REVIEW: New Storm 500-R and Spot 400-R - best burn time in their class?

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 UKC/UKH Gear 09 Jan 2023

The Spot and the Storm have been around for years. Robust and pretty powerful for their size, they're each a good solid choice for climbers and hillwalkers. A recent upgrade has improved their output and burn times: so which model better meets your needs? Here we look at the two new rechargeable versions.

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 kylo-342 12 Jan 2023
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Nice review.  Shame that the rechargeable ones are USB-micro as that would put me off buying one.

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I've got a Black Diamond Spot, I hate it. The buttons are hard to operate with gloves and the faff factor of having to press certain buttons in a certain order just doesn't work with my ageing brain. There's so much fuss over a few grams in weight. I've got two Fenix HL55 headtorches (not the more recent usb chargeable ones), one gets used on the hill and one that I have used for caving for several years. Solid, reliable, waterproof, easy to operate a large button on the side with a gloved hand, excellent' boost' mode, removeable 18650 rechargeable battery, 3400 mAh gives excellent burn times.

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

In the review there is comment on the continuous dimming meaning it's hard to know when you are at medium power, which would help in terms of judging battery life.

I had always assumed that when you press power tap and both LEDs came on, that that was max, with one LED was at it's brightest this was medium, and the dimming was between medium and low. Is that wrong?

I must admit I have rated the storms for mountaineering for some time, the balance of ruggedness, weight, size, brightness and battery life being just right. This version looks like a lot more of the same balance, which is excellent news.

 wbo2 01 Feb 2023
In reply to kylo-342: Why ?  I have lots of micro USB rechargable things - a common charging cable seems a bonus to me

 Pina 01 Feb 2023
In reply to wbo2:

Not when USB-C is now the norm. If you have a mix of systems it becomes a minor inconvenience of having to carry two cables.

In reply to steveshaking:

That sounds plausible Steve, but I've not found any info to confirm. I can ask BD.

Have to admit I don't find it intuitive to use and it's easy to get lost in where I'm at when out in the cold, dark and weather. On paper it's relatively simple compared to a lot of fiddly torches, but somehow I don't find it's quite basic enough for me. 

But on balance I do really rate the Storm for exactly the reasons you've given. As a winter mountaineering torch it just gets all the other key essentials right. It's the best torch I have.

In reply to Dan Bailey -

I must admit you made me think. If BD can confirm which interpretation is right that would be useful. The instructions don't made it really clear. Like actually calling that mode "medium".

I don't mind the controls. Previous iterations only had one button, with the same functionality, that was confusing. My favourite sorry was a friend doing his ML night exercise, getting it stuck on red, and being unable to change it back.

In reply to steveshaking:

I did that with a torch recently. I am cack-handed and techno-sceptical, but it shouldn't be that easy to get lost in modes

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

You're right. And so many modes is overkill. 

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