Friday, May 18, 2012

Black Diamond Head Lamps SHINE Big Time

Need a headlamp for your Summer adventures?  Black Diamond has some excellent choices, but I've narrowed it down to two favorites, the Storm and the Spot.  A great (I think necessary) feature in a headlamp is the red light feature.  With the red option, you are able to enjoy light around camp without blinding your camp mates. It also helps to preserve your batteries and works great for reading without messing up your night vision.  I'm also very fond of the various colors and patterns, this way each person can easily see which is theirs, and it also makes them stand out in your pack amongst other gear.  Highly adjustable light output makes both options ideal for your lighting needs.

The Storm Headlamp (pictured above) is made specifically to handle bad weather conditions.  It's water resistant to the point of being able to submerge it under water for 30 minutes, nice if you accidentally drop it in the lake, and great for the rain.  This headlamp (like Black Diamond's awesome lanterns) has a dimmer, so you can get your light just right and conserve battery power.  You just hold the button down after turning it on and it will dim to your desired brightness. The lamp also tilts so you can position it where you need it.  It takes four AAA batteries and is rated for 50-200 hours of use, depending on mode such as red, high, low, and strobe which is great for signaling or for visibility while biking in traffic. 

There's a battery life indicator to let you know when you are running low and it also has a lock mode to keep it from coming on in your pack accidentally and draining your power.  When you turn it off, the headlamp remembers the last setting, this is especially nice when you're using the red beam.

The Spot Headlamp is the Storm's little brother, not quite as bright or tough but it has most of the features.  The Spot has a dimmer switch and the red light option to preserve night vision and batteries.  This headlamp also has a strobe.  It has a maximum light output of 90 lumens as opposed to the Storm's 100, and the brightness levels are adjustable for a flood beam and a spot beam for focused task lighting. 

Battery access is easy, no tool required as with the Storm, and it takes three AAA batteries and battery life is 50-250 hours includes the indicator and the lock mode. 

Both of these headlamps are very intuitive to use, very comfortable to wear and easy to adjust for fit.  Both come in many colors and designs, both have the features that make them ideal.  I've had several headlamps, both of these win for the best hands down, though I am partial to the Storm.  You just can't go wrong, they're great for power outages, and outdoor activities like camping, and one belongs in your day pack on hikes as part of your 10 essentials.  A headlamp is a must have, so why not have a really good one? 

You can find them on the Black Diamond website, or you can find them on REI where this weekend they're having a sale with one of their 20% off coupons.  This would be a great way to use it.