RE: [BackpackGearTest]EDIT Initial Report: Princeton Tec Scout
- Hi Carol - just a few edits/comments for you. Upload when ready!
From: cmcrooker [mailto:cmcrooker@...]
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 7:27 PM
Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Initial Report: Princeton Tec Scout
Princeton Tec Scout Headlamp, Initial Report
Name: Carol Crooker
Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Email: cmcrooker AT att DOT net
City, State: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: August 28, 2003
Backpacking background: For the past 6 years, I've backpacked about
30 days each year. Most of my trips were three to six days long,
and were in Arizona, the High Sierras, Idaho, Oregon, Utah,
Pennsylvania and New York. My three-season base pack weight varies
from 13.5 lb (6 kg) to 9 lb (4 kg). I use a tarp for shelter in all
The Scout is a small, waterproof, two L.E.D. headlamp. The lamp is
on a hinge and can be tilted down, and it can be removed from the
headband completely. The lamp has five lighting modes: low,
medium, and high continuous light, and two blinking modes.
Manufacturer: Princeton Tec
Year of manufacture: 2003
Listed weight: 1.85 oz (52 g) with batteries
Weight as delivered: 1.7 oz (48 g) with batteries
Weight of headlamp without strap: 1.0 oz (28 g)
Bulbs: two high-powered white L.E.D.s
Batteries: four 2032 Lithium coin cell, included
Listed Burn time for batteries: 24 hours on high/36 hours on
medium/48 hours on low
The Scout arrived on August 22, 2003. It was packed inside a tough
plastic display case inside a cardboard box. The plastic case is
transparent and showed off the lamp part of the Scout. Labeling
includes product information, company address, and indicates the
Scout comes with a lifetime warranty.
I was able to pop open the plastic case without having to perform
delicate surgery to extract the Scout. First, I put the Scout on a
Royal Ex1 scale and was happy to see it weighed only 1.7 oz (48 g).
The headband is easily adjustable and felt comfortable on my medium
to large head. There is plenty of room for adjustment in the
headband to accommodate a head larger or smaller than mine. The
headband is ¾" (1.9 cm) wide. The hinge is stiff; it takes two
hands to tilt the lamp downwards. The on/off/mode selection button
is located at the top center of the headlamp. The button is small
and must be deliberately pushed to turn the lamp on. There seems to
be no danger of accidentally turning the Scout on. In fact, I will
specifically be testing to see how easy the headlamp is to operate
with gloves on. The button is inaccessible unless the lamp is
tilted forward. An extension from the plastic backing protrudes to
cover the button. I'm not sure of the purpose for this. Maybe that
will become clear during testing. My initial thought is that it is
a nuisance to have to use both hands to tilt the lamp forward before
it can be turned on.
I took a short walk along an unlighted path in the neighborhood. I
had no trouble walking using the Scout on high power to light my
way. I'll do more testing on night hiking with the Scout in more
I took the Scout into a dark room and used it on low power to read a
page in a book. It worked very well. The whole page was
illuminated softly; no blinding glare off the page.
The sliders the headband passes through on the lamp casing both have
slits, allowing the headband to be removed easily. Once removed,
the lamp can be slid onto the brim of a ball cap. In fact, the
plastic extension that covers the mode control button comes in handy
to guide the hat brim into place. Aha, maybe that is its purpose!
There is a hole through the plastic backing that could be used to
hang the headlamp on a string so it could be worn around the neck,
Examining the package the Scout came in more closely; I found that
the cardboard insert is removable.
[Rebecca] ### EDIT: Comma instead of semi colon
There is some handy information
on the back of this insert: switch operation, lifetime warranty,
return policy, battery replacement, and troubleshooting.
The troubleshooting section includes what to do if water gets on the
circuit board. This little section was reassuring to me. It
repeated that the Scout is waterproof, but if water got on the
circuit board because the case was not properly closed, it would
normally be easily fixable.
[Rebecca] ### Comment: Could you expand on this a little? How do they
recommend fixing this?
Battery replacement is very simple. Remove a small screw (which has
a tiny "O" ring to keep the light waterproof), then use an edge
built into one of the sliders on the headband to pop the light
open. The light opened very easily, no struggling like I have done
with the Scout's big brother, the Aurora.
The instructions for battery replacement and switch operation were
clear and easy to follow.
When I first saw the Scout in a store I noted that it ran on four
Lithium coin cell batteries. I was concerned about the cost of
replacing these batteries. I did a quick web search to find that
the four replacement batteries would cost a total of about $14 (12.9
EUR). Now, only a month and a half later, another web search
revealed a set of batteries specifically packaged for the Princeton
Tec Scout, for only $5 (4.6 EUR). I include this information for
those having the same concerns about battery cost that I had.
The Princeton Tec website now includes the Scout. The description
and picture match the Scout I received.
The quality and workmanship of the Scout appear to very good. On my
initial examination, it appears to be a very robust light.
I'll take the Scout along on my backpacking trips during the next
six months and also perform some at-home trials. I haven't fully
planned my trips yet, but hope to do a four-day, Fall backpack trip
in the southern Sierras, and Winter and early Spring trips in
[Rebecca] ### No need to capitilize the season names.
Temperatures may vary from 90 F (32 C) to 0 F (-18 C).
Elevations may vary from 1200' (366 m) to 12,000' (3660 m).
The following are particular areas I'll be checking out:
- How easy is the Scout to operate with gloves on?
- Is the Scout bright enough, with a wide enough beam to be used for
- Can I comfortably read a book using the Scout?
- Is there a purpose for having the lamp mode button covered unless
the lamp is tilted forward?
[Rebecca] ### Comment: my guess is for storage, so it doesn't accidentally
get turned on. But maybe you'll find a better reason! =)
- Does the lamp stay in place when it is attached to my hat brim?
Are there other useful places to clip the lamp (the website suggests
the belt or pack strap)? If clipped near the roof of my tarp is it
useful as an area light? Is it bright enough, and the beam broad
enough, to illuminate the interior of the tarp? Can I clip the lamp
to a string without having to tie it in place?
- Waterproofness. I'll turn the headlamp on and put it in a bucket
of water for 30 minutes and report on the results. I'll do this
after two months of use so I will have already gathered useful
information, just in case the light fails. If I get the chance,
I'll also put the Scout out in the rain for a while, and then make
sure it still works properly. I'll use a shower or spray nozzle to
simulate rain if I'm not so fortunate as to encounter the real
- Battery life. I will note how well the Scout lights my tarp and
campsite or trail, when set on bright, at the beginning of the test
and at the end. I'll also observe whether there is any discernable
difference in my ease of reading a book on the lowest setting
between the start and the end of the testing period. I will attempt
to keep a rough log of how many hours I've used the Scout.
- I'll darken a small room to simulate a tarp or tent set up, and
note any significant differences in how well the Scout lights the
room as compared to my Aurora (three L.E.D.s) with new batteries.
Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]