Black Diamond Storm 500-R ($75)


3.5 oz.

Max lumens:




What we like:

Great battery life and brightness in a relatively light and streamlined build.

What we don’t:

Not compatible with AAA; the Spot above is a better all-rounder for most.

The Black Diamond Storm as well as the Spot (above) have dominated the headlamp market for a long time with their well-rounded and reliable designs. But recently it became apparent that the Storm became outdated due to its bulky 4.2-ounce construction. The recent overhaul by Black Diamond brings it back to the radar for those seeking more brightness than models such as those of the Spot or the Actik Core below. With 500 lumens of light output that extends to nearly 400 feet, you can get an incredible quantity of light in the smallest of packages, with a variety of distance and proximity modes including dimming and strobe features as well as green, red, as well as blue night vision. Black Diamond also tacked on the powerful 2400mAh lithium-ion battery (7 hours at high and 350 hours at low) and improved Storm’s user interface with the most recent update that makes it easier to locate the right light.

However, aside from the additional 100 lumens however, the Storm does not have much to offer when compared with the Spot. We’d suggest higher-quality (or similarly brighter) lamps above the Spot, but all of them offer something different to them for example: The Fenix HM50R, for example is extremely robust, and the HL60R is both durable also bright (to the level of 995 lumens). There’s also the issue of the Black Diamond R-series headlamps , which lack the versatility that comes with Dual Fuel technology (i.e. they can’t be used with AAA batteries)–so If you’re interested in the concept of the Storm however, we suggest purchasing Storm 450 ($55) instead. Storm (450) ($55) rather, and add an additional 1500 charger and battery ($30) in your purchase, but be aware that the 450’s battery’s life (with either lithium-ion or AAA) is much less remarkable than that of the Storm 500-R. At the end of the day, for just $30 more and almost an ounce lighter, we believe that the Spot 400 above is by much the most value-for-money for the majority of users.

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