exploring headlamp options

i know i have seen discussion on headlamps here before and someone thought the ones at wal-mart held up as well as some higher end headlamps. my petzl has a short in it (already checked the recalls, it’s not on the list) and i want to replace it. so any feedback i can get that might help me decide if i should go to wal-mart or look elsewhere would be appreciated. thanks in advance.

More than you ever wanted to know…

Walmart Energizer
For kayaking at night I use 4 lights:

– WalMart Energizer head lamp. Cost about $10?? (can’t remember exactly) It has held up for several years. The batteries seem to last a very long time. Emits a powerful beam. Use duck tape to completely seal the crack between the pivoting part and shield the bottom of the lights; otherwise you will be blinded by light coming down.

– Stern light (white). Some seem barely visible, so choose wisely.

– Powerful bike headlight mounted to deck bungies. This is strong enough to clearly see rocks in the water and just about everything on land. Should be waterproof. I once dropped one in 10 feet of water and was able to retrieve it because it stayed lit.

– Flashing red bike taillight on the back of my pfd (only when there are motor boats around)

Those 4 lights have kept me safe on lakes at night.

shorted headlamp
Which model of Petzl headlamp shorted out? Was it from water? It seems like many headlamps that utilize a wire from the battery pack (in back) to the bulb (up front) are more likely to malfunction regardless of brand. There are some great options in LED headlamps where the batteries are housed in the same compartment as the bulbs, which negates many of the wire/short/breakage issues. Some of these would be the Petzl Tikka XP or Black Diamond Spot.

I’ll refrain from any soapbox WalMart rant.

Blanket statement:
I have never had a Princeton Tech headlamp let me down. Been using various models since the early 90s.


That was mean.
They’ll never come back from that website!

Princeton-Tec EOS
I think mine cost about $40. It’s very bright (has 3 levels if you don’t need full-blare).

The old Aurora I bought previously still works fine but it’s not as bright. I’ve retired it to “reading light” status, and the EOS is for actually guiding while in motion. However, I don’t know how waterproof it is as I’ve only done two night paddles, neither of them using a headlamp.

not w/ the battery in back
smaller than that…it’s w/ my gear at home and don’t remember the model…pretty basic though… sometimes i would use it while snow shoeing @night when snowing, that probably didn’t help, but just want to replace so i’m not caught in a pinch. i like to keep it in the car as part of my emergency kit.

thanks everyone
i’ll head out this weekend and look around, it’s suppose to be rainy, i don’t see paddling about to happen.

who would have known!

By the time I finish reading THAT my headlamps will be obsolete.

I went to that site sometime in the last year. Talk about obsessing! While it would be interesting to actually test some of those lights and compare, I’m not going to try to find vendors, buy, obsess, and get sucked down that path!

Too late!

Yeah, boats and gear are bad enough.

not so bad
The search on that site works well – you can just search for a model you’re interested in.

OTHER people sure have strange interests…:wink:

As with kayaks
ya gotta decide what’s important to you. Do you want a lamp for the campsite or one that will illuminate the shoreline? Try and decide what your ultimate purpose will be. How important is weight to you? How much do you want to spend? Does it need to be waterproof?

I’ve got several. A lightweight one that’s great for the campsite, lasts a long time on 3 AAA batteries. Got another one that’s got some serious lumens. Lightweight also, batteries don’t last so long. Another one I’ve got is pretty bright, but heavier. Lasts a long time on 4 AA’s.

EOS not fully waterproof
We have had two, maybe three now EOS headlamps between the two of us. We find they are terribly waterproof as long as we don’t try and use them after actually being in a being in a kayak, at least unless they have spent the whole time in a dry bag in a dry hatch. One roll or some rain and they are done until they dry out overnight.

A lot of local folks use those clip on lights on the brim of a hat. Less pricey and they seem to work as well.

but how else will you know about high powered hand held lasers that can burn holes in things?

i agree…info. overload ! Thanks, that is way cool. Love the worldwide web!

Petzl Trika
The Petzl Trika is the only way to go


3 AAA batteries and runs forever.

Petzl E-Lite . . .
. . waterproof. Very small. Comes in rugged storage case that can be attached to PFD. Two bightnes on white and red plus flashing. Uses button battery.