Black Diamond Storm Headlamp Review
LED Type : 1 TriplePower, 4 SinglePower (2 white, 2 red)
Lumens : 100
Max Distances*: 70 m (TriplePower LED); 25 m (2 SinglePower LEDs)
Max Burn Time*: 200 H (TriplePower LED); 125 H (SinglePower LEDs)
Batteries : 4 AAA
Weight Without Batteries : 110 g (3.9 oz)
IPX Rating : 7 (Protection against immersion in water - immersion to the depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes).
* - all values are approximate.
MSRP : $49.95
Finding a good headlamp is one of the more important and at least to me the most exciting gear purchases. I am not a tech guy dissecting electronics to see the wizardry and fandangling that goes into it, rather I enjoy playing with stuff. I want to put the batteries in and see what happens. If the thing lights up I am stoked. Little did I know that the technology is what makes the difference.
When I got the BD Storm I looked at it and thought cool, heavy but cool. The screw holding the backing on and helping ensure it stays functional should it be submerged (1 meter only) was a bit small and I have to say I am a bit concerned I will break it eventually. Upon opening the casing I was surprised at the simplicity of the stacked chamber where the 4 AAA batteries power the beast. Pretty cut and dry as far as battery compartments go, I mean come on how exciting can this really be?
On the right side of the case (as worn) there is a battery meter which breaks down the expected life of the batteries inside:
- Green – more than 75% - this is a very important information since, in this headlamp, it means also the time during which the light is regulated.
- Orange - from 25 up to 75%
- Red – below 25%
I am one of those that constantly carries extra batteries and more than likely recharging or tossing batteries before they have been fully depleted so knowing the expected life was pretty neat. One thing with this regulation is that you still need to keep in mind that while the batteries will show "green" inside a warm house, on the cold trail that can quickly change with temperature change.
The headband is the same as other headlamps being easy to use and has enough expansion to allow fitting on a climbing helmet, however for some reason the elasticity can stretch out rather quickly so I really wish someone would figure out a better system. Wearing the headlamp you can feel the weight of this thing, especially if you are used to more classic headlamps that tend to weigh between 1-3 ounces; this one comes in at almost 4 ounces without the 4 batteries. To run through the functionality is fairly simple but the key that BD includes make it helpful for the uninitiated.
As you can see from this guide there is also the ability for you to lock the headlamp in the off position so as to avoid inadvertent battery discharge by accidentally turning the light on in your pack.
The light emitted is a bright white from the LEDs, I actually prefer this type of light as opposed to what folks refer to as natural light which tends to be a bit yellow and does not seem to light up an area quite as well. In fact very few lights produced these days use bulbs other than LEDs, not only due the increased illumination but also due to the decreased power usage (increase burn time), lack of heat emission, and compact size.
To be honest I really dig the light and have been pleased with it for the most part. The only complaint I have is that when trying to change the batteries this thing is impossible to open. I followed the directions and for the life of me every single time I have to try and open the case up I am tempted to pry it open! Thus far I have just taken the time to relax and slowly work it open because I do not want to compromise the seal and render it less water resistant, but this is a real pain in the ass!
If you're in the market for one of the brightest and most useful lights out there check out the Storm and never look back!