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Thread: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

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    Flashaholic* AlphaZen's Avatar
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    Default Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    I picked up a Zebralight H51 because of all of the praise for it. I am used to using a Petzel Tikka and find the ZL rather uncomfortable. It digs in to my forehead and is rather bouncy. The Petzel feels much more comfortable and secure. The beam also isn't as floody as I would like. Now, I'm not complaining to complain, but rather to look for solutions. Has anyone found a way to make the H51 more comfortable? And are there any diffusers that fit the H51? I do like everything else about the light. It is very versatile off of 1 AA cell. I'm trying to decide whether I should sell it in the MP and try a Fenix or go back to Petzel. Help, please. Thank you.

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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight


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    Enlightened vaska's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaZen View Post
    I'm trying to decide whether I should sell it in the MP and try a Fenix or go back to Petzel.
    Maybe one of SILVA headlights would satisfy you...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Their headbands aren't what the Zebralights are known for, someone will chime in with a info about a more rigid headband that works well with ZL. There is a long thread on here that covers running with ZL pretty extensively.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

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    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    The Nite-Ize headband is what is used a lot, it especially gets around the bounciness (like for running). I like too since I don't have to take off the pocket clip to put it in the headband. Or you can do the diy velcro headband.

    I use the Nite-Ize mostly but I must be an odd ball that I like the stock headband. Very comfortable stretchy elastic and the silicone holder is very soft. Yeah it puts the little dents in my forehead but it doesnt feel uncomfortable to me in the slightest. I'm even wanting to test it out jogging again since I have improved my form drastically and have much less bounce in my stride now. Might even get out tonight if I have time and dont eat dinner right away when I get home.

    Petzl makes good stuff, but other than comfort I think the ZL is better in most details. The big advantage for me is that its quite versatile as a flashlight and I use it as much or more as a handheld (love the 90º design) and also as my edc in my pocket.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Zebralight headband is quite uncomfortable. You can use Ultrafire headband instead, it doesn't dig into forehead at all: http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S009709
    Although it is stiff for h501 (hard to adjust angle) and it is expected to be even more stiff for a larger h51.

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    Flashaholic* AlphaZen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Thanks for the tips, guys. I think I'll order one of the Nite Ize bands from Amazon and give that a go with a little scotch tape diffuser. Hopefully that will work better for me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaZen View Post
    Thanks for the tips, guys. I think I'll order one of the Nite Ize bands from Amazon and give that a go with a little scotch tape diffuser. Hopefully that will work better for me.
    I had the ZL that you have and I just recently got a Ultrafire UF-H2. The Ultrafire is a little more comfortable but they have a similar feel overall. I only wear mine for relatively short periods and don't do anything active in them. For hiking and such, I use my PT EOS because I prefer more throw. I can't imagine needing more flood out of a headlamp than either the ZL or UF. They are almost pure flood as is.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by speedsix View Post
    I can't imagine needing more flood out of a headlamp than either the ZL or UF. They are almost pure flood as is.
    the OP's ZL is a H51 which is not a flood model.

    AlphaZen, i'm curious why you got a H51 over a H51F if you wanted flood?
    Last edited by robostudent5000; 01-11-2012 at 05:58 AM.

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    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    I simply rerouted the band for my H51w so that it goes through the loops that hold the light. That makes the two tabs on the end of the holder go over the strap instead of under it, and they don't dig into my forehead that way. The silicone of the holder is flexible enough that the extra material in the loops doesn't cause any problems, and provides extra resistance so the light stays in place in the holder much more securely.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

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    Flashaholic* AlphaZen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by robostudent5000 View Post
    the OP's ZL is a H51 which is not a flood model.

    AlphaZen, i'm curious why you got a H51 over a H51F if you wanted flood?
    Good question. It is hard to tell what the beam profile is until you use it, and I wanted a mixture of flood and throw, which is the description of the normal H51. I find it too much of a spot for reading and up close work though. A simple diffuser accessory would be great, but would probably make their flood model obsolete.

    Quote Originally Posted by B0wz3r View Post
    I simply rerouted the band for my H51w so that it goes through the loops that hold the light. That makes the two tabs on the end of the holder go over the strap instead of under it, and they don't dig into my forehead that way. The silicone of the holder is flexible enough that the extra material in the loops doesn't cause any problems, and provides extra resistance so the light stays in place in the holder much more securely.
    I will try this when I get home. If I can figure it out that sounds like a good solution - and the cheapest one. Thanks.

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    Flashaholic* AlphaZen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    BOwz3r,
    I tried your method of re-routing the band and I would like to say that it is so much better this way. Thank you very much for helping. I agree that it is much more comfortable, as well as more secure. You solved my main problems and I will definitely be keeping the light now. You should be proselytizingthis information to all Zebra headlamp owners. thanks again.

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    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaZen View Post
    BOwz3r,
    I tried your method of re-routing the band and I would like to say that it is so much better this way. Thank you very much for helping. I agree that it is much more comfortable, as well as more secure. You solved my main problems and I will definitely be keeping the light now. You should be proselytizingthis information to all Zebra headlamp owners. thanks again.
    No worries; glad I could help.

    About the flood vs throw beam profile, you should try what I do with my H51w, which is put a piece of DC-fix diffusion film on it to spread the hotspot. The beam profile stays the same, but the hotspot becomes much more diffuse as a result, with a fuzzy edge to it instead of a clearly defined boundary. It also seems like it makes the brightness of the beam profile a little bit more even, with less difference between the hotspot and the spill. At first I thought I'd probably just use the DC-fix occasionally... take it off when I didn't need a floodier beam, but turns out I never have. My next ZL headlamp will be one of the F or pure flood models. I'm waiting for the 502w...
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    +1 on the DC fix option for the H51w. I have mine set up this way and it is a nice mix of flood and spot.

    B0wz3r...any chance you could show a picture of your headband routing. I think a picture might help me to figure out how to set mine up this way. The last time I took my strap apart it took a long time to get it back together...

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    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    to BOwz3r --

    A very heart-felt THANK YOU for your Wonderful suggestion !

    This makes my ZebraLight H51 headlamp SO much more comfortable.

    Especially for long periods of time.



    Truly a world of difference !






    _

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    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    With the band re routed how do you stop it from flopping around? I tried that back when I first got it and it seemed like it was much looser that way, I mean the tension is divided across two bands instead of one so the part of the band the light is considerably looser if that makes any sense. It even induced a little bit of side-side slippage.

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    Flashaholic* AlphaZen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by DIΩDΣ View Post
    With the band re routed how do you stop it from flopping around? I tried that back when I first got it and it seemed like it was much looser that way, I mean the tension is divided across two bands instead of one so the part of the band the light is considerably looser if that makes any sense. It even induced a little bit of side-side slippage.
    I believe this is different than what you are referring to. I tried that one and, yes, it was much looser. For this fix, you run the band through the the loops that the light goes in. Here is a picture:

    [IMG] Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/IMG]

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    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Oh yes I see I hadnt tried it that way... I was thinking of another way that was mentioned a while ago. I need to read more closely - sorry!

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    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Yup... AZ's got it; just like that.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

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    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by Burgess View Post
    to BOwz3r --

    A very heart-felt THANK YOU for your Wonderful suggestion !

    This makes my ZebraLight H51 headlamp SO much more comfortable.

    Especially for long periods of time.



    Truly a world of difference !






    _
    Glad I could help.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Got it! Thanks that is much more comfortable.

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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Duplicate...sorry...
    Last edited by thaugen; 01-14-2012 at 06:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    A slight alternative I ended up with while playing with the strap is shown below. It might stress the silicon of the holder a bit more than the other suggustions (so you could keep an eye out for possible tears) but so far with extended use I haven't had any issues. Something else to try if you don't mind your zebra light strap being inside out. Still fits my "relatively" big head with some adjustability and all of the hard wear is facing the right way as to not press into your forehead.


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    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    I've had silicone rubber things break in the past... one of the finger-rings that 4sevens includes with their 1xAA and 1x123 size lights failed on me last summer, fortunately not at an inopportune moment...

    That said, the rubber on the ZL holders is thicker than that of the 4sevens handstrap and finger-rings, but I'd be careful about putting too much stress on the bracket this way. If you're okay with wearing the light a little on the looser side, I'd think it'd probably be okay though.

    Quote Originally Posted by euthymic View Post
    A slight alternative I ended up with while playing with the strap is shown below. It might stress the silicon of the holder a bit more than the other suggustions (so you could keep an eye out for possible tears) but so far with extended use I haven't had any issues. Something else to try if you don't mind your zebra light strap being inside out. Still fits my "relatively" big head with some adjustability and all of the hard wear is facing the right way as to not press into your forehead.

    What? Me? Derail a thread?

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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    I've changed to B0wz3r's headband solution and it works great. It's more comfortable and secure than the default Zebra setup. Thanks.

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    Flashaholic* AlphaZen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Well, in the end I decided to sell the H51 anyway, because I just couldn't get used to it. Even with bowz3r's trick, I couldn't wear it comfortably for long at all. I think the light is amazing and I love the features, but I have been wearing a Petzl for too any years, I guess, and couldn't get used to it. Hopefully the new owner will be happy with it. I ended up ordering a Petzl XP 2 to replace it, which came in the mail today and I am quite impressed. Hopefully this thread helps some owners of the ZL's to get more comfort.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaZen View Post
    Well, in the end I decided to sell the H51 anyway, because I just couldn't get used to it. Even with bowz3r's trick, I couldn't wear it comfortably for long at all. I think the light is amazing and I love the features, but I have been wearing a Petzl for too any years, I guess, and couldn't get used to it.
    that's a bummer. ZL's are good lights, even if the holder and headband kind of suck. i use this DIY band and it's very comfortable. i've worn my H60 with it for hours at a time without discomfort. i tried a bunch of different headband to find something that would work for me, and this is the only setup that's really worked.

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    to AlphaZen --

    Yes, indeed, your thread was VERY helpful and valuable to me !

    (and others, too, i'm sure)


    I really LOVE my ZebraLight H51, with that B0wzer strap modification.


    Thank you for starting this thread.

    Hope your Petzel replacement serves you well.



    _

  29. #29

    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    BOwz3r,
    Thanks for the strap mod suggestion. You've got another convert :-)

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Long time Petzel owner having trouble adjusting to Zebralight

    Glad I could help guys.

    I have to admit, that it took me some time to get used to using a headlamp at all, but for me, between my Spark and ZL, I find the ZL more comfortable for longer periods of time. I also tend to avoid wearing either without something on my head underneath, even just a triangle-folded bandana as a 'do-rag', so to speak. I've worn both for several hours on many occasions while camping, or working outdoors at night, etc. with no problems. Shame that you weren't able to get used to yours AZ; just another reminder that for each of us, with things like this, it's always the case that YMMV.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

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