With the warm weather now upon us many of my outdoor activities extend into the evening. After hours play often requires the use of a headlamp. I find myself carrying a headlamp when I go fishing, running, or biking just in case I end up staying out past dark. That being said there are many different options when it comes to headlamps. Each headlamp has it’s unique characteristics and features and it can be overwhelming when trying to pick out a good option. Over the course of this spring, I have been trying out the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp. Princeton Tec has been designing lighting products since 1975 that are used by adventurers worldwide. That being said I have been using this product often and putting it through the ringer.
Initial Thoughts on the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp
The Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp looks a little bit different than the average headlamp. For one the on, off, and the beam adjustment control is a knob on the side. While using this knob there four different settings: red led, spot beam, flood beam, and dual beam.
The Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp is powered by three AAA batteries. According to Princeton Tec these should last around 150 hours worth of use.
The head lamp weighs in at 83 grams. This product is also backed by a 5 year warranty that covers any defects the product might have. The cost of Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp retails around $29.95 but shopping around may find better prices.
Field Testing the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp
I primarily use a headlamp for fishing after dark, biking, and walking home along the bike path. The characteristics that are important for me in a headlamp are strong long range capabilities, ease of use, and long range comfort.
The Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp falls in the middle of the road for many of these characteristics. The long range ability is ok. I feel that this headlamp does a solid job of illuminating the area close to me but it is a bit weak on the long distance. This makes certain activities a bit of a challenge. I am not sure I would want to use this headlamp mountain biking in the dark as long distance vision is critical. Even fishing with the headlamp is a bit challenging on spotting swirling fish in the distance. Though this long distance is needed for certain activities the near range is great.
Great Close Range
The floodlight mode is great for working up close. When using a super strong light and working close up, there can be too much light and it can strain the eyes. The floodlight mode makes it great to tie on fishing knots and even work on a car. These activities require good diffuse light but not the intense high beams. This is really where the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp excels.
A Third Hand Would Help
The adjustment knob on the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp is not my favorite. This may be more of a personal preference as my wife does not seem to mind it much. What bothers me the most is that it takes two hands to make adjustments to the beam. One hand must stabilize the lamp while the other is used to twist the knob. This might be fine enough for a stroll through the woods but when biking down a rough road it is a pain. This same issue comes into play when fishing at night especially if I am wading. After wading out if I want to shut off the headlamp I must either balance my fly rod in my armpit or dunk the rod underwater in order to adjust the lamp. For anyone needing to do some multitasking there are some challenges to using the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp.
A feature that I really came to love is the red light. This particularly comes in handy when fishing. I have found that the red light does not seem to disturb the fish nearly as much as the bright white light does. When fishing I try to only use the red light and I feel that I tend to pick up more fish.
Currently I have not burned through a set of batteries so the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp is off to a good start as far as energy consumption is concerned.
Specs on the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp taken directly for Princeton Tec
- MSRP $29.95 but can be found cheaper if shopped around
- Output at 150 Lumens
- Dual Beam, High Flood, Low Flood, Red, and Spot lighting modes
- 3AAA batteries for usage
Final Thoughts on the Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp
The Princeton Tec Sync Headlamp is a decent headlamp for the money. Although not super strong in long distance illumination it is rock solid in when working in close. There are a many different options for light output although it is a bit of a chore to switch between modes. If you are working in close or do not require a long distance spot light the Princeton Sync Headlamp is worth a look.