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  • kenjennorris
    Owner Review: Black Diamond Icon Headlamp Date: December 17, 2007 Name: Ken Norris Age: 30 Gender: Male Height: 5 5 (1.65 Meters) Weight: 170 Pounds (77
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 17, 2007
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      Owner Review: Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

      Date: December 17, 2007

      Name: Ken Norris
      Age: 30
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5' 5" (1.65 Meters)
      Weight: 170 Pounds (77 Kilograms)
      Email address: kenjennorris@...
      City, State, Country: Carnation, Washington, USA
      Backpacking Background: I have been hiking and backpacking for the
      past ten years, going on the occasional overnighter or day hike. In
      the past year or so, I have begun night hiking and long day hikes
      (twenty miles [32 km] or more). These trips center on Washington's
      Central Cascades, supplemented with some trips into Oregon's gorge
      and outback regions – terrain characterized by steep inclines
      and "moist" conditions.

      Field Conditions: The primary field conditions apply to the Central
      Washington Cascades. Moderate temperatures: spring, summer, and
      fall from down to 30 F (-1 C) up to 85 F (30 C). Typically a wet
      climate. Always at night (for obvious reasons). Most of the
      trekking occurred on steep trails on varying terrain, from soft pack
      trails to scree fields. Some excursions consisted of night-long
      hikes of ten miles or more and trail runs, varying from clear
      moonlit nights to fog-socked blindness of only eight feet (2 m) of

      Product Information:
      Manufacturer: Black Diamond
      Model: Icon
      URL: www.bdel.com
      Bulb type: 1-3 watt LED/4-superbright LEDs
      Weight (w/ batteries): 7 ounces / 198 grams
      Maximum beam distance: High: 100 meter (328 ' 1.01 '') / low: 50
      meters (164 ' 0.50 '') (per the manufacturer)
      Brightness levels: 6
      Beam type: Fixed / focused
      Strobes: 1
      Battery life: at 70 degrees F (21.11 C) High: 80 / low: 140 hours
      (per the manufacturer)
      Batteries: 3 AA (included)
      MSRP: $59.95 USD

      Product Description:
      The headlamp comes with typical features, like a headband and a
      strap that crosses over the top of the head – all of which are
      adjustable (the top strap is easily removed). Plastic parts are a
      light gray, while the elastic bands are black with a white design.
      A cord runs from the battery pack (attached at the back) along the
      right side of the head to the bulbs at the front. The bulb housing
      at the front is vertically adjustable to seven different positions.
      A single button on the bottom of the bulb housing activates either
      the 3-watt LED beam or the four 1-watt LEDs that frame the 3-watt
      bulb. Fully depressing this button switches between the beam or the
      four 1-watt LEDs (NOTE: all five beams may not be activated
      simultaneously). Slightly depressing this button within a
      particular mode changes the brightness level: three levels for the
      3-watt beam, four levels for the four 1-watt lights (one of these
      levels is the strobe, which causes the four 1-watt LEDs to blink).

      Key Features: Here are some of the key features:

      - removable top strap

      - compatible with helmets

      - six brightness levels

      - excellent battery life

      - one strobe setting


      I have used the Icon for eight months, taking it on numerous trips
      and even storing it in my glove box in anticipation of a flat tire.
      My first experience with the Icon occurred on Rattlesnake Ridge, a
      popular day hike through dense woods and on to a granite ridge. I
      experimented with both the four 1-watt LEDs and the one 3-watt LED.
      I quickly realized that the four 1-watt setting worked for hill
      climbing, as long as the pace is mild and there is no competing
      light source. The 3-watt setting provided a focused beam about four
      feet wide (1 m) that allowed me to pick up the pace.

      This first excursion prompted me to revisit Rattlesnake Ridge for a
      longer trek – 12 miles (19 km) and over one thousand feet (305 m) of
      elevation gain in a dense fog. With visibility at a minimum (about
      eight feet [2 m] thanks to the fog), I discovered the versatility of
      the Icon. In order to get my bearings, I would use the four 1-watt
      setting. It lit up my immediate area. But when it came to keeping
      track of the trail, the 3-watt setting was optimum: it cut through
      the fog to the greatest degree possible considering the

      The four 1-watt LEDs proved their usefulness yet again during a trip
      to Montana in the Bozeman area. I was crewing for some friends'
      adventure racing team, so I had to set up camp at a new location
      every day, often at night. The Icon made setting up my tent in
      terrain I had not seen during the day easy. At one point I arrived
      at a trailhead at around ten p.m. I noticed some tents silhouetted
      thirty yards (27 m) from the parking lot. The Icon helped me find a
      level area without waking up other teams, thanks to the lowest
      brightness setting. At another leg of this experience I used the
      brightest setting of the four 1-watt LEDs in order to read a book.
      My second extended use of the Icon (the first being my traverse of
      Rattlesnake Ridge) was on a section of the Pacific Crest Trail by
      Snoqualmie Pass in the Central Cascades. Because we hiked through
      the night, I had the Icon on for about ten hours. This time I
      reached an elevation of roughly six thousand feet (1829 m), which
      meant negotiating rough trails that required some trail blazing and
      finding secure footing in scree. The Icon proved itself a comfort.
      I never once felt that the darkness was an issue, even when the
      trail seemed to disappear or finding my footing required a keen eye
      for potentially loose rocks. This trip also opened my eyes to the
      ease with which the Icon fits over a hat – the bill did not
      interfere with the quality of the beam directly below thanks to the
      seven vertical positions.

      My successes with the Icon even prompted me to try it as a bike
      light. Sadly, the 3-watt beam just is not wide enough, nor does it
      project far enough for the quick speeds associated with downhill
      mountain biking at night . . . but I digress from the realm of
      hiking and backpacking.

      I used the Icon with this same set of three Duracell batteries on at
      least three times the number of adventures I have described so far.
      I never noticed a change in brightness. In fact, the indicator
      light on the battery pack continued to register green – the highest
      level – up until the point that I installed new batteries out of a
      sense of curiosity. There was no difference in brightness between
      these new batteries and the old. I estimate I have used the
      original batteries between thirty and forty hours, yet the green
      light continues to burn. Amazing.

      Things I Like:

      The comfortable elastic straps (I forget I'm wearing it, even while
      I run).

      The 3-watt LED

      All seven vertical positions

      Long battery life

      Things I don't like:

      The large battery pack

      Not being able to activate all five lights simultaneously

      I continue to marvel at the brightness of the Icon, coupled with its
      battery life. I've set up tents with it in total darkness by
      myself. I've experienced its endurance during night long hikes; it
      never lessened in its brightness despite constantly being on. I've
      hiked in conditions of near zero visibility due to fog, and the Icon
      pierced through the vapors.
    • rayestrella1
      Hi Ken, OK, this looks good. Please place a HTML copy in the Owner Review Test Folder. It is found at the end of the list of reviews on the main page or here;
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2008
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        Hi Ken,

        OK, this looks good. Please place a HTML copy in the Owner Review
        Test Folder. It is found at the end of the list of reviews on the
        main page or here;


        The free BGT Report Writer for HTML creation may be found here;


        If you require assistance with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
        support group,



        Please let me have a link to the review or at least the name once you
        have it uploaded.

      • rayestrella1
        Hi Ken, I found your HTML and it looks good. You can put it in its new home here; http://tinyurl.com/3xd6dx Log in to BGT, and then navigate to that folder.
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 6, 2008
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          Hi Ken,

          I found your HTML and it looks good. You can put it in its new home


          Log in to BGT, and then navigate to that folder. Click "Upload File,"
          be sure to select the "Owner Review" button, and follow the
          instructions to upload your HTML file and pictures.

          Thanks for the review, now it's time for number two!

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