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Gear Review — Energizer e2 Lithium Headlamp

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That famous pink bunny powered by batteries has rolled into the outdoors arena. Energizer’s e2 Lithium headlamp, unveiled at a consumer-electronic trade show in early 2008, is an interesting new entry into the now-crowded product category. The solid little light has an aluminum lamp case and an LED that delivers up to 100 lumens of brightness (140 lumens in a boost mode, as per the company’s spec).

I tested the headlamp on several nighttime hikes this month, and it provided a bright, clear light that created a wide window of virtual daylight. I was impressed with its adequate brightness and peripheral range: The lens has a super-wide setting that illuminates a giant circle of nighttime air, providing a full field of vision (as opposed to a tunnel of light or a beam). This light doesn’t reach as far as the focused beam of a Princeton Tec Apex or a similar model, though for hiking and easy biking after dark the Energizer e2 Lithium gives more than enough light, stretching about 150 feet outward and 75 feet wide in a strong bubble of light.

Bonus: Energizer added a few features I’ve not seen on many other headlamps, including interchangeable battery packs (you can use AA or AAA batteries); a red-light mode for map reading at night (it won’t wreck your night vision); and a tiny blinking green LED on the battery case to provide easy location of the headlight in a dark backpack and to allow your fellow hikers to see you on the trail, even when your light is turned off.

Ergonomically, the e2 Lithium felt fine. That is to say its fit was average — not extremely comfortable but for the most part unnoticeable. Small cord-routing plastic clips on the webbing can rub a bit weird if the unit is worn too tight.

It weighs 6.3 ounces on my scale with its AAA battery pack, which is an average weight. Energizer (energizer.com) ships the lamp with two sets of its Ultimate Lithium batteries, purportedly “the world’s longest lasting AA & AAA batteries,” according to the company. These batteries do have some advantages in the outdoors, too, as they are good in temps ranging from -40° F to 140° F.

Energizer touts the e2 Lithium headlamp as “hands-free light for the most extreme outdoorsmen.” I’m not sure I’d go that far. But this light is an admirable new entry into the headlamp game. It is high quality and solid, and its wide, clear and white LED window of light illuminated with aplomb as I hiked down the nighttime trail.

Price: $54.99

Available at www.brightguy.com or www.opticsplanet.net

(Stephen Regenold writes The Gear Junkie column for eleven U.S. newspapers; see www.THEGEARJUNKIE.com for video gear reviews, a daily blog, and an archive of Regenold’s work.)

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