Vont ‘Spark’ LED Headlamp Review
The leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter, but there’s no need to cut your hike short just because there’s less daylight. With the aid of lighter and brighter modern LED headlamps, it is now easier than ever to continue hiking past sundown. (Plus, as one of the Ten Essentials, a reliable headlamp should always have a place in a prepared hiker’s pack.) I tested the Vont ‘Spark’ LED Headlamp in varied conditions on the Long Trail this summer to see if it could help me get more hiking hours out of the day.
Vont ‘Spark’ LED Headlamp At-a-Glance
Weight: 2.8 ounces (with batteries)
MSRP: Pack of 2 headlamps for $14
Battery life: 90 hours red; 3 hours on high-white; 8 hours on low-white
Lighting: 200 lumens max
Water resistance: IPX5 (resists a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray)
Shock Proof: Up to 10 feet
Modes: 4 White (Low/Medium/High/Strobe) and 3 Red (Low/SOS/Strobe)
Battery: 3 AAA
Form and Fit
The stretch of the Vont ‘Spark’ LED headlamp’s soft, adjustable headband seems to easily accommodate heads of all sizes and can fit easily over helmets and hats. While lightweight in nature, the headlamp itself does protrude a good distance off the forehead, resulting in some noticeable sag and bounce when running or hiking quickly. This was resolved by tightening the headband a few times while on the go. The 45-degree vertical tilt functionality is great for the user to adjust the headlamp’s field of illumination to their liking.
With 7 unique settings, the ‘Spark’ is competitive with most popular backpacking headlamps on the market. Users can toggle between the four white light settings and three red light settings via the single button on top of the headlamp. The instructions included in the packaging did not detail how to switch between settings, but I was able to figure it out intuitively (having only one button really expedited this).
I’ll save you the trouble: it takes one click of the button to activate the white light settings. From here, it is easy to rotate between the 4 white light options (low, medium, high, strobe) with a click of the button. Accessing the red light settings involves holding the button for 3 seconds and then similarly clicking through to switch between low, SOS, and strobe. There is a timer feature that allows you to turn the headlamp off with one click if you’ve had it on one setting for an extended period of time, saving you the trouble of clicking through every level before turning it off.
Unfortunately, there is no option to completely turn off and lock the headlamp. During one of my weekends out testing this product, I did find that the headlamp had managed to turn itself on within my fanny pack. Pack extra batteries!
LED Lighting Modes
Two hundred lumens is more than adequate for sustained night hiking in my book, so the highest setting on this headlamp provided plenty of light for me to safely crush miles after dark. The single white LED bulb was also reliably bright enough for locating a flat campsite in the brush. I haven’t used the strobe settings (both red and white light) but they are reassuring safety features. There is only one red light level, which I found satisfactory for navigating around camp and in my tent.
Vont boasts that the Spark, fueled by three fresh AAA batteries, can last up to 90 hours on red light mode, eight hours on the lowest white setting, and three hours on the highest white setting. I decided I would use this headlamp until my batteries straight-up died, and I succeeded in my mission during my first weekend trip.
I tested this product heavily in white mode while night hiking. During the course of my test, I would say I got at least five hours of red light functionality. On the highest white setting, I noticed a gradual dimming of the light after about two hours of sustained use on the highest setting. However, it is important to note that this was during the trip where I discovered that the headlamp had accidentally turned itself on to the lowest white light setting within my fanny pack for an unknown length of time.
Vont ‘Spark’ LED Headlamp Pros and Cons
- $14 for a set of two headlamps is easy on the wallet
- The seven different light settings cover all of your basic headlamp needs and then some
- The soft elastic headband and 45-degree toggle allow for personal comfort adjustments on the go
- Vont also offers a lifetime warranty on this product, making a low-cost buy-in even lower risk.
- You cannot lock the headlamp in “off” mode, which means it can be turned on accidentally inside of a pack (as I personally learned)
- While the single button streamlines the product, it also creates the potential for mistakenly engaging the white light when red light is desired (or vice versa)
- A bit bulky by modern headlamp standards due to the AAA battery compartment
- Non-rechargeable, which is ultimately a con in my book as headlamp technology continues to progress.
The Vont ‘Spark’ LED headlamp is a solid (and markedly inexpensive) new non-rechargeable headlamp option on the market. My first instinct is that this set of headlamps would make a great gift for a duo of friends looking to branch out into overnight trips, or for a younger hiker who may be prone to breaking or losing gear.
Weight: 3.0 ounces
Brightness: 250 lumens max
Power source: 3 AAA batteries, also compatible with Petzl 1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery (not included)
Princeton Tec Sync 200
Weight: 2.9 ounces
Brightness: 200 lumens max
Power source: 3 AAA batteries
Black Diamond Spot 325
Weight: 3.0 ounces
Brightness: 325 lumens max
Power source: 3 AAA batteries
This item was donated for purpose of review.
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