This powerful little headlamp puts out a whopping 150 Lumens on it’s maximum brightness setting and casts a narrow 90m beam. On its maximum brightness setting, the lamp is claimed to last about 110hrs on the three included AAA size batteries. Personally I think that’s a tad optimistic since the low battery indicator came on after only several hours of use. It hasn’t actually stopped working yet so perhaps the low battery indicator is a tad premature. I certainly haven’t noticed any drop off in the brightness once the indicator comes on. As a general rule of thumb though, I always like to keep an extra set of batteries on hand anyway so that I’m never suddenly left in the dark.
The Vizz has three different illumination modes – Maxbright, which is a single high-power LED acting as a sort of spotlight. Be sure to not point this in the eyes of your fellow campers. If you happen to be deaf and unable to hear them swearing at you, you will certainly be able to see their rude finger gestures, which will be well illuminated. There is also the Ultrabright white setting that uses two smaller LED’s (that you can vary the intensity from bright to dim) and the Ultrabright Red that uses two red LED’s that provide a decent amount of light that won’t mess up your night vision or that of your fellow camp mates (they will appreciate this mode and so will you). All of these settings is done via a single push button on the top and is also used as the power button. The same button is also used to engage the ‘lock out’ function to prevent accidental use (say when the button may be pressed while stuffed in your pack, thus preventing wasted batteries). Yes, it’s quite easy to get confused with the button combinations/sequences but it’s hardly rocket science so just keep messing about with it and you will get it to do what you want it to do.
Obviously as a headlamp, it comes with an elastic headband, which is rather comfortable and adjustable so there should be no issues with getting it to fit your noggin. The lamp mount can also tilt downward allowing you to point the beam of light right down to your feet while walking to help you avoid tripping over roots or stubbing your toe on the coffee table while in a power outage.
Another really nice feature is that it has a water resistance rating of IPX7, which means it can be fully submerged in 1m of water for 30 minutes without being damaged. With that in mind, you really don’t have to worry about getting it wet in heavy rain or should you drop it in a shallow stream.
Overall, this is a great performing headlamp and it’s certainly worth more than many other headlamps of equal features and functions. Many other comparable headlamps cost about $80 but the Princeton Tec Vizz costs a modest $50 or so (depending on your retailer obviously). I would highly recommend having a headlamp handy not only as a camper but also just to have around the house and part of your emergency kit. Like with all other electronics, if you aren’t going to use it for long periods, be sure to remove the batteries (batteries tend to leak). As far as headlamps go, I would highly recommend this one. The only feature it doesn’t have is a flashing mode which is commonly used as a distress signal out in the woods.