The Peax Equipment Backcountry Duo has quickly become my favorite headlamp. While not 100% perfect, it does a lot of things right and comes in at a decent price.
Before I got into hunting, my go-to headlamp was the Nitecore NU25 rechargable headlamp. It's cheap, extremely lightweight at less than an ounce, throws decent light and has a red mode.
This was fine for hiking and backpacking, but in a hunting scenario left a lot to be desired. Tasks like off-trail route finding, blood trailing, and avoiding bears in the dark demand a little more power.
When Peax released the Backcountry Duo it was immediately obvious it was made by hunters for hunters to address some of the unique challenges we face.
The specs are impressive:
1,000 lumen max output (3x the Nitecore) with a range of 490 ft (Nitecore just 88 ft), 5 operating modes, both white and red lights, and perhaps most importantly... absolutely insane run times with up to 55 hours in low white light mode and up to 69 hours in low red light mode.
- XLamp® XM-L2 LED - The brightest and highest performing single-die LED on the market.
- 3600mAh Rechargeable Battery - Never get left in the dark with run times up to 69 hrs.
- 6061 Machined Aluminum - Engineered to endure any mountain adventure.
- 180 Degree Adjustability - Never worry about putting your headlamp on upside down again.
- ULTRA RED™ - Bright enough for the hike in/out and non-game spooking color.
Peax customers seem to agree with the Backcountry Duo boasting an impressive 90% 5-star reviews out of 1000.
The top 5 PROS mentioned in online reviews are:
Exceptional Brightness and Versatility: Users consistently praise the headlamp for its outstanding brightness in both red and white modes, making it suitable for various activities such as hunting, hiking, and dog walking in low-light conditions.
Extended Battery Life: The headlamp receives acclaim for its impressive battery life, with users expressing satisfaction over its longevity even during extended outdoor adventures, including week-long hunts.
Convenient Locking Mechanism: The locking feature is highly appreciated as it prevents accidental activation in the pack, ensuring that the battery is not drained unnecessarily, adding to the overall reliability of the headlamp.
Red Light Performance: The red light mode is singled out for its brightness and effectiveness, particularly in hunting scenarios where a bright red light is crucial for maintaining visibility without spooking game.
User-Friendly Design: The headlamp receives positive feedback for its comfortable fit, adjustable features, easy operation, and additional features like a memory function, which starts the headlamp in the last mode used. The USB C rechargeable battery contributes to the overall convenience and adaptability of the headlamp.
The top 5 CONs mentioned in online reviews are:
- Cycling Through Modes: Some users find the process of cycling through different brightness modes a bit annoying. It appears that the cycling feature could be improved for a more seamless experience. Many users would prefer a dedicated button for red light mode.
- Head Strap Quality: While the overall feedback is positive, a few users mention that the head strap could be improved. Specifically, there are suggestions for enhancing the head strap to make it more comfortable or durable.
- Lack of Instructions: Some users mentioned the absence of clear instructions in the packaging, leading to challenges in understanding the headlamp's settings and features. Clear and comprehensive instructions were identified as a potential improvement.
- Charging Issues: Issues related to the battery indicator flashing, difficulties in charging with third-party cables, and challenges in determining the charging status were reported, indicating potential concerns with the battery management system.
Ok, so it's just 4 cons... and these were a stretch. Most reviewers mentioning one or more of these cons still gave the headlamp a 4-star rating.
The biggest drawbacks of the Peax Equipment Backcountry Duo Headlamp to me are the lack of a dedicated red light button and the weight. Having this button on the Nitecore and being so used to it definitely makes having to cycle through the bright white light first a pretty annoying. Also, the weight difference is very noticeable, especially at first. I will say you get used to it and in my opinion the other benefits far outweigh the weight penalty, no pun intended.
Overall, I definitely recommend the Backcountry Duo to be your next headlamp. I've actually bought two because I lost the first one somewhere in the mountains during a scouting trip. While I keep the Nitecore in my pack as an ultralight backup, the power of the Backcountry Duo can't be denied. You won't be disappointed.