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Princeton Tec Apex


Rating: (1-5)


Power: 60 Lumens

Lamp: 1 x Maxbright 3 watt LED, 4 Ultrabright LEDs

Burn Time: 72-150 Hrs

Batteries: 4 AA

Weight: 279g





4 side LEDs
Battery power indicator
Multiple power Settings
Battery life on lower power

Plastic casing cracks too easily
Water penetrates LED compartment
Prone to sudden and complete failure

Crew Reviews:

RS Stewart
Great light output, battery run-time, and variability of light levels, but those features aren't of much help when the Apex suddenly quits in the middle of a cave. I managed to get about 40 days of caving out of mine, during 4 expeditions in 2007, before it decided to cut out and refuse to turn back on (other than the 4 outer LED's for about 3 seconds at a time). During the second half of its lifetime, it regularly fogged up inside the lens compartment. There were no impacts greater than minor knocks against stals in tight squeezes, and no submerging of it, just use in normal, wet cave conditions. In contrast, my previous light, a Myo5, was used much more and still serves as my trusty back-up, and a Zoom Zora I've had for over ten years still works fine. Of course, the light ouput and battery run-time of both aren't comparable to the Apex.

P Kennedy
On the first day out of the November 2007 expedition, a loose tree branch fell on my head while we were trekking through the bush. The result was a 'plus sign' crack through the top left ridge of the casing. Condensation formed on the inside of the light by the next morning. Later in the expedition a crack formed down bottom of the casing, dividing the two switches. Ultimately, by day four the Apex refused to function. Luckily, after dismantling and drying out, the light works again, but this provides little comfort if the light decided to conk-out in the middle of a cave. Itís a great multipurpose light, but the casing canít take much of a beating. Definitely get this light if youíre looking for a great camping, hiking, biking or climbing light, but the Apex doesn't cut it for serious caving (at least without some housing modification).

The Bottom Line:

If the casing were made out of metal, this would be an excellent caving light, but instead it is made out of a surprisingly brittle plastic that is prone to cracking. Subsequent water penetration in wet conditions quickly interferes with the electronics. This can happen after relatively minor, ordinary bumps of the light against rocks or formations that are unavoidable during caving (or during hiking or climbing, for that matter). In addition, water also penetrates by way of the entry point of the battery cable. The JCO cannot recommend this headlamp for caving in its original, stock form. However, modifications can be made that make the light much more dependable, and very good value for the money. More soon.

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