Have you been looking for the perfect head torch, whether you’re on a nighttime adventure and need to see where you’re walking on a trail or hike? Or maybe you’re a keen camper and need to walk to the toilet facilities during the night.
Having a good headtorch is essential. It keeps your hands free to do more important things or even hold the equipment you may need to use. Completing tasks, such as cooking, is great. The light is exactly where your line of vision always is, ensuring you can always see exactly what’s in from of you.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been searching for hours on the market looking for the best head torch. With lots of different choices, it can sometimes be hard t know which one is right for you. Is it going to be comfortable on your head, and is the light going to be strong enough for you to see in front of you, but designed so it’s not going to blind you, giving you the best night vision a headlamp can give.
The Black Diamond Spot 352, a quality, durable, and lightweight headlamp that really does the job for lots of people. With excellent spotlight capabilities and a wide, evenly lit flood beam, the Black Diamond Spot 352 is above average in many ways. Our review will show you all of the key features, pros, and cons of the Diamond Spot 352, showing it really being the headlamp for you.
For a long time, the Black Diamond Spot 325 has been a solid product and recently has been given some solid improvements, most importantly the optics of lights available. These are now some of the best beam patterns available on the market, even compared to some more expensive models.
The Black Diamond Spot headlamp is one of the best out there, but not without some downfalls. Some lower-cost competing lights have improved significantly over the last few years, giving this Black Diamond Headlamp some fearsome competition. Below we will take you through some of the performances given by the Spot by Black Diamond with a few comparisons to other competitors on the current market.
When it comes to finding trails, the Black Diamond Spot is a strong performer. This is due to the strong optics that project a fairly wide beam shining for an impressive 94-meter range. These kinds of performances are one reason why the Black Diamond Spot separates itself from the other compact headlamps in a similar price range. Compared to other products such as the Spark Pro 120 from Yalumi, you can instantly see that the Spot’s light shines much wider and further.
This metric is another area where the Black Diamond Spot stands out against nearly every other competitor it has been up against. This is due to the brilliant performances from both width and is evenly lit. Against some other products, this Black Diamond offers significant improvements with its stunning flood mode that is bright and even.
Sadly, the Black Diamond Spot’s battery life is below average and one of the more disappointing areas for a headlamp with such good lighting quality. When it comes to the battery life rating, even some of the $10 models available best the Black Diamond Spot, such as the Black Diamond Storm and the Petzl Tikka and Tikkina.
The ANSI measured a high mode time of around 3 hours for the spot, which, compared to the Black Diamond Storm’s 5 hours, is not the best. The worst thing about this battery life is that Black Diamond advertises the Spot with 30 hours battery life in the highest mode, which is truly an exaggerated claim based on another testing that has been completed. These figures are given mainly due to Black Diamond not using the lighting industry’s reasonable ANS! FL1 testing standard. This is strange as back in 2009, Black Diamond helped define this standard as a committee member. Instead, Black Diamond uses an older measurement style dated back 20 years before LED lights were even the standard. Due to this, we believe that the measurements given are misleading based on modern LED lights.
Weighing only 89 grams, the Black Diamond Spot is one of the lightest headlamps available that excels in trail finding. There are lighter headlamps available in the Black Diamond range, such as the Black Diamond Iota that weighs only 1.9 ounces. Still, the beam power has taken a considerable hit to reduce this weight.
Considering the lighting abilities that the Spot produces, its low weight is imposing. If you want to find a better trail finding headlamp, you’ll need to opt for something at least 23 grams heavier. This is about the weight of a AAA battery. If the trail finding capabilities of the Spot truly aren’t good enough, you may opt for the Black Diamond Storm, which is 26% heavier, or the Zebralight, which is a massive 45% heavier. These are both boost significantly better trail finding performances but at a hefty weight compared to the Black Diamond Spot.
The usability and ease of use are rather low on the Black Diamond Spot. The issue isn’t a lack of features as the Spot has lots; it is just that all of these features are controlled by one single button. The button itself has been designed really well; it can even be used easily with gloves on. The problem is trying to remember the different sequences and functionalities that these different patterns complete. Mastering these complex patterns is a challenge in itself, with single, double, and triple clicks combined with a press and hold button action.
For controlling the basic functions, the Spot is easy enough. Still, as soon as you get into using the more advanced features such as the red LED light, the Lockout feature prevents the light from turning on accidentally in your bag or pocket the dimming setting. These are all frustrating to control with the mix of different press-to-hold features, plus the single and double-clicking patterns.
Another feature contained in the Black Diamond Spot is the brightness adjustment known as PowerTap Technology. The PowerTap feature allows you to touch a spot on the right side of the headlamp. This slips the beam and provides you with different strengths, both up and down. Even with gloves on, the features pretty well and is a nice break away from the main button control adding a different way to adjust your beam setting. It takes a little getting used to, but the PowerTap works as it is advertised. Just know it can be easy to activate it when in normal mode accidentally.
Black Diamond markets the Spot to have an IPX8 waterproofing. This rating means that it should be good for 30 minutes when fully submerged underwater to a max depth of 1 meter. To naive consumers, this IPX8 implies that the Spot is a great choice for underwater use or even in wet environments where waterproofing capabilities are necessary, with bolder claims than the Black Diamond Storm, which has an IPX67. Still, we wouldn’t bet out money on that.
The truth is the Spot headlamp offers no waterproofing seals at all; this results in water readily leaks into the battery case. Black Diamond have not thought to use any of the thoughtful waterproofing features on the Spot found on the Black Diamond Storm or the H600w. This may be one of the ways they have kept this model so lightweight. In practice, the Spot doesn’t perform well in wet conditions, being no better than splash-proof in our opinion. If you are looking for an underwater headlamp, then maybe keep looking.
In our opinion, Black Diamond is an amazing brand with outstanding ethical qualities, so the lack of waterproofing has left us a little questioned. Combined with the fact that the marketing side of this Black Diamond headlamp exaggerated claims on performances in the waterproofing and the battery life rating. It is sad to see a company market a product that has been oversold and underperforms, and if it weren’t for the beam quality of this headlamp and the red light capabilities, we would not be rating this headlamp very well at all.
Considering the strength of the beam produced with the Black Diamond Spot plus the battery life it offers, you can pick one of these headlamps up for around $40 is an amazing value for money. A light that is built to last and will serve you for years to come.
Here are a few of the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp technical specifications, showing you some of the best ways to use and what performance features this great headtorch boasts. The Best Use is for backpacking, perfect for having when you need the toilet in the night or if you happen to be setting up your tent in the dark. Also, if you enjoy cooking later in the evening or on a winter night, the sun has set early, having hands-free night vision is a practical thing to have.
The Bulb Type is an LED; it is strong and powerful with different brightness levels with great beam distance. Red Light Mode is featured. This feature on a headlamp is intended to preserve your night vision but still giving you enough light so that you can see. Red light mode is also great if you’re in large groups, helping you refrain from blinding your friends around you.
There are two Beam Types, Flood and Spot, which is great having multiple light choices to choose from. The difference between a spotlight and a floodlight makes each setting great for different scenarios. A spotlight casts a narrow beam of light, usually no bigger than 45 degrees in width. This beam of light is better for more concentrated sights much easier to point and control. A floodlight beam is a little different. It has a beam spread of up to 120 degrees. It can illuminate a much larger sized space but using the same wattage and lumen output that a spotlight would use.
The Max Light Output is 325 lumens while the light itself has 3 different outputs 325 on high, 160 on medium, and 6 on a low setting. There are 3 different Beam Distances; on a low setting, the light range is 8 meters. The beam distance is around 60 meters in a medium setting, while the high setting is the Max Beam Distances, giving 80 meters of full strength lighting.
Due to all these different beam distances and light outputs, there are, of course, different Brightness Levels. These different brightness levels and how long they are on will affect the battery life of your headlamp. Here are a few Average Run Times on the different settings. If you had your headlamp on a high setting continuously, your light would last for around 4 hours, while if you had it on a medium setting, you would get double that amount with 8 hours battery life. The low setting won’t be as strong as the other two, but if it is strong enough for what you are getting up to, the battery life will last a massive 200 hours.
The headlamp has a Regulated Output but sadly doesn’t have any for of Rechargeability but takes 3 AAA batteries to run. The water-resistance rating is IPX 8, meaning it does have some strength against water such as light rainfall or splashing, but submerged, water may enter the headlamp and may enter the battery compartment. The total Weight With Batteries is 3 ounces meaning it won’t be a big weight on your head when you are wearing it.
The Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp is a light that kind of has a love-hate relationship with many people. When put into most practical purposes, the Spot 325 headlamp is amazing; it offers quality lighting at a great price. So much so it has won an Editors’ Choice award during its time of manufacture.
The optical lens design that is offered is amazing, with strong performances given in spotlight mode. Truly one of our favorite headlamps for use around the campsite or even in and around the home in case of an emergency due to the evenly lit flood beam. The love you will have for the Black Diamond Spot won’t be unconditional. No! The Spot 325 Headlamp features many features closed into the small compact design, which is amazing, but trying to control them all using a single button can be a little troubling.
The single button lets you access advanced features, which isn’t always the easiest task, with combinations of single, double, and triple clicks combined with a press-and-hold button.
When thinking about purchasing the Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp, there are 2 areas we feel you should really look into; the battery life and the waterproofing features. When put into real-world practices, they both are a little underwhelming and don’t really match the performances that the marketing claims promise.
However, do not fear; these are the only small areas that could use some work and are still better than some other products available on the market. The quality of light could be said that the marketing claims have under-sold how good this headlight performs. Overall we love the features that are on the Black Diamond Spot 325 Head Torch, perfect for someone looking for that extra vision when it’s a little darker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few frequently asked questions about the Spot by Black Diamond and a few questions about Headlamps and Headtorches in general.
How do you use the Black Diamond Spot 325?
The Black Diamond headlight Spot is very much like your usual headlamp. At first, you want to adjust the head strap to fit comfortably and securely on your head. This can be done with the buckles on the side of the strap, ensure it is not too tight so that the light itself presses into your forehead, causing my pain.
Pressing the button on top of the unit allows you to turn the light on. With just a simple click, you can revert to the last setting you used with the brightness retention. This one-button controls the majority of features that are contained within the Black Diamond Headlight. Keeping it pressed down will dim the light up and down, fixing the chosen strength when you release the button.
Different patterns are needed to change the type of light you will use, such as the spotlight setting, the floodlight setting, and the red light. This red light feature is great if you are in a group of people. You will see where you are going but not blind the people around you by having your headlamp on.
When you were not using your headlamp and placed it in your pocket or bag, always ensure the locked mode activation. This mode will keep you from accidentally turning the lamp on when you are not using it. This could be a big problem if the light has been on all day in your bag and has completely run the batteries dry before the time comes that you actually need to use it.
What is the best Black Diamond headlamp?
When it comes to the best head torch, it really depends on the kind of use you will put your headlamp through. Luckily Black Diamond has a few different models that are perfect for all kinds of scenarios.
Black Diamond Sprinter
The Black Diamond Sprinter is the best headlight if you are a keen runner, doing exactly what it is named after. It is lightweight, secure, and bright. The front light of the Sprinter is 200 lumens, not the brightest but great for solo ventures. You’ll need to use the sprinter’s rechargeable abilities every few days if you are a keen runner with around 13 hours of battery life given from each charge. The straps are easy to adjust and extremely comfortable, keeping the lamp secured on your head while running. Only weighing 3.7 ounces, not heavy enough to weigh you down when you’re out recording that new personal best. The only feature we feel is missing from the Sprinter is there isn’t a lockout setting, so be careful where you place this device.
Black Diamond Wiz
Even kids can enjoy the use of a head torch. If they want to be just like mum and dad on your camping trip, the Black Diamond Wiz is a great choice. The fancy light feature that shines in nearly every color of the rainbow is a real winner when it comes to your little ones. It turns itself off after 2 hours in case your child forgets to turn the headlamp off themselves. The controls are a little confusing, but with the broad range of colors, we don’t believe children will be bored flicking through the bright lights searching for their favorite. Compared to other models on the market that only offer red and white lights, the Black Diamond Wiz is both fun and affordable. Only 30 lumens, but this is okay for children as they won’t blind one another or you when they are running around with their new head torch on.
Black Diamond Spot 325
If you need a head torch for rummaging through your closet, camping trips, or the occasional late-night walk, the Black Diamond is perfect. With a bright beam and an easy-to-use navigation button, the Spot is a great choice for many Black Diamond users. Over the years, this model has been at the top of many review lists, and with the updated version boasting a lot of improvements, this head torch has only got better. It has 25 more lumens than found on the previous model, as well as brightness memory mode. This head torch offers PowerTap technology that lets you instantly change from full power to dimmed lighting with a simple tap. As well as this, there are red-light and strobe modes. All of these features are kept inside a lightweight, compact enclosure only weighing 8 ounces. There are some better headlamps out on the market, but nothing comes close to the Black Diamond price.
What is the best headlamp?
When it comes to knowing what the best headlight is, it’s important to know what you should be looking for within a headlight. There are 3 main categories that will make up the very best head torches available; these are:
PRICE – Just because your head torch is on the more budget side doesn’t mean that it will not be a good product getting the job done. However, it is important to remember that buying a quality piece of equipment will cost you more initially, but it will last a lot longer, meaning you will save money over time. Plus, these products are probably more efficient too.
BRIGHTNESS – The brightness is measured in lumens and beam distances, being the most important specifications to know how bright your head torch will be. If you are a user who frequently hikes after sunset at night, then you will want a head torch with a high lumen count and also a longer beam distance. However, if you need this light to walk the dogs or keep in your car in case of emergencies, then a lower lumen count will probably work fine.
RECHARGEABLE VS. NON-RECHARGEABLE – There is an argument between these two, and it will come down to your own personal choice. FOr more of an eco-friendly approach to reducing battery waste, rechargeables are the best choice. The main downfall to these is they usually have shorter burn times, meaning you will have to recharge more often. Non-rechargeable batteries have a longer battery life but will cost more over time and create much more waste. This is a question that you can choose, and if you want the best of both worlds, you can use a pair of rechargeable batteries rather than a head torch that charges with an internal battery. This way, you will have more battery life as well as a more efficient way of being.