We found the best review of the Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp in Backpacker magazine, where editors recommend headlamps based on extensive field tests. The Mar. 2008 gear guide compares the Everlite EL8 with five other new headlamps, and in the Apr. 2008 issue, editors give the Everlite EL8 their 2008 Editors Choice award.
The award-winning 3-ounce Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp is a top choice for long trips when carrying or buying extra batteries could be a problem, or for a disaster preparation kit. It's powered by a small solar panel that can charge itself even under tree cover, then provide light at full brightness for 12 hours, and dimmer light or a strobe light (to alert rescuers) for another 12. With optional accessories, you can use the solar panel to charge a cell phone. The five-LED array throws usable light as far as 40 feet, and a photocell mode can turn it on automatically when dark. You can also charge the Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp from an AC electrical outlet, and once charged, the lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge as long as a year between uses. This is the only solar headlamp available, but the lighter Petzl e+LITE (*est. $30) is also a good emergency headlamp.
1. Backpacker Magazine
Based on thorough field tests under rugged conditions, editors compare the Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp with five other new headlamp models. The headlamps aren't rated or ranked, but the Everlite EL8 is the only headlamp to receive an Editors Choice award in the Apr. 2008 issue.
Review: 2008 Gear Guide: Headlamps, Editors of Backpacker magazine, Mar. 2008
The owners reviewing the Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp here give it rave reviews, both for hikes and for reading in bed - praising its comfort, adjustable light and ability to charge cameras and cell phones - all without batteries.
Review: Everlite Solar LED Headlamp, Contributors to Moosineer.com
At a forum for flashlight and headlamp enthusiasts, one contributor raises questions about the manufacturer's assertions about the Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp. Another says he has the earlier version - before several improvements were made - and even that model performs extremely well.
Review: Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp, Contributors to CandlePowerForums.com
This brief review includes links to several online videos showing the Everlite EL8 Solar Headlamp in action and charging a cell phone. The sole owner-written review published here is enthusiastic, saying the Everlite EL8 charges his GPS device as well as giving plenty of light.
Review: Solar LED Headlamp Review, Terrapass.com editors and contributors