Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Panther Vision POWERCAP 2.0 Beanie > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Panther Vision
Powercap 2.0
Author on Lake Superior

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Initial Report - November 17, 2019
Long Term Report - March 20, 2020
Initial Report:

November 17, 2019

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 67
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last few decades, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Minnesota. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a Tarptent camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.
Product Information

Panther Vision, LLC,
Model Powercap 2.0
One size fits most
Manufacturer's Weight/Tester's Weight of Item
NA/2.8 oz (79 g)

 Cost $29.99 US

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

The Panther Vision Powercap 2.0 arrived in the color of Black. It also is available in Real Tree Edge (camo), Blaze Orange and Navy. Before I tried it on, I was a bit concerned as to the fit based on many other caps I own.  Many times when a hat is a one-size-fits-all, it doesn't always fit myPowercap 2.0 head. It fit perfectly as the crown doesn't go too low on my forehead. Once on, I couldn't even feel the battery pack inside the cap. I would consider this a winter or cold weather cap as it has some heft or substance to it.

When I looked at Panther Visions' website I was surprised to see that they make all kinds of lighted caps including ones with ear flaps, hunting caps, running caps and more. They offer many other products too, so well worth the time to check it out (even lighted safety glasses). The company specializes in hands-free lighting.
The beanie-shaped cap is fabricated with a water-resistant compression fleece of  97 percent polyester and 3 percent spandex. It has a lining of thin stretch-knit material. All materials are soft to the touch so not irritating to wear. The workmanship is neatly done with a double row of stitching securing the two layers together.  On the inside back edge of cap there is an opening of  approximately 1.25 in/3.17 cm where the battery compartment lies. I could just easily pull out the battery pack. It came with two AAA batteries.

Battery PackThere is a powerful single LED light on the front of the cap. It has a light output of 75 lumens on high, 30 lumens on medium and 15 lumens on low. Visibility is 14 m/45 ft on high, 9 m/30 ft on medium and 6 m/20 ft on low. The maximum battery output is for 3.5 hours for the high setting (5.5 for medium, 12.5 hours for low). A single push button on the front of the cap allows cycling through the three settings for light output.
There is a Limited Lifetime Warranty so if the cap fails with either workmanship or materials, I could send it in for free replacement.

Care instructions are to remove the batteries before washing the cap. The cap should be hand washed separately in warm water with no bleach. It should be line dried for 24 hours. I would assume that the time allotted is to make sure the hat wasn't even damp before putting the batteries back. No dry cleaning or ironing for this hat!


The Panther Vision Powercap 2.0 looks to be an interesting way to avoid having to use a separate headlamp while wearing a hat. Since it is the dark and cold season here, I am looking forward to night hikes as well as some winter camping and rustic cabin trips. It will be interesting to see how often the batteries will need to be replaced.

Top of Page
Long Term Report:
March 20, 2020

USA Locations and Conditions


During the long term test period the Panther Vision PowerCap 2.0 was worn in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA and Ontario, Canada. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (180 m) to almost 2000 ft (610 m).

Location of Trip #1: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Winter Sledge Trip to rustic cabin: 5 days, 4 nights (December 30-January 3)
Distance: 3 mi (5 km) with sledge; unknown mileage on backcountry ski adventures while there
Sledge Weight: Very heavy; probably 50 lb (23 kg) with fresh consumables and cabin necessities (bare bones cabin so everything must be hauled in)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, snow and one sunny day 
Precipitation: About 10 in (25 cm) of new snow! 
Temperature Range: 34 F to -1 F (1 C to -18 C)
Location of Trip #2: Keweenaw Peninsula, Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Length of Ski Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (Jan 26-29)
Distance: Cross Country skiing about 30 mi (48 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, and some sun
Precipitation: Several inches (6 in/15 cm) of new snow
Temperature Range: 29 F (-2 C) to 21 F (-6 C)

Location of Trip #3: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Sledge Trip to rustic cabin: 4 days, 3 nights (Feb 3-6)
Activity: snowshoeing, unknown distance
Sledge Weight: 45 lb (20 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Super windy and cold
Precipitation: Light snow
Temperature Range: 33 F to 17 F (1 C to -8 C)

Location of Trip #4: Stokely Creek; Goulais River, Ontario, Canada
Length of  Ski Lodge Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (Feb 21-23)
Distance: Cross Country skiing - 34 mi (55 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny, unseasonably warm
Precipitation: None  
Temperature Range: 40 F (4 C) to 6 F (-14 C)   

 Location of Trip #5: Hiawatha National Forest
Sledge trip: 4 days, 3 nights (Feb 25-28)
Distance: 18 mi (29 km) 
Sledge Weight: 40 lb (18 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Windy and cloudy
Precipitation: At least 8 in (20 cm) of new snow and heavy drifting in some areas
Temperature Range: 28 F (-2 C) to 10 F (-12 C)

Location of Trip #6: Stokely Creek; Goulais River, Ontario, Canada
Length of  Ski Lodge Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (March 11-13)
Distance: Cross Country skiing - 30 mi (48 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sun, clouds, snow 
Precipitation: Snow and rain
Temperature Range: 40 F (4 C ) to 19 F (-7 C) 
Trip Talk

During the test period I got to wear the hat both indoors and outdoors as a lighting source. I don't normally hike at night but set out with a group of friends to snowshoe a couple of times in the evening. I started off with the highest setting but soon realized there was enough light to switch it down to the medium setting as everyone had a headlamp and enough light bounced around the snow-covered trail.

All of my testing has been during the winter with snow-covered landscape. A few of my trips involved staying at rustic cabins deep into the forest. The hat was worn all evening hours for lighting inside the cabin and trips to the outhouse. It was usually snowing so I found that it was better to have it on the high setting to see my way. One thing that has occurred a lot is that when I am using the light and turn it off; if I try to turn it back on it has a wait period. At first I thought it was because the battery might be low but it also happens every time I change the batteries. It also happens both indoors in warm conditions and outdoors in cold conditions. Not sure if this normal.

I have also worn the hat while knitting in the evening and used it for reading in my bed before slumber hits me. I do have other sources of lighting at home :) but decided it would be a good test for doing those activities. The medium setting seems to work best but I can also use the low light as well depending on what I am doing.

I have used a couple sets of batteries during the test period. Don't think this is an unusual amount for the time I spent with the hat powered on. The batteries are easy to change.

I have even slept with the hat on while camping and some of the nights in the rustic cabins (when I let the fire go). I was surprised that it would be comfortable with the batteries inside the hat but it didn't bother me or hinder my sleep.

I have been pleasantly impressed with the Powercap 2.0. The only nitpick is the one previously stated: the fact that there is a delay in powering the unit back on after turning it off. I have tried this so many times on purpose because I wanted to see if there was a certain delay time involved. It has ranged from 20 sec to 47 seconds so I have no idea if this is supposed to be the case. It has only affected me when I want to cycle from a medium or low setting back to a high setting (which requires it to go off) and I was in the dark. A minor inconvenience for my eyes to adjust is all.

I have not washed the hat but I know to remove the batteries before washing. There are no signs of pilling or other defects after many months of use.

I expect to continue wearing the hat although I do know someone that has been coveting it.


  • Packable
  • Fine workmanship
  • Washable
  • Hands-free lighting


  • Does not immediately power back on after turning it off

Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Panther Vision, LLC and for this opportunity to test the Powercap 2.0. This concludes my long term report and the test series.

Top of Page

Read more reviews of Panther Vision gear
Read more gear reviews by Gail Staisil

Reviews > Clothing > Hats, Caps and Visors > Panther Vision POWERCAP 2.0 Beanie > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson