Don’t Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp

As far as I am concerned, you can never have too many ways to light your way.  Perhaps this comes from some forgotten childhood trauma that occurred in the dark, but whatever the reason, pitch blackness has never been an option in my household.

It is for that reason I am always anxious to test out the next great thing when it comes to lighting, be it a flashlight, solar powered light, lantern, chemical glow stick, or something else.  This week it was my pleasure to test one of those “something else” items; namely, the SportsTek LED 4 in 1 Headlamp.

Don't Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp  - Backdoor Survival

To be perfectly honest, my expectations were modest.  I have used headlamps from Harbor Freight, Costco, and Amazon with just a modicum of success.  Yes, they delivered a spot of light but that is all they did, a spot of light.  Imagine my surprise when I donned the SportsTek and in total darkness, I could see everything within a 600 square foot area.  And I mean see – not just a bunch of shadows.

Given that I have a bias toward all things light-related, I decided that in order to objectively review the SportsTek LED Headlamp, I needed to turn things over to Shelly, aka the Survival Husband.  What follows is his totally unbiased review; a review coming from someone without a flashlight fetish.

Using the SportsTek LED Headlamp

Before I begin, let me describe how the SportsTek Lightwear 4 in 1 LED Headlamp can be used.  This is important because in addition to using it as a traditional headlamp (on your head), it can be used as follows:

Portable light source attached to your belt, pack, helmet, or other piece of gear

Headlight on you bicycle (using the included special mounting bracket)

Stationary Lamp

Before using the SportsTek Headlamp for the first time, I carefully read all of the instructions.  They are very descriptive and show you how to configure the headlamp for its various functions.  The nice thing is that there were photos; something I really appreciated because I hate to read manuals even though Gaye makes me do it.  That said, I really did not need to read the instructions since using it was quite intuitive.

I felt that the only thing tricky was removing the battery pack and lens from the headlamp straps but once I did that for the first time, it was easy.

Don't Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp  - Backdoor Survival

For my testing, I used 4 alkaline AA batteries but according to SportsTek rechargeables can also be used.  The SportsTek Note headlamp is 220 lumens and Cree certified; if you are interested in other specs, you can read about them here.  Me?  I just want to know that it works.

Don't Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp  - Backdoor Survival

The SportsTek headlamp is very comfortable and does not slip around on your head like the el cheapo headlamps I have used in the past.  Not only that, it was very easy to operate while I was wearing it.  In other words, if I wanted to adjust the beam or make some other adjustment, I could do so while it was on my head.  I did not have to take it off, make an adjustment, and put it back on again.

The lens itself has three functions:

There are three different adjustments for the angle

The lens slides in and out to make the beam narrow or wide

The lens turns so that you can adjust the brightness

In addition, the power  button has 3 modes: full power, 50% power, and strobe mode (great for signaling!)

How Does It Work in Total Darkness?

One of the reasons Gaye asked me to do the testing is that she hates total darkness.  Even in our bedroom, the blinds are semi-transparent to let some light in at night.

In order to test how well the headlamp worked in total darkness, I went down into our pitch black crawlspace and could see as clear as day from one end to the other, approximately 60 feet.  We store old junk and used boxes in the crawlspace and I could definitely see everything.  I saw so much that I made a mental note to myself to clean up the messy junk pile – a project for another day.

My guess is that my vision would have been just as clear for another 60 feet, especially if I took advantage of the adjustment capabilities I described above.  The specs actually indicate a range of 688 feet but I did not test it myself.

The construction of the SportsTek Headlamp is top grade.  It is well made and not cheap or flimsy.  If I had four hands, I would give it 4 thumbs up.  One other thing.  Since I did the testing, I told Gaye that this was now MY headlamp.

The Giveaway – Enter to Win!

The nice folks at SportsTek have reserved a 4 in 1 LED Headlamp for one lucky Backdoor Survival reader.  You know the drill.

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.


The Final Word

When he finished babbling about how much he loved his new headlamp, I asked Shelly what he did not like about it.  After all, there is always something that is less than perfect, right?  As much as I tried to coax a response, he could not come up with a thing so I suppose I will just leave it at that.

I, too, have tried on the SportsTek headlamp and found it to be comfortable.  I walked outside at night and confirmed that it casts a long beam.  I can see where this would be good to have when hiking or when walking down a busy road at night.  Currently priced under $38, you get more than your money’s worth given its features and functionality.

Please do enter the giveaway.  This is the Cadillac of headlamps and one item you will definitely want to add to your prepping bucket list.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article.

SportsTek Lightwear 4-in-1 LED Headlamp:  If you are in the market for a headlamp that is well-built, comfortable, and adaptable to a wide range of situations, this is the one you want to get.  It has both a full beam and 50% setting plus a strobe.  Visibility is fantastic.  Highly recommended!

SportsTek 10in1 Survival Shovel:  Given the quality of the SportsTek headlamp, I am considering their survival shovel as well.  I have an inexpensive shovel of the same type but it is quite flimsy and will not hold up over the long term.  This one has 23 5-star reviews.

Panasonic eneloop AA New 2100 Cycle Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries:  These days, I try to use eneloops as much as possible.  They hold a charge forever – or so it seems – and work well in flashlights and small electronics.   They charge up fine in my Maximal Power battery charger (see below).

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box.

Maximal Power battery charger from Amazon

Yes it really works, even under solar power.  Read about in this article: How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

4 Inch Premium Glow Sticks – Assorted: These 4” glow sticks are fantastic!  Each stick glows for 8-12 hours, and comes with a pre-attached hook and lanyard.  They are well priced and hold up well when packed around in a pocket or handbag.  For more information about glow sticks and chemical lighting, read 10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit.

Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack:  This study solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit.  I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.

SunJack Waterproof LightStick: The versatile SunJack Lightstick is impressive for its compact form factor and extremely durable, waterproof casing.  In addition to providing portable lighting, it will charge 3 USB devices on a single charge.

SunJack CampLight USB Bulb:  This 4 Watt USB LED light is bright and ultra portable at just over 3.5 ounces. It is highly durable – shatter, shock, and vibration resistant. Will fully illuminate a tent at night. Power it from any standard USB source – compatible with all USB wall plugs, USB batteries, and laptops.


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    1. I look for brightness too, but mostly for the battery life….its a real pain to need the light and have the battery run out at the most inopportune time! Don’t ask me how I know that lol

  1. The number one thing is for it to be ready when I need it. I want it to be able to sit unused for months or years and to work great when I do need it. There is nothing worse then to be in need of emergency lighting only to find the batteries leaked or went dead in storage.

  2. There are many things not just one and they would be quality , durability, performance, and dependance (is it dependable).

  3. The major characteristicsI use regarding emergency lighting would be reliability and long-term usage. I dislike cheap items that use up the fuel/charge too quickly, thereby making the lighting useless for the long term.

  4. Durability. We use ours off and on through out the year for all kinds of things. Need it to hold up and last so if we do need it for an emergency it won’t let us down.

  5. #1 characteristic I look for when shopping for emergency lighting, brightness. Then Power possibilities, like solar, rechargeable batteries, etc.

  6. Number one with emergency lighting is reliability and I may pay more for a quality product that lasts and is reliable. I read the reviews but some products are too new to see their performance record over the years. I do love the handiness of these headlamps.

  7. Hmmm….good question. I guess it’s a combination of a name brand that I know makes good quality products….along with power source, cost, and ease of use.

  8. I like a light strong enough to read by and long-lasting! I had difficulty getting some of the entries on the raffle-copter to work… 🙁

  9. I used to own a warehouse in an area where the power went off frequently. You haven’t lived until you have smacked into half the items in the building trying to get to daylight. I bought a bunch of those small 4-button cell keychain flashlights. Kept one in my pocket at all times and advertised the shop with the others.

  10. I look for longevity, durability, ease of use, brightness pretty much equally. However, cost is always my number one priority.

  11. The number one thing I look for is product quality. If you purchase any item of the greatest quality you can afford it will out last all the other inexpensive items purchased in bulk. With emergency lighting a well manufactured flashlight or lantern will have a high lum., output, long battery life, and is durable. It most likely will be be water proof, shock proof, and might even float.

  12. Number one? Does it use common batteries? If the light uses some uncommon battery then I don’t want it. Common ones I look for are the AA and AAA batteries. I realize that the AA will probably last longer than the AAA but may be heavier in a situation where you want to save every ounce of weight. Plus, being able to use rechargeable batteries makes it a light that I’ll keep around for a long time!

  13. I look for reliability in anything I use. what good is something that quits after short time. Also brightness, durability and cost.
    I had a couple of “cheap” pen lights that lasted it seemed forever until my boys dropped them into the sink full of dish soap, so cost would be a big concern

  14. It has to be either solar or use rechargeable batteries so it is not depending on batteries that I may run out of.

    Thank you very much for the giveaway!

  15. The only problem I have with headlamps is that they keep blocking that BrainShock I always get when I bang my head; and then they are broken.

  16. What is the #1 characteristic you look for when shopping for emergency lighting? Brightness and long life.

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