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ZebraLight H600 MK II

photo: ZebraLight H600 MK II headlamp

Specs

Price MSRP: $89.00
Reviewers Paid: $85.00
Weight 1.4 oz / 39 g
Lumens 1,090
Beam Type 80 degree spill / 12 degree hot spot

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

The H600 MK II is a nearly indestructible headlamp, providing a blinding 1,090 Lumens of light. Combine that with its long battery life and feather weight, and you will be stunned to learn it retails for hundreds of dollars less than its less powerful competitors!

Pros

  • Durable
  • Ultralight
  • Long battery life
  • Can be worn as a headlamp or held as a flashlight
  • Price

Cons

  • Programmable sub-levels are complicated
  • Batteries can be hard to find

Zebra Light is taking the caving community by storm, and it won't be long until that tempest pours into all outdoor sports. Consider these four factors:

  1. It puts out 2-4 times the light of a typical headlamp.
  2. It costs a fraction of less powerful lights.
  3. It weighs a mere 1.4oz/39gr (4.7oz with battery and head strap).
  4. Its low setting will go continuously for 16 days on one battery.

The H600 MK II is a compact light that can be hand held or worn with the strap (included) to use as a headlamp.

H600-MK-II-3-.jpg


H600-MK-II-4-.jpg


H600-MK-II-6-.jpg
Laura, wearing both her H600 MK II and a Sten Light (see
chart below), is one of our grotto's toughest cavers and
definitely the best looking of the bunch.

The unit is submersible and durable. I have banged this light through many cave crawls and dunked it multiple times in flooded passages. With a total weight of 4.7 oz, the H600 MK II feels like I forgot to attach it to my helmet.

Zebra-Light.jpg
H600 beneath my Princeton Tec Apex (used for backup)

Battery Life

The H600 MK II uses a single Panasonic 18650 Rechargeable Battery to provide between 2 hours (high) and 6 months (ultra low) of light.

H600-MK-II-1-.jpg

Zebra claims the light has “negligible parasitic drain” on the battery, and that the battery's own discharge rate is higher. This means the light can be stored for years without needing a charge.

Note on Batteries: Users definitely want the Panasonic brand of this battery, made in Japan. Cheaper Chinese knockoffs have been flooding the market, with much shorter battery life and fewer recharges before being spent.

Primary Settings

The H600 MK II has three primary levels. Pressing the button once brings up the lowest setting. Pressing and holding the button cycles through the primary levels.

  • Low: 3.7Lm (16 days of continuous battery life)
  • Medium: 70Lm (30 hours of continuous battery life)
  • High: 1,090LM (2 hours of continuous battery life)

I have found the lowest setting to be sufficient for reading or digging around in my cave pack. The medium setting is brighter than the high setting on some of my older caving lights, with a longer battery life. The high setting is overkill for most passages and merits the wrath of other cavers you are blinding. However, consider this photo:


H600-MK-II-5-.jpg

Yeah, this picture is grainy and unprofessional. However, that person is at least 300' away from me and is only being illuminated by the H600 MK II, no camera flash. Frankly, the camera is unable to pick up how well illumined my friend was in this cave.

Try this pic, with the subject being a full 40' above me. Again, no flash or additional lights, just the H600:

H600-MK-II.jpg

In addition to the three main settings, there is also a seizure-inducing strobe setting. Above ground you could signal for help or disable an attacker. Indoors, you are ready for the disco.

Sub-levels

Every product has its cons, and the H600 MK II con is its subsettings. Maybe if I were an electrical engineer, I would understand how to program the subsettings in this light. The directions explain that by pressing and holding and pressing and holding...you can program the light to different levels:

  • High 1,090Lm (2 hours)
  • ~H2 660Lm (2.5 hours)
  • ~H3 350Lm (3.9 hours)
  • ~H4 160Lm (11 hours)
  • Medium 70Lm (30 hours)
  • ~M2 32Lm (66 hours)
  • ~M3 12LM (172 hours)
  • Low 3.71Lm (16 days)
  • ~L2 0.41Lm (2.5 months)
  • ~L3 0.06Lm (4.6 months)
  • ~L4 0.01Lm (5.5 months)

Someone smarter than me will have to figure this all out. For caving, I would prefer to just have the four high settings and forgo the rest.

How it compares

I can tell you how bright it is, but here is a video that compares three different lights I have reviewed on Trailspace, all on their highest settings. The object is the top of a small waterfall, approximately 30' from my position.

And here is a comparison chart I made of several lights I have used for caving and backpacking.

H600-MK-II-.jpg

As you can see, the H600 MK II dominates. Not only is it the brightest, its cost-per-Lumen ratio is the lowest of the bunch.

Availability

Vendors I have talked to at a recent caving festival tell me they sell Zebra Lights as fast as they stock them. They state the wait time on the rechargeable 18650 batteries keeps climbing with the high demand.

I found this to be the case with my own purchase. Zebra was out of stock on their own website. Luckily I found another website with one light in stock. The batteries were found on a third website—again watch out for cheap Chinese-made knockoffs.

I expect to see more outdoor retailers carrying this light in the months ahead. Zebra has set a new bar for other manufactures to jump for. I believe this light is the pioneer for brighter, cheaper lights to come our way in the near future.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85

Carrie Van Alstine

I'm super interested in this product for my go-bag for disaster response. The useful battery life, holding a long charge while unused, and waterproof durability are very appealing for my planned uses. I'll check this light out for sure!


6 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Wow, those are some serious lumens. Thanks for the excellent, informative review, Goose.


6 years ago
Jakuchu

Awesome. I have the ZebraLight H52Fw, (floody, in between spot and full flood) with a normal AA. Love that thing and how you can arrange the output by yourself as well. For me especially the different low level changes are very nice when sleeping around others in a mountain hut. All other lights are now back-up or give away.


6 years ago
g00se

Jakuchu, my next purchase will be the H600 Floody. That will give me both a spot and a flood to work with in big rooms.


6 years ago
Ashleigh RETAILER

Nice review, G00SE! The Zebra looks like the perfect caving light. Wow, 1090 lumens for only $89!


6 years ago
g00se

Thanks, Ashleigh.


6 years ago
Barbara Matthews

Great review, thanks for posting the video. I've been eyeing these Zebralights for almost a year. They do seem to be sold out every time I have gone looking for them. I hadn't considered the batteries might present a problem also, thanks for the heads up.


6 years ago
B. Frost

Thanks for the review! Im planning on visiting a few caves (old mines) in AZ, need to bring my own headights & hardhat. I was thinking of going over to Rei but the Zebralight looks perfect!


6 years ago
Matt Honeycutt

Has anyone used the H602 Zebralight? It looks like it has the XM-L2 led, cool white, and also 1090 lumens however its reflector is set up for flood versus throw on the H600 MKII. I'm thinking that might be the best set up for my needs however curious to what others experience might be.


6 years ago
g00se

@Matt, that will probably be my next light. For caving, you want the spot to penetrate really big rooms, deep pits, and long passages. The "Floody" model is superior in other parts of a cave. Since a caver always carries 3 sources of light, I'd like to make this my secondary light.


6 years ago
Matt Honeycutt

Thank you Goose for your input. I've got lights with throwing capability but none from a headlamp standpoint. Since I'm not a caver, I think the flood pattern will be my friend in my hunting, camping and other outdoor activities. Nice review by the way, thank you for sharing your experience!


6 years ago
dirtwheels

Thanks for the review, that looks like a great light. Gonna have to add a zebra to the gear list.


6 years ago
Adam Logan

Cool, I've not gotten into caving yet although I have gone on a couple occasions with others. That's pretty intense with the lumens coming out with a beefier battery pack, it's one thing to see it on paper, quite another to see it in video (or person). Thanks for the review!


5 years ago

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