ProView – Petzl Nao Headlamp
Let there be light! Thanks to the Petzl Nao, that’s a phrase you get to say anytime the light starts to fade. I’ve been wearing the Nao on a few trips this past month or so and I am a believer. With 575 Lumens on full power, I could climb routes in the dark at Shelf road as well as walk out seeing not just the trail, but the trail in detail.
The Reactive Lighting Technology allows the light to adjust for the light it reads in the scene. In other words, it adjusts as things get darker or lighter which saves the battery in the long haul. It also adjusts the shape of the beam, pointing it more when needed or widening out to allow a greater field of view. While climbing in the dark, it stayed a constant brightness allowing me to see holds not just right in front of me but all around.
Around camp the technology is great since if you have a fire or others are around, it will dim for you and as you turn to walk away, it brightens automatically. Charging is easy with a usb cord that plugs in and charges it in about 20 minutes to full power on my laptop after arriving with about a 30% charge. The cool thing is as much as I’ve used it, and it’s been a lot, it is still going strong! In the Red River Gorge where the trees are thick, and the night seems thicker, I wore it to walk to a cabin, up stairs and around the crag with no trouble making out the area in great detail. The light is a clean white, which gives crisp dark shadows.
When it arrived, I wasn’t excited about the headstrap which holds the battery. It wraps around your head and keeps the battery in back, which I thought would really bother me. Once I got it fitted right, you have to play with the tension strap on top and the sides, it really feels quite nice. Climbing you look down a lot and when its snug, the headlamp won’t move at all. I would totally wear it for a comp like the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell or a push up El Cap. The battery makes it feel a bit heavier than my light headlamps, but the quality of light it gives more than makes up for any trade in weight that it adds. [ Note that there is a belt kit option as that takes the battery weight off the back of your head and moves it to a belt/harness/pack location – view it here].
Overall the Nao is a great all-around headlamp for anyone with some serious nighttime plans.
Craig DeMartino has been a climber for the past 24 years. He climbs around the US and the world chasing routes of all types. In 2002 he was accidentally dropped 100 feet onto the talus of Rocky Mountain National Park which resulted in the loss of his leg, a fused back and neck, and a lifetime of chronic injuries. It is also what led him to Paradox Sports. He leads clinics for Paradox teaching other disabled climbers how to get back to climbing, and life, with humor, psych, and a love for their new “normal”. Craig was the first amputee to climb El Capitan in Yosemite in under a day, part of the team on the First All Disabled Ascent of El Cap, and a Bronze Medal winner in the Paraclimbing World Championships in France. He is a dad and husband and loves to spread his love of climbing to the world through our programs at Paradox.