User Review: Black Diamond Spot
Price Paid: $40
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.