Mountain Project Logo

new BD headlamp=piece of junk

Original Post
KennyJoe Sabine · · zOmBiE = from = OUTER-SPACE · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 230

This new head lamp sucks.
My new storm head lamp sucks; it's nothing but a flimsy piece of plastic.
The other one was a bomber light.

Stop trying to come up with new better stuff Black Diamond. The new stuff isn't worth a darn.

James Willis · · Gilbert, Arizona · Joined May 2013 · Points: 170

Wow, a really enlightening post here regarding the issues with the new BD headlamps! This really elucidates the drawbacks of the new headlamp designs.

Nick Young · · Spokane, WA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 215

Man, between this and the AAC post, it seems you're really keen on complaining. Do you have anything positive to contribute?

Sean Haynes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 101

I said the same thing about a week ago. Went to grab my 2015 one and it had stopped working lol..

I'm probably going to upgrade. At first I didn't like the shape but it's grown on me.

Daniel Winder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 70

I agree with Kenny and Shawn. Mine from 2015 only works intermittently, even after cleaning the terminals and fresh batteries. I think I'm just going to junk it, which is a little annoying after my previous BD lamp took over 5 years of abuse.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

My old headlamps, 1 petzl and 1 BD just got replaced with new stuff. They both still work but the elastic strap has worn out. This is in 7 years of hard use.

Is it unrealistic to expect that from the new ones?

KennyJoe Sabine · · zOmBiE = from = OUTER-SPACE · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 230

Poser headlamp alert!

Aaron Danforth · · Cody, WY · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 0

Perhaps you could elaborate on your issues? Clear explanations go a lot farther than vague generalities.

David Deville · · Flagstaff, Arizona · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

Regardless of the trolling nature of this post I'll add my anecdotal 2 cents. I've owned petzl, Princeton tech, and bd headlamps (mostly spots). ALL 4 of the bd headlamps I've bought stopped working (or work intermittently) after anywhere from several months to a year after purchase. The petzl and Princeton tech headlamps (2 of each) either still work or I lost them. I've gotten at least 2 years out of these and a tikka xp that is going on 5 years. I won't buy another bd headlamp any time soon.

DavisMeschke Guillotine · · Pinedale, WY · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 210

I've had nothing but great luck with my New BD headlamps. Higher lumen count, waterproofed outer.. I've used it running, ski touring, climbing, etc and would recommend them to anyone.

JK- Branin · · Southern New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 58

I had essentially the opposite experience with the storm... Both still work, but first time I swapped batteries on my old one a part of the "hinge" broke and a crack in the case next to it. Don't consider that one water proof anymore.

New one has been bomber so far.

Joshua Dee · · San Diego, CA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 30

I really like my 2016 spot. Try emailing BD. They have great customer service

Brandonian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 25

+1 for issues with BD headlamps sorry BD!
+1 For 10 year old Petzl headlamps that still work!

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Doooood yer troooooooolling kneeds werk

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,088

i had an old BD spot (still have it) that is excellent. really simple, just an on/off button for the most part.

i bought 6 of the new spots a few years ago for my wife and i to keep in packs, the truck, etc. they all have a 'lock' feature to keep them from accidently turning on, etc. every single one of them has had issues with some sort of battery drainage issue and/or terminal corrosion. this is with brand new batteries in them (several batches of new batteries in some cases). super frustrating. several times it has happened in not-so-great circumstances.

we are really careful how we store them (for example, the ones in our packs we keep in ziplock bags so they don't get wet). etc. not sure what the deal is.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

I've had many problems with a storm and spot headlamps, nothing like getting benighted only to find out their stupid "lock" feature didn't work and your batteries are dead.
Big name alpine climber told me he would buy petzl lamps at retail when he was sponsored by BD. Got hosed too many times.

cyclestupor · · Woodland Park, Colorado · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 93

Personally I'm not really impressed with any of the common outdoor gear manufacturer's headlamp offerings (at least in the < $200 range). They are all expensive plastic crap.

almost all headlamps will drain batteries if left sitting for a while. The reason is that they use integrated circuits to handle the button functions (as opposed to a physical on/off switch). It'a called parasitic drain

My advice is that if you want a really durable and bright headlamp, look at other product categories like police/military/tactical lights. Personally, I've been really happy with my Nitecore HC30. It retails for somewhere around $70 but can be found as low as $50. It's the brightest headlamp I've ever owned, and also the most durable. At full power it emits 1000 lumins! Yet on the 2nd to lowest brightness (there's 5 brightness levels) it will run for 15 hours, and is a bright as my petzl tikka was on it's highest setting. the whole body of the light is aluminum and it's waterproof to 2M. Although it normally suffers from parasitic drain (like all "smart" headlamps) I have found that if I slightly loosen the endcap it physically breaks the circuit and won't drain the battery at all.

Only drawback about it and other similar lights, is that they are powered by uncommon 18650 batteries. But, on the other hand the 18650 battery is what makes it perform so well.

I find it puzzling that the outdoor gear manufacturers can't do a bit better in the headlamp department for as much as they charge.

Adam Reke · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined May 2013 · Points: 10

After 4 years of service of my old BD spot headlamp, I figured it would be good to upgrade to a new BD headlamp just to be safe. I mean, how bad would it suck to be epicing and have it go out? I even put my old one through the wash, and it kept working, but what if that somehow rusted it and it would stop? New spot now doesn't work after like 4 months of light work. Garrrggghhhhhhhhh.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 75
cyclestupor wrote:almost all headlamps will drain batteries if left sitting for a while. The reason is that they use integrated circuits to handle the button functions (as opposed to a physical on/off switch). It'a called parasitic drain
Not sure if the Petzel Nao has his problem, but you can physically disconnect the battery part from the wire that goes to the light itself (which also has the uh, thingy that turns it on and off. The battery pack itself is just a 18650 battery (these things are used in so many applications) with an integrated circuit that does... stuff. You can program things like brightness settings, and here's some silicon devoted to the battery charge indicator. There's how-to's online on making your own battery pack for the NAO. It comes in handy to dis-attach this when you want to confirm that the light will not turn on by itself.

I'm not sure how really rare 18650's are. Easy and cheap to find online, and getting a 2x CR123 at a grocery store as an alt. is usually doable. The NAO will let you stick in a 2x AAA if all else fails.

minuses of the light is that it's $$$ and it's heavy. Haven't tried the NAO+
johnnyrig · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 105

I bought a BD Ion. It worked for about a week, then died. It's basically got sort of a touchpad operation instead of the old clicker switch. Well, it won't do a damn thing. Changed batteries twice, just to be sure. Won't be buying one with that technology again.

Just prior to that, bought one that I think was the BD Storm, which went bad sitting in a backpack. Returned it to, who had great customer service.

Currently own an older model BD light (don't remember the model) that works great, a couple of the Wiz kids models which work great, and a brand new Cosmo, which so far is working great.

Matt Williams 1 · · Catheys Valley, CA · Joined May 2014 · Points: 45

Glad I read this post. I was about to buy a BD Spot to replace my cheap headlamp I bought in a 3 pack at Costco for $19.99. My Costco lights aren't very bright, but have held up pretty good for what I paid.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "new BD headlamp=piece of junk"
in the Climbing Gear Reviews

Log In to Reply