Yes, I know, two posts in one afternoon . . . sorry to overload you, but I need some more help.
I’m investigating lights. Now, I’m not intending on walking at night, nor even in setting up camp at night (though this may happen with poor time management skills). I don’t even intend to read at night as I don’t want to lug a book around. This light is purely intended for emergency use and any necessary night-time pottering. I may, on occasion, write in my notebook, but even this I’ll try to do during the day. Night is purely for sleeping!
My current headlamp is a Princeton Tech Apex, running off 4xAA batteries and weighing in at about 300g (incl spare battery set). Max output 275 lumens. Burn time is quoted at 150 hours, but this is on low beam, and with Li batteries only! I can chew through a set of batteries easily in a 24hr rogaine (~10-12hrs darkness, but a fair amount of time spent on high beam). It is great for rogaining but far from optimal for what I need on my trip.
After the first round of research I have refined my criteria and narrowed my shortlist. Wants:
1. Lightweight (of course)
2. Long battery life (at low intensity)
3. Rechargeable would be cool, or small replacement batteries
4. Red light option for preserving night vision / being less obtrusive at night
Here is my shortlist:
1. Petzl e-lite: This thing is tiny (28g), runs off 2xCR2032 batteries (like watch batteries, 2.5g each), supposedly has a 70hr battery life (on low beam, white light) and has a dedicated red mode. It is waterproof to 1m. It has a max output of 26 lumens. The strap is a tiny thin cord (not looking forward to this, although I can bring another headstrap if I really want to use it as a headlamp) and it also has an integrated clip. It really looks like this is the way to go.
2. Ruta Locura headlamp. Again, tiny (37g). Powered by 2xCR2023 batteries. Similar size to the e-lite, but doesn’t have any of the fancy features. Does have a better headstrap and is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper. Plus, if I’m ordering tent pegs from these guys it would be easy to include a light too.
3. Petzl Tikka R+ : This is more like a traditional headlamp, and this is reflected in the size and weight (115g). It is rechargeable by USB, which is cool. Light output is significantly greater at 170 lumens, but battery life is corresponding lower (12hrs on automatic mode). It has some fancy function which ‘optimises’ light output . . .whatever that means. It has a separate red light. This looks awesome but I think it is just too much for what I need in a light. I’m not intending to go walking and looking for landmarks (or controls) in the distance with this light. Looks like it has the standard micro USB connection though!!
4. Black Diamond Revolt: Like the Tikka R+, this is rechargeable, but works by having rechargeable 3xAAA batteries which can be recharged within the headlamp. It is a little lighter (97g) and a bit cheaper than the Tikka R+ but has a lower output (110 lumens). Burn time is good (70hrs high beam, 300hrs low with alkaline battery (non rechargeable) or 12/190 with NiMH (the rechargeable ones)). Features are similar to the Tikka R+, so while this would win over the Tikka R+ (battery life and weight) it is still really too much for what I need. Also, splash resistant, not waterproof! Although . . . . only 70g more than the e-Lite, with much greater potential. Maybe this is worth a thought?
After that summary, I’m tossing up the Petzl e-Lite or the Black Diamond Revolt. What do you think?