Black Diamond Icon headlamp

I have had my Petzl Tikkina2 for more than 3 years and still use it regularly. I went looking for a more powerful headlamp, and decided on the Black Diamond Icon headlamp.

Black Diamond Icon headlamp
Black Diamond Icon headlamp

Actually the decision was fairly arbitrary, and I decided on the Black Diamond mostly because I wanted to compare the brand against the Petzl products, which I have great faith in. The actual light unit is smaller than that of my Petzl as it does not contain the batteries, which on the Icon are contained in a separate battery pack which is looped onto the headband. There is an additional band that stretches over your head from the back to the front of the main headband. Both headbands are easily adjustable to the size of your head.

The unit has 5 LED’s. One large spot, 2 smaller white bulbs on either side, and 2 red bulbs, one each below the small white bulbs. Operation is by means of a single button on top of the light unit. As the headlamp offers a number of modes, this means learning to cycle through them using this one button which has taken some getting used to!


  • 200 Lumens
  • Multiple lighting modes:
    • spot: the main LED is on, and can be dimmed
    • flood: the two smaller white LED’s
    • red: the two red LED’s
    • white strobe: the two smaller white LED’s flashing
    • red strobe: the two red LED’s flashing
  • 4 AA batteries
  • IP X7 waterproof rating

Putting the batteries into the battery pack was super-easy and can be done with your fingers alone. The mechanism that closes the cover seems a bit plasticky and I was worried it would snap.

Top tip: I noticed that the light had “switched itself on”while in my bag. It’s worth removing and reversing the batteries whilst not in use to prevent them from running flat.

I have now been on a good few runs with it. It sits more comfortable than I expected, and the weight of the battery unit at the back is nicely off-set by the weight of the light unit in the front and is hardly felt at all. The cable from the battery pack looks a bit like it will get in the way, but once the unit was on my head I totally forgot it was there. The spot mode is super bright and I needed to dim it slightly at dusk as the beam was washing out the detail on the trail ahead slightly. Please note I wore a Buff under the unit & straps which may have contributed slightly to this positive experience by adding some cushioning and helping the unit sit comfortably without slipping around. I now wear it on the road as well when I train in the evenings. Rather than use the spot mode, I use the strobe mode to make myself visible to traffic. With my Petz SiGNAL clipped on the back I must look like a low flying jet. Just a lot slower. I would be interested to try a unit that allowed the spot beam to be widened a bit giving a wider area of coverage and at the same time dimming the beam by dissipating it a little.

R895.00 @ Mountain Mail Order
R999.00 @ Due South

Black Diamond logo


Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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