The folks at Mantus were gracious enough to give us a percentage off of our purchase if we wrote a review of the products. And we are happy to oblige! I would have written this much sooner, but our timeline for Mark to retire jumped from April 2017 to August 2016 immediately after receiving our items. We were under the gun to get ALL of our projects wrapped up, and honestly just didn’t take the boat out while we were working. And I won’t review something I’ve never used.
While we couldn’t test the bridle from the dock, we immediately got busy with the headlamp! First impression was that it is particularly heavy in relation to the small, cheap headlamps that we keep stashed all over the boat. But after fooling around with it, wearing it and actually using it – we both agreed that it’s a very sturdy headlamp and the weight is something you get used to very quickly.
Contrary to all of those less expensive lamps we use that have disposable batteries, the Mantus version is rechargeable via mini usb cord. But I have to be honest here. When I took it out of the box and plugged it in, the cord was crap. It wiggled around and just couldn’t get a good connection. I tried holding it just right, barely inserting it, really inserting it. I tried everything I could think of to get a solid connection.
We were both really disappointed. My phone is pretty much always nearby, so I grabbed it and video taped the trouble I was having. Mantus has a great reputation – surely they were not knowingly shipping out sub-standard parts?! And with the headlamp price, I expected top notch quality.
I emailed the video and a description of what was happening immediately to my Mantus contact. And you know what? They sent it to the appropriate people, who watched the video and requested that I return the headlamp for testing. They also sent out a new headlamp. With a new cord. Not only did they realize that the cords they were supplying were failing – they sent new cords to everyone who had received the bad cords! That is some crazy good customer service, in my book. (So if you were one of the recipients of the upgraded/now standard cords, You’re Welcome!)
Now to the actual headlamp. We LOVE it. The charge is long lasting, the lamp is water resistant (proof?) and it has a double strap sort of thing that holds it on your head more securely than the typical single band that goes around your forehead. We use it all the time, and I think I’ve only had to recharge it twice. Since July!
The headlamp also has a variety of light options – red (to save your night vision) dim, BRIGHT (I literally just blinded myself with it and am now having trouble typing) and pulsing/flashing SOS. The flashing is great if you’ve abandoned ship and are waiting on a rescue. We hope to never use that feature.
Final Headlamp Thoughts:
I think it’s safe to say that we love this headlamp. It’s already lasted longer than some of the others we’ve used. The charge is amazing, it’s sturdily built, and we don’t have to worry about getting it wet when we’re in the cockpit during rain/crazy waves, etc. The only negatives were the crappy, yet now fabulous cord and the weight. And as I said, you quickly adjust to the weight.
Mantus Anchor Bridle:
What’s the best/worst way to test out new ground tackle? A hurricane. We finally left the dock on Monday – a few days before Hurricane Matthew came barreling past Savannah, Ga. We anchored one night in a nearby anchorage, and knowing we’d be using the new bridle during the storm, we decided to give it a test run.
First impression here is that the bridle is bigger than we expected and MUCH more impressively built. The chafe protection alone is substantial. The installation is simple, and my favorite part? The hook that attaches to the chain. Brilliant. I always struggled with our previous hook (that came with Luna Sea). But this hook slides right on and then lowers onto the link below. Simple. There’s also a plastic piece that slips down to lock the hook in place (hook gate). There is a massive carabiner that we haven’t had need for yet. But seriously, it’s massive. I’m pretty sure it will hold in the event we need it for a mooring ball.
After a successful first night with the bridle, we upped anchor and headed for our hurricane hole. We again used the anchor bridle. It was, again, simple to attach. We used it for 3 nights alone, then prepped for the storm by adding another storm anchor. I had to add chafe protection to my secondary line, but had no worries at all about the Mantus chafe protection.
Luna Sea took on Cat 2 hurricane winds. Eventually she was even taking 85 mpg gusts on the beam, when one of our anchors slipped a bit at the same time the storm was passing – and sucking extra water out of our creek. So we ended up slightly leaning on a mud flat.
Final Anchor Bridle Thoughts:
Overall impression? I also love the anchor bridle. The plastic locking thing on the hook does give me some concern. It’s plastic. Will it degrade? I should look it up on their website and see if it’s some super-plastic or something… But it held up to Hurricane Matthew, and that’s pretty freaking good in my book.
One thing I would change about the whole ordeal? A Mantus Anchor. We don’t have one yet, and clearly one of our existing anchors broke loose during the storm. We think it was the generic 50lb iron beast. You should check out the anchor videos – those suckers are secure! (see below) The Mantus anchors also break down and can be stowed, while our beast takes up loads of precious space in the lazarette. If the anchors are as thoughtfully made as the headlamp and bridle, we will be happy customers!