Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
Forum rules
Ultralight Bushwalking/backpacking is about more than just gear lists. Ultralight walkers carefully consider gear based on the environment they are entering, the weather forecast, their own skill, other people in the group. Gear and systems are tested and tweaked.
If you are new to this area then welcome - Please remember that although the same ultralight philosophy can be used in all environments that the specific gear and skill required will vary greatly. It is very dangerous to assume that you can just copy someone else's gear list, but you are encouraged to ask questions, learn and start reducing the pack weight and enjoying the freedom that comes.

Common words
Base pack backpacking the mass of the backpack and the gear inside - not including consumables such as food, water and fuel
light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
ultralight backpacking base weight less than 4.5kg
super-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 2.3kg
extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Tintin » Sat 22 Oct, 2016 4:07 pm

I use an eGear Picolite. it is great for just around the campsite and weighs ~10g.

https://www.rei.com/product/803136/egea ... ipper-lite
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby ofuros » Wed 02 Nov, 2016 8:06 pm

Nitecore fan here, use it for night walking-ins, pottering around camp at the end of the day
& spotlighting for night beasts.... lightweight, reliable & has proven waterproof so far.

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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Tim-Australian Hiker » Mon 14 Nov, 2016 6:04 pm

If you plan on doing some serious trailblazing at night go bigger but if you know the trail and aren't planning on doing any serious night hiking on bad trails you can't go past the Petal E+lite. The beam intensity is great up to about 10 hours and then it dulls down so you may have to replace the batteries at that stage. One advantage that this light has over most others is it's robustness. To give you an idea I forgot that I had put it in pocket after an early morning walk and it ended up going though the washing machine and the dryer and didn't miss a beat. I love the switch lever on this little guy and am not a fan of pressure switches which are common on most other lights, including the other lights that I own. I don't have much hair so wear a buff when I use this light otherwise the string can be a bit uncomfortable. Having said that you tend to forget you are wearing this light.
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Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby RonK » Mon 14 Nov, 2016 10:35 pm

Did you read the first post?

The OP's dissatisfaction with the Petzl E+Lite is the reason this thread exists.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Stew63 » Sat 26 Nov, 2016 9:02 pm

Tintin wrote:I use an eGear Picolite. it is great for just around the campsite and weighs ~10g.

https://www.rei.com/product/803136/egea ... ipper-lite


Kathmandu sell basically the same light as this ^^^ 15lumen, about 9gm including batteries/clip for AUD$14.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby johnw » Sun 27 Nov, 2016 9:39 am

Not sure why the suggestions for torches. I thought the OP is looking for a headlamp?
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Aushiker » Sun 04 Dec, 2016 12:25 pm

Massdrop have the Black Diamond Iota Rechargeable as a drop. Price may likely reach US$29.99 + $13.25 postage. Given the Black Diamond Ion weighs 55 grams versus 56 grams for the Iota this is a serious competitor on weight, but not price.

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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Neo » Fri 14 Jul, 2017 10:36 pm

A little update on my BD Ion now it's had some use.
Its good. Small and light, lights up enough. Has a diffuser type lense which is different to a spot beam.
A couple of quirks:
The lithium batteries are true to themselves, they go hard then suddenly stop at the end of their life (4am nature call).
Sometimes the swipe doesn't respond, you can hold to dim/bright but can't turn it off! No finger angle seems to work but wait a while and then it does.
My varta rechargeable aaa batteries fit but the casing doesn't completely seal. Have read about this problem in a review online.
Overall I am still very happy with the Ion.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Singe » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 9:57 am

Neo wrote:My varta rechargeable aaa batteries fit but the casing doesn't completely seal. Have read about this problem in a review online.

If the batteries have a plastic wrap, removing it may help? Had similar issues with rechargeable AAs in a maglite-style LED torch; the rechargeables were a smidgen too wide.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Neo » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 7:59 pm

Ok will check the batteries.
Im a little annoyed with the switch now that I'm using the Ion every night so might send it back.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby magoo » Thu 03 Aug, 2017 2:32 am

This looks interesting:
http://www.litesmith.com/nitecore-nu20- ... -headlamp/

32.9g (using ultralight headband)/ 350 lumen (max)

Seems to be lightest USB rechargeable headlamp with a decent brightness level.

OP wanted a decent head strap - which can be had for a 20g weight penalty.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Neo » Thu 03 Aug, 2017 1:17 pm

Noticed I've now lost the little clip off the Ion casing so using some tape to prevent bumping it and dropping off.

I still like it but can anyone suggest a headlamp that uses two aaa batteries? Will keep my eyes out for one too.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby north-north-west » Thu 03 Aug, 2017 5:05 pm

Neo wrote:...t can anyone suggest a headlamp that uses two aaa batteries? .

Princeton Tec Byte.
It's a basic light - red, low, high, off. Small, light enough. Nat a bad light for camp use - haven't walked with it yet.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Orion » Fri 04 Aug, 2017 1:15 am

Stew63 wrote:
Orion wrote:
Stew63 wrote:For my UltraLight hiking kit I use a Fenix HL05 headlamp that weighs in at only 12grams...

Did you weigh it? It would be more like 19g if you believe the manufacturer's website specification.
They say 13g empty and CR2032 batteries weigh 3g each.

My keychain LED doesn't have a strap which probably accounts for the 7g difference. A strap is a distinct advantage. Also it's sometimes hard to find the thing since it's so small. But in full power mode it's surprisingly bright, twice the lumens of the HL05. It is sufficient for travel over terrain that isn't too demanding.

The main problem with coin cell battery headlamps is how long they last in higher intensity mode.


I tried weighing the HL05 just now - hard to get a definitive answer without using precise lab scales - but with the excess headband cut off and batteries it's about 16gm. My 6gm Photon Micro (keychain light) although greater in lumens than the HL05 tends to throw those lumens everywhere - like a lantern - great for lighting up a whole tent but without being adaptive to any headstrap and being only a small 'flood light' is a bit limited in practical use. The HL05 on the other hand focuses the 8lumens it's got into somewhat of a beam (in comparison) - the adjustable/tilting head, the elastic headband, high/low white, red led, and ease of battery replacement without doubt makes the HL05 much more convenient for me - but I still carry the 6gm Photon Micro as a backup. Although the HL05 is only 8lumens (max) I can easily read a book on low (4lumen?) and easily get around the campsite, cook dinner etc. on high. I generally find it useful for a 3 night trip in summer before batteries need to be replaced.

I realise 8lumens will not suit most people who like 100+ lumens to light up the whole campsite but it mostly works just fine for me with the HL05. Depends on who with/what I'm doing really on a hike as to which light I take along.


As an alternative to my sometimes awkward 12g keychain light, I bought a Fenix HL05 for $15.

On the Fenix website they specify a weight of 13g, without batteries. So with two CR2032 batteries (Energizer brand 240mAH = 3g each) I expected a 19g headlamp. It seemed heavier than that to me when I examined it, and indeed it *is* heavier. The weight specification on the website is deceptive in that it does not include the weight of the headband strap.

Headlamp weight: 13.1g
Batteries: 2.8g each (cheap Chinese batteries that came with it)
Strap: 10.1g
------------------
Total: 28.8g

So it's 29g headlamp... or a 19g light that you could clip onto something. My keychain light is smaller, lighter, and outputs a nice bright light. The light from the Fenix is somewhat dim and diffuse.

It was only $15. I'll still find some use for it.
But I wouldn't have bought it if they'd been honest about the weight.

Caveat emptor.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Orion » Fri 04 Aug, 2017 1:43 am

Neo wrote:Noticed I've now lost the little clip off the Ion casing so using some tape to prevent bumping it and dropping off.

I still like it but can anyone suggest a headlamp that uses two aaa batteries? Will keep my eyes out for one too.


I'm not a big fan of Fenix lights at the moment, but the Fenix HL15 uses 2 AAA batteries.

I've wondered about using one of those tiny boost regulators in a headlamp designed for 3 AAA. I'm pretty sure one would fit in the battery compartment where a removed AAA battery had been. I just don't know if I'd need to do something more than simply wire the the regulator in between the batteries and the headlamp circuitry.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Neo » Thu 24 Aug, 2017 6:45 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Neo wrote:...t can anyone suggest a headlamp that uses two aaa batteries? .

Princeton Tec Byte.
It's a basic light - red, low, high, off. Small, light enough. Nat a bad light for camp use - haven't walked with it yet.


I bought a PTec Byte from Wildearth for $40.38 and quite like it.
It is slightly bigger than the Ion model I have due to its bracket for tilting.
Takes any two aaa no worries.
Has a rubbery button on top for changing from red, white then to a bright led.
Has a lock slide on one end to prevent accidental turning on.
Is comfortable and can sleep with it on.
Compared to my Ion which had a diffused light, the red light is more useful, to almost 2m. The first white light is good to 10m+ then the max bright is good to say 40m+.
Is somewhere between a spot and broad beam.
Does not have a strobe function and to turn off you must cycle through the other beams.
All round a nice simple package.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby rcaffin » Sat 26 Aug, 2017 6:11 pm

Small LED lights are now available from Asia for a few bob. They work just as well as the old brand-name ones, at <1/10 the price. Try
GearBest
BangGood
eBay

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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Neo » Sat 26 Aug, 2017 6:16 pm

An uncle of mine gets a fair few gizmos from Gearbest. Postage varies from fast to a couple of months.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby jeremyw » Sun 24 Sep, 2017 1:38 pm

Orion wrote:As an alternative to my sometimes awkward 12g keychain light, I bought a Fenix HL05 for $15.

On the Fenix website they specify a weight of 13g, without batteries. So with two CR2032 batteries (Energizer brand 240mAH = 3g each) I expected a 19g headlamp. It seemed heavier than that to me when I examined it, and indeed it *is* heavier. The weight specification on the website is deceptive in that it does not include the weight of the headband strap.

Headlamp weight: 13.1g
Batteries: 2.8g each (cheap Chinese batteries that came with it)
Strap: 10.1g
------------------
Total: 28.8g

So it's 29g headlamp... or a 19g light that you could clip onto something. My keychain light is smaller, lighter, and outputs a nice bright light. The light from the Fenix is somewhat dim and diffuse.

It was only $15. I'll still find some use for it.
But I wouldn't have bought it if they'd been honest about the weight.

Caveat emptor.


Aren't those basically little "i'm here" lights you put on your arms, backpack and things while running at night? Can't imagine they're really useful. And including strap weight I'd rather jump up to the single AAA fenix hl23 - though from your post now I'm not sure if that includes strap weight or not.

Personally I'm looking to change from a headlamp and just get a single AA fenix like the LD09 (35g) /LD12 (58g) but its a hard toss up for the lighter AAA LD02 (16g). The LD09 has a crazy runtime on low (50h) while LD02 only has 14h on low.

And I believe AA battery weight isn't that far off AAA does anyone know?
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby CasualNerd » Sun 24 Sep, 2017 1:48 pm

I've just received a cheap naturehike headlamp - $17 usd, 76 grams, great beam pattern and useful modes, waterproof, usb rechargeable. Only downside is a small internal battery.

"cheap" gear is getting better and better.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Mark F » Sun 24 Sep, 2017 1:59 pm

Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) AA = 16g, AAA = 8g
NiMH (Enerloop X) AA = 30g, AAA = 13g
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby jeremyw » Sun 24 Sep, 2017 11:18 pm

Mark F wrote:Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) AA = 16g, AAA = 8g
NiMH (Enerloop X) AA = 30g, AAA = 13g


Is this from Wikipedia? I could be wrong or thinking of something else but I'm pretty sure I've weighed my lithium AAA in at 24g a pop.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby keithy » Mon 25 Sep, 2017 12:58 am

jeremyw wrote:Is this from Wikipedia? I could be wrong or thinking of something else but I'm pretty sure I've weighed my lithium AAA in at 24g a pop.


jeremy you might be thinking of something else. 25g is too heavy for an AAA lithium primary cell.

For example, my Energizer L92 Ultimate Lithium AAA primary cells are under 8 grams. Here is the datasheet. http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/l92.pdf

My Energizer L91 Ultimate Lithium AA primary cells, they are 15 grams each. The datasheet again http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/l91.pdf

For 2000mAh AA Eneloops, they are typically around 27 grams. For the 2450mAh AA Eneloop Pros they are around 30 grams.

For the 800mAh AAA Eneloops and the 950mAh AAA Eneloop Pros they are both around 13g.

Even alkaline AAAs are only around 11-12g each. Alkaline AAs are usually around 24-25grams each.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Mark F » Mon 25 Sep, 2017 9:52 am

jeremyw wrote:
Mark F wrote:Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) AA = 16g, AAA = 8g
NiMH (Enerloop X) AA = 30g, AAA = 13g


Is this from Wikipedia? I could be wrong or thinking of something else but I'm pretty sure I've weighed my lithium AAA in at 24g a pop.

No, I have the weights in my gear spreadsheet based on my scales. I also checked the weight on the scales before posting.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Mark F » Mon 25 Sep, 2017 10:11 am

For a lightweight headlamp I am currently using a Petzl Zipka which has the benefit of of being able to use either 3 x AAA batteries or a rechargeable Li battery. It provides plenty of light up to 200 lm along with red. The weight of the headlamp is 32g + 23g for the Core rechargeable battery (standard micro USB recharge). My only quibble is that you can't adjust the vertical orientation of the headlight except by moving it up or down your forehead but this is true of most of the very lightweight headlamps. I am contemplating updating to the Tikka model which does have the vertical adjustability or the Actik which seems to be the equivalent of my old Tikka XP2 which is even brighter and has narrow and wide beams - but this choice is starting to move beyond the purpose of this thread.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby jeremyw » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 11:32 pm

Mark F wrote:No, I have the weights in my gear spreadsheet based on my scales. I also checked the weight on the scales before posting.


Yup, my lighterpack was a lie.

For anyone wandering over this thread, you might like to know there is a new petzl coming usb rechargable, 36g, white,red,strobe functions, white light burn times 50h (5lm) /3h (100lm) /2h (200lm) Looks like it will have better throw than the newer petzl elite too.

https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/New/BINDI
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby Orion » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 8:35 am

jeremyw wrote:
Orion wrote:As an alternative to my sometimes awkward 12g keychain light, I bought a Fenix HL05 for $15...


Aren't those basically little "i'm here" lights you put on your arms, backpack and things while running at night? Can't imagine they're really useful.


I think the Fenix HL05 is.

But my keychain LED is quite bright in comparison, more than adequate for camp and even capable, albeit not ideal, for walking along a track in the dark. It's the light I take on trips in mid-summer as I hardly need any sort of light that time of year. Sometimes I go for a few days without turning it on.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby johnw » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 8:19 pm

Slightly OT, but only slightly. What small/light headlamp has the brightest/longest throw RED led? I'm thinking for spotlighting use. My PTec Byte (on red) is useful at short range around camp but doesn't have the reach for anything more.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby CasualNerd » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 10:47 pm

johnw wrote:Slightly OT, but only slightly. What small/light headlamp has the brightest/longest throw RED led? I'm thinking for spotlighting use. My PTec Byte (on red) is useful at short range around camp but doesn't have the reach for anything more.

Not many on red use anything but the little leds, might be worth getting a red filter for your current torch.
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Re: Headlamp [Headlight] - Small and Light. Suggestions?

Postby biggbird » Sat 11 Nov, 2017 10:11 am

magoo wrote:This looks interesting:
http://www.litesmith.com/nitecore-nu20- ... -headlamp/

32.9g (using ultralight headband)/ 350 lumen (max)

Seems to be lightest USB rechargeable headlamp with a decent brightness level.

OP wanted a decent head strap - which can be had for a 20g weight penalty.


My partner and I both have one of these each now. The shock cord head strap is plenty comfortable and the lights work well. Haven't used them extensively yet, but I'm pretty happy! 32g on my scales.
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