By Jan Bennett
When camping is a part of every get-away you take, your camping gear tends to be packed in such a way that you only need to grab a few bins and head out the door. Kind of like a camping ‘go’ box, if you will.
Currently, my car camping bins are configured in such a way that I have lights stored in each bin for each type of use: a lantern for the table, a small collapsible light for illuminating space inside the tent, considerations for a work light when I might need to make a few quick gear adjustments in the wee morning hours before heading out, a quick bicycle drivetrain adjustment before an early morning ride the next day, a flashlight kept in the truck for roadside emergencies, and a trusty headlamp for just about everything else.
As we pack up the truck to head out for 8 days of camping in the Davis Mountains in far west Texas I’m realizing just how useful this HeadSpin light might prove to be. Rather than packing up a lantern, tent light, work light, flashlight, and a headlamp, I am able to grab the carrying case with the HeadSpin and assorted attachments and cross most of my lighting needs off of my packing list. Done!
When it comes time to cook, I reach for the headlamp strap and snap the light in place. Now I can see what I’m cooking rather than fiddle with a lantern next to my stove. No more having to tilt the pot towards the light just to see the status of the meal that I’m cooking. Easy.
Being able to place just the light into the mesh netting at the top of the tent allows me to search for my frequently lost beanie without fiddling with a light in hand. Plus, changing with a headlamp on can be quite cumbersome. Since there’s two of us sharing the tent having a single source for lighting at the top of the tent makes things much more livable.
After finishing up dinner I remember that I need to do some basic maintenance on the drivetrain on my bicycle before I head out for a ride first thing in the morning. The back bumper of the truck proves to be the perfect location for a worklight. The magnetic backing on the lighting unit allows me to position it in such a way that I can effectively create a well lit work space virtually anywhere that I can park a vehicle. This frees both of my hands. Voila!
The rail mount allows me to place a light on one of my hiking poles, proving quite handy as I descend down the trail in the dark after taking in yet another beautiful high desert sunset. This also frees my hands to grab my camera in an attempt to capture elusive wildlife moments in those waning hours of sunlight where wildlife tends to be most active.
Then it occurs to me! Perhaps this light system deserves a permanent place in the truck, alongside the trusty jack and first-aid kit under the back seat. Roadside emergencies and an interchangable, magnetically mountable light that can be easily charged via a USB car charger seems like a solid fit to me. I think I’m sold.
In fact, I could see keeping one of these kits at home as part of a standard home emergency kit. The wall mount charger provides for an always charged light at home, next to a workbench in the garage, or even in the bathroom.
The light is quite easy to swap between mounts, even when wearing large, bulky gloves and dealing with quite cold hands. The 4 dedicated function buttons on the top of the unit prove to be much less frustrating than trying to remember what special combinations of press and hold would get me the lighting configuration I was looking for. They allowed me to easily cycle between the 4 different light intensities that are available all without flipping through all of the different settings before accidentally going past the one I needed.
There are times when options for something less than a flood light is actually ideal, like being awoken in the middle of the night to the sounds of a family of javelina rummaging around camp. Or when needing to preserve your night vision when the 2 am nature call comes knocking and crawling out of your tent shouldn’t require stadium lighting.
With a maximum of 400 lumens, and a run time of up to 40 hours, the light is more than capable for most all use-cases around a campsite, on the side of the road, or at home. As our campsite did not have electricity, the macro-USB (micro-USB??) charging port made charging from a cache battery a breeze.
When I was told that the HeadSpin was geared towards being a ‘lifestyle’ lighting option I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it. After using the light almost exclusively for our 8 day trip to the Davis Mountains I think that I can safely say that the light fits my active, adventurous, lifestyle.