Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

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LindaAnn
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Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by LindaAnn »

Has anyone tried a waist lamp as an alternative to a headlamp? Headlamps tend to give me a headache--not from the strap, but from the refocusing around the beam of light. I found a waist lamp with good reviews (UltrAspire 800 lumen) and ordered one, but was curious if anyone else on here has used one, and if so, what you thought of it compared to a headlamp. The one I ordered can also be mounted to a bike or to a head strap, so there are options on where/how to use it.
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

I never had a lamp on my waist but instead carried a small light in my hand. This allowed me to move it left and right and up or down to have a better view of the trail. Also a waist lamp or one held in your hand created shadows in the slightest difference occurring in the trail, such as a tree root, rock or snake. It also allowed you to turn it on or off in an instant if you so desired. This was important one night as a skunk appeared in front of me. I immediately turned the light off and gave him a warning of stamping my foot three times. I then turned on the light and found he was gone. He understood the message and departed. I hiked often in the dark to avoid the heat of the day to get to where I wanted to explore or where I served as a volunteer for the Forest Service. But alas that was years ago before LED's and I had to relay on AA batteries, old fashioned light bulbs and imperfect and faulty devices so I had to carry multiple units on every trip. :M2C:
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RedRoxx44
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by RedRoxx44 »

You might try something with a wider band for your head or I like the Petzel Bindi ( 200 lumen max) which I tend to wear like a necklace as a back up to my main headlamp. I've even used it on my arm or wrist in a pinch. The only drawback is it is so small that I tend to misplace them. I have 3 I think and can only say for sure where one is.
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chumley
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by chumley »

I wear my headlamp around my neck sometimes when I'm tired of having it on my head. I've looked into belt lights before but none looked to be adequate for my needs. I'll be interested to hear your feedback once you've had a chance to test it out.
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nonot
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by nonot »

Some people feel that the waist light gives them more depth perception while night hiking. I personally prefer to not use a light at all and hike in the dark. As long as there is enough moon/star light it works out, but occasionally in dense tree cover or on overcast nights I will turn the head lamp back on. Red lights will not ruin your night vision.
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LindaAnn
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by LindaAnn »

@nonot I’ll hike sans headlamp in the winter, but not when it’s warm. Considering I usually see at least one rattler per night hike between March—October, there’s no way I’ll hike without something bright. I want to see what’s trying to kill me from as far away as possible.
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Mountain_Rat
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by Mountain_Rat »

Several years back, I bought some crappy, Eveready headlamp merely because it was available at 05:00. It comes off of the headband and fits on smaller pack straps or hip belt. It worked well, so I bought a couple more and sometimes use two focused in different directions and using different settings. Having them lower is definitely less blinding and easier on the neck.
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

Another reason why I liked those little AA flashlights is that I could hold them in my mouth, leaving my hands free to do other things. I often had two or three with me at all times and one evening after dark I loaned one of them to an 11 year old Boy Scout so he could make his way to the latrine and back safely. He unfortunately laid it alongside him while sitting in the two hole'r and accidently dropped it in the adjacent hole! He came back to me in the dark and confessed his mistake and I just gave him another identical flashlight. Later I fished out the first flashlight with a rake and while walking by his tent I explained to him what I had done and that not to worry because I was headed for the water hose to wash it off. He remembered how often I helped others in the dark with the flashlight in my mouth and his remark to me after thinking a few seconds was to make sure that I used SOAP. :scared: :scared: :scared:
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wildwesthikes
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by wildwesthikes »

Couldn't you just loosen the headlamp strap and put it around your waist to try it out? That's what I'd do. Thanks self for this brilliant idea I'm going to try this out *pats self on back*.
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LindaAnn
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by LindaAnn »

@wildwesthikes Either you have a giant cranium or you must be incredibly small to get a headlamp strap around your waist. Even loosened, there’s no way any of the straps from my headlamps would fit past my chest or hips. I’d think that the elastic in the strap would allow for too much bounce of the light anyway. I think I’ll stick with trying out a product that’s designed for this specific purpose.
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big_load
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by big_load »

On the trail I prefer to wear the headlamp on my head, but sometimes I carry one in my hand as well. Especially when working on something in the dark at home, when it helps to have light coming from a different angle.
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wildwesthikes
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by wildwesthikes »

@LindaAnn
I was half joking a bit but some of them have large bands. such as the UL modification of the NU25 sold by Litesmith. :)
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skillpore
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by skillpore »

stuck my minimaglight in the band of my boonie hat while kayaking saguaro at night. The duct tape wrapped around the flashlight kept it in place. I can make a headlamp by taping it to the hat.
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AZClaimjumper
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by AZClaimjumper »

@LindaAnn
NU 20 is my Headlamp. I removed the headband that came with the Headlamp & replaced it with #36 Bankline & a small cord lock.
Streamlight 2L is the flashlight I normally carry in its pouch & attached to my waist belt.
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Nighthiker
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by Nighthiker »

I utilize a headlight and sometimes use a second light attached to my shoulder straps with velcro. This light may be another headlamp or an angle head flashlight.
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LindaAnn
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by LindaAnn »

I tried out the new waist lamp while hiking Pyramid this morning. Used it for about 4 miles, and was happy with the results.

The belt is comfortable, and I couldn’t feel it while I was wearing it, even tightened enough to keep the light snug enough to not bounce while hiking. The buckle is smooth on both sides, so you can’t feel it either, nor will it snag on anything.

I tried all 3 brightness settings. High (800 lumen) had the trail very well illuminated and the light beam was wide enough to cover several feet off both sides of the trail. Medium (400 lumen) was also bright enough to see quite well, and I’ll likely use that setting when it’s cool enough to not be concerned about rattlers. Low (200 lumen) was pretty dim, so I only tried that setting for a few minutes—not bright enough for me.

Easy to swivel the light up or down depending on whether I was hiking uphill or downhill.

No eyestrain, zero headache, no neck strain. Which was exactly what I was hoping to accomplish.

The only thing that took a couple of miles to get used to was not being able to turn my head to illuminate whatever I was looking at. I had to actually turn my body to see around tight switchbacks or off the side of the trail. Not a big deal, and after about 2 miles, I had adjusted.

The price is steep, but it came with a few accessories and a rechargeable battery. For myself, not having a headache after hiking was worth the cost.
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Mountain_Rat
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by Mountain_Rat »

@LindaAnn
Good deal. I was wondering about which setting would be best, I noticed it went from 400 to 800 - a pretty big jump. Would you think 400 is about ideal or a ;little dim? I have a 400 - 600 lm puck light that I was trying to judge by, probably not a very good comparison, but I thought 600 worked better (My eyes are old).
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LindaAnn
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by LindaAnn »

@Mountain_Rat I think 400 was pretty good for most conditions. 800 was very bright, but I could see everything very well, so that was pretty nice. That brand also has a 600 lumen for about $20 cheaper. I think the settings were 600-400-200, but I don’t remember for sure.
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Mountain_Rat
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by Mountain_Rat »

@LindaAnn
Yes, I saw such a beast, but it was truly "a different beast" and reviews seemed to be split as to it's bounce and comfort, and it may have been an earlier model that had overheating issues over long hauls. I'll go back and look, but yeah they are pricey, so I figured I'll dig a little further before buying. The concept is great though, so now the trick is to find just the right one for my eyes.
Oh, is it possible to attach the light to pack straps of any sort?
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LosDosSloFolks
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Re: Headlamp Alternative - Waist Lamp ?

Post by LosDosSloFolks »

@Mountain_Rat
This fellow put it on his pack straps... [ youtube video ]
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