With the Primitive Survivors TL900 model tactical headlamp currently on sale on Amazon for less than 25% of retail price, outdoorsmen are, logically, wondering if the lamp lives up to its outsize billing. And with stock disappearing fast – only 29 were available at sale price at the time of writing – time seems to be of the essence.
Deals aside, the TL900 is no stranger to hype. Primitive Survivors claims that its product has “revolutionized the nation” and several websites have dedicated themselves completely to this one headlamp.
But can it truly be that much of a game-changer? We’ll break down the TL900 here, taking an objective look and separating the truth from exaggeration.
Weight: 1/2 pounds (without batteries and charger)
Brightness: Ranges from 800 to 1000 lumens.
Durability: Durability is truly the TL900’s calling card with a number of features that make this baby indestructible on a Nalgene level. For example, the TL900 is impact resistant – you can drop it from up to 1.5 meters with nothing noticeable happening. Moreover, the flashlight case is constructed from aluminum alloy (the same material used to build airplanes –aluminum 6061), which makes it waterproof, strong, and generally impossible to break.
Moreover – though this particular characteristic may qualify as “endurance” more than “durability” – the rechargeable batteries last for up to 100,000 hours. That may just look like an arbitrarily large number, but for a reference, 100,000 hours amounts to over 4,166 days, or 136 months, or nearly 11.5 years. This headlamp works and works forever.
Function and Features: When looking at products’ features it’s often a good practice to start with the obvious, elements so basic to a product’s being that you may have overlooked it. With the TL900, it’s simple: it’s a headlamp. Since it’s a headlamp, you won’t need to use your hands, freeing them up to rock climb, cave, or do whatever else you need them to. Just turn on the light, look in the direction you need brightness, and you’re set.
More importantly, not only does the TL900 offer hands-free illumination (obviously), it offers some of the best hands-free illumination on the market. A great deal of that stems from the comfort and functionality of the TL900’s head straps, which – unlike some other headlamps’ straps – are intuitive, easy to adjust, fit snugly, and rarely slip off of your head.
Moreover, while many LED headlamps are heavy, bulky, and cumbersome, you’ll be shocked at how lightweight and compact the TL900 is, weighing in at a lean 230 grams. Once you take it out of the box, adjust the straps, and put it on your head, you’ll really forget it’s there.
Finally, this tactical headlamp’s angle is also quite easy to adjust, as you can tilt it up a full 90 degrees, forming a right angle with the light’s backing if you so desire. When you change the angles, the lamp clicks into place quite easily, a testament to its high quality construction materials.
Light Quality and Power: As a tactical headlamp, the TL900 delivers almost military quality brightness, as 800-1000 lumens should be plenty for whatever activity you need to accomplish. Additionally, it toggles easily between 4 different light modes – SOS, low, high, and strobe – assuring you’re ready for any situation.
In fact, the light’s brightness could actually be a double-edged sword, perhaps the TL900’s only downside. If you’re not careful, the TL900 could feasibly blind you, and sometimes you’ll feel like you need sunglasses while you’re using the lamp, even in dark places. However, this comes with the territory of ordering a tactical headlamp, and if you’re not really looking for that caliber of light, there are plenty of safer, less potent lights out there.
The headlamp’s beam also boasts plenty of options, as you can dial up the zoom anywhere from 1x to 2000x.
Value: As we mentioned before, the batteries are rechargeable, so even if you manage to keep this lamp for eleven years (which you could easily do, given its durability), you’ll never need to spend another cent on this lamp after you buy it.
At first blush the TL900 seems like a pretty penny to pay for a headlamp. On Amazon, most of the top-selling tactical headlamp models will run you between $15 and $35, all much cheaper than the TL900. However, although there are countless headlamps that are cheaper than the TL900, the Primitive Survivor model’s longevity makes it an extremely worthy investment in the end, a great value for the money.
Conclusion- Why the TL900 is the best tactical headlamp out there
As we mentioned, although some outdoorsmen may balk at the TL900 LED Headlamp’s lofty price tag, the lamp’s durability and functionality ultimately make it well worth the investment.
With rechargeable batteries that will last you eleven years and aircraft-grade aluminum construction that ensures you’ll never have to fix your lamp, you’ll recoup its value in a year when your otherwise cheaper headlamp cracks on a rock when you accidentally drop it.
With military-grade brightness and a number of zoom and modal features, the TL900 offers everything you could possibly desire in terms of functionality as well.
Ultimately, the TL900 lives up to its billing – you really couldn’t hype it enough – and if you want a tactical-grade, strong, durable headlamp for serious outdoors activities, this Primitive Survivors model is your perfect match.
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