Excellent battery-saving features, pass-thru charging, a bright boost mode and reducing energy poverty in India and Africa with every purchase – what’s not to like?
- • BioLite funds renewable energy
- • Rechargeable via micro-USB
- • Battery charge indicator
- • Comfy, wide headband
- • Rear red light beam and flash
- • Not the lightest
- • Doesn’t take 3 x AAAs
- • A little complicated
BioLite Headlamp 750: first impressions
First and foremost, the innovative BioLite Headlamp 750 is incredible because of the environmental and societal ethics of the brand behind it. BioLite sell outdoor gear so the founders can help “families living in energy poverty across India and Africa.” (Look up the BioLite HomeStove that reduces toxic emissions by 90%, it’s fantastic; and here are a few more of the best eco-friendly outdoor brands).
For that reason alone we love this product, but how is when it comes to the best running headlamps league table? Slim and sleek-looking, it’s very comfy and the large lamp button is easy to use with running gloves on.
There are eight light settings in total including red, flood and spotlights up front, while at the back are two buttons, one for the rear red beam and strobe, while the other controls the 30-second 750 lumen burst from the front of the headlamp. This is a great brightness boost but a button up front would be easier for runners to use.
The main high setting then is 500 lumens which lasts for two hours on what they call Constant Runtime – in other words, definitely 500 lumens the whole time, which is what every headlamp brand should really be quoting, surely? It then lasts seven hours in Regulated Runtime where it auto-dims gradually on the theory that your eyes adjust to the darkness. We did find this a nice battery-saving feature, and if you notice it’s not bright enough you can always switch back to Constant.
• RRP: $100 (US) / £100 (UK)
• Weight (incl. battery): 150g / 5.3oz
• Max light output: 750 lumens (boost)
• Average run time: (Low) 150 hours / (High) 7 hours
• Max beam distance: 130m / 426ft
• Water resistance: IPX4 (water resistant)
BioLite Headlamp 750: on the trails
There’s a definite feel-good factor to wearing this super-comfy, bright head torch knowing that your purchase has contributed to reducing energy poverty in India and Africa.
Plus, the innovative features are really neat for runners both road and trail. On the roads we appreciated the rear red strobe with its own, easily-reached on / off button, a real bonus when it comes to running safely at night.
We did have to get the instructions out even to turn the headlamp on (of course it arrives on lock mode and you have to hold the on/off button for 8 secs to bring it to life!) and then it took some time to absorb all the lighting modes and the difference between Constant and Regulated Runtime.
We also appreciated its built-in memory, so that when you turn it on, it’s still in the mode you last had it on – neat! It’s also one of the few headlamps that has pass-thru charging, which allows you to use the light even when it’s charging – genius!
The only thing we weren’t sure about was the position of the 750 lumen burst light button on the rear battery pack; it seemed awkward to have to reach round and press one of two buttons back there when we needed a stronger beam to tackle some more challenging terrain or find a gap in a drystone wall.
The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films packed with trail- and ultra-running content. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, her first book The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running 5k to 50k is out in January 2021. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.
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