User Review: Black Diamond Spot
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.