Recently I was contacted by Vont about reviewing three of their products that might be helpful to hikers and backpackers: headlamps, flashlights and camping lanterns. Here are my thoughts. (Note: all three of these products are sold in a two-pack).
Like most headlamps, Vont’s “Spark” runs on three triple-A batteries. Two packs were included. One set did not work, but experience has shown me that when batteries are included in such products, they are usually non-Alkaline or otherwise questionable, so I assume I will be using my own batteries. Once I loaded them in, the lamp worked well. The load-in process was easier than I’ve found other lamps to be (I don’t know if it’s just me but every time I change the batteries in a headlamp, I feel as if I have to force the hatch shut, so it was nice to not have that issue). The head band also fit well; I wasn’t having to constantly adjust it to avoid it slipping, which is a problem I’ve had in the past. The lamp includes three settings of intensity plus a “blinking” setting. As for durability: at one point I accidentally dropped the lamp onto concrete from waist-high and afterward did not notice any electric problems or dents in the casing.
The “Blaze” flashlight was a pleasant surprise; its adjustable lens allows for a smaller but intense beam or a wider one. The flashlights also come in a handy nylon carrying sack. Like “Spark” it runs on three triple-A batteries, which are NOT included here. The process of loading the batteries was a little confusing at first but made sense once I figured it out.
Given the weather that much of the country has been experiencing lately, having portable lighting in the event of an emergency isn’t a bad idea. Vont’s LED camping lanterns are powered by three double-A batteries. The AAs that were included worked well, although as with the Spark, I opted to replace them with my own. The lantern has no on/off switch; once the batteries are installed, the lantern is activated by pulling the top portion out of the bottom by the thin metal handles. The handles also serve as a method of hanging the lantern from a tree branch. While it would have been nice to have an on/off switch or perhaps an extra cord or other device that would allow more options for hanging the lantern, the basic functionality and efficiency of the device are certainly adequate.
I am not a gear junkie; I don’t actively seek out new equipment and I typically don’t think about something until it breaks. That being said, I am happy to see a company like Vont providing reliable, inexpensive and easy to use gear to the outdoor activity marketplace.