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We put the updated Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp to the test.
bd revolt 427 denm web
Best for...
Long trips into the wild.
Overall Score
Massively long burn time
Confusing operation

The recently redesigned ReVolt headlamp from Black Diamond is a waterproof, rechargeable headlamp for hiking, climbing and for general use in the outdoors.

The original ReVolt was a good, solid performer but the lack of waterproofing sorely let it down. The redesigned version adds IPX8 waterproofing which means that you can submerse it to a depth of 1m or more without risking damage so you can be confident that it'll cope with pretty much all weather eventualities.

The soft elasticated webbing strap and contoured forehead plate make the ReVolt comfortable to wear for long periods of time and at 97g you'll barely notice it's on your head and it won't make much of an impact on your pack weight.

Operation of the ReVolt isn't as simple as cycling between modes using the main button, in fact we find it unnecessarily confusing. Without reading the instructions you're unlikely to be able to get the best out of it which is a tad frustrating for such a potentially simple and straightforward but often vital piece of kit. I won't go into details about the operation here but suffice to say you're unlikely to remember how to access all of the available functions without instructions to hand, so its best to commit the most important on/off, red light and brightness cycling options to memory.

Some of the more welcom features include a small battery level indicator which takes the guess work out of power usage. The ReVolt runs off 3 AAA sized NiMH batteries (included) that can be recharged via a micro USB port in around 4-5 hours. The beauty of this set up is that not only can you recharge your headlamp, but you can also swap the NiMH batteries out for 3 x standard AAA alkaline batteries to extend burn time and allow you to carry a back-up power supply. On NiMH power the max lumens emitted by the ReVolt is 175 which we generally find to be enough for most camp tasks as well as night hiking. On Alkaline power the lumens on max go up to 300 which is competitive with most top of the line Petzl headlamps. Burn time is excellent, you can expect around 15-20 hours with mixed usage on the NiMH batteries, that can then be extended by another 60 hours or so with each set of AAA batteries so this is quite possibly the headtorch for you if you're planning on extended trips or simply hate having to recharge your devices and gadgets every time you head out into the wild.

The beam pattern of the ReVolt is a little hazy on max due to the mixing of the triplepower and doublepower LED's, we prefer to use it with one or the other.

Holding down the main power button with the light switched on dims or brightens the LED on an analogue cycle, so you can tune the brightness in to your needs, a flash of the light tells you when you've reached max or min brightness.

The quality, functionality and durability of the headlamp itself is great, it's just a shame that it's let down by the confusing operation. £60 is possibly a touch on the steep side but as usual you can find a deal online to bring the price down to about £50, at this level it's just about worth the investment.

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