I have been using this Fenix model for over a year and I must say, it does not disappoint. Having been a dog musher for 20 years, I have been around for the evolution of headlamps. It is pretty difficult to find something that takes AA batteries, which is required for not having access to recharging capabilities that also has high lumens and sufficient battery life.
I will spend sometimes 2 days out on the trail training or racing my dogs where I don’t come into contact with another person or have access to electricity for charging, so the AA option is perfect. When I am training and can come home and have electricity, I use rechargeable batteries that give me a similar life for the headlamp to Lithium AAs.
I usually get about 3-4 hours with the “High” setting of 900 Lumens, which provides a powerful beam that illuminates my 14 dog team. The headlamp is durable to subzero temperatures of -50 below, which many other products with plastic or wire casings cannot sustain such cold temps.
The only things that could be different on this lamp is the on-off button. It would be easier to turn on and off with gloves or mittens on if the button was a) slightly larger b) didn’t require having to hold it down to turn on, and just hit it like when you turn it to a different setting c) spread out from the “max” button right next to it. Maybe one could be on the side of the lamp instead.
I love the power and life of the lamp, but would also love to have the option to have a flood setting to conserve battery and give me a different setting for when I’m not on the sled and doing things outside or taking care of the dogs.
All-in-all, this is a pretty awesome *inexpensive* light. Most of it’s competitors from other brands that mushers use are several hundred dollars and yield sub-par results.
This lamp got me through my first Iditarod last year and my 3rd Yukon Quest that I just completed.