Best all round headlamp?

*Dusty*

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Jul 13, 2009
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202
Location
Northern Ireland
Hi guys,

I am currently in the market so to speak for a decent quality headlamp to cover a multitude of sins, but i am also considering buying a couple to cover different uses. I had no idea there were so many to choose from, my head is fried :D

Basically I live in Northern Ireland where the weather can be best described as very chuffing wet all the chuffing time :) so it will need to be waterproof. I own a paintball site and in winter it does get dark here by 4.30pm if not before so while i am clearing up after groups a decent powered headlamp would be very useful, as I need to scour fairly large areas for discarded kit.

I also like to run in the evenings and generally all year round but i live in a very rural area with no streetlights, and my little Energizer 3xaaa jobby is neither comfortable or powerful enough, but handy for round the house.

One headlamp would be great, but if i have to buy a couple then so be it. Budget isn't really that important but I don't want to spend hundreds just yet ;)

Great forum by the way, I can see where all my pocket money will be going from now on, I'm just glad to learn there are more than Maglites out there :crackup:

Cheers in advance!!!
 

Zeruel

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Well, I can't attest to it being "best" since I didn't try ALL headlamps. But for what it's worth, I'm recommending Zebralight H501. It's compact and uses AA with simple 3 modes (additional strobe by double clicking). It can last 311 minutes on High using Li-ion.
 
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*Dusty*

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Northern Ireland
I have been hunting round most of the day and nothing is really grabbing me just at the minute. I think the petzl Myo Xp could be the best compromise but i am not sure whether it will stay on my head while running, and having no idea about these things yet, i could be suffering from shiny toy syndrome a little bit...anyone got/used/recommend them?

I'd like something reasonably powerful, reasonably secure, battery life doesn't have to be ridiculously efficient, as long as i don't have to replace them every hour I'll be happy. weight isn't that big an issue, I am a strong enough lad ;) but preferably something which doesn't require a belt mounted battery pack.
 

carbon14

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Joined
Jul 10, 2009
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Backpacker magazine (2009) gives the nod to the Mammut X-Zoom. They generally have great recommendations. I am on the hunt for a replacement for my old Petzl Zoom and, like you, am looking around.

BTW, I am new on this forum, and I see many are against a non-regulated light like the Mammut. It seems the trade-off is:

regulated: the most consistent amount of light, but it burns through batteries faster.

unregulated: light amount goes down (isn't consistant, doesn't stay as bright as it started out with fresh batteries), but gives you light longer.

Now, I'm a noob, so don't be too hard on me, you experts.
 

kwieto

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Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
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Backpacker magazine (2009) gives the nod to the Mammut X-Zoom

I can agree. For me it is ultimate "mountain" headlamp. Way better than Myo XP (I have the "blue" model modded with SSC P4 bin U) - more powerful and lasting longer. Better UI (settings from Low to HI and options like emergency signal or rear red lights not mixed with the standard modes) and other features... it is really well designed Headlamp.

Myo has only one advantage - X-zoom is designed more to work with a helmet so Myo XP is more comfortable on the "naked" head.


As for regulated/non regulated, in my opinion it depends what you need the lamp for.

If you need the lamp around your home, or for the "light camping", probably regulated light will be better, because you have constant output and it is no problem to change batteries if needed.

But in the mountains, where light is also some kind of a "safety equipment" IMO non regulated light will be better.
It lasts longer and even if the light is very dim, you can still use it and you are still visible from a long distance (in good weather even one candle is visible from miles away).
Regulated light is less efficient (I don't know about any 100% efficient driver) and the output characteristic is that it works well with the constant output for some time and then blows out in seconds.
In emergency case I prefer to have any light, even if it is very dim, than to have nice, bright light but not working anymore.

Just compare - Zebralight H501, working on 1x AA on the lowest setting can work 3,5 days. Multiplied by 3 batteries it is 3,5 x 3 = 10,5 day, measured for 2700 mAh NiMH.
Mammut X-zoom works up to 300h on one 3xAA package, which is 12,5 days - two days more, and no battery change is needed during that period.
OK, at the end it is dimmer than regulated Zebra, but at the beginning it is much brighter (probably c.a. 20 lm vs 3.3 lm in Zebra). So if you use Zebra in mix MED/LOW mode, the runtime will be less than 10,5 day.
Raw calculation: if you assume usage of 1 battery in MED and 2 in LOW shortens the runtime from 10,5 to just less than 8 days.

From the other hand, X-zoom's 300 h is measured AFAIK for alkalines, which are much poorer than 2700 mAh rechargeables... so for the package of 3 x 2700 mAh NiMH's the runtime of X-zoom should be even longer than mentioned 12,5 days - the difference starts to be huge.

They are very "raw" calculations, but I think giving a good overwiew why unregulated light can be better for some needs.

Other advantage of unregulated light is that you see that the power runs out and can start to save batteries (i.e. reducing the usage of light).
For regulated light, until you are sure that batteries are fresh, you never know how long it will last.

I like regulated light on the camp field, but when I am going to the mountains, I take unregulated X-zoom or Myo as the main light.

I think that making these lights unregulated was well thought decision of the producers - making them maybe in some way less comfortable, but just safer...
 

Woods Walker

The Wood is cut, The Bacon is cooked, Now it’s tim
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I have both of these headlamps. Whenever I'm packing for a trip I bring them both (just packed them last night actually). I probably have more confidence in the PT EOS, but I just can't stand to leave either one behind!


I also have both the H501w and Rebel EOS. Packed them both last weekend for a trip on the AT. Used the ZL for camp and EOS on the trail during a dayhike.
 

bansuri

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Mar 28, 2009
Messages
885
Man, it's amazing the world-class headlamps you can get for <$100! I'm fond of my Zebralight 501 and H50 but I have a pile of others that I use from time to time. Even the $5 headlamps that are roughly based on Petzl styling that I got from Harbor Freight for my kids to play with are decent headlamps (for the money).

I'm not a runner and it doesn't look like that aspect of Dusty's question has been addressed. Does an over-the-top strap benefit runners? It seems like a low-profile design that keeps it close to the forehead would keep it from bouncing around too much.
Any night runners out there?
 

Burgess

Flashaholic
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
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Location
USA
Hey *Dusty* --


Welcome to CandlePowerForums !


:welcome:



Good Luck in yer' quest to find the perfect flashlight (and headlamp).


:candle:

_
 

Linger

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Feb 17, 2009
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Kingston ON
No trouble being active with the Zebra 501. I use it stock (even though there's a few strap mods posted) and running is no trouble.
The Zebra - it runs for ever, it's fantastically bright. It's hardly bigger than the battery you put in it. Simple interface with extremely useful output levels (and the flashing mode is hidden! which is amazing).

It doesn't do spot, and doesn't change colour, two options that can be useful. I find the pure flood beam irreplacable and never chose a light with a hot spot when i'm doing precision tasks by light. it's a task light, floody so you can light up things your working with. Truth be told, anything I need a spot to see is too far away to be working on with my hands. Ergo, my hands are free to hold a torch whenever I need distance / spot lighting.

There's probably a lot of good options for you. you asked in the right place. (and you'll be steared clear of any of the tripe and offal that most stores push)
 

*Dusty*

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Messages
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Location
Northern Ireland
Man, it's amazing the world-class headlamps you can get for <$100! I'm fond of my Zebralight 501 and H50 but I have a pile of others that I use from time to time. Even the $5 headlamps that are roughly based on Petzl styling that I got from Harbor Freight for my kids to play with are decent headlamps (for the money).

I'm not a runner and it doesn't look like that aspect of Dusty's question has been addressed. Does an over-the-top strap benefit runners? It seems like a low-profile design that keeps it close to the forehead would keep it from bouncing around too much.
Any night runners out there?

Cheers for the welcome and advice so far everyone.

My problem for running is that a fair bit of it is over roughish ground, and at the minute i find my energizer 3 x AAA tends to bounce around a fair bit. Great for round the house and that, but I am a great believer in just spending that bit extra on something to get a good one. It's just until now I thought the Energizer WAS a good one ;) A center strap seems like a good idea, but so many of them come without one, it'll most likely be fine :)

There are so many possibilities but i've narrowed it down to one or possibly 2 from the following based on recommendation here and nosying on the net :D

Zebralight H501
Petzl Myo XP
Led Lenser H7 (doesn't seem to be waterproof though :confused:)
Petzl Tikka XP

I have to confess I've already ordered a LED Lenser p7 flashlight as well, but only because it was shiny !! Don't really know why, I'm not afraid of the dark or anything but I like to have a flashlight on me as often as possible. Seems I'm on the right forum anywaylovecpf

Don't tell the wife though, if she finds out about the ones I intend to buy this month I'm a very dead man........:eek:oo:
 

bansuri

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Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
885
Truth be told, anything I need a spot to see is too far away to be working on with my hands. Ergo, my hands are free to hold a torch whenever I need distance / spot lighting.
Great point! Also a good argument for the 2=1, 1=0 philosophy*.



*2 lights =1 when one breaks, 1 light = none when one breaks.
 

Zeruel

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Jan 1, 2009
Messages
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........
I have to confess I've already ordered a LED Lenser p7 flashlight as well, but only because it was shiny !! Don't really know why, I'm not afraid of the dark or anything but I like to have a flashlight on me as often as possible. Seems I'm on the right forum anywaylovecpf

Don't tell the wife though, if she finds out about the ones I intend to buy this month I'm a very dead man........:eek:oo:

Oh, you'll fit right in alright....you'll fit right in. Bwahahahaha...:devil:
 

kwieto

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Mar 8, 2009
Messages
89
Zebralight H501
Petzl Myo XP
Led Lenser H7 (doesn't seem to be waterproof though :confused:)
Petzl Tikka XP

From above 4 I would choose Myo XP or Tikka XP.

Why?

It is simple negative selection: Led Lenser drops out for two reasons:
1. I don't see any reason for making light with rear battery copartment and working with AAA batteries. Rear copartment is less comfortable than the front one (OK, you have better balanced weight, but you have to handle the cable around your head), and only reason I see for that kind of design is to use bigger AA cells, like in Myo XP or X-zoom.
2. It don't seem to be quality lamp. OK, I never had it in my own hands, but The switch on the battery copartment doesn't seem bo be "bomproof". And plastic looks worse than this which is used by Petzl.

Then H501 drops out because it is flood only. I like flood on the camp site - H60 replaced my gas lantern when I need something lightweight. But this will be always a "second lamp" while I have X-zoom (and Myo XP before) as a "main" light.
I don't think that on the trail flood only lamp (giving you very wide light, but only for a few meters range) will be enough.
In Myo XP and Tikka XP you have flip-on cover, so you can choose between throw and flood. In Zebra not, you have only flood and no possibility to extend the light range when you need.
OK, the Myo flood is less wide than Zebra's (c.a. 50-60 degrees vs. 80 degrees) but do you really need to enlight your feet toes when you are looking stright forward? ;"P
I was skitouring with Myo and the flood area is just enough for me, I don't need to waste light arround me when I am walking or running.

See the Myo promotional movie, showing the possibilities like flood, throw and boost. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QynPVCp4HB4

The choice between Myo and Tikka is more question of how light you want the light to be. And myo is not 100% waterproof (rainproof only), when Tikka has a better protection.
 
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Zeruel

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....OK, the Myo flood is less wide than Zebra's (c.a. 50-60 degrees vs. 80 degrees) but do you really need to enlight your feet toes when you are looking stright forward? ;"P

One has to see where he's stepping no? Like... steps, rocks, branches, carcasses, pythons, you know the usual stuff... :crackup:
 

Egsise

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Dec 11, 2008
Messages
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Arctic Circle
Fenix headband with ZL H50 attached in the front and LD10 on the side?
That sounds too weird, I need to order one of those headbands and try...

There would be flood and spot, and two lights because one is none.
 

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