lightweight emergency hiking light

L

LMart

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Mar 29, 2015
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Hi,

I am a hiker--sometimes a long hike means coming down off the trail after dark. I have a Black Diamond headlamp that has served me well over the past several years, but I want a lightweight flashlight as a backup in case the headlamp gives out completely or in case someone else has forgotten to bring a headlamp. Ideal characteristics
1) definitely under $100, preferably under $50
2) lightweight--no more than 2 oz.
3) durable and water resistant
4) Bright enough to come down a rough trail at night at a good clip--e.g. around 50 lumens for several hours of runtime
5) takes AAA batteries so I can use the spares I have for my headlamp
6) has a clip so it can be put on a hat brim as an emergency headlamp (this is not so critical).

I don't mind mail ordering. So far the Fenix LDO2 seems to meet all the qualifications except the mid-level setting is not very bright--only about 26 lumens. The Fenix E12 meets the brightness and runtime characteristics, but is a bit heavy and takes AA cells. Thanks.
 
M

Mr Floppy

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4) Bright enough to come down a rough trail at night at a good clip--e.g. around 50 lumens for several hours of runtime

This will be virtually impossible to find powered by a single AAA. Nitecore T2s does 50 lumen max for around 90 minutes, not that I'm recommending it, but that is sort of the run time you will get from AAA.
 
L

LMart

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Thanks. I thought the combination of runtime and lumens might not be possible--I just wish there was something in between 100 lumens and 25 lumens. I just ordered the ld02 from the fenix store--figured some light is better than none and the light weight will mean I'm more likely to actually take it.
 
leukos

leukos

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I'm a backpacker and I use the zebralight H32fw.
 
A

Amelia

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I'm a backpacker and I use the zebralight H32fw.

Same here, except I use a H51W - I like the universal availability of AA batteries along with the option of using Energizer Lithium AA cells for extreme cold.
 
M

Mr Floppy

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Thanks. I thought the combination of runtime and lumens might not be possible--I just wish there was something in between 100 lumens and 25 lumens. I just ordered the ld02 from the fenix store--figured some light is better than none and the light weight will mean I'm more likely to actually take it.

There is always the L3 Illumination L08, medium is about 30-35 Lumens. It is bigger than your regular AAA and you get about 90 minutes on medium. It is about 8 grams heavier than a LD02 and still has the option of using AAA's. About 34grams with a white AAA eneloop installed.
 
Str8stroke

Str8stroke

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I do a lot of camping. I use a Nitecore HC90. I also own a Fenix LD02. Not sure if I would use that camping. I just bought a ArmyTek Tiara Pro as a back up to test out.
 
desmobob

desmobob

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When I used to use an older Black Diamond Icon for a backpacking light, I carried a small Petzl (Tikka) as a small, light AAA backup headlamp. Less than thirty dollars, IPX4 water resistant, 80 lumens, but a bit over your weight requirement at 85 grams (about three ounces).

I know they make a couple of newer models that are lighter. Good lights

Take it easy,
Bob
 
L

LMart

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When I used to use an older Black Diamond Icon for a backpacking light, I carried a small Petzl (Tikka) as a small, light AAA backup headlamp. Less than thirty dollars, IPX4 water resistant, 80 lumens, but a bit over your weight requirement at 85 grams (about three ounces).

I know they make a couple of newer models that are lighter. Good lights

Take it easy,
Bob
The lightest I can find for a AAA headlamp is the Black Diamond Ion. 1.7 oz with batteries. Some mixed reviews particularly regarding the swipe controls, but with 80 lumens for 25 bucks and less than 2 oz., it's worth a look.
 
T

tubed

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here's another thought.
Since the AAA battery compatibility thing is limiting you so much, I agree with others that you might consider having the other light use other batteries - opens up many opportunities. AAs are great but I think you'd get the most power/duration to weight/size ratio with a small CR123 light. Lights like the Olight S10 or Foursevens Quark 123, or nitecore EC1 are really small (like half a pack of lifesavers) and have huge power. All of those clip onto hat as well.
 
Drclaw

Drclaw

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What about a Foursevens Preon P1? 84 lumen runtime on high? Also What about the Mini ML as proposed before, its a single CR123 weighs next to nothing and has up to 252 lumen?
 
A

ahtoxa11

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Same here, except I use a H51W - I like the universal availability of AA batteries along with the option of using Energizer Lithium AA cells for extreme cold.

Me three. Backpacker and hiker here, and I use the H52w. At the M1 output level it provides around 50 lumens, and works great lighting up the trail. At that output, an Eneloop will last about 7.5 hours and and Lithium primary might be a little longer.
 
R

robert.t

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Thanks. I thought the combination of runtime and lumens might not be possible--I just wish there was something in between 100 lumens and 25 lumens.

What about the Fenix E05 SS? At 85 lumens on high it has about 33% more runtime than the LD02, albeit that only comes to 15 minutes. Medium and low are about the identical to the LD02 in both output and runtime. Visually, I doubt that the difference between 85 and 100 lumens is noticeable.
 
L

LMart

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Hi all, thanks for the input. Since the LD02 is already on order, I'll see if that suffices. If not, I'll likely be forced to go with an alternate battery, as suggested. The Zebralight headlamp looks good--when the Black Diamond gives out, I'll likely go with one of those.
 
desmobob

desmobob

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Hi all, thanks for the input. Since the LD02 is already on order, I'll see if that suffices. If not, I'll likely be forced to go with an alternate battery, as suggested. The Zebralight headlamp looks good--when the Black Diamond gives out, I'll likely go with one of those.

I went from a Black Diamond Icon (old style) to a Fenix HP25 to a Zebralight H600w MkII. The Zebralight is my favorite, by far.

Take it easy,
Bob
 
Poppy

Poppy

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DQG AAA SS 1xAAA/10440 CREE XP-G2 R5 Flashlight

NEW Version--Tighten OFF
Using CREE XP-G2 R5 1A CW / XPG2 4A NW LED

Color Temperature: NW-- 4200K
Material: 304 SS
Switch: Head twist on/off ;
Precise Thread;

Two modes of brightness: Lo>Hi ;Rotate head to change modes; With momery mode
Brightness: Hi--60lumens Lo--2~5lumens
Current drawn: Lo 25mA>Hi 210mA
Runtime: 90 mins on hi; 35 hrs on lo, with quality AAA
Using PMMA diffuse lens, Angle:15 degree
Battery: AAA/10440 ;
Anti-reverse protection; No battery rattle

With Stronge Magnet tail ;
Ashproof and waterproof
Size:57.5mmx12.6mmx12mm
Weight: 12g
 
C

cland72

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FourSevens Atom AO
 
Poppy

Poppy

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FourSevens Atom AO

Yes Chris, I was going to recommend the Atom as well, but its' 30 lumens may not be enough; it would have a longer run-time though than the DQG @ 60 lumens.

LMart,
FWIW, the atom and DQG as far as I know, are as small as they come in AAA size.

My edc is the DQG in NW it seems the newer version is TIGHT... OFF. Mine is the opposite. I don't know if that makes a difference to you.
 
C

cland72

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Yes Poppy, I know it is less output than he wants, but I don't think it's realistic to ask for 50 lumens for hours from a triple A battery (as has been addressed earlier in the thread).

OP either needs to get more realistic about the abilities of the AAA battery, or he needs to rethink his kit and convert to AA which would give him much more runtime at higher outputs.

:thumbsup:
 
S

StorminMatt

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Norcal
here's another thought.
Since the AAA battery compatibility thing is limiting you so much, I agree with others that you might consider having the other light use other batteries - opens up many opportunities. AAs are great but I think you'd get the most power/duration to weight/size ratio with a small CR123 light. Lights like the Olight S10 or Foursevens Quark 123, or nitecore EC1 are really small (like half a pack of lifesavers) and have huge power. All of those clip onto hat as well.

The problem with CR123 batteries is that, in order for them to have a runtime advantage over AA/14500, you need to use primaries. CR123 primaries tend to be expensive anywhere but ordered online. And they can be hard to find, particularly in the sort of out-of-the-way places that people generally go backpacking. Therefore, I think AA/14500 is a better idea for most folks. AA batteries are MUCH cheaper and easier to find. And the Sanyo UR14500p has more capacity (and is a better quality cell) than ANY RCR123. And, of course, if you are willing to carry a small USB solar panel and a small charger like the MC1/MC2, Li-Ion batteries are EASILY charged in the wilderness (allowing you to not have to carry lots of extras). Size wise, AA lights are longer but thinner than CR123 lights. But which is better in this sense is a matter of personal preference.

18650 is another option. You naturally get MUCH better runtime (and LOTS more power if you need it). And you don't have to carry lots (if any) extra batteries. But the lights and batteries are larger and heavier. However, some (like the Zebralights) can be surprisingly small.
 

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