Petzl Myo 5 Headlamp

We know…not another headlamp review! Headlamps with LEDs are becoming about as unique as cars with power windows, but every now and then, one company manages to put a complete package together that somehow outshines the rest. The Petzl Myo 5 is such a headlamp.

Petzl Myo 5 Headlamp

We know…not another headlamp review! Headlamps with LEDs are becoming about as unique as cars with power windows, but every now and then, one company manages to put a complete package together that somehow outshines the rest. The Petzl Myo 5 is such a headlamp.

To begin with, the Myo 5 sports a 3-point fully adjustable elastic suspension system that is extremely comfortable and secure -- one of our testers wore it all night during a recent Western States run along the American River.

The battery compartment holds 4 AA batteries and is mounted securely in the rear with the opening for the box on the side. We did find the battery compartment a tad challenging to open which is good in that it can't open inadvertently, but bad if you have wet or cold fingers as one of our testers did on more than one occasion.

The power cord is coiled to allow greater comfort and movement, prevent cord strain, and keep loose bits from flapping around -- thumbs up there. Two clips, one of which holds a spare bulb (very smart), support the cord.

In addition to the focusing xenon halogen bulb, the Myo 5 features, yes, 5 LEDs that are electronically regulated to maintain consistent brightness throughout the battery life. The light is turned on with relative ease by twisting the lamp bezel, which first activates the LED lights. Quickly turning on and off the LEDs changes the LED brightness settings from medium to high and then to low, in that order. Continuing to twist the bezel counterclockwise past the LED activation turns on the main lamp, which also has a focusing beam. While the bezel switch can be activated and manipulated with only one hand, several of our testers, who like to wear their headlamps a bit looser than others, found it necessary to employ both hands to properly work the light -- not a problem, just an inconvenience.

The lamp can be pivoted vertically on a ratchet very easily to direct the light where you need it, and the LED array is appropriately shaded so the glare of the lights does not cast a distracting light into the eyes -- a major plus on this lamp and a weak point on other lamps we have tested. One nifty feature is a simple little notch in the top of the bezel which matches up with a small tab when the bezel is pushed back in its full upright position. This locks the lamp in the off position preventing accidental activation in the pack or luggage -- a very good feature!

Bulb replacement is very easy, and thanks to the shape of the light, can even be done with a bit of practice in the dark -- when was the last time you needed to change a bulb when it was light out? Exactly. Again, nice job Petzl!

All-in-all, Petzl has managed to assemble a magical headlamp that provides lighting needs suitable for every conceivable camp or trail scenario. The Myo 5 has many subtle design features that become noticeable mostly when you use another company's headlamp and realize it just isn't quite as good.

SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested retail: $77

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