Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WindRiver LED Hat Review

Hat light, not lense flare
You might have noticed a strange glow on the front of my hat in workshop photos over the past few weeks.  That's because I got rid of my greasy old painters cap and upgraded to a WindRiver LED hat.  It looks and fits like a normal ball cap, but it has three little lights on the brim.  I got it at Mark's Work Wearhouse at the beginning of November and I've been using it ever since.

3 Bright LED Lights
I always wear a hat and coveralls in the workshop because a lot of my work is dusty and whalebone and antler dust likes to ride into the house on my hair and clothes.  I also do a lot of fine work with my hands and extra light is a bonus.  The new hat takes care of both those things.  Its so much easier than fussing with headlamps and I always have a bit of extra light when I'm rummaging through boxes looking for rocks or tools.

4 Replaceable Batteries
Mark's website claims a 30 hour battery life, although I'm pretty sure the packaging on the hat itself claimed something like 72 hours.  Either way, I haven't drained them yet.  The battery pack is tucked under the band inside the hat and there are 4 replaceable CR2032 batteries; 2 for the front LED light and 2 for the under the brim lights.

The hat comes in a bunch of different solid colours as well as various camouflage patterns.  I picked an ivory colour, because its the same colour as the dust it'll get covered in.  There is also a heavier, insulated version with ear flaps.  The standard ball cap version that I have is $25 and I think the insulated version was around $35-$40.  Although, according to the Mark's Work Wearhouse website the LED ball caps are on sale for $18.74 until Dec 5th, 2010.

The latest in workshop fashion
There's a padded button on the brim, beside the 2 brim lights, that turns the hat on and off.  It has three settings - low (under the brim lights only), medium (front light only) and high (all three lights).  I usually have it turned on high all the time, but the low setting illuminates your face and would be good for ghost stories.

WindRiver LED Hat
 Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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