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Alk9friends Posted - 03/20/2014 : 11:31:32 AM
6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
silverbelle Posted - 03/31/2014 : 12:47:34 AM
LED Lenser. Less than $100. Once you figure out the unnecessary blinking programs, it is a really nice headlamp. Alkaline batteries. (We actually developed a C cell battery pack for them) I changed those battery packs twice on Iditarod. I keep a spare in the sled loaded with lithiums, just in case. I forget what the lumens are, but I can run a 16 dog team with it no problem and see way more moose than I ever want to!
beatfeet Posted - 03/27/2014 : 10:37:21 AM
I struggle to embrace the LED craze, but it is hard to deny the improvement of lumen volume. This season I trained and raced with two LED headlamps that somewhat complemented Peter's concerns. The blackdiamond Icon throws 200 lumens and uses 3-AA batteries. The burn time is huge (they advertise 75 hours on high), but 200 lumen is barely enough for 8-10 dog team. Price is reasonable at $100 or less on sale. This was my workhorse for chores and checkpoint protocol.
The MagicShine GoFree headlamp delivers a true 550 lumens on high of bright, white light. The low setting is about 200 lumens and there is one in the middle. The manufacturer claims the GoFree will burn for 6 hours on high, I only get about 4 before the light begins to blink and warn of low battery. Switching down to medium allowed me to get the team to the finish. Quality headlamp and very affordable, just under $100 to my door in just a couple days from an east coast bicycle shop. Best hundred dollar bill I have spent on dog mushing in some time!
Still there are fundamental issues that trouble the mid-distance driver in me. Finding clean power to recharge the GoFree at a remote checkpoint will be challenging. I will have to buy the extra battery and keep it warm along the way. Also it does not look like fun to swap battery packs while tired and in the dark. Here is where the Icon is handy and a good backup. Still there are two more issues with the LED...they are all complex designs. I prefer simplicity and the old rayvac system was/is easy to work on and repair in a pinch. If the bumper switch, connectors, cord connections were compromised a bypass or splice fix on the trail was doable. When the new headlamps go down, toss them in the sled bag; there is no repairing them on the trail. So the durability of all LED headlamps, not just the affordable ones, remain a concern of mine. Finally, the lack of ability to throw a spot light option makes the low lumen LED challenging to drive more than an 8-dog team. The lupine throws such a bright flood that this is probably not an issue, but get your pocketbook out. While I will not be racing with the old aluminum aircraft landing light powered by 4-D heavies, the low-end LED's are the lesser of evils.
GregB Posted - 03/26/2014 : 4:35:24 PM
I am pretty certain it is the best headlamp made (I'm saying that based upon lots of reviews of the Lupine line). BUT, at the price, I certainly couldn't justify the purchase. After reviewing many of the mtn. bike forums, I chose a magic shine. There's pretty good reviews on SDC of the MS's. I am also sprinting and can therefore easily recharge batteries. Overall, very happy with what I got for almost a 10th of the price. But it may not be suitable for your needs. Do some research, there's plenty of info out there.
Peter McClelland Posted - 03/26/2014 : 4:23:25 PM
Just to expand on this. For those of us who 1. can't afford these and 2. can't get our heads around going to a race with rechargeable batteries.

I use the Apexes and they are fine but break, a lot. I just return them and they give me new ones. However this returning game is getting old.

Anything new people used this winter?
D.Heilbrunn Posted - 03/20/2014 : 11:49:04 PM
This season I got a Pico with a 6.6 ah battery. It's great. The only disadvantage of big lamps are that they use a lot of battery power. A Pico will have longer run times with the same battery.
ccr Posted - 03/20/2014 : 12:31:59 PM
Hands down the best headlamp out there. If price is not an option and you want excellent quality product look no further.

I have been testing some cheaper hi-power headlamps, but those aren't even near in quality.

And the best part is that it is upgradeable with very reasonable price.

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