Name: Fuzzy Monkey (David)
Date of Review: April, 2012
Photo Album – Black Diamond Head Lamp
BACKGROUND: I’ve successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. I also have numerous other backpacking trips under my belt. The weather conditions I’ve dealt with range from the desert heat to higher elevations in the mountains. I’ve dealt with thunderstorms, hail, extreme winds and most weather conditions in-between. I choose to carry a Black Diamond Ion Head Lamp for my 2010 Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike. It is also the reason I wrote this review.
DISCLAIMER: Whenever I talk about my hikes people always end up asking me what type of gear I took with me. This review is to answer those questions and to further expand how it worked for me. This particular headlamp is several years old. Newer Ion’s appear to have a different shape. The following review is for the one I currently own and use.
Manufacturer: Black Diamond Equipment
Product Information: Ion Headlamp
LED’s: Two Separate LED’s
Power: 6-Volt Single Battery
Year: 2007 or older
DESCRIPTION: The Black Diamond Ion headlamp is a 12 lumen, 2 led headlamp. It’s powered by a single 6-volt battery. It comes with an adjustable head strap. This particular ION is several years old. Newer Ions have a different case shape. The on/off button is on the bottom of the headlamp. The single 6-volt battery is in-cased in the unit. No tools are required to open or change the battery.
REVIEW: I carried this headlamp for my 2010 Pacific Crest Trail. The main reason I carried this was because I wanted something super light and something not bulky. The Ion fit these requirements perfectly. I’ve been completely satisfied with this headlamp and continue to use it for my adventures. The lighting was adequate for the purpose in which I intended to use it. The on/off button is easy to use even with gloves on. The head strap is simple with an easily adjustable lock to hold it in place.
PERFORMANCE: The Black Diamond Ion worked perfectly for my intended purpose. One reason I carried this particular headlamp was because I wanted something super light. The Ion fits this criteria perfectly weighing in at only about 3 oz. I’m not a super light hiker and my style is not that I’m entirely crazy about having every piece of gear I own measured down to the ounce. But since the Ion is such a simple piece of equipment it fit me perfectly.
Another reason I choose to carry the Ion is because I only need a simple headlamp for around camp. I know some hikers carry brighter larger headlamps because they hike at night. Night hiking is not my style so there was no reason for me to carry anything more than the Ion. In fact I went days or weeks with never using my headlamp simply because I never hiked at night. When darkness came I ended up going to bed or just using it to get back to my tent which most often was only a few meters or so.
One of the other instances I used the headlamp was to look for stuff in my pack. If I had misplaced something in my pack and could not feel around I would turn on the headlamp and rummage around my pack to find whatever it is I was looking for.
Other instances I used my headlamp was to read my guidebooks and maps before bed. Often times the sun light expired well before I was ready for bed. One thing that kept me occupied before officially retiring to bed was to read my maps and guidebooks for the next day’s travel. This was perhaps the only time used the headlamp for any length of time. Most often the only times I used my headlamp was for short burst of time looking for something or heading back to my tent after dark.
For my style of hiking and camping there is no reason to carry anything larger or heavier in my opinion. Having some form of light is great and a must have in some situations.
CONCLUSION: I’m completely satisfied with my Black Diamond Ion Headlamp. I’ve carried this thousands of miles hiking and have not had a problem with it. My particular hiking style is such that I don’t night hike and carrying anything larger or brighter is just wasted weight for me. I’ll continue to use the Ion for future hikes as I like the light weight and small compact size.
Fuzzy Monkey Likes:
- Super Light Weight
- Compact size
Fuzzy Monkey Dislikes:
Fuzzy Monkey Approved: YES