Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:29 pm

It has taken me a while to get a headlamp because I am a strong believer in the additional utility of things I carry on my person at all times, and I never found a way to carry a headlamp that I was as happy with as a flashlight with a belt clip or pouch. The headlamp pouches I've seen seem way too bulky (probably why there don't seem to be any photos of them being worn). Fixed:
Image
Image

Added bonus: With the headlamp in that position, I can just swivel it on its own hinge to point in front of me and click it on, without having to move it to my head.

The belt goes through the loop formed where the headband passes behind the headlamp housing.

To get it off my belt, I need to unbuckle my belt and pull it through a loop. Worthwhile to me, but to some extent I consider a reduction in bulk more important than immediate accessibility.

The headlamp is a Princeton Tec Tactical Quad (my first), but I expect this method to work with most headlamps.

The most obvious improvement would be quick access. I'm thinking a bracket that wraps around to the front and back (the headlamp's top and bottom), with tabs at the top and bottom to release it to slide it up or down. If you don't like the headband held in place with a rubber band, I'm sure there are a number of options - maybe a pouch? I'd be happy to provide input on that design process. It's very important not to cause the thing to stick out any more than necessary.

Behind the headlamp in the photo is a Leatherman Wave.

I got the Tactical version because it's not covered in obnoxious advertising crap.

I'd like suggestions for improvement, as always.

So what do you think, is this post the death knell for flashlights? :P
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Murph » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:39 pm

Darxus wrote: I'd like suggestions for improvement, as always.
Photos that work. :wink:
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:45 pm

Murph wrote: Photos that work. :wink:
Thanks. That's the second time somebody here has had problems with my photos, but I can't replicate them. Can you tell me what exactly the problem is? If you try to open a photo in a new tab, do you get an error? Or are you getting the "image stolen from chaosreigns.com" image?

Links to the same photos in my gallery:
http://www.chaosreigns.com/gallery/IMG_9865.jpg.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.chaosreigns.com/gallery/IMG_9858.jpg.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"You only truly own what you can carry at a dead run." - 14th/15th century Landschneckts

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:03 pm

Murph wrote: Photos that work. :wink:
I found the problem, and I think I fixed it. Sorry about that. It was related to you running Microsoft Internet Explorer prior to version 9.
"You only truly own what you can carry at a dead run." - 14th/15th century Landschneckts

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by xxxDarksidexxx » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:42 pm

i would replace the rubber band with a velcro one wrap. you can get them at most big stores.

http://www.amazon.com/Velcro-Brand-One- ... B000BSJC6Y" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

nothing wrong with rubber bands ( i use them for some things ) but the one wrap will last forever ( almost ) i love my one wraps! nice way to carry it as long as it works for you, then go for it. :)

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by CTjohn » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:08 pm

xxxDarksidexxx wrote:i would replace the rubber band with a velcro one wrap. you can get them at most big stores.

http://www.amazon.com/Velcro-Brand-One- ... B000BSJC6Y" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

nothing wrong with rubber bands ( i use them for some things ) but the one wrap will last forever ( almost ) i love my one wraps! nice way to carry it as long as it works for you, then go for it. :)
i hate to sound like i'm spamming for a site, but monoprice is rediculously cheap for this sort of thing: http://www.monoprice.com/products/searc ... ie&x=0&y=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(i'm not affiliated with them at all, i just hate paying a crap-ton of money for a stupid hdmi cable or anything like that)

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by connecticut_yankee » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:40 pm

I honestly don't like carrying headlamps around at all. Cumbersome when not in use and not on your head. I much prefer a good angle light for most relevant purposes. Your solution seems nifty, though.

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:52 pm

I toss my headlamp in a ziplock bag inside my pack and keep a small EDC flashlight on my person. One is none and two is one....Well somekinda mumbo jumbo like that. In a pinch a headlamp works just fine handheld and the Quad has a switch which isn't prone to accidental activation.

Image
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Glennbo » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:17 am

I carry my Princeton Tec headlamp every single day. It's always in my front left pants pocket inside one of those purple Crown Royal whiskey bags along with a couple of extra cr123 batteries.

It's an expedient measure that is satisfactory. I would prefer some better, form fitting container because the lamp does occasionaly turn on from presure. I can usually feel it heating up in my pocket and turn it off, but once it used up the batteries before I noticed.

I like your system. But I don't like having items attached to my belt. They draw unwanted attention.

It's hard to believe that when you spend $90 on a headlamp you don't get some sort of case for it. I've searched for cases but to no result.
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:28 am

Woods Walker wrote:One is none and two is one....Well somekinda mumbo jumbo like that.
Yeah, my plan is to keep a second headlamp in my pack. Maybe identical for interchangeable parts, although I kind of doubt that would end up being useful. Do these things fail?
Glennbo wrote: It's hard to believe that when you spend $90 on a headlamp you don't get some sort of case for it. I've searched for cases but to no result.
Find somebody who's good at sewing and pay them to make you one to your specs. One of the options I was considering was making a form fitting nylon case along the lines of what a Leatherman comes with, to hold it in a position similar to what is pictured. But it would be challenging for me because I haven't been sewing. One of the most impressively elegant belt pouches I've seen for a somewhat bulky camera was custom made (and worn) by a woman with a tendency to show up in hoop skirts.
"You only truly own what you can carry at a dead run." - 14th/15th century Landschneckts

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by bufordtjustice » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:26 am

If it were me (which it isn't) I would want to go with the pouch route as well. There seems to be a larger margin for failure as you currently have it. Good on ya for trying to problem solve and be creative though. I envision the strap still getting caught on doors, desks, shelves, etc. and causing a problem.

Do you think that it may fit in something like a pistol magazine pouch? That would be bigger then a leatherman sized pouch but not too crazy big. Just a thought.

Here is an example of what I was thinking...yes, I know it's blackhawk...

http://www.blackhawk.com/product/strike ... 273,53.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by offcamber » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:43 am

Single Frag grenade pouches fit headlamps perfectly.

If you pick up one with a snap type molle retention system, the pouch can be taken on and off a belt without undoing the belt buckle.

I usually just wrap the headband around the light, stuff it in the pouch and close the flap. The buckled retention system keeps it in place in all types of environs until you need it again.

Here is a good example from Eagle Industries:

Image

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:55 am

PT makes good headlamps but entropy tells me failure is a possibility with anything. If your headlamp uses AAA maybe consider a flashlight that uses the same battery type like a Fenix E01 or iTP A3. Both are very small and in the case of the E01 will fire on batteries which might be too drained for the headlamp. It’s also just easier to carry a light using 1XAAA than 3XAAA on your person. Anything smaller is more likely to be on hand if needed.
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by colinz » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:23 am

offcamber wrote: Single Frag grenade pouches fit headlamps perfectly.
That is a Brilliant Idea. Thanks for sharing! :D

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Exploriment » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:26 am

Here's what I did with a Tactical Tailor Frag Pouch to make it better suited to carrying a headlamp.

Petzl did at one time have a pretty good pouch for their headlamps, but later replaced it with something I thought was inferior, sort of a clam shell design. Of course, I had to alter what they offered to better suit me. I still think of making a pouch with that basic design, but a tad bigger to house a TacTikka, and with room for batteries.

But I have to say the original idea shown is really good!

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:38 am

bufordtjustice wrote:I envision the strap still getting caught on doors, desks, shelves, etc. and causing a problem.
It certainly could, I'll try to update this thread on it at some point. Over the last, maybe 18 hours, it's been beautiful. But that could be bias.
bufordtjustice wrote: Do you think that it may fit in something like a pistol magazine pouch? That would be bigger then a leatherman sized pouch but not too crazy big. Just a thought.
It might. I actually don't own any double stack handgun magazines to compare it to. I'd be willing to measure the circumference if somebody wanted to measure a magazine. If it does fit, I bet you could also get spare batteries down in around the strap.

offcamber wrote:Single Frag grenade pouches fit headlamps perfectly.
That still looks pretty bulky for EDC on a belt. Is it?

Woods Walker wrote:PT makes good headlamps but entropy tells me failure is a possibility with anything. If your headlamp uses AAA maybe consider a flashlight that uses the same battery type like a Fenix E01 or iTP A3. Both are very small and in the case of the E01 will fire on batteries which might be too drained for the headlamp. It’s also just easier to carry a light using 1XAAA than 3XAAA on your person. Anything smaller is more likely to be on hand if needed.
Thanks again for useful specific recommendations along the lines of what I was thinking.

Although knowing the flat spots on round flashlights with engraving are due to Maglite getting a PATENT ON ENGRAVING CURVED SURFACES really makes me twitch.

Exploriment wrote:Here's what I did with a Tactical Tailor Frag Pouch to make it better suited to carrying a headlamp.
How bulky is it worn on your belt?
Exploriment wrote: But I have to say the original idea shown is really good!
Thanks.
"You only truly own what you can carry at a dead run." - 14th/15th century Landschneckts

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by TravisM.1 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:43 am

I'm in the "pain in the ass to carry" camp, too. I've got headlamps in my tackle box, pack, toolboxes (home and work) and one hanging from the rearview of my truck.

I just keep a small pocket clip light in my left front pocket. If I need both hands (working in a panel with no light, cleaning fish at night, changing a tire, etc) I go for a headlamp.
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Exploriment » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:01 pm

Darxus wrote: How bulky is it worn on your belt?
Probably a little too bulky. Although I never actually carry it on a belt, ie my pants belt. I haven't got it here with me to measure the depth of it. I'll get back to you on that.

I like having a pouch to keep it separated from other things (and also have a place to keep batteries for it, with it), but I sometimes wonder whether it isn't weight and bulk I should dispense with. Just keep it in a larger pouch.

One thing too that makes it a bit silly to have a separate, dedicated pouch for it, is that whenever I'm out canoeing, I keep it turned backwards on my hat. Place to stash it, but also a good way to keep my hat on my head out on a windy lake. Come night time, turn it around and turn it on.

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Murph » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:11 pm

colinz wrote:
offcamber wrote: Single Frag grenade pouches fit headlamps perfectly.
That is a Brilliant Idea. Thanks for sharing! :D
Word, I agree... and now I've finally got a use for the frag pouches I've got. (Besides, ya know, grenades.)
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Manliest » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:01 pm

A Petzl TacTikka will fit in the Spec Ops Brand horizontal/vertical multi-tool pouch. I don't recall the exact name and haven't seen the damn thing in a while, but it works pretty well.

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:42 am

I'm still doing this. I was originally folding the strap in half twice, I switched to folding it in half once because it's more stable and doesn't have any disadvantages. Keep part of the adjustment mechanism above the rubber band for security. Occasionally, maybe once a day, I have to tighten it down because there's nothing really preventing the loop from loosening. I've thought about putting in a couple safety pins, or stiches. Twice one side of the housing has unhooked from the strap, which makes me a little nervous about the possibility of it falling off. Both times it was the bottom hook that came off. Once in a while the housing will catch on something, usually my steering wheel as I get in my car, and it'll rotate on its hinge. Overall, thisis still the best option I know of. A very snug pouch designed around this orientation would definitely be better.

I decided to try an EDC bag, primarily because I want to EDC an Israeli dressing. And a poncho, tourniquet, paracord, duct tape, fishing hook and line, Platypus type collapsible bottle, water purification tablets... you know how the addiction goes. So that will probably be the end of this headlamp carry method for me. I tried to get a bag small enough that I'd never feel a need to put it down. It's a Manhattan Portage East Village Bag (black). 6 x 6.5 x 2 inches (15 x 17 x 5 cm). The big freaking red logo looks easy enough to remove. http://www.edcforums.com/forum.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; seems to be the place to go for recommendations on this kind of thing, but I felt like I was just going to end up asking them "What bag is more like this bag than this bag is? Wait." I couldn't come up with any way I'd want it changed. This will be my second attempt at keeping a man purse. The first attempt, based around a DSLR, turned out too big to last long.
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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by taskforce71 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:21 pm

Did anyone see the Danny Glover movie "Predator 2"? There was a scene where his partner snuck into an apartment where the alien was seen hiding. He had a flashlight. Nothing unusual. He's searching the ceiling and spots a claw. Um, how does he get up there and hold his flashlight? The flashlight handle split in half and out comes a strap! I've searched in vain and have no idea who makes it or if it's even in production. Anyone have any ideas?

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:30 pm

taskforce71 wrote:Did anyone see the Danny Glover movie "Predator 2"? There was a scene where his partner snuck into an apartment where the alien was seen hiding. He had a flashlight. Nothing unusual. He's searching the ceiling and spots a claw. Um, how does he get up there and hold his flashlight? The flashlight handle split in half and out comes a strap! I've searched in vain and have no idea who makes it or if it's even in production. Anyone have any ideas?
I've seen things like that. Might be a convenient way to keep the strap tidy while wearing it. Haven't found one in the last couple minutes, but I did find a youtube clip of what you're talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urj186rUCd0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"You only truly own what you can carry at a dead run." - 14th/15th century Landschneckts

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Re: Elegant way to carry a headlamp

Post by Darxus » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:43 pm

Google image search for "flashlight converts to headlamp" looks like it might have worked. Was it a StreamLight TopSpot?
Image
I don't see anything in the Youtube clip that conflicts, although it's not very clear. Probably too bulky for me. And it might not be made anymore.

Oh, you may be interested in the Petzl Zipka line - it includes a kind of collapsible headband.
"You only truly own what you can carry at a dead run." - 14th/15th century Landschneckts

My BOB (very out of date photos) and my IFAK (no photos). Working on it.

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