Princeton Tec Fuel
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Mmmmm, Trailspace, lol.)
A light with great stamina. A light with great lumens.
- Super easy battery change
- Very reliable
- Very easy to use
- A tad bit heavy to some folks.
A light that weighs only 78g with 70 lumens of brightness and 146 hours of burn time. A light that also has an asymmetrical single arm bracket that makes directing the light effortless and reliable; a large, easy to find push button switch and a virtually bulletproof, easy access battery door that protects the 3AAAs and its electronics.
I have yet to be disappointed at all with this easy to use gem. Get one.
Price Paid: $25
This light does what it says. it's not super bright but it gets the job done.
what i like about it the most is its size and weight, without batteries if you hold it in your hand with your eyes closed you can't tell if you're still holding it. with batteries it still weighs almost nothing.
it goes pretty good with water i've had it in my pack while i've hiked some slot canyons where the water up to your chest most the time and it still worked great.
and it like the energizer bunny i haven't had to change the batteries yet, it's getting a little dim though.
the only thing i don't like about it is it's hard to tilt it, you have to use two hands every time.
Price Paid: $25
They had battery door problems with the first batches of the Fuel. The light has a lifetime warranty. Just call Princeton Tec 1 800 257 9080.
I have the Fuel 3 and the new FRED both are outstanding lights. Don't dwell on the negative past. I just purchased 5 more PT Fuels for my friends this past week. Enjoy and have fun!
Price Paid: Too Much
The Fuel is an effective, portable and comfortable 3-LED headlight when it's not cracked and broken.
Maybe I've been unlucky, but both Princeton Tec headlights (a Quad and a Fuel) have suffered unassisted plastic housing fatigue. The Fuel's plastic battery lid hinges simply gave way shortly after purchase. Now the Quad has developed a half-inch crack through the top of the plastic housing and plastic lens. I must stress this damage was not caused by any misadventure. It is purely fatigue!
Princeton Tec was good enough to replace the Fuel. I shan't bother asking them to do likewise for the Quad. Why suffer another disappointment?
Princeton Tec - never again.
Price Paid: $17
I bought this for the price and other reviews that I read. I bought it, mainly for camping, but ended up, recently, using it for a caving expedition into a self-explore cave.
The entire event was 3 hours long. The temperature in the cave was 38-40 degrees, while the water was between 31-35 degrees. I used this light submerged, quite a few times. It held up to the cool temperatures of the water, as well as the cave, then unbelievably warm, humid temperature after coming out of the cave.
I haven't been very easy with the light, which for $17 bucks, I knew I wasn't going to be. All in all, so far, this has held up to the crap that I've put up against it, and with my not-so-gentle use, it's still ticking.
Price Paid: $17
I had trouble getting the batteries into the housing when I first received the lamp. However, removing the batteries was an awful experience. I had to use a pair of pliers to remove one of the batteries.
I then tried a different brand to see if maybe the first batteries had an extra thick coating. This was not the case. The design of the FUEL battery compartment is so tight the battery's coating was being cut trying to put the battery in to place.
The light is bright and has a long life, but if I need to change the batteries I do not want to spend 10 minutes with tools to do it. I would never and will never purchase PT headlamps again.
On/off switch broke after two months. Had to rig it in the field with duct tape. Something within the enclosed mechanism just broke, wouldn't rely on this light for backcountry excursions without a backup.
I really REALLY love this flashlight, but like the first reviewer, the battery door hinge broke after a few months of very VERY gentle use, and the replacement's battery door latch broke after another few months.
Luckily I bought it at Mountain Equipment Co-Op and they have a lifetime warranty.
The beam is not quite wide enough to read with, without annoyingly moving your head back and forth. However for working on something it's fantastic.
I've been a camper since I could walk, this is my favourite light source after my candle lantern (and, totally 100% complimentary in function.) However I use it mostly around the house when I'm working on things or hunting for books or records in the recesses of closets, but I also would like to take it camping if it'll last long enough.
Price Paid: $24.99
I just bought this item and ran a 5 miler with it last night. So far, it is GREAT. I couldn't even feel it on my head. Definitely more than enough light for road running at night. The swivel head makes it really easy to change the angle of the light, when needed. It even stopped a growling dog in its tracks! I turned it on high, and pointed it at the dog, and it stopped immediately, blinded by the light! It has 3 levels and brightness, along with a strobe setting. You can't beat this lightweight headlamp, for the price. Plus it runs on AAA batteries which are cheap to replace.
Price Paid: 13 bucks
Email sent to Princeton Tec:
Am avid biker/hiker/camper and have quite a few of your products, i.e., the Fuel ( three,
two for gifts), a few "scouts", two "genesis handheld, even a few other items.
Right now I'm packing for a weekend outing and dropped a "Fuel" headlamp. The battery door just broke off, upon further inspection, it should have broken off, by design. It is a horrible design; it is flimsy and discouraging that you could market these items.
I'm still on the original batteries provided so it's not like it's worn out. It might be manageable if this wasn't such a catrastrophic failure; the cover cannot be secured without that inferior hinge.
May 10, 2011 Update:
Emailed Princeton Tec earlier citing door failure:
Received an offer to mail out two new doors.
This is my response to that, they should replace them with a lamp that is reliable:
Thanks Pam, I guess its the best thing to do, too bad now I'll have to carry the spare doors and probably another light and pair on needlenose pliers to re attach the new door if it breaks at night. I'll bring a Black Diamond headlamp, for that.
No more Princeton Tec products for this unhappy camper.
This headlamp does not work well at temperatures below 50 degrees F. My old cheap Dorcy light worked well winter camping in subzero temps, but I can't even take this new light on a fall overnight. I do not recommend for anyone who does more than summer camping.