Princeton Tec Apex Extreme Headlamp Review



I’m both impressed and disappointed with different aspects of this light. But overall, this will likely be my goto headlamp whenever I plan on long night hikes.

Some random notes (good and bad)
– The spot light is strong and even. It’s powerful, so much so that looking at close objects will be a problem. Also, using it on a trail that is busy with lots of people will definitely be a problem as it is blinding. The flood is actually a better light under these circumstances.
– buttons and modes; there are two buttons and they are underneath the light which takes a bit of getting used to. The button on the right side is for flood and has high, low, and strobe. The button on the left side is for the spot light and has high and off. Not much flexibility and range here. the low flood is still very bright.
– no red light. I love red light. it protects night vision, and also doesn’t blind other people while at the camp site. sadly, this model has no red.
– This unit takes 8 batteries, so if you run it on low spot, it should last you a long time. I put in fresh batteries two days ago, and on low, it’s still going strong. I don’t have the tools to measure brightness, but in my garage in pitch black, I can still see everything I could when I started the test (used Energize NiM rechargeable batters).
– The housing for the batteries sucks….sorry, but just plain sucks. I imagine this portion breaking soon. It’s basically the core framework to cradle the batteries and that’s really it. To help protect from water a bit, I’m guessing, there’s a soft plastic cylinder capped on either end with rubber caps. One of the caps has a hole that the cable runs through. The pouch for the batteries makes the whole unit look good, but this whole setup has me very nervous. Really not a fan of the battery portion.
– Speaking of the battery pouch, there are two attachment options, which I do like. The belt clip works well and is secure, and there’s also a small clip to attach to a backpack or maybe a rope around your neck, or a hip belt. Nice touches.


All in all, this unit is ideal as a low cost light for night hiking and night biking. The 8 battery setup is a definite benefit, so if you need a lot of run time, you won’t find much better than this.

But if endurance usage isn’t something you’re concerned about, it’s not ideal for broader backpacking uses, especially since it has limited light setting ranges and doesn’t have a red light (or blue light for that matter).

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