Hybrid headlamps: Light the way with normal batteries or rechargeable packs

Headlamps are getting brighter, lasting longer and catering to a variety of needs, whether it’s an alpine climb, mountain biking at night or hanging out in camp with the kids. But it’s the power source that is this year’s biggest difference.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:

Headlamps are getting brighter, lasting longer and catering to a variety of needs, whether it’s an alpine climb, mountain biking at night or hanging out in camp with the kids. But it’s the power source that is this year’s biggest difference.



Companies see as an opportunity to focus on environmental sustainability with energy, said Sus Edmundson, headlamp division manager at Petzl. “Consumers appreciate knowing that the products they purchase have a minimal impact on our planet,” and in that vein, almost every new light featured below is rechargeable.

Similar to range anxiety with all-electric vehicles, consumers aren’t ready to go completely rechargeable yet. Hence the hybrid models: The latest breed of headlamps on the show floor can use both rechargeable packs and regular batteries. The Black Diamond ReVolt (MSRP $60) and Brunton Glacier 115 (MSRP $70) are examples. As an added bonus, you don’t even need one of those pesky battery chargers; the reusable batteries (which come with the headlamps) can be recharged via a USB cable.



Black Diamond Revolt

Alternative lighting products are getting more attention, and the Brunton Wow (MSRP $47) and Black Diamond Voyager (MSRP $50) are prime examples. The Voyager switches effortlessly between a lantern and a flashlight in one compact, energy-efficient package. The Wow features three flexible, magnetic legs that allow it to stick to any metal surface, stand on its own, wrap around a tree branch or hang from loops inside a tent. Even further out there, the Snow Peak Lapel Torch (MSRP $70) offers a flexible lighting solution that you can wear via a magnetic clip that attaches virtually anywhere on your clothing.



Brunton Wow

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Snow Peak Lapel Torch

With increasingly busy schedules, more people are getting their exercise after the sun goes down. Thanks to a new crop of super-powerful headlamps, this has become a more appealing option, especially with the two new high-end lights from Petzl. The Rush (MSRP $430), with an astounding 700 lumens, is perfect for fast-paced activities where lighting is crucial, such as trail running, skiing or mountain biking at night. Four different lighting levels are easily selected with a rotating knob, allowing users to choose the optimal combination of power and battery life for their activity. For those who need less power, but still rather a lot, the Vario (MSRP $430) offers 450 lumens, ideal for cavers and mountaineers. Charge time on both is three hours for the lithium ion rechargeable battery.



Petzl Ultra Vario

Sometimes you just want a simple but powerful headlamp. The Princteon Tec Apex Rechargeable (MSRP $150) features 200 lumens and a burn time of 90 hours. The rechargeable battery can be powered from any USB outlet, and takes about three hours for a full charge.



Princeton Tec Apex Rechargable

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--BJ Sbarra

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