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Gear Review



Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Gemini

Manufacturer: Black Diamond

Your Opinion: 
 - 10 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: Dec 14, 2002 / Dec 14, 2002

Object ID: 591

Hits: 2266 


Black Diamond's most basic headlamp offering both halogen and LED in one unit.

  • This headlamp combines a bright, route-finding Halogen spot-light with a power-conserving LED light.
  • Xenon Halogen bulb casts a bright light; prismatic reflector gives even illumination throughout the beam.
  • Three-way, push-button switch toggles between light options; switch positioned to prevent light from accidentally being turned on
  • Compact, three AA battery pack at the back of the headband; heavy rubber gasket keeps rain and snow out of the battery pack.
  • Comfortable three-strap head band is completely adjustable
  • Spare Bright Xenon Halogen bulb is included and housed in battery pack.
Technical Data:

This is the data from Black Diamond's website. The headlamp comes with the SuperBright LED and Long Life Xenon Halogen bulbs installed. A Bright Xenon Halogen bulb is also included in the spare bulb compartment that can be swaped with the Long Life Halogen. The SuperBright Xenon Halogen bulb is available as a separate purchase.

    Bulb TypeDistance with
    Fresh Batteries
    Burn Time
    SuperBright LED10 m1000 hrs
    Long Life Xenon Halogen70 m7.0 hrs
    Bright Xenon Halogen100 m3.5 hrs
    SuperBright Xenon Halogen140 m2.5 hrs
Additional information:
  • REI.com: "Efficient LED bulb cast smooth, even light for over 80 hours, long-life Xenon Halogen cast a bright beam for nearly 4-hours"
  • REI.com: unlike most lights they sell, "the LED light for this headlamp operates longer at 0 degrees than 70 degrees in laboratory tests."
  • Mountain Gear: "7 hour burn time for bulb; 500 for LED"
  • Backpacker Magazine: Editors' Choice 2002 Winner


Viewing: 1-10 of 10

DeanUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Black Diamond has another winner. My only complaint is the weight and even that is reasonable. This makes for a sweet combination of having a light bright enough when you're on a dark trail or climbing, and the LED capability allows you to not eat up your batteries while you use it around camp. It fits my helmet just fine but I don't mind wearing it around camp either (no helmet) since my hair doesn't get mussed up by the overstrap. (no hair). I'd recommend you carry at least a couple extra batteries since the Halogen feature chews em up. The description listed above should answer most of your questions as it is very well done.

BTW, REI is running a holiday special on this light for 29.95 so if you happen to read this prior to Dec 24th, check it out at rei.com
Posted Dec 15, 2002 9:17 am

JohnUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

If I had to pick one "do everything" headlamp for fair-weather use this would probably be it (at least as of Dec 2002). I've used this on Orizaba, Iztaccíhuatl, and Nevado de Toluca though the night on each. The LED is bright enough for hiking on the trail and watching your footing in boulderfields while the Long Life Halogen is good for route finding. Switching between LED and halogen is extremely easy and conserves battery juice. It's also much easier than using separate lights for LED and halogen. It packs small and I currently use a Princeton Tec Matrix fleece bag to hold it (I lost my Matrix on a cross-country descent off Dana). In the past I've always carried a headlamp and my Tec 40. For the first time I'm considering leaving the Tec 40 at home but I won't do that for a while. Plus, it would still be nice to have a secondary light for changing batteries though BD has some lights that have a backup to do just that (with additional weight).
Posted Dec 15, 2002 9:18 pm

Alan EllisUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Very bright and comes with an even brighter extra bulb. Button is easy to use with a glove and the straps adjust easily. No more light coming on accidently and draining the batteries. Fits well on my BD Half Dome. Very solid and well made. Slightly heavier than what I am used to in a headlamp, but worth it.
Posted Dec 30, 2002 7:04 pm

vicsabumUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Great light. LED and halogen is ultimate genius. Switching between the two and turning it on/off uses the same button. The button has never popped on in my pack and that is good. Comes with an extra bulb and a place to store that bulb. I like the fact that it only takes three AAs...less weight, and when you buy a pack of four batteries you have an extra juicy one to rotate in when things get dim.

If you forget about the battery pack and flop down to rest, you might regret it as it is uncomfortable to lay on. Also even though the lens swivles, there is no difference in the beam when you do it. After a year of use, my lens has become scratched thus throwing little marks into the beam...but at least it didn't break all of those times I dropped it.

I wish is was waterproof too. Why aren't ALL headlamps waterproof???
Posted Feb 20, 2003 8:10 pm

NYC007Untitled Review

Voted 5/5

great, lightweight head lamp. lighter and more durable than its counterpart Petzl DUO,.

I lprefer LED lamps, but the Halegon works great for climbing all night and route finding problems. Unlike Petzl this one you dont have to worry about it turning on in your pack, cuz it uses a button not a twist of the light.. another plus
Posted Feb 23, 2003 8:27 pm

Nikolas_AUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I've been using it for 2 years and hasn't sown any sign of wear. It's light and strimlined.

I use it with the Bright Xenon bulb using the Long Life Xenon as a spare (if I want economy I can switch to Led).

I don't cary spare batteries anymore.

I don't particularly like the cycling of the button (Led-Off-Halogen-Off) but wouldn't take a star away just for that
Posted Dec 28, 2003 10:08 am

sshankleUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Everyone shoud have one of these. Especially alpine climbers. Good light from the normal bulb and save power with the LED. It is great.
Posted Mar 28, 2004 7:19 pm

awagherUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

I have never had a problem with this headlamp. I have had it for 4 years now and use it on my head and with a helmet. The beam adjustment is not as convenient as my Myo 5 but it is not the worst thing in the world either. The band still has most of its' elastic life in it. No zoom feature and only two brightness settings earned it a place as my back-up after my Petzl.
Posted Apr 20, 2005 1:28 pm

IceMonkeyUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I've been using this on my climbing helmet for about 3 years and its taken a right battering, but it still looks new. I have the dual LED version which is really bright, and I rarely need to use the bulb, making battery life excellent.
Posted Aug 2, 2005 11:15 am

CarboUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Simply a great headlamp that also has been quite reliable compared to other headlamps used. I have had a problem with it in the years I have had it. Never switched on in the pack by mistake. The only slight negative is its size, not quite small or light.
Posted Sep 22, 2005 8:55 pm

Viewing: 1-10 of 10