Princeton Tec Fuel

Priced: $14.97 - $29.99 Rated:   - 3 stars out of 5 by 105 reviews.
Princeton Tec Fuel
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Princeton Tec Fuel -

The Fuel Headlamp by Princeton Tec amazes the critics. When applied well, technology should be simple- this Princton Tec Headlamp is no exception and such is the case with the innovative Fuel headlamp - designed to meet the widest range of applications while remaining small, lightweight and robust. With all of the touch points of the product being considered, this Princeton Headlamp smart design fulfills technology's promise of actually making our lives easier. Use this Princeton Tec LED next time you get to play in the woods. What could be better than a light that weighs only 78g with 43 lumens of brightness and 146 hours of burn time? A light that also has an asymmetrical single arm bracket that makes directing the light effortless and reliable; a large, easy to find push button switch and a virtually bulletproof, easy access battery door that protects the 3AAAs and its electronics. Yea.. that's pretty much it.


  • Unique single-arm ratcheting head pivots up and down, providing a wide range of motion so you can aim the beam wherever you need it most


  • var partId='55601';
  • Medium - '110
  • Asymmetrical single arm bracket makes directing the light effortless
  • 3 AAA alkaline batteries, included, provide up to 50 hrs. of runtime on high, 90 hrs. on medium and 146 hrs. on low
  • Wt. 2.75 oz. (78g) with batteries.
  • 4 LED version has an output of 43 lumens and a run time of 146 hours
  • Princeton Tec Fuel LED headlamp has a large push-button switch that is easily operated while wearing gloves
  • Switch to the strobe function when battery life is low or you need to signal someone
  • cmRecRequest(rzone, partId,'','','');
  • LEDs output a bright 70-lumen beam that reaches up to 39m on high; beam reaches 28m on medium and 20m on low
  • Lightweight and robust
  • var rzone='PDPZ2';
  • Distance(m) 0, 5, 10, 15, 20.
  • Low - '160
  • Ratchet allows for easy rotation to adjust the direction of the beam.
  • Fuel headlamp features 4 bright LEDs and continues to offer 3 brightness settings and a strobe function
  • High/Flash - 50/120

Enjoy lots of light from a small package with the Princeton TecĀ® Fuel LED Headlamp. The Fuel now features four Ultrabright LEDs to crank out up to 43 lumens of light from a headlamp that weighs just 78 grams (with batteries). The large push button switch makes it easy to toggle between the Fuel's three light levels and flash mode, even when wearing gloves. The asymetrical single arm bracket maintains a center of gravity on the headlamp's pivoting head for easy and reliable light direction adjustment. Water resistant. Easy to open battery door with to door tool built into the headband's slide buckle. Made to give you long burntimes, the Fuel runs for 50 hours on high setting, 90 hours on medium (25 lumens), and 146 hours on low (13 lumens). Beam reaches out to 35 meters on high setting. Uses 3 AAA batteries (included). One size fits all adjustable headband.

Northern River Supply
Simple, perfect, Fuel. So whisper light, you'll forget you're wearing it - til you need to light your way. The Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp's LEDs throw out lots of light while giving you up to 160 hours of battery life.

Appalachain Outdoors
The Princeton Tec Fuel is a compact headlamp that weighs only 78g and still pushes out 70 lumens of brightness and 146 hours of burn time. The head piece is attached to the headband by a single arm bracket, and this makes directing the light effortless and reliable. The lamp also features a large, easy to find push button switch and a virtually bulletproof, easy access battery door for its 3 - AAA batteries.

The compact Princeton Tec Fuel LED headlamp continues to get brighter and more powerful with every update. Its 4 LEDs now blast a bright white 70-lumen beam of light onto your backcountry adventures.

Made in USA.

The Fuel Headlamp from Princeton Tec is lightweight, robust and offers70 lumens of brightness and 146 hours of burn time.

Compact and lightweight, this headlamp is so comfortable you might forget you had it on were it not for the bright beam casting light where you want it. Outfitted with three super-bright LEDs, this unit puts out 43 lumens of white light. Three AAA batteries (included) provide power for up to 146 hours of continuous use. There are four power output levels including low, medium and high, along with an emergency fast-flash strobe feature. Water-resistant.
Lamp: 3 LEDs.
Lumens: 43.
Distance: 39 meters.
Run time: 146 hours.
Batteries: 3 AAA
Colors: Black.
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Average run time:High: 50 / low: 146 hours
Batteries:3 AAA alkaline (included).
Battery:3 AAA
Battery Type:3 x AAA (included)
Beam distance:High: 39 / low: 20 meters
Beam type:Flood
Brightness Levels/Modes:3 Levels, 1 Flash Mode
Brightness levels:3
Bulb detail:4 LEDs
Bulb type:LED
Bulbs:4 Ultrabright LEDs
Burn Time:160 hours.
Burntime on High:50 hours
Burntime on Low:146 hours
Dimensions:2.3 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches
Distance:35 Meters
Distance on High:127.9 ft / 39 m
Distance on Low:75.4 ft / 23 m
Features:Made in USA
High:Total Burn Time 74h
Lamp:3 ultrabright LEDs.
Light output:High: 70 / low: unavailable lumens
Lighting Use:Sport/Outdoor
Lumen Range:50-99 Lumens
Max Lumen Output:70 Lumens
Max beam distance (m):39 meters
Max light output (lumens):70 lumens
Output:43 Lumens
Power:43 lumens.
Red light mode:No
Regulated output:No
Waterproof Rating:Levels 1
Weight:44g Without Batteries
Weight with batteries:2.75 ounces
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Subcategories of Lights & Headlamps:

Princeton Tec Fuel Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

New Dimmer Feature Even Better

Disclaimer: I have five sons that participate in scouting so I camp more out of duty than by disposition.

I purchased this headlamp to replace one that worked well for about three years, until the plastic clip to the headband broke—-creative use of duct tape could only go so far, so I thought I would try another Princeton lamp.

At 24 Lumens it is perfect for setting up a tent, cooking, or pretty much doing anything that requires light and hands outdoors. But in reality, I used the original lamp mostly for reading in-bed after everyone else was asleep. I was overjoyed to discover that the lamp can be dimmed even below 10 lumens.

This means that I can use it in-doors/in-bed at a lighting level that does not wake anyone else up. The previous version had two fixed levels, the adjustability is an outstanding improvement!
Parent the still tries to read at Campmor on 12/12/2011

Good buy despite design flaw

I've purchased 6 or more of these for personal use and gifts. My use is fall/winter morning runs in the dark. The low setting provides more than ample light and the original batteries lasted more than 2 winters. Reading reviews of the Tec Fuel you will find a common item mentioned which is the battery latch breaking. The first time i ever dropped mine (after 2 years of use) the latch broke. Duct tape is an easy fix, but the design or plastic material (softer?) need to change. Even with this, I really like the product and have continued to buy it for all of the pros listed. Tip: if you put duct tape or a rubber band around the light initially as a bumper, i do not think the latch would break if you happened to drop it.
Light Headed at Campmor on 10/10/2011

Great Form and Function

I have owned one of these previously that worked great, but unfortunately fell victim to my daughter's min-pin (small dog) who destroyed it.

Overall the simplicity of use is excellent. Construction is nicely executed and the headband is comfortable. The tilt adjustment works well and stays where you put it.

Battery life seems at least as good as my other head lamp, a Tikka XP.

Brightness is good enough for hiking at night in clear conditions, but I would not depend on it for heavy fog or where greater power is required.

The headband is strong and durable as well. The width is sufficient to feel comfortable on the head without any slipping.

Summary: great function, all the necessities you need in a headlamp.
soleful2001 at REI on 02/02/2013

I had my doubts...

I wasn't sure I wanted to run with a headlamp, and didn't want to spend a lot of money on a product I might not use. The P Tec Fuel headlamp was the perfect choice for night running. The moderate price was low enough that I wouldn't feel too bad if I didn't use it. The light is clear and bright, especially for running on streets and sidewalks in total darkness (on the highest setting). It is comfortable to wear and remained in place for my runs, usually 40-60 minutes. Overall, it is a really good product, doing exactly what I want it to do, at a great price. If it ever needs replacing, or I decide to invest in another one, I will certainly look at the Princeton Tec product line.
Akers clan at REI on 11/11/2013

Really nice headlamp

Sooo glad I decided to throw this in the shopping cart. Just compared this to all the other ones I had lying around the house and it's far superior, and at a very reasonable price.

The great:

- Smart lamp in that you don't have to cycle through all the modes to turn it off. Many other lamps require you to do this.

- Small footprint, big light. Very good brightness in a small package, doesn't look like a coal miner's helmet.

- Comes with 3 duracell AA batteries - not cheapies

- No red light. Never had a need for this, never will. So glad I don't have to waste my time with that.

All in all, a great buy.
das_boots at Campmor on 08/08/2013

just works!

This thing is so reliable! This is a staple item for me that makes it's way into every pack I carry. About 2 years of steady use and not a single issue. It has served well in the woods and in the urban jungle. The three dimmer settings are a great feature to accommodate different tasks and visibility. The pulse/flash setting is great for signaling/visibility while cycling- I use this feature DAILY on my early 3AM bike commute. Last but not least is the Fuel's simplicity, one button and three AAA batteries making it a cinch to operate quickly in the dark. I love having confidence in my gear and this is a winner.
Power Gut at REI on 07/07/2013

A Headlamp for all Reasons

The compact size and adjustable beam elevation make this the all-around light. And at Campmor prices, I can have them where ever I need one. The one on my motorcycle is the first thing I unpack when I get to the camp site, and it's always there in case of trouble on the road. I can aim the lamp down so that I can stand around the camp fire without shining in anyone's face. The one in my garage is a perfect work light, under the hood or in the attic; The swivel puts the light just where I, and my progressive lenses, need it.
TedC at Campmor on 05/05/2013

Great little headlamp

I was recently given this as a gift before my upcoming AT section. This is a good little headlamp. Easy to switch between settings. The slighly recessed button stays completely out of the way and is not easily depressed by mistake when packed.

I camp very regularly (1-3 times every month) and this little light-weight headlamp is just the right size and brightness.

Not sure why others have had problems with the battery compartment. This is the same design as my son's Remix (which I used before this was given to me) and both seem very functional and sturdy.
Buffalo Skipper at REI on 09/09/2012

Good Lamp

Had this lamp for about a year now and I am very happy with the purchase. I haven't come across the battery case problems other reviewers have had. I bring it along for all my longer dayhikes, night hikes, and camping (at least a couple times a month for a year now). I always remove the batteries between trips, so the clasp is opened/closed twice a trip and there are no signs of wear after a year. Not as bright as more expensive products, but it has been a quality lamp for the price.
Sethwards at REI on 02/02/2013

great little light

I bought this little light for backpacking. It's small but sturdy. The head strap is comfortable and adjustable. The direction of the beam can be adjusted to shine straight out or at several angles downward. Light switch needs a bit of pressure to engage but that helps prevent accidentally being turned on/off while it is packed. Has bright, medium, dim and "flashing" settings, but whichever setting you have used, just click once more to turn it off. I will keep this handy in my car for work under the hood or for emergencies.
Minnow at Campmor on 09/09/2013

Negative Reviews:


I was looking for a quality headlamp, and spent a couple hours looking over website reviews on various headlamp models. I settled on the Fuel based on its many positive reviews of its functionality.

Prior to taking the Fuel out on its first backpacking trip, I did the usual house testing, where it worked great in bed as a reading light. It did well in my night backyard test, offering good lighting on hi-beam. Frankly I didn't find much use for the Low and Medium settings on the light. I do think that the blinking option may have some uses, especially in a group hiking setting. I give the Fuel thumbs up for this, but unfortunately, the Fuel didn't survive the first backpacking trip I took it on.

In fact, the Fuel failed while still in the pack, as the battery door broke off at the pin. I was surprised at this, as the lamp was packed in such a way (or so I thought?!?) that protected it from banging around in the pack. I tried an infield repair to get the door to stay closed enough to allow the lamp to function, but no go.

I'm still puzzled as to how and why the door broke off, but I do see reviews where I am not the only user who has been affected by this. Unfortunately, I need to be able to trust my gear, and the Fuel does not make the cut for me. I've since moved on to another manufacturer for my needs.
Burned Toast at Campmor on 10/10/2011

Good, but flawed.

I liked this headlamp at first for it's light weight and general functionality. I found the flood beam to be useful for all camp chores, reading and night hiking. My only complaint would be the design of the battery door. About 3 months after purchasing the light, the battery door broke off while I was attempting to open it to replace the batteries. This seems to be the most consistent criticism of the this headlamp. I would gladly rate it at 4 stars if the battery door design was more user friendly.
Norsman at REI on 03/03/2013

Could be great, but....

I think the FUEL is the perfect combination of size, performance and ease of use for backpacking. Unfortunately, the battery compartment lid is of a poor design or materials. As has happened with others, mine broke the first time I replaced the batteries. Princeton Tec is sending me a free replacement door, but now I don't feel I can depend on the light. I wish they would upgrade the materials or design to make it as durable as it needs to be, because I really like this headlamp!
desmobob at Campmor on 10/10/2013

Love it but expect to replace in 3 yrs.

I really like the use and lightness. Not too heavy, not too complicated, minimal features but gets the job done. The only issue and the only reason why i went from 5 stars to 2 stars is because i've owned 3 of these and consistently within 3 years of purchase the snap enclosure for the batteries breaks. I don't drop it and i take care of it but still within 3 years the plastic hinge breaks. Luckily REI had the great return policy at that time.
Hike AZ at REI on 10/10/2013

Not happy

This is a well-rated item, but I was not happy when the battery compartment lid snapped off the second time I changed the batteries. Upon inspection I saw that the hinge was an almost invisibly thin string of plastic. I have had battery compartment problems with most of the Princeton headlamps (I bought one and realized after I got it to camp that I needed an eyeglass screwdriver to open it!). This model went through batteries very quickly as well.
Smew at REI on 08/08/2013

Fatally flawed

The battery lid breaks, and if this happens in the field you are hosed. Duct tape might hold it closed so that you can get contacts to work, but if it happens in the rain, forget it. Otherwise the product is great. The batteries last and it gives off lots of light. It would be a great value if it just didn't break. I've owned 3 of these because REI keeps replacing them. This time I'm looking for something better.
Daway Walkwood at REI on 07/07/2013

Battery door latch breaks

I will never buy another one of these. I have two and the battery door latches have broken on both (made the mistake of buying the second one before the first needed batteries) I've have had Princeton Tec send a replacement door, but it broke too. I was being extra careful (knowing how fragile the doors are) and the battery door latch still broke. There are too many other lights available to take a chance on a Fuel
atf at Campmor on 08/08/2011

I will never buy from Campmor again!!!

Light may have been good when it was new but I was sent a used light. 6 staples and at least a foot of scotch tape were used to hold the package together. This didn't even come with the original batteries! I called customer service less than 5 minutes after UPS delivery and they were rude. After years of shopping at Campmor I've unsubscribed and will never but from them again.
What does it matter at Campmor on 08/08/2013

"Don't waste your time"

I am surprised that Princeton Tec has not addressed the quality control/design issues regarding this headlamp. Had I checked reviews online prior to ordering, I would have learned that the battery compartment latch breaks early on. I have never had this problem before with other PT lamps.

Campmor was top notch as always in addressing the issue.
Pops at Campmor on 09/09/2013

If it weren't for the weak clasp...

Purchased this light for backpacking. After using it all of 3 times (each was a 2 night trip), the plastic clasp that closes the batteries in place broke. I was pretty careful with it from the is just a flawed design. If you buy this item, the clasp WILL break, so be forewarned.
Jachin at REI on 05/05/2012

Neutral Reviews:

two time loser

I own one of these lamps made 3 or 4 years ago - very durable and bright. The one I just ordered arrived with a broken strap guide. Campmor sent another (thanks!) but in simply prying open the battery cover, I broke another the cover latch, which is made of the same brittle plastic as the strap guide. Won't return this one as I was the agent of breakage, but still, I wish it were made of better material.
Chris R at Campmor on 07/07/2013

Design Flaw

We mainly use headlamps for walking the dogs at night. We also take headlamps on vacation for night use. This is a great little headlamp. It's bright, adjustable, lightweight, stays in place, & has different light settings. The BIG problem, which was also mentioned by another reviewer, is the susceptibility of the battery compartment cover to break. It definitely seems to be a design flaw with this particular headlamp. If they can fix that, it'll be a super product.
Greyhounds Rock at REI on 06/06/2012

Another battery cover breaks

I really loved having a headlamp until I went to change the batteries when it was already getting dark. The opening at the end of the light is hard to get open, so I'm another user that broke the small plastic piece off trying to get it open! Was glad I had another small backup flashlight with me. I'll be checking for ease of opening on my next one.
Camper K at REI on 09/09/2013

Good value, but trouble in the dark

We have two of these in our family and several other styles and brands of head lamps. This one is light and economical. The main drawback is that it is difficult to find the switch in the dark (insufficient tactile cues on the switch itself).
Keith at Campmor on 10/10/2013

Compact & bright but weak battery door

Nice lamp, bright and compact. The battery door snapped while loading batteries, and I'm careful with these things! Princeton Tec quickly shipped a replacement door (lifetime guarantee), so problem fixed. Handle with care.
Alex at Campmor on 10/10/2013

needs shield for brightness

Too bright for some applications. Needs buffer shield
Sheeza Bad at Campmor on 10/10/2013