At first glance, the Vitchelo seems like it might be a contender, at least on paper, but our extensive hands-on test left us disappointed. The Vitchelo delivers average performance when used for viewing distance, OK, but certainly not impressive compared to competitors. But, it really falls short for everyday use around the camp. The close-proximity lighting levels offer a narrow beam that is poorly suited to use lighting a camping kitchen, reading, work around the house, or other normal flood lighting uses. This is a light we would not recommend to a friend.
Vitchelo V800 Review
Cons: Very poor for close proximity use, narrow beam
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$15.95 at Amazon||$89 List||$34.99 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$25.99 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$29.74 at Amazon|
|Pros||Good battery life, bright spot mode beam||Bright wide beam, good battery life, durable design, rechargeable||Excellent trail finding and close proximity beam, waterproof, above average battery life||Excellent spot light capability, wide evenly lit flood beam, above average in most ways||Excellent brightness and beam control, often available online at discount|
|Cons||Very poor for close proximity use, narrow beam||Expensive, 18650 Li-ion battery is not included, heavier than average||More expensive, heavier than average, claimed battery life is very misleading||Below average battery life, claimed battery life is wildly misleading, single button hard to use, lame waterproofing||Average battery life, heavier and bulkier than most|
|Bottom Line||A below average performer overall, not recommended||An impressive, powerful light in a small package that won't disappoint if you can get past the price||A durable light that will last for years with a bright high-quality beam, slightly higher in cost and weight||A quality, durable, and bright light that hits the sweet spot for most people's needs, despite dubious marketing claims||Previously one of our favorites, but hasn't kept pace with competitor's innovations|
|Rating Categories||Vitchelo V800||Zebralight H600w Mk IV||Black Diamond Storm||Black Diamond Spot||Coast HL7|
|Trail Finding (35%)|
|Close Proximity (20%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Vitchelo V800||Zebralight H600w...||Black Diamond Storm||Black Diamond Spot||Coast HL7|
|Measured Beam Distance||134 m||121 m||91 m||94 m||112 m|
|Claimed Distance||110 m||Not specified||85 m||80 m||119 m|
|Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI)||4.1 hrs||3.1 hrs||5 hrs||2.9 hrs||3.1 hrs|
|Claimed High Mode Run-time||Not specified||2.9 hrs||40 hrs||30 hrs||1.5 hrs|
|Measured Low Mode Run-time||191 hrs||232 hrs||42 hrs||9.7 hrs||25 hrs|
|Claimed Low Mode Run-time||120 hrs||203 hrs||120 hrs||175 hrs||70 hrs|
|Measured Weight||3.2 oz, 92 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||IPX 6 (Resists powerful jets)||IPX8 waterproof to 2 meters, 30 minutes||IP67 waterproof to one meter and dustproof||Splash proof (dubious IPX8 claim)||water resistant|
|Manuf Claimed Lumens||168 lumens||1400 lumens||350 lumens||300 lumens||285 lumens|
|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
The Vitchelo is a light that is intriguing due to pretty high user-ratings on sites like Amazon, but we found it fell way short of our expectations when we put it through extensive testing side by side competing products.
The Vitchelo is an easy to use light that offers a beam that shines a long distance. But, that beam distance looks better on paper than it is in practice, because the V800 gains that long distance with optics that create an overly narrow spot beam that feels like you are looking down a narrow tunnel.
The comparison below shows the Vitchelo on the left versus the Black Diamond Spot. The Vitchelo actually shines a longer distance, but we'd much prefer the wider and more evenly lit beam of the Spot and other competitors.
The Vitchelo's other strong suit is battery life, where it held up well in our close-proximity test, and performed above average in our test on the high setting.
Unfortunately, this is another pyrrhic victory for the Vitchelo, because while battery life is excellent in the low setting, the optics are terrible for close-proximity use and we found this one of the least desirable lights to use around the camp.
Our biggest issue with the Vitchelo is poor optics — the beam is overly hot in the center and just too darn narrow — and this problem is most noticable when the V800 is used around camp in the low-level lighting. A wide and evenly lit beam is what we want around camp or in the tent, and the V800 offers an overly narrow spot.
As illustrated in the chart above, the V800 is one of our least favorite lights for use around camp. But, the problems with the optics don't stop for use at close proximity; it also degrades use for trail finding.
The narrow beam of the Vitchelo is much less useful when viewing distance, such as trail finding, than competing lights because the beam is just too narrow, providing a view like looking through a tube.
There is really nothing about the Vitchelo that is sufficiently compelling to justify buying it when there are so many competing products that offer better performance and value. This is not a light we'd recommend to a friend.
— RJ Spurrier