Black Diamond Icon Review

The Black Diamond Icon is an excellent, dynamic option for those who live for the outdoors and want a light that will last and light the path. This headlamp boasts an impressive 500 Lumens that lasts up to 50 hours while on the trail. With a uniformly lit beam for closeup work, and three choices of colours for night vision, the Icon provides excellent high output light when you require it most.

This lamp is powerful. It boasts a QuadPower LED spotlight and a DoublePower LED that together emit 500 Lumens at the maximum setting. With several light settings ranging from three night vision modes while in camp to a spotlight that has a distance of 110 metres, there is a perfect light setting for you.  At full brightness the light is warm, creating a natural and pleasing light that is less harsh than other headlamps in the same range of devices. Thanks to the two LEDs, the light is more widespread than far-reaching, which allows for a greater field of vision. Instead of several brightness settings, the one touch button on the side allows the lamp to operate as a dimmer to cycle through a wider range of light. This sets the Black Diamond Icon apart from other lights from companies like Petzl or Fenix.

Let’s talk about the battery pack on this lamp. With its removable battery pack that takes four AA batteries, it lasts up to 50 hours at maximum brightness. That’s two days of of run-time, making it perfect for someone on the trail for up to two days. The battery pack is detachable and can hook on your belt, making the Icon even lighter for longer runs.  Switching the batteries has never been easier, just slide in any four AA batteries of your choice. Using rechargeable batteries makes this even more economical as you can charge them again and again.


Two LED Lights: Possessing a QuadPower LED Spot and one DoublePower white LED, these lights combine to emit 500 Lumens at the max setting.

Memory: The memory will always keep the light at your chosen level of brightness, saving you time from having to cycle through the various light levels.

One touch cycle: It’s never been easier to change your level of brightness on the go. The dimmer button on the side allows you to change the brightness with a simple tap, optimising your use of the lamp.

Three night vision modes:  The entire spectrum of night vision is available with red, green and blue night vision options.

Waterproof: An IPX rating of 67 makes the Icon dustproof and waterproof for up to 30 minutes in a metre of water. This makes it fantastic for wet and dusty environments, needing no maintenance after it has being submerged.

Detachable battery pack: The battery pack can attach to your belt or even put in a pocket, making the headlamp lighter while keeping it warm during the harshest conditions.

Multiple settings:  There are multiple settings on the Icon. Three night vision settings, proximity and distance, dimming and 2 strobes make this lamp versatile. The device includes a lock setting so that the light stays off when not in use.

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The Icon is packed with features that make the Black Diamond Icon a great choice for your headlamp needs. The detachable battery pack can remove the extra weight from your head allowing the lamp to become much lighter for those longer runs and hikes. Changing the batteries is quick and easy with the twist lock on top of the battery pack.

There are many lighting options on this lamp you will find a light for every occasion. Need to see as far as possible? 125 metres in the max distance setting. Need something more than a red night light? Add green and blue to the night vision and you are golden. Only hanging around camp? Amazing low light proximity light won’t blind your camp mates.  Once you have your chosen light setting, you can dim and brighten at the touch of a button in all the light modes. The side touch button can be used even with heavy gloves on making it perfect for colder conditions. The powerful light will last up to 50 hours of burn time at its max setting making it a perfect choice for ultra long trips where you need light. And with the IPX67 rating, this lamp is heavy duty and perfect for even the harshest of mountaineering activities.


There are a few drawbacks that hold the Icon back.  The battery pack is bulky and heavy, giving the headlamp a hefty weight of 300 grammes. While not too heavy, it can be uncomfortable on longer hikes or runs where you need to keep moving fast. The best way to reduce the weight is to place the battery pack in a pocket or on your waist. Another drawback is the maximum downward tilt of of the light. It can’t tilt down far enough without moving your head, making it cumbersome for activities that need you to look at your hands.

The Black Diamond Icon is a popular device on Amazon with 19 customers giving it an average score 4.4 out of 5 in their reviews. The most discussed feature is the long lasting light itself and how bright it can be. Others wrote that the dimming switch and the headlamp are overall easy to use versus other devices in the same price range. It is described as well made, bright and comfortable.

The major complaint from most users has been the whine of the light at the highest settings. Black Diamond has heard this and has fixed this problem with the most current version released in January 2018.


Q. Can you use the strobe feature in all the lighting modes including the night vision?

A.  The strobe feature seems only to work on the white light mode.

Q. Can I use any AA batteries in the battery pack?

A. Many AA batteries can work from alkaline to Ni-Cad rechargeable batteries.  Four AA batteries are included with your purchase

Q. The battery pack is slightly bulky and heavy on my head. Can I detach it?

A. The Icon comes with an extra long cable to allow you to detach the pack and place it in a pocket or on your waist.

Q. How long does the Icon last on its settings?

A. The Icon can last up to 50 hours on its max setting and 250 hours on its lowest setting.

Q. Can I use the Icon without the battery pack.

A. You will need to use the Icon with the battery pack. There is no extra battery in the lamp itself.

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The Black Diamond Icon is packed with features. It is easy to set the headlamp to the brightness level you need, and you can brighten or dim the light using the one touch button on the side. The maximum burn time of up to 50 hours on the max setting allows you to keep going for over two nights of climbing, hiking or camping. This lamp is tough and able to take a dunking even in one metre of saltwater for up to 30 minutes with its IPX rating of 67. The 300 gramme weight is offset by placing the battery pack in a pocket or on your waist. Overall, the new Icon is a fantastic upgrade from the earlier Icon Polar model from Black Diamond. If you are in Search and Rescue, mountaineering or even taking a simple hike, this device should top your list of headlamps to buy this year.

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