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Gear Review

3 5

Sturdy lamp, but severely overpriced

I have used this lamp climbing, mountaineering in white-outs, rain storms, camping, running, biking, etc. for about 2 years.

Pros:
*Top-of-head strap is excellent for mounting on helmets while climbing and rappelling where you simply cannot worry about the lamp sliding down around your neck at the wrong time.

*The blast feature is surprisingly useful when you're scouting out trails, checking for obstacles far ahead, etc. I would imagine that the blast is twice as bright as the bean on "High." I never really needed it longer than 20 seconds, so that limit was never an issue.

*The sliding lens to switch between flood and beam is extremely convenient since when hiking and climbing, you often want to switch between the two modes and you can do so instantly without needing to cycle through all of the modes to toggle the modes.

*The construction is sturdy, and the battery cover has a nice rubber gasket that makes me think it was super weather-resistant.

Cons:
*Changing the colored filters between a white flood and a red night vision lens is a PAIN, meaning that the features are basically mutually exclusive: you either have a white flood or a red lens. Changing the lenses requires prying off the plastic lens retainer and swapping out the lenses by carefully positioning the new lens in its "track" and replacing the plastic retainer. I rarely ever did this because 1) it took several minutes,  2) the lenses are so small and the pieces are loose while swapping them out that I never really wanted to do it at night or in harsh conditions since I'd lose a piece, and 3) whenever I removed the retainer, I thought I would crack something since it's very tight. I say all this because these characteristics effectively mean that you either have a white flood or a night vision, but never both on the same expedition. And since I rarely used the night vision and always wanted the flood, I just kept the red lens in the little holder attached to the head strap. The other colors are a silly add-on.

*Price is too high: I backpacked with somebody for a week who was using the Energizer Trail 7-LED model you can buy for $15. The brightness of the two models is identical and both models have beam, flood, and night vision features. Thus, you're paying $50 for a head strap and the convenience of the sliding bean/spot toggle and the brand name. Surely the design is sturdier and it has electronics inside, but those features are not worth the price. I'm going with the PT Remix for $30 on sale.

*For the last few months up until my lamp was stolen, I noticed that the light would dim sporadically during use. One could squeeze the casing just right and it would return to its normal brightness or a few more minutes, but this was disconcerting since I was using it as my primary light on high-stakes climbing expeditions. For a premium light from a premium company, I didn't expect any malfunctions like this.