Part 23 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. Ever wonder how Princeton Tec—manufacturer of high-quality headlamps, flashlights, bike lights, and other portable lighting accessories—got its name?
Turns out the company was founded in 1975 in Princeton, New Jersey. Originally named Princeton Tectonics, the fledgling firm initially specialized in scuba and diving accessories. In the ensuing years, the company shortened its name and expanded its product offerings to include a range of outdoor, bicycle, tactical, and other lighting products.
Today the company manufactures 90 percent of its products in three New Jersey facilities (Berlin, Trenton, and Bordentown, site of company headquarters), employs 180 people, and remains an independent, family-owned operation.
There's some great background on the company in this recent post on Adventure Journal, which details how Princeton Tec actually shifted much of its production from overseas back to New Jersey in recent years. (Princeton Tec's example of "insourcing" even merited a factory visit from Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.)
In terms of its products, I'm partial to the:
Remix Headlamp (pictured above), which features a 100-lumen "Maxbright" LED and a set of three smaller ultrabright LEDs, both of which can be adjusted for different brightness settings. Per the product specs, its three AAA batteries last for an impressive 28 hours on the brightest setting, or as many as 200 hours on the lowest setting. 2.9 ounces, including batteries; $30 to $45, depending where you buy.
Apex Pro Headlamp (right), which pumps out maximum brightness (a blistering 200 lumens) for relatively little weight (6.1 ounces, including batteries). To accomplish this, it uses two somewhat harder-to-find CR123 batteries. Designed for more serious adventures. $70 to $95, depending where you buy.
Amp 1L Flashlight, a tiny handheld that weighs less than 2 ounces yet puts out 45 lumens of light; two AAA batteries power the LED light for up to 72 hours. It's waterproof to 100 meters and features a loop on one end that doubles as an attachment point for a belt loop or backpack and that all-important outdoor accessory: a bottle opener. $10 to $20.
Support your Northeast gear companies! Here are the 22 I've profiled to date:
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.
- Worksman Cycles (Queens, N.Y.)
- Wild Things (North Conway, N.H.)
- Hubbard Blueberry Rakes (Jonesport, Maine)
- Vargo Outdoors (Lewisburg, Penn.)
- Evelo Electric Bicycles (New York, N.Y.)
- We-Flashy (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
- Equinox Gear (Williamsport, Pa.)
- Crazeeheads (Port Washington, N.Y.)
- Stephenson's Warmlite (Gilford, N.H.)
- Sterling Rope (Biddeford, Maine)
- New Balance (Boston, Mass.)
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear (Biddeford, Maine)
- Noble Biomaterials (Scranton, Pa.)
- STABILicers (Biddeford, Maine)
- Darn Tough Socks (Northfield, Vt.)
- Dermatone Sunscreen (Windsor, Ct.)
- Orion Signal and Survival Products (Easton, Md.)
- Nemo Equipment (Manchester, N.H.)
- New England Ropes (Fall River, Mass.)
- Jetboil (Manchester, N.H.)
- Ibex Outdoor Clothing (White River Junction, Vt.)
- Delorme (Yarmouth, Maine)