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#112069 - 11/09/07 07:11 PM pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Hello everybody. I happened to find what has proven to be a pretty darn good headlamp at Wal-Mart that you might be interested in.

You need to understand a little of my perspective on lights. I am what might be called a "flashlight snob" in that I expect a lot of quality in my lights, and I am willing to pay for that quality. I am not one of those who doesn't want to pay over $20 for a light like a SureFire or Fenix, saying "well it's just a flashlight...". No, I am a happy SureFire A2 Aviator owner along with a lot of other lights and headlamps.

The Ray-O-Vac "Sportsman Xtreme" LED headlamp has a 1 watt Luxeon LED emitter, a pair of 5mm red LEDs and a 5mm blue LED. The housing is a single molded piece with a rubberized click switch and gasketed battery compartment. It is very compact, and weighs 2oz with a single Energizer lithium cell installed. It has a Petzl-type diffuser that can be flipped over either the main LED or the little ones, and it works well.

I saw this unit on the rack at WalMart and was intrigued. I had been looking for a AA-powered headlamp to replace my old Princeton Tec EOS since getting a Garmin GPS that takes AA cells. The RayOvac headlamp package didn't say anything about power regulation and I swore off of unregulated lights a long time ago, but at $18.83 I figured it was worth a try.

I tested it at home against the EOS and the RayOvac was great. The main LED was a pure white tint with no rings or dark spots. In spot mode it out-threw the EOS, and with the diffuser in place it flooded very well.

I did a little searching at CandlePowerForums.com and found this thread. To my delight, the experts at CPF.com had put this light through the ringer, including taking it apart to examine the internals. Turns out that it is one tough SOB and is well-gasketed at the potential water entry points. The main LED is a Luxeon and is fully regulated. All reports are that the brightness is quite steady right up to the point the cell is exhausted, then you've still got about 10 minutes on the little LEDs. Runtime w/ an alkaline cell is about 2 hours but goes up to 3.5 hours w/ a lithium cell, which is all I use in these lights anyway.

Some reported that the unit could easily get switched on in a pack, but just backing off about 1/4 turn on the battery cap prevents this. I tested this, it works and the gasket is still engaged.

While a white 5mm LED would be preferable over blue, this is a heck of a good light for outdoors, survival and EDC. Small, lightweight, watertight, AA-powered, regulated, good spot/flood... for $18.83 at WalMart.

Check it out.

#112082 - 11/09/07 08:45 PM Re: pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival [Re: NightHiker]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Thanks! Finally a decent headlight powered by AA!
(I'm trying to switch all of my gear to AA cells).
Here is the online retailer:

#112098 - 11/10/07 12:08 AM Re: pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival [Re: Alex]
BigAssDiesel Offline

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 58
I just came back (14 Sep 07) from 68W (Combat Medic) training at Fort Sam Houston. I purchased this light and used it in garrison and field. I think it is well worth the money. Here are some of my opinions:

Pros: Battery life is pretty long when using the red and blue leds.
You can move the light diffuser from the white side to the red.blue side.

Cons: Battery life is not so long (but still pretty long) when using the white led
There is no way to go from off to red to off. You have to cycle through the white light. When we were in STX (Situational Training Excercise) and FTX (Field Training Exercise) any white light our instructors saw rendered us dead right there.
I could hear a faint humming/buzzing noise when I was laying in my bunk reading.

Overall it was a great light for the price.

#112248 - 11/11/07 11:35 PM Re: pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Hi Glock-A-roo,

Thought you might be interested in the following headlamp,


#112256 - 11/12/07 01:42 AM Re: pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival [Re: Alex]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Channeled Scablands

Another that is cheap and light and AA. Tight beam, but if you remove the lense and cone it is more diffuse.

#112275 - 11/12/07 03:31 AM Re: pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival [Re: clearwater]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
That one is less versatile. No redlight, no bluelight...
And divide the price by 2 to compare, it's REI not Wal-Mart wink

#112278 - 11/12/07 03:51 AM Re: pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
I like the zebralight; it's a little pricey but seems versatile. Single AA, fully regulated, low-medium-high and only weighs 2 oz. We'll see how well it works.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#112284 - 11/12/07 08:14 AM Re: pretty darn good headlamp for EDC and survival [Re: Russ]

I'm using a cheapo Garrity 8 LED (from Walmart) right now. It's a little heavy but with 3 AA batteries the life so far has been outstanding. It has a 1 watt Luxeon main light with 3 intensity settings, 3 std. white LEDs. These can be turned on 1, 2, or 3 at a time. It has 2 front red LEDs AND 2 rear (on the battery pack) red LEDs which can be turned on steady or set to flash for high visibility. Add the fact that it's water resistant and can run full power for days and it's a winner! I paid $28 but that's up here in Canada so I figure it's in the same price range you're all talking about.

It's not EDC unless I'm hiking/camping/etc. The EDC prize is held by my Petzl e+Lite which I can wear on my belt every day. When I have the Garrity, the e+Lite is my backup. Paid $28 for this one too. Between the two and and the Gerber Infinity Ultra I've got light to spare and then some.

Edited by Hacksaw (11/12/07 08:15 AM)
Edit Reason: added picture


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