Underwater Kinetics 3AAA Vizion
Historic Range: $24.83-$30.95
Reviewers Paid: $23.00
This isn't your everyday headlamp -- it won't flash six different sequences of morse code or make you a frappucino in the morning, but it won't leave you in the dark - ever.
This little piece of kit finds its way into my gear every trip - I have several other headlamps that work well, but this is relentlessly durable and dependable. I've used in open-water sailing trips where it was the only light left working for navigation at 4AM in a howling storm, and use it in the cockpit to supplement the dismal lighting in in the instrument panel at night.
Underwater Kinetics builds bombproof lamps for fire/safety applications, dive lights and the like, and these are severely undermarketed - REI carried them for a while and stopped - so you'll have to go online to find one.
The controls are simple and can be used with thick gloves on. The light is in a cylindrical housing with a pushbutton and beam position adjust on one end and a lens rotator knob on the other. You can rotate a clear (beam) segment, frosted (diffuse) segment or red frosted segment in front of the light with the control knob and the pushbutton cycles the light High-off-Low-off (which takes a bit of getting used to). The light angle can be adjusted up and down as well.
It is rated waterproof to 10 meters, and the light capsule can be removed to use it as a standalone lamp - I've not tried diving with it, but wouldn't hesitate to do a little snorkeling at least, given its stellar performance so far.
Price Paid: $23 online