< Go to Headlamps

Hands-on Gear Review

Princeton Tec Vizz Review



  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: May 10, 2015
Price:   $50 List | Varies from $37 - $50 online
Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Compact and reliable
Cons:  More expensive than higher-performing competition
Manufacturer:   Princeton Tec
Review by: Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ May 10, 2015  
The Princeton Tec Vizz provides solid beam brightness, but for $50 it faces some stout competition from models that deliver 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 Editors' Choice winning Coast HL7 has over twice the beam power for around the same price or less. Finally, our other Editors' Choice winner, the Black Diamond ReVolt, is slightly more expensive but performs better overall and runs on, and charges internally, rechargeable AAA batteries.

RELATED: Our complete review of headlamps

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Princeton Tec has a long history of making headlamps. Petzl, Black Diamond, and Princeton Tec represent the companies most recognized in the outdoor world for their headlamps. As compared to these other manufacturers, Princeton Tec has fallen behind lately. Generally, they have a great foundation, but the products seem to be overpriced for the performance.

Performance Comparison

Click to enlarge
The Vizz is a decently bright headlamp at a premium price.
Credit: Micah James

Trail Finding

The trail finding score of 6 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, which is brighter and less expensive.

Beam Distance Photos

Princeton Tec VizzCoast HL7

Close Proximity

The Black Diamond Spot pulls ahead of the Vizz with a 7 of 10 score to the Vizz's 6 of 10. The Spot casts a very even beam immediately around you, whereas 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

Princeton Tec VizzBlack Diamond Spot

Battery Life

In an earlier OutdoorGearLab review we wrote about the Vizz that:

The claimed 110 hour high mode run-time fell laughably short of our measured high mode ANSI run time of 3 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.

Now, in 2015, Princeton Tec has softened their claims of high-mode run-time while our testing showed the exact same performance. What a refreshing industry move. Thank you, Princeton Tec, for moving marketing materials back in line with industry standards. Our 2015 Vizz model is claimed to run on high mode for 3 hours, and our light coffin test indicated a high mode run time of 3.2 hours. In absolute terms, this is not a spectacular score. But we must commend the company for an attempt at transparent marketing materials.

Click to enlarge
The Vizz takes three AAA batteries.
Credit: Micah James


The brightness score of the Vizz is right in the middle of the pack, but behind its closest competition. It cast a beam 58m compared to the Black Diamond ReVolt's 56m and the Coast's 131m.

Click to enlarge
The Princeton Tec Vizz in use around camp.
Credit: Jediah Porter


At 94 grams, this is a very standard weight compact headlamp, and is nearly exactly the weight of the ReVolt. It will fit easily in your pocket, but can't be considered an ultralight headlamp like the Petzl e+LITE, which is less than a third of the weight at 30 grams. The heaviest headlamp in our review, and a Top Pick award winner, the Fenix HP25 is a burly brick next to the Vizz. The Fenix throws light almost three times as far as the otherwise bright Vizz.

Best Applications

This is a general purpose headlamp for use in the home, car, or around camp.

Click to enlarge
Princeton Tec Vizz in use around camp.
Credit: Jediah Porter


At $50, this is a premium priced light. Its main competitors cost about the same while delivering more performance.


At $50, the Vizz faces some tough competition. We recommend the contender for the Editors' Choice award, the Black Diamond Spot, which scored higher is most metrics, costs $10 less and delivers a respectable battery life. The Black Diamond ReVolt is rechargeable, costs just a bit more, has way better battery life and similar brightness. Or, if battery life is not crucial, spend about the same and get the Coast HL7 which delivers a far more powerful beam in high mode for the same (short) battery life as the Vizz.

Other Versions and Accessories

Click to enlarge
Princeton Tec Byte
  • Cost - $20
  • 70 Lumens
  • Super compact headlamp
  • Works well for trail finding

Click to enlarge
Princeton Tec Sync
  • Cost - $30
  • 90 Lumens
  • Consistent, usable long beam
  • Solid and even close light

Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier

Where to Buy?

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: May 10, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

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

Have you used the Princeton Tec Vizz?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Princeton Tec Vizz
Credit: Princeton Tec
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $37.46  -  25% off!
Amazon $38.51  -  23% off!
REI $39.93  -  20% off!
Compare prices at 6 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Related Review
The Hunt for the Best Headlamp

The Hunt for the Best Headlamp

Looking for the perfect headlamp? Find it here. We have gone through extensive and rigorous testing to sort through exaggerated manufacturer claims and find the truly great products.
Helpful Buying Tips
How to Choose the Best Headlamp - Click for details
 How to Choose the Best Headlamp

by Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier
Other Gear by Princeton Tec