Black Diamond Storm Review | Mountain IQ | Hiking Headlamps

Black Diamond Storm Review

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The Black Diamond Storm is one of the most well equipped lights that we have reviewed. It has a spot and flood mode as well as three different night-mode colours.

Along with this, it has all the main features of the other Black Diamond models we tested, however, it is slightly heavier.

 The Storm is the most powerful of the Black Diamond models we tested. It can produce 350 lumens and reach up to 80 meters.

Black Diamond Storm (4.5/5)

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Black Diamond Storm Detailed Headlamp Review

Although the maximum beam length is the same as that of the less powerful Spot it produces a brighter, more even beam.

With an IPX8 water- and dust-proof rating, the Black Diamond Storm can withstand being submerged 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes without sustaining damage. This feature makes it perfect for stormy trails and wet adventures

Like the other Black Diamond headlamps, the Storm comes with a brightness memory feature. This means that when you turn your headlamp on it will return to the setting it was on when it was turned off. The advantage of this is that you do not have to search for your favorite setting each time you switch your headlamp on and prevents your eyes having to endure the maximum brightness setting each time you turn it on.

Like the Black Diamond Spot, the single button operation can be slightly tedious to learn and easy to forget. To switch between the different bulbs and configurations, you must tap the button once, twice or three times, or hold it in for a few seconds. When a lamp has this many features and modes it can be frustrating but after a few uses you will find that you can navigate these relatively easily.

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What we like
  • Three night-mode colours
  • Brightness memory
  • Highest water and dust resistance rating
What we dislike
  • Extra weight makes it less comfortable than the other Black Diamonds in this review
  • Complicated single button operation
  • Hypersensitive PowerTap technology

Key Features 

Lighting modes

The Black Diamond Storm features 3 different bulbs:

  • 1 QUAD power LED (high-powered white light)
  • 1 DoublePower LED (low-powered white light)
  • Red, green and blue SinglePower LED

The QUAD power LED provides a bright, precise beam that is perfect for route finding after dark. The Storms improved lighting profile increases the overall brightness and improves peripheral lighting for close-up, campsite activities.

One could argue that having three colour LEDs for night vision is a bit overkill, but they are nevertheless useful when you want to navigate the campsite without disturbing the eyes of those around you. The colour LEDs each have a strobe (for signalling an emergency) and dimming function.

These LEDs can also be activated without first having to flip through the bright white lights, preserving night vision. A lock mode is included to prevent the lamp turning on in your bag and draining the battery.

Batteries

The Storm requires 4AAA batteries which are housed behind the lamp itself. It requires one more AAA battery than the Spot and ReVolt, which increases the weight considerably. The addition of this extra battery does almost double the claimed battery-life when compared to the other Black Diamond models.

Unfortunately, the Storm does not accommodate rechargeable batteries. The battery indicator is a useful add-on that allows you to roughly monitor the battery life. An excellent design of the battery casing includes a heatsink that keeps the batteries warm allowing them to perform optimally in very cold conditions.

Comfort and Design

The Storm has a very compact design despite housing 4AAA batteries. It is heavier than the other Black Diamond models we tested but it is still on the lighter end of the spectrum of all headlamps we tested.

The headlamp feels well balanced, despite the batteries being housed in the front of the headlamp. The single strap supports the headlamp well owing to the firm but stretchable material.

Additional padding was added to the back of the lamps casing which makes for a comfortable fit and little chafing or indentation during use.

Adjusting the strap is relatively easy however one of the buckles has been placed on the inside of the strap and digs into the back of your head a bit. Like most good headlamps, you can tilt the headlamp from the horizontal position down wards to get a better view of a map or tricky terrain

The Strom comes with a PowerTap feature on the side of the headlamp that allows you to quickly change between a bright and dim modes. PowerTap, despite being useful, has not quite been perfected and is hypersensitive.

This makes it finicky and very difficult to operate with gloves on. It is located on the side of the lamp, which makes it easy to accidentally push when adjusting the angle or lighting mode.

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