Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

  • Black Diamond Icon Headlamp Reviewed 2018
9.2
9.2 score
(GearWeAre.com) score (9.2)/10

Our GearWeAre.com score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Black Diamond is a reputable brand that provides high-quality outdoor gear for its customers. Their fastidious attention to standard is showcased in their plethora of excellent products. Whether you are embarking on a night hike through the Appalachian Trail, working as an aircraft mechanic, or simply afraid of the dark, The Black Diamond Icon headlamp is an excellent product for you. With a maximum output of a whopping 500 lumens, a 90-meter beam distance, paired with an extraordinary 70 hours of battery power, the robust beams of The Black Diamond Icon are hard to miss and are a perfect fit for any situation—whether practical, recreational and everything else in between. Red, green, and blue night vision light also ensure that no nighttime visibility problems arise as you commence your adventure. This headlamp excels in various aspects of performance, also providing users with different settings such as full strength, strobe, night, dimming, and lock mode. The seemingly endless features on this product provide a versatility that ensures satisfaction no matter your reason for buying.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Powerful 500 lumen LED light
  • Waterproof and dust proof
  • Different light settings 
  • Long battery life
  • Batteries included 
  • User friendly
  • Removable battery compartment
  • Dimming capabilities 
  • Can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky with the battery pack attached 
  • Higher price point
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.5 hours analyzing a total of 498 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • This lamp is super bright and I've used it for several races and it lights up the trails beautifully. I love that the battery can be placed in my vest due to the extension cord.
  • I've gotten this brand of the headlamp for my husband as a replacement to the last one and I've also purchased him other lamps from different brands and he always grabs the black diamond. He says it is very super comfortable to wear and the light is very bright. He loves this headlamp.
  • If you wear the battery pack on your head this can be a bit heavy. I am happy with the purchase, however, this being my first headlamp The light is bright.
  • The light on this thing is great and has served me well for a couple of months. A lot of features to get used to though. Has a nice crossbody battery holder. Getting used to all the features is a bit confusing at first but easy enough to figure out with use.
  • My Black Diamond icon headlamp has always been reliable. I've owned mine for 5 years now and can I use it for multiple purposes.
  • My wife does trail marathon running and this is a great headlamp for that. She says it works flawlessly.
  • With the battery pack, this is a little heavy but it's also the most long-lasting and brightest headlamp I have ever used.
  • Took some getting used to but this has great output. I highly recommend it.
  • I always upgrade my lamp every time a new one comes out. I've had every version. I love that the upgrades don't sacrifice anything that I love from the previous version. So happy with all the improvements.
  • Battery life is much better and long lasting. I feel like a navy seal with this light. I use it for night kayaking. Very functional.
  • The many improvements are obvious over the older version. The case for the battery is much better. I am so happy with my Black Diamond Icon Head Lamp.
  • We had to buy another headlamp because my husband lost his. As an engineer, he can't live without his Black Diamond Icon Head Lamp. He is overjoyed with the new version.
  • This lamp is a bit heavy due to the battery pack but it is extremely powerful. Great for backpacking and night hikes.
  • Balances well on the head even with the battery pack and the battery has a better lifespan. I got this headlamp to run at night but since used it in place of a flashlight for everyday things.
  • I've had my Icon for years and I am very happy with it. I use my headlamp for more than hiking. I use it for at home at night when I don't need the main house lights.
  • I love that the Black Diamond Icon Head Lamp can preserve night vision and the light is clear and bright.
  • I love this lamp so much because of all its features that I need and want.
  • With red, blue and green night vision, and quick touch settings for brightness and a detachable battery you have everything you need.
  • Never had an issue with his headlamp. I used it for much more than I originally purchased it for. It works great and I use it daily.
  • All the improvements are amazing. Being able to remove the battery pack is a big deal. The light is much brighter and the different modes of night vision is a great addition.
Negative
  • Some buyers report an annoying humming noise
  • A few buyers questioned the durability stating that the headlamp broke easily
  • A little heavy for some buyers
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 498 reviews we found in total, 7% were negative, and 93% were positive.
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Durability

Durability

This product proves to be quite durable. The battery's staying power is excellent for a headlamp of such outstanding light power and can last for years when under light to moderate use. Due to the waterproof and dustproof qualities, your headlamp will continue through a variety of dry, wet, and mixed terrains with ease. The added capability to be submerged to one meter for up to thirty minutes also attests to your ability to take this product any and everywhere and do most activities without needing to worry or saddle your pack with a replacement headlamp. Also, no maintenance is required after submersion other than drying it off so you don't have a wet head! The head straps are sturdy and do not stretch out and lose their shape with extended use like other models may do, which ensures stability in the event of longterm use, and especially if you are participating in activities that require a lot of movement, like running or jogging.
Price

Price

While being more expensive than other headlamp models can be a drawback if the price point is outside of your range, the number of features can help make up for the expense. Cheaper options may not have the same abilities and can pale in comparison to everything the Black Diamond Icon has to offer, especially if you are used to the luxuries this model has to offer. The price is reasonable for everything consumers can expect to enjoy their product.
Flexibility

Flexibility

Bulk and weight can be an issue here if you're trying to do an ultralight camping or backpacking trip while the battery compartment is still attached to the rest of it. However, the battery compartment can be easily detached by simply pulling the battery pack out of its compartment. Due to an included extended cable cord, users have options to store the battery pack in a pocket or bag, or simply hold on to it— all with no effect on the quality of the light. With a lighter load, sleek and simple are the Black Diamond Icon's new middle name. The new product is now simply the light with attached straps and harnesses. The newfound lightness can feel weightless in comparison to the battery attached version, which means users can forget they even have something attached to their head which is an excellent trait if your activity is strenuous, dangerous or otherwise demanding of your full attention.
Uses

Uses

There are a variety of things that can be done with this product. Outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, cave diving, kayaking, star gazing, hunting, swimming, fishing, and many more can all be enhanced while using this headlamp, especially if you are doing them at dusk, dawn, nighttime or in otherwise bad lighting. There are also practical uses such as during jobs like coal mining, mechanical or engineering work where lighting is largely inadequate. This product would also be incredibly useful during a power outage or while doing work in a poorly lit basement or garage, so there are definitely at home uses that this product can be beneficial for if the buyer is not an outdoors person or taking a weekend off from their outdoor activities.
Features

Features

There is a long list of features that come with this purchase, most of which have already been listed. Some features not yet mentioned are three level power gauge that alerts you to the battery power before the headlamp shuts off. Underneath the primary beam, there will be a small power meter. If the power meter is green that means that the batter is above fifty percent. Yellow means that the battery is anywhere from twenty-five to fifty percent and red means that the battery is below twenty-five percent, and also in need of being replaced. This way there is little ambiguity about where your battery stands, which provides the added safety of never having to worry about whether or not the lamp will spontaneously shut off on you. You'll also know whether or not you need to add extra batteries to your pack depending on the color of the light. Another feature that was not previously mentioned is the brightness memory feature. This means that once the headlamp is shut off and then back on again you will be on the exact same setting that it was turned to previously, which provides convenience if your use is consistent and the setting needs to stay the same all the time.
Accessories

Accessories

There are different settings that can be used depending on your needs during a specific activity and time. For example, if you are taking a run in the early morning and the sun is just below the horizon, then the lowest light setting would be perfect for you to navigate your way through a trail. On the other hand, if you are rock climbing at night in the Rocky Mountains, then the best setting for you would be the highest beam possible. Each different setting is easily accessible by holding down the buttons on the headlamp until the desired light brightness is achieved. The instruction manual will provide a guide to the proper ways to get your desired light effect. From there you can move forward with activities until a change of scenery or activity requires a new light setting. There are also the options of night vision, as mentioned before, with green, blue, and red settings that ensure there is a light for every possible scenario. The straps on the headlamp are also adjustable, and the top strap is removable so anyone can move them around in order to provide the best and most comfortable fit.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Being extremely user-friendly is one of the best qualities for this headlamp. Models come with a detailed instruction manual that buyers can skim through in order to know how to best achieve their desired settings. Accessing different features requires no more than a one-two-three click method, or holding the buttons down until the desired feature is accessed. For example, anytime a user desires maximum brightness, all that has to be done is to tap the power symbol on the right side of the headlamp, no matter the setting that it was just on previously. Also, night vision settings can be accessed by holding down the top button from off and then tapping the same button twice to flicker through the colored lighting options. Due to the simplicity of achieving different settings, the Black Diamond Icon can be easily operated while wearing gloves, which is convenient for use in cold temperatures or harsh terrains. The one-inch-wide headband is coupled with a three-fourths wide top band which works together to provide excellent stability. The detachable battery pack in the back can also help to balance the light out nicely and fit securely to the head and is easily removed in order to ensure the best fit for all users.
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The operation is smooth and easy with each setting only needing the click of a button to access. All the action that needs to be taken is to turn on the headlamp and press the top button until the desired light is achieved. Use that light until you are finished with it or until a different setting is desired. Everything is straightforward and provides buyers with the easiest methods for getting their desired effect. Users are able to change a light within a matter of seconds which is convenient and will come in handy if you are not in a position to be able to stop, or your light needs change dramatically. For example, if in an area with moderate lighting, the middle setting on the headlamp would be the best fit for your situation. However if you suddenly found yourself in total darkness, it would take seconds to switch to the highest setting and there would be no need to take the lamp off your head and fumble with it in the darkness.
Comparison to Other Brands

Comparison to Other Brands

When compared to other headlamps on the market right now, the Black Diamond Icon scores highly in terms of ease to use, durability, and power. There are similar lamps with smaller price tags but they are not nearly as bright and powerful as this one. Also, there is the benefit of the removable top strap, because most other models only have the one strap that goes around your head. The added stability helps with a variety of different activities. This model is heavier than others but that can be easily solved by removing the battery. The heaviness also adds to the durability of the product because it is sturdier than others.
The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Black Diamond Icon performs strongly across all tests of quality, and also as compared to other similar products. Your money will be well spent on this product. If you frequently spend time doing outdoor activities or have a job that requires work in dark spaces or need to do work in dark spaces around your house like a basement or garage, then this product is absolutely highly recommended for your use. What makes this headlamp stand out from others is the brightness of the light and the multiple different settings. Whatever your needs you can find a use for this versatile and dependable light.