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Princeton Tec Vizz Review

   

Headlamps

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: January 12, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $38 - $50 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  A full featured light with good brightness
Cons:  Claimed battery life is wildly overstated based on our tests using the ANSI FL-1 standard
Best Uses:  A good light, but competing lights offer better value and/or performance
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Princeton Tec
Review by: RJ Spurrier ⋅ Senior Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ January 12, 2014  
Overview
This light has solid beam brightness but for $50, it faces some stout competition that delivers more brightness for less money. The most direct competitor is the Black Diamond Spot which scored higher in most categories and costs $10 less. The Coast HL7 has over twice the beam power for $14 less.

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  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Performance Comparison
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Spot mode light turned on
Credit: Shellay Glatz
Trail Finding
The trail finding score of 7 of 10 is good, but not great, especially for a $50 light. For example, see the beam comparison photo with the Coast HL7 (8 of 10 score) below that is $14 less expensive.

Beam Distance Photos


Princeton Tec VizzCoast HL7

Close Proximity
This is another category where the Spot pulls ahead with a 9 of 10 score to the Vizz's 7 of 10. The Spot casts a very even beam immediately around you where the Vizz has a hot spot in the middle which makes it harder to see everything in your nearby wide field of vision.

Close-proximity Beam Pattern


Black Diamond Spot Princeton Tec Vizz

Battery Life
The claimed 110 hour high mode run-time fell laughably short of our measured high mode ANSI run time of three hours. This headlamp is a poster child for why we feel manufacturers need to move back to the ANSI standard as we describe in detail in the Headlamp Review. As you can see in this battery life versus beam distance graph, after three hours, the Vizz has lost 90% of its beam power and after 4.7 hours it only shines 6 meters. At this point, we and ANSI standard feel the clock should be stopped on measuring high beam power as the headlamp is just a fraction of its best self. However, Princeton Tec keeps the clock running for 105 hours! To ANSI and (in our opinion) a basic common sense test, it seems ludicrous to claim that a headlamp is still in high beam mode when that beam has degraded 90+ percent.

Using the ANSI standard, the Vizz did not stack up well against the competition. It lasted 2.2 hours less than the Spot in high beam mode. Even the low battery life Coast HL7 lasted longer in high mode and did so while casting a beam 25-75 meters further as you can see here.
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Uses 3 AAA batteries
Credit: Shellay Glatz

Brightness
The brightness score was right in the middle of the pack but behind its closest competition. It cast a beam 61 m compared to the Spot's 70 m and the Coast's 128 m.

Weight
At 94 grams, this is a very standard weight compact headlamp and is nearly exactly the weight of the Spot. It will fit easily in your pocket, but can't be considered and ultralight headlamp like the Petzl e+LITE which is less than a third the weight at 26 grams.

Value
At $50, this is a premium priced light. It's main competitors costs $10-14 and deliver more performance.

Conclusion
At $50, the Vizz faces some tough competition. We recommend the Editors' Choice Black Diamond Spot which scored higher is most metrics, costs $10 less and delivers a respectable battery life. Or, if battery life is not crucial, save $16 and get the Coast HL7 which delivers a far more powerful beam in high mode for the same (short) battery life as the Vizz.

RJ Spurrier and Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 12, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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Princeton Tec Vizz
Credit: Princeton Tec
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Seller Price
Amazon $37.82  -  24% off!
Backcountry $39.96  -  20% off!
MooseJaw $39.96  -  20% off!
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