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BioLite Headlamp

Handy little headlamp

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MSRP: $49.95

BEST FOR: Approaches, descents, camping

OK, so I’m blind. Or rather, a specter is hanging in the air, everywhere I look. Because I was just examining the Biolite headlamp, flicking the switches, and guess what, the thing’s pretty bright.

Apparently one day Biolite just thought, Headlamps. Why don’t we make one? So they did, and this first foray produced a friendly and functional product. It’s light at 2.4 ounces, it’s affordable at $49.95, and take it from me, those 330 lumens are plenty.

The headlamp stays on high for three hours, low for 40. Its light has four settings, including red (night missions) and blinking, and tilts via an adjustable angle if you just dig your thumbnail back behind it. It recharges with a USB power source, so no alkaline batteries.

What the company, a startup based in Brooklyn, New York, calls an “integrated design” means that the whole unit is one, i.e. the lamp is part of the headband. In practice that means it sits tight rather than moving or bouncing around as you hike in or out, or mess with gear.

I have worn it both in the heat (the headband wicks moisture) and cold. After one hike, I dropped it down to my neck, and it is so light I forgot about it until seeing it show up, dorklike, in a photo taken in a restaurant.

Biolite, a company that prides itself on being welcoming, has made an affordable and easy-wear piece.


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Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.