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Gear Review: Princeton Tec Byte Headlamp

Princeton Tec Byte

Princeton Tec Byte
$20, 2 oz. (with two AAA batteries)
Max burn time: 146 hours at maximum brightness

If weight is your top priority when choosing gear and you need a headlamp that’s bright enough for most backpacking situations, the Byte is your pick. I used this tiny, water-resistant light on several backcountry adventures, including family trips in the Everglades and Tetons and a backpacking trip in Idaho’s Sawtooths. With its Maxbright LED on high, the beam’s useful range is about 30 feet, definitely bright enough to hike in the dark, as long as it’s not foggy or raining hard. The red Ultrabright LED throws enough illumination to let you find things in the tent or move around camp while maintaining your night vision. The battery compartment is accessed by an easy-to-open cover—no screws or difficult buttons to manipulate. The Byte’s faults are minor, considering the price, low weight, and overall functionality: the wide beam is not very focused, and the dim setting is a little bright for reading in a tent.

—Michael Lanza

About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

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Welcome to the Big Outside

photo of Michael Lanza

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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