Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE OUTDOORS DIGEST | FIRST LOOK

It'll light up your life for longer

Brunton's super-bright L3 headlamp runs eight days on four AA batteries.

October 25, 2005|Scott Doggett | Times Staff Writer

HEADLAMPS come in many shapes and weights. They shine yellow, red, green and white; some strobe, some blink SOS. They're the hands-free way to see in the dark for hikers, campers and hunters.

This year saw the arrival of super-bright headlamps such as Pelican's 2680 HeadsUP, Princeton Tec's EOS and Petzl's Myo XP. Great products all, but on their brightest setting they go through batteries like a bear through blackberries.

With the release of its L3 in two months, Brunton will take the headlamp one giant step further. The L3 can light objects up to 207 feet away for eight days using four AA batteries. That's simply phenomenal.

It's so bright that it was like wearing a car headlight on my head as I hiked in Griffith Park last week. The L3 illuminated rocks and stakes and ruts I might have stumbled on.

While dimmer lights would have illuminated the trail, the L3, one of four headlamps manufactured by Brunton, also revealed deer and coyotes at a distance.

At the heart of the L3 is a 3-watt Luxeon LED -- the brightest diode available for a headlamp. (By way of comparison, Petzl claims the 3-watt LED in its Myo XP can generate in "boost mode" the equivalent of 5 watts of light -- but for just 30 seconds.)

The AA batteries on the L3 are stashed in pairs in two compartments on the back of the adjustable headband. A cable holds the battery packs together so they don't slide toward your face, but that's problematic if you want to lie on your back and read.

The L3 will come with an external pack that clips on a belt and holds four C-cell batteries for longer use, though I doubt I'd use it. Instead, I would prefer that Brunton offer the accessory as an option and knock some bucks off the product's $110 price.

Given the high cost, the L3 won't be for everyone. If you need a headlamp for inside a tent or around a campsite, save $60 or $70 and buy another model.

But if you're always on the go and need a powerful headlamp that doesn't require many battery changes, there's nothing like the L3.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|