BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp > Test Report by Mike Wilkie

BLACK DIAMOND GIZMO HEADLAMP
TEST SERIES BY MIKE WILKIE
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - April 25, 2010
FIELD REPORT - July 12, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - September 15, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Wilkie
EMAIL: foreverwild76 at yahoo dot com
AGE: 34
LOCATION: Davenport, New York (USA)
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 150 lb (68.00 kg)

Hiking for me started at an early age, as I was always an avid camper and as a Scout my backpacking obsession began. Now living in the Catskill Region backpacking has become serious for me over the years. I hike, snowshoe, canoe, snowboard or multi-day backpack through the Catskills or Adirondacks almost every weekend. I use and practice safe lightweight techniques and have greatly reduced my pack weight, adding both comfort and miles to my adventures. As an aspirant of the Catskill-3500 Club and Adirondack-46ers, peak-bagging is my main outdoor activity. My long-term goals are to complete long distance thru-hikes.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Black Diamond Equipment Ltd
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com

MSRP: US$19.95

MANUFACTURER DETAILS

LED Type: SinglePower
Lumens: 24
Max Distances: 82 ft (25 m)
Max Burn Time: 100 hours at 4 lumens
Minimum Burn-time: 20 hours at 24 lumens
Batteries: 2 AAA (included)
Weight Without Batteries: 1.2 oz (34 g)
Weight With Batteries: 2.05 oz (58 g)
IPX Rating: 4


TESTER'S MEASURED DETAILS

Color: Lava
Weight Without Batteries: 1.2 oz (34 g)
Weight With Batteries: 2.08 oz (59 g)
Size: Width 2.25 in (5.72 cm)/Height 1 in (2.54 cm)/Depth 1.25 in (3.17 cm)

IMAGE 1
Image courtesy of blackdiamondequipment.com



ABOUT THE PRODUCT

Gizmo, this is such a fitting name for this little lamp. Small enough so it comes in a package no larger than what a wristwatch would come in. The headlamp fits right in the palm of my hand.

The Gizmo is a lightweight headlamp with three SinglePower LEDs, which emits a max 24 lumens. At 24 lumens, Gizmo offers 20 hours of burn-time and throws light up to 82 ft (25 m).

For a more lasting battery life, the headlamp can be dimmed to a minimum of four lumens, increasing the burn-time or battery life up to 100 hours. At this lowest setting light can reach only 16.4 ft (5 m).

To operate the Gizmo Headlamp, an easy on/off button operates all of the functions offered. Press the button once for on, again for off and a quick third for the strobe function. To adjust the light illumination, press and hold the on/off button from the on mode. The light will initially dim down to the minimum and then back up the maximum lumens. The dimmer must be brought down to the lowest setting first before in order to increase the lamp to a brighter setting. According to the details on the package, the lamp will automatically turn off after four hours.

The color I received is their lava color, which is mostly red and has black detail. The strap has a various sized dot design of different shades of reds and oranges.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Learning how to operate the headlamp was a cinch, even without the instruction manual. However, the manual does clearly explain how to use the light and how to install the batteries. Two AAA Energizer Batteries were included in the package. Later when these batteries die I will replace them with lithium ones for their lighter weight.

SUMMARY

The Gizmo Headlamp is small enough to fit in my palm and adds little weight to my pack. I greatly appreciate the light weight as I am always looking to drop a few ounces (g) from my pack. The bright output of this little lamp was impressive as well as the distance the light travels in the maximum setting.

Having the dimmer feature is another positive for me. I do feel this will be helpful with saving battery life. The strobe feature may come in handy some day, but at this time, I find it of no use.

Easy to operate, lightweight, good light output and adjusts to my head size with ease are my positive assessments found of the Gizmo Headlamp thus far. I am looking forward to evaluating the Gizmo in the field on my overnight backpacks, night hikes and while base camping.

PROS

Lightweight
Dimming capabilities
Bright illumination and light distance at the highest setting

Cons

None at this time



Additional information will be available in two months time from this report date.





FIELD REPORT

Field and Testing Locations

For field use and evaluations, I tested the Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp on several backcountry backpacks, a canoe camping trip, base camping and a few late evening hikes. Most backcountry use took place in the Catskill Region and once in the Adirondack Region.

South Hill State Forest - 3 days/2 nights backpack
This was a quick three mile (4.83 km) bushwhack to a secret secluded camping spot. Overcast was the norm on this trip, with some inclement conditions. The temperature was consistently cool around 50 F (10 C) during the days and down around 42 F (5.56 C) at night. The campsite elevation was at 2100 ft (640 m).

Saratoga Springs State Park - 2 days/1 night Base Camping
Conditions were hot around 80 F (26.67 C), high humidity and a quick sprinkle of rain over night. The site condition was in a small tight clearing within spruce trees.

Utsayantha North Lake (unofficial name) - 2 days/1 night canoe camping
This camping spot is situated on a small island toward the center of the lake. The conditions were warm with light rain in the evening and temperatures around 80 F (26.67 C). The ground condition was sandy, few rocks and pine needles. There were some light wind gusts in early morning. The lakes elevation is at 2000 ft (610 m).

South Hill State Forest - 2 days/1 night backpack
This was a quick three mile (4.83 km) bushwhack to a secret secluded camping spot. Conditions were warm with clear skies. The temperature was 75 F (24 C). The campsite elevation was at 2100 ft (640 m). The ground condition at this location was sandy with some rocks.

The Gizmo Headlamp was also used on several late evening hikes in the forest behind my home. This 2.5 (4.03 km) loop climbed to an elevation of 2000 ft (610 m). On occasion, I added an extra .5 mile to the loop. The terrain is a rough climb with a few steep scrambles. The lamp was used on my return as light conditions faded. This short walk was taken four times with use of the headlamp.

For use and testing of the Black Diamond headlamp, I have logged five overnights and four evening hikes for a total use of 9 nights of use. The lamp was used in various conditions, terrains and for various activities such and canoe camping, backpacking, car camping and evening hikes.

In addition to backcountry use, I also used the headlamp almost nightly when working on my farm. The headlamp was use in my barn after dark while completing my nightly barn duties and chores. It was also used while nursing an injured goat with a broken leg.

Field Evaluations and Assessments

With my consistent use of the Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp, I found the lamp to be reliable and consistently offered adequate lighting for my various nighttime activities in a lightweight package. I honesty have no major complaints to make about the Gizmo and I have become quite fond of the lamp.

The performance of the Gizmo lamp has exceeded my expectations with its durable lightweight design, high light output and dimming feature. Initially I was not sure how often the dimming feature would be used, however there wasn't a time where I didn't adjust the lighting to some degree with all of the headlamp's use. This feature has become my favorite feature next to the lamp's light weight. I love having this option to save battery life.

Since I do practice safe lightweight packing techniques, the Gizmo has assisted in reducing my pack weight. However, for a lightweight product the Black Diamond headlamp has proven to be durable. Also in wet conditions, the lamp continued to operate in top performance and resisted moisture.

Adjusting the head strap was done only once in the initial assessments and has not needed any further adjusting since. Nor has the strap moved out of my original adjustment during use or handling of the lamp. The battery life seems to be remaining strong at the moment and these are the original batteries installed and included with the packaged headlamp.

Summary

Black Diamond's Gizmo Headlamp offered more than adequate lighting for all my nighttime activities while camping such as cooking or the late night stroll to the designated privy. There was plenty of light offered for my evening hikes as well as working late on the farm. Thus far, it has proven to be water-resistant and durable all in a lightweight package.

Besides the headlamp's light weight, my favorite feature is the lamp's ability to dim. This dimming feature was used every time the headlamp was in use. I believe this feature has helped to increase battery life and my eyes ability to focus during various nightly tasks. The Gizmo has proven to be quite reliable in the field thus far.

Pros

Lightweight
Dimming feature
Adequate lighting for various activities

Cons

None at this time



Additional information will be available in two months time from this report date.





LONG-TERM REPORT

Field and Testing Locations

For my final field use and evaluations, I tested the Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp on a canoe camping trip and a base camping trip. And for extended use, the headlamp was used almost daily for farm use in the late evenings.

South Hill State Forest - 3 days/2 nights backpack
This was a quick three mile (4.83 km) bushwhack to a secret secluded camping spot. The weather for the weekend was just perfect with averages of 78 F (25.56 C) during the days and around 58 F (14.44 C) at night. The ground condition at this location was sandy with some rocks and a bit of grass. The site elevation was at 2100 ft (640 m).

Cedarlands-Rock Pond Area - Adirondack State Park
2 day/1 night canoe camping
Camp elevation: 1750 ft (533 m)
The weather average 80 F (26.67 C) and 65 F (18.33 C) at night.
Light rain at night and mostly cloudy during the days.

In addition to backcountry use, I also used the headlamp almost nightly when working on my farm. The headlamp was use in my barn late evenings while completing my nightly barn duties and chores. For a total of backcountry use, the Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp was use for three nights during this final leg and a total of 12 nights for the entire test series.

Final Field Evaluations and Assessments

The Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp once again has proved to be a reliable source of lighting in a water-resistant and lightweight package. And again, I still have not found anything negative to report on about the headlamp or its function.

Going back to my field evaluations portion of this test series, I would like to reiterate how the performance of the Gizmo lamp exceeded my expectations with its durable lightweight design, high light output and dimming feature. During this final testing leg, the lamp has proved to be durable, water-resistant and designed to take extensive use and abuse. As I continued to use the lamp almost daily the light still performs as it did when new.

The dimming feature remains my favorite function of the lamp, as it is used each time I use it. I believe this features helps to save on battery life and currently I am still using the original batteries supplied with the headlamp. The dimming allows me to adjust for the appropriate lighting needed for various tasks and the brightest option is more than adequate for nightly walks in the wilderness.

I still have not needed to adjust the head strap since my initial set-up, but I may need to as I begin to wear winter hats. The pivoting of the lamp still operates as it did when new and has always remained in position during tasks.

SUMMARY

Over these several months of testing the Gizmo Headlamp, it has proven repeatedly to be a reliable tool when out in the wilderness or when light is needed to accomplish tasks. The lamp comes in a lightweight and water-resistant package. It consistently provided more than adequate lighting, and, with the dimming feature, I was able to adjust the lighting to my liking.

I believe the dimming feature provided extended use of the batteries as I have yet to change them. This Black Diamond headlamp will remain as an essential piece of my backcountry gear kit.

Pros

Lightweight
Dimming feature
Water-resistant


Cons

None

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Black Diamond gear
Read more gear reviews by Mike Wilkie

Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp > Test Report by Mike Wilkie



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. 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.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


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