Looking for a headlamp

Enzo

Enzo

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Do you know what are the specs are running on alkaline/NiMH ? The link only have the specs for Li-Ion, that I could find.

Yes. Bottom of the link, download .pdf. Gives you specs for all battery types.
 
Lynx_Arc

Lynx_Arc

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My issue with built in batteries in headlamps is longevity. Years down the line when in use the battery becomes weaker and weaker can you easily replace it? If not your nice headlamp is just another carcass sitting around unused.
 
Daniel_sk

Daniel_sk

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I have the same feeling about integrated batteries - my headlamp sits in the drawer unused most of the time, the battery will degrade even if not used. I don't want to buy a new headlamp in 3 years just because the battery lost most of the capacity.
By the way most Petzl headlamps are dual-power - you can use 3xAAA batteries (alkaline, nimh or lithium) or their USB rechargeable li-ion battery pack which fits the same battery compartment. I am fine with non-rechargeable batteries since I do not use it that much, so I just don't bother.

carnage - what is the intended use of the headlamp?
I'm also searching for a new headlamp for hiking / walking around the camp. I can give some of my personal experience:

- you need a balanced beam for outdoors, full flood (such as some zebralights) isn't very useful - a lot of light is wasted and you need to run it on higher output levels to get enough "contrast" on the trail. Floody headlamps are great indoors. Some headlamps have two LEDs, one for proximity and one for distance. My old Petzl Tikka XP had a sliding diffuser, it worked pretty well.

- I prefer a simple UI. 3 levels of output are fine. Infinite brightness setting is mostly a marketing gimmick, 3 levels cover 99% of use-cases and you can quickly jump between the levels. For example while working around the camp you have it switched constantly on low or medium, but if you go to collect some firewood you switch to high to check goods spots in further distance. Same for walking - you need to quickly check the path in the distance and then return back to the lower setting. If I need to do a combinations of click / hold / wait or I need to adjust the output and then re-adjust, then it will become annoying over time. The headlamp should at least have an easy option to jump to high and then back.

- I would personally prefer a 1x CR123A headlamp in my case (same battery as in my flashlight, good performance in low temperatures, good energy density), but a lot of flashlights are 3xAAA so I have to live with that. 1x AA could be also fine, but usually the output is lacking with just one AA battery. 3x AA is too heavy. 18650 is too big, I don't need super long runtimes or very high outputs.

- The headlamp should be lightweight and comfortable. The head strap should be just a single piece, without the top strap.

- red light option is nice, but not necessary. A good low white output is also fine.

- an ideal outdoor headlamp should be watertight - not just rain proof. Most Petzl headlamps are only IPX4 rated - this means that water will definitely get inside in a heavy rain, the headlamp will work (stainless steel contacts) but you need to take out the batteries and dry the headlamp after the trip.

I haven't yet found a headlamp that would fit my requirements. I was quite pleased with my old Petzl Tikka XP (3 output levels, sliding diffuser + color filters, separate turbo button), but it's not sold anymore and outdated. I had and sold the original Surefire Minimus (100 lumen), this was the model with the fresnel optic (annoying beam artifacts, too much flood) and you always had to dial the output from lowest setting to maximum. The newer Minimus 300 has a better reflector and the UI is a bit better, it now remembers the output setting and you have a on/off button on the side. But the Minimus is a quite large headlamp (for my taste) and very pricey compared to 30$-50$ Petzl / Black Diamond / other headlamps. I am now using a Black Diamond SPOT 2017, it's a good headlamp but the UI is ridiculous - too complicated and you have to ramp up and down the brightness all the time, it doesn't have any preset levels... I am now looking at the Petzl Actik, seems to be simple, reasonably priced (~$35), lightweight, 2 types of beam, red LED, 3xAAA / li-ion pack, but missing a lockout option and only IPX4....
 
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C

carnage

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I was reading a lot of reviews online on the hinge style headlamp and the hinge breaking. Does this happens a lot?
 
Ray F.

Ray F.

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Looking for a headlamp runs on AA battery with about 300-350 lumens. Any recommendation would be appreciated.

I recently had a very good experience with the Nitecore NU25. It has a burst mode of 360 lumens. However, it is powered by an internal lithium battery not AA.
 
hiuintahs

hiuintahs

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I was reading a lot of reviews online on the hinge style headlamp and the hinge breaking. Does this happens a lot?
The only hinge style headlamp that I've owned is the Princeton Tec EOS. The hinge is plastic and is prone to breakage. I did have one that broke. Those headlamps are kind of out dated now. They were quite the rage back in the day......and we would mod out the Luxeon LED to something else.

Once the flashlight makers started to produce headlamps, I became disinterested in the Princeton Tec, Petzl, Black Diamond, etc. I just didn't think that they matched up to the experience and performance that a seasoned flashlight company could produce. :)
 
colight

colight

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@carnage, did you find what you were looking for? I just had a look at the Fenix online store, and those HL30's (2018) are now available if you're still interested. Since headlamps are not really of any interest to me, I only found out now that they even have a focusable headlamp, called the HL40R, but that does not run off AA's. About the hinges breaking - that may always be a possibility, but in all honesty I cannot say that I've ever heard or read about that happening to any of Fenix's products, although the same could probably be said about some other manufacturers as well.
 
C

carnage

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@carnage, did you find what you were looking for? I just had a look at the Fenix online store, and those HL30's (2018) are now available if you're still interested. Since headlamps are not really of any interest to me, I only found out now that they even have a focusable headlamp, called the HL40R, but that does not run off AA's. About the hinges breaking - that may always be a possibility, but in all honesty I cannot say that I've ever heard or read about that happening to any of Fenix's products, although the same could probably be said about some other manufacturers as well.


I was considering the Thrunite TH20 but the Fenix HL30 has better specs with AA batteries.

I'm going to wait on the reviews for the Fenix HL30 before I purchased one.
 
C

carnage

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For a hinge style headlamp, does anyone know how good/bad the Coast FL85 and FL75 is?

For a headlamp with a external battery pack, does anyone know how good/bad the Coast HL8 is?
 
S

scwood

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Thrunite TH20 ?



  • A high output headlamp with max output of 520 lumens in turbo mode powered by one Li-ion 14500 750mAh battery.
  • LED: CREE XP-L V6 LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.
  • Mode & Runtime (Tested by one Eneloop AA 2450mAh NIMH rechargeable battery):
    -Firefly (0.3 lumens, 14 days)
    -Infinity Low (1.6 lumens, 21 hours)
    -Infinity High (230 lumens, 95 minutes )
    -Turbo (250 lumens, 93 minutes)
  • Batteries Applicable: 1x AA battery, 1x 14500 battery.
  • Working voltage: 0.9-4.2 V.
  • Reflector: Orange Peel.
  • Peak Beam Intensity: 1120 cd
  • Beam Distance: 67 m (max.)
  • Dimensions: 70 mm * 24.5mm
  • Weight: 76g (without battery).
  • Waterproof: IPX-8 (2 m)
  • Impact Resistance: 1 m.
  • Material: Aircraft grade aluminum body with premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
  • Accessories included: O ring, spare rubber slot.

Have one of these.I like it a lot it is easy to have extra AA batteries on hand!
 
C

carnage

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Just to update. I went with the Fenix HL30 2018 Edition. No regrets so far.

Thanks to colight for the recommendation.
 
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