Headlamp, flashlight, illumination

What brands, models, manufacturers have held up

to the abuse, moisture, conditions involved with

paddling your canoe or kayak ?

NOT looking to start a war about “legal lights”

for coast guard approval, etc., etc. - just merely

seeking help on what failed, what worked best.

I love my Petzl Duo14 but it’s a brute !

We have Black Diamond

– Last Updated: Jan-30-14 3:35 PM EST –

and they have stood the test of harsh conditions.
The have a great beam as well as an adjustable setting.
But I would not recommend them.

See my review under the Reviews

jack L

One tough headlamp
While not the brightest on the market, 80 lumens isn’t too bad either, the Princeton Tec EOS is a rugged unit. The EOS II is rated as ‘intrinsically safe,’ which is a National Electrical Code rating for the ability to be used in an explosive atmosphere. If I remember correctly both models are similarly rated, just not advertised that way. What does that mean to kayaking? If it is tight enough to not ignite gas fumes it surely isn’t going to leak if you swim with it. It can take a beating.

intrinsically safe not equal waterproof
Intrinsically safe means the item is “incapable of producing heat or spark sufficient to ignite an explosive atmosphere”. This doesn’t necessarily mean the item is waterproof.

I too have a black diamond
It is the Storm model 100 lumins. The head band stretched out very quickly, but I replaced it with a Princeton tec band from an older light. Otherwise it has worked for 2 seasons used often paddling salt water. So far without a problem. Very versatile beam functions. I also have a princeton tec that is waterproof but not as good a beam. Both have strobe and red light. Except for the “pis” headband I like the B/D Storm best.

I have a small Duracell 250 3AAA flashlight that was a gift. It is an amazingly small and bright light, but does not have a focusing beam. I don’t trust it to be waterproof, though I think it is supposed to be. I was told it was about $12, but do not know for sure. Only have had it for about a month. I carry it often now.

Waterproof - proper testing

– Last Updated: Jan-30-14 7:48 PM EST –

Waterproof means exactly that - no intrusion !

The testing standard of IEC 529 level 7
is designated "IPX7" and is equivalent to JIS 7.

Basically designates equipment can survive
immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.

The classification of IPX7 is for temporary
(i.e. accidental) immersion in water.
It is not for continuous underwater use.

IEC 529 (European Community Specification)
or International Electrotechnical Commission
and JIS2-8 (Japanese Industry Standard)
have graduated test levels of #2 - #8

Salt water - marine usage - is a very harsh world
Michigan has fresh water, we are a bit lucky

Princeton Tec EOS
Here’s my review of the Princeton Tec EOS.


Overall, a great little headlamp that packs a lot of power into a small package.

Jeffrey Lee


Most likely it just means that it’s not possible for the device to make a spark, or at least not a spark that is exposed to the air. Thus, one possibility is that the switch is waterproof even if nothing else is.

Petzl Tikka Plus
I have had mine for 7 years still works like the day I bought it. Just replaced the head band so it’s better than new!

Petzl Tikka Plus question
You say you have had one for several years. I just checked and according to the website it says its rated IPX4 which is not for submersion. So my question have you ever had yours under water say during a roll? Did this cause any problem? I ask as Iam looking for a light now and want to know if I really need it to be IPX 6 rated or not.I have been using a low powered light that attaches to hat brim and that was rated only ipx4 and have rolled with it on and mine still works after 1 year of use.

Oh they apparently now sell the Tikka Plus 2 now.

Actuality - stuff gets wet

– Last Updated: Feb-01-14 1:18 AM EST –

Gear gets used, on trips, on vacation, etc., etc.
Folks that play outdoors all 12 months, all 4 seasons,
encounter storms, rain, puddles, capsizes, leaky hatches,
ice cold snow, condensation, bumps, drops, etc., etc.

Usually; when you really truly need a flashlight;
it's because something needs immediate attention;
to get you out of a jam or situation.

Redundant gear is a fact for success,
as are spare lightbulbs and batteries,
but its nice to know what holds up to strenuous usage.

I sincerely appreciate getting feedback from folks
that actually use their gear outside, in the elements,
versus the glitzy marketing hype on shiny packages.

When You REALLY Need…

– Last Updated: Feb-01-14 5:25 AM EST –

some light, the batteries best not be dead. I have found that CR123 batteries last a long, long, time on the shelf. I keep this in my pocket always as my backup / go to light. I have a couple of nice headlamps but can't attest to their water-proof-ness.

CR123 batteries gooood.


more info on my previous post
Both the BD Storm and the Princeton Tec are IPX 7 water proof ratings. My Princeton Tex has 4 mode and h2o 1m printed on it, but I don’t know the model. The two lights are comparable and I use both with the Tec as back up. The Storm has a brighter beam 100 vs 80 lumin for the Tex. The Storm has a dimmer feature for the main beam, and can be reduced down very low, or you can use two separate lower lumin area bulbs instead.

I read Jacks review and agree the head band is crap. The switch is also hard to locate by feel at first though I quickly got used to it. Personally I like the light and would give it an 8 or 9 if the strap was good. It has held up well for my coastal paddling, however I haven’t roll with it on. The Princton tex head band is better and the switch easier to feel.

The 250 lumin Duracell comes in a 3 pack at amazon for $23.50 and is not waterproof. It has a strobe function and 2 different lumin settings. It is a very bright area light and worth the money as it comes to about $8 each.

Bike Lights - modifications

– Last Updated: Feb-01-14 3:01 PM EST –

Bicyclists commute in the rain, mountain bikers
do adventure racing in wet conditions, etc.
Always wondered why that set of manufacturers
are separate from other light production models.

Example - might be a simple retrofit modification

dive lights would be anothet option
Which might be next for me.

Been pleased with the various modes of the waterproof 165 lumen Princeton Tec Viz for head lamp and the 45 lumen Amp w/diffuser cone on the back of my pfd as a stern light.

Other options abound but so far been happy with them.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



I have a Princeton Tec

– Last Updated: Feb-02-14 6:16 PM EST –

headlamp not sure of the model. It is black and has "4 mode" and "H20 1M" printed on the front of it. No idea what the model is but I bought it at Bass Pro Shops several years ago.

It has been wet with salt water many times and I have never had any problems with it. It it very bright but it also will go through batteries pretty quickly so I usually leave it off (yeah I know not legal) unless I hear or see powerboat traffic, then I flip it on to let them know I am there.

FE noober one choice

– Last Updated: Feb-02-14 8:27 PM EST –

Underwater Kinetics Vizion... none better! (Sounds a little like CJ). An' still made in de USA.



Petzl Tikka Plus
Mine has never been under water.

Princeton Tec/LL Bean

– Last Updated: Feb-03-14 12:34 PM EST –

I have an older LL Bean Trailblazer which has been great through the years. Great amount of light and built very well. It appears to be made by Princeton Tec as it has their symbol on it. I think they must make LL Beans headlamps for them. Never have tested it being water proof but have used it in snow and rain with no worries. Has rubber seals around battery case door. Simple and easy to change batteries.