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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2013

Editors' Choice 2013: Black Diamond Equipment ReVolt

Recharge the batteries or swap them out with standard AAAs; you'll never be in the dark.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Black Diamond Equipment ReVolt (Ben Fullerton)
Black Diamond Equipment ReVolt (Ben Fullerton)

Here’s a win-win proposition: This eco-friendly light saves you money and keeps batteries out of landfills, but won’t leave you lightless when you’re deep in the backcountry, far from a power supply. The well-priced, extremely bright, rechargeable ReVolt runs on disposable cells as well as the included NiMH rechargeable batteries. We used its rechargeable option for short trips, but packed AAA alkalines on trips longer than a weekend (beyond a single charge). The headlamp powers up via an included USB cord. “I loved that I could top off the rechargeables at home or by plugging it into the USB port on my laptop (while traveling) or in my car (on the way to the trailhead), so I always had full power when I started out, rather than half-drained batteries, as often happens,” says one tester, who says she never had to use disposables in six months of testing.

“The 110-lumen beam was powerful enough for hiking through canyon country in the dark when we had to cover 48 miles on an overnight stage during the Grand to Grand Ultra stage race in Utah,” says one editor. And when the moon was bright enough for walking, he used the red setting to check the map without losing night vision. Another tester, who depended on the ReVolt during two back-to-back bushwalking trips in Tasmania, used the dimmer setting to read after her tentmate went to sleep. According to our tests, you can expect about 50 hours of usable burn time on the brightest setting with fresh alkaline batteries, and about 10 hours when the ReVolt’s cells are fully charged. The housing also serves as a dock for other NiMH rechargeable batteries, so you can use the headlamp to juice up all of your rechargeable AAAs. $60; 3.4 oz. (with batteries);

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