Gear Closet: The BioLite Headlamp is Light, Bright, and Comfortable

One of my favorite pieces of gear that I spotted at the 2018 Summer Outdoor Retailer show was a new headlamp from BioLite. Considering the number of headlamps that are already available on the market, it takes something special for a new model to stand out in that crowded field. But as they usually do, the team at BioLite put a lot of thought into the design of their latest product, and as a result it turned out pretty special. Now, they’ve even made a surprise early launch of the device on Kickstarter, giving crowdfunding contributors the chance to get one well ahead of the spring 2019 launch.

Dubbed simply the Headlamp, BioLite’s entry into this market space brings some intriguing features. For starters, it weighs less than 3 ounces (69 grams), making it incredibly easy to throw in your backpack no matter where you’re going. Despite its size however, the Headlamp is also quite bright. It features four different settings, with the highest giving off as much as 330 lumens. That’s a lot of light, particularly from a lamp that is this small.

BioLite tackled the challenge of making the Headlamp comfortable to wear by creating a headband that is soft and highly breathable. The company says that materials that the headband is made of are “smart fabrics” that are durable and moisture wicking, while also holding the light snugly in place when wearing it on the trail. This holds true even if you’re running, cycling, climbing, or doing some other highly active sport.

The BioLight Headlamp is powered by a 900 mAh rechargeable battery that can provide a run time of up to 40 hours on its lowest setting or 3.5 hours on hits brightest output. Speaking of which, the device offers two different modes –– floodlight and spotlight –– which offer a beam distance of 16 meters (52 feet) and 75 meters (246 ft) respectively. The angle of the light can even be adjust using a simple, but clever, mechanism that is built into the lamp’s housing

I was very impressed with the headlamp when I saw it at the OR show, but now that I’ve actually gotten the chance to test it in the field, I love it even more. I took it with me on a bikepacking trip in Colorado that I just returned from, and found it to be just as great as I suspected it might be. The light is incredibly bright and yet so lightweight and comfortable to wear, you actually can forget you have it on. I haven’t had a chance to test it while running yet however, but I suspect the Headlamp will be my new go-to choice for after dark runs once the days get shorter later in the fall.

As mentioned, the Headlamp is scheduled to be released next spring with an MSRP of around $65. But, with the Kickstarter campaign now underway, early-bird supporters can purchase one for $49, with U.S. and Canadian backers receiving their orders just in time for the holidays in December. International supporters will have to wait until February to get their hands on the light, but they can order them now through the Kickstarter page too.

If you’re looking for a great gift idea for someone on your list this year, or just need a nice new headlamp for your own adventures, I think you’ll be very pleased with what BioLite has done here.

Kraig Becker