason that my red LED's are not as bright as I believe they should be.

I appreciate the fact the Spot has multiple modes for brightness.  Each type of LED has its use.  And the lock-out feature is great.  I don't have to remember to remove a battery from it to prevent it from accidentally turning on when not needed and running down the batteries. 

2

Worked great with brand new batteries, however it…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30

Summary

Worked great with brand new batteries, however it would quickly diminish the battery. Carried on my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2012.

Pros

  • Bright like the sun
  • Nifty dimming feature
  • Durable

Cons

  • 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.

Danny Wang

Ha! "May or may not have happened.." Brilliant!


1 year ago
1

This headlamp is much brighter than your average cheap…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30

Summary

This headlamp is much brighter than your average cheap headlamp for only a few bucks more. It's very durable and reliable.

Pros

  • Very bright, 90 lumens on its brightest setting.
  • It's lightweight.
  • Uses AAA batteries.
  • Water resistant.
  • Can be dimmed considerably.
  • Has a red light feature.
  • Can be locked in the off position.
  • Easily adjustable headband.

Cons

  • While it's fairly light, it is a bit clunky.
  • Not waterproof.

This is a great little little headlamp, at a great little price. I paid $30 (plus tax) for mine brand new. Its brightest setting shines at a nice big 90 lumens. I realize this is probably not bright enough for many of the serious adventure sport enthusiasts out there, but so far I've found it's great for camping, hiking, canoeing, fishing, trail running, adventure racing, and hitching up a trailer in the dark.

On the spot light setting it shines bright and far. The manufacturer states that the range is 70 meters. I didn't pace it out and test it at that distance, but I found it shines further than any other headlamp I've owned, and further than any other headlamp my friends had.

On the flood setting, it shines less brightly, and provides a much wider field of light. It gave plenty of light for cooking after dark, and was still bright enough that if I wasn't careful, I'd wreck everyones night vision.

This headlamp is lightweight. It weighs 90 grams. I know the more expensive lights can be a lot lighter, especially when you locate the battereis on a belt pack, but considering this is a 'cheaper' model, i found it light enough to wear for a long time without it being uncomfortable.

It takes 3 AAA batteries. I love when a device uses AAA's, because they are so common, cheap, and light. And also because in a pinch, I could swap batteries between my headlamp, my radio or my GPS.

It has a water resistant rating of IP X4. That means it will resist rain and splashes. It would be great if it was waterproof. I haven't dunked it yet, but I've read other reviews where people have stated that they dunked theirs and it survived. It also states in the manufacturers literature that if it gets dunked, you can remove the batteries and leave the battery cover off until it dries, and then it should work again. That's pretty cool to think that if I dunk it, it might not be completely dead (just playing dead).

The dimmer works great, so if I'm reading and my wife wants to sleep, I'm not keeping her awake.

The red light feature is easy to turn on, and you don't need to turn on the white light first. It can be turned directly to red light, which makes it great for finding something in your pack or tent, and not blinding everyone around you.

The switch can also be locked. This prevents it from being accidentally turned on while in your pack and killing your batteries all day long.

The headband is very easily adjustable. This lets you go from wearing it over a baseball cap, to on your bare head, to over a toque, and you won't be cursing it and having to take it off 10 times to adjust it too big and small over and over.

I have heard that these headlamps are pretty durable. I haven't dropped mine yet, though, so I can't attest to it's durability. It does seem solid though.

Another feature it has is a battery power indicator. It tells you if you're batteries are good to go, or getting weak.

Basically, I've had a few different headlamps in the $10 - $30 range, and this one beats all the others by a mile.

1

I bought this Titanium- Spot -2011 model headlamp…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $39.99


product_images.jpg
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-

1

Sturdy, bright, and lightweight. Went to the local…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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.

1

I've taken the Spot on several trips, a humid Perusian…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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.

1

This is the best headlamp that doesn't have a separate…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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).

1

I have zero complaints with this lamp. After careful…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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.

1

The price was good for all the things this headlamp…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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.

1

For the price, weight, and light you can't beat it.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
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.

1

I was very impressed with this headlamp. It provides…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
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.

Joe Krok

0

Lighting = good Fitting = fair Handling = easy Weight…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40

Summary

Lighting = good
Fitting = fair
Handling = easy
Weight = good
Built = poor

Pros

  • Battery life
  • Weight

Cons

  • Plastic of the ajustment plate

I could have given 4 stars to this product, but last week I was changing my batteries and the plate broke! It seems that where the plate rotates the plastic had started to crack and broke on one side. I tried to change the batteries.

Very disappointed. Product is about 3 years old. Used it for backpacking, climbing....

Would not recommend to friends.

0

90 lumens of night vision. This 90 lumens of glow…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new

Summary

90 lumens of night vision.

Pros

  • Powerful light for the price
  • Lightweight
  • White and red light
  • Battery indicator light right on the side of the main lamp

This 90 lumens of glow is an absolute necessity in any outdoors person's kit. I have two as I ALWAYS carry backup light sources.

I've used this deLIGHTful piece of kit for caving, hiking and retreating off countless ice climbs in the dark. It has a red light feature which is awesome for trail finding and NOT blinding my partner. It also has dimmer and flash settings. In my area winter days are short and become very cold at night. I use it almost weekly and this product does not seem inhibited by the cold.

I also must mention the battery indicator. BD cleverly incorporated it into the side of the lamp so the user or partner can clearly see the status.

I was unsure if I should have bought the 100 lumens product. I now know, for sure, my money was well spent on this one.  

0

Great, works and is tough. Great headlamp, very bright…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25

Summary

Great, works and is tough.

Pros

  • 3 modes
  • Light

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.

0

Battery runs down when not used. When I first got…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25

Summary

Battery runs down when not used.

Pros

  • Very bright
  • Small package

Cons

  • 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.)

0

Light, bright, and adequate headlamp. The only gripe…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35

Summary

Light, bright, and adequate headlamp. The only gripe is the method used to cycle through the modes.

Pros

  • Bright

Cons

  • 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.

0

I gave this a poor review because the new Spot headlamps…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
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.

0

Looking at the wide assortment of headlamps can be…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $34

Looking at the wide assortment of headlamps can be seriously overwhelming.  I ended up choosing the Black Diamond Spot because

  1. it had the right mix of high light output and low price;
  2. the option for beam or spotlight;
  3. having red LEDs accessible without cycling through the white light; and
  4. 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).

0

This is a great lamp EXCEPT for one very critical…

Rating: rated 1.5 of 5 stars
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.

0

My biggest complaint about this product is that the…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
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.

0

I just had to buy one to find out how good it was...

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
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

-1

This is a product that I must sadly give a bad review…

Rating: rated 1 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $40

Summary

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 use my headlamps at high altitudes, sometimes over 20,000 feet, so I am often in very frigid environments. Freezing cold temperatures make this thin plastic brittle and therefore easily breakable. Therefore, the Spot just isn't appropriate for either high altitude climbing or freezing temperatures.

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.

-1

I bought the Black Diamond Spot headlamp some two…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
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.

Pros:

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.

Con's:

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.