I am looking to buy my first headlamp for the purpose of hiking in darkness. My original Googling lead me to three main manufacturers: BlackDiamond, Petzl and Princeton. After a couple of hours comparing the specification on rei.com, I thought it would be a toss up between the BlackDiamond Spot and the Princeton Tec Remix. Yet upon further Googling, people have expressed concerns regarding their build quality, so I thought I'd bite the extra 0.8oz and go with the BD Storm. Well, I also looked at the Petzl Tikka XP 2, but on paper at least, the BD has it beat on all but Red light brightness and weight (attributed to the additional battery so doesn't really count).
Then somehow I stumbled upon this forum, and found out about ZebraLight. Oddly enough, the brand not mentioned in as many places as the other three, yet it many here who have used a wide variety of headlight over here are favouring the HF51 series. But I still do not really understand what it is about the HF51 that makes it better than the Storm (please understand that I have never used a headlamp).
I assume (correct me if wrong) that all thing being equal, 4xAAA batteries will last longer than 1xAA batteries. Meaning that I'd need to change batteries more often on the HF51. Does the AA batteries have an advantage to offset that?
There is no red light on the ZebraLight. I don't think it has a strobe setting either. I am not sure how important those are.
The Storm is also said to be quite water resistant, has a lock to prevent it from switching on in the bag. Do the HF-51 offer those features too?
To sum up, just want makes the HF-51 so loved around here?
IF I am convinced to go for the HF-51, I have three models to choose from. Which one is recommended for what:
- ZEBRALIGHT H51Fc Headlamp (Philips LUXEON Rebel / Typical CRI: 85, Norminal CCT: 4200K)
- ZEBRALIGHT H51 Headlamp AA 200Lm / Cree XP-G Cool White
- ZEBRALIGHT H51w AA / Cree XP-G Neutral White
I am leaning towards the last one, but I wonder if it's a good idea. As I understand, it's not as bright as the Cool White. Oh yeah, night hiking aside, perhaps it's worth considering which one you'd go for in an emergency (I do leave in an earthquake prone country, and I am suppose to have a source of light in my emergency pack).