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LED Lenser HR7 Core headlamp review: a light heavyweight with some knock-out features

Fantastically robust and waterproof, the LED Lenser HR7 Core headlamp has a unique swivel bezel for scrolling from spotlight to floodlight

LED Lenser HR7 Core
(Image: © LED Lenser)

Our Verdict

On the heavy side for running, but robust and completely waterproof with a unique swivel lamp bezel from floodlight to spotlight

For

  • Completely waterproof for 30 mins
  • Rechargeable via own magnetic charging cable to USB
  • Comfy, wide headband
  • Bright 1,000 lumen boost mode
  • Battery life indicator
  • Swivel focus for floodlight or spotlight

Against

  • Heavy
  • Cable from lamp to battery
  • No red light at rear
  • Does not also take 3 x AAAs

LED Lenser HR7 Core: first impressions

The LED Lenser HR7 Core may be heavier than most other running headlamps, but it has two great selling points. First, it’s completely waterproof. Second, it boasts a swivelling bezel around the lamp, with floodlight mode at one extreme and spotlight mode at the other, or you can choose any of the graduations in-between. This is a wonderful touch and means you can really quickly and easily tailor the beam to the road, path or trail you’re running on. 

And yes, you can drop the HR7 Core headlamp into a puddle, lake or toilet bowl, and it’s safe for 30 mins from 15cm to 1m depth – fantastic news for clumsy runners! As such, it has its own magnetic, waterproof charger connection to USB rather than the more common Micro USB seen in many of the other best headlamps

The only real downside is that the HR7 is not sleek and it’s a bit of a beast at over twice the weight of most other head torches we tested. Hence the nice, wide comfy headband and overhead strap too. However, this does also mean it should take a fair beating before you break it. A good one for your kids or teens on their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards or Summer Camp perhaps, less so for running fast and light

Specifications

• RRP: $130 (US) / £100 (UK)
• Weight (incl. battery): 259g / 9oz
• Max light output: 1,000 lumens (boost)
• Average run time: (Low) 65 hours / (High) 4 hours
• Max beam distance: 250m / 820ft
• Water resistance: IP67 (waterproof for 30mins up to 1m submerged)

LED Lenser HR7 Core: on the trails

LED Lenser HR7 Core

The lamp is so brilliantly versatile it’s a shame this head torch is so chunky overall (Image credit: LED Lenser)

It was great to be in control of the floodlight or spotlight out on the trails. Sometimes you want that little bit more focus through the dark woods, jumping over tree roots and picking your way across ankle-biting rocks, but widening your beam and popping it into 1,000 lumen boost mode to search gaps through walls or that stile you need to cross. 

However, its chunky weight means this one wouldn’t be our first choice for trail running – more for camping, backpacking and hiking when you know it’s going to be raining a lot. It’s also great for exciting nighttime SUPing and kayaking adventures, being completely waterproof. 

It’s a shame as the swivel bezel is a great innovation, the light output is brilliant and the beam length excellent. It’s very comfortable on the head too. It’s just a little too bulky to carry in a small race vest or bumbag and much more top heavy for runners than the other headlamps available for the same price and brightness.

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.