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Thread: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    The headlamp itself is awesome!!!!! LOVE IT
    Would be great to hear exactly why it's awesome. And I don't mean this in a disparaging way, as when I was evaluating it in no way struck me as having enough redeeming features to overcome the many downsides to it's trendy design. So I'd like to hear about what I overlooked so I won't be so blind next time I'm evaluating a new product. What I'd like to see but have not found so far is a documentation of features this light offers that makes it surpass the other more affordable offerings that are on the landscape? So far all I've been able to dig up are seat of the pants impressions of the light which unto themselves are valuable as first impressions, but I'd like to hear from someone that has ridden it hard and put it away wet.

  2. #32

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Well I'm an avid hiker and go canyoneering often. I just went on an overnight hike up to Telegraph Peak in Cucamonga Wilderness in SBNF, CA. 9000 ft and snowing pretty hard too. I specifically went up to test out the BioLite Stove I just got.

    I've been hiking since I was in Boy Scouts and know what looks good on paper isn't necessarily how it performs in the real world. Everything I have picked for gear was tested and abused and survived. Wen hiking I take into consideration size, weight, ruggedness and performance.

    The Nao will get a full workout tomorrow so yes it will come back frozen, wet and beat up. I have all the permits already (Wilderness Permit, Fire permit, fuel wood permit, etc) so I'm set to go tomorrow. I plan on taking the Nao up to around 10,000 ft in freezing temps, most likely will be snowing at the time also. ( I'll see how the reactive lighting works with the reflection off falling snow).

    Initially, I think the Nao is awesome for its programmable features. This is what sets the Nao apart from other headlamps in my opinion. I love that you can customize and live "test" the setting, meaning the light will fire up as you program the profile so you can see what the setting does.

    Being able to set output levels even for constant mode, up to 5 levels 0-100% output each level in 1% increments and being able to see a runtime estimate for each output level selected is a huge plus. And you get 3 personal slots. Example: slot 2 you can have the constant set at 5% / 15% / 30% / 70% / 100%... And have different settings for 2 more profiles.

    The Multi-activity seems standard and has to stay in slot 1. Slots 2-4 is customizable with each profile being able to handle 5 levels of reactive and constant each. This, this means I can have a profile for hiking and when I come up against a boulder I have to climb, I can switch my rock climbing profile.

    The head strap is secure and comfortable. More comfortable that some other headlamps I have. Being rechargeable is a plus (even with the 2300 mAH 18650 it comes with).

    Is it expensive? Yes.... It's would be much better at around $149.99. But when I get the battery pack modded with the AW 18650 3400 mAH, I think this will be my #1 go to headlamp. It will take many real world testing and tweaking of the custom profiles I have made, but when the profiles are dialed in to my personal satisfaction... I think this will be an excellent headlamp added to my collection.

    This is not a headlamp for the casual user. But geared toward those who like to tweak with the output settings.
    Last edited by HistoryChannel; 03-08-2013 at 09:53 PM.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by TSellers View Post
    I'd like to hear from someone that has ridden it hard and put it away wet.
    Ok, here you go. I took the Nao up with me to test it out. I typed up my thoughts...

    For those who want a visual on what the Reactive lighting is: http://youtu.be/FZb3k_x067w

    My real world testing of the Petzl Nao, and quick thoughts on the Fenix PD32UE tested on a real deep wilderness hiking trip.

    Location and conditions for real world use test:
    Cucamonga Wilderness, San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF), CA
    Entry point was at the Middle Fork Trailhead 6W01 (3,983 ft and light snow dusting on ground) using the upper trail past Third Stream Crossing (5,600 ft, 2-4" of snow) to Icehouse Saddle (7,600 ft). From there I headed North to Telegraph Peak (8,985 ft, 6-10" of snow). Getting to Telegraph peak was done in daylight, and coming back was after sunset. Weather conditions ranged from 41 degrees at the Middle Fork Trailhead to 19 degrees at Telegraph Peak after sunset. Some stream hopping and heavy foliage and huge boulder climbing/descending was necessary.


    I’ll skip right to the part where I started testing the lights.

    The Fenix PD32UE puts out a WALL of light. I do not doubt the specs pushing 740 lumens. It was a wide spot so it did not penetrate very far in the pitch dark wilderness. But closer range it just completely lit up the area. It is (in my opinion) an average performing light for hiking good as a secondary unit. Mainly due to the side switch. The placement of the side switch (mode switching) is exactly where my pinky or palm falls when using gloves. And sometimes I would hit the switch accidentally switching modes unintentionally. The 2 raised sided around the tailcap is annoying and made it harder to use with gloves. It was hard to sense where the raised spots were and could not reliably push the button. Also, the 3 minutes on Burst mode was annoying as I surveyed the area and/or looked for eye shine for longer than this sometimes and would kick down to a lower level. Also, the 30 minutes or so on Turbo limit makes it pretty much a 3 level light with limited Turbo/Burst use. This is not my first choice for deep woods hiking. Great EDC light though. Performed flawlessly being dunked in the ice cold stream and thrown around in snow.

    Petzl Nao:
    It started getting dark right around 6:00 PM, (the Mountains and heavy trees cover the sun losing light earlier than in the city.I put on my Nao right around 6:15 and turned it on. I programmed the light using the Petzl Provided “Hiking” profile and tweaked it a bit. In reactive mode, I have it set for 5 levels of lighting ranging from 15% flood to 100% spot/40% flood. The Reactive mode performed very well, staying at level 1 most of the time I was cooking up my meal before heading down. The deep woods do play mind tricks on you with strange noises and unidentifiable animal sounds, so I kept looking up and around the area. The levels changed fast and reliably, as I scanned around for any eye shine to worry about since the Ranger I spoke with before heading out said his truck was chased by a Mtn Lion a few days prior.

    This is where the reactive mode really helped, because normally I would flip through the different modes frequently. Having the handsfree option was nice. Also, I had 3 profiles stored in the headlamp and was able to switch from very low light profile to max output profile easily when I needed to. For example, when I was out collecting dry firewood I would have it on Reactive on a high profile I had programmed for doing tasks such as this. Then when I returned to my little area I switched to a low output profile except for Level 5 which I had set at 100% spot in case I looked up to see far.

    When I needed to climb over some boulders and navigate through heavy foliage, I set it to my low light hiking profile because I didn’t want to be accidentally blinded by 350+ lumens bouncing back at me.

    Here are my thoughts on some pros and cons after taking it out for half a day, half of which was in pitch darkness in deep woods, sometimes away from any sort of trails.



    Pros:
    -User programable light levels from 1%-100%. This is the #1 feature in my opinion because one person’s opinion of “low” is different from another. One person might want 5 lumens for low while another might want 10 lumens, etc. With other Headlamps I have used, you get what the company provides you. so if low is set at 15 lumens, med at 60 lumens and high at 200 lumens... its what you get and have to live with. So if you want specific programmability for output levels, this is the headlight for you.

    -Reactive lighting. Yes, it worked very well. Better than I expected. As I hiked the trail, and looked down at my feet, it triggered level 1 which I had set at 20% flood only. Then as I looked up the light recognized this and progressively went to Level 2,3,4, and finally 5 which I had set at 100% spot and 40% flood. Level switching was very smooth and ramped up and down rather than an abrupt switch as I navigated through heavy forest landscape.

    -Water Resistant. I wouldn’t use this under water, but the rubber gaskets kept the moisture out. I did dunk it in the stream and drop it in snow. a quick wipe down and it worked fine. This will survive in rain and splashing conditions.

    -Head strap. The 2 bungees on both sides actually work better than my band type head strap. Especially when it got wet, I felt the effects less. It was comfortable to wear for my 4 hour hike through and out of the wilderness.

    -Battery Life in Reactive mode. Battery life totally depends on your programming of levels and light intensities at those levels. At 100% output, this is rated at just over an hour of runtime. After 4 hours of real world use in rugged terrain, the indicator showed 2 bars out of 3 lit so runtime is excellent. With the right programming, you can achieve 12+ hours of reactive lighting or a little over an hour depending on your needs.

    -Live runtime estimates and test feature for the programming software. You can program and set levels while watching the estimated runtime estimate adjust based on your programming. And you can hit “Test” and the light will fire up at the level you are setting. At any time you can move the Spot and Flood intensity setting and the Nao will respond accordingly live so you can see the light produced at that current setting. Very nice feature. I played with it and tweaked the Flood/Spot mixture til I got the settings I liked.

    -Switch. I wore Camelbak’s cold weather gloves and I was easily able to operate the switch. Switching between Reactive levels and Constant and profiles is simple.

    Cons:
    -Power design. Well this thing uses a 18650 Li-ion battery, but in a proprietary “Petzl” setup. It would have been ideal for the end user if Petzl would have placed the necessary small electronics to the battery case so the 18650 could be popped in and out easily. With some gutting and soldering and shrink wrapping, a savvy user can upgrade this battery. But the point is we shouldn't have to do all that. As it stands, if you do not want to mess with anything, you will have to buy $50 spare battery units and you only get 2300 mAh, frustrating when there are better 3400 mAh choices out there.

    -Price. At $175 retail, this is expensive for a headlamp. I would like to see 2 versions of this, one as is for a little less, maybe $149.99 would make it more competitive and another version without the reactive feature but keeping the programmable profiles/ output levels reducing the price even further for those that do not need or want reactive lighting.

    -Heavy fog interferes with the reactive sensor. I don’t know if this is really a “con” because it’s not the fault of the headlamp. But it did do some funky level changes while I hiked through some heavy fog. Also, even without fog, the moisture from my breath would flicker the light as it passed over the sensor. Again, I don’t know if there is anything Petzl could do to fix this, it is just the nature of how the reactive mode works...

    Overall, after using it this will be my #1 headlamp for night hiking due to the #1. Programmable Profiles and #2. Reactive lighting reducing the need to manually adjust to almost never. In some situations, I’d say about 10% of the time, I did manually adjust Spot/Flood/Lighting output. This is not for everyone as there are very nice alternatives. So this can be summarized by saying that the Petzl Nao sets itself apart from its competition by being programmable and having Reactive lighting.

    My trusty Subaru got me to there and back..... never have needed chains
    Last edited by HistoryChannel; 03-11-2013 at 01:52 AM. Reason: typos

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Thanks for that comprehensive review. Tonight as I descended from 2200M to 1700M, all of it in the dark, I was thinking about the subject of light levels. For what I was doing I use a flood on my hip belt on high (Spark SD6-NW), and a spot on my head (Spark ST-6 NW), also on high. That's where they stayed the whole time except for a couple of Turbo mode bursts: Turbo spot where it got steeper crossing an avalanche path, and you want to move quickly, and Turbo Flood crossing some icy spots and you want to move carefully. For that sort of activity the flood/spot combination are a real bonus, as are the 34000mAh Panasonic cells, which after about 2 hrs of use still read 3.9v when I got home. So in these circumstances the ability to sustain high mode for the longest possible time became the priority and everything went well. While reactive lighting would not be required, the NW tint with the snow is a must. Did not have the same luck with the Garmin Forerunner 410 however, it's battery barely made it, and the GPS could not deal with course reversals on tight switchbacks very well. This time of year hard to evaluate the headband fit, as winter headgear seems to mitigate it anyway. BTW, at night cougars usually attack from behind, the best defence is watching for tracks rather than eye-shine so if something does jump on your back your can of pepper spray is already poised to deploy over your shoulder (our researchers used to wear Saddam Hussein masks on the back of their heads when doing cougar transects, a trick apparently learned from African Game Wardens). The first Grizzly sighting was last week in our neck of the woods, or rather more accurate to say in our neck of the railroad tracks, where he was seen patrolling for spilt grain on the tracks.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I did have a can of 10.2oz pepper spray on a chest holster and a sidearm for this hike, I was thinking the same as you.... a Mtn Lion would attack from the rear. So I would pull a crazy Ivan and just suddenly stop every so often and just listen, then I spotlighted around behind me for any eyeshine. And I did read somewhere that wearing a mask on the back of your head confuses and deters stalking animals.

    And my NiMH Duracells failed in my Garmin Foretrex due to the cold and had to replace it with my Lithium AAA backup I brought luckily.

    I did fail to mention the tint of the Nao was way too cool and accurate color rendition was not possible.

    Have you ever seen a bear in the wild before? I would love to see one!!! Here in CA, there are approximately 25,000-30,000 bears but mostly in the northern areas of the state.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Never heard of a cougar chasing a vehicle before, wonder if the Ranger mistook the neighbour's large tom cat that was chasing the can of Tuna he had thrown in the box there after he had his lunch. There are about a dozen habituated Grizzlies on the landscape in our field unit so they are pretty much spotted on a daily basis, they can be easily found via telemetry because their GPS collars upload every 30 minutes. The stats are starting to show there is a greater chance of surviving a contact charge with pepper spray than a firearm. I personally doubt that mask on the back of the head theory would work with cats, but who knows? (At that time the researchers just had two mask choices they could buy locally, and they thought Saddam would work better than George Bush. They must have been right, as they are all still alive almost 20 years later.)

    It will be interesting to see if the reactive lighting concept will take hold, but as you say they have shot themselves in the foot with that proprietary battery pack, too bad they have not learned from the opensource community. For Search and Rescue work the tint is pretty important, especially for assessing patient cyanosis and cap refill status after they have been dug from avalanche debris. However I was thinking that maybe that's where the Nao would outshine the competition (pun intended). Get buried in an avalanche with my Spark on Turbo mode, hands pinned by my sides, and they dig me up with my brain fried like an egg after the lamp overheats insulated by all the snow. At least the Nao would not fry your forehead and give you more prolonged light to read by as you waited for your rescuers to find you.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Thanks for the review and the sweet photos.

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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by HistoryChannel View Post
    ...-Head strap. The 2 bungees on both sides actually work better than my band type head strap. Especially when it got wet, I felt the effects less. It was comfortable to wear for my 4 hour hike through and out of the wilderness
    I'm curious about what you were wearing under the NAO? You mentioned that it got to ~19 degrees after dark so I assume you didn't have on ultra thick headgear.

    I've had my NAO out in the single digits with some pretty bulky headgear on (soft/layered), and with my 7 5/8" head the front tensioning straps reached the limit of their stretch and things got a bit uncomfortable (and forget about getting it on over any kind of adult sized helmet, regardless of what they show in the promotional video). I'm going to order another headband and try replacing the non stretchable paracord like rear portion of the harness with something longer/adjustable.

    With this model/type of light being new, I'm sure some of the downsides will eventually be addressed by Petzl, modders or other manufacturers but I'm not waiting. I'm old, and a lot of my friends have already died while holding out for next generation technology to address some perceived product shortcoming. I'm going to enjoy my NAO now, and if someone offers an improved variant in the future, I'll buy that too, if I'm still around.

    We only have black bears and imaginary mountain lions in western New York where I live, but I once got chased by a mangy (rabid?) opossum while out on snowshoes. That was a freaky experience, but it occurred back in the days when we carried Maglites, so I could have always thrown it at him as a last resort (there's another thing the NAO isn't good for).

  9. #39

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I had on a beanie. It fit ok over the beanie. I can see it not working on some helmets. And I encountered many opossum and they are aggressive as all heck.

  10. #40
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Hey HistoryChannel, I'd sure like to see some bigger versions of those panoramas you teased us with above.

    On the subject of the NAO I haven't been able to test mine out that much so far since I only recently got one but I'm pretty impressed. I think it's quite neat how the two LEDs can combine their power in different amounts, almost creating the appearance of a single beam that has some focusability.

    One thing I will note is that the NAO seems a little confused in Reactive mode in winter when you breathe out and it sees the condensation in your breath, as the puffs of condensation temporarily increase the light reflected back to the sensor.

    I'm really looking forward to Petzl's next generation of reactive headlamp, the Tikka RXP, which will be more compact and hopefully a sorts of NAO 2.0.
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  11. #41

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    Hey HistoryChannel, I'd sure like to see some bigger versions of those panoramas you teased us with above.

    On the subject of the NAO I haven't been able to test mine out that much so far since I only recently got one but I'm pretty impressed. I think it's quite neat how the two LEDs can combine their power in different amounts, almost creating the appearance of a single beam that has some focusability.

    One thing I will note is that the NAO seems a little confused in Reactive mode in winter when you breathe out and it sees the condensation in your breath, as the puffs of condensation temporarily increase the light reflected back to the sensor.

    I'm really looking forward to Petzl's next generation of reactive headlamp, the Tikka RXP, which will be more compact and hopefully a sorts of NAO 2.0.
    Hi carrot,

    I do have the full versions of the pano pics, dozens actually. But they are 18-20 megapixels and huge files. I used my iPhone with the native pano feature. I can try and post thumbnails linking to full versions.

    And I did include in my review also that the Nao does react to breath fog, also in dense natural fog, smoke from fire (campfire, etc). Basically anything that can reflect light and confuse the lamp.

    I wrote to Petzl to voice my concern with their choice of battery implementation. That they need to be end user friendly and allow a drop in battery system. If their OEM battery that came with the unit goes bad, we have to buy the whole pack for $50 and basically have a useless original pack.

    I got a generic response that batteries by itself are not available and we have to buy the battery and pack together. Insane when quality 18650 batteries are available for less than $20.
    Last edited by HistoryChannel; 03-19-2013 at 11:40 AM.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Several NAO reviews, here and other places (including mine), have mentioned the winter breath fog dimming thing, but is it really a negative? If you exhale in front of a high power non-reactive headlamp you get a big blast of bounce back in your eyes, which messes up your dark adaptation to a greater extent than with the NAO. The fact that regular headlights DON'T dim when you exhale a big cloud of ice crystals in front of them is the real negative.

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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    you get a big blast of bounce back in your eyes,
    Yes, with a highly reflective tint such as something in the 6500K range. Not so much at 4000K. In the below example taken a couple of nights ago, you can see this dynamic illustrated by the near foreground high wavelength flood that is reflecting the falling snowflakes, whereas the neutral white tint of the SX5 mitigates the problem, and that, along with the fact they are RFI shielded, are two of many reasons we selected them for Search and Rescue activities after the NAO was disqualified:


  14. #44

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I listed this as a negative because the light is doing something I was not expecting and or wanting the light to do, all on its own.

    It is not the fault of the light design or function, but it is doing something on its own. The flicker can be annoying and sometime disorienting that caused me to stop for a second until it stopped flickering. This was a problem when navigating intricate conditions such as slippery rocks and logs over a stream in pitch dark conditions. In those situations I would much rather have the predictable constant on.

    I learned to switch from reactive to constant based on situation which solved that problem.
    Last edited by HistoryChannel; 03-19-2013 at 11:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    If you exhale in front of a high power non-reactive headlamp you get a big blast of bounce back in your eyes, which messes up your dark adaptation
    I've found that when I have a headlamp on high power setting, let's say in the range of 300-500 lumens, my night vision is adapted to that level of ambient lighting because that's the field I'm looking into. In other words I do not have much for night vision adaptation at that point. When the fog from exhalation floats past it does not seem to change anything. Again, it has made me wonder if you have found it does impact your vision in a negative way, perhaps it would be related to the tint. What is the tint on the NAO by the way? I couldn't seem to find that out using Google, could it be high enough to cause this problem? Maybe in future they will bring out some models that offer different tint options.

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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by TSellers View Post
    ... it has made me wonder if you have found it does impact your vision in a negative way, perhaps it would be related to the tint. What is the tint on the NAO by the way?...
    Maybe you're onto something. The tint of my NAO lies somewhere between the neutral of my Zebralight H600W and my cooler Princeton Tec Apex (an old one), but it's nowhere near as cool as my Petzl Tikkina 2. Some conditions seem to affect some people to a different extent than others, and maybe I'm just over sensitive to a particular tint and/or bounce back, just like I'm apparently NOT very sensitive to the PWM flicker that some people complain about at reduced output levels on some lights. As a matter of fact, my appreciation of auto dimming may have something to do with my age, if my irises can't adjust as fast as they used to be able to. I also remember reading somewhere that as the accident rates start to increase for "advanced aged" drivers, they go up exponentially at night, so maybe there's something else going on that has a bearing on my particular situation. Although YMMV, if I ever run across a "Like Button" for my NAO I'll click it, but can also understand why others may not.

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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Wow, we headed out tonight for a 14km night ski exercise and while we were driving I was talking to my spouse about the headlights we'd be using and about this post. In fact we just got back a few minutes ago. It was -7c and I noticed my breath had no effect at all even though I had two head mounted lights and one is probably around 5000k, and then I also started to think, this is the Rockies, humidity is real low, I'll bet it's completely different on the coast. My spouse (who is 26 years younger than me) also mused about the effect retinopathy can have with night vision in old farts such as myself (even though she cannot keep up with me), and I remarked I'm glad I recently had my mandatory work medical and eye exam results done so I knew my blood glucose levels were normal, and no cataracts so far to worry about. However, even though I know for now I'm OK on those two fronts, I can tell my night vision is not what it was 20 years ago. But when we assessed lights for S&R work tint was a major factor because it is hard enough to assess patient cyanosis and capillary refill status at the best of times in the dark and trying to see dichotomous purple under a purple tint light is just no joy. I am out a lot at night, and sometimes my work has me a long way from the trailhead carrying a firearm. I'm finding that I can actually 'relax' a lot more with a neutral tint and floody beam than I did with my PT Apex I used for years. This summer my DIY C20 host with the 8*7135 driver and neutral white XM-L emitter is going into the Weaver mount in my firearm when no-one is looking (and ironically has the PWM on medium that drove me nuts tonight).

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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I just noticed a 1000+ lumen Bluetooth programmable flashlight with unlimited number of programmable modes via free Windows and Android apps is now on the market at the $60.00 price point. Perhaps a similar model of headlamp may be soon to follow for those that have taken a like to the programmable modes of the Nao.

  19. #49
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    For twin-beam headlights, there's a lot to be said for having control via a couple of pushbuttons or a 3-position switch, especially for people who want to have real control over the light.

    But given that physical interface, it's possible to make a decent UI which gives good direct control and/or which allows reconfigurability without the need for external devices.

  20. #50
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    nice looking light, but proprietary battery, less lumens than my old Coast HL7 and 4 times the price??? - these Frenchmen must be doing some seriously good drugs - this just needs the word "Gucci" on the label to top it off - lol

  21. #51

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by wild bill View Post
    nice looking light, but proprietary battery, less lumens than my old Coast HL7 and 4 times the price??? - these Frenchmen must be doing some seriously good drugs - this just needs the word "Gucci" on the label to top it off - lol
    Well, it does use a 18650 battery and I did some surgery for about 20 minutes to make the 18650 pop in and out easily. I now use the Orbtronics 3400 mAh. The selling point with the Nao is the virtually infinitely customizable output levels and "Reactive" mode. Its on the expensive side but after using the Reactive mode, I can't go back to manual mode.

    This isn't for the casual headlamp user for sure. But heck, my backpack costs me $350 and carry over $1,500 worth of mountaineering equipment anyway.... another $150 for a headlamp isn't gonna kill me. I'm actually about to buy the Petzl Ultra Rush Belt ($500) and strap it to the shoulder strap of my backpack and route the batter into the backpack.

    I think it just depends on the person, there is no right or wrong here. Some are fine with a $20 maglite, some like to spend $250 on a Surefire. It's just a matter of needs and taste? My brother in law makes over $200,000/year salary and drives an old 1994 Honda Civic. He says cars are the worst investment and isn't worth it. I only make half as much as he does and drive a $58,000 SUV. Completely different view.

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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I think your logic assumes that Petzl quality is worlds ahead of other gear, as someone who has used Petzl headlamps since the 1990's, I would say that is only kind of true - they are far better quality than cheap headlamps, for sure, but Petzl has had its own reliability issues from time to time, they are overall good, but certainly not "the Lexus of headlamps", so to speak, reliability-wise, but they sure are priced as such!
    Last edited by wild bill; 05-12-2013 at 10:37 PM.

  23. #53
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by HistoryChannel View Post
    Its on the expensive side but after using the Reactive mode, I can't go back to manual mode.
    I can understand that, but while it's decent for a consumer light, the manual operation of the Nao isn't the most powerful way of controlling a twin-beam light.
    While acknowledging the configurability, it's still effectively like having a single pushbutton cycling through a list of pre-decided power/blend combinations, something which has a fairly natural limit to how long a sequence can conveniently be.

  24. #54

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by wild bill View Post
    I think your logic assumes that Petzl quality is worlds ahead of other gear, as someone who has used Petzl headlamps since the 1990's, I would say that is only kind of true - they are far better quality than cheap headlamps, for sure, but Petzl has had its own reliability issues from time to time, they are overall good, but certainly not "the Lexus of headlamps", so to speak, reliability-wise, but they sure are priced as such!
    True. I think Petzl definitely makes cheap, less quality headlamps in the $35 range all the way to $500 range. The quality of the Nao is significantly better than the lower priced Petzl lamps. At $175 retail, it's expensive as I mentioned before. But I'm glad there are companies that are willing to push out new ideas.

    It's really more of a convenience thing, not a necessity. I've been using manual headlamps for decades and its been fine. I guess kinda like when automatic transmissions came to be in cars... Manual works fine... Auto tranny was just a convenience thing.

    Surefire has the new E2DL Ultra 500lm at $265 MSRP. Is it really $200 better than say... A Fenix PD32UE 740lm? Even at 2 modes and an unexciting 500 lumens... It seems like demand is exceeding supply.

  25. #55
    Flashaholic* Solscud007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    HistoryChannel, got pics and details on how you modded the pack to pop in 18650.
    Collecting is not about what you have but rather what you DONT have . . . yet.
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  26. #56

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    I found something that looks like a problem with my NAO, but I am not absolutely sure.


    There it is:


    It is OFF,
    I turn and hold the knob
    it turns ON (directly in Constant Mode)
    then after exactly 10 seconds it turns OFF by itself




    It does that (switching OFF by itself) only if I switch it ON in Constant Mode (turning and holding the knob)
    If I turn and release (short pulse) the knob it goes (from OFF) to Reactive Mode, and everything is working fine.
    If I choose Constant Mode after it been switched ON in Reactive Mode it works fine...


    So can someone check on his NAO is it normal to turns ON directly in Constant Mode? In the manual there is a line: "When turned ON the light goes automatically in Reactive Mode"


    And most important - is this normal to turn itself OFF after 10 seconds when switched directly in Constant Mode or this is some kind of malfunction?


    NAO is by far the greatest head torch I have ever used (and I have many!) Very glad with it!

  27. #57

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solscud007 View Post
    HistoryChannel, got pics and details on how you modded the pack to pop in 18650.
    The pack already uses 18650 from the factory. The problem was that the electronics that control the charge LED was added to the 18650 (shrink wrapped onto the 18650). I just cut the wires, threw out the OEM 18650 and soldered the wires to metal contact springs. The charge level indicator doesn't work anymore but I really don't care because I use my Xtar VP1 to charge and carry a spare. The 3400 mAh lasts over 6 hours on reactive so not an issue to check battery status for me.

    There is someone that cut out the electronic board and made it part of the case so he can still pop in and out the battery and the charge level LED still works.

  28. #58

    Default Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by lutgulajn View Post
    I found something that looks like a problem with my NAO, but I am not absolutely sure.


    There it is:


    It is OFF,
    I turn and hold the knob
    it turns ON (directly in Constant Mode)
    then after exactly 10 seconds it turns OFF by itself




    It does that (switching OFF by itself) only if I switch it ON in Constant Mode (turning and holding the knob)
    If I turn and release (short pulse) the knob it goes (from OFF) to Reactive Mode, and everything is working fine.
    If I choose Constant Mode after it been switched ON in Reactive Mode it works fine...


    So can someone check on his NAO is it normal to turns ON directly in Constant Mode? In the manual there is a line: "When turned ON the light goes automatically in Reactive Mode"


    And most important - is this normal to turn itself OFF after 10 seconds when switched directly in Constant Mode or this is some kind of malfunction?


    NAO is by far the greatest head torch I have ever used (and I have many!) Very glad with it!
    I'll check mine tonight when I get home.

  29. #59

    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Quote Originally Posted by HistoryChannel View Post
    I'll check mine tonight when I get home.
    Thanks!

    The battery have to be connected for some time. If I connect it right before "the try", nothing happens - everything works fine.
    So it has to be something with the electronics in the "head" I think...

    Just try to connect the battery (if it was disconnected from the light head) wait 10 minutes, and then try switching it ON with turning and holding the knob (so it goes directly in Constant Mode). It does that strangeness only in Constant Mode.

    I already wrote to Petzl to ask them but they just offer me to send the light to them to check. Probably the guys emailing are different than the guys in the service-station and they just do not know if this is a fault or something else...
    Last edited by lutgulajn; 05-21-2013 at 12:07 AM.

  30. #60
    Flashaholic* Szemhazai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO - high-tech headlamp review.

    Personally I think that it will be a good thing, normal user is switching on, and holding until the light switch the mode, that is taking less than 2 seconds - if something is causing the knob to be pushed down for more than 10 seconds it cannot be user. Most probably accidental push in the luggage and the light is switching off after 10 seconds. But that's not that - mine is simply going through the modes from constant to reactive mode and so on...
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