It’s no big secret, I love LED flashlights and headlamps. So when Dorcy asked if they could send me a new LED headlamp to review, I couldn’t turn it down. I’ve bought 2 sets of Dorcy headlamps last Christmas for my parents, who need them to do chores at night on the farm. One was just like this one, except it was a 1 Watt LED bulb, and I think it was a bit dimmer than this one.
My parents are pretty rough on equipment, so it’s gotta be a decent testament that they haven’t obliterated their headlamps yet after daily use for about a year. In fact, neither of the headlamps are showing any wear, aside from one that had some junky batteries that leaked inside and caused a bit of corrosion on the terminals. The headbands still have a nice snug feel to them, the buttons still click like they’re supposed to, and nothings snapped or smashed. Ultimately, the design is simple, inexpensive, and durable. Will your buddies oggle it and ask how much it cost? Not really. But they will ask if they can borrow it when they’re tracking a blood trail into the dark of the night.
Headlamps While Hunting
Most of the hunters I know will take a flashlight along if they’re heading out really early to a spot, or if they need to take a long walk back after the evening hunt. Flashlights are great for light hiking because their collectors ensure you can throw the beam pretty far, giving you more to look at. Where they suck is an hour after sundown, when you’re looking through the leaves for spots of blood. You’ve got your rifle slung over your shoulder, your flashlight in your hand, and you’re trying to move branches aside with your other hand. On a blood trail in the evening is when a headlamp kicks butt. If you’ve got a clean, white LED, you’re really cooking with gas. I find the clean white color temperature of LED makes it easier to focus on leaves, blood trails, etc better than the yellow of an incandescent traditional flashlight or bulb. The big power savings of an LED, along with better color rendering, are advantages worth switching for.
- I left it running for half an hour to see if anything got hot. No outside surfaces did, but there’s a metal heatsink inside that did get scorching hot. You shouldn’t be able to touch it in normal use, so don’t worry about it.
- The rubber covered button on top cycles it between high, medium, flash and off.
- The strap connects on either side of the unit and does not offer an over the top strap. Those are only really necessary on heavier units, so I don’t see the need for one anyways. The strap is adjustable for length and would fit a big range of head sizes from large adults to small children.
- The beam pattern is flood, great for close work or slowly hiking down a trail, but not so great for long distance illumination
- My Klarus XT2C easily beat it in power, but it also uses a comparatively exotic 18650 battery instead of plain old AAA’s. The Klarus also doesn’t fit on my head.