• Weight with Rechargeable batteries 100 grams
  • Weight with non Alkaline batteries 97 grams
  •  
  • Cost $99.50

Black Diamond ReVolt 2018

Rating

Rating:       7.9 / 10

Value for Money          1.7

Ease of use                1.5

Battery Life                 1.4

Weight                       1.6

Beam Quality              1.7

Black Diamond ReVolt 2018 Review

Between my wife and I we now own seven headlamps, the oldest, and heaviest which which has a battery housing seperate to the lamp unit and is 12 years old.  I still use the older versions as spares for family and friends on occasion.

There is no such thing as a perfect headlight on the market at the moment and by perfect I mean one that costs very little, weights almost nothing, has an extremely long battery life and has the ability to adjust the beam (and with it the battery life) from a narrow beam that will fry possums at 300 paces to something that just lets you do some close up work when its dark. As a  result I tend to pick and choose my light based on what my plans are eg:

  • Will I be hiking at night or am I just hanging around camp?
  • How well do I know the trail?
  • What condition is the trail in; is it easy to locate and follow, or could it be dangerous in the dark?
  • Is there a full, reasonably full moon?

I currently have a two-lighting arsenal I work between. The Black Diamond ReVolt for when I’m night hiking or the Petzl E+Lite for when I’m not.

The Back Diamond Revolt was one of the first rechargeable headlamps on the market but now shares this space with a number of brands and models. Having used the previous version of the revolt for a couple of years I again decided to opt for the new version of Revolt and here’s why.

My main reason for purchasing the revolt was as the name suggests, this headlamp comes with rechargable batteries and can be recharged with a battery pack, mains power, solar panel or just about any other options provided you can plug the USB cable into a power source. This headlamp can also be run on non rechargeable AAA batteries in addition to the included rechargeable batteries.

Battery life will vary depending on the light intensity that you dial in and the type of battery you use

Battery Life vs Beam Intensity with rechargeable batteries (3 xAAA)

  • 6 lumins     – 3 metres – 75 hours
  • 175 lumins – 68 metres – 6 hours

Battery Life vs Beam Intensity with alkaline batteries (3 xAAA)

  • 6 lumins     – 3 metres – 175 hours
  • 300 lumins – 80 metres – 30 hours (debatable on the battery life)

I have used this torch on a multi-week hike and swapped between rechargeable and lithium batteries and in most cases I will prefer to use the lithium batteries.

If I’m using this headlamp on an extended trip it’s because I plan on night hiking and this will typically mean that I am in an area that I don’t know that well so want as much power coming out of the lamp as possible for way-finding. Looking at the figures above there is a huge difference in the maximum power thrown out by non rechargeable vs rechargeable batteries and in actual fact on my Bibbulmun Track hike I found it easier to locate the trail at night time with lithium batteries due the extra power that highlighted the reflective trail markers that are an Australian Standard allowing me to see these markers much further than I could in the day time. On four separate occasions I was hiking in pitch black, heavily wooded forest, sometimes in the rain, for between 60-90 minutes and the beam intensity coming from the non rechargeable was noticeably greater.

Typically I would swap out a set of lithium batteries every 7-8 days which for me was about 16-20 hours of use. They weren’t flat at this stage but I didn’t think that I was going to get a second week of use out of them. If I had used the rechargeable batteries in the same circumstance I would have had to recharge them around two-three times which is what it worked out to in reality. Instead I ended up using the rechargeable batteries that came with Revolt as my back ups.

If I’m going on short 1-2 day trips that’s when the rechargeable batteries come into their own as I know that they have been fully charged before I left home and I don’t have to second guess how much power is left in a non reachable set of batteries. On short trips I used to end up putting a fresh set of batteries in each time I went out and ended up having all these half used batteries in the draw (No I don’t own a battery meter).

Speaking of battery meters the Black Diamond Revolt does have a battery charge meter on the side of the unit that will show up for the first three seconds so long as the battery is in white light mode that provides an approximate indication of the level of charge left in the battery; it’s not perfect but at least its an indication.

Black Diamond Revolt batteries

There are plenty of beam options on this lamp including:

  • White strobe
  • White full strength in proximity or distance mode
  • Red for night vision
  • Red strobe for emergency
  • Lock mode to prevent battery drainage

The light will always turn back on to the last setting which is a handy feature. There is also a power tap on the right hand side of the headlamp that will instantly take the light to the maximum on that particular mode by a single tap to the correct location on the lamp housing. A second tap returns the lighting to where it was. This is quite handy when you have it set on low and want maximum power for some reason.

The extensive features on this light are what tend to give it a low score in the ease of use category. You do need to remember the combinations of switch clicks to select the appropriate beam setting and while on a long trip you will learn this reasonably quickly I defy anyone to remember this after a break of a couple of months. I find after a long break from using this light that I just randomly press buttons until my desired setting comes up

The latest version of the Revolt is in the squarish shape that others in this range now come in. The shape for me is cosmetic but the biggest change is that this headlamp is now waterproof. Strangely enough the other commonly sold model in this range, the Black Diamond Storm, while being more powerful at 35o lumens, its not as waterproof as the new Revolt model which is capable at coping with being submerged  in 1 metre of water  for up to 30 minutes. I have never tested a headlamp out in water before, at least not deliberately, but if you are heading into a very wet environment it’s a handy feature.

While there are cheaper options and brighter options available on the market the Black Diamond ReVolt fill that sweat spot as a good allrounder that does everything well. I have been very happy with this purchase and am happy to recommend this particularly for those doing longer trips where battery availability is an issue and you just want to charge up what you have.

We Like

  • The ability to recharge means that unless you are doing some really long nights you can top up this torch while you sleep and its ready to go the next day – no extra batteries needed.
  • Comes with rechargeable batteries that can be recharged through any power source connected to a mini USB. This keeps your ongoing power cost to a minimum
  • Up to 80 metres of good visibility on ‘high beam’ provides excellent vision at night when way finding keeping you safe on the trail
  • A range of lighting choices that will provide just the right amount of light for any circumstance.
  • The red night-vision mode provides low level light when you don’t want to fry the wildlife and a locater beacon when you want to be seen
  • Lock mode can be engaged during travel to ensuring that you don’t flatten your batteries when the lamp is in the pack
  • Three-level power meter shows remaining battery life for three seconds after switching on headlamp. This provide you with a heads up on how long your batteries are likely to last
  • This new model is waterproof (within reason)

We Don't Like

  • The pressure switches that many headlamps have in common these days take a little while to getting used to. Choosing the right lighting setting is a bit of trial and error when you first use this light
  • If using this for long periods on full power you will need to use non rechargeable batteries

Best Uses

Great all round light for when battery availability is an issue. Can be easily recharged off a battery pack or solar panel or used with lithium or alkaline batteries when extra power is needed

Buy One

You can purchase the Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp online from Wild Earth or Wildfire Sports

Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our gear reviews

If you have used the current Black Diamond ReVolt model or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below

Investment

$99.50 AUD

Other Versions

Black Diamond produces a large range of headlamps and adds new models on a regular basis

Black Diamond ReVolt rechargeable headlamp 2018 model

Black Diamond ReVolt rechargeable headlamp with the recharge cable plugged in. This light can be recharged through mains power with a mini USB, through solar panels or a battery pack. Great for those longer trips when accessing power is an issue

Black Diamond Revolt old model(top) vs current model (bottom)

Disclaimer

This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker

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