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Princeton Tec Remix Review
Cons: Poor performance
Bottom line: With a simple design that is intuitive to use, this model is not high performing.
Claimed Distance: 73 m
Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI): 6.4 hrs
Manufacturer: Princeton Tec
While this user-friendly headlamp has a decent close-proximity beam, it is comparatively far too expensive for its lighting optics. For example. when put side-by-side with the Petzl Tikkina, our Best Buy winner, it had very similar scores across the board. The Tikkina is half the price, and even a hair lighter in weight. The Remix is a good light, but for $40 there are many other lights with much more powerful beams and longer battery life. The Black Diamond Spot also costs $40 and scored almost twice as high in the battery life and in most beam power and quality tests.
RELATED REVIEW: The Hunt for the Best Headlamps
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Updated - February 2017
The Remix headlamp from Princeton Tec has seen some technical upgrades in its latest version, but remains aesthetically nearly unchanged. Check out the side-by-side comparison below with the new version on the left and the version we tested on the right!
Here's a summary of the key updates to the Remix:
Princeton Tec needs to step up their headlamp game at this price point. The market is now crowded with excellent products in exactly the price range of the Remix. Those shopping for a $30 to $40 headlamp can choose the underwhelming Remix or something like the Black Diamond Spot, which is brighter, and with longer battery life. Petzl provides this same Remix level of performance, bumps up the battery life by a ton, and sells it for half the price with the $20 Petzl Tikkina. Now, the Tikkina doesn't inspire the same durability confidence that the Remix does, but if one is even slightly careful, the Tikkina will do fine.
Scoring a 5 of 10, the Remix has fairly poor trail finding abilities for its price. In the beam comparison photo below, the Spot (scoring 8 of 10) has much more power.
The 6 of 10 score for close proximity is above average, but not in the same league as other headlamps at the same price. As you can see in the photo below, the Spot, scoring 7 of 10, cast a much wider and more even beam so that you can see more of what's in your field of vision.
The Remix's battery life score is a mediocre 5 of 10, but not surprising considering its low brightness score (less bright headlamps last longer in high beam mode). It lasted 6.4 hours in our measured high mode runtime tests using the ANSI standards (read our Headlamp Review to understand ANSI). By comparison, the Editors' Choice Coast HL7 lasted only 3.4 hours in high mode. However, keep in mind that the Coast high beam mode is almost 3 times more powerful than the Remix: it shines 131 meters to the Remix's 49 meters. A better comparison would be with the Energizer 3 LED which has a similar max beam distance and lasted 10 hours, all for a third the price.
We did not measure low mode runtime. The manufacturer claim is an impressive 200 hours, the same as the Spot.
The brightness score of 5 of 10 was middle of the road, and behind other models in this price range.
We also ran into some reliability issues with an early version of the Remix. Our first unit became flaky in the midst of our testing, then failed entirely. A second piece of the same equipment and our 2015 model have both held up fine.
The Remix comes in a compact package, but it's really not that lightweight. Its 86 grams compares to the Tikkina with 86 grams and the Black Diamond Spot with 96 grams. Each of these similar sized products performs the same if not better than the Remix. If you're looking for a compact and ultralightweight headlamp, look towards the Petzl e+LITE at 30 grams.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is where the Remix scored the highest. It is very easy to use, with an intuitive button that advances through the different lighting settings.
This light is best reserved for use around camp and around the house.
We can't say the Remix offers great value. The Petzl Tikkina is half the price and scored close to the same. Other $40 headlamps offered much higher performance.
We can't really recommend the Remix unless you were to get it at a really great sale price. The Energizer 3 LED scored almost as high and is a fraction of the price.
The good news is that if you're reading this review, and you have $40 to spend, there are a lot of amazing options. The Coast HL7 delivers incredible beam power and control. The Black Diamond Spot is not quite as powerful as the Coast, but has much better battery life.
— Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier
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