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 Post subject: Bug Out Gear Reviews.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:59 pm 
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Rather than me opening up new threads to post gear reviews creating this sticky thread. Any related comments or reviews from the community are welcome. No one is required to only post their reviews here. You can post them in the Bug Out Gear forum instead. Thanks for looking!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Nitecore NU20 Headlamp CRI review.

For full disclosure these samples were sent to me from Nitecore for review.

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http://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/nu20

Information from Nitecore.

Quote:

Features ·Highly portable headlamp:

·Multiple color temperature options available
·NU20: Fitted with a CREE XP-G2 S3 LED
·NU20 CRI: Fitted with a Nichia 219B LED, CRI≥90
·Built-in Li-ion battery provides runtime up to 100 hours
·Onboard USB charging circuit
·Single switch user interface design offers easy one-handed operation
·Built-in power indicator (Patent No. ZL201220057767.4)
·4 brightness level and 2 special modes available
·Unique switch guard to prevent accidental activation
·Textured reflector
·52°adjustable illumination angle
·Made from durable PC materials
·Lightweight and compact dimensions
·Impact resistant to 1.5 meter

Dimensions:

Size: 2.18”×1.29”×0.82”(with bracket)

Weight:

1.66oz(with battery and bracket)

Operating Instructions:

ON/OFF
Draw out the NU20/NU20 CRI to expose the switch from the switch guard as
illustrated in the diagram below, press the switch to turn the light on, pressing the
switch again after 3 second to turn the light off

Note: Pressing the switch again within 3
second from when the light is turned on will
switch output to the next available brightness.

Brightness Adjustment:

Press the switch repeatedly within 3 second from the initial activation will switch
output from ultralow-mid-high-off. Pressing the switch again after 3 second from
initial activation turns the light off.
Access to Turbo
With the light turned on, hold down the switch for more than 1 second to enter
turbo mode (360 lumens for NU20 and 270 lumens for NU20 CRI).
Note: The turbo mode will run for 30 second before stepping down to the next
available output to prevent overheating.

Special Modes: (SOS/Location Beacon)

With the light turned off, hold down the switch for over 3 second to enter SOS,
pressing the switch again within a 3 second interval to switch to location beacon.
To exit special mode, press the switch in location beacon mode, alternatively,
cease any operation for 3 second then press the switch again.

Power Tips:

With the light turned off, hold down the switch for 1 second, the power indicator
will blink to indicate remaining battery power upon the release of the switch: 3
blinks represent battery power above 50%, 2 blinks represent battery power below
50%, 1 blink represents battery power below 10%.
Note: Recharge the product when output appears to be dim and/or unresponsive.

Recharging:

1.This product is USB rechargeable. Raise the micro-USB port cover to expose
the charging port, connect the port to a power supply with a USB cord to initiate
the charging process. Fully charges the battery take approximately 2 hours

2. Charging Tip: A red light under the switch will be lit to
indicate charging in progress, and it will turn green
upon charging completion


Also Nitecore has the following runtimes listed for the CRI version and constant current no PWM.

1 lumen 100 hours.
30 lumen 7:45 hours.
170 lumens 6 hours.
270 turbo 30 minutes based on calculations.

So how do these claims hold up to actual field testing? The headlamp was designed for running but also used it for camping. First lets take a look at the headlamp. These are in CRI. It is so small and UL.

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The reflector offered a good mix of throw and flood for running the trails and streets in my area.

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The Nichia 219B LED looks centered with no obvious defects in the reflector or blemishes behind the window. For those who like the Nichia 219B the tint does not disappoint or at least I wasn't disappointed in the way it showed the true colors of bacon but that's coming up.

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The back when attached to the headband. Hope I did it right.

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Speaking of headbands this one is wide and comfortable. It's also big enough to fit my block head with more than enough extra room for adjustment. This is one of my biggest concerns for a headlamp. A good headband can make or brake it in terms of field effectiveness. However comfort can be subjective. For me this is a home run. So comfortable I feel asleep wearing it during one outing.

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The harness has a physical lockout feature which proved 100% effective in my testing. Lock out is an important feature for me as often toss lights into a pack when on the fly.

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The beam angle adjustment is done via two hinges and two friction points if I am using the right words to describe them. It took me two hands to adjust the beam angle when on the move as there isn't much headlamp mass to counteract the force needed for the adjustment. It doesn't slip during running.

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The headlamp's Micro USB port cover.

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and port.

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With the physical characteristics out of the way time see if the claims hold up in field use. The first thing is charging. As the battery can't be replaced wanted to do some of the testing in field conditions. Nitecore claims it will charge in two hours. Here is what I found when charging if the light is off. The stated charge time was confirmed.

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The switch turns red when charging.

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Yes it will charge from a powerbank. In these cases the Nitecore F1.

Charging and running.

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Just charging.

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The light will operate when plugged in. Seems to operate at a max of medium if out of power running off a powerbank however does it charge and run at the same time? The answer is yes but appears to do it if running on low. I think it might be charging on medium as well but if so it would be at such a slow rate as to be not practical. On low it seemed to charge just fine.

Running on low and simultaneously charging test. Might seem like a strange test for a running headlamp but if pressed into other service it's a good feature. On a side note the USB cord hangs down the user's face if employed as headlamp when running off a powerbank but makes for a good handheld light or hands free if you don't mind the cable. This is more of an exceptional extra use type thing IMHO.

When plugged into a power bank running on low the UI button illuminates red however it's actually charging at a reasonable rate unlike my testing showed for medium.

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Once charged it turns green just like having it plugged into a standard wall USB power source with the headlamp off.

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After done the green light will turn off then fade. Many powerbanks terminate the charge once the device's battery is full so the light will stay on.

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Bottom line. You can use it on low and it will run and charge at the same time. On medium not really.

So is there PMW? I did the shake and cellphone camera test using two devises. Also am sensitive to PWM so often see it when others can't.

On low there is no sign of PWM.

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On medium there is something but not sure if it is actually PWM. Looks very similar to something I seen on my SC5w and didn't think it was actually PWM. Also could not detect it with the shake test. So can't say for sure but the cameras are picking up something. Just not convinced in my experience it is actually PWM. Maybe those more familiar with this technical aspect could key in.

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The runtimes.

The price for the CRI is reduced efficiency so this headlamp has lower overall output but for the same time duration. I didn't bother to test if the 1 lumen would last for 100 hours. Sorry my short attention span just won't allow for that but did test the medium 30 lumen/7:45h and 170/6h. The 270 for 30 minutes is based on their calculations so didn't verify that.

Medium mode.

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Still looked about regulated however began to drop soon after this photo. I ended the test with the light still functional but clearly in need of charging so there was some life left in it.

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High mode. I ended the test with the light still functional but clearly in need of charging.

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I didn't take a photo of the beam output as it looked a bit below the medium. So what happened? Per my hack math 600 mAh at 3.7 nominal volts is 2.22 watt hours. I don't know the draw of the headlamp but do not believe a Nichia 219B or Cree XP-G3 S3 can run their respected listed high output modes regulated for the entire time. So it steps down but does actually produce light at the 6 hour mark. It's probably within the rules for industry standards but just be aware it will not run the high regulated for the full 6 hours per my observations. Overall I am happy with the runtimes given the very small size of the headlamp and it's intended purpose.

Water resistance testing.

The NU20 is IPX7 and 1.5m drop ratied so decided to test both in actual field use conditions. First I would run 8 miles in the cold rain then drop the headlamp lamp multiple times in the roadside puddles. Jogged on both black top and dirt roads. Due to conditions only took the cellphone as it has a protective case.

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One of 3 or so puddles tested for both drop and water intrusion.

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Then left it out over night on the porch in the cold rain.

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So what does running 8 miles in ice rain and slush feel like? It profoundly sucked. I liked nothing about it beyond the fact the NU20 survived the drops and water. I wasn't surprised the drops didn't harm it given the very low mass but was surprised no water got in. Sure it is IXP7 rated but still I am happy.

Up next was 5 miles through the hills trail running with mircospikes. Temps in the teens. Way better than 8 miles through the ice rain just above freezing but the terrain was harder. As this is a running headlamp most of the field testing was done on the fly but also took it camping Still it is a running headlamp so kinda had to run.

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The low 1 lumen mode.

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Plenty to walk around in and root through the pack back but wouldn't run on slippery ground with 1 lumen.

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Medium.

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High.

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High projected a bit further.

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Turbo.

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Nichia 219B field application. Is it worth the reduced output?

Medium. Trail marker colors look true.

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Medium. PSK high visibility paracord looked good.

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The following is compelling proof of CRI's value. Look at how the bacon appears natural in the medium mode.

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Fearing this might be just the camera I used another camera and verified what my eyes and the other camera were saying.

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But how does cooked bacon appear under the illumination of a Nichia 219B?

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Looks good with second camera as well.

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Pros and cons.

Pros.

1. Two LED options.
2. Fast charge times.
3. Long regulated medium mode.
4. Very small and UL.
5. Comfortable.
6. Built in battery.
7. Nice beam for running and even camp work.
8. Very bright and nice low.
9. Will run when plugged into a powerbank. Will charge and run on low mode.
10 Headlamp angle doesn't slip when running. It stays put.

Cons.

1. Built in power source might be problematic as can't immediately change the battery.
2. The UL design means it is made out of plastic. Is what it is.
3. Is there PWM on that medium mode? Not sure. Don't think it is true PWM but something is going on.
4. The red flashing lights do work to indicate power to some degree but given their limitations can't be exact.
5. USB port position makes it difficult to wear and run off a powerbank at the same time.
6. Often takes two hands to adjust headlamp.
7. Yes it is a running headlamp but would love if they made a UL camping version with a 10 lumen mode. This isn't really a con rather a wish.

Conclusion.

I like it.

Here is a video.


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"There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"
"Do not mess with the forces of Nature, for thou art small and biodegradable!"

Best of Woods Walker's posts.


Last edited by Woods Walker on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Armytek Wizard V3 Headlamp with New Plastic Holder. Warm vs. White Light.

First thing. For full disclosure I am doing this review as a pretext for running miles over slushy ground to shine two different tinted lights on a beaver dam. That's about it. So if you like beavers and headlamps maybe check it out. I already own a XHP-50 Wizard in "warm" which is really neutral white. I noticed the price dropped on their standard model with XP-L. Liking variety and simplicity purchased the headlamp in "white" which is really cool white. I was happy to see it came with the new plastic harness which replaces the older silicone. I purchased an additional plastic harness for my XHP-50 and have been pleased with it.

So with the illuminated beaver dam (yes you will be seeing a beaver dam lighted up with CW and NW) disclaimer and background out of the way time for the review.

The standard white/CW V3 on the left and Pro/warm V3 on right.

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from the manufacture.

Quote:
LED / Optics Cree XP-L or XM-L2 / TIR
Brightness stabilization type DIGITAL (CPU brightness control)
Light output, LED / OTF lumens* 1250 / 1000
Peak beam intensity, candelas 3560
Hotspot / spill 70° / 120°
Beam distance* 119 meters
Modes and runtimes
(measured with 18650 Li-Ion
3400mAh until the light output
drops to 10% of the initial
value)
Turbo 1000 lm / 1.5h
Main3 390 lm / 3.8h
Main2 180 lm / 9h
Main1 30 lm / 48h
Firefly2 2.3 lm / 18d
Firefly1 0.4 lm / 100d
Power source 1x18650 Li-Ion / 2x18350 Li-ion / 2xRCR123 Li-ion / 2xCR123A
Size and weight (without batteries) Length 101mm, body diameter 24.5mm, head diameter 29mm, weight 48

In OFF state:
Click: To turn on the last used mode.
Press and hold: To go through 2 Firefly modes (release to select). Keeping button pressed will start cycling through the Main modes.
In ON state:
Click: To turn off the flashlight.
Press and hold: To start cycling through the Main modes.
Double click: To turn on the Turbo mode. The second double click brings back the last used mode.
For comfortable operation you have a convenient momentary access to all the following modes:

Firefly. Press and hold the button in OFF-state to turn on the
desired Firefly mode and then release immediately. Keeping
the button pressed will start cycling through the Main
modes.

Main. Short click from OFF-state activates the Main mode (if
it was the last mode used previously).

Turbo. The mode is activated by double click in any mode. To
return to the last mode make double-click again.

Cycling through the Main modes. In ON-state press and hold
the button (in any mode): the 3 Main modes will start
switching cyclically. Release the button to select the desired
mode. In Turbo mode it starts cycling through the Main
modes.

Automemorizing. After switching off the last used Mode is memorized for quick 1-click access at next switching on.
Lock-out function. Unscrew the tailcap to 1/4 for the protection from accidental switching on.

Low Battery Indication. If the brightness is <25% from the nominal value, the LED flashes 2 times
ONCE (after 30sec from switching on). If you are not sure if it flashed or not switch the flashlight
off and on: in case the battery is low flashes will repeat. Light output decreases to Firefly mode at
critical level.
Active temperature control. The flashlight can quickly heat up in Turbo mode. When the
temperature become +60°C – the brightness decreases by small steps. After cooling-down
(provided that battery voltage is sufficient) the brightness increases to the Turbo mode again.
This stepping goes cyclically to maintain the user's safety and the flashlight's functionality. In
conditions of good air-cooling the flashlight delivers light without stepping down even in Turbo
mode. There are no preset timers for stepping, but real-time active temperature measurements.


For me the bottom line is the standard UI felt easier to use and just as field effective but that's a matter of personal opinion. There are other differences as well. The XHP-50 tail cap has a compartment with a strong magnet and lanyard. Before they changed the harness I ignored these features which the standard Wizard lacks but now as the light can be removed so easily maybe this is a consideration.

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Old silicone harness on left new plastic on right. Both now come with plastic.

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Both tail caps have the same overbuilt spring and are interchangeable.

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Both have the same smooth lubed thread and double O-rings.

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I have yet to find a battery a 18650 which doesn't fit either however the upper turbo mode on the XHP-50 requires a high drain lithium ion battery of 7A or higher.

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Both have the same bezel and optic which IMHO is the best general use headlamp optic going. Or at least for me.

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Window with XHP-50 "warm" which is really neutral white.

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Window with XP-L "white" which is really cool white.

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Both have yellow power/UI buttons but the standard XP-L V3 doesn't flash. Some would say this is a good thing.

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Both have past my field use water tests. I already reviewed the XHP-50 pro so here is the XP-L V3.

XP-L V3 white. No water intrusion.

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Now to compare the tint in field use. Yes we will get to the beaver dam....eventually.... White on left Warm on right.

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Now lets reverse them.

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XP-L V3 white beam shots.

Turbo. There is only one turbo mode but that's enough for about everything I need.

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Main mode 3.

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Main mode 2.

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Main mode 1.

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It has two firefly modes. This is firefly 2.

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It's time for the show down at the beaver dam!

XHP-50 Warm highest Turbo.

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XP-L White V3 turbo.

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The output looks about the same on the camera but in person the XHP-50 has a brighter max turbo. Still the standard is really really bright and the remaining modes are comparable.

Conclusion.

The standard XP-L V3 Wizard seemed just as field effective of a tool as the XHP-50 Pro V3. The tint is personal preference though both are excellent examples of their respective classes.

Here is a video. Thanks for looking.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:49 pm 
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Disclosure.

I purchased this from Milepost28 as a used gear item after a pass around. The sale was to raise money for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. IMHO Milepost28 did an outstanding good deed and I got a nice flashlight at a discount.

With that out of the way some stats.

https://milepost28.com/products/pkdl-pl2-silver

Quote:
The PL2 silver is a polished aluminum keychain light that provides a whopping 110 steady lumen output on high or a counter clockwise twist of the head changes it to 12 lumen when less light is required. This little thrower can run on lithiums, alkalines or your favorite flavor of eneloop rechargeables.

Included with purchase from Milepost 28 is a quick connect carabiner for keychain fasten.

Some specs:

110 lumens (1.2 hr)/ 12 lumens (12.4 hr) using Energizer Ultimate lithium

CREE XPG R5 6500k

Double side anti reflective coated Borofloat glass lens

Fully regulated ensures steady output

Lock out feature bezel

IPX8 weather proofing

Reverse polarity protected

Girth; 0.6", Length; 3.2", Weight; 0.9 oz


The light has lots of groves etc etc which makes getting a good grip on the body and bezel easy. An important thing for a twisty. One of my few complaints about the old G1 Preon which was too slippery.

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I rather like the silver. It's easy to see in the environment.

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A bit larger than these Olight 1XAAA otptions but not too big for EDC.

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The glass window. For some reason this has the most throw out of my 1XAAA flashlights. Maybe the smooth reflector? Didn't measure to see if it was larger etc etc.

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On many of the 1XAAA lights the body screws into the bezel but like the older Fenix E01 the bezel of the PK-PL2 screws in to the body.

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Nice O-ring. That's going to come into play later.

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It's easy to change the battery in the dark which is going to come into play later.

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You get a larger split ring than some other 1XAAA lights.

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The reason being it has a more robust attachment hole. I loop tied some reflective cordage.

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PK claims constant current however the cellphone test did detect noise of some sort on the low mode. I don't think it's true PWM as the shake test looked rock solid. However showing the pics so others can decide.

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I EDC the light for some weeks but in the end decided for me it's best roll was within my little AAA light kit. I have an H05 2XAAA active, PK-PL2 which replaced my i3S (a very good 1XAAA light) and 2XAAA lithium batteries all in that blue case.

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Before field testing during an actual outing a gear item gets used. In this case EDC but also checked out if the dunk rating would hold.

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I will be using these two Duraloop 800 mAh LSD batteries for the field testing.

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The setup for the field testing will be a hiker or maybe someone during a Get Me Home situation covering ground at night. The kit was made for times when I don't expect a night hike but just want to toss something in the daypack or ER bag. Kinda like tossing a Mora in a bag on a whim. I will go out 6 miles then wait for dark, then with 4 or 5 miles to go I will shut the headlamp down simulating a failure in mid step. Will take out the PK-PL2 from the pack in the pitch black then finish the hike/trail jog to my van.

It's getting on to dusk.

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Headlamp is down! Time to crack out the backup.

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Also have a brightly colored lanyard. The lanyard/light has combined reflective and high visibility cordage which per my tests proved very effective for seeing something in low light conditions.

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But that's not all I have.

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1. Tops/Turley rebuild PSK.

2. Original BHK Small Tiger Knapp knife with DIY Kydex firesteel holder and ferro rod.

3. Extra fleece pullover which I will be using as the temps dropped into the low 40s.

We need to go!

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High mode. The throw was great for seeing trail markers.

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I could see stuff higher up as well. Good for sniffing out widow makers if I needed to spend a night out.

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The dunk test. It's rated to handle this and field conditions are different than a jelly jar full of water near a cactus.

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A bunch of little brook trout were so pissed off at this. They can be seen in the video.

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No water intrusion detected. Not sure how long it was under. I messed around with a few cameras and took a wiz. Thought about the bears etc etc. Not sure how long that all takes. Back on the move using low. The UI is simple. Starts on high and then low. I wouldn't want to run on low but the output looked about right and is more than enough for lots of things.

Low mode.

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Back on high trying to avoid the thorns.

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Looking for more trout.

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I needed to change the battery as it got low and the light became unresponsive if shut off. I could tell the regulation gave up before having issues. Flashlight don't work once the battery is exhausted. Go Figure however had plenty of warning. It was easy to change in the dark but it's really thirty on high. Then again it's really bright as well. I made it out of the woods with plenty of power left in the second battery.

Pros.

1. Simple UI.
2. Very bright on high and nice medium mode however no true low mode.
3. Very good thrower for such a small light.
4. Lots of texture to the bezel and body. Easy to grasp and change modes.
5. Nice beam.
6. Looks like a little SF. I like that.
7. Common battery type. 1XAAA.
8. Past the dunk test aka water resistant.

Cons.

1. Only two modes and turns on using high.
2. Can't tail stand.
3. I wonder if it might be possible to accidentally twist off the head in a pocket. It's so smooth to turn.
4. Larger than some other 1XAAA options.

Conclusion.

I liked it enough to replace an Olight i3S within my little lighting kit for this application. I consider the i3S EOS to be one of the best 1XAAA flashlights so that's says something.

Here is a video of the review. Thanks for watching.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:33 pm 
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Lumonite Compass Mini and Mini R Headlamp field use review.

Disclaimer. These headlamps were sent all the way from Finland for review from the manufacture. Yes that's correct. Finland! I do like scandi knives such as Marttiini but these are my first lights from that nation.

This is field use review of the Lumonite Compass Mini and Mini R headlamp. Here is information from the manufacture.

http://www.lumonite.com/en/lumonite_compass_mini_r/

http://www.lumonite.com/en/lumonite_compass_mini/

Quote:
Lumonite Compass Mini R is a rechargeable headlamp, designed in Finland for demanding spare-time and professional use. The lamp can be easily charged without removing the battery, by using the Lumonite SnapCharger™ charger. In design of Compass Mini R, our team was striving for simplicity, performance and absolute operating reliability. Its one-part case is fully water, dust and shockproof and contains no moving parts.

Contents of the Package

Lumonite Compass Mini R
Lumonite Compass Mini R special battery
SnapCharger™ charging device
Lumonite Releasy™ headband with instant fastening
User manual (FI/SE/NO/EN)

Specifications

Power output: 440 lm
Light beam: combination
Power source: 3.7 V / 650 mAh li-ion
Range: 85 meters
Charging time: 2 h
Operation modes: 3 power modes + turbo + moonlight
Material: aluminum
Encasement rating: IPX8
Measures: 70 x 19 x 30 mm
Weight: with the battery 77 g
Guarantee: 24 months

Performance (ANSI/FL1)

Turbo: 440 lm / - / 85 m
High: 230 lm / 1 h 10 min / 60 m
Med: 85 lm / 4 h / 48 m
Low: 10 lm / 23 h / 20 m
Moon: 3 lm / 96 h
*Measured by included 650 mAh battery

For Mini.

Performance (ANSI/FL1)

Turbo: 440 lm / - / 85 m
High: 230 lm / 2 h / 60 m
Med: 85 lm / 6 h / 48 m
Low: 10 lm / 35 h / 20 m
Moon: 3 lm / 144 h
*Measured by included 1500 mAh battery


UI.

Operation:

Single click to turn the light on which will be the last one used as there is a memory. Single click again to turn off the light. Press and hold the switch with light on and it will cycle through the modes, low, medium and high. Double click from any mode to enter turbo. Double click to return back.

Moonlight mode:

When the light is off, press and hold the switch for 2 seconds.

Keylock:

When the light is off, press and hold the switch for more than 2 seconds. To unlock, press and hold long.

During field use I found the UI easy to use though the keylock was entered accidentally a few times at first when going into moonlight. It was easy to enter turbo mode then return to the last mode used. I like using the headlamps as a single click on and off light with memory of the last mode used. Nice and simple to use. I like that.

The headlamps. Mini on the left and Mini R on the right.

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The size is comparable to other 1XCR123 headlamps such as this Fenix HL50 in CR123 configuration.

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The optic reminds me of the Olight H05 Active. No PWM detected on cellphone or shake test.

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Cellphone camera looks clean in terms of PWM or other distortions within the output.

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This produces a beam with a more concentrated hot spot however there is a cast of light beyond the hot spot which is hard to see in video and photos but visible during use. That said the beam pattern is more concentrated than headlamps with greater flood. Lumonite Mini on left, Armytek Wizard on right.

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The threads came lubricated and felt smooth. The headlamp can be physically locked out with a twist of the tail cap. There is an O-ring for water resistance.

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Inside the tube there is a spring on the end near the bezel with some kinda stopper. This differs from other headlamps I own which have the spring on the tail. One result being the polarity is reversed with positive end at the tail cap. The headlamps are polarity protected as mistakenly inserted the batteries upside down a few times. No issues beyond a need to flip the battery around.

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There is a guide to proper polarity within the tube.

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The Mini comes with a 1500 mAh lithium primary. 3 nominal volts times 1.5 ah is 4.5 watt hours.

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The Mini R comes with a 650 mAh 3.7 volt lithium ion which is propitiatory. 3.7 nominal volts times .65 ah is 2.405 watt hours. Assuming my hack math is worth anything a 16340 lithium ion has less energy than a CR123 lithium primary however there are pros and cons to each. Both Mini and Mini R can use standard lithium CR123 primaries or regular 16340 however only the Mini R can USB charge the supplied propitiatory lithium ion battery though never actually tested if a standard lithium-ion would also charge. I don't like to monkey around with Lithium-ion batteries so sticking to the manufacture's recommendations. Also clearly charging a primary CR123 would be a big mistake.The voltage range is 2 to 4.2 volts so use a protected 16340 lithium ion.

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The stainless steel holder has good retention but allows for the light to be removed from the harness. I removed the light multiple times from the harness and so far have not noticed any scrapes on the anodizing.

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The strap is wider than any other headlamp I own with plenty of room for adjustment. The buckles are also bigger and have grooves. This make for easier adjustments on the fly. The combination of Stainless harness, wider strap and buckle makes for a very comfortable headlamp which is easy to work with during higher activity. Armytek band and adjustment buckle on left Lumonite or right.

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Both tail caps have groves for improved griping to turn but differ because of the USB charging function of the R model.

Mini on the left and Mini R tail cap on the right.

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A close up of the USB magnetic charging system. Both come with extra set of O-rings however the R has magnetic USB charging cable along with a proprietary 16340 lithium ion battery.

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It can be charged from any 5 volt USB power supply. This works great for in field power bank charging.

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The cable magnetically attaches to the tail cap and charges turning red when charging then green when finished.

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The weather/water proof rating is listed as IPX8. They both handled repeated dunk and submersion tests just fine.

The Mini.

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The Mini R.

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Field testing:

I have put about 100 trail miles on these headlamps plus an overnight outing. Often the best way to evaluate something is within actual field use. This is one pro to spending a good amount of time on the trails. Yea get a bunch of experience using a gear item in multiple conditions rapidly. Beyond just bringing the headlamps along for use in place of other options I separated the field testing into two official outings. One was 8 miles during a wild night in which I tested the Mini R for 4 miles then a 18650 Compass R during the return hike. The other was a 6.8 mile woodland adventure.

The wild night. Part 1 Mini R. For Part two you will have to see the 18650 Compass R review.

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Nothing says fun like 44F with heavy rain going all night as you push through. I know heavy rain in the lower 40's doesn't sound all that hard but it literately sucks the life out of a person. In the video we are running through these conditions. This is something I do not recommend unless you do trail running as part of your training. The risk of mechanical injury is great and hypothermia is a surprising danger even if the pure numbers might look otherwise.

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No inside testing can IMHO properly reproduce actual weather and submersion testing in the field. Rain hitting the headlamp when jogging through the wind is hard to reproduce inside. Submersion in a brook or stream isn't the same as a glass of water either. Due to field conditions the photos for the weather testing were taken directly from the video. That camera was totally waterproof.

Water was pouring down the sides of the hills.

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I would need to find a safe area for the dunk test. Odds are I might not be seen again never mind the Headlamp. LOL!

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Areas away from the raging river and run-offs would be nice though still moving and muddy. The type of water a person could drop their headlamp into by accident and yet still have a chance to retrieve it.

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The switch lights up. I somehow think it uses the light from the main LED to do it.

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The water was murky but headlamp survived the submersion. Needless to say the driving rain wasn't an issue either.

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The more concentrate beam worked well moving in the rain and mist.

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Both past the weather/water resistance testing. Moving on to night hike/trail running.

Turbo is bright and appears more than the 440 listed lumens might imply though it wasn't too long ago when so much light out of such a little headlamp was unimaginable.

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High is really bright. High mode.

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High mode action shot taken from the video. That little speck on top of the lower center rock was actually a sunfish out of water flipping around. It's in the video and makes a get-a-way though not sure from what?

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Medium mode. The beam was good for seeing trail markers at distance.

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The medium is what I mostly use when moving though the woods faster.

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One of my rules to traveling fast at night on two feet. Never.... Never trust any rock subject to moving water. Always assume it's unstable and slow down. Still on medium mode.

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The medium is a bit too bright for close up but not overly so. Still for the most part the 10 lumen low mode is plenty for around camp.

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One of the pros to the more concentrated beam is I could use the low mode for more things. This is nice given the smaller battery however if I had multiple extra batteries or a larger power source such as a 18650 often I prefer a beam with more flood. Still it made me rethink my belief a flooder headlamp is better. Sometimes yes but not all the time.

Low mode. I could actually use this for hiking if required.

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Low mode. Sometimes the moving water rule isn't so easy to distinguish. It might look like just wet ground but this is going down hill. You can bet during heavy rain the water is moving and undercutting the rocks. So I treat this ground much like crossing a stream. I do not trust this rock to be stable.

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Low mode again looking at a wild edible.

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Moonlight mode. Picking a trail nibble. I have always liked the 2-3 lumen moonlight mode from the first time I used it going back to the Nitecore EX10 and 4/7 Quarks. That said some people have come to expect one lumen or less to imply a true moonlight mode or is that a firefly mode. Well in any case these lights don't have a sub lumen mode but I really like this level of light. Enough light to be useful around camp or inside but not so little to be problematic for my use.

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Pros and Cons.

Pros.

1. One of the most comfortable headlamps I have used.

2. The headlamp body can be removed from the harness without a world of drama. I have have owned headlamps before which advertised this feature only to find it both difficulty and potentially damaging to actually remove the light from the harness. Also it has good retention.

3. I can actually use edged tools with the low mode as shown below. Normally I would be hesitant to use 10 lumens for working with saws and knives but the more concentrated beam helps. So if you want something with a more defined hot spot this is it.

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4. Very well build. Seems top quality.

5. Everything about it screams outdoor hard use. The wide buckles, location and size of power button, SS harness and wide headband makes it easy to adjust and use in the field.

6. Runs well on upper modes with a CR123 primary. Some lights have modes which can't be supported by a not rechargeable (primary) battery chemistry. This one did just fine.

7. For the most part I liked the mode spacing.

8. Past all of my weather tests and I went out of my way this time.

9. The Turbo mode is a joy to use. Easy to activate then return to the last mode used yet not so easy as to accidentally activate. Also the headlamp ramps up and down to/from Turbo mode. It's hard to explain and can be seen in the video but overall makes using Turbo more practice during actual field use.

10. The UI is relatively simple and no flashy disco modes.

11. I am liking this USB magnetic charging thing. If that feature is important maybe consider the R model.

12. I like getting batteries included and more if it is a lithium ion.

Cons.

1. The electronic lock out occasionally gets in my way when employing moonlight mode. Given how easily the light physically locks out not sure why this is needed. Not the end of the world as it's easy to avoid with practice. Still it was about the only con to the UI which I like.

2. The beam is more concentrated. Bottom line if you want maximum flood this isn't the headlamp for you.

3. I wish there was a 30 lumen mode. Beyond that I am happy with the mode spacing.

4. Moonlight/firefly/whatever mode connoisseurs might want an even lower mode.

5. Lower end of the voltage range is 2 volts so you should use protected lithium ion batteries though the light gives plenty of warning of low power.

Conclusion.

These are great headlamps. The comfort and field usability for lack of better words alone means despite having many options I like to pack the Lumonite Mini R.

Here is a video of all the fun. Thanks for looking.


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Last edited by Woods Walker on Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:01 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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If I might say. I prefer the individual threads. I can search and see, giant dump threads aren't searchable.

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Halfapint wrote:
If I might say. I prefer the individual threads. I can search and see, giant dump threads aren't searchable.


As a newer member, I know that I am honestly kind of intimidated by the really long threads and even if I am interested in the topic, tend to steer away from reading them. Woods Walker, your reviews are so great I would hate anybody to miss them just because they didn't want to sift through a long thread.

On the other hand, you are taking the time to do these, so it is totally up to you how you think they should be organized :D

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Got in from another night run. The Compass Mini R just so happened to be inside the running pack.

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Medium mode.

Trout management area however the sign got washed out in the light.

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Sniffing around to spot light trout for future fly fishing during the day.

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Rocks.

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Moth.

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Night flowers. Well really they're just some roses and weeds.

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Low mode.

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High mode.

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Turbo.

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Halfapint wrote:
If I might say. I prefer the individual threads. I can search and see, giant dump threads aren't searchable.


Lots of the reviews were getting 0 or just a few responses so I didn't want to push other posters off of page one.

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I appreciate all of the reviews, especially with pictures! I'll take them however I can :clap:

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I also prefer the individual threads, but I'll also take this great information in whatever way it comes!

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A real good flashlight is this one
http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights ... tml?wid=37
I'd keep an eye out for the sales though cause I got two of them from here for only 35 dollars each back when they were having a sale and it's even better than my 100 dollar flashlight and half the size. So awesum! That site in general is great to find good deals.

I have this one too that I ordered from here and it's sooo awesum
http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_612477.html


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Lumonite Compass R Headlamp field use review.

Disclaimer. This headlamp was sent all the way from Finland for review from the manufacture. Yes that's correct. Finland! I do like scandi knives such as Marttiini but these are my first lights from that nation.

This is field use review of the Lumonite Compass R headlamp. Here is information from the manufacture.

http://www.lumonite.com/en/lumonite_compass_r/

Quote:
The Lumonite Compass is a headlamp, designed in Finland, specifically for those requiring a professional battery-operated headlamp. Its design aims for extreme simplicity and providing absolute reliability in its operation. Its one-part case is fully water, dust and shockproof and contains no moving parts. Its electronics offer optimal operating efficiency, a functional cooling system and its design combines a great level of light power with a long operation-time.

Contents of the Package

Lumonite Compass
Lumonite Releasy™ headband with instant fastening.
Upper part of Lumonite Releasy™ headband (detachable)
User manual (FI/SE/NO/EN)

Specifications

Power output: 1000 lm
Light beam: combination
Power source: 1 x 18650 li-ion (not included)
Range: 135 meters
Operation modes: 3 power modes + turbo + moonlight
Material: aluminum
Encasement rating: IPX8
Measures: 101 x 21 x 33 mm
Weight: assembled, without the battery 107 g
Guarantee: 24 months

Performance (ANSI/FL1)

Turbo: 1000 lm / - / 135 m
High: 630 lm / 2 h 50 min / 105 m
Med: 230 lm / 8 h / 65 m
Low: 85 lm / 24 h / 35 m
Moon: 3 lm / 600 h
*Measured by 3600 mAh battery

UI.

Operation:

Single click to turn the light on which will be the last one used as there is a memory. Single click again to turn off the light. Press and hold the switch with light on and it will cycle through the modes, low, medium and high. Double click from any mode to enter turbo. Double click to return back.

Moonlight mode:

When the light is off, press and hold the switch for 2 seconds.

Keylock:

When the light is off, press and hold the switch for more than 2 seconds. To unlock, press and hold long.


During field use I found the UI easy to use though the keylock was entered accidentally a few times at first when going into moonlight. It was easy to enter turbo mode then return to the last mode used. I like using the headlamps as a single click on and off light with memory of the last mode used. Nice and simple to use. I like that.

The headlamp.

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The optic reminds me of the Armytek Wizard. No PWM detected on cellphone or shake test.

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Cellphone camera looks clean in terms of PWM or other distortions within the output.

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This produces a beam with a good deal of flood but can project a beam a useful distance. If you like beams on the floody side this headlamp is a good option.

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Notice the switch is illuminated during operation. I somehow feel the switch gets the light from the main LED. Nice floody beam profile.

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Nice big yellow switch which is easy to find and use.

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On one side of the bezel are ribs to better transfer heat away from the LED. The same for the area below the bezel.

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The threads came lubricated and felt smooth. The headlamp can be physically locked out with a twist of the tail cap. There is an O-ring for water resistance.

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Inside the tube there is a spring on the end near the bezel with some kinda stopper. This differs from other headlamps I own which have the spring on the tail. One result being the polarity is reversed with positive end at the tail cap. The headlamps are polarity protected as mistakenly inserted the batteries upside down a few times. No issues beyond a need to flip the battery around.

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There is a guide to proper polarity within the tube.

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The Compass R comes with a proprietary 3600 mAh lithium primary.

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The 3600 mAh 3.7 volt lithium ion is propitiatory. 3.7 nominal volts times 3.6 ah is 13.32 watt hours. Assuming my hack math is worth anything that is a a bunch of power. The Compass R can use regular 18650 but the supplied propitiatory lithium ion battery should only be charged in the headlamp. I have never actually tested if a standard lithium-ion would also charge. I don't like to monkey around with Lithium-ion batteries so sticking to the manufacture's recommendations. The voltage range is 2 to 4.2 volts so use a protected 18650 lithium ion.

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However there is an exception. The headlamp failed to work with a 18650 Sanyo NCR18650GA 3500mAh High Discharge Flat Top. The reason near as I can tell is battery length.

Sanyo red.

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Keeppower 2600 Protected. A Keeppower 3500 mAh high draw protected also functioned.

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The stainless steel holder has good retention but allows for the light to be removed from the harness. I removed the light multiple times from the harness and so far have not noticed any scrapes on the anodizing. There is a top strap which hooks on. It is possible to accidentally displace the hook setup when handling as it is hooked on. That said it doesn't come off during use or most of the times when handling the headlamp.

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Top strap loops on the back of the headlamp.

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The strap is wider than any other headlamp I own with plenty of room for adjustment. The buckles are also bigger and have grooves. This make for easier adjustments on the fly. The combination of Stainless harness, wider strap and buckle makes for a very comfortable headlamp which is easy to work with during higher activity.

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I have a high degree of confidence this headband is durable and great for use under hard conditions. Easy to adjust on the fly.

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The tail cap has groves for improved griping. Nice wide tailcap.

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USB charging tail features.

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A close up of the USB magnetic charging system. It can be charged from any 5 volt USB power supply. This works great for in field power bank charging.

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The cable magnetically attaches to the tail cap and charges turning red when charging then green when finished.

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The weather/water proof rating is listed as IPX8. Took submersion just fine.

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Field testing:

I have put about 60 trail miles on the 18650 Compass R. Often the best way to evaluate something is within actual field use. This is one pro to spending a good amount of time on the trails. Yea get a bunch of experience using a gear item in multiple conditions rapidly. Beyond just bringing the headlamp along for use in place of other options I separated the field testing into two official outings. One was 8 miles during a wild night in which I tested the Mini R for 4 miles then a 18650 Compass R during the return hike. The other was a trail run over a mountain. Well it's not Everest but a fun hill for conditioning hikes/runs.

The wild night. Part 2 Compass R. For Part 1 you will have to see the Compass Mini review.

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Nothing says fun like 44F with heavy rain going all night as you push through. I know heavy rain in the lower 40's doesn't sound all that hard but it literately sucks the life out of a person. In the video we are running through these conditions. This is something I do not recommend unless you do trail running as part of your training. The risk of mechanical injury is great and hypothermia is a surprising danger even if the pure numbers might look otherwise.

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No inside testing can IMHO properly reproduce actual weather and submersion testing in the field. Rain hitting the headlamp when jogging through the wind is hard to reproduce inside. Submersion in a brook or stream isn't the same as a glass of water either. Due to field conditions the photos for the weather testing were taken directly from the video. That camera was totally waterproof.

Wild night. The greater flood of the Compass R did result in a bit of glare in the rain and mist but that's the nature of the beast. I find the best illumination during bad weather is actually a flashlight when on the move. That said this did get the job done as typing about it right now.

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Looking for a safe spot to do the dunk test. Kinda risky to get near flooded water.

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Submersion test in nasty murky water.

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Past the weather/water resistance testing. Moving on to night hike/trail running. For this adventure we did over 8 miles including some rock scrambling and trail running. Also had it out with a skunk! Well not really. I looked, the skunk lifted it's tail so he won the debate with me backing off. The High mode is listed at 630 lumens and looks all of it. The medium is 230 and like the high it means it. These levels are highter than other headlamps I own in this class. For example the AT Wizard standard is 390 and 180, Nitecore HC30 high 400 and med 210, Fenix HP12 high 400 med 150. So the high mode of the Lumonite Compass is clearly brighter than my other options though they have similar Turbo modes.

Comparison of modes in field use. Hiking up to the top.

Low.

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Medium.

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High is an understatement.

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Turbo. Yup it's bright!

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The world famous Tulip Poplar test. Well actually there is no such thing but Tulip Poplar trees do grow very tall.

Low.

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Turbo.

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Medium. The flood beam worked nice when scampering down these rocks. Medium was more than enough.

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Turbo.

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Random beam shots from the adventure.

Turbo of ledge and boulders. Remember to always apply 3 points of contact when when on rough ground.

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Turbo skunk encounter action shot from the video. Somehow I came out on top. Proof of providence shinning down or random chance working out in my favor? We may never know but I survived.

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High mode. Taking the abandoned tracks back the trail head. Well actually the dirt road then tracks. Longer but faster than going back over the mountain.

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Medium mode. A little pool surrounded by mountain laurels higher up which I occasionally use for dunk tests.

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Low mode. Large millipedes were all over the tracks. I didn't want to step on one as it might be bad luck. Or is that lady bugs?

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A bit on the creepy side. Close up shows the floody beam on low which at 85 lumens is rather bright.

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Low mode is more than enough to see most trail markers.

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Moon light mode. Brighter than a sub lumen mode but more usable IMHO.

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Pros and Cons.

Pros.

1. One of the most comfortable 18650 headlamps I have used.

2. The headlamp body can be removed from the harness without a world of drama. I have have owned headlamps before which advertised this feature only to find it both difficulty and potentially damaging to actually remove the light from the harness. Also it has good retention.

3. 3600 mAh 18650 has a bunch of power.

4. Well made gear item. Seems top quality.

5. Everything about it screams outdoor hard use. The wide buckles, location and size of power button, SS harness and wide headband makes it easy to adjust and use in the field.

6. The modes are all very bright. If you want a bright headlamp this is it.

7. Past all of my weather tests and I went out of my way this time.

8. The Turbo mode is a joy to use. Easy to activate then return to the last mode used yet not so easy as to accidentally activate. Also the headlamp ramps up and down to/from Turbo mode. It's hard to explain and can be seen in the video but overall makes using Turbo more practice during actual field use.

9. The UI is relatively simple and no flashy disco modes.

10. I am liking this USB magnetic charging thing. If that feature is important maybe consider the R model.

11. I like getting batteries included and more if it is a lithium ion.

12. I really really and I mean really like the beam pattern.

Cons.

1. The electronic lock out occasionally gets in my way when employing moonlight mode. Given how easily the light physically locks out not sure why this is needed. Not the end of the world as it's easy to avoid with practice. Still it was about the only con to the UI which I like.

2. It is possible to accidentally partially unhook the top strap during handling. Never happened during use and takes less than a second to reattach.

3. I wish there was a 10 or 30 lumen mode. Beyond that I am happy with the mode spacing when wanting a bright headlamp.

4. Moonlight/firefly/whatever mode connoisseurs might want an even lower mode.

5. Lower end of the voltage range is 2 volts so you should use protected lithium ion batteries though the light gives plenty of warning of low power.

6. The narrow voltage range means it can't use 2XCR123.

7. Can't use unprotected 18650. Not really a big deal for me but might be a con for others.

Conclusion.

I really like it!

Here is a video of all the fun. Thanks for looking.


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Did some solar testing of the Compass R and Mini R for Solar charging compatibility. I was unable to induce a charging error by interrupting sunlight using a 14 watt panel. This isn't to say a charging error is not possible but I tried.

Solar charging. I tested the two models at the same time as they have the same charging system.

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Compass Mini R.

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Compass.

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Solar charging. They both charged in the same way. I didn't time anything rather looking for compatibility.

Charging.

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Done.

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I tested using an outlet powered USB plug after to make sure they were really fully charged which they were. So based on this and a few other solar testing sessions I believe them to be solar compatible though your mileage might vary.

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Did some solar testing of the Nitecore NU20. Seemed solar compatible using a 14 watt panel. I was unable to induce a charging error though your mileage might vary. This is one pro to USB powered devices. Charging from powerbanks and solar.

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Solar Controller is missing an (o). I never noticed that before.

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I didn't time it but charged good.

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