Ever on the hunt to mitigate the need to carry spare batteries i was ecstatic to find this hand crank head lamp.
It’s pretty amazing that a minute of cranking allows this unit to last so long especially considering how inefficient cranking technologies are.
Now, comparing to other head lamps is very unfair as this unit needs to be bulky to accommodate a hand crank mechanism and of course brightness will always be a trade-off for a unit like this. You’re not getting 100 lumens on a hand crank unit this small. But compared to my more expensive head lamp, the lower lumens and wide dispersion means my night vision isn’t badly affected and it’s still plenty bright enough for hiking around a nearly pitch black trail or a dark garage, and it lights up the inside of a tent just fine.
As other reviewers have noted the headlamp unit needs to be removed from the headband cradle in order to unfold the hand crank winder handle. And it does take a second to figure out how it works. The two units lock together with a simple insert and lock mechanism, with arounded mushroom shaped knob on the headlamp side that isnerts into the wider part of a skeleton key like hole on the cradle and then pushed towards the narrower end of the hold to lock it. Bulky but effective design.
Also, unlike other headlamps, rather than focusing on being as flat against the forehead as possible, the unit actually juts out. It’s not for jogging at night and bobs around if u turn ur head too fast.
Would i take it on a car camping trip with a group of friends, no….partly because there are plenty of batteries on a car camping trip, but partly because this unit looks dorky as it juts out so far compared to other headlamps. But for a solo hiking/camping trip, the reliability of a no battery and relatively rugged design means this will be a must have piece in my gear bag going forward.