Here is my IR for my Princeton Tec customized Fuel headlamp.
Thank you in advance for the edits.
PRINCETON TEC FUEL HEADLAMP
TEST SERIES BY MIKE MOSACK
May 30, 2012
NAME: Mike Mosack
LOCATION: Lakeside, CA USA and Afghanistan
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)
I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week-long or longer trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons, from summer desert trips to Spring/Winter camping in Michigan, California and Grand Canyon, Arizona and I've worked in Afghanistan for 4 years & rely on my equipment constantly. I prefer to go lighter when possible and am always trying new items. Quality and reliability of items are paramount to me over price and weight.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Princeton Tec<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "From the website">>
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.princetontec.com" LINK TEXT = "www.princetontec.com">>
MSRP: US $35.00
Listed Weight: Two different weights given on the website - 79 g and 78 g (2.75 oz) but no explanation for the difference.
Measured Weight: 78g (2.75 oz) with three included AAA size Energizer brand alkaline type batteries (lithium are lighter than alkaline)
Measured weight without batteries: 43 g (1.5 oz)
This is a customized headlamp designed by the purchaser via the manufacturer's website.
Power: 70 Lumens
Lamp: 4 Ultralight LEDs
Burn Time: 146 Hours
Batteries: 3 AAA size and accepts alkaline, lithium, rechargeable NiCad or NIMH
Seems the maufacturer is concerned about the environment as they include a message on their site about battery recycling and provide the link as well which I found impressive.
USA International warranty which seems pretty standard. No surprises and it covers the headlamp for as long as I (the original purchaser) own it.
Return policy is included with full instructions and contact information for the manufacturer.
Waterproof rating to level 1 which is water resistant to splashing and quick dunkings.
The manufacturer's product website states that the headlamp utilized "Ultra-Bright LEDs which by design puts out focused wide beams of light. At close range, focused wide beams simulate normal daylight conditions and allow [me] to take advantage of [my] peripheral vision.
The manufacturer states they are an "American maufacturer since 1975."
The Fuel is constructed from a combination of Xenoy and Xylex plastics.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Customizing order webpage">>
ONLINE ORDERING EXPERIENCE
Let me first begin with "wow." This was a very cool experience for me. I played and played with changing the different color combinations so much that it became difficult for me to decide on a singular idea. I even went back after ordering my customized headlamp and played some more. I felt a little like a product designer and the experience allowed me to really give my headlamp what I felt was my own personal touch. I picked a mostly wight colored headlamp because for me, it is easier to locate in subdued lighting. Most of my other headlamps are black colored.
The customizable Fuel headlamp comes in many color options. There are also many individual pieces that make up the headlamp which can be ordered in different colors so I was able to have a lot of fun using the interactive website as I changed colors on "my" headlamp as I was designing it. Additionally, there are two different designs available for the elastic headband making the options even better.
I found it interesting that the manufacturer included a descriptive breakdown of the individual components of the Fuel headlamp. I am not used to finding this level of information on such an item. I am used to seeing this on much larger or more technical items like stoves, tents and backpacks.
The website is clean and simple and navigating around I felt at ease. My confidence in the company became stronger and I felt that we (Princeton Tec and I) worked together to make a headlamp just for me.
I customized my headlamp and submitted my order. Within 24 hours, I received an email confirmation that Princeton Tec had received my order and they confirmed my color choices and provided a photo of my headlamp. They then shipped my headlamp to me all very quickly from an east coast address. I live on the west coast of the US and I received my headlamp without any obvious delay. Over all, I am very impressed right from the start.<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Actual item received">>
My customized headlamp arrived in a small box. The light and headband arrived unattached so I was required to put them together, but that was incredibly easy. The batteries went in just as smoothly and I was ready to go. I am very impressed by the speed my light was delivered to my door from the time I ordered it. The light I received was exactly as I had ordered it and much brighter than any of my many other headlamps of similar weight and power supply. I am a sucker for having the brightest light available so this has rapidly become my favorite headlamp already. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "The brightest headlamp I own">>
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Full user manuals are available through the manufacturer's website in English, French and Dutch languages.
The instructions seem to cover everything I would expect. Description of the headlamp, its capabilities, how to install the batteries properly and obvious warnings if they aren't installed correctly, how to turn it on, troubleshooting, warranty information, etc., are a few of the available topics of information included. The instructions seem pretty straightforward as I would expect. Having owned many headlamps, there were no real surprises here.
TRYING IT OUT
The headlamp provides a tool to aid in opening the battery compartment of the headlamp. The tool is part of the friction buckle! What a cool idea and it goes right along with my preference to find items that have multiple uses in order to condense number of items carried in my pack. This was a very pleasant surprise for me.
To turn the headlamp on, it has a button type switch on the top. Pushing the button once turns it on high power, twice for medium power, three times for low power and four times to have the headlamp flash. Pressing it a fifth time in quick succession will bring the headlamp full cycle and turn it off.
The elastic headband adjustment has a friction type sliding buckle. The material of the headband is soft and seems to be comfortable against my skin.
The back bracket to the headlamp can be detached from the elastic headband. I am able to attach the headlamp to a pack strap or similar option for those times when I might want to get the headlamp off of my head.
I really liked being able to customize my headlamp. That is a huge plus in my book. I like that that I had so many color options to pick from.
I really appreciated the personal touch that I felt receiving an email from Princeton Tec in receipt of my order, confirming my color choices and providing a picture of my newly constructed headlamp. My confidence in the company and my relationship with them grew strong immediately.
I would have prefered to have had more elastic headband design options in line with those that are included with the standard factory Fuel headlamps and can be seen on the website.
I would have also preferred to have a red lens option or a flip lens cover as I historically prefer to hike with the red lens to reduce glare to other hikers.
This headlamp is incredibly bright and I love it. The adjustible light intensity makes it user friendly and allows me to save battery life.
I was very impressed by the speed in which the headlamp shipped (less than 24 hours) after I ordered my customized headlamp,
I would like to thank <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.princetontec.com" LINK TEXT = "Princeton Tec">> and <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.backpackgeartest.org" LINK TEXT = "BackpackGearTest.org">> for the opportunity to test this product. Please check back in about two months for my Field Report.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.