Posted: 29 January 2002
Overall: The bog standard issue for climbers and hill walkers since the year blog, the Zoom is starting to feel it's age compared to the latest LED wonder gizmos. Battery life is relatively limited compared to LEDs, particularly if you use the halogen bulb option, but in its favour it's reliable and robust and shrugs off abuse.
The rare square battery can be hard to find and pricey as well and in extreme conditions, the housing on the rear of the head strap means it gets cold and power output drops noticeably, so for cold climbs, the Arctic version with remote battery is better. The 3AA adaptor sidesteps some of the problems, but battery life is even shorter.
The beam is generally good and up to night time climbing, particularly if you fit a battery-eating halogen bulb and the zoom option lets you choose between a focussed beam and a wider pool of light, though as the lens ages, it scratches and the beam becomes less effective.
It's still a good buy for all round use, but for close-up stuff LEDs like the Tikka and the BD Moonlight cost about the same, but have much longer battery life as well as being much lighter and using easier-to-find battery sizes.