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).
HeadlampsLike 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. Also check out some of the best rechargeable camping lanterns.
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.