I bought my Black Diamond Spot Headlamp upon the recommendation of a friend who works at my local outdoors store. He’s an avid climber and told me it is the best headlamp on the market.
Frankly, I am quite disappointed! Once I tested other headlamps, I realized that the Black Diamond Spot is inferior for night hiking, and even illuminating campsites.
It does a mediocre job of illuminating a campsite and the trail ahead. The benefit is that it is a softer light, so fewer shadows are cast. I can see how that can be a benefit in some situations, but for my needs of illuminating the trail so I don’t twist my ankle, I’m sticking with a brighter headlamp!
- Wattage. 1-watt LED as well as 3 small 5mm LEDS. The 1-watt LED is the “spot” function, and is the farther reaching beam of light of the 2 options. When hiking, I’d use the 1-watt LED, but to save battery power I would use the lower setting when cooking or sitting around camp.
- Water Resistant. A must have feature for any hiking headlamp.
- Big on/off switch. This is convenient, especially with gloves on.
- Lightweight. It is lightweight (takes 3 AAA batteries), and packs down small.
Despite these positives, there are other headlamps on the market with similar features that provide brighter light. I now keep the Black Diamond Spot in my car as my back up emergency light, and I prefer my Energizer Trail Finder for hiking. Plus, that headlamp is less expensive – in fact, it is half the price of the Black Diamond Spot!
- Hiking 101: Headlamps
- Hiking 101: Headlamp Brightness Comparison
- Hiking Lady Gear Review: Energizer Trail Finder 7 LED Headlamp
- Hiking Lady Gear Review: Pelican HeadsUp Lite 2610 Headlamp
I do still have it! I would be happy to sell it to you. I’ll email you at the Yahoo address you left. Thanks!
I recently lost this exact black diamond head lamp. I appreciate some of its features, not present in their newer [albeit brighter] black diamond headlamps. if you still have it, and would like to sell it, I would gratefully purchase it from you, at the full price of a new lamp.
Very well written review. For sure i will check out more posts.
Hi Chris, thanks for the comment. In the photos you see in my comparison tests, it was definitely on the highest setting with fresh batteries. Whenever I use it out backpacking and camping I have been disappointed with it… I think mine might be defective, because I’ve heard similar comments to yours from a few readers. I spoke with the Black Diamond people at the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah a few weeks ago, and the new Spot is definitely far improved from the one I bought in 2008.
I’m glad to hear yours works well!
I agree…are you nuts? This is a fantastic headlamp. You didn’t mention it in the article, but are you aware that each bulb selection has three light levels (plus the blinkers)? I’m thinking you must have had it on one of the dimmer settings and not known it. The only comparable headlight in the same battery class is the Princeton Tec Eos. The Black Diamond gives a better beam, imo, and after using the two I’m happy with the Spot purchase. The only thing about the Eos that is better is the truly waterproof housing – Black Diamond doesn’t claim any real water resistancy and says so in their instructions. That said, I’ve had mine in several light rain situations and it’s fine. Mine is also the 2009 version (actually it may be from 2008) and there is no difference between it and the latest models on the market. I’ve used it for night time offtrail scrambles in granite boulders as well as hiking with a full 5-day load on very gnarly rocky trails – the BD Spot is just fantastic. If I needed more light and/or super long run times, I’d have to step up to models that have batteries separated from the lamp unit.
The Black Diamond Spot I have is the older version…I bought it in 2009. I’ve seen the new version that came out last summer but haven’t bought one to field test yet. I’m glad to hear it is much improved!
Are you nuts? The BD spot is 3oz with 75 lumens, it doesnt get any brighter! I don’t see a date on your post, maybe it’s an old model? I’m talkin spring 2011
I tried to hike the AT with only tiny photon LEDs- that trail, esp in New England and Bear country– has narrow trails surrounded by rock or shrub with no place to pitch a tent for miles, my lousy wee photons made me night hike insanely slow (and afraid) so this year I bought the Spot, at 3 oz weight inc. batts I’m cool with it!