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What is a bombproof headlamp that uses AA batteries?

busseguy

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Jan 24, 2010
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I just thought it would be cool to see what you think is a bombproof headlamp that uses 2 AA batteries?

I’m specifically looking for one that uses 2 AA batteries. Something that will always be reliable and has low, medium and high only. Not interested in programmable types.

A secondary red led would be nice to have.

Something that you could rely on if the crap goes down.

What are some options?
 

TwiceFuzed

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Nitecore HA20.
5 modes: Turbo, high, mid, low, ultra low. It also has 2 small red LEDs.
It has been discontinued but you can still find them new on eBay.
 

Buck91

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It’s a 1AA but the thrunite th20 and it’s acebeam twin are excellent.
 

Lynx_Arc

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An alternative is a 2AA flashlight and a strap to use it as a headlamp. 2AA is not a common format for headlamps there are some out there but the main problem with many of them is the battery cover/hatch is usually made of plastic and can break over time. A bomb proof headlamp will have a metal (usually aluminum) tube for the battery that a metal cap screws on and this pretty much excludes the 2AA format. I spent years trying to find a 2AA LED headlamp that had ample runtime at decent output and no mechanical issues to wear out at a decent price and never found it. I have several 18650 headlamps and after using them for awhile I won't bother using AA headlamps unless I absolutely need to as they are either not powerful enough or a pain to change batteries like their cousins the 3AAA headlamps.
One of my 2 headlamps has been used at work for several years dropping it a few times from 5 feet to about 15 feet on concrete and in wet weather and dirt and dust and looks rather worn and a few small dents and nicks in it but works just as good as when it was new.
 

busseguy

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An alternative is a 2AA flashlight and a strap to use it as a headlamp. 2AA is not a common format for headlamps there are some out there but the main problem with many of them is the battery cover/hatch is usually made of plastic and can break over time. A bomb proof headlamp will have a metal (usually aluminum) tube for the battery that a metal cap screws on and this pretty much excludes the 2AA format. I spent years trying to find a 2AA LED headlamp that had ample runtime at decent output and no mechanical issues to wear out at a decent price and never found it. I have several 18650 headlamps and after using them for awhile I won't bother using AA headlamps unless I absolutely need to as they are either not powerful enough or a pain to change batteries like their cousins the 3AAA headlamps.
One of my 2 headlamps has been used at work for several years dropping it a few times from 5 feet to about 15 feet on concrete and in wet weather and dirt and dust and looks rather worn and a few small dents and nicks in it but works just as good as when it was new.



That makes sense. Thank you for the info!
 

LogansRun

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An alternative is a 2AA flashlight and a strap to use it as a headlamp. 2AA is not a common format for headlamps there are some out there but the main problem with many of them is the battery cover/hatch is usually made of plastic and can break over time. A bomb proof headlamp will have a metal (usually aluminum) tube for the battery that a metal cap screws on and this pretty much excludes the 2AA format. I spent years trying to find a 2AA LED headlamp that had ample runtime at decent output and no mechanical issues to wear out at a decent price and never found it. .

Funny, what you've described is exactly what I was looking for almost 10 years ago and I ended up buying the Spark SD52-NW headlamp (sadly, Spark is no longer around). It's aluminum, has a screw-in metal cap on the battery compartment and takes 2AA batteries. It has a straightforward UI, click, to turn on, click-hold to access the 4 light levels.

When I purchased it, I thought it would be bombproof and the spec's were pretty good as well (at that time):

Super: 280lm / 1.5 hrs
Max: 200lm / 1.9 hrs
Med 2: 70lm / 7 hrs
Med 1: 12lm / 43 hrs
Low: 0.5lm / 50 days

It also has ability to either use an optional screw-in reflector or clear optic (making it a mule).

To this day, I still use this only as a utility headlamp around the house as the aluminum cylinder is a bit heavy and my 18650 headlamps are much more versatile doing outdoors activities.

I think the specs on new AA lights are probably slightly better but I agree, I wonder about the durability of using plastic on a battery cover.
 
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Lynx_Arc

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One issue I have on 2 and 3 AA/AAA headlamps is it is harder to change the battery in the dark vs a single cell light as you end up with 1 or 2 batteries facing different directions. I've had some cheap plastic 3AAA headlamps that the battery cover broke on me and some AA and AAA cheap headlamps that nimh batteries don't fit well as they tend to be slightly longer and larger diameter than alkaleaks.
 

LogansRun

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Agreed, I was never a fan of the 3AAA / 2AA cheap plastic headlamps. My last plastic headlamp was a Princeton Tec Apex that I bought back around 2008.

Again, the Spark SD seems to have battery replacement covered as well: it has dedicated AA battery slots, similar to the Nitecore EA4. You unscrew the tailcap, tilt the light to get rid of the batteries, then simply slip in your two AA replacements. The coolest thing is that you can place your AA +ve side up in either slot as long as the other slot is -ve side up. I just wish someone would redesign the light as less cylindrical and more, elliptical or rectangular... and with a more modern LED.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Have you looked at the new Fenix HP16R? May fit the bill.

He asked for a 2AA and it has an external pack that holds 4AA I believe and has a 3000mah lithium battery in it that I think may be proprietary . Personally I wouldn't buy it if as built in non standard rechargeable batteries speak of either expensive maintenance year in the future when the battery get worn out or obsolescence when you can't get a battery to fit is that may require "surgery" even. When I saw the headlamp first thing I thought of was the battery in it. One other thing that I was not thrilled about is the lack of an external lithium ion battery pack option. If it had a 2-4 18650 or 21700 external battery option OR a micro/USB C option to be able to use a power bank it would sell it a lot more.
 

LogansRun

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I've been looking at the Thrunite TH20 headlamp which is aluminum, runs on 1AA - not 2AA though - brightness levels go from 1.6lmns - 250lmns on NiMH but up to 520lmns on a Li-ion 14500.

The UI is clicky and you would click-hold to ramp up via its "logarithmic scale brightness" settings. It appears to have been around for awhile so it uses an XPL-V6 so not the newest emitter but I do like the specs. I may consider picking this up since it can either use NiMH or 14500 Li-ion's. It's also available with a CW or NW emitter.
 
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Buck91

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I've been looking at the Thrunite TH20 headlamp which is aluminum, runs on 1AA - not 2AA though - brightness levels go from 1.6lmns - 250lmns on NiMH but up to 520lmns on a Li-ion 14500.

The UI is clicky and you would click-hold to ramp up via its "logarithmic scale brightness" settings. It appears to have been around for awhile so it uses an XPL-V6 so not the newest emitter but I do like the specs. I may consider picking this up since it can either use NiMH or 14500 Li-ion's. It's also available with a CW or NW emitter.



Excellent headlamp, just bought another one. Easy to swap leds if so desired.
 

xxo

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Not many 2AA headlamps, that I know of. Dorcy makes one, as part of their pro series work lights.
 
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