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snapier


Dec 5, 2002, 10:29 AM
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Headlamp for running?
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Ok to start off - I'm lazy. I kinda looked around to see if there were any posts that reviewed headlamps, etc. I didn't find anything after a few pages of looking and decided I would just ask my question.

I went to www.outdoorreview.com and looked at their reviews for headlamps a little. Then gave up.

My question is:

What is a good headlamp for running? I'm training for a marathon and I have to do most of my running at night. I think the headlamp is a good idea for me as I will be more visible to cars on the road and I will also be able to see stuff in front of me (grates in the road, branches, curbs, etc.).

What I am looking for in a headlamp:

1) Strong lamp power - so I can see far in front of me while running.
2) Lightwieght would be nice
3) Something that won't bob around on me the whole time I'm running. I need it to stay in place.

I'm not really up on all the technologies (LCD vs. whatever else)...

Does anyone have some recommendations to get me started? I have an REI kinda nearby and I'm gonna go there to try some things on but I thought I'd get some opinions first.

Thanks in advance to all who can help me out!

rock? rock on!


coreyr


Dec 5, 2002, 10:34 AM
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 Petzl tikka. Very small, adjustable, light weight and puts out plenty of light. I'm very happy with mine. Corey

[ This Message was edited by: coreyr on 2002-12-05 10:34 ]


lostangel


Dec 5, 2002, 10:36 AM
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Personally I would get soemthing with LCD lights in it, they are ultra bright and most of them are light weight. Like Corey saied the Petzl Tikka is good.



[ This Message was edited by: lostangel on 2002-12-05 10:38 ]


snapier


Dec 5, 2002, 10:38 AM
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Wow! 2 replys right away! Thanks guys! As for running in the dark...I don't know how it will work. I'm hoping that I won't get dizzy.

I've run in the dark before and there is usually enough light (from cars, streetlamps, the moon) to keep me ok...


clymbhigh33


Dec 5, 2002, 10:40 AM
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Snapier,

Well...the technology is fairly straight forward here. Traditional headlamps use a halogen or similiar type bulb, have a seperate or integrated battery pack (usually on the back of the headband) and provide quite a bit of varying light for spot or flood. LED headlamps are by far 75% lighter than traditional headlamps...I use the new Petzyl LED headlamp when I climb (Alpine) although it does not offer the distance of beam that a traditional headtorch will...the offset is comfort, less weight, and longer battery life. Black Diamond and others now have headlamps that utilize both LED and Traditional bulb technology (that may better suite you if your looking for a lot of distant light???). I think you should go and test several out at REI. The LED is definitly going to provide you with the most comfortable, and stable platform in which to run with...and will probably offer a sufficient light pattern for running.

Hope my 2 cents helps....


mikedano


Dec 5, 2002, 10:43 AM
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I was just browsing the REI catalog and they've got that new Black Diamond headlamp for $22!!!!
That's pretty cheap if you ask me.


whitenight


Dec 5, 2002, 10:45 AM
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My sister and dad use the Petzl Tikka and they like them. I just go a Petzl Zipka and love it, in truth I have only used it a couple of times. It has a retractable band that adjusts automatically. It could easily be worn on your arm or elsewhere if you would like. The only downfall I found is if you wear a baseball type cap, the ground right in front of you is kept dark because of the brim. But it is probably stocking hat weather right now anyway. Happy Trails!


snapier


Dec 5, 2002, 10:58 AM
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I have 2 questions about the Tikka:

1) I read some reviews that said sweat / saltwater does some damage to the headlamp and switch (shorting out batteries, etc.) Anyone else experience problems with this?

2) The specs say that it burns for 12 hours on max light and then 150 on a lower light. Is there a big difference when the 12 hours is thorugh? Would I have to replace the batteries every 12 hours?

Thanks again to everyone who's been posting!


clymbhigh33


Dec 5, 2002, 11:05 AM
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Snapier,

In theory...if you burned your lamp CONTINUOUSLY for 12 hours, yes...it would need a new battery. The way the companies calculate burn time is quite tricky. What it means is the amount of continuous burn time in which the lamp will provide "useable" light, whatever that means?????? I dont know.
With ambient light I would think you would be ok in most cases with the light on low power. Besides your eyes will adjust to the darkness....
If you plan on running for 12 hours straight with the torch on high....better keep a stock of batteries around!

As far as shorting...my lamp has always been on my helmet...so it does not get hit with much sweat, but...no ill effects from snow and rain thus far.



jerrygarcia


Dec 5, 2002, 11:15 AM
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I second the tikka.


heelhooker


Dec 5, 2002, 11:15 AM
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Let me take a little different approach. I do alot of running at night (it is Alaska, it's night half the year!)

First, ask yourself if you really need a head lamp to see. I've come to love my runs under the stars and moonlight. Why wreck it with too much man made light? I do have the occassional oncoming car that blinds me and for that I wear a ball cap and tuck my head to block glare, and i do carry a small, single LED light to shine at my feet so i can still see the shoulder and don't drift into traffic.

Second, being visable will save your life and I think that better than a head lamp you should invest in one or two red LED "blinky lights". Battery life is great, they are less intrusive to you, and they really grab the attention of drivers. True life savers. I bike with them and I run with one front and one back.

Third, if you do really want to go headlamp you might look at the Princeton Tec Aurora. I haven't tried it out yet, but it is similar to the Tikka, waterproof(!), has different power settings including a flash mode, has an adjustable aim, and is cheaper than the Petzyl.

Just some food for thought...


whitenight


Dec 5, 2002, 11:25 AM
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My mom and sister recently went caving and used the both the Tikka and Zipka Petzl lamps. They were covered in clay mud when they got out of the cave. They still work, although some clay got inside and now they don't switch on and off as smoothly as they did before.


data118


Dec 5, 2002, 11:41 AM
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I would go with the Tikka. The BD Ion flaps up and down too much when you go running because of it's smaller and thinner base that's against your forehead.


tradguy


Dec 5, 2002, 11:49 AM
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When my climbing partner and I were in Africa, he got drunk and went running into the ocean with some drunk English girl he met at the beach bar, and his Tikka (which he had in his pocket) got sea-water inside, which shorted the switch and made the thing turn on. I suppose the same thing could possibly happen due to sweat, but I think it would take quite alot of sweating to do it.


flamer


Dec 5, 2002, 1:17 PM
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I've been using the BD moonlight. It is brighter than the tikka(I've compared them)-It has an additional bulb. W/O Batteries it weighs 3.2 oz's- and it had a strap that goes over the top of your head so it doesn't slide down as easy. Also my buddy had some serious problems with the tikka shorting out,
he now has the moonlight and loves it.


vegastradguy


Dec 5, 2002, 1:39 PM
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Moonlight. 70 hours on 3AAA batteries and the weight isnt bad at all. It's my emergency headlamp that I carry on climbs with me. The range on BD LED's is way better than Petzl's. The Moonlight has 4 LED's and is water resistant.

You might even be able to get away with the BD Ion (two LED's), which is like Petzl's Tikka. You get 15 hours one a lithium battery. However, it is tiny and weighs less than an ounce.


spike


Dec 5, 2002, 1:51 PM
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Go with BD Moonlight!
Much brighter than other LED models, plus when not in use it folds down so it doesn't accidently get turned on while in back pack or bag.


wlderdude


Dec 5, 2002, 6:54 PM
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If you are just hoping to be seen and see a few feet in front of you when there is not much light, an LED headlamp should work fine.

If you will be running a lot, the Moonlight will work out the most economical in the long run since it uses AA batteries. The replacement battery for the Ion costs about $7! Ouch!

Rmember that when it gets cold, your battery life is severly depleted. Just because the catalog says that the batteries last x hours, does not mean that they will stay bright enough for your needs or that they will even last half that time when the temperature drops. BD defines usable light as being able to see to the bottom of your pack. What is that, 2 feet?

If you want to be able to see far enough in front of you to really run, you probably need a good halogen bulb. The glare from any light nearby will render LED light useless for seeing anything not right under your nose.

A large reflector will allow you to see better up close and farther a way if you are willing to put up with the added weight and bulk.

I have a Princeton Tech, which I don't use much and a BD Gemeni. I love the Gemeni since it has both LED and hallogen and the LED runs on AA's. It is not as well made as Petzl's regular line, but it works great for my needs.

A red flashing light on your back would definately be a good idea.


kerouac


Dec 5, 2002, 7:47 PM
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I recently bought the Petzl Tikka for trail running and it works great. Running on trails at night tends to be darker than on the street and the Tikka supplies plenty on light for my runs. Happy running.
Gus


boz84


Dec 5, 2002, 8:02 PM
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I believe Petzl classified "usable light" as being able to see to the bottom of a backpack.

Definitely not enough to run by, but if it waere an emergency, you could use the light.


I have the PrincetonTek Matrix pro LED light. it was one of the earlier LEDs and not as nice as the newer ones, but here are the pro's and cons of it.

PRO's
Lightweight (well, this one not so much as some other LED's because PRO number 2...)

It comes with interchangabel bulbs. Like most Princeton Tek's, it came with LED, Halogen, and incandescent, so you can choose preciely the tradeoff between batterylife/brightness you want.

Fits Nicely on the head, very comfortable to wear, even long term... ive falledn asleep with ths thing on, many a time.


CON's

With the LED light adaption:
The light is not nearly as "focused".
Dont expect to see the top of a 60 foot tree. But the light it does give is very spread out and even. It's kind of a pro and a con... depends what you are using the light for.


catra


Dec 5, 2002, 8:27 PM
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Snapier-

I am an ultra runner, I run 100 mile race's that last from 26-35 hours for me.

I use petzel LED Tika head lamp.

It fits snug and doesn't bounce.

The white light is soft and there is no dead spot.

I have used this headlamp for the past two years and love it.


Catra
Ultrarunner/climber


boz84


Dec 5, 2002, 8:31 PM
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Well I'd say this discussion is over...

Thanks catra...

Snapier, go with catra's suggestion, I dont think it gets any hardcore.


galt


Dec 5, 2002, 10:41 PM
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  I'm suprised that no one has mentioned the Princeton Tec Aurora. It's a great LED headlamp that weighs ounces more then the Tika. I DO prefer the Aurora over the Tika because of the adjustable light (you can point the light downward, the Tika is fixed) and the 5 different light setting (Bright, Medium, Low, Slow Stobe, Fast Strobe... the latter 2 are pretty piontless, but nifty).
The burn time on the Aurora is longer (according to the package) then the Tika and I believe it is brighter then the Tika as well. (I didn't try them both on fresh batteries.)
Now to the point of running with it. I would not recomend running with the Aurora! Unfortunatly I believe the joint may loosen while bouncing up and down of a run. I fixed that by duct-taping it (if you ever see it you'll know exactly what I mean).
I love the fact that this headlamp is by Princton Tec (possibly the best flashlight maker on the planet) and quality truly shows.
My 2 cents...


boz84


Dec 6, 2002, 1:58 PM
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Galt, I agree that princeton tek is the bomb.

All I ever use, but for the purpose that snapier will be using it for, I think the Tikka is the way to go, just my two cents however.

If I were getting a new lamp, itd probably be the aurora.


snapier


Dec 7, 2002, 6:32 AM
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Haha. Wow! I expected to get maybe 1 or 2 responses to my question. But instead I got 2 pages! Fantastic! Thanks to all who posted their opinions.

I've plenty of information now, for when I make my big trip out to purchase a headlamp.

Wish me luck and look for me in the Paris Marathon in April... :-)

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