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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: Much less brightness and battery life than alternatives
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
If weight and price are key considerations for you, then the Black Diamond Gizmo may be just the ticket. It's not bright, but has a low price and great battery life. If this doesn't make it into your climbing pack, consider one for the glove box of your car. It stands just behind the similarly priced and Best Buy winning Petzl Tikkina. The Tikkina is a better trail finding headlamp and is brighter. The Gizmo has a better close proximity beam and is 25 percent lighter. So for $20, depending on your needs, the Gizmo may actually be the best headlamp value for you.
RELATED: Our complete review of headlamps
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Occasionally marketed to kids, the Gizmo is a compact and simple product that should have broader appeal.
This is not the best trail finding headlamp - it just doesn't have that much umph - and only gets a 3 of 10 score. This is the main advantage of the Best Buy winning Petzl Tikkina (4 of 10 score) as demonstrated by the side-by-side photos below. Neither is inspiring compared a heavyweight like the Coast HL7 (8 of 10 score). However, the Tikkina is passable where the Gizmo is not recommended for serious nighttime hikes or rides in the woods.
Close proximity is the Gizmo's strongest feature. Not only did it score well with an 7 of 10, it scored better than some headlamps that cost 3 to 5 times as much. Check out the photo below, the Gizmo casts an even beam where the Energizer just has a spot in the middle. The Energizer 3 LED, though less expensive, is more tiring on your eyes and makes it harder to find items when they are near you.
The battery life is below average, scoring 2 of 10. The first version we tested had a measured high mode run time of 25 hours compared to the Energizer with 27.3 hours using the ANSI scale (learn more about the ANSI scale in the headlamp review. However, for 2015 the Gizmo was changed to automatically turn off after 2 hours. This means that our ANSI coffin test cannot work adequately. Also, as compared to the Energizer, we cannot make a perfect apples to apples comparison: it last a little longer and does so with a high beam mode that shines 33 meters to the Gizmo's 15 meters. If we assume that the battery life is actually similar to the previous model, the Gizmo has great battery life, but keep in mind this is at a very low beam output.
This was one of the least bright headlamps we tested. It shined just 15 meters in high beam mode and got our lowes score, a 1 of 10. By comparison, the Top Pick winning Petzl e+LITE, which is less than half the weight of the Gizmo and not exactly a beam-throwing powerhouse, shined almost twice as far with a 28 meters.
At 64 grams this was one of the top four lightest weight headlamps in our review. It is not nearly as lightweight as the Petzl e+LITE (30 grams) but it also costs less, is easier to use, and has a better close proximity score.
Ease of Use
It does't get much easier to use than this one. One easy to use button that intuitively turns the light simply on and off.
This could be the ideal headlamp for you for around home and camp. It casts a soft, even light which not only makes it easy to find things, you won't be blinding your fellow campers. It is not the headlamp you want for following a difficult and confusing trail at night or going cross-country.
This is one of the best values in headlamps we have seen, and was a strong contender for the Best Buy winner. The Petzl Tikkina beat it out because at the same price it offers a stronger beam power (31 meters) which gives it more versatility, but the Gizmo is lighter weight.
While this is not quite the Best Buy winner, we highly recommend it. It is just so compact, easy-to-use, and exceptional at close proximity applications. If you're doing more trail finding and hiking at night, then we recommend the Petzl Tikkina or that you upgrade to the Black Diamond ReVolt, our Editors' Choice winner. The ReVolt costs an extra $40 but is a powerhouse and makes up for all the Gizmo's shortcomings with great brightness and trail finding as well as the capability of recharging the batteries.
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— Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 10, 2015
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