Petzl Ultra Headlamp

The Petzl Ultra uses LED's for brightest, and most costly, headlamp.

If you were the first kid on the block to buy a JetBoil, a SPOT, and a folding titanium spork–and your money wasn’t invested in AIG–check out the Ultra. This insanely bright and comically expensive searchlight employs the most advanced outdoor LED circuitry currently available, quadrupling the effective distance of standard headlamps. It’s easily the brightest lamp we’ve tested, rivaling the power of some HID mountain-biking lights; even on the lowest of its three settings, you’ll flood your tent or kitchen area with brilliant, shadow-free light. Which begs the question: If you’re going to drop $430 on a headlamp–a headlamp!–shouldn’t it come with mounts for your helmet and handlebars? It’s more illumination than most people need for hiking and mountaineering, and it’s too expensive not to offer more versatility. It’s not light, either, and burn time on the rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack ranges from just two to 15 hours. But if money is no object, go ahead–be brilliant. $430; 12.2 oz.; Reader service #119