Head lamps

JPD350

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
488
Location
Abq NM
I would like to hear what you guy's use for extended 5 to 10 day trips, not only head lamps but any other light sources you use. I would also like to know if the battery life is what they claim.

I have been doing 2-3 day trips and I have a cheap (and I mean cheap) head lamp that runs on 3 AAA batteries and is supposed to go for 4 hours but after 2 hours it starts getting weaker, I also carry a small flashlight that runs on 2 AA. For these short 2-3 day hunts carrying lots of extra batteries has been no big deal.

My hunting is changing and I need a new set up.
 

Ridgetop

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
29
Location
Reno, NV
I use a petzl tikka xp 2 that uses 3 AAAs its 2.7 oz with lithium batterys and lasts a long time. Petzl claims 160 hrs on economy setting but I think its maybe a little less. I also carry a couple Princeton Tec Pulsar IIs for backup and tent lights .2 oz each.
 

evan williams

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,628
Location
Colorado Springs
I actually picked up a $20 Petzl this year at REI and I ran it for an 11 day trip and NEVER had issues. Original batteries are still in it 3 AAA and I also used it in KS for those early morning walks in. Light! In more ways that one.
 

cmeier117

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
1,553
Location
Salem, OR
I use a petzl tikka xp 2 that uses 3 AAAs its 2.7 oz with lithium batterys and lasts a long time. Petzl claims 160 hrs on economy setting but I think its maybe a little less. I also carry a couple Princeton Tec Pulsar IIs for backup and tent lights .2 oz each.
Same here on the Petzl xp 2. I am wanting to get a Petzl Myo for blood trailing and to have two lights. If that doesn't happen I am getting a cheap energizer from Home depot for $10 as my backup. After reading that article in Extreme Elk I am never going out without two headlamps!
 

Bryan Martin

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
30
Location
British Columbia, Canada
For any hunt, short or long, I ALWAYS take 2 headlamps or at least a headlamp and a backup/emergency light. A small headlamp running on 3 AAA batteries, from Petzl, Mammut, Princeton Tech, Black Diamond will work well for 75-80% of the situations. I like models with at least 2 beam settings and a red light can come in handy. Prices vary from $25-60. Always carry at least once spare set of batteries, taped together in a group of 3, with electrical or duct tape. Battery life is good for these types of lights, especially if you use good quality batteries. Rechargeable batteries work ok in "normal" temps, but in very cold temps, I found battery life was poor. My second headlamp is either another AAA light or a "Super Duty" Light as I call them, running on 3-4 AAA or 2, Lithium Batteries. The battery pack is on the back of your head and these lights come with a wide angle setting and a very strong beam. My favorite is one from Mammut. Surefire also makes a good once as does Princeton Tech and Petzl. On high beam, battery life is limited...but when hiking in the mtns, looking for horses or crossing mid-thigh deep creeks in the dark, these lights show me where the cliffs are, where underwater boulders are, etc. I can see trails on the side of a mountain, several hundred yards away, so I can pick my route, without guessing. For just trail use, a light like this is not necessary and too heavy, but I rarely hunt on marked trails. Another reason I carry 2 lights is that I've had one fall off in a night water crossing and lost another one once. Also, they are electronic and they are not "bomb" proof as I've had them fail twice in the 15-20 years I've been using them. In the least, carry a small backup light, like the one made by Crooked Horn. Even the little key-chain lights are better than no light. Another trick with the AAA style headlamps is to keep one with "fresh" batteries and only use it for night hiking, so light stays bright. Have a 2nd headlamp (different model/color, etc.) that you use more often, for reading, camp work, where brightness is not as key. Some of these AAA batteries with go for 50-120 hrs on one change of batteries, on the "low" power setting, but I find they are only "bright" for 8-15 hrs on the bright setting. For hiking in the dark, skinning/caping in the dark, the lights "useful" battery life is good, but not quite what is advertised. I haven't mentioned specific models as they change quite often, but the features and quality are the most important. I've also had decent luck with the $5-10 head lights you can get at stores like Walmart, etc. but I would not rely on them as my main light. As a backup they work fine. Regardless, headlamps are the least expensive, but most often used piece of equipment that I own. I even carry one in my briefcase and my truck always has one in the door pocket. Don't leave home without one (or two).
 

Gman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
551
Location
Colorado baby!
Newer version of the Black Diamond Spot. Picked it up cheap at REI and have never had to replace batteries on any trip. Longest is 11 days, but that's all I'm good for these days. I do carry extra batteries but haven't needed to use them yet. Was wintercamping a couple of weeks ago and a friend had a "Cree" 5watt headlamp he got on ebay for $9.99! Thing was bright. Not sure about battery life though.

I've also briefly tried the St. Minimus from Surfire but I was worried about battery life so returned it. Nice lamp though.
 

>>>---WW---->

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
113
For general camp stuff, I really like the little lights that clip on the bill of my cap. I have never run the battery down on one yet.

But for a decent light just to have around, I like one of the solar driveway lights. Strap it on the back of your pack or out in the sun at camp and let it charge up. The goods ones will stay lite up all night long and are plenty good enough to read by
 

JG358

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
909
Location
Colorado
I have a couple Petzyls (cant remember the model), never had any problems with them. Long battery life and they weigh in at 3oz a piece.
 

Jdallen

Newbie
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Sterling, AK
Princeton Tec Apex. Puts out 200 Lumens. Used it for one season and only changed the batteries once. Has different settings to conserve power if needed. It would be a little heavy for the OZ counters but for a base camp headlamp its a must....
 

a3dhunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
859
Location
Colorado Springs,CO
I have a couple, but bought the Princeton TEC Remix for a primary.
Also have a couple other Princeton headlamps for regular around camp stuff that I picked up off camofire for cheap. Then I have a cabela's xpg headlamp with the main battery compartment on the back of the headband. That one lasts the longest and is very dependable, but three times as heavy as the others so it will be staying in the truck unless I'm doing night time pack outs.
 

vcb

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
511
Location
Colorado
I have used black diamond. I had a "icon" years ago and I sprayed bug repellant on my head. Bad decision. It made the lense of the icon headlamp all cloudy. I called black diamond and explained what happened and they sent me a new $65 headlamp for free. Good company and they stand behind their products.
 

les welch

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
2,149
Location
Central WI
This will be my 4th year on a pair of Tac Tikka pluses. One has never been used (backup only). My only light sources.
 
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