If you’re anything like us, you have at least a couple headlamps in your rig at all times. You never know when they’re going to come in handy. More often than not, though, when you want to use one of your trusty headlamps, you’re also wearing a baseball cap. While great for keeping the sun out of your eyes during the day and keeping unkempt hair in check at all times, hats also block — or at least get in the way of — a headlamp’s beam of light at night.
Realizing there has to be a way for overlanders to both wear a hat and also illuminate the space in front of them, CLAYMORE (from Bigtent Outdoors) developed their CAPON headlamp, which clips onto the brim of your favorite cap. Cap on, CAPON — get it? Cute, right?
More than just cleverly named, the CAPON is keenly designed as well. Thanks to its lightweight but energy dense 1,200 milliamp-hour (mAh) lithium battery, it weighs a mere 0.13 pounds. Despite being slight, it can put out as much as 500 lumens. That is, depending on the mode you choose, of which there are three.
You can pick from focus, flood, or red diffused. Focus can put out anywhere from 30 to 500 lumens and project light from 26 to a whopping 345 feet. Flood can put out 30 to 400 lumens. And red diffused is rated at one to 20 lumens.
The lumens range is thanks to the fine dimming feature. Simply press and hold a single button and the light will dim. When it reaches your desired light level, let go and it will hold there.
The CAPON has an easy-to-read battery level indicator as well as an SOS mode. And it is both dust- and weather-proof while also being safety helmet friendly (yes, you can clip it to more than just a hat). Available in black or tan, you can pick the color that best compliments your gear or ensemble.
We love the CAPON because it solves a problem that we didn’t necessarily know could be solved. We often take the light obstruction from a hat brim as inevitable. Imagine our delight when we discovered we didn’t have to perpetually pick between hat or headlamp. What’s more, stepping up to the CAPON enables a ton of additional lighting options than most traditional headlamps.
Scene lights are hot commodities in the overlanding world.
Sure, you need the driving lights to get you to your campsite in the dark. But what do you do to illuminate the site once you’re there? To answer that question, many of us are bolting up hardwired area lights around our rigs. That works great for some, but not all. This is where the CLAYMORE ULTRA 2 from Bigtent Outdoors rechargeable area lights come into play.
They’re powerful (2,200 lumens), portable and by definition extremely versatile replacement for wired area lights.
The ULTRA 2 lights can be attached to virtually anything you want to affix them to. The swingarm features a built-in hot-shoe quarter-inch threaded socket. This allows you to mount the light to a tripod or to thread in the included hook. A magnet mount adapter is sold separately.
The ULTRA 2 is available in two sizes, medium and extra large, as well as two colors, black or red. The light from the units can be dialed into your prefered tone, from warm white to natural white to cool white.
The one-pound body of the unit is armored and designed to meet IP65 dust- and water-proof standards. So you can use it at camp in even the most extreme conditions without worrying you’re going to ruin it.
The run time of the ULTRA 2 battery depends on the size of the unit (XL has a larger capacity battery) and the light output level. CLAYMORE estimates between 10 and 80 hours of run time.
Given their robust construction, relative light weight, long run time, various mounting options, and bright and variable light output, you might expect these lights to run a couple hundred bucks. To our delight, they retail at $123 (M) and $150 (XL) respectively.
That’s why we love them. For a fraction of the price of hardwired area lights that require laborious installation, you can get a handful of these ULTRA 2 lights and use them not just in the back of your rig in the dark but in your tent, around the campfire, or even at home.