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Gear Review



Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Aurora

Manufacturer: Princeton Tec

Your Opinion: 
 - 9 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: May 23, 2002 / May 23, 2002

Object ID: 296

Hits: 1884 


This is essentially Princeton Tec's response to the Petzl Tikka. It is very similar in that it has 3 LED bulbs, is powered by 3 AAA batteries and comes with simple headband. Priceton Tec has added a few extra features and priced the light at about $5 less than the Tikka:
  • 5 Light Modes: 3 continuous light modes at high, medium, and low settings. 2 strobe settings with different speeds.
  • Adjustable Angle: The light unit is hinged so the angle can be adjusted.
  • Triangular Bulb Configuration: The LEDs are arranged in a triangle instead of a horizontal row to provide even lighting throughout the field of view with no blank spots in the beam.
  • Waterproof: To 33 feet (according to GreenNerve's review).
Similar Products: BD Moonlight, Petzl Tikka, Petzl Zipka, Princeton Tec Matrix


Viewing: 1-8 of 8

c.wollinUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Having a lightweight, LED headlamp is a must have. I purchased this particular headlamp a few weeks ago and have been amazed at the usefulness of it. Not only does it come in handy for camp chores but the adjustable brightness is nice for reading too.

When my climbing partner and I were

delayed on a recent hike it saved us from an unexpected night in the mountains. It makes a regular flashlight look silly. The only thing that I don't care for is that the switch can be a little touchy between light functions.

Posted Sep 12, 2002 1:36 am

GreenNerveUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

The angle adjustment alone makes this way better than Petzls., though I wonder if the hinge will remain tight after a few years. Claimed waterproof to 33 feet. There aren’t any rubber seals on battery compartment, but Princeton Tec is in the business of making waterproof/ dive lights. Mine actually weighs 2.9 oz, but don’t use this to compare to other manufacturers claims. More often than not, gear is a little heavier than the claim. Headband works as a good sweatband for night hiking which Zipka doesn’t do (besides, who wants a piece of wire wrapped around your skull).

The 3 LED headlight is one of the great recent inventions for camping. The beam is very white and has no dark spots. You can see clearly out to about 20 feet, but it does have limited range. I carry an extra light with a lot of punch for intermittent use on night hikes. However, the headlight can be used alone. I left a set of batteries in for 2 months. On about 8 nights it was on for at least 4 hrs continuously. It was dimmer, but still very usable after all this.

Posted Oct 18, 2002 11:14 am

Distel32Untitled Review

Voted 5/5

Petzl should be taking notes from this headlamp. The Tikka and Zipka are bright, but then again what LEDs aren't? What makes this so much better is teh adjustable module. I've done a fair amount of pre-dawn and night hiking, and it's like a spot light on your forehead. Having the low beam option is great for around camp when you don't need to see very far, and then cranking it all the way up when hiking and climbing is perfect. Plus you can find it for around $28 or so. Also quite small if you didn't notice. Check it out
Posted Oct 27, 2002 7:07 pm

DeanUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Outstanding light that I've come to truly appreciate. The only drawback is the screw that controls the tension for the angling of the lamp loosens up from time to time but a quick little tightening from my mini leatherman puts it right again. I like the three different levels of illumination and the fact that it is so lightweight. Great around camp and adequate on trails but definitely a winner.
Posted Nov 6, 2002 3:39 pm

UncleBobUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

My most beloved peice of gear!

This lamp would be perfect if it wasn't for the fact that the hinge does come loose with time. I was forced to wear it flopping upside down, downclimbing from the presidentials for two hours. I've applied a drop of seam-grip to the threadded end of the hinge to prevent loss of the nut if this should happen again. It is indeed waterproof and I've had no problems caving in water with the occaisional submersion. The battery life is godlike and I've had it working for me for a half dozen, threeto six hour use, weekends over a five month span without changing batteries. In fact, princeton could have saved even more weight by going to just two (or even one!) AAA battery.

Weighs next to nothing which means there's no reason to leave it behind. Packs small, variable output, great stuff.

One thing that princeton has fixed in it's new lamp, the scout, is the way the button is protected from activation when fully upright. I would use the scout instead, but those lithium coin batteries can't be used for my other gear which also uses AAA, and aren't rechargeable. But IMO this is a minor issue and accidental activation is easily fixed with some attention to packing.

Posted Nov 12, 2003 9:48 pm

nebbenUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

This really should be a five star headlamp, but for me, it isn't perfect.

The swivel has needed adjustment twice so far. It is easy to do if you have needlenose pliers, or teeny tools (leatherman sideclip works for me). The lamp has always fired up when called upon, and always worked no matter what kind of batteries were in it. In fact, I just recently changed batteries since I wasn't sure how old the original batteries were. Surprise surprise- the lamp had OEM batteries in it and it had just become dim over its lifetime and I hadn't noticed.

It can take abuse (mine has a cracked lense, but it doesn't affect the output), and survives in crappy conditions. Rime ice on Mt. Hood didn't phase it, except I couldn't turn it off until I could chip the thick ice off.

It is super lightweight, and I routinely use it when I run at night or early in the mornings. The blinking functions come in handy every now and then too. The adjustable brightness is terrific- I can read with it on low, and do camp-type stuff, and on high...I can run with it.

The Aurora is definitely a close-range headlamp. If you want to see beyond 20-30 feet, you'll probably want something else. If you want uber-battery life, light weight, rock solid, feature packed, almost universal light for cheap, this is it.
Posted Oct 4, 2005 3:30 pm

LortnocUntitled Review

Voted 2/5

In the beginning everything worked flawlessly but as time passed the screw loosend often, the clip for opening and closing the battery compartment broke and worst: somewhere in the lamp a loose contact emerged, so I have to hit it to get full light.

Light is also too dull to do anything more than cooking, setting up your tent and that sort of things.

Batterylife is excellent, easy to use, three modes, weight and size all on the positive side.
Posted Dec 8, 2005 5:22 pm

tarolUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Great headlamp, only complaint is having to tighten the screw on the swivel hinge about every third trip as it gets loose.
Posted Feb 9, 2006 4:20 pm

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