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287 Spot Headlamp 2010-09-29

Black Diamond Spot Headlamps

Over the years I have gone through quite a few headlamps. My first, was a two piece unit with a headlamp with separate battery pack (prior to the Petzls.) The lamp was heavy, 4 D cell batteries, and you were lucky if you could get a few hours use from the batteries. The headlamp was too heavy to carry backpacking. I used a small, 2 AA, plastic cased flashlight when I wanted to save weight in the back country.

The light revolution began with Petzl lights. My first Petzl was the Zoom. It had a 4.5v battery pack that sat on the back of your head. The lamps best feature was the zoom which allowed you to focus the beam. It was a heavy lamp, but was giant steps better than my previous lights. With the success of the Zoom came many more lights. My favorite was the Petzl Micro. The 2 AA battery pack for the Micro sat behind the bulb as one unit. It also had a focus feature. It was not very bright and was hard on batteries but still it was the best thing going. Oh, by the way, I still use a Micro to drain my rechargeable batteries before recharging them.

The first LED light I used was Petzl's Tikka. With 3 AAA batteries the small headlamp was lighter and had longer battery life. It was not a great lamp, but it was the start of better things to come.

Princeton Tec soon followed the Tikka with the Aurora, dubbed by the salesperson in the outdoor shop - the Tikka Killer. It was a better light. It was brighter and had better battery life than the Tikka. My one problem with the Aurora was that it took a crow bar to open the battery case. To supplement the Aurora, I carried a Princeton Tec, Rage, a small handheld light with a xenon bulb.

Finally, Princeton Tec made a great light with the EOS. It had a good strong beam and good advertised battery life. The 3 AAA batteries were easy to access and the headlamp was still compact and light. I could put away the extra handheld light with the versatile EOS. The one drawback with my early version of the EOS was that the headlamp used batteries quickly. The advertised 40 hours was more like 4 hours on the brightest setting and even less while using rechargeable. After stumbling around in the dark a few times I decided to look for a new light.

I had helped Amy shop for a new headlamp and she had chosen the Black Diamond Spot. Now it was time for me to look for a light... Going to REI's online store I compared a number of headlamps from different companies. I needed one that was lightweight and compact, had an adjustable beam good battery life. I needed the perfect headlamp. I, too, chose the Spot and have not been disappointed.

After two summers of hard use, we are both pleased with our Spots. The headlamp has a strong beam and it runs forever on 3 AAA batteries. I enjoy the compact style with the batteries in the same case as the light. This style is more comfortable to wear and more versatile. It is a worthy lamp.

The new Spot lights are advertised as being even brighter, have additional red bulbs which do not diminish your night vision, and a battery capacity indicator. Hmm, I might have to get one of the new ones.

I had two minor complaints with the headlamp. I had to read the instructions and play with the light to figure out the lamp's settings. There is only one button and you have to learn the sequence to get a specific beam. The other complaint was when opening the battery pack I felt like I was going to break the lamp. It did not break and to be honest I have only installed two sets of batteries in the lamp - one set for last year and one set for this year.

Don't stop doing things outside just because the days are shorter, just get a good light. The Spot will definitely shine a light on your way. Give it a try, it even comes in covert green for you hunters (Marlin - that's for you.) Check it out online at REI or your local store.

Happy Spot trails.


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