Headlamps have come a long way since my first headlamp 20 years ago. A couple things haven't changed though over the years. The convenience of having your hands free when working or moving around at night and the need for batteries. If you use your headlamps a lot, you can burn through a lot of batteries. The Black Diamond ReVolt makes having light possible without having to worry about buying batteries, what can seem like every other week.
The ReVolt comes with NiMH rechargeable batteries that charge in the unit with an USB cord. This makes it convenient to be able to charge it at home, work or when travelling. You can even charge it using a solar panel when travelling in the backcountry. The nice thing about it being rechargeable is the ability to top it off before you are plaaning a trip. This way you know you have a full charge when starting. Now you are probably saying to yourself that "I do not want to have to carry around a solar panel so I can have light when away from the power grid." Well you don't. One of the best parts of this light is that it takes 3 AAA batteries in just those situations. All you do is pop out the 3 NiMH batteries, add 3 fresh alkaline and you are ready to go.
The ReVolt has three different light options: 1 TriplePower LED, 2 SinglePower white LEDs and 2 SinglePower red LEDs. The 1 TriplePower LED is perfect for hiking at night or for finding firewood when getting into camp late. At the brightest setting you can get a 110 lumen beam using alkaline batteries. The 2 white LEDs are perfect for the task around camp or in the tent; perfectly suited for reading a book and not lighting up tent. The 2 red LEDs are great to preserve your night vision. I know many people that love the red lights for night time travel. For me, they are great to use to read maps or even around camp at night in order not to blind your fellow campers, but I prefer the brighter light when hiking at night.
Each one of these light options have different modes or settings as well. I hope you are starting to see just how versatile the ReVolt really is. There is a dimming mode so you can adjust the intensity of the beam to increase the brightness or dim it to preserve the battery. The strobe setting comes in handy at night if you are using this light to signal others. I never did, but I imagine you could use it as another light when commuting to let others know you are there. One of the best settings that I recently found was the lockout setting. If you hold the button done for 6 seconds it will lock the power button. This comes in handy when throwing this light in a backpack or luggage to prevent it from accidentally turning on and draining the battery. I just experienced this with another headlamp, after backpacking into camp and it was getting dark, I reached in to find a dead battery.
I have never really tested the burn time on this light. I know that I have been very pleased to find that after not using it for a week that it still powers on and works great. This is even with my kids playing with it and leaving it on for me to find and turn off. One nice feature is the battery meter that is on the unit. There is a small lights that glows green (50%+), orange (25%-50%) or red(<25%) indicating the power remaining. Not your digital output on your phone but effective.
The biggest downside for me was the button system. Without reading the manual it can be a little tricky to learn how to switch modes. Even after reading I did find it to be a little harder than some other light I have used to change from white to red. After a little use, it does get easier and this is definitely not a deal breaker.
The Verdict: The ReVolt is not only a great headlamp for a wide range of activities; it is rechargeable which in turn is good for the environment and the battery budget. But the best part is if the rechargeable run out of juice the ReVolt can take regular alkaline batteries to keep it going when away from a reliable power source. But with a lockout setting, it is hard to accidentally power on the light and drain the battery unknowingly. It is compact yet powerful enough to blaze a trail at night.
- MSRP: $59.95
Product provided for free by the manufacturer for review purposes.