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Posted: Long Term Princeton Tec Scout Headlamp Report

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  • James Triplett
    Hey Gang! Here s my Long Term Princeton Tec Scout Headlamp Report - which is a day or two early. The full version, complete with shower pictures, is
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 29 1:14 PM
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      Hey Gang! Here's my Long Term Princeton Tec Scout Headlamp Report - which is a day or two early. The full version, complete with shower pictures, is available in the test folder - here--> http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/Level%201/Jets%20Scout%20report%20WITH%20pictures/<http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/Level%201/Jets%20Scout%20report%20WITH%20pictures/>

      The boring text version is below. This has been a fun test. Thank you to all involved.

      James T. (Jet)


      Long Term Test Report:
      Dual-LED headlamp

      Table of Contents
      Personal Biographical Information
      Backpacking Background
      Manufacturer Information
      Product Information
      Additional Product Information
      Usage and Test Conditions
      Features and Long Term Testing
      Issues and Problems

      Personal Biographical Information

      Name: James E. Triplett
      Age: 43
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
      Weight: 196 lb (89 kg)
      Email address: james_triplett@...<mailto:james_triplett@...>
      City state: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
      Date: March 1, 2004

      Backpacking Background
      I grew up car camping all through my childhood. As the son of two teachers, we camped in order to be able to afford a vacation, always in the summer, and usually we headed north from the Midwest to find cooler climates. That instilled in me a love for the outdoors, which spurred me into backpacking, and eventually motivated me to continuously hike the lower 1/3 of the Appalachian Trail. Currently, I spend many weekends backpacking and camping each year, and am out on a daily basis on shorter hikes. I camp with the Scouts, my family, and solo. I try to take at least one one-week backpacking trip each year in addition to the several one to three-night trips.

      My style can best be described as three-season and lightweight. I have ventured out in the winter, but I'm a total novice when it comes to snow camping. I love gadgets, and may have more than one of any item in my gear closet to select from prior to any trip. I prefer a tent (with a floor) over a tarp, but have not yet tried hammocking.

      Manufacturer Information

      Manufacturer: Princeton Tec Sport Lights

      Princeton (Trenton), New Jersey
      URL: www.princetontec.com<http://www.princetontec.com/>
      alternate URL: www.ptsportlights.com<http://www.ptsportlights.com/>

      Product Information

      Year of Manufacturer: 2003
      Date Item Received: August 20, 2003

      Features: Lightweight headlamp with five operating modes
      Bulbs: Two high powered white LEDs
      Batteries: Four 2032 lithium coin cells

      MSRP: $19.95 (USD)

      Listed Weight: 1.85 oz (52 g) w/ included batteries
      Actual weight: 1.60 oz (45 g) Lamp - batteries - headband
      (Weighed on a US postal scale) 1.0 oz (28 g) Lamp and batteries w/o headband

      .60 oz (17 g) Headband only

      Measurements: Width: 2" (51 mm)

      Height: 1.25" (32 mm)

      Depth: .75" (19 mm)

      At the time of my initial report, the Scout was available in three colors, according to the Princeton Tec website, however there are no longer any color choices mentioned.

      Additional Product Information
      Paraphrased from the Princeton Tec website:

      * The Scout headlamp offers waterproof integrity and weighs approximately two ounces
      * It is small enough to fit into your pocket and forget it is there
      * The unique multifunctional hinged lamp housing directs light where you need it
      * The lamp housing is designed to detach quickly and easily from the lightweight head strap for use on your cap, backpack strap, belt and other gear.
      * Powered by (4) tiny lithium coin cell batteries, the Scout offers burn times up to (30) times greater than incandescent AA or AAA cell headlamps.
      * Engineered to last a lifetime, the illumination comes from (2) high output light emitting diodes (L.E.D. s) that are impact resistant, shockproof and never require replacement
      * The Scout sports an innovative electronically controlled switch system which provides easy switching between (3) levels of light output and two emergency signaling modes

      Usage and Test Conditions
      I have used the Princeton Tec Scout on a variety of daily hikes and weekend outings. It is a great light and I have enjoyed using it. In six months of testing, I have experienced a temperature range of 0 F to 88F (-18 to 31 C) and the elevation has varied from around 400 to 7,000 feet (0.1 to 2.1 km) as I have gone on trips in Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska, as well as my home state of Iowa. The Princeton Tec Scout has been tested in cold and dry conditions, as well as warm and humid conditions. It has had heavy exposure to rain, and light exposure to falling snow. It has remained in perfect working order throughout the test period.

      Features and Long Term Testing
      As I said in my field report, the PT Scout is an attractive headlamp. The two LEDs are stacked vertically rather than horizontally, although the lamp head's longest dimension is horizontal. The single strap headband seems a bit wide at ¾" (1.9 cm), but it is comfortable and stable. The headband is an elastic/neoprene type material which holds the lamp well, even when wet, and dries quickly.

      Princeton Tec Scout in "clip mode"

      The rubberized power/mode section button has not changed throughout this test period. It was a little difficult to press initially, and it still is. I have found that the best way to activate the headlamps is to press the button with the edge of my fingernail, or the very tip of my finger, in order to get the button to move far enough to switch the lamp on. Otherwise, I have to squeeze the lamp and button really hard to move the switch past the detent. That being said, I don't feel that this is a negative issue as the switch works properly and the sealed switch is necessary to make the lamp waterproof. As discussed in my previous reports, you press the on/off button in "rapid" succession (less than 1.5 seconds) to scroll through the different power settings. This is not difficult, and if a mistake is made you can just continue scrolling until you reach the desired setting. I typically go with the "more light is better" notion, and leave the lamp in the brightest mode.

      Princeton Tec Scout underwater during testing

      The Princeton Tec Scout claims to be waterproof, and I have no reason to doubt that. I had the lamp on on one occasion where I was hiking in the rain for well over an hour. The water beaded up and rolled down the face of the lamp, and the light never flickered. I also performed a "shower test" on the Scout, just make sure it was as waterproof as it claims to be. Wearing the headlamp in a shower of water it worked just fine. I also took it off and ran the water on it at every conceivable angle, and again no problems. The next test was the "dunk test". I submerged the whole headlamp, with the power on, in a sink full of water. There were no indications of any problems. I then cycled the lamp through the various modes; high, low, medium power, and the two flashing modes. Again no problems. The light remained in the sink for 30 minutes and keep emitting a steady light while under water. There have been no ill effects from this test, and I believe that the claim that the Scout is waterproof is accurate.

      Princeton Tec Scout in the shower test

      It is possible to easily remove the headband from the Princeton Tec Scout, and the clip the light onto a pack strap, the bill of a cap, or an article of clothing. The "clip" is simply a wedge, with no locking mechanism, or any other means to insure that the unit will stay in place. I have been reluctant to trust this mounting technique and do not use it while hiking. I have found the clip function to be useful in a tent or for other stationary uses without mishap. However, I am so used to wearing it, and pointing my face at whatever I wish to illuminate, that I use the strap and wear the headlamp 99% of the time.

      Issues and Problems
      No issues or problems to report. This is a simple headlamp which has performed to perfection.

      The Princeton Tec Scout headlamp has meet all claims by the manufacturer. It is sharp looking, light weight, and produces a powerful and steady beam of light. It features a pivoting head which allows the headlamp to be aimed at different angles - a nice touch. I have found the Scout to be ideal for use in my tent, around camp, picking up firewood, and generally working on things in fairly close proximity. I feel it meets the minimum requirements as a trail light, as it casts a nice light out far enough to recognize obstacles as I head down the trail. For extended night hiking I prefer a more powerful headlamp, but the Scout is ample for hikes that take me past nightfall, or for short trips to the watering hole. The Princeton Tec Scout is also ideally suited for all kinds of household projects, automotive repairs, looking for marbles under the piano, and taking showers with the lights off. Despite some rough treatment (being dropped and tossed about), and my water tests, the Princeton Tec Scout has shown no sign of wear, has no loose parts, and works as well as the day I got it.

      Respectfully submitted,

      -James T.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Rebecca
      Thanks Jet! Ooooh...shower pictures? This is a family friendly list JET, don t make me ban you! As usual, my comments and edits are below marked with ###. Oh,
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 3, 2004
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        Thanks Jet!

        Ooooh...shower pictures? This is a family friendly list JET, don't make me
        ban you!

        As usual, my comments and edits are below marked with ###.

        Oh, wait, nothing to comment on! Good job. Upload when ready.

      • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
        Yeah... well it was steamy too... hard to keep the camera lens clear enough for a good shot. Hopefully it looks okay. Out of about a dozen shower shots only
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 4, 2004
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          Yeah... well it was steamy too... hard to keep the camera lens clear
          enough for a good shot. Hopefully it looks okay. Out of about a dozen
          shower shots only two were clear enough to use.

          Thanks for the compliments. I'll try an upload tonight, although I only
          have an hour at home between work and another commitment. If not then...
          then Friday.

          Thanks again.


          > Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 14:08:39 -0800
          > From: "Rebecca" <rebecca@...>
          >Subject: RE: Posted: Long Term Princeton Tec Scout Headlamp Report
          >Thanks Jet!
          >Ooooh...shower pictures? This is a family friendly list JET, don't make
          >ban you!
          >As usual, my comments and edits are below marked with ###.
          >Oh, wait, nothing to comment on! Good job. Upload when ready.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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