While many headtorches at this price can pump out 200 lumens for only 20 seconds (to prevent overheating), the Black Diamond Icon Polar can emit that level of light for 75 hours without difficulty – and this feature sets it apart. It is powered by four AA batteries and these can go in a battery housing on the head or in a mesh pouch that can be worn on a sling or stashed in a jacket pocket to preserve battery power in cold weather (if you don’t need this pouch, choose the Black Diamond Icon at 220g and £75). Operation is via a large, smooth button on the top, but I’d prefer a more positive raised button with a more pronounced ‘click’ action to make it easier to use with gloves or cold, wet hands. However, navigating through the functions is easy and intuitive, and the light quality is great for campers and hillwalkers. The Black Diamond Icon Polar’s head does tilt but it has no ratchet so it does not lock into place as well as other headtorches. Having more power and an aluminium housing does mean this is a little heavier than others, too.
Bulbs 1 x high output white LED; 2 x white LED; 2 x red LED
Brightness 200 lumens
Maximum beam 100 metres
Maximum burn time 250 hours
Battery charge indicator yes
Weight with batteries 300g
The Black Diamond Icon Polar is almost the perfect headtorch for the camper, hillwalker and mountaineer, but some features could be a bit better.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2013