You know me, I am a gear junkie of the worst sort. I am always looking at emergency preparedness gear. It is sooooo bad I have had several hundred dollars worth of small-battery chargers sitting around my home office for months while I work on those articles. So yes, I am a gear junkie!
And…sometimes a piece of gear comes along that just absolutely surprises me. That just happened again…at Walmart. Yup, Walmart! Not that long ago I wrote an article about finding the Ozark Trail Multi-Tool at Walmart for $3.97. I bought a couple, tried them out, and absolutely loved them for the price vs value of that piece of gear. It’s happened again!
My wife and I were heading to our property in Arizona for a long weekend of fence mending, homesite scouting, etc. One of the things that I wanted us to have on hand was a headlamp. I didn’t want to breakout one of our good Petzl or Princeton headlamps, I just wanted a real simple, virtually disposable, headlamp for night walks or around camp. Off to Walmart!
So I was looking around and they had a pretty decent variety for the most part, all third-tier units or worse, in my opinion. Then I spotted this little sporty little headlamp for $8.97 I think the price was. But, it was only 50 lumens as the retail package was telling me in bright orange coloring. Ah, but next to it was its bigger brother…”bigger” in terms of lumen, not size. And it was priced at $12.97. A really outstanding price for a 150 lumen headlamp.
Let me divert for just a second, when using a headlamp at night I far prefer the red light vs. the white light. I have very good night vision and white light just destroys that. But, using a red light maintains that night vision once you turn the headlamp off.
For the $12.97 price tag I figured that there would be no way the headlamp would have a red light option. I was wrong. Sure enough right there on the package it said there was a red light setting. Now, if it was anything like most headlamps’ operations getting to the red would be click this, while hold that, and doing thus for 3 seconds after pressing the other button for 2 seconds…making sure it was a cloudy night and standing on one foot. But, I was OK with that…I was spending $12.97. Especially when I saw the headlamp package contained batteries…Duracell batteries!
I got home and started packing later that night. It came time to pack the headlamps in our respective gadget bags. I opened up the retail packaging and was again pleased to see the Duracell batteries. Duracell batteries…the best alkaline batteries made…period.
OK, so I am putting the batteries in the headlamp and I am actually impressed with the housing. Seems plenty durable enough. I hate the shiny sheen to the plastic but the housing is decent enough. There isn’t any rubber gasket sealing the battery compartment, but there is a respectable “lip” and the compartment closed pretty dang securely. I have no idea if it will hold up underwater -I doubt it- but it appears that it would handle rain just fine.
I turned the unit on and there were two settings for the white light; high, low. The high was plenty bright enough to see a large area clearly. The low setting still provide a whole lot of light but in a much smaller area. But…where was that all elusive red light setting. I gave up and read the directions. Pressing and holding the “on” button for 2 seconds turned on the red light. That’s it…just press the same “on” button…just hold it for 2 seconds. I liked that.
We used them every night during a four-night stay. They worked every single time, they were easy to use, the headband in strong, comfortable, and nicely adjustable. A great little piece of equipment…VERY nice when you consider it only costs $12.97.
I say buy this headlamp!!
Note: This article originally posted in 2016. I bought three of these units and they are still working now in 2019.
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