Petzl E+LITE survival headlamp

Wilderness survival gear is often reduced to a Mylar blanket, matches, a compass and maybe a signal mirror. But what about a light source during times of distress and disorientation?

The $30 E+LITE, a tiny backup headlamp from Petzl (www.petzl.com), is a new product made to fill the emergency-illumination niche.

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Petzl designed the E+LITE to be stashed in a backpack and forgotten about until needed. Its lithium battery is said to be good for 10 idle years before use. It is waterproof to 1 sub aquatic meter and weighs almost nothing.

In use, the tiny light illuminates a surprisingly large field of view. Its three white L.E.D.s shoot a beam more than 30 feet through the night air. Two power settings control light intensity; an emergency mode activates a blinking strobe.

One red L.E.D. on the E+LITE’s face provides a setting that will help preserve night vision.

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A small lever switch on the front of the headlamp lets you toggle quickly through the light’s multiple modes. The swing motion of the switch — as opposed to the push-button activation found on many headlamp models — prevents accidental operation that could drain the batteries.

For winter use, Petzl says the headlamp is good in temperatures down to minus-20-degrees Fahrenheit.

The headlamp’s elasticized strap cinches tight on the head. A ball-and-socket-type connection to the base of the light provides pivot.

Petzl ships the E+LITE in a hard-shell red plastic capsule that measures 3.5 inches long. I keep my E+LITE in its case and stashed in a small compartment of my backpack when out in the woods. Its weight — which goes at a feathery 46 grams, including case, batteries and light — makes this essential little load all but unnoticeable.

Posted by Tim - 04/09/2007 10:16 AM

I bought this little gem for throwing in my buoyancy aid. Its great if your cought out after sunset, you can even leave it on your dash in the car blinking as a beacon to guide you home if you are canoeing late after dark. My new favourite piece of kit. AAA+

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