Mathews Inc.
Headlamp’s
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
jdee 02-Aug-19
midwest 02-Aug-19
WapitiBob 02-Aug-19
SD BuckBuster 02-Aug-19
wild1 02-Aug-19
Phil Magistro 02-Aug-19
Scar Finga 02-Aug-19
Genesis 02-Aug-19
jdee 02-Aug-19
FORESTBOWS 02-Aug-19
hawkeye in PA 02-Aug-19
Fields 02-Aug-19
dmann 02-Aug-19
Zim 02-Aug-19
Ben 02-Aug-19
Shaft 02-Aug-19
Yasla 02-Aug-19
Mule Power 02-Aug-19
ohiohunter 02-Aug-19
IdyllwildArcher 02-Aug-19
drmike 02-Aug-19
Backpack Hunter 02-Aug-19
Predeter 02-Aug-19
PushCoArcher 02-Aug-19
Brotsky 03-Aug-19
Phil/VA 03-Aug-19
Vids 03-Aug-19
woodguy65 03-Aug-19
boothill 03-Aug-19
WV Mountaineer 03-Aug-19
Shawn 03-Aug-19
BigOk 03-Aug-19
Jasper 03-Aug-19
PoudreCanyon 03-Aug-19
Beachtree 03-Aug-19
wyobullshooter 03-Aug-19
Tinner2216 04-Aug-19
Droptine 04-Aug-19
jdee 04-Aug-19
Bake 04-Aug-19
Mule Power 05-Aug-19
elkstabber 05-Aug-19
Kevin Paul 05-Aug-19
Trial153 05-Aug-19
elkmtngear 05-Aug-19
joehunter 05-Aug-19
Nocturnal II 02-Jul-21
DanaC 02-Jul-21
Rut Nut 02-Jul-21
TD 02-Jul-21
Bear 1955 02-Jul-21
Lost Arra 02-Jul-21
KSflatlander 02-Jul-21
JSW 02-Jul-21
DanaC 03-Jul-21
Kevin Dill 03-Jul-21
APauls 03-Jul-21
carcus 03-Jul-21
ohiohunter 03-Jul-21
DanaC 04-Jul-21
Rock 04-Jul-21
Solitary Bear 04-Jul-21
Whocares 04-Jul-21
Rock 04-Jul-21
itshot 04-Jul-21
Droptine 06-Jul-21
esean 25-Jul-21
Tracker 27-Jul-21
DanaC 28-Jul-21
From: jdee
02-Aug-19
There’s a million different headlamps to choose from, the cheap one I had is going to get replaced. Any ideas on a good, reliable headlamp ? I see them from $10 to $100.

From: midwest
02-Aug-19
Following...

From: WapitiBob
02-Aug-19
s and s had a blog on lamps a few years ago. The cheapie came out close to the top. I think it was the Coast lamp. I use a black diamond Icon.

02-Aug-19
Depends if you want to see 100 yards out or bright lights for the 20 feet in front of you. Beam or Broadcast??? Remember,, while hunting a beam is not always a good thing!

I fish walleyes a lot at night and I have an 18' boat so I use the energizer headlamps for that.. It transitioned into my hunting world and I love them! 3 modes seem to work well in all conditions (except fog). Personally I wouldn't spend more than $15 on a headlamp. If you spend more than that there's a good chance all the critters on the mountain will know you're there as well. Get enough light so you don't fall, carry a tiny mag light in your pocket if you need to punch a beam out every now n then. :)

From: wild1
02-Aug-19
1. Petzl Tikka Plus, and...............

2. Home Depot Energizer for back-up, to keep in the truck, tent, RV around the house.

02-Aug-19
Black Diamond Spot is a great lamp. If you want something with more distance Black Diamond ReVolt.

From: Scar Finga
02-Aug-19
I have several Camofire headlamps and they work great... It depends on what you want. I also like Petzl, and have a few, but I like the simpler models.

From: Genesis
02-Aug-19
Armytek Wizard Pro for utility and short hikes (rechargeable 18650)Truly unbelievable light with head strap or cap clip option

Armytek Tiara Pro for lighter weight option (rechargeable or single cell)

Both with magnetic cap for further utility

From: jdee
02-Aug-19
Looking for one with enough light to dress an elk in the dark and enough light to ride a horse out of the mountains in the dark. Some are small and I see some look like a coal miners light. Need a good, all around headlamp.

02-Aug-19
Rechargeable black diamond

02-Aug-19
Another vote for Black Diamond.

From: Fields
02-Aug-19
I never tried any other light than the Fenix headlamp and don't plan too.

From: dmann
02-Aug-19
I’ve got a couple black Diamond Spots and really like them. Might try the rechargeable version.

From: Zim
02-Aug-19
I’ve tried a few. I have 3 black diamond spots and always keep 2 in my pack (“2 is one, 1is none”). Reliable, light weight and I use the red light feature when hiking in and out of a stand, wallow, etc.

From: Ben
02-Aug-19
I have a camo stocking hat type that has a built-in dual headlamp. The off and on switch is over my right ear and it points where ever I look. I bought it at a garage sale 4 -5 years ago and only replaced the battery one time ( a flat battery 357? size) . I'm not home to check the brand but, is a very handy light. I only use it when it is the dark of the moon and walk in under moonlight any other time. It always comes in handy when I get in the stand. Puts out just the right amount of light, not too bright but, adequate for walking in.

From: Shaft
02-Aug-19
Black diamonds are great however, I recently bought a couple of 315 lumen energizers and they have been great. Figure close to half of the price of the black diamonds. When you bounce up in lumens you will find that your batteries don't last as long so always carry a spare set.

From: Yasla
02-Aug-19
The Hunt for the Best Headlamps | OutdoorGearLab https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-headlamp

From: Mule Power
02-Aug-19
Black Diamond is sweet. Spot 350 is my choice. The regular is 300 lumens. They make a 375 but it takes 4 batteries instead of 3 and is heavier. I’ll pass on any extra weight on my headlamp. It has infinite dimming and memory so when you turn it on it’s still on the setting you had. Also a lock feature so you don’t try to use it and find out it turned on by accident and the battery is dead.

From: ohiohunter
02-Aug-19
Which black diamond you all using? My buddy has one and it was a PITA to thumb through all the colors, surely reading the directions would’ve helped.

02-Aug-19
Absolutely love my Nitecore rechargeable. Weighs 1 oz and one charge lasted my entire 2 week sheep hunt last year (although it doesn't get dark much in AK in August, but I did come back to camp in the dark a couple nights). All my back country stuff is now all rechargeable. The solar paneled battery packs have have rendered batteries a relic AFAIC (except for when there's no sun, but back-country hunts for me are an August-September time frame unless it's AZ and there's still enough sun there in winter).

From: drmike
02-Aug-19
Another vote for black diamond.

02-Aug-19
Zebra light 600 series, flood for the closer work, spot for the distant stuff. Works great, tough, good battery life, and light from 2 lumens all the way up to light up the mountain.

From: Predeter
02-Aug-19
Black Diamond spot here as well. Had it 3 years I think? Happy with it.

The lock is critical, wouldn't buy another headlamp without the ability to lock it.

From: PushCoArcher
02-Aug-19
I use a Black Diamond Storm and love it.

From: Brotsky
03-Aug-19
+1 for the Black diamond Storm. Love mine, a little tricky at first but once you understand the button sequences it’s great.

From: Phil/VA
03-Aug-19
My favorite is the KAP-40 from Sniper Hog Lights. Rechargeable batteries, adjusts for brightness, adjusts from spot to flood. http://www.sniperhawglights.com/40KAP-Headlamp-p/40kap.htm

From: Vids
03-Aug-19
I have a Petzl (I believe Tikka Plus) and it's been good. Honestly, the Energizer ones at Home Depot are pretty hard to beat for the price and are pretty comparable to the Petzl or the Black Diamond I had previously.

From: woodguy65
03-Aug-19

woodguy65's embedded Photo
woodguy65's embedded Photo
Black diamond Icon - it is waterproof has a bright wide beam out to 90 meters, and a low setting as well. Personally I absolutely hate anything rechargeable because I lose cords or forget to plug in. This runs off of 4 AA batteries which last a long time.

From: boothill
03-Aug-19
Just picked up a 2018 Black Diamond Storm direct from BD for $32. Cabelas selling the 2019 model for $49. Seems like a nice lamp so far.

03-Aug-19
I use coast and camofire headlamps now. After losing an awesome Princeton Tec. I have no complaints.

From: Shawn
03-Aug-19
I rarely use a head lamp or even a flashlight but I agree the Black Diamond Ion is very good. Buddy bout me one for my B-Day and I do keep it in my pack in case. Shawn

From: BigOk
03-Aug-19
Energized headlamp. Cheap and batteries last all season. Red light is great for getting ready once in your stand without drawing attention to yourself.

From: Jasper
03-Aug-19
The Energizers from Home Depot and I have a Surefire I only use for blood trailing as batteries are more expensive but it makes a difference! I carry 3 headlamps in my pack, yes 3. I like the backup and I can’t tell you how many times a buddy can’t find his or his batteries are dead so I have to lend him one. I’m like Really?! Lol

From: PoudreCanyon
03-Aug-19
I’ve had pretty good luck with the $20 energizers from Walmart. I have a Black Diamond as well, but I feel like the cheapie Walmart specials are as bright, comparable in weight and battery life at 1/3 - 1/4 the price.

From: Beachtree
03-Aug-19
I have a Fenix 4 years old been thru alot use it weekly, no issues yet.

03-Aug-19
I’ve been very impressed with my Petzl Actik.

From: Tinner2216
04-Aug-19
Black Diamond. Quality product without breaking the bank.

From: Droptine
04-Aug-19
I use zebra they’re my favorite and also darn tough

From: jdee
04-Aug-19
Ended up buying a Black Diamond Storm....Thx.

From: Bake
04-Aug-19
Cool thread. I have tried a lot. I think they’re all fine. But I got tired of carrying AAAs for only the headlamp. AAs for the camera and GPS. And now I used the rechargeable 1850s for my Surefire handheld. So last year I bought a Zebra light headlamp that runs on a single AA. I like it so far. Didn’t use it a ton last year. Runs through the battery fairly quick if left on high setting. But it will be my main headlamp in CO this fall. Might need to buy an extra, now that I think about it :)

From: Mule Power
05-Aug-19
You can tell the guys who aren’t heading up a mountain at dark thirty am after elk where being able to see is pretty convenient. Lol

From: elkstabber
05-Aug-19
I've used a variety of headlamps and tend to choose simpler models without excessive power because I prefer to allow my eyes to adjust to the dark.

IMHO a headlamp is so important that I always carry a spare in case my primary gets broken or lost.

I also use a tactical flashlight with a lot of lumens for tracking game. The headlamp is used daily. The flashlight doesn't get used much. I prefer a dim headlamp and bright flashlight, but that's just me and everybody is different.

From: Kevin Paul
05-Aug-19
Zebralight gets my vote

From: Trial153
05-Aug-19
Currently I have two Fenix head lamps( HL50 & HL30), a Black Diamond Storm and Petzl Bindi.

I like the Fenix HL50 the best for most situations except when weight is a concern then the Bindi gets the nod.

From: elkmtngear
05-Aug-19
I have several, I usually save the Zebralight, in case I need to break down an animal after dark. Single AA battery, and provides the best illumination for that task.

Walking in and out, I sometimes like to just use a headlamp with a red LED.

From: joehunter
05-Aug-19
Cheap and easy - works great. 400 lumen! https://www.lowes.com/pd/Energizer-Vision-Hd-400-Lumen-LED-Headlamp-Battery-Included/1000598357

From: Nocturnal II
02-Jul-21
I'm surprised FENIX hasn't been mentioned.

From: DanaC
02-Jul-21

DanaC's Link
My little HL10 Fenix is lightweight and emits enough lighting to get to and from a stand in the dark.

From: Rut Nut
02-Jul-21

Rut Nut's Link
Coast 530 lumen rechargeable! It is the most versatile, brightest, lightest and most economical headlamp I have owned!

Can focus the beam from flood to spot, has 3 power settings and a red lamp. Can recharge from USB port or remove the battery pack and use regular alkaline batteries.

I used to use a cheap energizer headlamp and leave a spotlight in the vehicle. Now I only take one light(Coast headlamp) and think it paid for itself in less than 6 months by not having to buy batteries!

From: TD
02-Jul-21
Fenix is good, carry a small Fenix torch in my pocket every day. The headlamp in my pack is a Zebra. It replaced a Fenix and it's the best headlamp I've ever used overall.

Last few years have converted everything possible over to 18650 lithium or rechargeable (most essentially built with 18650s). Best gear move in a long time. Have a 18650 power bank in my pack to charge things as necessary, phones, etc. and can remove them and use in the Zebra etc separately as needed, if needed. Rarely needed as a good Li-ion lasts a REAL long time and puts out a good deal more power over that time. And one of the biggest benefits is if you forget to remove batteries from your electronics Li-ion essentially don't leak acid and destroy said electronics. Yuge. Paid for themselves many times over with just that lil feature.

Gone so far as getting a small spot welder (soldering damages them) made to connect batteries and rebuild power packs for cordless tools, even my acer laptop battery. Some are fairly easy to re-power like Makita. Others have taken to literally molding them into a plastic case with the BMS built into said case rather than a separate circuit board.... can't replace the 18650s without destroying the BMS. But for the most part it's easy enough, not rocket surgery.....

In a recent letter to Santa.... I've put a roll up/fold up portable solar charger on the list to charge the bank. Only question now is if I've been good enough.... what's that saying? "When I'm good I'm very very good, but when I'm bad I'm better....."

From: Bear 1955
02-Jul-21
Not trying to steal the form. I like the information on the brands of head lamps posted but what are the minimum and max luminous do you like to use?

From: Lost Arra
02-Jul-21
Fenix here. I've got different models and they all work as advertised. I've owned a few Petzl and Black Diamonds and they are good too. I gave my Zebra lights away.

You have to determine spot or flood, battery type, intuitive ease of use, easy to work with gloves on and is weight an important factor. I wouldn't own a AAA light for any kind of extended hunting. AAA are for keychain lights and tv remotes.

From: KSflatlander
02-Jul-21
Black Diamond Icon 700

From: JSW
02-Jul-21
I'm on my second LED Lenser SEO7R rechargable. It is up to 220 lumens. You can twist the lens to make it wide angle or spot. The spot is really good. It has 3 power settings. High power is really bright but only lasts a few hours. When I conserve power and use it on the lower power it last 16-20 hours. I had my first one about 5 years before I lost it and I never had to take out the rechargeable battery and use AAA's.

Obviously, I really like this headlamp.

From: DanaC
03-Jul-21
"but what are the minimum and max luminous do you like to use?"

That depends on intended use. I mentioned 'getting to and from a stand in the dark.' You can do that with a small <100 lumen light. If you're walking a long ways in the dark, looking for downed game, running hounds at night etc. you want big batteries and all the lumens you can get.

PS I back up my little Fenix with a much heavier light in the pack. Since I mostly day trip I don't need a complete system like some take along.

From: Kevin Dill
03-Jul-21
Own and use Petzl, BD, Fenix and some others. They get general duty around the house, farm and for whitetails.

When I head to Alaska there's only one headlamp worthy of my gear bag....ZebraLight.

From: APauls
03-Jul-21
No way I’m ever buying a headlamp or portable light of any kind that DOESNT run on 18650’s.

One of those lithium cells and they run forever. Rechargeable, small, compact and capable of serious output.

From: carcus
03-Jul-21
I have multiple petzl and fenix headlights, both are great

From: ohiohunter
03-Jul-21
Love my petzl tikka, bought it on my first elk trip. The Princeton’s are great all purpose lamps, at less than $20 a pop they’re hard to beat.

From: DanaC
04-Jul-21
"No way I’m ever buying a headlamp or portable light of any kind that DOESNT run on 18650’s. "

I have one, and it's a powerhouse. For backup a pair of 123 lithiums doesn't take up much room in your kit, and they'll keep for ten years. And you can really extend battery life by using the lower settings instead of 'turbo boost, signal the space station' ;-)

From: Rock
04-Jul-21
Have had many different headlamps over the years and the best and brightest I have ever used is the Fenix headlamp with variable power settings, it is like having a auto headlight on your head.

04-Jul-21
Zebralight with rechargeable 18650 batteries. They take a minute to learn how to set and access the levels, but once you do they are simple to use and really put out amazing light with long runtimes.

From: Whocares
04-Jul-21
Rock, what model of Fenix?

From: Rock
04-Jul-21

Rock's Link
FENIX HL60R USB RECHARGEABLE HEADLAMP

From: itshot
04-Jul-21

itshot's embedded Photo
itshot's embedded Photo
got a couple rechargeables off camofire, have the adjustable lens from flood to beam, good (ok, great) light, good run time, really like the usb recharge or battery option , only improvement would be 2 switches...one for white light, one for red light..instead of toggling thru all 5 or 6 positions

been thru a bunch of them, favorite was an energizer with single AA battery, 3 switches, white, green, red...waterproof as hell, around $20...they are long gone, it seems

From: Droptine
06-Jul-21
Can’t say enough good things about Zebralight

From: esean
25-Jul-21
Another vote for Zebralight. Programmable modes from dim moonlight to searchlight bright. Metal waterproof body. You can change the battery with your eyes closed without taking the light off your head (assuming you can find a spare battery in the dark!) Wide range of battery and LED types to pick from.

From: Tracker
27-Jul-21
Black Diamond Spot for me

From: DanaC
28-Jul-21

DanaC's embedded Photo
DanaC's embedded Photo
18650 rechargeable and 'spare' 123's. Use this in my Fenix PD-32. Main battery is kept charged when not in use, spares are for extended power outages etc.

  • Sitka Gear