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Thread: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

  1. #1

    Default Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    I am going to a camping trip next month and I want to buy a camping light. Convenience and light weight are the most important features link removedor link removed , which is better ? Which kind of camping lights are you using ? my friend are using the heavy professional camping torch, but I don't want a heavy one . How about this promotion, I am considering buying link removed.

    Links associated with words, penlight, headlamp, and flashlight removed.
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 07-20-2012 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Apparent spam or shilling

  2. #2

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    You're really not saving that much space by taking a penlight. But, what you need depends on what you're gonna be doing. If you just want to find food in the car at night, just get a penlight. If you are going to be searching for wood or setting up a tent at night, get a headlamp. The zebralight H51 is pretty cool, you can actually detach it from the straps and use it almost as thick penlight. It's all complete flood, so no blinding lights late at night. And it's 200 lumens, which is totally fine. It has high, medium, and low. If you want to know more about it, just google "zebralight h51" and click on the zebralight site link. On the site it's only $64. But there are cheaper headlights of course. I got one of those $8 ones off of ebay. Shipping took like 3 weeks, but it's a great light. I'd say it's only around 100ish lumen, but it's never broke and and has a flood to throw. Takes 3 aaa's but on high those last 1.5 hours, I've already had more than that and they are still burning. The light has a high, med, and high strobe. These are gone threw by a clicky. It's one click: high, another click: low, another click: strobe, another click: off. I kinda like this light because of the amount of lumens. When you have really night adjusted eyes, the around 30 lumens low does perfect, does hurt your eyes, even if you just woke up in the middle of the night. Although it wasn't designed to like the zebralight, you can detach the light from the straps, takes 2 seconds. Then you just have the battery housing and the light w/reflector. I actually bought another of these for a friend and he likes em too.

    Edit: just realized those were hyperlinks...fail. Don't see why you'd have 7 crees, I would rather just have one, those are going to be very underdriven. Just for looks I guess. But, I would definately get the headlamp. I'm all for a good deal, but I HIGHLY doubt that penlight will survive even one drop on pavement.
    Last edited by Sintro; 06-26-2012 at 08:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default

    I vote headlamp. Usually when you camp the flashlight will be your only source of light (at least when I camp). Having a headlamp free's up both hands so you can do all those mundane tasks you normally do like packing and unpacking, food prep, cleanup etc. As an example, try switching off the light and use a flashlight the next time you wash the dishes. Not the easiest thing to do.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic ScubaSnyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Quote Originally Posted by FPSRelic View Post
    I vote headlamp. Usually when you camp the flashlight will be your only source of light (at least when I camp). Having a headlamp free's up both hands so you can do all those mundane tasks you normally do like packing and unpacking, food prep, cleanup etc. As an example, try switching off the light and use a flashlight the next time you wash the dishes. Not the easiest thing to do.
    Agreed...Headlamp is far more superior than a pen light...Zebralight is what I use. and have been using for a number of years.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    If you are going camping, get a floody headlamp and a throwy flashlight.

    You want a headlamp that can illuminate a wide FOV. If you need to spot something in the distance, use the flashlight with focused beam.

    Penlights are more suitable for EDC with minimal footprint, not for camping.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    I say if you really care about weight get a AA powered floody light and bring a pack of lithium AAs. The AAA penlights are great and light but you're going to go through batteries fairly quickly if you use the higher power settings..

  7. #7

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Headlamp. It makes you 100% more productive by letting you work with 2 hands instead of 1.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
    My flashlight videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9TIYcGeuBXa5m0

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Headlamp. The fenix HL-21 comes with a diffuser lens if you prefer a wall of light. It's IMHO a better option than buying a flood specific light.
    When was the last time you washed your feet?

  9. #9
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    You need a headlamp as well as a handheld light ...

    + (at least) a few cheap minilamps to lend around
    (so You do not have to lend around Your headlamp or handheld light which will not come back in good condition ((IF they come back))


    PS: I do NOT believe that it really is this "necessary" to reduce "the weight" or "the packing size" to end up with only one light!
    There is much better and much more useful parts to safe on ...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    [QUOTE=yellow;3973818]You need a headlamp as well as a handheld light ...

    + (at least) a few cheap minilamps to lend around
    (so You do not have to lend around Your headlamp or handheld light which will not come back in good condition ((IF they come back))

    Well, thank you ,you really give me important reminder, indeed , I care to much about the weight and space, but safe is the most important. In this way, maybe the convenient headlamp and the handheld flashlight which is bright enough are both necessary. One site from china is making promotion about the camping lights,which is better ?

    Link to web store removed, also hot linked image from same store removed.
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 07-20-2012 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Apparent spam/shilling. Also hot linked image

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    +1 to any headlight for camping. Right now, the best one I've found is the Fenix HL21. Only uses one AA battery. $35.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNieporte View Post
    +1 to any headlight for camping. Right now, the best one I've found is the Fenix HL21. Only uses one AA battery. $35.
    headlamp. you can get better, but i'll tell you about mine.

    - frees your hands. great for camping.
    - energizer ,only $16 on ebay
    - red lights for night vision (some people will disagree, ok maybe it may not preserve vision, lets not get into this please)
    - spot and flood modes and dual spot/flood.
    - only around 50max lumens i suspect, but still great for a headlamp. get a brighter one made by a proper light company for $50 or less and You're SET!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    As others have said, between those 2 options go with the headlamp. Last time I went camping I took along a headlamp (fenix HL21), a single AA light (sunwayman v10a), and a 2 AA light (eagletac p100a2). The headlamp got the most use, by far, since I could use it hands free.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldrich View Post
    I am going to a camping trip next month and I want to buy a camping light. Convenience and light weight are the most important features , headlamp or penlight, which is better ? Which kind of camping lights are you using ? my friend are using the heavy professional camping torch, but I don't want a heavy one .
    There is a sticky thread at the top of the "reccomend me a light " link. if you haven't got your answer yet, please fill out to give us more info. btw my $16 energizer rocks, for the price. can highly reccomend it. the same light costs 40 at my hardware store . so it isn't cheap chinese rubbish. ebay!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Well I had a long post in the recommend me a light forum, the best solution and what works the best for me is a Quark X 123^2 Tactical in a fenix headband. A useful accessory is e fenix light cone which will diffuse the light which is very useful for in the tent or reading. I also carry a Preon 2 as a backup because when you really need your light something will be wrong with it mo matter how well built.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic fishndad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    I dont see a pen light as an option for camping outdoors at night.
    Unless you already have a Headlamp

    However, I get alot more active at night fishing or cleaning the things after a day of activities.
    A headlamp is irreplacible for me while working with both hands at night.

    I use a 2xAA LED headlamp.It doesnt have a name on it, probably paid $5. and ive had it 3 years or more.
    Wow! thats sad. I need a new headlamp...
    Union Proud IBEW Local 683

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    My two camping/hunting lights are a headlamp and a Preon II. I like the headlamp for around camp chores which need two hands and the Preon penlight gets used for everything else. The size of both and the common battery type make them companion pieces not competing.
    Lee

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    You all seem to never have camped anywhere where mosquitos and such are around.

    thats when one immediately looses his enthusiasm in headlamp only and revises the thinking that penlights make no sense

    PS: for longer camping a plain old technology candle is very nice.
    Long running, nicest light one can think of (except for an open fire of course), small, light

  19. #19

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Just about a month ago, a cheap nobrand xml t6 headlamp came out. Only problem with xml is that you need two 18650's. So, it's 18 for the light, and 16 for some legit trustfires. So 34 total for an xml on your forehead.

  20. #20

    Default

    Well, there's no beating a headlamp for tasks requiring your hands, but for kicking back and relaxing, I much prefer using my flashlight tailstanding (or clipping to a tent window) as a lantern.



    For versatility, I also rather use a regular flashlight with a headband than dedicated headlamp which can't be easily pocketed. (I consider ZL H series to be angle flashlights not dedicated headlamps)

  21. #21

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    pen light is fine as long as you've got some duct tape to attach it to your head, and don't plan on using it too much (AAA)

    ZL H___ series all the way.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic TweakMDS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    I would totally get a ZebraLight-style headlamp. Preferably the H502 or H51 (in whatever option you want, probably the H51Fw or H502c or W when it's out).
    One tip I'd like to give is that if you plan to use it for reading, the warm variants are much more pleasant on the eye. Various ways to hang/mount them to stuff is also highly recommended.
    I'd go for at least gaffers tape (never use duct tape, ever, on anything) as well as a clamp of sorts (small glue clamp).

    The horizontal angle of the light is more practical, and the headlights are usually a bit wider. The business card trick also really helps.

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    When in doubt buy both! (I wonder if that phase is still being used)

    A headlamp would be more useful, as stated my many others. You can also get a penlight with a headlamp strap so you have the best of both worlds, or a headlamp that can easily be used as a penlight. I know zebralights' first lights were in the second category. Small and easy to pocket, but still worked well as a headlamp and had a nice headlamp strap.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Headlamp! Focused on close and good spread, plus leaving your hands free. I recommend against regular LEDs though... Virtually any SMD will out do a regular diode countless times over. Ages back I had a luxeon headlamp that kicked arse! Cant imagine what a good cree headlamp does these days!

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    I usually camp in a no service campground with a tent and I always bring a headlamp for working, a headlamp for hiking, a mule headlamp for reading, a red headlamp for night time toilet trips, at least 5-6 flashlights for spotting/signaling, a toolbox of flashlights for playing/beam comparison and a lantern for everything else at the table. Going with anything less is just too rustic. Are you a flashaholic or not?
    Cataract,

    Shiny things specialist.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    I love hiking and camping very much.

    me and my buddies 's choice for reference.


  27. #27
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataract View Post
    I usually camp in a no service campground with a tent and I always bring a headlamp for working, a headlamp for hiking, a mule headlamp for reading, a red headlamp for night time toilet trips, at least 5-6 flashlights for spotting/signaling, a toolbox of flashlights for playing/beam comparison and a lantern for everything else at the table. Going with anything less is just too rustic. Are you a flashaholic or not?
    What type of working do you do that you need 11 lighting devices? Building a pyramid?

    Dam. Flashaholic for sure. I welcome your enthusiasm.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dankung View Post
    I love hiking and camping very much.

    me and my buddies 's choice for reference.
    Green tint?
    Headlamp is the best choice. i use a zebralight h51fc. Really nice beam and tint

  29. #29

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    I may have become infected by flashoholism, but I like to have a headlamp (Energizer white/red) for working around the campsite or walking dogs, a flashlight for those bumps in the night that need investigating, and a small pocket light to help me see down into dark storage spots.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Headlamp or penlight, which light is better for camping ?

    My ZL H51Fc basically serves as a penlight or a headlight depending upon what I need it to do. I've set aside the headband and simply clip it under the brim of my ball cap when I need a headlamp. Otherwise it stays clipped in a jeans pocket or clipped in the waistband of my shorts, pretty much unnoticed until needed.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

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