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Black Diamond Storm Head Lamp
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- One Quad Power LED, two Single Power white LEDs and two Single Power red LEDs emit 160 lumens (max setting)
- Power Tap technology allows fast and simple transitioning between full and dimmed power in distance or proximity modes
- Red night-vision mode has proximity and strobe settings and activates without cycling through the white mode
- Sleek, low profile design uses four AAA batteries and three-level power meter shows battery life
- Settings include: full strength in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red night vision and lock mode
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
|Light Source Type||LED|
|Model Name||Black Diamond Storm Headlamp|
|Package Height||1.9 x 4.4 x 4.8 inches|
|Shipping Weight||0.35 pounds|
Equipped with a fully waterproof construction and an incredibly bright 160 lumens, the Black Diamond Storm is our powerful, all-conditions headlamp. Now featuring our Power Tap Technology, the Storm allows for quick, on-the-fly brightness adjustment with just a finger tap to the side of its touch-sensitive housing. The Storm features a bright, precise beam for after-dark route-finding, as well as proximity, strobe, dimming and red night vision modes to accommodate any lighting needs. An intuitive lock mode also keeps the light from accidentally turning on when stored in your pack or pocket.
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Top Customer Reviews
This head lamp has a lot of features. I found the main light to be very bright--considerably brighter than any other head lamp I've owned. It has a second set of white lights that are more subdued. It also has red lights, which provide just enough light to see the trail without causing night blindness. All sets of lights include a flashing mode. The brightness for each set of lights can be set with any degree of granularity, and it includes a Power Tap feature where you can switch between the current brightness setting and full brightness by simply touching the side of the unit.
I've always used the red light for hiking with my other head lamps, but I actually seemed to prefer the subdued white lights. I might need some more time to decide for sure.
There is a rubber seal around the battery compartment to prevent water from getting in, but perhaps it was over tightened at the factory and I had trouble opening it. Because I didn't want to break anything, I actually called Black Diamond to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I eventually got it opened but not after marking it slightly from prying it with a screwdriver.
Fully loaded with 4 AAA batteries, this unit seemed a bit heavy. And while my other head lamps are curved to fit my forehead, the back of this lamp is nearly flat! The result is that it put a pressure on my forehead, which became uncomfortable and even a bit painful after prolonged use. I had to shift it around to different points, and it seemed to even give me a bit of a headache. The weight also meant that the light would bounce slightly when doing small jumps. I think this unit requires a more advanced and lighter batter arrangement.
This light has a lot of features, but they are basically controlled by a single button. This means there are operations that require clicks, double clicks, triple clicks, holding for 3 seconds, holding for 6 seconds, holding when the light is off, and holding when the light is on. I was able to figure it out, but it was a bit confusing.
Also, the Power Tap feature is kind of cool. But it is difficult to find the exact point where you need to tap while it is on your head. It could use some shaping at that location so that it could more easily be found by feeling the unit. Personally, I think a second button would be better than just touching the side of the unit.
First is luminance. On maximum, the subjective comparative output between the Tikka RXP and the BD Storm are pretty comparable. The Tikka has a bit more of a focused beam which yields slightly more luminosity at distance. According to their respective literature, the Tikka RXP has a max output of 215 lumens and the Black Diamond Storm has 160. However this is pretty unnoticeable when looking into wooded areas. This is why I said the “subjective” luminosity. A lumen is a measure of luminance, but increases in brightness are dependent on beam spread (focused or flood), distance from lamp to target, color temperature and many times just plain old fashioned opinion. But the bottom line is while on paper the Black Diamond is less, doesn’t feel washed out or underpowered when compared. While missing the reactive lighting technology of the RXP, the Storm is continuously dimmable which I miss at times on the Petzl. By holding the main button, the brightness of the Storm can be adjusted on all three modes (main lamp, secondary lamps, and red lamps.) This is a big win for the Black Diamond. Especially for outdoorsman who are looking for a lamp for nighttime movement without ruining their night vision. The Petzl’s red lamp at times feels too bright while the Black Diamond’s is just right. I also prefer the secondary twin LEDs on the Black Diamond for reading or just general “up-closery.”
Next up is mode selection. The Petzl wins here handedly. Two buttons, one top, one side and with no instructions, you pretty much understand how to use it and cycle everything in under five minutes. The Black Diamond has one top button and a touch sensitive “key” on the side. Most of the time, both much be used in some combination to change modes. This can be tricky for a beginner even after reading the instructions. As I mentioned above the BD Storm in continuously dimmable by holding the top button which is a feature I really like. The instructions do get you through all the menu modes but I guess my complaint is I just don’t feel like these selections are intuitive. And this could be detrimental to a casual user who only digs their headlamp out once in a while. Both have battery indicators but I prefer the Storm’s. It shows on the side of the unit for about 3 seconds when turned on. Green 50-100%, Orange, 25-49%, Red <25%. Easy to read, easy to understand…. AND seeing as these are disposable batteries you can run them all the way down before changing them. Draining a rechargeable battery below 50% constantly significantly shortens it’s life span. This is a possible detriment to the RXP.
Battery life. I really haven’t stressed either one to the limits to test this. But I’ll offer the following. For urban or car use, buy the Tikka RXP. The USB rechargability is a main selling point and great if it can be recharged after each use. Conversely, think carefully about back country use. If backpacking and you’re not going to carry a means of charging then you might consider the Black Diamond. Batteries while adding weight are common and a savvy backpacker will try to tailor their gear to use common batteries. The Black Diamond uses 4AAA.
Fit and weight. I figured the double band at the back of the head would have the RXP winning hands down. But not really. The Black Diamond is just as comfortable. Frankly, both feel about the same to me on my head. The weight on the RXP is just slightly more but pretty much unnoticeable. I can really offer no edge to either of them for my use. For runners, the double band I’m sure will be appealing. But the cost might have you concerned for fear of it falling off.
Value for money. Bear in mind the Black Diamond can be purchased on sale for between $35-40 where as the Petzl is around $100 normally and about $80 on sale. Both seem to have about the same ruggedness and resistance to rain. But given the cost differential, I’d feel better about getting my Black Diamond wet than the Petzl. That said what about the $10-20 headlamps found here and elsewhere. My father bought an Ozark Trail from a certain “W” retailer. He spent a whopping $12 on it and loves it. The build quality wasn’t bad. It doesn’t feel nearly as study as the Black Diamond but still it doesn’t feel like crap either. But the $12 model couldn’t compare in terms of water resistance or drop ruggedness. The bottom line is while not quite the “everyman’s headlamp” the Black Diamond Storm has found a home in the market that offers excellent value and performance.
Final thoughts. As far as I’m concerned performance is about even between the Tikka RXP and the Storm in terms of max output and comfort. So it comes down to reactive lighting and batteries. Let me say I really like both of these lamps. They’re both great performers and I think most people would be happy with either. If asked to choose I’d take the RXP just because I feel it’s more versatile. But it’s a narrow margin and there are more than a few circumstances where I’d rather have the Black Diamond. For you? I’d say if charging isn’t a problem and the cost doesn’t scare you then get the RXP. If you like the idea of never having to fiddle with output and pretty much always having the right brightness and beam for a given distance the get the RXP. If you intend on abusing it, you like playing around water, or you intend on going on extended trips get Black Diamond.
I used this light for night hikes, bathroom runs, etc. on a 3 week expedition, and never had to change the batteries. Most of the time I was on low, not wanting to disturb others, or just reading. I had a super bright flashlight to view into trees, etc., so was not relying on this one so much for continued bright. Held up well in torrential rain, being dropped in the mud, etc.
I did find it a bit heavy, and while not uncomfortable, I have had others that were more comfortable, which is why I give it 4 stars only.