PRIMUS PRIMELITE COMPACT TREKK HEADLAMP
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
November 18, 2012
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and trekking poles.
Manufacturer: Primus AB
|Photo courtesy of Primus|
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.primus.se
Listed Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Measured Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Measured Weight (with batteries): 3.6 oz (102 g)
Size: 2 in x 2.6 in x 1.3 in (50 mm x 66 mm x 32 mm) - Verified to be accurate
Listed Battery Life: 12 hours on maximum brightness; 80 hours on minimum brightness
The Primus PrimeLite Compact Trekk headlamp has one Luxeon™ diode in the center and three white light-emitting diodes (LED) on either side. There are two buttons on the top; one is simply an on/off and the other toggles through the modes. The lamp first comes on in the low flood light mode with six diodes. Then if I toggle through all of the modes it goes to the high flood light then low spot light with the center diode then high spot light then finally the flashing mode where the six diodes flash. The brightness levels for the six diode flood light are 25% and 100% of maximum brightness. For the center diode spot light the brightness levels are 50% and 100% of maximum brightness. It comes with a storage bag that can also be used as a light diffuser.
The six white diodes have a rating for 38 yd (35 m) and 80 hours of battery life. The Luxeon™ (45 lumens) has a rating of 60 yd (55 m) and 12 hours of battery life.
The headlamp uses 3 AAA batteries (included) which are housed in a water resistant compartment behind the light. The battery door has a positive snap closure. The lamp is able to pivot in a bracket to allow for shining the light in the direction that it is needed.
The switches are on the top on the right and left side with the right hand one having a ridge around it to prevent turning it on by accident. The non-removable wide elastic band strap has reflective striping and is adjustable to various lengths.
This headlamp has been used for the past three years on nearly every backpacking trip. In total it has probably seen nearly 100 days of backpacking use from Maine to Washington to Florida with most use in the Sierra Nevada of California. It has also been used for car and boat camping and a lot of home use for car repair and home repair (under the house, in the attic and in dark areas). It has always been used with three AAA alkaline batteries and has gone through multiple sets.
Some examples of backpacking trips:
Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington: 11 days; 100 mi (161 km); 2,600 to 7,200 ft (792 to 2,195 m) elevation; 32 to 62 F (0 to 17 C).
Appalachian Trail, White Mountains (New Hampshire): 3 days; 18 mi (30 km); 2,032 to 5,367 ft (619 to 1,636 m); 45 to 70 F (7 to 21 C) with clear to rainy conditions.
Sequoia National Park, Sierra Nevada, California: 6 days, 60 miles (97 km); 6,700 to 11,600 ft (2,000 to 3,500 m) elevation; 38 to 84 F (3 to 29 C) with clear conditions.
Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada, California: 5 days; 37 mi (60 km); 4,200 to 9,400 ft (1,280 to 2,865 m); 45 to 75 F (7 to 24 C) with clear conditions.
Glacier National Park, Montana: 4 days; 33 mi (53km); 4,010 to 5,000 ft (1,222 to 1,524 m); 38 to 80 F (3 to 27 C) with clear, cloudy and thunderstorm conditions.
The headlamp setting on low is perfect for reading in the tent. I also use it for middle of the night calls of nature and for evening navigation back to the tent from the campfire. A few times I used it for hiking short distances at night. I use the high setting for outdoor use and usually use the low setting for reading.
The first time that the batteries failed we were playing cards. There seemed to be no warning that it was failing. However, it probably was getting more dim over time, just not noticeably so. After that I became more aware of it becoming dim and usually just put in a fresh set of batteries before any long trips.
The headlamp never flickered or had any indication of an intermittent connection. It has been completely reliable throughout its life with the only issue being that it occasionally does not turn on with the first attempt. It does seem to turn on with the next try and hasn't caused any problem. The durability has been great. I haven't monitored the battery life closely but it is consistent with other lamps that I own and hasn't seemed unusually good or bad.
It has never been exposed to any heavy rain conditions but has been worn in light rain for short periods. It has not shown any indication of moisture getting inside the housing.
There has not been any problem with the lamp turning on inadvertently such as by bumping the switch in the pack. This happens so often with other headlamps that I always have to reverse the batteries before packing it. But with this one I don't bother and there was only one time that I think it got turned on by mistake and drained the batteries.
The storage bag was used at times for longer-term storage in the summer. But we usually keep headlamps within easy reach in the winter for various household uses. The bag was never used as a lamp shade or diffuser.
The Primus PrimeLite Compact Trekk headlamp is a good quality light with adequate output for general use in camp, for reading, walking, etc. It has been completely reliable throughout the stated battery life and has provided great durability given all of the trips that it has been on.
THINGS I LIKE
Good light for general camp use
Tilt adjustment is easy to use
Buttons don't turn on while in backpack
Low setting is perfect for reading
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
ON/OFF switch doesn't always work on first try
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
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