Petzl Duo LED 14
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £85
Lightweight, semi-durable, and affordable headlight useful for a variety of things, especially caving. Can last a long time if well treated. Battery life is not fantastic and far better products do exist. However is generally reliable, can be bought from many locations and uses AA batteries ,which is handy, and you can buy a rechargable pack for it.
- Uses AA batteries
- Low battery life
- Not that bright
- Not as durable as possible
I have had a Duo for many years and will continue to use one generally because of the price tag. The range is enough for what you need for most aspects of caving. You can have a halogen spot or a 14 LED beam, however the first eats the battery. I do replace the AA batteries regularly the rechargeable unit is supposed to last longer.
Very easy to use and fully waterproof. Lives up to expectations. The bulbs can be replaced with brighter bulbs from selected retailers. Generally has 2 modes: Halogen and LED. It is durable enough to last most things; I have dropped it down a 30m pitch and it still works! However, can easily be taken apart for bulb changes or battery replacement.
I have used this caving, walking, climbing, camping, and as a headlight for a motorbike; the last one is what killed my last one when we crashed. Would not suggest that use.
Price Paid: $114
First off let me state that this thing is not for everyday use, both the price and the battery life are indicative of something that is special purpose. I do a lot of caving, crawling around in small spaces. Most caves that I go into are full of water, and the small spaces make the waist mounted battery pack impractical. On the brightest LED setting you can only expect about 3 hours of burn time on standard batteries, thusly, Lithium batteries are a better bet. However, when you reduce LED to a lower brightness the burn time is considerably longer.
On that note the LOWEST LED setting is still at least 5 times brighter than the high setting on my VECTRA IQ. The brightest LED mode will flood a whole room, at a distance of over 100 feet... impressive for an LED. Pare that with the fact that it's got 2 different light systems in the event of failure, it's overbuilt like crazy and waterproof and you've basically got a HUMVEE of headlamps...
Yeah, it's twice the price of anything else, but in a cave 4 miles in, if your light breaks, or fails... you're dead... cheap insurance if you ask me... just make sure you carry extra batteries because this thing eats them for breakfast.