ENERGIZER LED HEAD BEAM
BY QUINN GROVER
November 11, 2007
Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
220 lb (99.80 kg)
Backpacking Background: I started backpacking in my teens in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. Since that time, I have tried to take one or more extended trips each summer and the occasional weekend overnighter. Most of my backpacking adventures center around the opportunity to catch trout on a fly rod in a beautiful mountain setting. Because fishing is usually the reason for the trip, I look for gear that is dependable and lightweight, so that I can carry in extra fishing gear. I prefer to hike in mountainous areas in the summer. The terrain is sometimes rugged and above timberline.
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer's Website: www.energizer.com
Listed Weight: 1.6 oz (44 g)
Measured Weight: 1.6 oz (44 g)
Battery Type: 3 AAA
The Energizer LED Head Beam is a lightweight headlamp that features three LEDs (two whites, and one red). The lamp has two modes of operation: Flood, which uses both of the white LEDs, and Night Vision, which uses the red LED. The headlamp is mounted on an adjustable elastic band (approximately 5/8 of an inch or 16.5 mm wide) that is worn around the head (or hat). The band is adjusted by a sliding plastic clip back and forth to reduce or increase the diameter of the band. The Head Beam features a swivel point at the bottom of the LED housing that allows the beam to shine at various angles. A sliding switch is located on top of the LED housing that toggles between Flood mode, Night Vision mode, and Off. A thin pad is glued to the underside of the headlamp, where it sits against the forehead.
|The Energizer LED Head Beam. Photo courtesy of Energizer.
I have used this head lamp in the field consistently over the last four years. It is my 'go-to' light source for all backcountry trips (although I do bring an extra flashlight on overnight stays) and stays in my fishing vests to help me change flies in low light and guide me back to the car. I have used it in weather down to 25 F (-4 C) and have seen no decrease in quality due to the cold (although the headlamp was not exposed to particularly cold temps for long periods). I have also gotten the headlamp relatively wet (not soaked, but water on the casing here and there) without any effects.
For me, the positive aspects of the Head Beam are: (1) the bright light, (2) the light carrying weight, (3) the pivot point that allows the beam to shine at different angles, and (4) the durability. The light provided in 'Flood' mode is great for following a trail or even bushwhacking back to camp (or a car) in the black of night. I have used the light to navigate more than a half mile (0.8 km) well after dark on my way back to my car after a late night fishing trip. If the batteries are new, the light is especially bright and easy to use. In addition, the headlamp itself is lightweight (1.6 oz/44 g), so much so that I often forget which pocket I am carrying it in during the day because its weight is relatively imperceptible. The pivot point is a nice feature because I can shine the light on the trail without needing to put my head down and ignore everything else around me. As for durability, because I am clumsy and often careless, I have dropped my headlamp more times than I would like to remember, occasionally it lands on rocks or wood. I also have two daughters under the age of four who like to play with Dad's toys. In spite of all this, the headlamp still performs the way it did when I bought it.
The primary aspect of the lamp that I don't particularly like is the relatively short battery life. While Energizer claims that the battery life is 50 hours, I have found that as the batteries start to wane, the light intensity decreases markedly, meaning that I change the batteries more often than every 50 hours of use. I also always bring an extra set of batteries on extended trips in case the light is mistakenly left on while in my pack or tent for an extended period of time, draining the batteries. The battery life is sufficient and not a major drawback, but as the batteries drain the brightness goes way down. I haven't used the night vision mode enough to comment on extensively, but I do occasionally find myself wishing that Energizer had simply included three white LEDs to maximize brightness (although I do enjoy turning on the red LED and pretending I am the Terminator).
Overall, I recommend the Energizer LED Head Beam. Even though it isn't made by a traditional backpacking manufacturer, it has served me well on many outdoor trips including several week-long excursions into the backcountry and countless evening fishing trips.
THINGS I LIKE
- Brightness (with new batteries)
- Light weight
- Pivot point control
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
- Short battery life
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Read more reviews of Energizer gear
Read more gear reviews by Quinn Grover