Headlamp suggestions for youth caving (group buy)

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Headlamp suggestions for youth caving (group buy)

Postby SpeleoRover » Oct 15, 2007 11:09 pm

Here's the deal...

At work we do quite a bit of cave ecology programming complete with trips into nearby caves (God, I love my job sometimes!). Until I came last year we were using PT Auroras (3 LED) as primaries and any number of different configurations of backups.

Fast forward.

I think I'll be able to make a big purchase of new primary headlamps. I can get quite a deal from Princeton Tec through an educational buying offer - none of the other big companies will cut us a deal. I'm thinking of buying upwards of 30 headlamps in the price range of the Corona. The Apex is out, obviously.

Any suggestions? The Corona looks nice but I've not used one or even seen one in use.

These babies gotta run for the long term. Can't scare up replacement money that often.
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Re: Headlamp suggestions for youth caving (group buy)

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Oct 15, 2007 11:48 pm

SpeleoRover wrote:Here's the deal...

At work we do quite a bit of cave ecology programming complete with trips into nearby caves (God, I love my job sometimes!). Until I came last year we were using PT Auroras (3 LED) as primaries and any number of different configurations of backups.

Fast forward.

I think I'll be able to make a big purchase of new primary headlamps. I can get quite a deal from Princeton Tec through an educational buying offer - none of the other big companies will cut us a deal. I'm thinking of buying upwards of 30 headlamps in the price range of the Corona. The Apex is out, obviously.

Any suggestions? The Corona looks nice but I've not used one or even seen one in use.

These babies gotta run for the long term. Can't scare up replacement money that often.


Our club has Apexes and whilst not really waterproof they have been a good investment for the club this is provided you aren't swimming / doing duck unders too often, otherwise I'd recomend a different light. Waterproof headlamps in the same price range seem pretty hard to find and as far as I know the Corona is one of the only other waterproof rated headlamps. here's a good site:
http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews_index/reviews_index_headlamps.htm
However it's no longer being updated so may be a little out of date. (won't include newer stuff)

We tried to avoid AAA batteries as they are less common and more expensive and don't give the runtimes needed. (rules out the Quad and EOS) we also wanted a regulated light which appart from the Apex leaves the Corona. (Matrix not regulated and the runtime is a bit short)

All in all I don't think the club regrets getting the Apexes, it's a bit dissappointing that they aren't waterproof but few of the caves we do with less experienced cavers (who would be using the Apexes) involve getting your head wet.
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Postby gillip » Oct 16, 2007 7:07 am

The Corona looks nice. This is a regulated light, with a long runtime on 3 AA batteries. It is intresting that on the highest setting, the light is only regulated for 5-30 minutes. There is a review online at:

http://www.flashlightreviews.com/review ... corona.htm

Some other alternatives:
I have found the PT EOS to be a good light. It is not as bright as the APEX, but much brighter than the Aurora. It is also regulated, giving an even light. The regulated light lasts for 2 hours on high with 3 AAA alkaline batteries. I usually change the batteries after about 4 hours on high. It gives 44 hours of regulated light on low, which is almost as bright as the Aurora. It can easily be found for arround $40. They are rated as waterproof to -1m, and mine has survived many dunkings. They provide more of a spot light. Sometimes this is an advantage, at other times it would be nice to have more diffuse light. There is a review online at:

http://www.flashlightreviews.com/review ... ec_eos.htm

The PT Quad is a little cheaper, available for arround $30. It is similar in many ways to the Petzl Tika Plus, but is rated as waterproof to -1m. I have no experience with this light, but it seems like a good light. This light is regulated. It only gives one hour of regulated light on high, but up to 24 hours of regulated light on low. After the regulated time expires, the light continues to produce usable light. There is an indicator light that signals when batteries are low. There is a review at:

http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/pt_quad.htm

Then there is the Tika Plus, available for arround $35. It is a good light. I have had mine for years and it still works well. It is a little tempermental. Sometimes when it gets wet, it works fine. Other times it dies when wet. It has always recovered after drying out. It has a very long runtime, but it is not regulated so the light quality diminishes. There is a review online at;

http://www.flashlightreviews.com/review ... t_plus.htm

The regulated PT lights can use alkaline, lithium, or rechargable batteries. I have used rechargeables in my Tikka+, but it is not reccomended and when fully charged, the rechargable batteries cause the light to flicker. The ability to use rechargeable batteries may be a big plus in your situation.
From what I have heard, PT has a great warranty. I have never had to test it. If PT is giving you a deal through their educational program, I would go with them. If I had the choice, I think I would pick the EOS.
Last edited by gillip on Oct 16, 2007 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Headlamp suggestions for youth caving (group buy)

Postby chimie007 » Oct 16, 2007 8:25 am

SpeleoRover wrote:none of the other big companies will cut us a deal.


Interesting. A friend mine working (well volunteering I should say) with the boy scouts for their caving trips says they get the Petzl stuff half off. Maybe it's a national boy scouts deal.
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Postby Andy Shoun » Oct 16, 2007 8:34 am

Flittermouse Grotto purchased PT EOS as loaner lights. They are light weight and bright. The run times are fine for the use. I don't think you can do any better. They can be a little hard to opperate with a gloved hand, but this is a minor issue since most new cavers just leave them running on high.
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Corona

Postby melody » Oct 17, 2007 11:59 am

I really like my Corona. Having said that, I plan to weed through those reviews posted by gillip above. I joined my local volunteer fire dept. recently, and there has been some entertaining dialoge about headlamps. They seemed impressed by my Corona when we had to go find a lost hunter in the woods a couple of nights ago.

This may seem like a silly detail, but another feature you may wish to look for is weight. When I use a 3 AA primary light, and my 4 AA spot (mounted on the side) and go for a big long day of caving, I find that my neck gets a little sore - might be an issue for the kiddos. I'm a little embarrased to admit that after a big day of hard caving and vertical work, its my NECK that bothers me... :oops:

Let us know what you settle on.... oh, and if you need to add some more numbers to your order to get an even better deal, I know some firefighters that may be interested.
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Postby NZcaver » Oct 17, 2007 6:03 pm

Our grotto has some Petzl MYO 3/MYO XP's we use for loaners. They are not submersion-proof, but they've last surprisingly well considering the northeastern cave abuse.
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Postby hank moon » Oct 17, 2007 7:18 pm

Petzl America have 42 Mega Belt Clip headlamps* for sale at a very good price.

Not by any means the latest technology, but reliable, inexpensive, and easy to maintain and repair.

Please PM me if interested.

* Lamp has built-in helmet clip w/mounting bracket - no elastic headband - remote battery box w/belt clip and cable - takes 3 x 'C' or 3 x 'AA' cells. Very lightweight on the head.

hank
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Postby MUD » Oct 18, 2007 9:31 am

I own six PT coronas. They have served my family well. My 4 yr. old son works his very easily! I've never had one poop out in a cave but have seen the apex poop out several times! PT's warranty is waaaay good. Problems with a light....send it back and you get a new one! :kewl:

Hope this helps some........
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