The Black Diamond ReVolt is the headlamp for you if need a reliable, well-rounded, rechargeable headlamp. Although the Petzl Reactik+, another rechargeable headlamp, was our pick for Best Overall Headlamp, the ReVolt’s superior battery performance and affordable price is what makes it our pick for the Best Rechargeable Headlamp.
The ReVolt produces 300 lumens but only reaches 70m, with its rechargeable batteries, in comparison to the 80m reach of the Black Diamond Spot with the same maximum power output.
It does however, have the best battery performance of all the headlamps we tested and can operate with both rechargeable and disposable batteries (without an adapter).
The micro-USB charger means it can be charged in a variety of power sources. With an IPX4 rating it is water resistant making it reliable in inclement weather but the battery housing is not entirely waterproof and needs to be dried out after it gets wet.
The operation of the Black Diamond Revolt uses a single button located at the top of the casing. Despite the single button operation being a bit frustrating in the beginning, it is less so than the similar design of the Black Diamond Spot.
This is because rather than having many lighting options, the ReVolt has 4 lighting modes (discussed below) and the distance and proximity modes can be adjusted to your needs using a dimming function.
A useful feature includes the LED battery life indicator, which is activated for three seconds after the headlamp has been turned on.
Green it indicates that the batteries have fifty percent of their power remaining, orange indicates between fifty and twenty five percent and red indicates below twenty five percent.
The LED will be blue if the headlamp is in lock mode, a feature that prevents your headlamp turning on in your bag and wasting the battery power.
Unfortunately, this headlamp does not have brightness memory and this can lead to the unexpected activation of the blinding, maximum brightness mode.
The Black Diamond ReVolt comes with 4 different lighting modes. The TriplePower LED is the most powerful, producing a maximum of 110 lumens and reaching 70m. 2 SinglePower LEDs provide a proximity mode, producing 25 lumens and reaching 9m.
The proximity mode is excellent as it casts a wide, even beam with no discoloration or dark spots. Both modes have a dimming function which can be accessed by holding down the button until the light suits your needs.
The red LEDs allow you to move around the campsite without disturbing others and can be accessed without first switching on the white lights. Lastly, there are white and red flashing strobe setting for emergencies.
Out of all the headlamps we tested, the ReVolt had the best battery life. In addition to this, the micro-USB charging cable means that you can charge this headlamp in almost anything with a USB-port. You also do not need to remove the batteries from the headlamp to charge them which adds to the ease of use.
This is particularly useful for long hikes and camping trips because all you need is a car charger, portable charger, solar charger or USB-adapter and you are good to go. It also saves you the hassle of lugging around tons of disposable batteries.
However, the Revolt can also operate on disposable batteries (without an adapter) and comes with 3 AAA Alkaline Energizer Batteries in addition to its 3 AAA USB Rechargeable Batteries. If you opt to use the Alkaline Batteries, the battery life is reduced but the brightness increases.
Just like all the Black Diamond models, the ReVolt has a sleek design and comes in 4 colors. It’s mid-pack weight, of 96g, means that it is easily supported by its adjustable, single strap headband.
Even though the batteries are stored in the front of the headlamp its light weight means that there is minimal movement or ‘bobbing around’ of the front unit.
The serious gripe we have with the design is that the headband does not have an inner grip leading to the headlamp slipping during use. The headband can, however, be removed for washing or to attach the headlamp itself to a harness or anything else you see fit.
Overall this headlamp is easy to use but we found that the single button operation can be frustrating at first. The button itself is difficult to operate with gloves on because it is very flat.
As we mentioned before the battery housing is not completely waterproof, which can lead to rusting if it is not dried out after it has been used in the rain.