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Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Gerber Triode > Owner Review by Ray Estrella

Gerber Triode Headlamp
By Raymond Estrella
OWNER REVIEW
November 27, 2005

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.

The Product

Manufacturer: Gerber Legendary Blades (A division of Fiskar)
Web site: www.gerbergear.com
Product: Triode Headlamp
Year manufactured: 2005.
MSRP: Not listed on web site.
Weights and measurements not given by Mfr.
Verified weight: with strap 2.1 oz (59 g). Without strap 1.4 oz (39 g).
Measurements: 2.25” x 1.8” x 1.2” (56 mm x 45 mm x 30 mm)
Battery type: AAA
It comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty

Product description

The Gerber Triode is a very small compact headlamp. The model I got is black in color, with a black elastic strap with the Gerber name in white lettering every three inches (75 mm) around the strap. It has a black plastic buckle on the strap to provide adjustment for size.

With the strap adjusted to its smallest possible size it measures 17” (43 cm) in circumference. When let out to its widest point, it measures 26” (65 cm) in circumference. This enables it to fit around any kind of helmet, in addition to one’s head. Here is a picture of the headlamp with strap on a climbing helmet.

Triode


The strap is threaded through an L shaped plate. This plate is held tight to ones forehead by the strap. The lamp itself has a clip that slides on to the L bracket. The clip attaches to the lamp at the bottom, with a hinge at the connection point. The hinge provides 90 degrees of adjustment. The clip can be detached from the bracket for use without the strap and for direct attachment to the brim of a hat. Here is a picture of the lamp clipped to a hard-hat brim.

Clipped


The headlamp itself is made of ABS resin. It has three LED (Light Emitting Diodes) arranged horizontally. There is a single button on the top of the unit. Pressing this button will activate the unit in the Full intensity setting. Pressing it again will adjust it to what the manufacturer calls a “dim steady setting”. I would guess it to be about 60-70 percent of normal output. The battery compartment is at the back of the lamp, and is accessible by unscrewing the cover with a coin, or screwdriver. It takes one AAA battery for operation. The name TRIODE is in silver letters on the top of the unit, and the Gerber logo is on the side next to the battery access cover.

Field Conditions

I got the Triode on April 20, 2005. It saw its first use on May 26th. Since receiving it I have logged 175 miles (280 km) with this lamp on the trips. I have used it on trips in San Jacinto NF, Dome Land Wilderness, Bristlecone Pine Forest, Jennie Lakes Wilderness, Sequoia NF and Kings Canyon. The highest point I was camped at while using it was 8000’ elevation (2400 m), the lowest point was 400’ elevation (120 m). Temps ranged from a low of 33 F (0.5 C) in Dome Land Wilderness, to 80 F (27 C) in the Palm Springs area.

Observations

When I first got the lamp I installed the included AAA battery. It did not work. I checked to make sure that it was inserted correctly and tried it again. Nothing. I was disappointed that I got a defective unit, but after trying another battery from my stock it worked fine. The slotted cover on the battery compartment is very soft. With the 3 times I opened it has already become very nicked up.

I really liked the weight of this headlamp. The ability to clip it on a hat without the strap was something that I took advantage of. It stays on pretty well. I did have it slip off a couple of times when I flipped my head too fast. It is very comfortable with the strap. I really notice the difference compared to my previous head lamp. It makes it easy to use at night also. With the strap off I can grab, and shine, it like a conventional flashlight with ease.

The battery life has been awesome. I still have not changed the battery from when I first put one in. And I have left the battery in for the entire time also. (It is best to store them with the battery out) It has worked flawlessly.

As there is not a big difference in the dimmer setting, I mainly just use the first (normal) setting. The button clicks on with ease. As it is slightly inset, I have not ever had it turn on inadvertently in my pack.

It is not the brightest lamp though. It is great for around camp and in the tent. Wonderful for breaking camp in the morning before the sun is up. But the two times I purposefully hiked in the dark with it I found it lacking. But that is common to LED lamps. I normally will take a xenon bulbed lamp for those situations. I am sure that the single battery has a lot to do with it also.

Pros: Light weight, great battery life, multiple use options.

Cons: Not the brightest headlamp.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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