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Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Princeton Tec Remix Hybrid Headlamp > Test Report by Jamie Lawrence

PRINCETON TEC REMIX HYBRID HEADLAMP
Test Series by Jamie Lawrence

Initial Report – 2nd October 2009

Field Report - 1st December 2009

Long-Term Report - 10th February 2010

Tester Information

NAME:

Jamie Lawrence

EMAIL:

jlawrence286@gmail.com

AGE:

28

LOCATION:

Hobart, Tasmania AUSTRALIA

GENDER:

M

HEIGHT:

5' 9" (1.75 m)

WEIGHT:

154 lb (70.00 kg)

I was introduced to backpacking/tramping/hiking as a young child in Boy Scouts and through my school physical/adventure education. After leaving school, I mainly did short daywalks until recently when I started to re-walk some of Tasmania's key routes and try others I was yet to attempt. I mainly walk in the winter months, in Tasmania's central highlands area. I prefer light gear, extended walks (3-5 days) in a group of 3 or shorter walks (1-3 days) walking solo. I would generally carry a base weight pack of around 8 kg - 10 kg (17 lbs - 22 lbs).


INITIAL REPORT

2nd October 2009

Product Information & Specifications

Manufacturer:                       Princeton Tec
Year of Manufacture:          2009
Manufacturer's Website:     http://www.princetontec.com
MSRP:                                   US$44.99
Listed Weight:                       83 g (2.9 oz)
Measured Weight:               83 g (2.9 oz) including batteries

IR1    IR2
The Princeton Tec Remix headlamp is combination single Maxbright LED for a bright beam along with 3 Ultrabright LEDs for wide angle lighting. Both are contained within the one unit. The combination of the 2 beam settings is why Princeton Tec sell the Remix as a hybrid headlamp.

Each beam setting has 2 options, high and low, giving the Remix a total of 4 settings. Princeton Tec's website states the Remix has the following burn times and beam ranges:

LED Setting

Maxbright HIGH

Maxbright LOW

Ultrabright HIGH

Ultrabright LOW

Burn Time

28 hours

53 hours

61 hours

200 hours

Output

45 Lumens

20 Lumens

30 Lumens

4 Lumens

Range

45 m (148 ft)

28 m (92 ft)

28 m (92 ft)

10 m (33 ft)


Princeton Tec state that the Remix is water resistant and is powered by 3 AAA alkaline batteries (supplied). The Remix is black in colour with an adjustable wide elastic band which is easily removed from the headlamp unit. The top of the Remix features a large grey button which is used to power on or off the headlamp as well as cycle through the LED modes. The Remix is supplied with comprehensive instructions in English, German & French which detail info such as installing the batteries, switch operation and troubleshooting.

Initial Impressions of the Remix

This is the first Princeton Tec product that I have owned, but I have always regarded Princeton Tec as a high quality manufacturer. After removing the Remix from the packet I immediately felt that it was strong and sturdy in its construction. Without reference to the instructions I was easily able to connect the headlamp to the elastic band and insert the batteries. One of the features I have already found that I prefer on this headlamp compared to my others is the large battery door on the side of the headlamp. I was able to open the battery door and insert the 3 AAA batteries within around 30 seconds. The elastic band features a battery door tool which I did not need. By comparison to my other headlamps this is very quick as I usually need a knife blade or screwdriver to open the battery compartments.

I actually have 3 other headlamps (maybe I have a gear addiction??!) and my first thoughts were that the Remix is quite chunky and heavy. Having said this, after playing around with the Remix for about 10 minutes after removing it from the packet, I decided that it isn't that bad, but it is slightly larger than my other 3 LED lamps. The Remix has adjustable tilt and I first found this to be very stiff. I was not able to adjust the tilt with one hand whilst wearing the headlamp. I had to hold the main body with one hand and tilt the lamp component with the other. Hopefully this will loosen up a little with more use. I am certainly not concerned about the tilt moving when I don't want it to.

As the Remix has only one switch, it wasn't hard to figure out how to turn it on or cycle through the LED modes. Simply pressing the button will turn the Remix on. The default setting is high on whatever was the last LED set used (Maxbright or Ultrabright). Once the Remix is on, a single press of the button will switch to low setting. A second press of the button will turn the Remix off. To switch between LED modes you simply press and hold the button until the desired LED mode is selected. Turning the Remix off can be done 2 ways. Firstly cycling through the settings from high to low and then pressing the button again will turn the Remix off. Alternatively once the Remix has been on for 2 seconds, simply pressing the button will turn the power off. I managed to figure out the switch options without reference to the instructions.

Wearing the Remix is quite comfortable. I was easily able to adjust the elastic band to achieve a secure fit that was did not feel too tight.

Summary

In general terms I am quite impressed with the Remix. It is certainly very bright! I find it comfortable to wear and easy to use. I have 2 simple initial concerns. First is the colour black. This may prove the Remix hard to locate in my dark tent or at the bottom of my pack. I guess this will soon be discovered as I embark on my field testing. The second is that there is no flash/blink mode on the Remix. As a keen cyclist I quite often use a headlamp under my helmet on flash as an extra safety light that I can flick to a beam for increased vision. This won't be an option with the Remix.

I usually carry 2 headlamps when out walking, a wide angle multi LED for use around camp and reading and a single bright LED for navigation and walking around in the dark. Given the hybrid design of the Remix I intend using it as my principle headlamp over the coming months during my testing.

This concludes my Initial Report of the Princeton Tec Remix headlamp.

My thanks to Princeton Tec and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.


Field Report

1st December 2009

Field Locations & Conditions

I have began testing the Princeton Tec Remix on a recent trip to Freycinet National Park. This 3 day trip was mainly on coastal tracks at sea level but did involve a climb of Mt Freycinet (620 m/2,034 ft) and Mt Graham (579 m/ 1,900 ft). During this trip there was no rain and temps were around 20 C (68 F) during the day with night time lows of around 8 C (46 F).

Wineglass Bay - Freycinet National Park

Performance in the Field

As stated in my Initial Report, I would usually carry 2 headlamps with me when out and about walking. I am pleased to report that I have found that the Remix is suitable as a hybrid lamp. I found that in Ultrabright mode, I was easily able to tend to jobs around camp such as cooking and sorting my tent in a nice bright crisp light. I was also easily able to dim the lamp to Ultrabright low which I found more suitable for reading in my tent. I use this setting the majority of the time as it is generally bright enough even outdoors. With no hassle what so ever I can switch to Maxbright mode and make the track to the campsite toilets where a decent beam of light was highly useful to avoid tripping on the uneven track. On Maxbright high mode, this is a really bright lamp and I can easily see about 20-30 m (66-98 ft) ahead of me on the track.

I have found the Remix a highly comfortable headlamp to wear when backpacking. I tend to find myself adjusting my other lamps all the time as I find them too tight or they slip around and annoy me. I am very pleased that I have had next to no hassles with having to adjust the headband and find it really soft but secure.


Battery DoorDespite being comfortable, I still find that adjusting the angle of the beam/body of the lamp is very stiff. I find this a little annoying when I want to change between wanting to have the beam coming out at a high angle for distance use (usually in Maxbright mode) and having the beam angled down low when working around camp, say preparing a meal. It continues to be not possible for me to adjust the beam angle with one hand. I must hold the backing with one hand (usually against my head) and then adjust the angle with my other hand. When adjusting the angle of the lamp, I can feel 4 distinct angle settings. I mainly use the lamp tilted in the 3rd position or not at all.

Throughout my testing so far I have had no major issues with the exception of 2 incidences where the Remix would not turn on, regardless of how long I held down the button. The only way I could get the lamp to fire up was to open the battery door and close it again. Once this was done, the Remix worked fine. I cannot figure out what prevented the Remix from working as the lamp had not been dropped or has any water got into the body.

To date I have not had to replace the batteries. However, as outlined above I have had to open the battery door a few times. What I have found interesting is that using the battery door lever, that is part of the elastic strap, does not allow me to fully open the battery door. In the photo above I have tried to show that I can lift the door latch but not enough to open it using the lever. I have given up using this method and simply use my thumb to open the door.

Summary

All is good so far in my testing of the Princeton Tec Remix Headlamp. I have enjoyed the flexibility of moving between Ultrabright mode and Maxbright mode. I am a little alarmed about the few occasions where I had to open then close the battery door to get the lamp to switch on so I hope this doesn't develop into a fault as I continue my testing.

This concludes my Field Report of the Princeton Tec Remix headlamp. 


Long-Term Report

10th February 2010

Field Locations & Conditions

I continued my field testing of the Princeton Tec Remix  headlamp in various settings, including some backpacking and camping as well as off-shore sailing. As all my long term testing has been during my summer, I have spent a lot of time at the beach and in coastal locations. I recently spent 2 nights camped at Bridport, at sea level. There was no rain and temps ranged from 35 C (95 F) to lows around 12 C (53 F). I also used the Remix on an overnight walk into Mt Field National Park. During this walk I was between 1,038 m ( 3,405 ft) and 1,272 m (ft). Again the weather was lovely and sunny with no rain and temps were hot, getting to 38 C (100 F) during the day and only dropping to 18 C (64 F) at night. I also threw the Remix into my bag for a recent off shore ocean race. This short race of around 90 nautical miles (166 km/103 mi) was from Hobart around Bruny Island and involved travel between 43° 31.421² S and 42° 52.945²S latitude. Sea and weather conditions were light and sunny with no rain.

The Friars - South Coast Bruny Island

Performance in the Field

Throughout my field and long-term testing, I have greatly enjoyed using the Remix. I identified in my field report that I had 2 instances where the Remix failed to turn on and I was forced to open the battery door to make the lamp work. I am pleased to report that I have had no other instances of this happening and am still at a loss to explain what caused the issue. I am actually still using the original batteries that were supplied with the Remix however I noticed that the brightness is a getting low and I assume the batteries could benefit from being replaced. I have a few other headlamps, my favorite actually maintains brightness at full power then starts to flash when the batteries are too low. This is a handy feature, which the Remix does not have, the light simply gets dimmer. I would prefer the flash option.
K Col & Mt Field West
During the yacht race, I had the Remix on my head for around 7 hours, although I only turned it on when I required light. This means that the Remix was exposed to wind and spray for the bulk of this time. Every time I pressed the power button the Remix would start. I found this resistance to weather highly impressive. The Remix remained comfortable to wear all throughout the night. I mainly had the beam set on Ultrabright High as I was using the Remix to light up whatever I was working on at the time on the deck of the boat such as sail changes or trimming. On a couple of occasions I used Maxbright High to try to spot the sail numbers of other competing boats that where close to us at the time. I found that I could light up the sails or hull of competing boats that were within around 25 m (82 ft) of us. I did notice towards the end of the night that this beam did get dimmer, which was as a result of the battery drain.

I have continued to find that adjusting the angle of the lamp is basically impossible with 1 hand, as the body is very stiff and hard to move. This is sometimes quite annoying, and I found it most limiting when on the boat as I would go from working on the deck to wanting to use the Maxbright beam and would want to change the angle of the lamp. In the end I gave up trying to adjust the lamp which resulted in tilted my head more than I would've preferred.

Final Summary

When I commenced testing the Princeton Tec Remix I was keen to discover if it was capable of being a true hybrid of a spot lamp and broad beam capable of use around camp and for long distance lighting. I am pleased to report that I have found this is the case, the Remix is highly capable in each of its 4 lighting modes. I have also found that the Remix is comfortable to wear for long periods of time and is durable and resistant of weather.

My concerns of the switch failing to work during my field testing have gone as I experienced no further issues. I find it a little annoying that the lamp angle is hard to adjust but this would not stop my purchasing a Remix as this is a minor issue.

In summary I highly commend Princeton Tec for the Remix. I will continue to use the Remix for many years to come as I find it a flexible, practical, lightweight and highly comfortable.

This concluded my testing of the Priceton Tec Remix hybrid headlamp. My final thanks to Princeton Tec and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.




Read more reviews of Princeton Tec gear
Read more gear reviews by Jamie Lawrence

Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Princeton Tec Remix Hybrid Headlamp > Test Report by Jamie Lawrence



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