I got the Black Diamond Storm headlamp a couple of years ago after I got tired of replacing the duck tape holding the back of my old headlamp together. When I was looking at headlamps, I knew I wanted something relatively light, but still powerful, and I wanted it to be versatile, with a more than a couple of options for adjusting the brightness levels. The Black Diamond Storm headlamp is all of that and more.
First off, the variety of lighting options is amazing, and the headlamp helps you see what you’re doing in any situation. The main light is a QuadPower LED, with 160 Lumens, and is ridiculously powerful. The maximum distance for it is 70 meters, more than enough for most of the things one would be doing. If that’s too bright, you can switch to the two SinglePower LEDs, with 25 Lumens. While the main LED is better for looking down the trail or a distant objects, these are much better suited for up-close tasks like walking around your campsite, reading a map in the dark, and talking to someone at night without blinding them. The last set of lights is the pair of SinglePower red LEDs, which is good to use if you don’t want to kill your night vision.
So those are the lights, but what can you do with them? A lot of things! The Storm headlamp has one main button that can be used to adjust the lights to suit all of your needs.
- Clicking the button once turns it on and off, and each time you power it off and then on again, it will switch between distance and proximity modes (the single LED and the two white LEDs).
- While the headlamp is on, holding down the button will let you dim the light down from 160 to 25 Lumens. Just release it when you get to the desired brightness.
- With Black Diamond’s PowerTap technology, once you dim the light, you can quickly switch between low and max brightness by tapping the housing of the headlamp.
- Holding down on the button while the headlamp is off turns it on with the red night vision LEDs. Do the same thing to switch back to normal lighting.
- Triple-clicking the button when the headlamp is off activates strobe mode.
- Lastly, holding down the button for 6 seconds while the headlamp is off will lock the headlamp. (A blue light will appear in the battery power meter window, indicating it’s locked.)
This last mode is extremely useful. Locking it prevents the headlamp from powering on if the button is pressed while in your backpack, so you’ll never have to worry about accidentally running down the battery. You can check the battery level by simply turning it on, and the battery power meter on the side of the headlamp will light up for 3 seconds, letting you know how much power you have left.
Lastly, there’s the housing of the headlamp. The headlamp is waterproof up to 1m of water for 30 minutes, so basically you’ll be safe as long as you don’t take it snorkeling. I’ve used it multiple times in the rain, and it still works perfectly. Another cool feature is that the battery casing can be opened with the clip on the headband, allowing you to easily change batteries on the the trail. (Or at home, since you may not want the weight of extra batteries in your pack.)
There were a couple things I didn’t like about the Storm headlamp. At 3.9 oz, it’s heavier than some of the other headlamps I’ve used, and may take some getting used to. The battery case is also pretty cramped with 4 AAA’s, and it took some work to get the lid completely closed.
Some may find the weight and $49.95 price tag off putting, but I thought that the wide range of settings and quality construction of the Black Diamond Storm headlamp definitely made up for it. If you’re looking at headlamps, I’d definitely recommend checking this one out!