Last Updated: June 9, 2022

Black Diamond Icon Headlamp Review

FEATURED PRODUCT

Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

Black Diamond Icon is the brightest headlamp the brand manufactures with an output of 700 lumens. It’s an extremely bright headlamp with multiple operating modes and an IPX67 waterproof rating. View Latest Deal

Looking to get an extremely bright headlamp? Black Diamond Icon is one of the brightest headlamps money can buy and this detailed review will tell you all you need to know about it! 

Light, battery life, durability, and value are all covered in this review. Read on to learn more about the Black Diamond Icon headlamp, and see if it’s good enough for your needs!

Pros

  • Extremely bright headlamp
  • Great value for money
  • Multiple operating modes
  • Waterproof up to 1 meter

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Rechargeable battery pack not included
  • No Bluetooth functionality

Product Rating

84Overall Rating
Light And Modes
10/10
Battery
8/10
Weight
7/10
Durability
9/10
Value For Money
8/10

Product Information

  • Brightness: 700 lumens
  • Weight: 300 g / 10.6 oz (with batteries)
  • Maximum Beam Length: 140 meters
  • Max Burn Time: 190 hours (low setting)
  • Batteries: 4 AA
  • Waterproof: IPX67 (waterproof to 1 meter)
  • Extra Features: Brightness Memory, PowerTap Technology, LED Battery Meter

Lumens

Black Diamond Equipment Icon 700 Headlamp, Graphite

Lumens are the crucial specification that determines just how bright a lamp can shine. They also affect the beam distance – the more lumens a lamp has, the longer and bright its beam.

The latest version of the Black Diamond Icon Headlamp is capable of emitting a maximum of 700 lumens. That’s very bright light output, and the lamp is capable of burning at maximum brightness for approximately 7 hours.

It’s worth noting that there is also an older version of this lamp, which emits 500 lumens. Be sure to double-check which product you’re buying, so you don’t end up with a headlamp you didn’t want.

Beam Distance And Pattern

The maximum beam distance of the Black Diamond Icon Headlamp is 140 meters. That’s a lot, but it is worth noting that the headlamp is capable of such beam distance only on the maximum power setting, which drains the battery rather quickly.

Black Diamond estimates that the Icon headlamp can operate up to seven hours on the maximum power setting, so keep that in mind. It’s likely that you will use the headlamp on one of the lower power settings more often – on the lowest setting, the Icon headlamp emits a beam distance of 12 meters, which is still pretty good.

It’s enough for nighttime hikes and climbing expeditions, plus you can get more than 100 hours of use on the lower settings.  The headlamp emits only 6 lumens on the lowest setting though, so it’s not very functional if you need extremely bright light.

The medium setting is the sweet spot for the Black Diamond Icon headlamp. It emits 350 lumens for incredibly bright light, with a maximum beam distance of 60 meters. The headlamp can operate up to 80 hours on this setting, plus it has a battery reserve of 60 hours. This means that the headlamp can operate for 60 additional hours on a lower setting, which is pretty useful.

Modes

Black Diamond Equipment Icon 700 Headlamp, Graphite

The Black Diamond Icon Headlamp can operate in several different modes. The brightness can be adjusted manually and the lamp also has Brightness Memory, which allows it to remember the last brightness setting it was operating on. When you turn on the lamp again, it will emit the same brightness as it did before, without reverting to the max setting.

This feature is very useful for conserving the battery life, especially if you’re rarely using the full power of the headlamp anyway. The Black Diamond Icon headlamp also has a PowerTap feature, which allows you to transition between maximum and dimmed modes instantly. It’s an extremely useful feature when you need a brighter light for a moment but you want to revert to the dimmed setting later anyway.

In addition to all that, this headlamp also has Red, Green, and Blue night vision modes. These modes cover the entire spectrum of night vision needs, and you can tweak the lights a bit until you’ve reached the setting that’s perfect for you.

Other modes of the Black Diamond Icon headlamp include strobe, dimming, lock mode, and full strength. It’s worth noting that the full strength mode can be used in both distance and proximity modes.

Battery Type & Life

The Icon Headlamp requires four AA batteries to operate. They’re included with the purchase of the headlamp, and Black Diamond claims that they can last up to 70 hours on the lower settings. The batteries will last much shorter if you use the lamp on a higher power setting, so you’ll want to switch things up for the maximum battery life.

The exact operating time of the con headlamp with AA batteries depends on the brightness setting, but you can easily keep track of it while you’re using the headlamp. It has a three-LED battery meter with six settings, so you will never be surprised when the Black Diamond Icon headlamp runs out of the charge.

Black Diamond estimates that the headlamp can run for up to 190 hours on the lowest setting that outputs 6 lumens. The runtime for the medium setting with 350 lumens is 80 hours with a 60-hour power reserve, while the highest setting of 700 lumens offers a runtime of only 7 hours, with a 150-hour power reserve.

Rechargeable Icon Battery (Optional)

Black Diamond Equipment - Icon Rechargeable Battery - Black

Black Diamond sells a rechargeable battery pack for their Icon headlamp. It’s a product you must purchase separately from the lamp and it’s a great accessory for the Icon headlamp. It’s a pricey battery, but if you plan on using the Icon headlamp a lot, it’s worth the money to buy the rechargeable battery instead of purchasing a new pack of AA batteries every now and then.

The rechargeable Icon battery is a Lithium-Ion battery with a capacity of 5,200 mAh. That’s a huge capacity for a headlamp battery, so you can expect it to last for weeks at a time. There’s no official information on the battery life, but other users have reported that they can comfortably use the Icon headlamp for weeks with this battery pack.

Additionally, the Icon battery pack can take up to 8 hours to fully charge via a micro USB port. Personally, I don’t like that they opted for a micro-USB instead of a USB-C port, but that’s just me. Eight hours is a long time to charge the battery fully, but it’s worth noting that you can still get hours of use even when you only charge the battery for 30 minutes or so.

The battery pack is also waterproof so you can safely go in the water with this lamp, and you don’t have to keep it attached to the headlamp. It’s possible to store the battery pack in a pocket and connect it to the headlamp with a wire, which can help preserve battery life in extremely cold conditions.

Weight

The Icon Headlamp weighs approximately 240 grams with AA batteries included. The headlamp alone weighs 140 grams while the AA batteries weigh approximately 96 grams. That’s pretty heavy for a headlamp, especially when you consider that Petzl has a brighter headlamp that weighs almost 100 grams less than this one.

It’s a bit heavy, but you can easily get used to the weight of the lamp. The rechargeable battery pack is even heavier than the lamp – it weighs approximately 160 grams, so the headlamp weighs more than 300 grams when it’s used with the rechargeable battery pack.

The good news is that you can store the battery pack away from the lamp, thanks to the included wire. That way you’re reducing the weight of the lamp, as well as keeping the battery pack nice and warm, for a longer burn time. Unfortunately, you can’t separate the batteries from the headlamp when you’re using the AA batteries.

The Icon is a pretty heavy headlamp when you compare it with similar options from other brands. It’s a heavy-duty lamp intended for specialized use, so look into some smaller and lighter options, if you primarily need a headlamp for hiking, climbing, backpacking, or any other situation in which every single gram counts.

On top of that, it’s worth noting that the Icon headlamp can be attached to a sternum strap or a compression strap of a backpack. So, when the lamp starts to feel too heavy on your head, you can always just move it a few inches lower for a more comfortable experience.

Durability

The Black Diamond Icon Headlamp is an extremely durable piece of gear that should last you for ages. It’s a very sturdy product that’s designed to perform equally well in all weather conditions, but it’s worth noting you’ll get a shorter battery life when using the headlamp in extreme cold.

There’s not much Black Diamond can do about that because all batteries drain faster in extremely cold conditions. If you need the headlamp to last a long time in extremely cold conditions, it’s best to get a rechargeable battery. Keep the battery pack detached from the headlamp body and store it in your pocket – the extra warmth will help them stay operational for longer.

The Icon headlamp has an IPX67 rating, which means that it is waterproof and dust proof up to 1 meter. It can operate for about 30 minutes underwater, and it requires absolutely no maintenance after submersion. It’s worth noting that the rechargeable battery pack is also completely sealed and IPX67 waterproof, so you get the same functionality regardless of which batteries you’re using for the headlamp.

Value For Money

Black Diamond Equipment Icon 700 Headlamp, Graphite

The Black Diamond Icon Headlamp is priced at approximately $100. It’s a pricey headlamp, but it’s actually one of the more affordable options with this spec sheet. Headlamps from other brands that are capable of emitting a similar amount of lumens are usually well over $100, so the Icon is a really good deal.

It also helps that you get a pack of batteries so you can use the lamp out of the box. However, it is worth noting that the optional battery pack makes the lamp 50% pricier, but that’s the case with headlamps from other brands as well. That’s why the Icon headlamp is one of the best options you can buy in this price range, especially if you are looking for an extremely bright headlamp that will last you years to come.

Warranty

Black Diamond gives a three-year limited warranty for the Icon headlamp. It covers any defects in craftsmanship and materials, but it does not cover damage that might arise from regular use.

In other words, if your Icon headlamp stops working for no apparent reason, you might be able to get it repaired or replaced free of charge. Black Diamond might ask you for proof of purchase, so be sure to keep the receipt of the headlamp. However, if the headlamp suffers regular wear and tear, or gets damaged while in use, the warranty doesn’t apply.

That’s a bit disappointing, especially considering the price point on the headlamp. It’s also one of the reasons I knocked off a couple of points for value for money, even if the Icon headlamp is a really good deal.

Verdict

The Black Diamond Icon Headlamp is one of the brightest headlamps money can buy. It outputs an amazing 700 lumens, and it can create a beam distance of up to 140 meters. The headlamp is also IPX67 waterproof and dustproof, it can operate for up to 30 minutes underwater, and it has a couple of special features that make it much easier to use.

It’s a pricey headlamp, but it’s great value for money. Similar options from other competitive brands are usually more expensive than the Icon, so it really is one of the best and brightest headlamps you can get for up to $100. The only downside of this headlamp is that it’s quite heavy, so it’s not the most comfortable option if you’re going to wear it for hours at a time.

Black Diamond Equipment Icon 700 Headlamp, Graphite
248 Reviews
Black Diamond Equipment Icon 700 Headlamp, Graphite
  • Emits 700 lumens on max setting
  • Brightness Memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full power

If you’re not that impressed by the Black Diamond Icon lamp, consider the Petzl Nao+. It has a similar lumen output to the Icon, and the two headlamps are about the same price. The Nao+ even has a few extra features and it can be controlled with a smartphone app, so it’s definitely an option worth considering.

Head over to Amazon if you like the Black Diamond Icon Headlamp to see the buying options and prices. If you want to check out even more options, you’ll find lots of other great headlamps in our related posts!

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