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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Editors' Choice 2009: Mammut X-Zoom Headlamp

Forget brightest or lightest–get the most versatile headlamp. Ever.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Mammut X-Zoom (Courtesy Photo)
Mammut X-Zoom (Courtesy Photo)

MORE EDITORS' CHOICE WINNERS
See more gear that made the cut in our 2009 awards.
Yes, you could have a drawer full of headlamps that do everything the X-Zoom does–but then you'd have to pack a drawer full of headlamps. This groundbreaking model adjusts from broad flood to tightly focused spot with a twist of the wrist, so it does it all–from nailing a trail sign a hundred yards out (on maximum brightness) to lighting a book without blinding you (on the lowest, most diffuse setting).

The X-Zoom tilts easily and securely, and rides in stable style thanks to a very lightweight bulb housing and wide head strap. Battery life is superior: Our test model burned for 36 hours straight on high beam using alkalines. It weighs a few ounces more than some hikers will want for fast-and-light trips, but for trekkers who deal with alpine starts, midnight finishes, after-dark cooking, camp chores, and tent reading–all on one trek–this is your lamp. $100; 7.3 oz with 3 AAAs; mammut.com

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T2
Dec 11, 2011

It uses AA batteries! - great from a logistics perspective.

Pete W
Mar 16, 2010

Forgot what SF has said below as they are completely misinformed, either not having ever used the X-Zoom or not read the instructions.
Firstly, it does have red LED's which CAN be operated in constant mode not just blink mode AND without the main lamp switched on. Therefore you can reverse it on your head for night time use..

Secondly, the main LED DOES have a blink feature which corresponds to the Alpine Emergency Signal of 6 times per minute, every other minute..

No real revolution in headlamp design: For an LED headlamp the focusing system is a standout, as mt_mtr said "I think what they left out is that this Mammut can focus unlike other LED lamps. Just like our old halogen head lamps." Outstanding!

This could be the best all round headlamp out there, durability, battery life, focusing and red LED's for cycling and night vision.

So if you don't use a headlamp enough to justify paying a little more or if you think that this is heavy (I doubt most people would) then don't buy it, but otherwise try it out!




Matt
Mar 09, 2010

You cant beat the LED LENSER H7! Best spot light, I mean headlamp on the market. I can see a barn thats 300 yards away no problem in the pitch black night. Was going to get the Petzl MYO but after research and some youtube videos, I am very satisfied with my decision. And half the price! Oh yeah, lowes carries them for $49.99. 170 lumens!

Kurt Hornicek
Dec 07, 2009

Backpacker is right about this light for those of us that really use a headlamp. If you don't wander 20 ft. past your tent at night, then this is not your light. I have been looking for a an LED headlamp that does the job for night search operations as a K-9 handler and alpine starts for climbing. This is it. Easy to use, projects a sharp bright beam, and doesn't need a drawer or pack full of batteries to get the job done. If you want to help save a life and maybe even your own, this light rocks!

jopado
Dec 02, 2009

I have yo wonder which ground, exactly, this rather ordinary headlamp is breaking.

SF
Nov 22, 2009

The article is missing information and over hyping the lamp. It's a great lamp but I don't think I would characterize it as groundbreaking.

*Firstly, it is expensive. Bang-for-your-buck is low.
*It DOES have Red LED's (3) but they are on the battery pack and swinging the headlamp around and using the Red LED's to preserve night vision is not practical because firstly it only has blink mode, and secondly you can only enable the Red LED's when the main lamp is on so you ruin night vision for anyone behind you (aside from wasting battery power). This oversight is almost a fatal flaw of this lamp.

In fact the only real usefullness the blinking Red LED's have (in my opinion) is when you are Bike Riding at night. Otherwise, anyone hiking behind you (even far away) will not have difficulty noticing you if you have the main lamp on.

*Consequently, the main LED has no blink feature. I don't see why they couldn't have thrown that in.

So counter to what Backpacker Mag claims, you will still need a "Drawer full of headlamps" to do all the stuff you need a headlamp to do even with the X-Zoom.

*The article had a typo, it uses three (3) AA NOT AAA batteries which makes the lamp a little heavy but definately less than half a pound.

*It is a little on the bulky side with no real revolution in headlamp design.

*I know I've been sounding negative but for $100 I expect perfection. If it was $60, then it would be the Holy Grail of Headlamps.

Having said that, the X-Zoom is a well built headlamp that fits beautifully with a damn bright LED that will be the GO-TO lamp in my drawer full of headlamps for years to come.

Carolyn h
Oct 20, 2009

$100 for a headlamp?!?! Are you nuts?

Saunders
Oct 17, 2009

A half pound on my head? Sometimes I wonder about these editor's choice awards.

Flatwaterkayak
Sep 17, 2009

This headlamp digs into my forehead. Unless you are wearing a stocking cap I wouldn't recommend it for extended use. Lithium batteries are a must. Three AA alkaline batteries make the lamp too heavy and a modern day torture device. I wasted $100. Backpacker awards are usually good but this was a swing and a miss.

mt_mtnr
Aug 31, 2009

I think what they left out is that this Mammut can focus unlike other LED lamps. Just like our old halogen head lamps.

James
Aug 27, 2009

No red, no buy. Heck, the cheap Eveready headlamps at Wally world have several modes including red, plenty of light and one set of batteries lasted me 6 nights of occasional use and it still has some left.

Tom
Aug 17, 2009

No red night-vision-saving feature? Boo

Perry Clark
Aug 06, 2009

Bulb type and projected life? Measured light output at various settings? Groundbreaking how? Lots of headlamps produce close-in flood and distant spot capabilities. Durability of construction? There's lots of potentially useful information left out here....

David
Jul 20, 2009

This lamp uses 3 AAs, NOT AAAs. See Mammut's website for confirmation.

David
Jul 20, 2009

This lamp uses 3 AAs, NOT AAAs. See Mammut's website for confirmation.

ChrisCP
May 07, 2009

My LED Lenser H7 does the same for $60. Flood to spot, bright to dim, also using AAAs.

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