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Review of the Petzl Duo S Headlamp
By Robert Lyon
Contributing Author of 102 Days Alone Around Vancouver Island

When I go out on the water it is invariably to escape the long arm of civilization. Remote ocean beaches, roadless river canyons and high mountain lakes are what I’m after and trips ranges from a short week to a month or more. Among all the essential gear we carry is some form of portable lighting, and in my case, the best headlamp I can find.

If you’re new to headlamps, their unique advantage is to free up our hands, facilitating night time chores like cooking and eating, brushing teeth and buttoning up the kitchen. Most good lamps will handle this just fine.

Where a lamp like the DUO S comes into play is the more serious scenario. Moving the tent in the middle of the night ahead of a storm tide, then running around looking for washaways, dealing with critters in the dark, looking for an injured or lost member of your (or anyone else’s) party and coming ashore later than expected. The ability to stand dark on its ear with a ton of light in an emergency can be a difference maker.

The DUO S is made by Petzl, industry leader in this field, and comes with 5 lighting modes plus a jaw dropping BOOST, a long lasting, rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, FACE2FACE tech that dims your lamp in the face of your buddy’s light and a 3 year warranty. Add in Waterproof and Shockproof and you’ve got one extraordinary lamp.

Cons are few, a rear mount battery, so reading with your head on a pillow requires a little workaround, and it doesn’t fit in your pocket as nicely as the smaller lamps do. The on/off knob is spring loaded and has a short delay which I do not like.

I live off grid on a small island where headlamps are a way of life. I find it is fascinating to see all the critters prowling the land at night and I do many of my chores then and save the daylight for other things.

The DUO S sells for nearly half a grand, so for many paddlers a decision to purchase is no small matter. While it may seem overkill for most paddling applications, for those of us that push the envelope and paddle where the dragons play, it might be a very good match. MSRP: $449.95

About The Author

Rob has a couple of fly fishing books to his credit and lives with his wife Pamela in the San Juan Islands on a sunny 20 acres that doubles as a wicked disc golf course. Rob believes in the simplicity and reliance of open kayaks and uses them exclusively for ocean touring. Visit Rob's website at LyonExpeditions.com or contact him by email: rob@lyonexpeditions.com.

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