Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Discuss caving lights, packs, helmets, clothing, etc.
For rope and vertical equipment, go to the On Rope! forum.
Cave electronics enthusiasts can also visit the Communications and Electronics Section forum.

Moderator: Moderators

Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby pipewrench » Mar 3, 2013 3:36 pm

Hi there,
I am considering a new head lamp with some tax return money. My current primary light is a PT apex and am wanting to try something new.

I am considering the Fenix HP11 or the Petzl Duo 14LED. I have been doing a lot of reading on here using the search function but it gets so overwhelming.
My question is...how much better of a light is the 14LED duo vs the HP11? At a cost standpoint the duo is over twice as much. Do you guys think I'd be getting twice the light?
I haven't really done any 'wet' caving yet but noticed the Fenix is only rated at IPX6 while the duo is IPX8. That is one consideration I have given some thought.
Would anyone care to add any further thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc?
Thanks!
pipewrench
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 3, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: Georgia
Name: Jeff
NSS #: 63959
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 3, 2013 4:06 pm

While it is a bit hard to find, the Fenix HP10 is a 225 lumen light with an IPX8 rating. I believe it was more popular with cavers than the HP11. I never bought a Fenix even though they were cheaper than the Apex because of the seperate diffuser. There's only one HP10 listed on Ebay right now:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fenix-HP10-LED-225-Lumen-Headlamp-with-Diffuser-Lens-XLNT-Condition-/330881899758?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0a191cee
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1384
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby mooreshire » Mar 3, 2013 7:07 pm

The Fenix is a tightly collimated spotlight, which means it will have a high apparent brightness but it only illuminates a small area - it is sufficiently water resistant for almost all caving that won't involve submersion. The Petzl Duo is antiquated and therefore very dim, but easily upgraded with modules made by [url]customduo.co.uk[/url] and quite waterproof if you take care of it. If you can find any generation/model of used Duo on eBay in good shape for around $30 or so and upgrade it with a CustomDuo module you'll have a very affordable, versatile, and bright caving lamp - but I wouldn't suggest anyone spend more than that on a Duo these days. I doubt that the Fenix will seem like much of an improvement over the Apex you have been using, and unless you upgrade the Duo right away it will seem like a big step down.

If you haven't seen it already, check out the Caving Headlamps List spreadsheet I posted here: http://www.forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14881. You might want to consider some of the only-slightly-more-expensive but not-made-of-plastic offerings by Spark and Zebralight that use the newfangled very bright and very efficient XM-L diodes being made by a company in North Carolina named CREE INC.. Spark's SX5 model is a very nice choice and uses AAs or AAAs or 26650 size lithium-ion cells, and Zebralight's H600fw model is awesome but only uses 18650 size lithium-ion cells. Lithium batteries can have quadruple the energy of twentieth-century style batteries but do require slightly more care regarding safety, mainly when charging.
mooreshire
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 17, 2011 3:39 pm
Name: James Mooreshire
NSS #: 45688
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Cascade Grotto
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 3, 2013 7:17 pm

mooreshire wrote:Zebralight's H600fw model is awesome but only uses 18650 size lithium-ion cells.


I didn't mention this light since you had a specific question, but it's really nice. Bright, good runtime, and tiny. The batteries aren't a deal breaker in my opinion. I have one Zebra and am going to buy another for my wife. The prices are good too.
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1384
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby pipewrench » Mar 3, 2013 7:26 pm

Wow thanks for the input guys. I have been looking at that spreadsheet and am very impressed with it. In my line of work I (and typically my coworkers) wear a headlamp 4-5 hours a day. I'm looking forward to sharing that spreadsheet with my cohorts, even though they're not interested in caves they still are fascinated with lights/headlamps.
pipewrench
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 3, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: Georgia
Name: Jeff
NSS #: 63959
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby pipewrench » Mar 3, 2013 7:33 pm

And in regards to upgrading the Duo to the custom duo....does it matter which duo I start with? I was reading on the custom duo website but lack a little prerequisite knowledge I guess.

For instance,
If I find an older 5LED Duo on ebay, I can convert it to a custom duo still correct? Since the 'guts' will be removed anyway? I was looking at the custom Duo omni v3.
It appeared all the old would go away and the new board go in. Is this correct?
Thanks
pipewrench
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 3, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: Georgia
Name: Jeff
NSS #: 63959
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby mooreshire » Mar 3, 2013 10:58 pm

Yes, any model Petzl Duo can be upgraded with the CustomDuo modules. :)
mooreshire
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 17, 2011 3:39 pm
Name: James Mooreshire
NSS #: 45688
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Cascade Grotto
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby pipewrench » Mar 4, 2013 4:14 pm

Thanks for all the input. I'm going to keep an eye out for an older Duo to transition into a custom Duo.
In the meantime I seen a HP-11 on ebay for $50 and free shipping so I went ahead and pulled the trigger on it. Even if I don't like it immensely I can still use it at work.
pipewrench
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 3, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: Georgia
Name: Jeff
NSS #: 63959
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby pipewrench » Mar 7, 2013 4:20 pm

Well I received my HP-11 today in the mail. I was really excited about it. I do like the light output, its construction just seems kind of mickey mouse to me. Does anyone else feel this way? My PT apex and pelican just seem so much more solid.
pipewrench
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 3, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: Georgia
Name: Jeff
NSS #: 63959
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby tncaver » Mar 7, 2013 6:56 pm

pipewrench wrote:Well I received my HP-11 today in the mail. I was really excited about it. I do like the light output, its construction just seems kind of mickey mouse to me. Does anyone else feel this way? My PT apex and pelican just seem so much more solid.


The diffuser on the Fenix HP11 is really flimsy but at least it does spread the beam of light some. However, with the diffuser out of the way
it is a very bright light for long distance lighting. I prefer an Apex over the HP11 for caving in dry caves. I use both.
tncaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: May 17, 2007 7:03 pm
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby Mudduck » Mar 7, 2013 8:06 pm

The hp10 is superior to the PT and just about anything in the price range for that matter. The beam is tight but depending on the water flow I can illuminate topless dome int Tumbling Rock. The diffuser is crappy but functional. I keep 2 smaller lights on top of my helmet to give a close up flood, between the 3 I can pretty much see where i want. Yes it drives the cost up for the 2 extra small lights but to me its well worth it in larger or particularly dark (read "light absorbing") caves. My wife caves with an Apex and hates it compared to what I have. I've been through quite a few Apex warranty repairs but NEVER a problem with the hp10. When I first bought it i put it in a bucket or water and left it for quite some time with no water intrusion. Same test didnt work out for the Apex. The Hp11 however is not as well constructed IMHO.
I think I can...I think I can...I think I can
Mudduck
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Jan 1, 2008 6:56 pm
Location: Columbus, MS
Name: Bill Reed
NSS #: 60046
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Currently a Lone caver
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby Billy » Mar 8, 2013 11:11 am

I have an HP11 that just broke. The plastic "teeth" that held the plug on the left side of the lamp allowing a ratcheting adjustment broke for no reason. My friend has the identical break on his headlamp, resulting in a flopping about of the lamp. Fenix (US) does not have spare parts right now, but they are ordering. I have had an HP10 light crap out on me (granted, right in the middle of Neptune Well during high water), and my next HP10 is starting to have switching problems, this time for no reason. My HP20 switch (the "middle" one) also went on the fritz, for no reason. That said, I have many, many Apex headlamps that are now back ups.

I think it's time for me to try the Zebra next, couple friends have them and they are nice, small, and bright. Just have to commit to the battery switch and how that affects supplying back up lamps and their power requirements. I do have an old Duo I've been meaning to break down and get the adaptor for.

Will say that Fenix has been very good to me as far as customer service.
Billy
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Dec 17, 2005 8:10 pm
Location: Illinois
NSS #: 53221
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Near Normal
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby tncaver » Mar 8, 2013 12:13 pm

I would like to try a Zebra light eventually.
tncaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: May 17, 2007 7:03 pm
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby pipewrench » Mar 8, 2013 7:51 pm

I bought some Lithium batteries to try out. On the Fenix it says alkaline or Ni-MH.
Would there be any hurt in using the lithiums in it? If so, I'll drop them in my apex. I am going to go to hwc tomorrow to try them out
pipewrench
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 3, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: Georgia
Name: Jeff
NSS #: 63959
  

Re: Petzl Duo or Fenix HP11?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 9, 2013 3:03 am

Disposable AA Lithium cells should work fine in virtually any light that uses AA alkalines. Plus they have better capacity and better performance in cold temperatures than alkalines.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6364
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  


Return to Equipment Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users