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Hands-on Gear Review
Energizer 3 LED Review
Cons: Short battery life, not the most even beam at close range
This headlamp from Energizer performed surprisingly well, especially considering you might find it at a supermarket. It isn't to be confused with a high performing light, but it's only $18 and scored reasonably well for beam quality. The Petzl Tikkina however, edges out the Energizer for the Best Buy award with a recently lowered price, and overall better construction quality.
RELATED: Our complete review of headlamps
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
In a competitive field, this product, which almost seems like an afterthought from a huge battery manufacturer, actually has some attributes to offer potential customers.
The trail finding score for this headlamp is surprisingly high. As you can see in this beam comparison photo, the Energizer shines slightly ahead of its closest competitor, the Best Buy winning Petzl Tikkina.
The Energizer's close proximity score falls right in the middle of the pack because it casts an even beam; it's just not very wide. If close proximity is very important to you, check out the Black Diamond Gizmo ($20), which scored very high in this metric and has a long battery life.
For such an inexpensive offering, it's impressive that the Energizer also comes with a red light mode. This saves battery life and doesn't blind your friends around camp.
The battery life score is surprisingly good. It has an ANSI measured high mode run time of 10.3 hours which puts it in the top five of all headlamps tested. Learn more about ANSI in our Headlamp Review. We originally thought the Petzl Tikkina would blow the Energizer out of the water, but the two were essentially neck and neck, as you can see in this battery life versus beam distance graph.
Remember, with battery life and our objective testing, the absolute time the light shines in our test box is just part of the story. Both the Tikkina and Energizer score nearly the longest times in the light coffin test, where we test all lights in their highest mode. These lights have a relatively dim max mode. Other lights burn less time, but do so much brighter. We did not test other lights in their respective lower modes that would better compare to the highest modes in these budget lamps. Our final battery life scores are an attempt to adjust for brightness.
The Energizer's brightness score is pretty low. We measured a max beam distance of 33 m compared to the Tikkina with 31 m, the Spot with 71 m, and the Editors' Choice winner Coast with 131 m.
At 78 grams, this is lamp is toward the lighter end of the spectrum, and lighter than most Tikka headlamps. It is not to be confused with a featherweight like the 28 gram, Top Pick winning Petzl e+LITE.
Ease of Use
This headlamp earned one of the highest ease-of-use scores. For infrequent headlamp users, it's nice to have a light that is intuitive and does't require learning the various features. This is also easy to use with gloves. It could be noted here, or up in battery life, but it must be pointed out that this light is by far the most troublesome when it comes to inadvertently turning on. Almost more often than not, we'd find it turned on in our pack. The switch has no lock mode and is more vulnerable than most to bumping and jostling.
This is the ideal lamp to keep around the house, in the glove compartment, or around camp for infrequent use. It is not necessarily the best headlamp for heavy use, backpacking, or running on trails.
This is one of the least expensive headlamps we tested, so is a good budget option.
If you're on a budget, this is a very functional headlamp and is apt to be readily available, perhaps even found on sale.
— Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 1, 2015
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