Review: Ledlenser MH11 Headlamp
Last fall, I took a trip to the upper section of the Dream Stream in Colorado where I fished hard for three days. It was the last afternoon of the trip and I had to be up early the next morning so I decided to wrap it up. It was a good trip, and an even better day, the highlight being the video below (watching the video will help understand the review. It’s worth it).
The whole ordeal was pretty exciting, so exciting that I left my phone there as I walked toward the truck. It wasn’t until I had hauled ass for half a mile and got to my truck when I realized I was missing my phone.
This is where my problems began; it was getting dark, temps were dropping fast, there was no one around for miles, my phone was a half mile downstream and my NiteIze 250RH was failing despite being brand new and fully charged. I was in a dilemma. The only light I had was a failing dim red light that would turn on for 1-2 seconds before flickering off. If it died while I was searching for my phone, I would have no light and possibly no way to get back to the truck.
I headed back for my phone in the dark cold, not being able to see more than a few feet in front of me. At one point, I fell into a sinkhole and tweaked my ankle so after that, I tested every step before putting weight down in case I stepped on another sink hole. I’ll be honest – I was completely freaked out – in the middle of no where in freezing temps with a light that’s about to die, hoping to find my phone and if for some reason I failed to find it, I’d have to stumble back. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I spotted my phone on top of the log that I left it on. I was freezing, hungry and in pain. But at least I had light.
A headlamp simply cannot fail in a survival situation and that is what the MH11 offers; peace of mind that your lamp won’t fail.
The MH11 has a premium look and feel. Right out of the packaging, you get the impression that this model has much more thought and design than lamps from other brands. Everything from the way that the lamp clicks into the holster and the ridges on the bezel feel stylized and thought through. There are three straps that connect at the back so the headlamp is not only secured to your head on the sides of your head, but also the top. It just feels better and exudes quality.
Rated IP54, it’s not submersible but will withstand precipitation. The LED is surrounded by a glass bulb that is exposed but still feels sturdy. Perhaps the most important aspect of the MH11’s durability is the five year warranty, which beats out the warranty of any cheap headlamp. The case is made out of plastic but it’s a heavy duty polymer that is hard to scratch. This thing feels tough.
This is perhaps the most functional headlamp I’ve played with. For one, it comes with its own app called Ledlenser Connect. It also includes different intensities of whites like Boost White, High Power White, Medium White, Low White as well as high and low intensities of red, green and blue.
The app has four main functions, two of which I thought were interesting personally. One feature is timers which I could see being usefulness as an short timed alarm. The other feature I thought was interesting was the Optisense Technology which allows the headlamp to produce light based on the light that is available. It’s similar to the phone changing brightness based on the surrounding light. You can also change the speed of light intervals and switch profiles within a couple clicks of the app.
This is one of the most expensive headlamps out there but it still gets four stars for value. I own five headlamps. Two are straight up broken (they won’t turn on so not sure why I still have them), one, the strap is broken and the other three just kind of suck (one is one of those ten dollar Lowes headlamps with double A batteries which is great for what it is, but nothing serious).
Those five headlamps cost around the same price as this headlamp but with them, I’ve been stuck in emergency situations with no light. To me, it’s better to buy nice than buy twice, which in my case has actually been five times. (BTW – Ledlenser sent me this review unit so I didn’t have to buy it.).
My final thoughts are, if you’re into activities that require a dependable headlamp, get one with a warranty and one that you’ll have confidence in.
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