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Looking to upgrade my headlamp - recommendations?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by bcWRX-02, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. bcWRX-02

    bcWRX-02 Loaded Pockets

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    Currently I have a Zebralight H502d and while I like the UI and find it great for close-up work, I'm finding for hiking/camping I need something with more lumens and throw.

    The want list:
    - battery type - doesn't really matter, although being able to run alkaline AA's in a pinch would be handy, I intend to run Li Ion's primarily
    - neutral or high CRI tint is a must
    - moonlight mode (<1 lm), I find I use moonlight a lot on my S1 and Quark and the low on my ZL so would like to retain that feature
    - a good flood/throw balance, this is mostly for night hikes and camping but I do some night skiing as well so having enough throw to navigate at speed would be helpful
    - high/burst of 500lm or greater

    I've been looking at a couple Fenix offerings - the HL35 and HL60R. The HL35 is nice in that it uses AA or 14500, but the 950lm output and rechargeable 18650 in the HL60R is appealing as well. Zebralight is on the table as well as I do like the brand, possibly the H600?

    Open to other recommendations or feedback from those with any of the Fenix or Zebralights mentioned, ideally someone who owns both for a comparison? Cheers!
     
  2. jpmac55

    jpmac55 Empty Pockets

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    My favorite headlight is the versatile Fenix HL50.

    Works with either a CR123A or AA battery. It weighs just under 2 oz and the light is removable for hand holding if you wish. I haven't tried using an AA because I like having the 365 Lumen burst you get from the single CR123A battery.
     
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  3. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    We use headlamps extensively around our ranch and livestock. Much of what we do is done before the sun comes up (and soon, after the sun goes down). We've tried about every headlamp on the market and have a fair amount of experience with them.

    A couple lamps which really stand out might surprise you. One we purchased recently is the Energizer 250 lumen LED. It has (3) brightness modes, and the brightest is exceptionally bright and provides wide coverage. The cost is only about $14.

    The other light we've had very good luck with is the Browning 3v headlamp (this is also known as the Pro Hunter in some areas). It also has multiple brightness modes, as well as red and green LED's to preserve night vision and/or follow blood trails. The cost is about $37. This light performs exceptionally well in wet/ugly weather conditions.

    The Energizer light uses AAA batteries and the Browning utilizes CR123A batteries. And both lights are a pretty good value.

    Note - We generally don't use headlamps with battery packs on the back of the head, or on your belt. They're just too unwieldy for what we do. We generally like a lamp and battery pack all in one and an elastic strap we can put on over a hat, or under a hood.
     
  4. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Me too!

    I have never used mine with a 123 though and love that it will run AA which is my preference.

    I am in racks and dark crawls all day pretty often and my ZL headlamps were the mainstay for a long time but since finding the HL50 it is a go-to light now as well.
    Fenix seems to not comprehend the idea of Moonlight but the low is low enough to be practical for me these days especially since it is such a nicely made and rugged light pretty much just like the ZL s that I use.
    I carry an SC52 every minute that I am wearing pants and have since they were released.

    I also really like the Black Diamond cheap lights for this. They are cheap,plastic and not as bright maybe as other lights we talk about a lot but they also DIM!
    Pretty handy for sure.
     
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  5. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    I've ended up buying several Fenix HL50s. My wife runs hers exclusively off of AAs and is very happy with its performance. I tend to run CR123A only and of course the performance is better. We've had no problems.
     
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  6. Highbinder

    Highbinder Loaded Pockets

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    I absolutely love my H600. Just like you I came from a H502. Same ZL UI, but with much better output. If you have any specific questions just ask.
     
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  7. Henryhoover

    Henryhoover Loaded Pockets

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    AA zebra lights for me I've got the 18650 version too which is great but the AA ones are what I carry everyday bright enough for everything and easy enough to get batteries for anywhere.
     
  8. bcWRX-02

    bcWRX-02 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the suggestions gents. Highbinder appreciate the input, how do you find the larger 18650 body as far as weight and comfort is concerned? I love that I don't even notice the H502 on my head, however I hardly notice the output too, which is the problem!
     
  9. kensington

    kensington Loaded Pockets

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    I also love my Fenix HL50 for it's versatility and size. Different battery types, removable and small. I do dislike the implementation of the Turbo mode, kind of silly for a headlamp in my opinion.

    For more powah I go to my Nitecore HC50. I also like my Thrunite TH10, a little bulky but I think it has some nice low modes.

    I would like to get my hands on a Zebralight at some point as well as an Armytek.