Black Diamond Iota (2017)


The Black Diamond Iota is a compact torch that weighs just 55g. It has a built-in USB-rechargeable battery and one LED that punches out 150 lumens and a 40m beam. There is just one button and the power changes if you keep pressure on this. But on maximum power you only get 2 hours of light. The head tilts, but is not as positive as some. So there are drawbacks, but it provides enough light for walking and camping. 4/5


This small torch is neat and well-finished. The power button is textured and profiled, but with gloves on it is less obvious than others. You cannot change the battery on the hill, so you’ll need to charge this between walks. The head tilt is a drawback, as it does not ratchet through a range of positions as neatly or as securely as others. 4/5


The Black Diamond Iota is very comfy to use as it is so small and light. The torch is quite comfortable against the forehead, although some have extra padding to make them even comfier if you are being picky. The head tilts very gently so it does not create any discomfort. Overall the Iota is nice to wear and one of the least noticeable on the head. 5/5

In use

You won’t notice this in your rucksack, yet on full power it has enough light to make descending a path at night pretty easy. On lower power settings it is ideal for camping; but you only get 2 hours of burn time on full power, and you cannot replace the batteries in transit. The head tilt does not lock as well as others either, which is a niggle. 3/5


You are paying for technology that punches out a lot of light for little weight and bulk; but this is pricy if low weight is not a priority. 3/5


The Black Diamond Iota is an ideal torch to leave in your pack year round; but for regular long days more power and longer burn times are more useful. 3.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2017