PRINCETON TEC AMP 1.0
TEST SERIES BY SAM STAMEY
July 30, 2009
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samstamey at yahoo dot com
Santa Rosa, CA
6' 0" (1.83 m)
170 lb (77.00 kg)
Backpacking background: I started backpacking two years ago with my wife and two children (ages 8 and 10 at the time). We have been car camping for 20+ years.
Most of our backpacking has been three season camping in the Sierras, 6000 -12,000 ft (1800 m - 3658 m) and on the Northern California Coast.
We mostly do a combination of car camping and backpacking.
Our family recently switched from one 4 person tent to using two 2 person tents. I usually carry most of the weight and my internal frame pack weighs between 40-50 lb (18-22 kg).
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Prince Tec
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: Princetontec.com
Listed Weight: 2.01oz (57g)
Measured Weight: 2.08 oz (59g)
Other details: Waterproof to 328 ft (100m), comes in four colors, runs on 2 aaa batteries, 14 lumens
The Princeton Tec came in a plastic package with the flashlight, batteries and instructions. Packaging is simple but effective. It was nice to have the batteries included with the product so I did not need to go out to a store and purchase batteries for the first test.
Princeton has made what looks like a well constructed, packable, bright flashlight that I feel will be perfect for a backup light while backpacking.
The flashlight itself is small enough to fit into the palm of my hand and seems to be constructed well. Hard colored plastic on about one third of the outside and rubberized plastic on the rest of the flashlight. The light that was shipped to me is black and bright yellow. The bright yellow is nice because I sometimes misplace things and the color will make it stand out.
On and off is a simple twist of the lens and there is a large hole on the end of the flashlight for clipping on to a pack, keychain, etc.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
This is a flashlight after all so the instructions are minimal. Unscrew the cap, put the batteries in and put the cap back on. Twist the lens to turn it on and off.
The batteries go in side by side instead of end to end which I think is nice. It does not matter which side you put the batteries on as long as one battery has a positive side up and the other has a positive side down.
TRYING IT OUT
The flashlight came with batteries and once I installed them I was ready to turn the flashlight on. To turn on the flashlight I simply tighten the lens cap by turning it clockwise less than a quarter turn. Turning it off was as easy as turning the lens cap counterclockwise by a quarter turn.
The light is bright, white, and clear. The lens is not adjustable and the manufacture claims that the beam will go about 171 ft (52m), I have not tested that distance yet but it looks to be about that far.
The flashlight is comfortable in my hand and I am able to turn it on and off with one hand.
The large hole on the end of the flashlight is great for clipping the light on to pants , packs, or jackets.
Princeton Tec has made a small, bright, waterproof, and hopefully tough flashlight that I feel will be great for a backup light while backpacking.
The size of the light makes it very packable and the large hole on the end of the light makes it perfect for attaching to a carabiner which then allows me to connect it to a backpack or belt loop.
Over the next several months I will test this flashlight to see if it holds up to Princeton Tec claims.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
This little flashlight goes everywhere with me including the Grand Canyon for a five day backpacking trip, Santa Cruz , CA. for weekend camping trips, my backyard, my garage and my house. Because I live in an ideal climate I have not been able to test this flashlight in wet or really cold weather. The weather that I have tested this flashlight in has been in the range of 35 - 100 F (1.67 - 37.78 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Amp 1.0 has performed flawlessly so far. It is light enough that I find myself carrying it pretty much wherever I go. It is small enough that I don't mind slipping it into my pants pocket or a jacket pocket.
I have found the burn time to be between two and two and a half hours depending on what type of batteries I use. The cheaper no name brand batteries don't last as long as the more expensive batteries. I also found that it is very easy to change the batteries even in the dark. Because the batteries are side by side instead of end to end it does not matter which battery is on the left and which one is on the right as long as one battery is positive side up and one battery is negative side up. I can tell in the dark by feeling for the positive bump on the end of the battery.
Dropping the flashlight has not had any ill effect so far. I have dropped it many times and it does not show any visible damage and still works as well as the first day that I tested it. I find that the twisting of the lens to turn the Amp on and off makes the flashlight simple and durable. I have used flashlights in the past with a conventional switch which has broken and left me without a light and I feel that the Amp switch will not break and therefore it is more reliable.
I don't dive so I have not had the chance to do any real underwater testing but I have submerged it in the sink and turned it on. It worked well and did not leak any water into the battery area or bulb area.
Around camp I have found myself reaching for the Amp instead of my headlamp when I want to find something quickly or take a run to the nearest tree in the middle of the night. I still use my headlamp for longer tasks such as washing dishes or setting up my tent in the dark but I find that the Amp fits well in my hand and has a good range of light.
Around home I have used the Amp for a lot of tasks such as finding lost camping equipment in the garage, looking under the bed, searching for pesky animals that have found their way into my back yard, and various other non - camping related tasks.
So far the Amp 1.0 has been a useful addition to my camping equipment. It works well with two AA batteries, is light and small enough to carry wherever I go, is tough enough to take the abuse that I give it and is very simple to use.
This concludes my field report, please stay tuned for then exciting conclusion of the testing in the long term report.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
For the entire testing period I have taken this flashlight pretty much everywhere that I go. Weather has been from 35 - 100 F (1.67 - 37.78 C). Mostly dry with very little rain and the altitude has been from sea level to about 8000 ft (2438 m).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
This little flashlight has performed flawlessly for me the entire time I have had it. It has always turned on and off when I need it and seems to be very tough. I have dropped it many times and I can hardly see any wear and tear on it.
The battery life seems to be longer than stated on the website but I haven't actually timed the hours that I have had it on. Besides the time that I left the flashlight on all night, I have not used that many batteries. I have probably used only three sets of batteries for the entire test period.
Turning the flashlight on by twisting it is a little stiff but I can turn it on and off with one hand. The flashlight is waterproof and I understand that it is designed to be tight while twisting it on so that water will not get into the battery or light areas.
I find that that hole in the flashlight is very useful for not only using it to hang it in a tent or on my backpack but my little finger fits in it well so that I can hold it better in one hand while I twist the cap to turn it on and off. It gives me a lot more leverage.
I have not tested the flashlight while wearing gloves and I imagine it would be a little more difficult to turn on with one hand while wearing gloves.
Overall I would say that this is a very useful product. It is small and light enough to fit in my pants pocket and gives out ample light to get around my camp area. I find myself reaching for this light more than any other light that I own.
At home I tend to carry it with me when I go out after dark or when I need to find something in the semi-dark garage.
The flashlight it sturdy, doesn't use too many batteries and has a hole in it big enough to clip it on a carbineer and onto my backpack
I will continue to use this flashlight for my camping needs as well as around the house. I will most likely pick up a couple more of these lights to keep in my cars.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
This concludes my test of the Princeton Amp 1.0. I would like to thank Princeton Tec and BackPackGearTest for giving me the opportunity to test this light.
Read more reviews of Princeton Tec gear
Read more gear reviews by Sam Stamey