Backpack Hunting Headlamps


Well-Known Member
Feb 9, 2013
(We had 5 days planned buy got out in only 3, that is how the deer came to rest in the ditch, not very dignified but we were in a hurry as it got dark)
I have been rock climbing, mountaineering, and backpacking for many years so I've been thru a lot of headlamps. What works for following a trail won't work to see far enough to know if you are rappelling off a cliff, or if you're climbing up a dead end route. The technology keeps getting better so there's always new options. Here's what I used on my GF's back country hunt in the Sierra's last weekend. I'm slammed at work but I'll see if I can get out photos together for a report.
I have a Coast HL7 and a Black Diamond Revolt.
The Coast has a focusable beam, variable intensity, lots of light to see over 100 yards, takes 3AAA batteries, lightweight, compact, and it's cheap. Things I don't like; bezel is hard to focus with one hand(might be able to lube it), wire from battery pack to light sticks out and can snag on brush(fixable), and low life when on full power(like all others, no way around that). A whole lot of lamp for your money.
The BD Revolt is rechargeable which puts it in another category. With the solar charging pack ( I have a cheap ~$10 Hong Kong special)we recharged cell phones(camera only, no cell service on the trip), GPS(it has a camera too), etc. This light has a couple preset intensities, not quite as bright and focused as the Coast( a little over 60 yards), a red light that's nice for not blinding yourself & others, a strobe, is lightweight, compact, takes 3 AAA(standard or rechargeable), and has a 3 level battery indicator. My buddies lamp went dead and he has to use my Revolt and he's going to buy one.

Some reviews of headlamps
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My choice over the years as been Princeton Tech headlamps. They are US made and have great customer service. They even fixed an out-of-production nine headlamp for me. I found they are somewhat more reliable than PETZL headlamps.

Princeton Tech has some military headlamps as well that are even more robust than their very durable civilian models.

Eric B.
Zebra light for me. I use the one that uses one AA battery as my gps also has AA batteries as a backup. Then I don't have to carry multiple types of batteries. Also very bright, multiple settings and well made.
There are lots of options nowadays. I'm currently using a Feenix HL55. After 1 year of hunting use, so far so good. It uses the larger rechargeable lithium battery, which I also use in handheld flashlights. So that's another convenience. The single cell lithium battery is light in weight and provides good longevity.
Another consideration is how batteries work; a lithium battery will typically deliver constant voltage for the entire life of the battery, while others don't do this and as the voltage drops the battery starts to more or less lose its power much faster(simply put).
An Energizer AAA Lithium has 1250 mAh(not rechargeable) giving it 1/3rd more capcaity

while the
AAA Energizer Rechargeable NiMH AAA Rechargeables have 800 mAh
I’ve even using the BD Storm and am very happy with it. Just bought my wife the newest version this year and the functions are very well thought out. Variable brightness settings and then a tap with your finger toggles between high power and your lower power setting. Also has a great low power wide angle LED that is perfect for making dinner and doing stuff around camp.
First set of lithium AAA (4) lasted from Friday night through Monday night, using it both morning and night to get to my hunting spots and back to camp. Did not see camp in daylight until sundown Monday when I got back with elk quarters. I was careful with power settings so the batteries lasted what I considered to be a very long time.
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