Black Diamond ReVolt
$60, 3.5 oz. (including its three rechargeable NiMH AAA batteries)
Max burn time: 12 hours with rechargeable batteries, 70 hours with alkaline (triple-power LED); 190 hours with rechargeable batteries, 300 hours with alkaline (single-power LED)
[Note: See my review of the updated, 2017 version of the Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp, which replaced the version reviewed below.]
One of the few downsides of backcountry travel is the volume of alkaline batteries we burn through and throw away. So the first thing that attracted me to the ReVolt is that it’s rechargeable. Then I discovered that this headlamp not only treats the environment well, but it’s powerful, versatile, and pretty darn light and compact—an all-around winner.
I used it recently for 11 nights of camping in southern Utah, including backpacking Coyote Gulch and in Capitol Reef National Park; plus on a four-day, March backcountry skiing trip to the Baldy Knoll yurt in the Tetons, inside the yurt and walking around outside at night. Over those 11 nights in Utah, I would estimate I had it on for a total of 10 hours on one charge, and there was some charge remaining on it when I came home. I carried alkaline batteries as backup and never used them. And the ReVolt’s three-level power meter lets me know if the charge is running low.
The ReVolt has all the power and range of modes most hikers and backpackers need: one white triple-power LED that throws a solid beam, with 130 lumens of power, far enough for easily hiking at night; two white single-power LEDs for proximity lighting; two red LEDs for night vision (which I used outside on full-moon nights); and a strobe setting. The distance and proximity LED settings can be dimmed for reading in the tent, and there’s a smart locking feature—activated by depressing the power button for six seconds—to prevent accidentally turning the headlamp on and draining its juice.
BUY IT NOW: You can support The Big Outside by purchasing a Black Diamond ReVolt at Outdoorplay.com.
NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.
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