Black Diamond Storm Headlamp Review
December 1, 2013
The Black Diamond Storm headlamp is my go to light source for every activity I take part in. It is super bright (100 lumens), takes 4 AAA batteries, fairly light weight (3.9 oz with batteries), easy single button mode switching, battery meter, fully waterproof to 1 meter, and has a lock mode so it won’t accidently switch on in your pack. I also appreciate the screw closure battery door. I find it easier to use than a pressure clip with cold hands.
The reason I take the Storm over the Black Diamond Spot or the Princeton Tec Vizz (even though they have a higher lumen max output) is because the Storm regulates its power output for the first 25% of its battery life. Regulated power output means that the headlamp is getting a consistent amount of power supplied from the batteries. Unregulated just takes whatever power output the batteries are providing and uses that. While it might seem like a small thing, an unregulated headlamp will only be able to output its max advertised lumens for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start seeing a significant drop in brightness.
I would prefer that the Storm regulated its power for the entire life of the battery, rather than just the first 25%, but this was a design choice made by Black Diamond and I’m ok with it. Regulating the first 25% means you get constant brightness for a couple hours and then an extended run time (to get every last bit of juice out of your batteries) for the remaining 75%. If it was regulated for the entire battery life the Storm would stop working when the batteries got to a specific power level rather than begin to dim.
I love the max brightness of the Spot and Vizz if I’m car camping or working around the house and only need the headlamp on for a few minutes at a time. But, if I am planning on hiking in the dark and will need several hours of continuous headlamp use it’s the Storm every time.
UPDATE: Since writing this review Black Diamond has updated the Storm headlamp. The new version sports Black Diamond’s “PowerTap” technology – which allows you to quickly switch between bright and dim modes. It also, and more importantly, has had its brightness bumped up to 160 lumens! With the updated brightness I feel that there isn’t a single better headlamp on the market. Super bright, fully water proof, regulated power, easy to cycle through modes and strong battery life make this headlamp a winner!
I’ve been using this headlamp for a couple years now and I’ve beat the crap out of it (the front is starting to crack) but I still take it with me everywhere I go. Best headlamp I’ve ever used.
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp