By: Levi Opsatnic
For those of us who follow head lamp updates religiously, well, you probably have a pretty difficult job. It seems that head lamps are constantly advancing. From shrinking in size to maximizing their amount of lumens, and everything in between, it appears that their technology is always getting increasingly better. Luckily for us consumers, that’s about as good as it gets; every season we see something new and it’s usually a heck of a lot better than last season’s model.
Earlier this year, Black Diamond joined the ever-growing realm of headlamp advancements and tweaked a few of their popular models. Being a guy who spends a lot of time fly fishing and hiking in the dark, I couldn’t resist adding one of their newly updated models to my arsenal. I went through a pretty hefty debate over their Storm headlamp and their Spot headlamps. They both upped their lumens and a few other features, which had me pretty excited. But at the end of the day, I decided to save fifty lumens and about ten bucks and went with the Spot.
I bought my Spot in preparation for a saltwater fly fishing trip to Florida. Knowing that the Atlantic Ocean is pretty endless in size, I was happy to have 200 lumens on my side. It’s more than I’d ever need for any Pennsylvanian trout stream and, also, just enough to see what was going on beneath my legs in the middle of high tide.
The first night I spent fishing, I used my Spot’s red light setting to navigate to the water I planned to fish without any trouble. I found that it was quite simple to get to the red light setting; that’s something that I really value whenever I’m doing everything that I can to preserve my “night vision.” A quick touch of the button, and I quickly converted to a much brighter regular light setting. This allowed me to scan the water in front of me and tie a fly on without trouble. After this, I shut my lamp off and realized that it comfortably rested on my head while I double-hauled my way into the water around me. It was getting around midnight, and I had been tirelessly casting for about forty minutes whenever I got a tight pull on my line. I quickly reeled in a nice Barracuda, and whenever it was in the water in front of me, I utilized the Spot’s PowerTap technology (a feature that literally allows you to tap the side of the lamp to brighten its light) to brighten things up enough to get a full view of this beast.
Following this trip, I was able to hike around Pennslyvania’s dark woods without any trouble. I’ve found that this headlamp is small enough to conceal into most pockets, I love how easily its light can be dimmed for those moments where you don’t need to see everything around, and that its waterproof feature is actually awesome whenever you spend as much time fishing as I do. All in all, I’d say that this headlamp has earned a permanent spot in my quiver of gear, so much so, that I now own two of them–one for my fly fishing pack and one to keep in my car. All in all, Black Diamond’s updates have made this into a really nice headlamp, and although I’m incredibly impressed with it, I’m sure that Black Diamond will somehow figure out a way to outdo themselves again in a season or two.