2015 Ski Guide2015 Ski Guide

Description

Let there be lightweight headlamps.

Comb the campsite and find enough kindling to last another ridiculous story when you wear the Princeton Tec Fuel 4 Headlamp. The 4 Ultrabright LEDs are efficient while they light up your entire range of vision, so you can start the hike early or creep into camp after dark. A glove friendly button toggles through the four brightness modes, and a strobe feature sends a distress signal when crap hits the fan. On high, the beam shines up to 115 feet for belaying partners after sunset. While cooking or tying knots, adjust the direction of the beam with the asymmetrical arm bracket to prevent cricks in your neck. This lightweight headlamp also features a water-resistant housing, so if you slip in the river and get it wet, you won’t tiptoe back to camp in the dark.

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Review Summary
5
14 4
9 3
5 2
7 1
8

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Princeton Tec Fuel 4 Headlamp

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Here's what others have to say...

2 5

Flimsy Battery Cover

I bought this lamp because it was a great deal on SAC. Unfortunately, my cat knocked it off my desk a few weeks after it arrived, and the battery cover hinge snapped. It's a very bright light, and very lightweight, but I need more rugged tools in the backcountry. Would not recommend.

5 5

Great Light

I use this light for everything. For night hiking around Virginia City to working on a bathroom exhaust fan in my attic space. It has two functions a narrow beam and a wider beam. Both functions have to levels of brightness. To change functions you hold the button down until you see the change. To change light level just hit the button again soon after turning it on or or changing the function. To turn of just hit the button. There must be a time delay because after its set to the desired position you don't have to cycle through to turn it off. It just goes off with the next press. The position is adjustable. Its light and comfortable. I have used it for several hours on multiple hikes and activities and have had no problems and haven't had to change batteries. Great light without spending allot.

5 5

Wow...The buckle opens the Battery Lid!!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I really like these lights: low cost, lightweight, great light beam, easy to operate along with a flexible/rotating "head". OK, I confess battery changes were always met with anxiety as the latch does seem "fragile". I can see how others thought the same thing. I just watched the PTEC marketing video on the lamp. Now "who would of "thunk" the headband adjuster was designed to assist opening the battery lid!!! It works great! Shazam and Goolllly! My anxiety is now gone! I always thought this was a good lamp, now I say great lamp. If you want to waste you money and carry more weight, yeah, go ahead and buy a more expensive and heavier BD or other lamp! To quote Fred Sanford, "You big dummy!"

2 5

some nice features, but can't recommend

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For the price you almost get a nice headlamp - reasonably bright and light (as in not heavy). It's comfortable and a good light for hanging around camp. I had the battery compartment lid get a small crack in it so I returned it. Too bad because otherwise it has a lot of nice features for a simple camp light.

4 5

TF4

You really cannot argue with the product for the price you pay here.

2 5

I purchased 3

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

2 are still working. Great light but bad battery door design. I don't trust them. When you need a headlamp, you need one you can trust will work.

FUEL in the Princeton Tec lab

Posted on

2 5

Cheap Lid...

I too have had issues with the Battery hatch. The headlamp worked great until I dropped it trying to pry the lid open. The hinge busted off and now the lid will not reattach. i called customer service for a replacement but haven't heard back.

Crash Course in Making Lights

Posted on

PTEC designs, engineers, manufactures and assembles our own products at our facilities in the great state of New Jersey, USA. The technology and products have evolved since we started in 1975. This is what the process looks like today.
After we made this video, it became that much more apparent that it takes a ton of energy, knowledge and skill to do what we do. What we do requires a fast pace and rapid mind. Hold on tight while this video takes you inside the brain of PTEC HQ.

1 5

junk

battery cover is cheap plastic that disintegrates when opened. do not purchase this headlamp nor the fuel 3. go spend your cash on a black diamond.

4 5

Fuel and Quad

I've been using the Princeton Tec Fuel and Quad headlamps for a bit now and I find each has it's more suited applications (I think I prefer the Fuel for wandering around the forest in darkness).

While the battery closure does worry me a bit with the Fuel, I always baby it and take my time using the headband piece to wiggle open the battery cover. Luckily it hasn't broken yet, but I wouldn't say that even with these methods it's not going to break off anyway.

My Fuel has held up in high humidity, mist, fog, and very light drizzle without any issues. I've been very pleased with the battery life and rarely use it above the "low" setting when I'm in camp. The beam is what I would call 'all around' and is a good mix of width and distance when on medium and high settings.

Other than the battery cover issues I really like the headband and the angles of adjustment for this lamp. The Fuel is nice and compact and battery life is great although it will dim a noticeable amount once you've used it for a few hours, which is to be expected.

1 5

Piece of junk

battery cover broke the first time I attempted to change batteries. snapped in half. princeton tec fuel 4 is junk.

5 5

Good

Very bright considering it's size. Purchased for my 3 year old son which was ready to upgrade from his kids headlamp. Has held up well in the hands of a 3 year old, so I'm confident of it's ruggedness. Chose this model due to it's combination of compactness, weight and light output. He's really stoked to have a real headlamp like daddy.

Does this headlamp have a red light option...

Posted on

Does this headlamp have a red light option built in?

Responded on

FRED is the version of FUEL that incorporates a red LED. http://princetontec.com/?q=fred

4 5

Future so bright I need shades!

I picked this puppy up at an EMS, but still worth reviewing here.

I was about to go on a backpacking trip, and my Petzl was not where it was supposed to be; in my closet at home. So I picked this up, and for $29, it is a pretty sweet deal. It is wicked bright, highly water-resistant, and really compact. It doesn't weigh your head down like some others, and is very easily adjustable. Great headlamp! One and only qualm is that the batteries tend to give away a little quicker than the Tikka 2...but this one is brighter, so it is a trade-off.

5 5

I go for this one first...

I got this headlamp FREE when I signed up for Climbing magazine. Now I have never paid more then $30 for a headlamp, and really don't ever seeing myself doing so. So the lamps I'm comparing this to are not the big money lamps. But I must say this one "shines" (booo) over all my other headlamps, all 3 of them... It has good adjustable movements, up and down, bright to dim. Battery life is great and has a good field of view or spread of light. I have used it many time winter backpacking in the dark, cooking, or just looking for stuff in the dark. And I almost always use it on the lowest light setting.

4 5

light up the night

i have read the reviews about the battery door and the faults. I have not had any problems with my lamp and have been using it for about 10 months. This was a great gift and I havent had any problems. I give it 4 stars only because it doesn't have the top strap to hold it on your head. I had mine get hung up on a brach and come down around my neck. Good lamp, good beam of light, light weight, good battery life, great to have in the pack to see what you need see when you need to see it.

Responded on

I like this so much I have bought one for someone as a gift.

4 5

No issues...yet

I can see where the feedback about the faulty battery door is a concern but I have not had an issue yet. Lights well enough for my needs and priced reasonably. Good value.

1 5

Garbarge and poor customer service

When I turned it on for the first time it blew me away at how bright it was. Problem started a month later. I went on a 5 day hiking/camping trip and of course day one, the batteries were dead. This was my fault as I probably hit the "on" button while packing it. No big deal. Except of course when I went to replace the batteries, they would not come out. And of course on this trip I needed the headlamp a lot. So I was left with no option but to carefully pry them out. Slight damage to the seals but I managed to get them out. Turns out there's a hump in the battery slot. So I emailed Princeton asking them if they could offer me some sort of consideration on a replacement or a warranty. No return email. Not even a simple explanation of why they would not offer me the warranty. Yes I had to pry it open and yes I should have had a back up light but still. Anyway, it's really too bad as I felt the product was great but if they have crappy customer service then I'll take my money elsewhere.

So much for contacting them.

2 5

Battery door breaks

Two of my doors broke. You get a few battery changes and then the clasp breaks... The return process is ok... They did repair mine, gave me a new strap and sent it back in reasonable time.

However I also sent in a Aurora (another PT model) for repair of basically the same issue (battery clasp broke) and princeton tech replaced my translucent blue colored casing with an ugly olive drab opaque one. I am upset about that change, they could have at least informed me, if that was all they could do. It might only be color, but sending in a product and receiving a significantly different item back without notification is not appealing to myself. When I went through Petzl's service department, they actually took the time to call me with less-than-stellar news about my Duo.

This headlamp is ok; I do find use for it. But it certainly isn't a Petzl in quality or design... or warranty service. For myself, I think the quality of this headlamp/company is best summed up as, when it breaks again I will not bother to repair it or buying a similar one.

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