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Review of Rechargeable Headlamps

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Review of Rechargeable Headlamps

Old 06-23-20, 06:42 PM
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Aushiker
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Review of Rechargeable Headlamps

A review of rechargeable headlamps has been published at Trailnamebackstroke. It may be of interest.

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Old 08-13-20, 08:04 PM
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As a bit of a flashlight nerd I've got some experience in this domain.

For headlamps my recommendation would be to look at Zebralight and Armytek.

Both brands have good build quality, smart interfaces, and a variety of modes. Some of the Armytek lights have built in USB charging while others take a variety of standard and non-standard cells.

For bike touring/camping I recommend leaning towards lights with a warmer colour temperature and a floodier/wider light distribution. Having modes that are very low can be useful too when you want to move around and see without disturbing a partner.

If anyone has any questions about headlamps or flashlights for touring I can do my best to answer them here.
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Old 08-13-20, 08:42 PM
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This post is on AA/AAA lights, so if you only want to read about rechargeables, move on to the next post.

I prefer headlamps that use AA or AAA batteries. Then when my headlamp batteries are low, I can swap them and have light again in a minute. Many of my trips do not offer any recharging options from a 110v outlet for over a week, I am reliant on the batteries I brought from home. Thus, I want to be able to swap out low battery(s) as needed since I can't just plug the light into an outlet each day.

My favorite headlamp is one I got on a free shelf in Iceland four years ago. Kathmandu, with some help from Google it is the model Raven 26 and no longer listed on the company website. It uses a single AA battery. Most other AA or AAA headlamps take three or four AAA batteries. I like the Kathmandu because it is very light weight, provides adequate light in campsite or tent, and with only one battery it is easy to swap a low battery.

In many of the campgrounds and hostels in Iceland, there are free shelves were people leave stuff that they no longer want or can't take on the plane when they leave, but the things on free shelves are things that someone may still find useful, not trash. This light was left with a used up alkyline battery, I run NiMH rechargeables and swapping a battery was all that was needed.

I think I have four or five other headlamps that use three or four AAA batteries, and a couple of them are brighter but I find that more and more I find I prefer the simple single AA battery light. It was the perfect light on a 12 day backpacking trip last summer.
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Old 08-13-20, 08:44 PM
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I'm a Petzl fan.
Mines an earlier "Core" rechargeable model but I've had years of use out of it and it gets a thrashing.
Tikka XP2 is the model name bought back in 2013 I think and I've once replaced the Core usb rechargeable battery.
Forgot to mention, after some years heavy usage, there is a rubber cover over the on/off switch which fell off and was "lost" for a while.
It turned up and I glued it back on thinking it a temporary measure, but its still there years later so I've not felt inclined to replace it with a new model due to everything still working fine.

Great to see the current line up Andrew (OP) so thanks for posting the link

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Old 08-14-20, 01:58 PM
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You mean the ones you wear on your head, after dark, in the camp?
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Old 08-14-20, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You mean the ones you wear on your head, after dark, in the camp?
Thems the ones
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Old 08-20-20, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I prefer headlamps that use AA or AAA batteries. Then when my headlamp batteries are low, I can swap them and have light again in a minute. Many of my trips do not offer any recharging options from a 110v outlet for over a week, I am reliant on the batteries I brought from home. Thus, I want to be able to swap out low battery(s) as needed since I can't just plug the light into an outlet each day.

My favorite headlamp is one I got on a free shelf in Iceland four years ago. Kathmandu, with some help from Google it is the model Raven 26 and no longer listed on the company website. It uses a single AA battery. Most other AA or AAA headlamps take three or four AAA batteries. I like the Kathmandu because it is very light weight, provides adequate light in campsite or tent, and with only one battery it is easy to swap a low battery.
Couple of thoughts:
  1. I agree that single AA is a better option than 3xAAA. The triple cell lights often lack regulation, are more annoying to do cell changes, cost more in battery expenses and have roughly the same amount of energy as a single AA light.
  2. USB chargeable lights can be recharged off a battery bank. A good one will get so much runtime that on low or medium modes you would have no trouble running it several nights typical use without a recharge.
  3. Look out and try to get a light with a nice floody beam pattern. I have seen some that are quite spot-like. The wider pattern is much more useful for most camping tasks. Also a warm colour temperature (4000K or less) is well suited to camping where there the greens and browns of a campground become more muted and flat under cooler coloured lights.
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