FR - BLACK DIAMOND GIZMO - STEVE KIDD
Here is my Field Report on the Gizmo. Fortunately when water spilled on it, it didn't convluse and spawn Mogwai!
Text version of FR:
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the field report phase I've used Black Diamond Gizmo on two overnight backpacking trips, a family car camping trip, several times during power outages around the house and for a minor auto repair job.
The backcountry outings included an overnight trip to South Cumberland Recreation Area on the Fiery Gizzard trail, near Tracy City, Tennessee. Temperatures were as warm as 81 F (27 C) and as low as 64 F (18 C) on a trip that started dry and hot, but was interrupted by severe weather which included tornado warnings and massive rain storms. Elevations ranged from just under 1500 ft (457 m) upon descending to Foster Falls and rising to around 1720 ft (524 m) climbing out of the gulf onto the Cumberland Plateau.
The car camping outing was a two night event at Old Stone Fort Archeological State Park, near Manchester, Tennessee. The camp site elevation was around 725 ft (221 m) with both dry and muggy conditions and temperatures ranging between 92 F (33 C) and 68 F (20 C).
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "gizmo 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "Suppertime at Fiery Gizzard">>
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Gizmo is a great little headlamp. It's compact, lightweight and easily stows away when not in use. Most importantly, it worked well for me in the field.
A key reason it took me ages to adopt headlamp use, and one of my biggest pet peeves around camp, is the unaware or rude fellow that blinds his other campmates with his head mounted flashlight. It was because of this I had initial concerns about the lack of a red or green light for low level camp use. Fortunately, this anxiety quickly disappeared my first evening in camp when I engaged the dimming feature. The headlamp cast enough light for me to prepare and eat my dinner without blinding my backpacking buddy.
After five evenings around camp, a few power outage uses, and replacing the thermostat and plugs in an old Jeep the original set of lithium AAA batteries are holding up fine without adversely effecting what I consider maximum distance output. Also, the lamp has been through a fairly severe rainstorm, so I am comfortable with the IPX water resistance rating.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "gizmo 6" IMAGE CAPTION = "Breaking Camp before Sunrise">>
On a spring trip there was a potential for tornados, so we decided to break camp early enough to get to the trailhead and on the road before the day heated up and severe weather could arrive. The headlamp made breaking down camp before sunrise a breeze. There was sufficient light to take my tent down, pack my backpack and hit the trail as the sun began to rise.
Overall, I have been impressed with the Gizmo as a base camp headlamp. It gives me plenty of light to work around camp, gather nearby firewood or take a short walk to a creek or other water source to purify water. It also clamps easily over a tether I have installed in the top of my tent to work as a ceiling lamp. It casts plenty of light while I change and do other chores and ready myself for bed.
As happy as I have been with the Gizmo, I do believe I'd prefer a more powerful headlamp if I intended to use it for extended night hiking on unknown trails. I've simply seen other headlamps that cast a brighter beam, which I believe would be more beneficial in unknown or extremely dark areas.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "gizmo 7" IMAGE CAPTION = "Car camping Fun">>
Overall I've been pleasantly surprised with the Gizmo. The lightweight and compact headlamp not only disappears in my pack, but also in my pocket. It works well enough to accomplish all the chores I need to do in and around camp in the evening, and has a dimming feature that aids me in being polite to my fellow campers. I also give kudos to the battery life and water resistance.
I don't really believe the Gizmo is marketed for these purposes, so it's hard to downgrade it for this; but the only downside I see is that it may not be suitable for pitch dark trail blazing.
I can state that I have been impressed enough with the Gizmo that I keep it in my nightstand next to the bed for emergency uses around the house.
Please check back in a few months for a long term review. I'd again like to thank Black Diamond Equipment and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test this product.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
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