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Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Streamlight Enduro > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

Streamlight Enduro LED Headlamp


Initial Report: Oct 5 2007

Field Report: Jan 3 2008

Long Term Report: Feb 15 2008


Streamlight headlamp

Picture from Streamlight.com website



Personal Information:
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Height: 1.7 m (5' 8")
Weight: 68 kg (150 lb)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC (District of Columbia), USA

Brief Background: I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ miles (2000+ km) of the Appalachian Trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25 lbs (11 kg) with two days of food and 16 oz (0.5 L) of water. I have recently started getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.


Product Information:


Manufacturer: Streamlight
Website: http://www.streamlight.com/
MSRP: US$24.95
Material: LED light, 2AAA batteries, rubber/elastic headband
Battery Life: 6 hours (high mode), 24 hours (low mode)
Weight (as stated, with batteries): 2.75 oz (78 g)
Weight (measured, with batteries): 2.82 oz (80 g)
Weight (measured, without batteries): 2 oz (56.6 g)
Colour: Black



Initial Report:
October 5th 2007

The Streamlight Enduro LED headlamp is a lightweight headlamp that takes two AAA batteries. The housing is polycarbonate with an o-ring seal. In order to replace the batteries, the battery housing cover must be turned to disengage the side clips before the cover will pop open. While I found this a little confusing to open at first, a quick read of the instructions and I found it wasn't that difficult. On the inside of the battery compartment are pictures showing which way the battery should face in each side of the compartment. The headlamp is waterproof up to 1.3 yd (1 m) depths. The headband is rubber/elastic and wraps around the head and over the top. The top button is a three way control of the light allowing for low beam, high beam and off in that order. The lens covering the LED light can be turned to focus the light better for either close work or further viewing. Streamlight has noted that the headlamp should work for 6 hrs on high beam and 24 hrs on low beam on one set of batteries. The headlamp came with a first set of batteries from Energizer. The headlamp did not come with any replacement bulbs, the LED bulb used has a lifespan of 100,000 hours, which is about 11 years. The headlamp headbands are wide and comfortable on the head on initial wear. I also found the bands easy to adjust while the headlamp was on my head, although with my short hair, I can feel it getting caught in the band system while tightening. The polycarbonate housing of the headlamp is smooth while the top button is rubber making it easy to find by feel with bare-hands.

My initial impression of the headlamp is that it is a little smaller than I expected but it seems to stick out farther from the head than I expected. I will be interested in knowing if this will be a distraction in my field of vision. I will also look into how easy the light can be tuned to focus or unfocus the light depending on need. I will be evaluating the battery life of the headlamp and I am also interested in how well the lamp will perform with rechargeable batteries. The headlamp comes with a power regulator to help maintain maximum output of light over the life of the battery.

My test plan will be to use this headlamp on all overnight trips. I will also be using the headlamp on my evening Thursday paddling when I need a light. I will also carry the headlamp on daytrips in case of emergencies.



Field Report:
January 3rd 2008

I have taken the headlamp out on two overnight trips as well as on two night kayaking trips. The night kayaking was for about 2 hours of kayaking after dusk and well into darkness at that point. The headlamp performed very well on this trip. I had to loosen the elastic straps to fit over a head covering but it fit nicely over that. I like that the head bands are easy to adjust even while on the head so I could make the adjustment on the fly. I was wearing an ear covering type head wrap. The headlamp fit nicely overtop once I had the elastic band properly adjusted. I mostly used the low setting as it was more than bright enough to see where I was going.

One overnight trip took place near the Shenandoah National Park at about 2500 ft (760 m). The other trip was a car camping trip out near Williamsburg, Virginia. The trips took place in November and with the earlier sunset, the headlamp was given a fair amount of use. On these overnight trips, the headlamp was used in camp to navigate to the tent and to the privy. The headlamp was also used to see during meal prep and food consumption. Again I found myself mostly using only the lower setting as that was bright enough to see what I was doing and where I was going. The walk to the bath house was a rather substantial walk in the dark and the headlamp did a great job keeping me on track there and back. I have used the headlamp on at least two overnight hikes as well as two kayaking trips. I have not noticed any decrease in light output due to dying batteries. I am still using the original batteries provided with the headlamp.

Both overnight backpacking trips were to the same shelter at the northern edge of the Shenandoah National Park near Front Royal. The total mileage was about 6 miles (about 10 km) and the weather was about 50 F (11 C) during the day. The temperatures dropped to about freezing that night. The cold weather did not affect the light output of the stylus in any way. I used the headlamp mostly while moving about camp and preparing food.

I have found that for the most part the lower setting has been bright enough for in camp use and navigating on the river. The range at this low setting is about 6-10 ft (1.8 - 3 m). I find the range is a little farther on the water due to reflection of light and less obstacles in the way. As of yet, I have not used or needed to use the brightest setting. The elastic band has been very comfortable around my head and has not pulled at my hair. The top band was a little odd at first simply because I was not used to it, but I have found there to be no discomfort in wearing the headlamp. The headlamp is light enough that I quickly forget about it and does not stick out so far from head to be a distraction. The headlamp can be swiveled up or down to point the light were it is needed. The ability to point the light without having to move my head was handy so as not to blind other people when eating in camp. The headlamp moves with ease but stays in place well due to grooves in the plastic rod that it rotates about.



Long Term Report:
February 24th 2008

The headlamp has seen lots of use with both the about four overnight backpacking trips, with one night hike in and out, and three night kayaking trips. I have used the headlamp both with gloves and without, in cold weather and in warm and it has functioned nicely under all the conditions I have thrown at it. I have been very pleased with the way it lights up the trail or water way ahead of me in both the low setting and the high setting. While I do miss having a red light option, I have been happy using this headlamp and see it becoming a permanent part of my gear bag both for kayaking and backpacking.

I have taken the headlamp out on another evening paddling trip. The air temperature was about 40 F (4 C) and the water was at about the freezing mark. A group of us put in on the water after the sun set and paddled for about 2 hours. The sky was partially cloudy so there was some light scatter, but even with that minimal light, it was still dark when all the lights were turned off for star gazing. While the headlamp did not take a dunking, it did get some water dripped on it from the wind blowing the spray around. I alternated between the low setting and the high setting. On the water, both settings seemed to light the same amount of area. The water seems to act like a light sink and the headlamp could not light up much further than the front of my kayak, about 6 ft (2 m) ahead.

I also used the headlamp on two overnight backpacking trips. The first was basically a night hike in and a very early morning hike out again. We night hiked in about 0.5 mi (0.3 km ) and set up camp in the dark. The headlamp was a crucial piece of gear on this trip and the headlamp performed very well. I again alternated between the low and high setting. I used the high setting to look ahead for trail marker signs or to look at the canal we were following. The temperatures were just below freezing. As such I wasn't very inclined to remove my gloves more than necessary. I didn't have very bulky gloves on, just thin ones to keep the wind off my hands. With these thin gloves, I was able to find and operate the rubber button on the headlamp with almost no problems. I did find that it was sometimes hard to depress the button far enough with the gloves on. After a second or third try, I was generally able to get the button to depress enough to activate the switch. The tilt of the headlamp was also easy to adjust both with gloves and without.

My last trip with the headlamp saw similarly cold conditions. Temperatures started around 40 F (4 C) and by night had dropped to 30 F (-1 C). Due to a somewhat late start, I arrived at camp late and by the time I was ready to cook supper, it was growing dark. I used the headlamp to cook and eat supper by as well as navigate to the privy. The campsite was along the Potomac River in Maryland with hardly any elevation gain. The light is still going strong and I have not needed to replace the batteries. I do still have problems operating the button with gloves on. Sometimes I can get the button to operate and sometimes I can't, necessitating the need to pull of gloves to turn off the light.

The headlamp does stick out from my head just enough that I can see it in the periphery of my vision. I found this slightly annoying at first but have since gotten used to it. The headlamp is light and easy to wear both against the head and with a hat on. I have worn both a neoprene hat and ear band with wool cap under the headlamp straps with no problems. I do have to loosen the bands to accommodate the extra material, but this is easy to do on the fly. The headlamp is easy to stuff into small spaces and I have been able to stuff it into the small front pocket of my life-jacket and in coat pockets and not notice it is present. I have not noticed any sign of wear and after the many hours of using the headlamp, I have not needed to replace the original batteries nor have I noticed any decrease in light quality or strength.


Pros:

    - Comfortable to wear
    - Light is bright, and easy to operate


Cons:

    - Hard to operate button with gloves

This concludes my report series on the Streamlight Enduro LED headlamp. Thank you for following this series. I hope you have found this report useful.


Read more reviews of Streamlight gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathryn Doiron

Reviews > Lighting > Headlamps - LED > Streamlight Enduro > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron



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