Is anyone interested in buying a headlamp? : LUSENET : orienteer kansas : One Thread

Is anyone interested in buying a night orienteering headlamp?

I am thinking about buying a fancy Mila headlamp. The lamps are high power (with 10 and 20 watt halogen bulbs). They are designed to fit comfortably even while running. They come with rechargable batteries. The model I am looking at is the Mila PL 120 S. You can get more info about the lamps from .

I own a similar lamp that is made by Silva. I use the lamp a lot for running in the woods (and on trails) in the winter. The lamp puts out enough light that it is no trouble to run off road. The battery I have gives me about two hours of light with the 20 watt buld and about 4 hours with the 10 watt bulb. I think these lamps are great -- they let you go off-road during the winter (these days, it is dark by the time I get home from work). I've also found the lamp useful when we've gone camping.

Click here for a photo of a group of OKers at last winter's "Late Night with Mook" trail run. Mook (in the middle) is wearing a Mila headlamp (it is not the PL 120 S) and I (on the far right) am wearing a Silva headlamp.

I am in touch with the US distributor for Mila. I don't yet know the price. But, I am interested in knowing if there is anyone else interested in buying a lamp.

-- Spike (, November 10, 1999


I've been interested for years. How about the adaptability to use on bicycles? Even so, I think I'll stick with my 4 AA battery headlamp for nighttime reading... :)

-- Fritz Menninger (, November 11, 1999.

I would like to purchase a headlamp. Let me know what you find out.

-- Dan (, November 12, 1999.

Neoprene or hard plastic? That seems to be the question everyone is asking these days. I've never worn a headlamp with the neoprene, or soft rubbery straps that fit over ones head. I use a hard plastic headset on my Mila. It is the "classical" look, but perhaps the younger generation is experimenting with the softer feel. Perhaps they think it is more comfortable?

A few random thoughts...

I think a big issue is one of how well made the headset is and whether it is prone to breaking if one falls on it. The hard plastic isn't so hard that it will snap or shatter, rather it bends and returns to its original shape. I suspect the neoprene is unlikely to break either. One question I do have about the neoprene is whether the light is held quite firmly against ones head or whether it flops about like an overcooked spagetti noodle.

The lamp and bulbs are something to consider. My headlamp has positions for two different bulbs but only one can be switched on at a time. Something that I don't like much is that to switch between bulbs, I have to move a switch through the "off" position, and for a split second the lamp is off. If you remember to thrown the switch fast enough it doesn't matter much though. I just wonder why they made it that way.

The harness is difficult to construct well and if you carry a heavy battery, a comfortable stiff harness would probably be nice. Perhaps that's what Spike is getting? Even so, after running a ways one will probably cease to notice the battery, although it can be hot and after an hour or two it will become noticeable. The headsets are so light they are very easy to "not notice".

Headsets that allow the user to change the height of the lamp above ones forehead are apparently good for skiing. I surmise that this is because one might find oneself in the position of looking up with ones eyeballs while one is bent over pushing off ones ski poles. If the lamp is in ones line of sight, one might not be able to see as well as one might hope. One might further speculate that if one is on a bike one might search for such a feature if one were buying a headlamp.

I put together a headlamp and all accessories for something like $110 a couple of years ago. I found that buying a battery from the US is cheaper and works quite well. Spike recommended that approach to me.

I consider that buying a headlamp and starting to train o techniques at night was the best decision I've ever made.

I thought Dan had already bought a headlamp! What is he waiting for?

After reading the posts on this forum I decided to do a little "asking around" among various o-pundits to see who they were picking, between Dan and Fritz, to be the first to by a headlamp. All but one of them expressed complete shock on learning that Dan had not yet purchased his headlamp. The one who did know about Dan's indecision suggested that Dan was unwilling to shell out the cash needed to acquire such an item. But Dan works in a bank for crying out loud!

-- Mook (, November 12, 1999.

It looks like the US distributor of Mila lamps is going to charge around $200 for the lamp, battery, and some sort of battery holder. This seems like a reasonable price. But, I wonder if we can do better?

Is anyone (e.g. Mook) interested in looking at other options?

-- Spike (, November 12, 1999.

Luckily the bank has lights inside the building, so a headlamp has not been as urgent a commodity as Mook is making out. I am still interested but I would like to get the price down to around $150- $175 range.

-- Dan (, November 15, 1999.

There was that rumor going around a month or two ago that Grover and Carolyn were considering getting into the orienteering supplies business in an effort to suck the lifeblood out of Al and Edna. I'm not sure if anything ever came of it, but perhaps they have the right connections to pursue the headlamp issue.

I suspect that Mook does not have enough interest to explore various headlamp options beyond his heretofore mere "advisory" role. Methinks Fritz or Dan will take the lead on the headlamp issue if said parties find Spike's headlamp tastes a bit expensive?

-- Mook (, November 15, 1999.

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