Merry Christmas to Us!

For Christmas this year, we each bought ourselves headlamps for running: the Black Diamond Sprinter.
This was the only product I had to recommend relatively blindly in my Winter Gear Guide. I chose it because it is a best-seller. But now that I actually own a Sprinter myself, I love it SO SO much. I can’t believe I waited this long to buy a headlamp.
Here’s what mind looks like close up… Ben’s is black/green.
Why is this headlamp the next best thing since…. pumpkin spice cookies?
(Sliced bread ain’t all that hot. Pumpkin spice cookies? oh my.)
  1. No more tripping in the dark, and no more falling in the dark! Last year I was running with Rachel N. and I bit it on something as shallow as a manhole cover. One of many many episodes. I’ve picked gravel out of my palms enough lately to appreciate this.
  2. I’m kind of still afraid of the dark. I must’ve read too many mystery books as a kid, and more lately, watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds (um, is it just me or is that show really twisted??).
  3. No excuse for not running. Not that I’ll run by myself in the dark – because, excuse me for being blunt, we all know that’s straight stupid (and scary. See #2). It gives me and Ben a little bit more motivation to head out the door together during months with short daylight.
  4. A new running thing  = extra excitement = motivation. Nothing gets your butt out the door like a new pair of running shoes, a new jacket, or in this case – a new headlamp. I just wanna get out there and use it! (So what if it was only 5pm and still light out when I turned it on…)
  5. It’s bright. Really bright. Because of #2, my solitary night legs of the Red Eye Relay are kind of terrifying in a fun-while-wetting-your-pants sort of way.  I don’t use the head strap and it’s hard to tell the top from the bottom of the headlamp; I turned the LED front lamp on earlier today and blinded  myself for a few minutes, so it is NOT too dim! My WalMart clip-on light was cool and super-cheap, but definitely not bright enough for regular Winter nighttime runs.
    Steph’s & Rick’s second leg. Photo: Andrea Eagleman
  6. We lose power in our neighborhood more than occasionally. Realistically, we lose power once every 3 months, possibly because of new home construction nearby. My bike lamp works REALLY well, but it can get extremely hot to touch/hold. The headlamp lets me go hands-free!
  7. The light is adjustable. I can make it brighter or dimmer, and it strobes! The angle of the lamp is adjustable too – major plus, especially if you need to look farther ahead on some occasions than others (trails vs. roads). Some headlamps aren’t as flexible, so if you’re buying one, look out for that.
  8. Back red tail light. It’s just good to be soon from front and back. Because I run on mainly roads, I’d much rather be seen also from behind when I’m crossing a street (truth be told, particularly while jaywalking…). It strobes!
  9. Fits great. I didn’t think I’d like the weight of a front and back light, but the two together feel more balanced. When I tried on a front-lamp-only headlamp, I didn’t like the feeling of being front-heavy. Front and back lights still work ok with my small head and with a ponytail too.
  10. I hadn’t been in JL Waters much. Buy it online? Meh. Matt at JL Waters knew a LOT about the two headlamps we’d narrowed down and he let us try out a bunch before we bought the Sprinters. He owns a headlamp or two himself and mountain bikes at night! He opened the packages for both headlamps we were considering, and attached/detached some of the different battery packs for the other headlamp. He encouraged us to take them out for a run (to test bounciness). :) To compare brightness, he took us down to the JL Waters cellar (creepy – the cellar, not Matt) and we turned them on, brightening and dimming them, to see which type of headlamp we each liked using best. Cost: The headlamps cost less at JL Waters than anywhere else online, but for the equal pricing, I feel like Matt’s time/knowledge/service/ability to bust open a few brand new headlamp packages made it worth it. A little more difficult to do on a computer screen. More importantly, who is actually patient enough to wait for SuperSaver shipping?! All in all, I actually had fun while choosing/buying this thing! Supportin’ local business. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Ok, and now some we-love-our-new-headlamps photos! Confession: these were taken after we used them to go get the mail… haha.

Super-bright setting
Ben bright, Steph off
Ben dim, Steph dim

So, what do you use your headlamp for? Doing the dishes, mail-fetching, stupid stuff like us? :)

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2 thoughts on “Merry Christmas to Us!

  1. January 7, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I use my headlamp to find my big black dog at night when he’s hiding because he doesn’t want to come inside. Oh, and for running.

  2. January 7, 2012 at 3:55 am

    One use is to read the kids bedtime stories. Actually, each member of the Hickok household has an assigned color Petzl headlamp. We use ours for running, cycling, hiking, and camping.
    We LOVE our headlamps!!!!

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