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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp | Review

Black Diamond update the Spot headtorch, creating a 325 lumen torch that you can rely on.

Why We Chose The Black Diamond Spot 325: IPX8 waterproofing, variable dimming modes, slimmed down design.

Black Diamond have built up a strong reputation within the climbing and ski communities that spans thirty years. We’ve certainly tested a lot of their kit in our 20 years of operation, and more often than not, we’re impressed. One thing they’ve done well in recent years is headtorches, and this, the new Iota 325 hasn’t disappointed.

There are a few things that you want to be able to rely on your headtorch to be able to do. First and foremost, you want it to provide adequate lighting depending on your needs, you also want it to be able to survive life in the outdoors and also you need it to retain good battery life. Those may seem like pretty simple jobs to do, but we’ve been let down by various headtorches in the past – our biggest gripe being weak buttons that accidentally switch the light on whilst it’s stored in your pack, even when you’ve set it to ‘lock’ mode.

“You’ll be able to submerge it 1 metre underwater for up to 30 minutes and it’ll keep trucking on.”

The Spot was initially released in 2017 as a 200-lumen model, it then got an update to 300 lumens in 2018 before seeing a complete overhaul for 2019, becoming what we see here – the Spot 325. This overhaul hasn’t just involved an increase in power, they’ve also slimmed down the entire unit, added a new mode selector button, and updated LEDs, all with the intention of making this a more reliable unit than previous generations.

The Spot 325 is rated to IPX8 in terms of waterproofing. This means that you’ll be able to submerge it 1 metre underwater for up to 30 minutes and it’ll keep trucking on.

Just one thing to note with the waterproofing. It’s expected that the battery compartment may fill with water during submersion, therefore it’s suggested to give this a thorough drying out if you have, say, accidentally dropped it in the nearest stream or even worn it in heavy rain for a while.

Two function buttons let you switch between power modes and light settings. Photo: Chris Johnson
Three AAA batteries power the Spot, which give it up to 200 hours in low (6 lumens) power mode. Photo: Chris Johnson
The high power mode kicks out 325 lumens for up to four hours. Photo: Chris Johnson

The Spot 325 does not support USB charging, instead it uses three AAA batteries, which give the it four hours of charge on its high setting (325 lumens), eight hours on the medium one (160 lumens) and 200 hours on the lowest (6 lumens). To save going through loads of different batteries we’d recommend picking up a set of rechargeable ones. GP Batteries have a range that’s worth checking out.

These power modes can be changed simply through the use of the single button on the top of the head torch, whilst a smaller button sits on the side to allow for changing between the lens settings which include dimming, strobe, red night-vision and lock modes. Finally, a nice tap setting that Black Diamond have called ‘Power Tap’ sits on the side of the headtorch, letting you change brightness settings with just a simple tap.

Tester’s Verdict

Giles Dean, Outdoors Magic staff

“I tested this headtorch on our Outdoor 100 test team event in the Black Mountains of Wales and it proved to be a really good little companion for the trip. First of all, the adjustable strap is easy to use and lets you find the perfect fit, and it’s comfortable to wear all evening.

“Then there’s the versatility, and this is what really makes it stand out from other headtorches I’ve tried. It has a lot of settings; from just a simple low beam for reading in my tent on a solo camping trip, through to a strobe for running in country lanes. I’ve found the red night-vision handy for keeping you from blinding your mates and maintaining good night sight once you turn the light off.

“With 200 hours of power in the low mode, I would have a lot of confidence in the Spot 325 on a trip – it’s always good to have headtorch that you know can last you a whole trip if necessary, and that has a dependable lock mode that will save it from accidentally losing precious power in your bag.

“I haven’t been able to test the waterproofing properly while hiking, however its credentials are impressive – for hiking, camping and running in the UK I’d recommend this.”

You’ve got three lens modes to choose from; dimming, strobe and red night-vision. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Black Diamond Marketing Staff

“To encompass the needs of our customers, the new Spot 325 is designed smaller but bigger on performance. Combining the highest design specifications with our updated optical efficiency, ensures the future is always bright, wherever you adventure.”

Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 2019/20

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