I think the Petzl e+Lite Headlamp is the best headlamp ever made. I’ve been using it for two years now and it is by far the easiest to use headlamp I’ve ever owned.
The thing I like best about the Petzl e+Lite it is its self-documenting selector switch. When you move it from one position to the next, you know exactly what kind of beam you’re going to get: white economy, white maximum, flashing white, flashing red, or red. It even has a lock to prevent it from turning on accidentally and running out of power.
I can’t tell you how many headlamps I own that have a single button and can only be adjusted by cycling through a series of different modes. I can’t remember what the modes are or what order they occur in, so it’s usually a complete crap shoot when I’m trying to find the mode I need.
Now, the Petzl e+Lite has some limitations. This isn’t a high intensity light and I wouldn’t recommend it for nighttime hiking or trail running because it has a limited range. But at 26 lumens, it’s more than adequate for performing camp chores at night, tending a campfire, finding the campground bathroom, or reading in your tent.
The e+Lite is also miniscule, about the size of a walnut, which is good and bad. It’s good, because it weighs less than an ounce (0.9 ounces) and takes up almost no room in your pack. It even has a self retracting head strap, really just a rugged piece of string, that you can use to pull over your head or around your wrist, and an integrated base, so you can set it on a flat surface and swivel it around for directional lighting.
The downside of being so small is that the e+Lite is very easy to lose unless you train yourself to keep track of it at all times by wearing it around your head or wrist, or always keeping it in the same stuff sack where you know you’ll be able to find it.
The e+Lite is powered by 2 x coin-sized CR2032 lithium batteries, which I also like, because they’re so lightweight to carry. I always carry extra batteries on hiking and backpacking trips, but the weight of several AAA and AA batteries really adds up, even if they’re lighter weight lithium batteries.
The back of the e+Lite has a waterproof compartment that stores the batteries: simply unscrew it and replace them as needed. While I have done this in complete darkness (once), I now carry a second backup Petzl e+Lite in my gear repair kit so I’m never left in the dark. At 0.9 ounces each (including batteries), there’s virtually no weight penalty to carrying two!
The battery life of the Petzl e+Lite in each lighting mode is as follows:
- Economic white: 70 hours
- Maximum white: 55 hours
- Flashing white: 75 hours
- Flashing red: 30h
- Red: 30 hours
The light’s battery power is regulated, which means that it will maintain the same level of brightness throughout the battery lifetime, without becoming dimmer as the batteries drain. This is a desirable feature although it does mean that the light can cease to function without warning when the batteries are completely drained.
I think my search for a reliable and functional three season headlamp has come to an end.
The Petzl e+Lite headlamp is a keeper.
- Bulb type: LED
- Bulb detail: 3 white LEDs / 1 red LED
- Red light mode: Yes
- Beam type: Flood
- Max light output: 26 lumens
- Max beam distance: 29 meters
- Beam distance: High: 29 / low: 15
- Brightness levels: 3
- Strobe: 2
- Average run time: High: 55 / low: 70 hours
- Regulated output: Yes
- Rechargeable: Yes
- Batteries: 2 CR2032 Lithium
- Operating temperature range: High 140F (60C), Low: -22F(-30C)
- Material: pLastic
- Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.25 x .5 inches
- Ultralight: Yes
- Weight: 0.9 ounces
Disclosure: The author bought the Petzl e+Lite reviewed here with his own funds.
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