Review - Princeton Tec Remix Pro MPLS
History of Princeton Tec
Princeton Tec is a US company that has been producing lighting equipment since 1975. Born from a diving background, the owner designed and manufactured a series of diving watches and gauges which propelled the company into the global diving market. Over the course of 40 years the team have innovated, manufactured and led the way for lighting across the US, serving the military, law enforcement, fire & rescue and customers from across the globe.
For more info - visit Princeton Tec website.
Why Princeton Tec?
Headtorches are in my mind one piece of kit that you'll want to deploy into the field with, whether that be attached to kit, in a smock pocket or in the top pocket of your daysack or bergen. I've had a large number of headtorches before from Petzl, Silva and MountainLife through my career, some of which have lasted, others never made the cut when exposed to the outside harsh environments over a period of time. Princeton Tec is a known reliable and forces linked brand and having already purchased and reviewed the Princeton Tec Charge Pro MPLS I was confident that this headtorch would certainly be a worthy contender. In addition to needing a headtorch as my latest Petzl one has given up after 7 years service, the Remix Pro was also used in SEAL Team throughout the seasons, generally worn around the neck and the team were seen using the red or white LED light. This was another item closer to a screen accurate loadout whilst also being a worthwhile investment and useful item of kit.
Herein lies the product description from the website;
POWER 300 Lumens
LAMP 1 Maxbright LED
3 Ultrabright LEDs
BURN TIME 17 hours
BATTERIES 1x CR123 Lithium
WEIGHT 2.3oz / 66g
WARRANTY 5 Years
WATER RESISTANT IPX4
What does it actually mean?
So to cut through some of the lesser known details above I've pulled out the parts that may be of interest;
Lumens - these relate to how bright the torch is. As expected this headtorch is for close quarters work to allow the operator to deal with things close to themselves ie opening doors, checking hatches, sorting admin, reading maps etc. There's no requirement for a 1ml lumen torch to light up themselves and everything for miles around, especially if in a tactical environment.
Lamp - 3 variants available (Mil/LEO);
Mil/LEO - Red/Green/IR/White, Red/Blue/IR/White and Triple Red/White.
Burn Time - LED time active on 1 battery;
White (High) 8 hours
White (Low) 17 hours
Red (High) 10 hours
Red (Low) 49 hours
Blue 24 hours
Green 24 hours
IR 40 hours
IP - this is the International Protection regarding protection of equipment from water, dust, electromagnetic interference etc. Further details for IP can be found on Wikipedia. For the Remix Pro MPLS, the code stands for;
IP - International Protection.
X - no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criteria.
4 - Water splashing against enclosure from any direction - 10 min testing period.
The Princeton Tec Remix Pro MPLS comes in a 23 x 12.5 x 5.2 cm (L x W x D) card box weighing 190 grams in total. The front of the box has a large plastic window through which you can see the Remix Pro. The front bears the Princeton Tec logo and name along with the product model name. At the bottom of the front panel is the '300 Lumens' in bold to illustrate the power of this headtorch. The left and right hand sides of the box provides the product name, logo and the 'Made in USA' logo. bears light output and runtime information. The rear of the box features some of the Remix Pro product information and key points about the Remix Pro namely; mounting methods and illumination information (output, runtime and visibility distance). The top of the box features the contents of the Remix Pro packaging. The bottom of the box has the standard product barcode (RMX300PRO-NOD-RGI-MC) and company information.
The packaging interior features a plastic product base template on which the NVG adapter sits and the headtorch fits through into a recessed area. On top of this base template is a paper insert with product info printed onto it as seen in the third image below. Finally, the base template and paper insert are held in place by a transparent plastic overlay which protects the product and keeps the items in position.
The accessories included allow the user to configure the Remix Pro with a number of different mounting options. The headband and bracket are wrapped within a small plastic bag and inserted into the space at the rear of the base template and aren't visible from the exterior.
The Remix pro package contained;
Remix Pro MPLS headlight (headtorch)
Headlamp molle bracket
NVG Adapter Plate
Headband + Headlamp molle bracket (pre-fitted)
1x CR123 battery (pre-installed within headlight)
With the available mounting accessories, the user can wear the Remix Pro on their helmet, attached to body armour via molle or just used as a headtorch.
Remix Pro MPLS exterior in detail
The Remix Pro weighs a mere 52 grams with a single CR123 battery installed, and 35 grams without a battery. The exterior is manufactured from lightweight tan plastic. This headtorch is certainly a lightweight and minimalistic piece of equipment.
Height 3 cm
Width 5.7 cm
Depth 4.8 cm
Height 3.5 cm
Width 6.2 cm
Depth 1.6 cm
NVG Adapter Plate Measurements
Height 5.2 cm
Width 5 cm
Depth 2 cm
Height 2.5 cm
Width 0.3 cm
Length 50 cm
The exterior of the torch is 'busy' with multiple surfaces, ridges, recesses and mould lines. Whilst the exterior should look robust and somewhat resistant to a bit of wear and tear, it does look slightly fragile. The face of the torch features a clear plexiglass front behind which sits the 4 main LEDs; white, red, green and IR. To the left hand side (image 2) features the battery compartment cover with the Princeton Tec logo moulded into it. On the right hand side (image 3) is the small switch that enables the operator to select O (overt) and IR (Infra red) light modes. The rear of the torch features the mounting bracket which enables it to be fitted to the NVG adapter plate or the standard bracket on the headband. The underside is near featureless with 3 horizontal grip ridges to aid in rotation of the torch if the user is wearing gloves. The top of the torch features the large silicon push button with 3 vertical ridges evident to enable it to be felt and operated in the dark.
The design is moulded to be water resistant, allowing water to easily run off of it and to not cause issues with water ingress, however this Remix Pro is water resistant only and should not be fully submerged in water.
Installing a battery
The installation of a CR123 battery is simple. To the left hand side of the headtorch (when facing it) is the battery compartment. To open, you need to put a fingernail under the bar (as seen in image three) and lift and push away from the main body. Once open, the battery compartment door is on a small preloaded spring. Install the battery '+' first into the headtorch and then snap the battery compartment door closed.
It's worth noting that the door is extremely stiff and care should be taken when opening it to not force it or use any large flat headed screwdrivers as you risk snapping the bar off of it rendering the battery compartment door and headtorch near useless.
Mounting headtorch on headband
The headband can be used in different setups; worn around the head, worn around the neck, attached to a tree or tied to an item using the headband.
The headband was already fitted with a mounting bracket which saved time affixing one. As seen in the images below, fitting the headtorch into the bracket is simple. The rear bracket on the headtorch is inserted upwards into the main hole in the bracket as seen in image seven. At this point it is necessary to align the vertical support with the bracket cut-out as seen in image eight enabling the two parts to be slotted correctly together. If the bottom parts are not aligned correctly there is a risk of damage to the parts and also the headtorch becoming disconnected. In image ten, on the bracket there can be seen a slight ridge and on the bracket arm of the headtorch can be seen a slight cut-out, these two parts must align and when the top of the bracket arm is pushed backwards there is an audible click denoting when it's seated correctly as shown in image eleven. Once connected the two parts feel securely fastened without any wobble, give or gaps which could cause concern. To disengage the headtorch from the bracket, simply pull the 'Pull' tab on the bracket arm until it clicks and the headtorch will then be able to be removed.
Mounting headtorch on helmet using NVG Adapter Plate
The headtorch is easily fitted to the NVG Adapter Plate. In similar fashion to the headband, mounting the headtorch is using the bracket arm and inserting it into the top slot of the NVG Adapter plate along with the vertical uprights at the bottom of the headtorch part, ensuring that they are lined up and inserted into the clips of the NVG Adapter Plate. Again, once connected there is no movement and both parts feel securely connected. To disengage the headtorch from the NVG Adapter Plate, simply pull the 'Pull' tab on the bracket arm until it clicks and the headtorch will then be able to be removed.
The NVG Adapter Plate in this example has been attached via the Wilcox W Shroud to my Team Wendy EXFIL Carbon helmet. At the bottom of the NVG Adapter Plate on the right hand side (as seen in image one above), is a press tab that when pressed inwards retracts the bottom tongue on the Plate enabling it to be fitted into the W Shroud. Once connected the Plate did not move or wobble at all, fitting securely and it gave me confidence that it would not disconnect easily.
There are 4 modes of LEDs to utilise; Red, Green, IR (burst) and a white LED (two powers).
To activate the overt LEDs, the switch on the right hand side must be flipped to 'O' as shown in the picture to the left. An initial press of the silicon button on top will activate red light, designed so if accidentally pressed this is the least glaring option available. Pressing the button quickly again will switch to the green light (in this product). Another press will turn the light off entirely. When either the red or green light is active or when the torch is completely off, holding down the button for approx 2 secs will activate the bright white LED at the lower setting (focussed beam). Another quick press when this first white low level setting is activated, will activate the white LED higher setting (flood).
To activate the IR light, the switch on the right hand side must be flipped to 'IR'. Pressing the button momentarily will activate the IR light in burst mode where it emits a flashing IR pulse (as seen in the fifteenth image below).When viewing the IR light without Night Vision, using just a typical mobile camera, the IR light can be seen blinking on and off.
The testing phase focussed on the headtorch's performance in different scenarios when it was not mounted. It's highly likely that it would perform 100% exactly the same if mounted on the NVG Plate, headband or molle bracket on armour.
Open environment - the headtorch was tested in an outdoor environment during dusk hours to illustrate the strength of the individual lights in a low light setting. Images below representl
I'm currently in the process of producing a video to demonstrate the Remix Pro in action in daylight, dusk and dark night hours. I'll also be comparing it when used in both urban and woodland environments.
Thoughts and opinion
The Remix Pro MPLS is certainly useful as an illumination tool. The ability to choose a mounting option suitable to your particular task and then having those accessories included in the overall package is certainly a plus. Whilst headtorches are generally only being used in low light or no light environments it has its place when it'll be needed. It is certainly robust when mounted using any of the methods, but also likely to be able to breakaway should it become snagged on ropes when helmet mounted to reduce the risk of injury to the operator. The various LED options available provide you with a choice of options to suit you and the IR addition is certainly useful if required as an IFF marker at ground level or from the air. The cycle ability of LEDs and large silicon button make it easy to use even whilst wearing gloves and the levels of lumens provided by the headtorch certainly meet the standards. Due to LEDs being utilised this extends battery life and therefore usage, which means that time on task is extended and is all contained within a small package. I typically run the Remix Pro worn around my neck attached to the headband or in a smock pocket for use if needed i.e. when reading a map or illuminating ground disturbances.
My main disappointment with the Remix Pro is the quality. The exterior of the Remix Pro does look cheap and with the large gaps between the moulded segments, whilst water resistant I would not be 100% confident in it if used for extended periods outside in a wet or humid environment. The mould lines are evident and messy and whilst they can either be overlooked or even altered aesthetically with time and patience using a miniature file, the overall impression at first glance is that it looks cheap and plasticy. For me aesthetics aren't everything, it's the robustness, usage and reliability that are important for me. Having undergone a number of tests inside and outside the Remix Pro has satisfied my current requirements. The LED output, battery life and small size and weight are big pluses and it's certainly a useful item to have on my person or stowed in the top pocket of my daysack / bergen for use if required. Secondarily, this was a purchase made also to build towards a SEAL Team accurate loadout kit. Thirdly, the Princeton Tec Remix Pro MPLS was not cheap, compared to other brands such as Petzl, Silva, MountainLife etc it was the more expensive, but you do get multiple mounting options (instead of your typical headband) and colour options (in my case Red, Green, White & IR), so there is some weigh off there. 3 months in I have not yet had an issue with it. Do your research, take your time, read reviews and look to see what you require the torch to do and whether the Remix Pro is the one for you.
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I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.