We received a Headspin convertible lighting system test unit the day I left for the Altar Desert in Mexico, so what better place to beat up a new product and evaluate its performance than in the largest sandbox in North America?
Fully comprehensive kit
Easy charging via USB or wall outlet
Quick change between uses, including easy magnet mount to any ferrous surface
IP66 water resistance and 2M drop tested
Connection on the back of the light should be more robust (or even metal)
Flashlight handle should include additional battery reserve
(Editor’s Note: Headspin advised us on 10/9 that the 2020 version will have a battery-equipped flashlight handle.)
The first thing I noticed about the kit was the case, a padded and well-organized stowage container that includes precise foam cutouts for each of the accessories. I also appreciated that the case was bright orange, which made it easy to spot in the back floorboard of the Chevrolet Bison.
We had already spent a day in Mexico, completing a combination of crossing the border (and a prolonged inspection of the water and fuel in the tray bed by the Mexican border officials), driving MEX 2, and exploring the northern reaches of the Sierra Pinacate. The plan was to make camp each night, which made for the perfect excuse to use the Headspin. The lamp keys into each accessory and spins with a satisfying “shwoop,” rotating by magnet into the locked position.
We mostly used the light in headlamp mode, which allowed for the hands-free pitching of my tent, preparing food for a meal, or doing general service and inspection of the vehicle. Personally, I found the mag-mount feature surprisingly useful and would click it to the side of a vehicle for additional camp light in flood mode.
I did also use the flashlight mount, which makes the unit the size of a typical home flashlight. While it works exactly as advertised, it sure seems like a lot of additional weight and volume in the kit without adding more functionality. It would be nice to see the handle have a battery in it, or a provision to install a few AAs should the in-light rechargeable battery go flat.
The performance of the light is notable, with a max lumens of 400, but additional lumens settings of 10, 100, and 200 using the dimmer button. In flood mode on 100 lumens, it will run for six hours. I typically used that brightness for most activities, including reading.
During the last few nights of the trip, we were pushing the schedule and seemed to arrive right as the sun was setting. This meant that vehicle inspections, servicing, and camp setup was occurring in the dark. We even needed to top up the fuel tanks by headlamp, all making for a good excuse to use the Headspin.
Overall, the Headspin convertible lighting system is durable and useful. I would even describe it as innovative, particularly due to the ability to magnet the light as a camp flood, and then quickly convert it to a headlamp. While I did not test it with the rail mount, it should work as advertised for a mountain bike light or strapped to a pole or roof rack. I also appreciated the universal USB charging port, which takes a standard micro USB cable. At the house, I have started leaving it plugged into the 120 outlet, so that it is always charged and ready—a useful product indeed. headspinoutdoors.com | $199
Note: Manufacturer’s promotional video which shows how the light connects to the accessories.