It has been more than 3 years since the Silva L3 premiere - in the meantime, Petzl released on the market 2 refreshed versions of its Myo XP - now we finally will have a new Silva's middle class headlamp. Myo XP once again will have a decent competitor on the market, or even two because there are two versions: powered by the classic AA size cells X-Trail and supplied with a 8.4V Li-Ion battery pack X-Trail Plus.
New Silva got already a prize at the ISPO Trade Fair in Munich “This sophisticated, yet handy and lightweight gadget incorporates several smart technical features that improve one’s safety margin and comfort when left out in the dark”.
Silva X-Trail Plus
Some marketing data...[/
- Burn time, X-Trail / X-Trail Plus
High - 5h 30 min / 7 h 15 min
Mid - 14 h / 15 h
Low - 30 h / 45 h
- Lumen output: 145 lumens
- Range: 75m
- Weight: 80g
- Water resistance: IPX6
- Beam pattern : Intelligent Light®
Availability : April 2010
Price : 99 / 199 EURO (calculated -> 143 / 286 USD)
Description of the light simplified up to 6 pictures at once begin to please me, and I do not see the working time of 100 + hours or 100 + meter range, as it happens in the competition.
After a while searching the web, you can find some more information and declarations.
But there is nothing unusual here, there is only a little confusion between the declared and real weights of the headlamps; X-Trail with a set of rechargeables weighs 261g and you have to add carrying belt weight included in the set, that gives 312 grams, In the same combination Plus version weighs 290 gram.
The first thing that you can see its giant button :
WIt is obvious that the manufacturer took it to heart the feedback from users about the tiny switch in the LX series. Head turns smoothly and stays in the set position, rotating has been blocked, so no one could accidentally tear the cable ]:-).
The undoubted advantage of Silvas is their multi-tasking - In the package you get everything needed to mount it on a helmet or a handlebar.
On the occasion came across a drawback - the cable guide, which at first glance appears to be a very cool idea, allowing the cable to hang down without bending cable and assures stable mounting. While I was able to draw the cable from it - which is necessary to change the attachment - with bare hands I could not push it back on place.
What you can find inside ??
TUnfortunately, the headlamps that I have to test have to go back in perfect condition and design of the head prevents it from noninvasive dissection. The only certain thing is used LED's - it is still the old Luxeon K2 TFFC which is quite strange in a new product, as K2’s are no longer manufactured, but apparently the gentlemen from Silva bought the whole supply :). This means that to get 145 lumens, led needs at least 700mA for the best selection, or about 1000mA for the "economic" selection. Comparatively for such currents using Cree XR-E Q5 led you can get over 230 lumens.
Similar to older L-X series, the emitter have a contact with an aluminum heat sink located on the back of the head - the direct exchange of heat with environment allows to power the led with high current, without any loss of efficiency due to overheating.
For more you have to wait till April :-p
Silva X-Trail is powered from a 4 AA size cells, the container has enough cable to hide it in a backpack or under clothing on carrying belt. It is possible to pin it to the headband, but it was not design for that and the excess cable will be disturbing. Closure of the container is made just like in the older Silvas - a flexible cap, that immediately seal the container, a simple and convenient solution.
I cannot dismount the head, but nobody mentioned measuring the power input from battery pack ;-). Silva X-Trail - alkaline batteries and rechargeable NiMHs.
Alkalines - 6,16V
V-in I-In P-In
High 5,13V 876,3mA 4,50W
Mid 5,62V 323,7mA 1,82W
Low 5,89V 60,4mA 0,36W
5mm 5,91V 49,4mA 0,29W
Rechargeable NiMH - 5,43V
High 4,81V 1109,5mA 5,34W
Mid 5,18V 309,2mA 1,60W
Low 5,36V 62,7mA 0,34W
5mm 5,37V 52,8mA 0,28W
It is obvious that alkaline batteries have a hard time here, when the headlamp have an appetite for more than 1A. The measurements confirm the statements as to the quantity of emitted light. 5W input, even at 80% efficiency of the driver provides 1A for Luxeon K2:)
The demand for power for Silva X-Trail Plus is very similar - it is powered from a 2x18650 Li-Ion battery pack with a capacity declared in the leaflet as a 2.2 Ah, but only 2.1 Ah on the package - after checking the cells markings (Sanyo UR18650FJ) I confirmed the 2.2 Ah nominal capacity :).
Li-Ion battery pack is smaller and lighter than the container with AA rechargeables.
Li-Ion Pack - 8,02V
V-in I-In P-In
High 7,85V 745,6mA 5,85W
Mid 7,96V 256,9mA 2,04W
Low 8,01V 53,7mA 0,43W
5mm 7,99V 96,5mA 0,77W
How it light ?
Very nice, 145 lumens is the amount sufficient to move quickly on foot, the color of the light is almost warm - beside two 5mm LEDs. Balance between range and the lighting of the first plan is "just right" - the lens was very well chosen. Differences in the amount of emitted light between standard and Plus versions are almost invisible, only curiosity is a bigger amount of light under 5mm for the Plus version.
X-Trail vs X-Trail Plus
For comparison, the flagship product of competition Myo RXP on the right :).
Silva X-Trail Plus vs Petzl Myo RXP - LOW
The new cool headlamp, well-constructed, well-lit... But after analysis of its components I have a strange feeling. While in terms of design it is in the very forefront, then applied Luxeon K2 led has already been withdrawn from a production and 2.2 Ah 18650 cells will be withdrawn soon. How these components get to the new headlamp that is expected to be on the shelves within 2 months? Well, maybe they were waiting in the warehouse since the Silva Alpha release in December 2008...
With a prices at 143$ for the standard version and 286$ for Plus (on the European market respectively 99 and 199 euro) in relation to 64$ for Fenix HP-10 and 80$ for Myo RXP, the new Silva headlamps have no chances to find buyers beyond fans of the brand. Well, unless we will have a great spring sales, "flood sale", "2 for the price of 1 ", etc. ... ;).