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I wanted an above the average headlamp and this more than meets my needs. As with many other people the functions take a while to get used to but you will figure it out. The light intensity is enough and the batteries die after a couple of weeks camping so a stronger lumen will kill them quicker. Just been 2 months travelling from festival to festival all summer and this headlamp more than met my needs. can highly recommend. If you need extremely powerful illumination then this is not for you, but for getting to your tent and getting things done it really does the trick. very happy with this headlamp
I use this for dog walks & astronomy. I love the fact that power off/on preserves the mode (White/Spot/Red) & brightness setting, so I don’t have to click through all modes each time I turn it on. The lamp has sturdy construction & will resist rain/snow. Only negative: the beam spread for White is too narrow, while the Red is too wide — opposite of my preference.
If your dad is anything like mine, then you’ll know how he just goes out and buys anything he needs/wants. Clothes? He’s got enough. Tools? Yeah, keep thinkin’! A gag gift?! Can’t think of anything. Another flashlight?! Mmmm we have been collecting enough LED-based flashlights from the last few years...but does he have a light that wraps around his head so he could be hands free in an emergency or anything else...! No?! Sweet!! (He does have a couple cheap pop-up LED lanterns from Costco, but those don't offer the same convenience as a good headlamp would imo.)
Now I just have to browse online for a few hours (because we all have the time) for a decent but not too expensive headlamp. Note: Parents already had a (very) cheap LED headlamp that I found in their garage that also takes 3 AAA batteries, but it was a no name brand, the headband was completely useless and falling apart, and it wasn’t all that bright anyway... I would say maybe 10 lumens of the bright blue-tinted LED light output...and that was after installing fresh batteries. They didn’t even know where the cheap LED headlamp came from, or who bought it haha!! Yeah, time for an upgrade!
So, I didn’t feel like buying any of the random name brands that are bestsellers on amazon...as some of the flashlight brands we have had are cheap feeling and don’t have that quality feel, and/or it came in cheap packaging, and/or the manuals clearly were written in a rush with pretty poor English overall.
After searching online, the brand decision came down to just a few; Petzel, Thrunite, Felix, and BlackDiamond.
Checklist: buy something that is practical and easy to use, any color but black so it will stand out, decent price range ($35 or less), preferably takes disposable AAA batteries as lithium batteries probably won’t be replaceable (as there will be new products being pushed out) since in 5-10 years when the lithium battery eventually degrades in capacity you won’t want to use it....plus no charging needed...(everything is so disposable today with lithium-ion/polymer rechargeable batteries) with AAA just install and go, and I know he always has AAA batteries on hand from Costco anyway, so that helps. Knowing your dad helps haha! I know this AAA battery headlamp model will (should) work whenever he needs it in the future without concern that the lithium battery becomes eventually useless! Very smart!
I almost ordered the Thrunite TH20 (520 lumen) model. $30 for it seemed reasonable. Fenix branded headlamps just seemed too much for the convenience of having a light on your head. Besides, my dad won’t be mountain climbing or hiking any time soon, and that 0.01% chance he does at this point in his life, he’ll buy what he needs anyway! Petzel has some really great choices for the price and lumens as they were my 2nd choice.
Then I saw this LED headlamp... • Yellow model (not black, check) • $14.99 for a BlackDiamond headlamp (ok not their best model, but a very decent price for a good brand, check!!) • Takes 3 AAA batteries (check!) • Good reviews, not too many negative (bonus check!)
= We have a winner!
It worked great out of the package on Father’s Day with the included AAA batteries and we were testing it outside in the bright Southern California afternoon sunlight under some shade and this baby could easily be seen reflecting off surfaces nearby and far away! It didn’t take him that long to read the manual to remember how to use it either. The red LED is good too and I wasn’t looking for that feature, but it works fine. My dad even threw away the box packaging the same day, but I took the box out of the trash and saved it for later in their garage haha.
The only color of this model that was cheaper on amazon than yellow was “burnt olive.” It didn’t look as appealing as yellow, or stick out as much as I wanted with the yellow model, and for a couple bucks more opted for the yellow color, and I did not regret it.
I think I lucked out on the price. I keep checking back here every now and then during the pandemic and the yellow model is either sold out or quite a bit more than $15.
** Edited for grammar & improved flow on 8/18/2020, and yes, the headlamp still functions great! **