Lumonite Compass R Headlamp field use review

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Woods Walker, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Lumonite Compass R Headlamp field use review.

    Disclaimer. This headlamp was sent all the way from Finland for review from the manufacture. Yes that's correct. Finland! I do like scandi knives such as Marttiini but these are my first lights from that nation.

    This is field use review of the Lumonite Compass R headlamp. Here is information from the manufacture.

    http://www.lumonite.com/en/lumonite_compass_r/

    During field use I found the UI easy to use though the keylock was entered accidentally a few times at first when going into moonlight. It was easy to enter turbo mode then return to the last mode used. I like using the headlamps as a single click on and off light with memory of the last mode used. Nice and simple to use. I like that.

    The headlamp.

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    The optic reminds me of the Armytek Wizard. No PWM detected on cellphone or shake test.

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    Cellphone camera looks clean in terms of PWM or other distortions within the output.

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    This produces a beam with a good deal of flood but can project a beam a useful distance. If you like beams on the floody side this headlamp is a good option.

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    Notice the switch is illuminated during operation. I somehow feel the switch gets the light from the main LED. Nice floody beam profile.

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    Nice big yellow switch which is easy to find and use.

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    On one side of the bezel are ribs to better transfer heat away from the LED. The same for the area below the bezel.

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    The threads came lubricated and felt smooth. The headlamp can be physically locked out with a twist of the tail cap. There is an O-ring for water resistance.

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    Inside the tube there is a spring on the end near the bezel with some kinda stopper. This differs from other headlamps I own which have the spring on the tail. One result being the polarity is reversed with positive end at the tail cap. The headlamps are polarity protected as mistakenly inserted the batteries upside down a few times. No issues beyond a need to flip the battery around.

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    There is a guide to proper polarity within the tube.

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    The Compass R comes with a proprietary 3600 mAh lithium primary.

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    The 3600 mAh 3.7 volt lithium ion is propitiatory. 3.7 nominal volts times 3.6 ah is 13.32 watt hours. Assuming my hack math is worth anything that is a a bunch of power. The Compass R can use regular 18650 but the supplied propitiatory lithium ion battery should only be charged in the headlamp. I have never actually tested if a standard lithium-ion would also charge. I don't like to monkey around with Lithium-ion batteries so sticking to the manufacture's recommendations. The voltage range is 2 to 4.2 volts so use a protected 18650 lithium ion.

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    However there is an exception. The headlamp failed to work with a 18650 Sanyo NCR18650GA 3500mAh High Discharge Flat Top. The reason near as I can tell is battery length.

    Sanyo red.

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  2. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Keeppower 2600 Protected. A Keeppower 3500 mAh high draw protected also functioned.

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    The stainless steel holder has good retention but allows for the light to be removed from the harness. I removed the light multiple times from the harness and so far have not noticed any scrapes on the anodizing. There is a top strap which hooks on. It is possible to accidentally displace the hook setup when handling as it is hooked on. That said it doesn't come off during use or most of the times when handling the headlamp.

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    Top strap loops on the back of the headlamp.

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    The strap is wider than any other headlamp I own with plenty of room for adjustment. The buckles are also bigger and have grooves. This make for easier adjustments on the fly. The combination of Stainless harness, wider strap and buckle makes for a very comfortable headlamp which is easy to work with during higher activity.

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    I have a high degree of confidence this headband is durable and great for use under hard conditions. Easy to adjust on the fly.

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    The tail cap has groves for improved griping. Nice wide tailcap.

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    USB charging tail features.

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    A close up of the USB magnetic charging system. It can be charged from any 5 volt USB power supply. This works great for in field power bank charging.

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    The cable magnetically attaches to the tail cap and charges turning red when charging then green when finished.

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    The weather/water proof rating is listed as IPX8. Took submersion just fine.

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    Field testing:

    I have put about 60 trail miles on the 18650 Compass R. Often the best way to evaluate something is within actual field use. This is one pro to spending a good amount of time on the trails. Yea get a bunch of experience using a gear item in multiple conditions rapidly. Beyond just bringing the headlamp along for use in place of other options I separated the field testing into two official outings. One was 8 miles during a wild night in which I tested the Mini R for 4 miles then a 18650 Compass R during the return hike. The other was a trail run over a mountain. Well it's not Everest but a fun hill for conditioning hikes/runs.

    The wild night. Part 2 Compass R. For Part 1 you will have to see the Compass Mini review.

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    Nothing says fun like 44F with heavy rain going all night as you push through. I know heavy rain in the lower 40's doesn't sound all that hard but it literately sucks the life out of a person. In the video we are running through these conditions. This is something I do not recommend unless you do trail running as part of your training. The risk of mechanical injury is great and hypothermia is a surprising danger even if the pure numbers might look otherwise.

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    No inside testing can IMHO properly reproduce actual weather and submersion testing in the field. Rain hitting the headlamp when jogging through the wind is hard to reproduce inside. Submersion in a brook or stream isn't the same as a glass of water either. Due to field conditions the photos for the weather testing were taken directly from the video. That camera was totally waterproof.

    Wild night. The greater flood of the Compass R did result in a bit of glare in the rain and mist but that's the nature of the beast. I find the best illumination during bad weather is actually a flashlight when on the move. That said this did get the job done as typing about it right now.

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    Looking for a safe spot to do the dunk test. Kinda risky to get near flooded water.

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    Submersion test in nasty murky water.
     
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  3. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Supporter Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]

    Past the weather/water resistance testing. Moving on to night hike/trail running. For this adventure we did over 8 miles including some rock scrambling and trail running. Also had it out with a skunk! Well not really. I looked, the skunk lifted it's tail so he won the debate with me backing off. The High mode is listed at 630 lumens and looks all of it. The medium is 230 and like the high it means it. These levels are highter than other headlamps I own in this class. For example the AT Wizard standard is 390 and 180, Nitecore HC30 high 400 and med 210, Fenix HP12 high 400 med 150. So the high mode of the Lumonite Compass is clearly brighter than my other options though they have similar Turbo modes.

    Comparison of modes in field use. Hiking up to the top.

    Low.

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    Medium.

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    High is an understatement.

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    Turbo. Yup it's bright!

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    The world famous Tulip Poplar test. Well actually there is no such thing but Tulip Poplar trees do grow very tall.

    Low.

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    Turbo.

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    Medium. The flood beam worked nice when scampering down these rocks. Medium was more than enough.

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    Turbo.

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    Random beam shots from the adventure.

    Turbo of ledge and boulders. Remember to always apply 3 points of contact when when on rough ground.

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    Turbo skunk encounter action shot from the video. Somehow I came out on top. Proof of providence shinning down or random chance working out in my favor? We may never know but I survived.

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    High mode. Taking the abandoned tracks back the trail head. Well actually the dirt road then tracks. Longer but faster than going back over the mountain.

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    Medium mode. A little pool surrounded by mountain laurels higher up which I occasionally use for dunk tests.

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    Low mode. Large millipedes were all over the tracks. I didn't want to step on one as it might be bad luck. Or is that lady bugs?

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    A bit on the creepy side. Close up shows the floody beam on low which at 85 lumens is rather bright.

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    Low mode is more than enough to see most trail markers.

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    Moon light mode. Brighter than a sub lumen mode but more usable IMHO.

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    Pros and Cons.

    Pros.

    1. One of the most comfortable 18650 headlamps I have used.

    2. The headlamp body can be removed from the harness without a world of drama. I have have owned headlamps before which advertised this feature only to find it both difficulty and potentially damaging to actually remove the light from the harness. Also it has good retention.

    3. 3600 mAh 18650 has a bunch of power.

    4. Well made gear item. Seems top quality.

    5. Everything about it screams outdoor hard use. The wide buckles, location and size of power button, SS harness and wide headband makes it easy to adjust and use in the field.

    6. The modes are all very bright. If you want a bright headlamp this is it.

    7. Past all of my weather tests and I went out of my way this time.

    8. The Turbo mode is a joy to use. Easy to activate then return to the last mode used yet not so easy as to accidentally activate. Also the headlamp ramps up and down to/from Turbo mode. It's hard to explain and can be seen in the video but overall makes using Turbo more practice during actual field use.

    9. The UI is relatively simple and no flashy disco modes.

    10. I am liking this USB magnetic charging thing. If that feature is important maybe consider the R model.

    11. I like getting batteries included and more if it is a lithium ion.

    12. I really really and I mean really like the beam pattern.

    Cons.

    1. The electronic lock out occasionally gets in my way when employing moonlight mode. Given how easily the light physically locks out not sure why this is needed. Not the end of the world as it's easy to avoid with practice. Still it was about the only con to the UI which I like.

    2. It is possible to accidentally partially unhook the top strap during handling. Never happened during use and takes less than a second to reattach.

    3. I wish there was a 10 or 30 lumen mode. Beyond that I am happy with the mode spacing when wanting a bright headlamp.

    4. Moonlight/firefly/whatever mode connoisseurs might want an even lower mode.

    5. Lower end of the voltage range is 2 volts so you should use protected lithium ion batteries though the light gives plenty of warning of low power.

    6. The narrow voltage range means it can't use 2XCR123.

    7. Can't use unprotected 18650. Not really a big deal for me but might be a con for others.

    Conclusion.

    I really like it!

    Here is a video of all the fun. Thanks for looking.

     
  4. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Supporter Supporter

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    I can’t see their website anymore. Are they in business?
     

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