I'm looking for a tough, waterproof and reliable headlamp...

M

MK9

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...that won't break the bank.

I've started up with Mountain Search and Rescue (MSAR).
My first training will be Swift Water Rescue. I have a couple ZebraLight headlamps but problems with the lights, 3 months of waiting for warranty repairs and less than steller customer service tell me NOT to trust them in serious situations.

Any recommendations for a tough, waterproof and reliable headlamp?
My training starts 04/01/11.
 
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joanne

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I don't have any specific recommendations, but I do have a couple of features that I think you should consider when you make your decision.

- How long of a run time will you need? Many years ago I was in a S&R unit and I know that some of our operations would run for days. A light with a couple of AAA batteries may not have the run time that you need.

- Will you be wearing a helmet? I ask this question because a helmet make wearing a headlamp bit easier. You can mount your light onto your helmet and leave it there permanently. Wearing a helmet also makes it more comfortable to use a light with a separate battery pack. Generally the battery pack is mounted on the back of the helmet with the light on front (of course) so there is a better front-to-back balance.

- What kind of light pattern do you want? A light with a good flood will be good when giving first aid to a victim or rigging a hauling system for a high angle rescue. On the other hand, if you are doing a line search in a dense forest, you will probably want a light with a lot of "throw" so you can see a much longer distance. There are a number of lights on the market that provide both types of light in the same unit.

- What other flashlights do you have or plan to buy? If you purchase lights that use the same type batteries you have the advantage of only having to carry one type of battery in your vehicle or rescue pack.

I think there are a number of lights on the market that will meet your requirements. I do abandoned mine exploring and have been happy with my Princeton Tec Apex Pro. I don't claim that it's necessarily the right light for you or that it's the "best" light, but the Apex series is a viable option in your situation. Hopefully some of the real experts will chime in with some more alternatives.

Joanne
 
srfreddy

srfreddy

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Zebralights? Lol customer service doesn't determine the quality of light. And all headlamps fail. What do you use headlamps for?
 
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dla

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Buy two PrincetonTec EOS and carry one for backup. Stoke them with Lithiums for long run-time in cold weather. Brightguy.com sells them for $35ea.
 
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rab1985

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how much you looking to spend? im guessing you will need flood and spot with good run time. The petzl myo xp might be worth a look.
 
M

MK9

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Zebralights? Lol customer service doesn't determine the quality of light. And all headlamps fail. What do you use headlamps for?

The vigorous activity of reading in bed at night was when my headlamp failed and a front pocket carry light (I do not call it an EDC light for reasons stated below) that lasted all of 3 months before it died. That light was used less than 10 minutes a week and that was just to compare beams against other lights. No heavy duty use at all there.
It's been 3 months and I'm still await its replacement.

I use on a daily basis an incandescent maglite 2 AAA light that's about 12 years old. At the second year mark for one year it was submerged in the oil coolant sump of a CNC lathe. I found the light when the sump had to be drained.
The light works fine 10 years later and is still in use today, everyday.
I have a AA LED maglite but I am not impressed at all. Good beam but a simple tap will change the the light setting.
 
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MK9

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- How long of a run time will you need? Many years ago I was in a S&R unit and I know that some of our operations would run for days. A light with a couple of AAA batteries may not have the run time that you need.
I'm guess a few days at a time at most. I did forget to mention I am trying to stick with AA battery format since all my other lights use AA eneloops

- Will you be wearing a helmet? I ask this question because a helmet make wearing a headlamp bit easier. You can mount your light onto your helmet and leave it there permanently. Wearing a helmet also makes it more comfortable to use a light with a separate battery pack. Generally the battery pack is mounted on the back of the helmet with the light on front (of course) so there is a better front-to-back balance.
Yes, I just order a PETZL Vertex Best Rescue Helmet.

- What kind of light pattern do you want? A light with a good flood will be good when giving first aid to a victim or rigging a hauling system for a high angle rescue. On the other hand, if you are doing a line search in a dense forest, you will probably want a light with a lot of "throw" so you can see a much longer distance. There are a number of lights on the market that provide both types of light in the same unit.
I hope to find a variable adjustment light for both situations. I have both a flood and a throw. A combo of two in one would be ideal but I'm not sure if there is a decent hybrid

-What other flashlights do you have or plan to buy? If you purchase lights that use the same type batteries you have the advantage of only having to carry one type of battery in your vehicle or rescue pack.
I agree. I have a Fenix LD20 and a QuarkAA2 but they are not as waterproof rated as I would like. I'm looking at a Pelican Nemo 2410 but that'll be addressed in the flashlight section when I get the headlamp issue resolved.
 
dfwcaver

dfwcaver

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In the states, the Stenlight is one of the best options, but I've known people who've had issues with them. In the UK, there is the Little Monkey and the Scurion. I don't know anything about the Little Monkey, but I know people with the Scurion and they love it. However, none of the lights I've listed are very cheap, and I don't remember seeing you list a cost you were looking at. I personally use a Princeton Tech Apex because I can't afford a Scurion, but I'm working on building myself a light very similar to the Scurion.

I hope you find something you like.
 
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robostudent5000

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one more for the PT Apex. it runs on 4 AAs, provides both spot and flood, is rated waterproof down to 1 meter for 30 mins, and if it leaks or breaks prematurely, PT will replace it for you. PT's customer service is great (if you live in the US) and their turnaround time is 2-3 weeks. i've read about the battery compartment leaking on some units, but i've never had problems with mine. but then again, i never performed swift water rescue with mine, so i can't say how waterproof it'll be under those conditions. you can usually find units online in the US for $65-70.
 
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fixitman

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have you looked at the petzl pixa 3?
2AA batteries, flood, throw, or combo. Probably not the brightest thing around, but its designed for industrial use. waterproof, shock resistant, and designed to be helmet mounted. The switch is side mounted and rotates, for ease of use. I dont have one yet, but I am trying to talk our safety coordinator at work to get me one, as right now I have a zipka, and it pretty much sucks.
 
kevinm

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I have seen a dozen FoxFury's fail while caving, but you will likely be less hard on it than we are. Little Monkey is out of production for a couple of months and the Scurion is not cheap. The Myo XP and PT APex are not waterproof. My Zebralight is still going strong, but apparently yours failed. Weird.

The Petzl Pixa, Vertex, Duo, and Accu are very good and mostly indestructible. The Surefire Saint is also good, but not very cheap. Same with the Sten. I'd get a used Petzl Duo or Vertex and go from there.
 
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MIKENC

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If you could see your way to use cr123a, then get a Streamlight Argo HP and be done. I have been using one for about 2 years without even a hiccup. An average of 4 1/2 to 5 hours a night 6 nights a week for 5 months and periodically in between.
 
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adkdadto4

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Energizer Hardcase headlamp uses 3AA batteries, has decent spot and flood and is pretty tough..
very affordable too- about $24 on amazon with free super saver shipping right now. price has dropped over last month at several online retailers

I like mine :) seems pretty resilient and flexible.. I really love the AA battery size
 
Bolster

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have you looked at the petzl pixa 3?

Fixit has a good option for you. These Pixas are new and just coming to the USA via Amazon now, but they seem to have a lot of the specifications you require. There are 3 models for you to choose from.
 
LEDAdd1ct

LEDAdd1ct

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Fixit has a good option for you. These Pixas are new and just coming to the USA via Amazon now, but they seem to have a lot of the specifications you require. There are 3 models for you to choose from.

...and if you keep an eye on their thread, when I finally get in touch with someone at Petzl, I will update the thread with specs on which LEDs are used in each model. :thumbsup:
 
recDNA

recDNA

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Anybody ever try the one LL Bean makes?

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
 
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jake25

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This picture always gives me a chuckle so I thought I'd share it

30601260993606635702.jpg
 
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Flying*A

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Petzl Tactikka Plus LED is my pick.
 

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