Editors' Choice 2009: Mammut X-Zoom Headlamp

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

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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