Hands-on Gear Review

Princeton Tec Sync Review

Price:  $30 List | $16.47 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive, easy to use, excellent close proximity optics
Cons:  Short beam throw, cannot be operated one-handed
Bottom line:  A well made light at an attractive price, but lacks the that similarly priced performance competitors offer
Editors' Rating:   
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Measured Beam Distance:  31 m
Claimed Distance:  38 m
Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI):  20.5 hrs
Manufacturer:   Princeton Tec

Our Verdict

With a red light, spot mode, floodlight, and good battery life, the Princeton Tec Sync is a full featured light that is high quality, selling for $30 list. The Sync offers strong close proximity performance, with a nicely wide and evenly lit beam. But, higher performing products such as the Black Diamond Astro and Best Buy winning Petzl Tikkina offer better value for 33% lower price.

New 200 Lumen Sync Announced — Summer 2018
Princeton Tec is rolling out a new version of the Sync that offers significantly better performance with 200 lumen power which could make it much more competitive.


RELATED REVIEW: The Hunt for the Best Headlamps


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
RJ Spurrier

Last Updated:
Monday
May 28, 2018

Share:
Princeton Tec makes a plethora of lighting products. Distinguishing between them can be difficult. The Sync seems to hit a sweet spot in their line-up, with long battery life and multiple modes available at a very reasonable price and with perfectly acceptable weight and bulk.

Performance Comparison



Trail Finding


While the bulb is far from the brightest in our test, throwing a beam just 31m, the lenses on the Sync make the most of it and send an even, usable beam that entire distance.


Beam Distance Photos

Princeton Tec Sync
Petzl Tikkina

Close Proximity


Every tester appreciated the smooth, even light of the close-up functions on the Sync. The only negative comment we have is that the high-profile housing sticks out into the upper periphery of the users' view.


Battery Life


Lasting 20.5 hours in our ANSI High Mode Run time test, and 74 hours in our low mode test, the Sync offers better than average battery life performance.



Weight


At 86g, the Sync is a lightweight product, a bit better than average.


Ease of Use


Of the models with multiple modes, the Sync is the most obvious to use. With 5 light types and levels, the rotating switch leaves the user with clear instruction on how to choose the next level. This system is indeed much clearer than the one-button, multiple-press method that other products use. However, this rotating switch is basically impossible to use with one hand. Changing modes requires one hand to stabilize and another to turn the switch.


Conclusion


This is a good headlamp for occasional camping use. If don't you need to see long distances, and want a light that won't require frequent battery changes, this could be a good choice. Overall, while it doesn't offer nearly as many modes, we feel the Petzl Tikkina is a far better value in this size range.
RJ Spurrier

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Most recent review: May 28, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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