Nebo Mycro headlamp review: a fabulously versatile light when you want to keep the weight down

An ultra-small, rechargeable headlamp and cap light for hiking, trail running, backpacking and bikepacking

The Nebo Mycro headlamp displayed on a wooden table.
(Image: © Pat Kinsella)

Advnture Verdict

Fabulously versatile, and incredibly small and light, the Nebo Mycro is the ideal headlamp for short after-dark trail runs and all sorts of multiday trail escapades where keeping weight down is a top priority, from backpacking to bikepacking. The cap clip and wide-angle tilt capability means it can be used in a massive range of outdoor situations, and with three main beam choices, plus red and green options and a turbo setting, it’s a highly functional piece of kit. You just need to be aware of the time limitations on the higher settings.


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    Extremely lightweight

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    Small & easy to carry

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    Versatile, with cap clip

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    Easy and wide-angled tilt function

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    Simple to operate, with a single button

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    Green and red lights for retaining night vision

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    Accessible price

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    Limited burn time per charge

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    No option to use a standard battery

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    No strobe or SOS setting

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    No rear light

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    No lock

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    Basic head strap

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Meet the reviewer

best fleece jackets: Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover
Pat Kinsella

Pat has hiked all over the world, his adventures taking him to Mont Blanc, the roof of Western Europe; the Norwegian Alps; the highest peaks in Australia; and New Zealand’s Great Walks – among others. He’s an experienced tester of hiking gear and gives kit a thorough thrashing before reviewing.

Nebo Mycro: first impressions


• List price: $26 (US)  / £20 (UK)
• Weight (including strap): 47g / 1.7oz
• Dimensions (LxWxH): 46 x 32 x 34mm
• Max lumens: 400
• Max beam length: 80m (on turbo)
• Burn time: Up to 10 hours on Green/Red mode
• Light modes: Turbo / High / Medium / Low /Red LED / Green LED
• Water resistance: IPX4
 Batteries: In-built rechargeable (included)
• Compatibility: Hiking, trail running, climbing, backpacking, camping and general use

For starters, it’s very refreshing to see a headlamp from a decent brand that’s available at such an affordable price point. There are lots of excellent head torches out there on the market, but many of them are priced at the premium end of the wallet-emptying spectrum, and often the end users of these products could be equally well (or even better) served by a light that’s a little more basic, easy to use and accessible to those on a budget. The Nebo Mycro steps smartly into that place. 

This nifty little head torch from American outdoor tech brand Nebo is designed to be super small, extremely lightweight, very versatile and highly functional, and at first glance it quickly ticks all those boxes. These features make it an ideal headlamp for trail runners, overnight hikers, bikepackers and those looking for a reliable, easy-to-pack reserve light for longer escapades, whether they’re backpacking, thru-hiking, cycle touring or travelling overseas.

The Nebo Mycro headlamp being held in a hand, highlighting its compact size.

The Nebo Mycro's small size means each charge lasts a relatively short time, so it might not be the best option for longer trips (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Because it’s so small, each charge does only last a relatively short amount of time, and you can’t use standard batteries with this headlamp, so it’s not great for longer trips unless you have access to electricity, or a portable power bank or solar charger to hand.

And, of course, being relatively cheap and very lightweight are only positive attributes if the product is fit for purpose, so I have been busy testing out the Nebo Mycro headlamp in a range of different adventure scenarios to see how it performs in the wild. 

Nebo Mycro: design and features

Designed in the Nebo headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, the Mycro comes mounted on a hinged plate that enables you to angle the beam virtually any way you want it (across a range of about 160 degrees). The light can be used on a head strap (supplied), or clipped to the peak of a cap (or other brimmed hiking hat) if you prefer to wear it that way.

With a tiny inbuilt rechargeable battery, the Nebo Mycra can be juiced-up quickly via a USB cable that goes into a port on side of the light unit. A plug cover protects this port when it’s not in use, and while it can’t be fully submerged, the Mycra has been lab-tested and certified as being water resistant to IPX4, which means it can be used in heavy rain with no dramas.

The Nebo Mycro headlamp attached to the reviewer's cap in low light conditions

The Nebo Mycro's cap clip adds to its impressive versatility (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

A single button on the opposite side of the unit enables you to activate the light and toggle through the settings, which range from high (which throws a beam from the main bulb 50m for one hour) through to low-light green or red LED options, courtesy of two mini LEDs positioned either side of the main bulb that will generate a gentle glow for up to 14 hours on a single charge. 

In between these settings you have Medium (18m for two hours) and Low (10m for 5 hours). And, if you hold the button down while on high, you get a Turbo blast that shoots a beam up to 80m for 30 seconds.

Nebo Mycro: in the field (and on the trails)

Barely bigger than a walnut, with a simple headband, a no-faff recharging port and a one-button operating system, it’s nice and easy to liberate the Mycro from its packaging and put it immediately to good use, which is exactly what I did during its maiden voyage on a camping and hiking trip along the Jurassic Coast in southern England. The battery arrives charged, and the light is so easy and intuitive to use, there’s no need to waste any time reading the instructions.

If you’re heading out for a night run for an hour or less, or a day hike that could easily keep you out on the trails for a while after dusk, the Mycro is the perfect light to have on your head or in your hydration vest or backpack. Even if you don’t end up using it, it weighs so little and takes up such a small amount of space, it really doesn’t matter – but if the night does catch up with you, this head lamp will light the way brilliantly. 

The cap clip makes it very versatile, enabling you to wear it on the brim of a hat, or to attach it to part of your tent or shelter so it acts as a tiny camping lantern. Detached from the headband, you can of course simply hold it in your hand and use it like a torch/flashlight.

The Nebo Mycro standing on a wooden table, unattached to a head strap.

The Nebo Mycro can also double as an extremely small camping lantern when required  (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The high beam setting (ideal for running technical trails in the dark) only lasts for 60 minutes, but the medium and low settings are perfectly sufficient for hiking along footpaths (tip: start on the low setting and let your eyes adjust). I especially love the red and green LED settings, which are perfect for checking a map or locating something in your backpack without shattering your hard-earned night vision.

Equally, these subtle settings are really useful for situations as varied as wildlife spotting and star gazing, getting up in the middle of the night in a shared tent or dorm without waking everyone else up, and organizing your site without drawing attention to yourself while wild camping.

The Nebo Mycro headlamp attached to a cap, with the green light setting turned on.

The red and green lighting options are great for maintaining your night vision when it gets dark (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

For short bikepacking and fastpacking trips, the Nebo Mycro is an excellent option, that’s really easy to carry (so long as you conserve your light reserves for when you really need them) and ultralight enthusiasts will absolutely love it for the same reasons.

While the Mycro does have a much more limited run time per charge than headlamps such as the excellent Black Diamond Storm or the BioLite 425 (inevitable considering its diminutive size), it is ideal as a back-up light while you’re doing longer backpacking adventures, or when you’re doing some serious overseas travel, in case your main torch fails (or gets lost or broken) mid trip. 

Pat Kinsella

Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and Instagram here.