The Black Diamond Icon is one of the best headlamps we have ever owned. It’s unique combination of an 80 meter beam distance and excellent battery life far outweighs its debatable bulky size and weight. The Icon offers a super bright wide beam that has fantastic optics, providing an evenly lit light that is excellent for trail finding, and also great in its low-setting for use around the campsite.

Heavier and bulkier compared to most headlamps, this limitation will rule it out for ultra light backpackers, however we find it ideal for our overlanding needs as it offers excellent battery life powered by 4 AA batteries with a durable waterproof build.

In our adventures some of us don’t believe bad things will happen to us, others think they have everything figured out. It is natural to assume that we will likely not get caught out after nightfall, but imagine your dog ran a bit too far from camp while you’re in the backcountry and now you have to look for her. Perhaps you get a little carried away on your sunset hike and have to make your way back to camp, on a poorly defined trail at night, or have a storm coming in, or get injured. These scenarios tend to happen more often than we like (especially for us), but it is in these moments, where we find ourselves most grateful that we have our Black Diamond Icon Headlamps with us.

Black Diamond Icon Headlamp 1

This headlamp is very user friendly. Switching between spotlight and close proximity/LED mode is a breeze. You just click one button that is easy to operate even with gloves on. This product also offers variable dimming. Simply holding down the button dims down, and then up so long as you keep holding the button. The dimming function works in all three of its lighting modes: red-light, high-power spot and low-power flood. This allows for fluid brightness tuning to meet your specific needs.

Although heavier then other headlamps, it is super comfortable to wear. The headband is about  an inch wide and is supported by a removable 3/4″ wide top band. The battery pack rests at the back of the head and seems to balance nicely with the light in front. We find it very stable and comfortable in active use as well.

All in all the Icon’s great combination of battery life, durability and trail finding performance make it our preferred choice for those who need a heavy-duty, high performance, headlamp. That being said its weight makes it a poor choice for ultralight backpacking.