Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Equipment upgrades

There are some equipment items that just last for years. I've got thermal tights that are five or six years old and still going strong; my backpack is four years old; trekking poles are also a good five years or more; a wind shell from early-2002; waterproof jacket from 2003-ish; drybags from the middle ages...

But there's one item that really does need regular replacing: headlamps. Technology is constantly improving to give more lighting for longer. I cringe when buying batteries (money down the drain, toxic pollutant etc) so the more lighting and value I can get for every set of batteries, the better.

In recent years I've had some nice Princeton Tec and Black Diamond headlamps. I recently went back to my roots and bought a Petzl Myo XP. I say back to my roots because my first headlamp was a Petzl Tikka.

The Petzl Myo XP is great. I like the diffuser thing because a beam makes me dizzy. It is great on batteries too. And the weight balance on my head is good. I like the small lighting part on the front - bigger ones bounce up and down on your forehead. Battery pack isn't too big nor heavy.

So, what made me decide on the Myo? I asked around. And since my buddies in Team Cyanosis use them and love them, I figured it would be great for me too - and it is.

There are lots of good lighting options out there. when shopping around, look at type of light (multiple LEDs, super bright LED, ultra LEDs etc), type and number of batteries (AA or AAA; usually two or 3), duration of lighting on beam settings, size of lighting unit and ability to swivel it, separate or incorporated batteries (i.e. as part of the lighting unit or as a separate pack)... this will give you a good base for comparison.

Races are ideal places to check out what is available. If you're running next to a team with lights brighter than those at Soccer City, ask them what they're using. Seeing is believing.

1 comment:

Uncharted W said...

Love this topic as the new technology coming out is just super! A great site that I found very helpful too: http://www.headlampzone.com/headlamp-comparison.html

But I agree with you, rather ask around and see what works for others.