Last Updated: October 2, 2020

Black Diamond Spot Vs Storm: The Best Headlamp Is?

Black Diamond knows how to make some top-end outdoor gear. And their headlamps are some of the best around.

There are two models everyone always end up debating: the Spot and the Storm.

They are both worth buying, without a doubt, BUT there are a few differences that might tip the scales one way or the other for you. Depending on what you need a headlamp for.

One is lighter. The other brighter and has more features.

First, let's do a head to head comparison in a quick table so you can see...

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp, Black, One Size
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, One Size, Octane
Brightness
300 Lumens
350 Lumens
Weight
3.1 oz (88 g)
3.9 oz (110 g)
Max Beam Length
80m
85m
Max Burn Time
30 Hours
40 Hours
Batteries
3 x AAA
4x AAA
Waterproof
Down to >1m (3.3 ft) for 30 minutes (IPX 8)
Sealed housing withstands dust & immersion up to 1m for 30 minutes (IP67)
Extra Features
Power tap (fast change dim - bright), Red LED (including strobe), Brightness Memory (remembers last brightness)
Power tap (fast change dim - bright), Red, Blue & Green LEDs (including strobe), Brightness Memory (remembers last brightness)
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp, Black, One Size
Brightness
300 Lumens
Weight
3.1 oz (88 g)
Max Beam Length
80m
Max Burn Time
30 Hours
Batteries
3 x AAA
Waterproof
Down to >1m (3.3 ft) for 30 minutes (IPX 8)
Extra Features
Power tap (fast change dim - bright), Red LED (including strobe), Brightness Memory (remembers last brightness)
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, One Size, Octane
Brightness
350 Lumens
Weight
3.9 oz (110 g)
Max Beam Length
85m
Max Burn Time
40 Hours
Batteries
4x AAA
Waterproof
Sealed housing withstands dust & immersion up to 1m for 30 minutes (IP67)
Extra Features
Power tap (fast change dim - bright), Red, Blue & Green LEDs (including strobe), Brightness Memory (remembers last brightness)

The Difference Between The Spot & Storm

These headlamps are very close cousins, but there are still some differences worth noting.

The biggest ones are:

  • Weight: the Storm is 25% heavier than the Spot (although we are talking under an ounce)
  • Burn time: because the Storm has an extra battery, it lasts 10 hours more (on average) than the Spot (that is where most of the weight comes in)
  • Max beam: not much of a difference here, but we are talking 5m (or about 16ft). It might make the difference for you.
  • Colored LEDs: the spot only has the red LED, the Storm also has a blue and green
  • Waterproofing: Technically not a huge difference here, but the Spot is rated to more than 3.3ft depth BUT not tested for dust (the Storm is, and only rated to 3.3ft depth).

Shared Features

In case you are not familiar with these two amazing headlamps, it is also worth taking a look at the other great features Black Diamond have added to them both.

It used to be that you just had one big lamp or a few modes you had to cycle through (what a pain in the butt that was, as you tried not to wake everyone when going to the bathroom in the middle of the night!). But these days, the contols on headlamps like there are awesome!

Lights & Controls

Both lamps feature the following very handy features:

  • Brightness Memory: switch the lamp back on and it remembers the last setting
  • Power Tap: Quickly change brightness with a simple tap interface (works also with gloves)
  • Lock Mode: Easy to use lock to stop the lamp turning on in your pack
  • Night/Colored LEDs: the spot only has a red LED, the Storm has a red, blue and green
  • Close & Far Beams: Depending on your use, you can have the far beam or a close (10ft / 3m beam)

Which Should You Buy?

For most people the Spot is more than enough because Black Diamond packs both these lamps with almost exactly the same features.

The only major difference is the weight, burn time and night LEDs. So, if you need light longer (mountaineering, climbing, hunting) without having to worry about changing batteries and have no need to save weight, the Storm is a great upgrade. Some people also love the benefit of having the 3 night vision colors too (red is sometimes just not what you need).

Which ever you choose, I am sure these top end headlamps are going to give you hours of adventure!

Spot 325, Storm 400
(Model Upgrades 2020)

Never a company to just let a model rest, Black Diamond have been working on some upgraded versions of the Spot and Storm.

First off, the brightness of the two models has been upped 25 lumens to -

  • Spot - 325 lumens from 300
  • Storm - 400 lumens

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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