This headlamp stands out for its paltry weight and size, high-beam brightness, and complete feature set—all at an affordable price. The primary LED bangs out 70 lumens, which proved enough for a predawn adventure race start and moonless night-hiking in Colorado’s Front Range. Two low-powered LED bulbs (they’re dimmable) are ideal for camp duty. A large button on top of the housing controls everything, and I could operate it easily while wearing gloves. Three AAA batteries last for more than 100 hours. Props: The rugged casing repelled rain on stormy midnight hikes. Gripe: The power button lacks a lock, which resulted in a few accidental turn-ons inside a pack (see above for a fix). $30; 3.2 oz.; blackdiamondequipment.com
Any backpacker looking for an all-around performer at a great price and weight
» Kristy Holland (other testers: Heather Balogh, Will Rochfort)
» Duration Sept. to Feb.
» Locales/conditions CA, CO; 40°F to 70°F
» “I used the red light to refill multiple mugs of hot chocolate while stargazing—without losing any of my night vision.”