Gear Review: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

The Black Diamond Spot has the brightest light and best battery life.

Lightest & Cheapest |

Steady Burner |

Best Light Quality |

Brightest |

Best All-Around


“The Spot makes other headlamps look like upheld lighters at an Eagles concert,” one tester wrote after night-hiking in Maine’s Baxter State Park. The Spot’s yellowy, ultrabright LED mimics the warm glow of an incandescent bulb, and is deeply nestled in a grooved cone that throws a focused beam almost the length of a football field (see chart for comparisons).

That makes this headlamp ideal for biking and off-trail jaunts. The Spot also shone for two days in spot mode on alkaline batteries, 15 hours longer than the next closest competitor on a similar setting. When less light was called for, a whopping eight settings—three strengths and a blinker for both the spot and the diffuse three-LED flood—offered our Moab tester more brightness options than he knew what to do with. Unique feature: If you accidentally leave it on, the Spot switches itself off after 10 hours to conserve battery life. The catch: It’s bulkier (the size of a tangerine) than the others, and its loose tilter slips during trail running and banzai descents.

> Batteries 3 AAAs

> Weight 3.1 oz.

> Price $40


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