Crate Club is an interesting beast.  The product of our mutual parent company Hurricane Inc., Crate Club is our take on the subscription based box of surprise tactical goodies.  The tough part in selling a box of unknown goods is proving the value without ruining the element of surprise.  We’ve been asked to review some Crate Club items from time to time so you the reader can get a feel for what has been in some boxes without the guys at Crate Club detailing whats in every box.  In the Crate Club Standard box dated 2017.01, one of the items inside is the Princeton Tec headlamp named Fred.  The other item in the standard box was reviewed by fellow Loadout Room staff writer Erik Meisner, here.

This light is designed for general purpose use, with both focused and wide beam angles on the LED’s, allowing the use of your peripherals.  Peak setting on this nets you 45 lumens.  While it isn’t as bright as a defensive firearm mounted light, this headlamp is more than capable for around the camp activities.  With a burn time of 74-180 hours depending on brightness setting, the FRED Headlamp will make those AAA batteries last.

Crate Club Review | Princeton Tec FRED Headlamp
01/2017 Crate Club Standard

This noggin-lamp was clearly designed for use in situations where preserving your natural low-light vision is important.  There’s only one big ol’ button and hitting it once or twice gets you the two red light options.  It isn’t until you hold the button for one second that you gain access to the two white light options.  The white LED’s are described as “ultrabright”, I can say during my initial unboxing I was able to leave bright white wizard spots in my eyes after flashing my pupils, even though it was in full daylight.  The focus on the center of these is tight.

I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the weight, a scant 78 grams.  That’s after you add in the three AAA batteries.  IPX4 water resistance is in play here, meaning rain and the occasional quick dunk when you’re crossing a river shouldn’t zonk out your light.  All told, this is one of the better headlamps I’ve owned.  It is bright, sturdy and has an impressive runtime.  I’d be happy to travel back in time to the dirty sandbox I spent my early 20’s in and trade up for this light.