Black Diamond Ion Review
Cons: Below average lighting
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Compare to Similar Products
Black Diamond Ion
|Price||$25 List||$29 List||$19.95 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$29.95 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$19.95 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Light, small, relatively inexpensive, good battery life||Good performance for the price, 94 meter beam throw, easy to use||Super easy to use, inexpensive, solid performance, compact, and reliable||Lightweight, small size, excellent flood lighting||Lightweight, small size, excellent flood beam, great price|
|Cons||Below average lighting||Average in most ways||Good but not great spot beam for trail finding, slightly below average flood beam optics||Below average spot beam, disappointing low-mode battery life||Too weak a beam for trail finding or distance viewing|
|Bottom Line||A good quality & lightweight product, but wedged in between the ultralight e+LITE, and the better Tikkina||The Yalumi is a good light, at a good price, that provides basic functionality||For $20, the Tikkina offers impressive performance at a great price, that will meet most people's needs||A good light, but caught in a no-mans land between better lights and cheaper lights||Offers great close proximity lighting at a budget price|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Ion||Yalumi LED 140-Lumen||Petzl Tikkina||Black Diamond Cosmo||Black Diamond Astro|
|Trail Finding (35%)|
|Close Proximity (20%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond Ion||Yalumi LED 140-Lumen||Petzl Tikkina||Black Diamond Cosmo||Black Diamond Astro|
|Measured Beam Distance||44 m||94 m||62 m||66 m||38 m|
|Claimed Distance||38 m||90 m||55 m||65 m||35 m|
|Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI)||7.4 hrs||4.3 hrs||3.5 hrs||3.9 hrs||4.8 hrs|
|Claimed High Mode Run-time||6 hrs||Not specified||60 hrs||45 hrs||20 hrs|
|Measured Low Mode Run-time||115 hrs||47 hrs||223 hrs||39 hrs||95 hrs|
|Claimed Low Mode Run-time||180 hrs||100 hrs||220 hrs||180 hrs||80 hrs|
|Measured Weight||1.9 oz, 53 g||2.7 oz, 77 g||2.9 oz, 83 g||3 oz, 86 g||3 oz, 86 g|
|Battery Type||2 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA|
|Water Resistance||IPX8 waterproof beyond one meter||IPX4 splash proof||IPX4 splash proof||IPX8 waterproof beyond one meter||IPX4 splash proof|
|Manuf Claimed Lumens||100 lumens||140 lumens||150 lumens||200 lumens||150 lumens|
|Beam Type||flood/spot||flood/spot||flood||flood/spot, dimmable||flood, dimmable|
|On Switch Lock||no||no||no||yes||yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Black Diamond Ion is a good quality light, that comes in a compact size that is easy to pack, and relatively lightweight.
This light does not have the most impressive score, until you consider how small it is. As compared to larger lights like the Petzl Tikkina, the Ion's trail finding performance is lackluster. But, it trounces on the ultralight Petzl e+LITE.
The Ion offers below average close proximity lighting. This is an area where the e+LITE stands out, and is a much better choice.
The Ion is above average on battery life earning a 6 of 10 score.
The Ion is relatively light at 1.9 ounces or 53 grams, and compact.
Ease of Use
The Ion is fairly easy to use, but only a bit better than average. Basic functionality is easy enough, but we found accessing advanced features switching between red and white lighting easily confused with lock-out and dimming functions, and thus a bit hard to get right even with practice.
The Ion is a good light that comes in a small and lightweight package. Overall, in compact emergency lights, we prefer the Petzl e+LITE because it is just that much smaller, and thus a better choice for those looking for an ultralight solution. If you are on a budget and don't mind a slightly larger headlamp that weighs another ounce, we would go with the Best Buy winning Petzl Tikkina which offers better performance at a lower price, and yet is still pretty darn small and light.
— RJ Spurrier