The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Princeton Tec Vizz Review

A light that doesn't offer compelling performance for the price point
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Price:  $50 List | $19.73 at REI
Pros:  Well built, reasonable battery life claims
Cons:  Competing lights offer better value
Manufacturer:   Princeton Tec
By RJ Spurrier ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2018
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45
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#25 of 27
  • Trail Finding - 35% 5
  • Close Proximity - 20% 3
  • Battery Life - 15% 6
  • Weight - 15% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 3

Our Verdict

The Princeton Tec Vizz provides solid beam brightness, but for $50 it faces some stout competition from models that deliver more performance. The most direct competitor is the Black Diamond Storm, which scored higher and also has a $50 list price.

New Vizz Summer 2018
Princeton Tec is rolling out an update to the Vizz that is significantly brighter at 420 lumens versus the 350 lumen version we tested in this review. We'll look forward to testing it in the next review cycle.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Princeton Tec Vizz
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $19.73 at REI$89 List$36.00 at Amazon$39.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$27.84 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Well built, reasonable battery life claimsBright wide beam, good battery life, durable design, rechargeableExcellent trail finding and close proximity beam, waterproof, above average battery lifeExcellent spot light capability, wide evenly lit flood beam, above average in most waysExcellent brightness and beam control, often available online at discount
Cons Competing lights offer better valueExpensive, 18650 Li-ion battery is not included, heavier than averageMore expensive, heavier than average, claimed battery life is very misleadingBelow average battery life, claimed battery life is wildly misleading, single button hard to use, lame waterproofingAverage battery life, heavier and bulkier than most
Bottom Line A light that doesn't offer compelling performance for the price pointAn impressive, powerful light in a small package that won't disappoint if you can get past the priceA durable light that will last for years with a bright high-quality beam, slightly higher in cost and weightA quality, durable, and bright light that hits the sweet spot for most people's needs, despite dubious marketing claimsPreviously one of our favorites, but hasn't kept pace with competitor's innovations
Rating Categories Princeton Tec Vizz Zebralight H600w Mk IV Black Diamond Storm Black Diamond Spot Coast HL7
Trail Finding (35%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Close Proximity (20%)
10
0
3
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Battery Life (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
4
10
0
5
Weight (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
4
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
4
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Princeton Tec Vizz Zebralight H600w... Black Diamond Storm Black Diamond Spot Coast HL7
Measured Beam Distance 69 m 121 m 91 m 94 m 112 m
Claimed Distance 78 m Not specified 85 m 80 m 119 m
Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI) 3.7 hrs 3.1 hrs 5 hrs 2.9 hrs 3.1 hrs
Claimed High Mode Run-time 1 hrs 2.9 hrs 40 hrs 30 hrs 1.5 hrs
Measured Low Mode Run-time 129 hrs 232 hrs 42 hrs 9.7 hrs 25 hrs
Claimed Low Mode Run-time 6 hrs 203 hrs 120 hrs 175 hrs 70 hrs
Measured Weight 3.4 oz, 96 g 4.5 oz, 127 g 4 oz, 112 g 3.1 oz, 89 g 4.5 oz, 127 g
Battery Type 3 AAA 18650 rechargeable Li-ion 4 AAA 3 AAA 3 AAA
Water Resistance IPX7 waterproof to one meter IPX8 waterproof to 2 meters, 30 minutes IP67 waterproof to one meter and dustproof Splash proof (dubious IPX8 claim) water resistant
Manuf Claimed Lumens 205 lumens 1400 lumens 350 lumens 300 lumens 285 lumens
Beam Type flood/spot flood flood/spot flood/spot flood/spot
Red Light yes no yes, red/green/blue night-vision modes yes no
On Switch Lock no yes (tailcap lockout) yes yes no

Our Analysis and Test Results

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



Trail Finding


The trail finding score of 5 of 10 is about average overall, but disappointing for a $50 light.


Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Princeton Tec Vizz
Beam photo of Black Diamond Storm

Princeton Tec Vizz
Black Diamond Storm

Close Proximity


The Vizz disappointed us in close proximity testing with optics that has a hot spot in the middle which makes it harder to see everything in your nearby wide field of vision.


Battery Life


Our tests showed the Vizz offering even better battery life, for both high mode, and more so in low mode, than the manufacturer claims in their marketing. We found it to perform a bit above average on battery life.



Conclusion


At $50 list, the Vizz is a premium priced light that faces some tough competition. The Black Diamond Spot, which scored higher overall, sells for $10 lower list price. The BD Storm offers even more performance, for the same list price.

Princeton Tec has announced in summer of 2018 a new 420 lumen version of the Vizz that may offer a more compelling value.


RJ Spurrier