The Jetbeam HP35 is a lot more expensive than the other Chinese headlamps tested with a price around $20 USD. It claims to use a CREE XP-G3 for a main and is rated for a reasonable 335 Lumens. This headlamp also comes with 2 red LED’s on the sides of the main white LED. RED LED’s can be handy for It uses 3 AAA batteries in a watertight compartment (rated to IPX-6). Materials on this headlamp are a clear step above most of the other Chinese headlamps. The headband is stiffer and feels like it’s made of tighter-knit materials and fit is better. The buttons on this headlamp are on the bottom instead of on the top. There’s 1 main power button used to cycle through settings as well as a momentary turbo button that lets you get a bit more light where necessary.
The HP35 comes with more useful brightness settings than most of the other headlamps. The Turbo/burst mode offers 335 lumens, while high goes to 200, medium is at 60, and low is at 4 lumens. Transitions between settings come in slowly and smoothly, something lacking in pretty much all the other lamps. Those ultra-low settings are handy for hiking in pitch black where you don’t need a ton of light. If you want to preserve your night vision, you may want to try the red light instead. There’s also a red strobe that blinks every now and again.
With 3 AAA batteries, this headlamp comes in at 95 grams.
The Jetbeam casts a soft white circle about 15 degrees across with a bit of fall off. The red lamps on the side were much more powerful than the knockoff version I also tested.
The extra $10 or $15 really makes a difference in quality. The Jetbeam HP35 feels like a much better headlamp than most of the other eBay headlamps, but I still found it a bit bulky. I also didn’t like the buttons on the bottom as that’s different than most other headlamps out there and the buttons were a bit confusing to use.