BioLite’s Latest is a Lightweight, Comfortable Headlamp

The BioLite HeadLamp launched via Kickstarter on September 18. Before the day was over, the campaign raised more than $140,000, well exceeding the goal of $40,000.

BioLite HeadLamp

BioLite makes useful gear for backcountry adventurers. They started out with the Biolite Camp Stove, a cool alternative to canister-fueled stoves that uses biomass (in the form of fallen twigs and branches) to not only provide fire to cook but also energy to charge electronic devices.

From Fire to Light

After achieving successes with a number of different stoves, BioLite branched into creating innovative lighting solutions ideal for use in the outdoors. They started with the BioLite PowerLight Mini, a device that has a permanent place in my everyday carry. More recently, they released the BioLite BaseLantern. This has become my favorite camping lantern which was one of the four tools I selected for my appearance on the Cool Tools Podcast.

Enter the BioLite Headlamp

The newest member of the BioLite lighting family is the BioLite HeadLamp. This vital tool throws out a light that’s up to 330 lumens. That’s about the brightness of a 25 watt bulb, give or take a few watts. Like most headlamps on the market today, it features a few different modes:

  • red light mode
  • flood mode (lighting up about 16 meters)
  • spot mode (reaching out to 75 meters)
  • strobe light mode

According to BioLite, the headlamp will run for 3.5 hours at full brightness or as long as 40 hours on minimum brightness.

BioLite HeadLamp Specs

 

This is One Lightweight Lamp

The BioLite HeadLamp weighs in at only 69 grams (2.44 ounces). That’s only slightly heavier than my previous featherweight headlamp choice, the Princeton-Tec Byte. But where the Byte uses two AAA batteries, the BioLite HeadLamp comes with a 900mAh lithium-ion battery. This can be recharged via a convenient micro USB charging port.

The device’s rechargeable battery makes this double upgrade for me. First, there’s no need for me to carry extra AAA batteries. This helps to keep down my pack’s base weight and eliminates one more small item to worry about stowing and retrieving. Second, I can charge the headlamp’s battery directly from my Goal Zero solar panel while I hike during the day so the headlamp is always ready for me when I need it.

Small Form Factor

In addition to its low weight, the BioLite Headlamp is super slim. This isn’t a headlamp that leaves a big hunk of plastic bulging out from your forehead. Plus, it’s designed so the battery pack sits at the back of your head, giving the device even weight distribution and minimizing the annoying “headlamp bounce.” Add to that a moisture-wicking headband and convenient adjustable angles of the light, and this headlamp has a lot going for it.

Quick Release

Although the headlamp, which made its first appearance at the Summer 2018 Outdoor Retailer Show, will be officially released in Spring 2019, you can get one in time for the upcoming holiday season by backing the Kickstarter campaign.

The BioLite HeadLamp is available in four colors: Ocean Teal, Ember Red, Sunrise Yellow, and Midnight Grey (although this last color sold out almost immediately). Each headlamp runs $49. Plus, all Kickstarter backers will also get a light diffusing stuff sack that turns the headlamp into a lantern, perfect for hanging and lighting up the inside of the tent for some before bed reading.

Like any Kickstarter campaign, there are a number of different backer levels. Some offer sets of headlamps while others offer enthusiastic backers the full complement of BioLite products. The Kickstarter runs through October 19.

 

Written by Tom Fassbender

An amateur hobbyist, expert generalist, and outdoor enthusiast who recently traveled around the world with his family.

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