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Thread: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

  1. #1

    Default Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Hi guys. I had no ideas there were so many lamps out on the market. I'd really appreciate some help since I have no experience with headlamps.

    I run in mountain trails at night. The trails have a lot of large stones. The stones can be like very large gravel and they are very pointed. I like to run at a good clip. Also, where I run not too far outside the city, so there is some backlight going on. Complicating everything there are small trees on either side of the trail. This means that there is some light on the trees, but the trees keep the light from off the trail. To compound things I can't see the poorly lit trail through the light reflecting off the trees.

    I like to run at a good clip. I basically need to see about 10 to 20 feet ahead of me so I can navigate through the stones.

    I think what I need is something with a wide angle, very bright. An external battery pack would be nice. With no batteries on my head, I won't have to worry about them bouncing off. I don't care how heavy it is. I carry a back pack full of water, so a little more weight doesn't matter.

    If you can help me find a good lamp, you'll know that you kept a guy from hurting himself.

    A guy that loves to run,
    Bob
    Last edited by unckybob; 08-02-2008 at 10:37 AM. Reason: bad grammar

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Hi! Could be you need a Petzl Ultra?
    Here's a link to whats some consider the top of the line in headlamp$$$
    From this you can scale down to what might be adequate. You've a tricky
    situation with the city lights messing up your eyes dark adaptation.

    http://en.petzl.com/ultra/range-ultra-belt.html
    Last edited by hopkins; 08-02-2008 at 11:06 AM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Petzl Ultra:
    http://en.petzl.com/ultra/range-ultra-belt.html

    and of course I like the low cost of this Primus Race headlamp:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26sa%3DG
    Last edited by hopkins; 08-02-2008 at 11:26 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    The Petzl looks like a real top of the line. The price is somewhat brutal, $500.

    The Primus Race looks a lot more doable for $80.

    This Primus unit looks to be one of the smallest lights. Apparently, from what I can glean from these threads, these tiny little headlamps can actually put out a lot of light.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    I found a good review of the Primus Primelite Race here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=200140

    As you can see from the pictures the beam is very focused. I can see that it is a very powerful light, rated at 140 lumens, but I need something much more wide angle. I need to see from 10 to 20 feet at the same time. So that means I need some range. Thanks for the suggestion though.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    I own a Petzl Myo Xp with the battery pack on the rear of the head band. They sell a version with a remote battery pack for inside a backpack or on the belt.
    Petzl MYO Belt XP. $85 plus range
    These Myo Xp's have a flip up/down diffusor for switching from wide to spot.
    The new 2008 versions got the SSC LED in them so it should be more than bright
    enough for running trails. CPF members have confirmed it is 2X brighter the
    original version.

    This link has pictures and video links of a french girl running around in the dark with it showing the wide to spot difference.

    http://en.petzl.com/petzl/LampesProd...=561&Critere=0

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Hey, that looks like the one! Thanks!

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* half-watt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    '08 model/release/version of the Petzl MyoBelt XP.

    you can flip the diffuser up to get that broad beam that you're after and run it on HI or MED.

    you're not out running for so long that you'd ever need to change the batteries during the course of a single run.

    my two shekels.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Why not....

    http://www.zebralight.com/index.php?...roducts_id=184

    Lighter and cheaper! Bright enough(?), should be!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* half-watt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Quote Originally Posted by surfinsmiley View Post
    Why not....

    http://www.zebralight.com/index.php?...roducts_id=184

    Lighter and cheaper! Bright enough(?), should be!
    not sure a runner is going to get sufficient throw???

    a trail runner doing 5mph is covering ~7.3 feet per second (best check my mental math - i'm gettin' old and make a lot of mistakes now). even 20' visibility gives very little time to make decisions w/o having to slow down and sometimes stop.

    on some trails when i would UL backpack (fully loaded pack w/food, fuel, and water varied in wt. fr/10lb to 20lb, depending upon how long i might be out and about on a trek), and sometimes get moving a bit faster i would do up to 4.0 to 4.5 mph on some smoother level or slight slopes (down, NOT up!!). under these circumstances i wanted 30' visibility.

    YMMV.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic acourvil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    How long are your runs? I run trails in the dark on a regular basis during the winter, and the Black Diamond Xenix IQ (with upgraded LED) works really well. A fresh set of bateries will last 1-1/2 hours or maybe a bit more.

    Where are you located?

  12. #12
    Enlightened xcandrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    A Princeton Tec Eos modified with a Seoul P4 U-bin star and a McR-18S reflector is perfect for running (and skiing) on trails at night. Mine is also modified to use external batteries (optionally) for long run times in the cold. Without the batteries in the head unit, the bounce is also less and the headstrap can be kept looser (not that an Eos with batteries in the head is bad). There is a really long thread that describes Eos mods here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...=162784&page=8

    I wouldn't recommend a stock Eos because the beam is annoyingly narrow to run with on dark trails. You have to constantly redirect the light. I haven't seen one yet, but the Eos II might be an option if you don't want to modify an Eos because it has a wider beam, but probably still has enough throw(?).

    Quote Originally Posted by half-watt View Post
    a trail runner doing 5mph is covering ~7.3 feet per second (best check my mental math - i'm gettin' old and make a lot of mistakes now). even 20' visibility gives very little time to make decisions w/o having to slow down and sometimes stop.
    Yup, you calculated that right. I occassionally run double that speed or faster (<6:00 min/mile) on trails at night, and need a light with almost as much throw as a bike light or ski/orienteering light. The modified Eos has just enough light output and beam pattern for biking, but is cheap and lightweight compared the the ski/orienteering or bike headlamps. The beam pattern is why I haven't considered buying a Zebralight yet because the throw on the current models is clearly not enough for fast travel at night, my main use for headlamps.
    Last edited by xcandrew; 08-07-2008 at 11:43 PM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Popcorn Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    half-watt : I think you've got it right, (again darn-it) having a beam light
    up the path without waste on the side shrubs of the trail as the original poster
    needs/requests could be the Myo Xp;s perfect function.
    Hope he post a pic of his trail...!

    (wish I was an early Petzl stockholder)
    -j hopkins
    Last edited by hopkins; 08-08-2008 at 03:34 PM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* BSBG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Quote Originally Posted by acourvil View Post
    How long are your runs? I run trails in the dark on a regular basis during the winter, and the Black Diamond Xenix IQ (with upgraded LED) works really well. A fresh set of bateries will last 1-1/2 hours or maybe a bit more.
    I agree - a Seoul P4 modded Zenix is a fine headlamp for about $40 and ten minutes of modding. On medium, mine will last a long time on E2 lithiums.
    Last edited by BSBG; 08-08-2008 at 04:08 PM.
    Will work for lights.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    I like my Princeton Tex Apex Pro for working around the house and whatnot.

    I don't know if the low setting with the large center LED is going to give you enough distance, and I don't know if the high setting is going to give you enough run time.

    You really are going to need someting in the Seoul P4/Cree range to get the runtime and throw you need I am afraid.

    Good luck.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Hi!

    Here some thoughts from a swedish orienteerer. The only thing that counts now in swedish orienteering is powerled headlamps. Swedish Mila http://www.mila.se/ has a new model with 6 Luxeon rebell and gives about 2000 lumen. All Lupine models are common and Petlz Ultra is a new competitor with a little bit lower prize. A friend of mine bought a Petzl Myo XP to his 10 years old son as a beginner lamp, but it has nothing to do for grown orienteerer.
    Itīs not so expensive with a brighter light if you calculate with having it for maby 10-20 years.

    God luck

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    welcome to CPF unckybob and hold on to your wallet!

    if price is no object... what you want is a HID Storm or ARC HID (both have helmet/headband attachments) with 8x 18650 battery pack. 6+ hours runtimes. or 4x 18650 pack for 3-4 hours runtimes.

    stenlight would work too, but that's really for cavers. lower lumens req, much longer runtimes with much greater durabilities. folks don't want to hear this, but all the zebra type lights will be next to worthless for what you want to do.

    got all three.... so this is first hand info... my biking setup uses HID storm on handlebars, ARC HID on helmet.

    do some night time trail hiking on Turkey mountain with stenlight with no problems. but I'm not running. if I was moving faster..... I'd go with HID's.

    HID's give the most lumens for power consumed. 18650 li-ion packs are mature and give super long runtimes.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Running increases the light requirements a lot. Think we should pay attention
    to the Orienteers advise. They've got the experience of moving fast through the bushes.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    unckybob.. what is your budget?

    there's no substitute for raw lumens in low scatter light conditions.
    sounds like your requirements are almost like night time mountain biking.

    have yet to see any LED lights equal in output/throw of an HID. not saying there won't come a day... but have not seen it yet...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Although I don't run, I own a modified P4 Princeton Tec Apex that I absolutely love and would suggest that you consider the Apex Extreme

    With the remote battery pack, you won't have the battery pack on your head, and with 8AA's you'll have plenty of run time. If I needed to 'justify' a new headlight, I'd likely purchase this one even knowing I'd need to install the P4. Don't bother looking for specs on the Princeton Tec website, its way out dated.
    http://www.brightguy.com/products/Pr...EX_Extreme.php#
    Only $79.95 from brightguy!
    6PD with DX Cree drop in *Awesome*, L2D Q5, TK11, PT APEX (My first mod with SSC P4-Thanks CPF!). EDC - FENIX LOD CE & P2 Q5.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Quote Originally Posted by 5kids View Post
    Although I don't run, I own a modified P4 Princeton Tec Apex that I absolutely love and would suggest that you consider the Apex Extreme

    With the remote battery pack, you won't have the battery pack on your head, and with 8AA's you'll have plenty of run time. If I needed to 'justify' a new headlight, I'd likely purchase this one even knowing I'd need to install the P4. Don't bother looking for specs on the Princeton Tec website, its way out dated.
    http://www.brightguy.com/products/Pr...EX_Extreme.php#
    Only $79.95 from brightguy!
    This gets my vote. Be sure to do a quick check on runtime on high per cost of battery to make sure it works for you.

    I use the 2x 123 version of this headlamp, as I mentioned earlier in the post. Only runtime of mine prevented me from recommending it to you.

    You will like (but check cost per hour on high first)

  22. #22

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Some of the above hadlamps that have been mentioned look way to bulky or heavy for running.

    I know when I run I like things small, light and extremely secure.

    If you find a decent headlamp for running let me know that is light and does not fall out of adjustment from the pounding. let me know

  23. #23
    Flashaholic ifor powell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Running off road and on potentialy uneven trails or off the path all together you need plenty of light to be able to do a good speed. The weight of course matters but unless you are doing ultra distance you will go quicker with a bright heavy light then a light dimmer one. And even for ultra distance if you could pick up spair batteries I would go for more light.

    If I was buying and cash was not an problem then I would probobly go for the petzel ultra. It was a lot better than I expected when I saw one with a good mix of spill and throw. If I was more cash constrained then to be honest a modded Apex is probobly as good as anything although a bit heavy. For somthing lighter weight but with less output there is plenty of choice in the 100-125 lumen range personaly I have a new Back Diamond Spot for the sub 100g option.

    In practice when out running in the dark training I use my home made 2 Cree light with a spot and diffuse optic for a good mix of throw and spill. If I am night Orienteering then its my 6 Cree homemade.

    Things may change with things like the new MC-E but the headlamp manufactures are a bit slow on the uptake of new stuff and most of them can not do a metal housing which will be essential for somthing like that to keep it cool.

    Ifor

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    almost all the headlamps posted in this thread... don't put out enough light in washed out conditions. most would be marginal in pitch dark let alone in washed out lighting.

    trail running would have similar requirements to riding a mountain bike at night. most any of the bike lights with headband/external battery pack will do the job. one may need to wear a lightweight bike helmet...

    HID would be the best, but most any quality bike light, similar to Niterider will work fine.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    here's a link to a clip of some serious night runners. (Its not jogging, its running!)
    ...and if you guessed its in Sweden you're right. You've never seem this many
    super powerful headlamps in action . It's simply beautiful!!!
    http://en.petzl.com/petzl/LampesNews?News=218

  26. #26

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    I too have a habit of exercising or running late at night, when things are cool, there is no traffic, etc.

    I would probably take the Apex,the P4 moded one rules...

    On the other hand, given run time not being primary, I would probably take something cheaper and lighter with AAA cells.

  27. #27
    Enlightened mulder89's Avatar
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    Last edited by mulder89; 08-27-2008 at 02:47 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Take a look at the Command 20 tactical from FoxFury

    Lightweight, bright wide angle peripheral headlamp.
    We have had goo luck with them

    http://www.liotec.com/store/FoxFury-Command.htm

    Good luck
    John
    www.LIOTEC.com
    LED lights and more

  29. #29

    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Hopkins>>Have not been in here for a wile but itís funny to see that you found the clips from 10-mila. I was one of the guys running that first leg. It is the largest relay race in the world for orienteering. Petzl was the head sponsor this year, trying to make their way into the Swedish market for orienteering. Competing with Mila, Lupine, and Silva. 10-mila was my last competition with halogen light. I used a 10w/20w Silva halogen light witch was the most ordinary headlight for almost 30 years in orienteering until recently. There was a 20w limit that lost itīs sense when the HID and LED-lights started to come.
    But standing there, feeling that your light was broken compared with the monsterlight wasnít so funny. So after that I decided to get myself a better headlamp. Today Iím a happy owner of an iBlaast II from New Zeeland. http://www.nightlightning.co.nz/
    With a 2600mAh Li-Ion battery from Batteryspace it gives me 3 hour of maximum light (800 lumen), for about 400 USD.

    Unkybob>> I donít know if you already have make you choice, but I have been running in the forest all my life and I know that lights like Princeton, Petzl Myo, Primus etc. will do on tracks (not for orienteering), but I will really recommend you to investigate in a better light. As I sad before, it is a cheep investigation when you can have your headlamp for many years and load the lithium batteries for about 1000 times.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best headlamp for conditions I run at night

    Thats great snwg00! Hope none of the 10-mila racers has had a lithium battery
    'vent with flame' during the race.

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