Don’t Be Left in the Dark! (Headlamp Review)

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Let Your Light Shine

When I first started trail running I never dreamed I’d ever run trails at night…like in the dark!!! It’s funny, trail running somehow provokes you to set goals you never thought were possible and when you conquer them, you set more goals!

It didn’t take long before I was registering for my first 100km run, which meant starting at night (in the dark). A good headlamp should light up the trails enough that you actually feel pretty comfortable running on the trails! The difference of course is there is blackness all around you BUT in front of you the trails can be lit up!

Even if you do not plan on intentionally running through the night, you may find yourself heading out extra early before work OR at the end of the day into the early evenings after work.

Being prepared on the trails with a good headlamp is important.

Leanne Richardson at the Grand 2 Grand Ultra in AZ/UT September/2016
When I was researching headlamps a few things were important to me.

  • lumens (min. 200)
  • light weight with even weight distribution
  • battery operated (not rechargeable)
  • affordable

The lumens are important as for many night time trail runs there is a minimum lumen required and 200 is probably going to be fine. Anything less might not be accepted in their mandatory gear list. Lumens are the amount of light emitted by the headlamp.

Light weight of course as when you are not wearing your headlamp you will need to carry it in your pack. For myself the even weight distribution is also important as there is nothing more frustrating then a headlamp that bounces around or worse continuously slips down.

Battery operated. I’ll admit having a rechargeable headlamp is appealing BUT I knew that I was going to be spending a long night out on the trails so I needed something that would allow me to replace the batteries if I needed to. The rechargeable headlamps I found lasted on average only 6hrs. I suppose you could bring a portable charger, however I wanted a headlamp that would hopefully work for all my night time running goals, not just this one race.

Affordable! You can spend ALOT of money on headlamps!! Probably well worth the money but I was looking for something that would work well, but that didn’t break the bank!

What I found was the Petzl Myo Headlamp!!!

I took the headlamp out to my back yard in the pitch black darkness and was blown away!! It was so bright!!

With a focused beam or wide-angle lighting, the Myo headlamp is a secret weapon for adventure racing or trail running after dark. The housing offers even weight distribution so it stays in place. A full suite of features makes it excellent for mountain and alpine use too. In addition to the features that were important to me check out the other features listed on the Petzl website:

  • Powerful, high performance lighting (370 lumens in Boost mode and 280 lumens in Maximum mode).
  • Multi-beam lighting: wide-angle flip lens that shifts instantly from a wide beam (proximity lighting) to a focused beam (long-range vision)
  • CONSTANT LIGHTING technology for Economic and Optimum modes:
    – brightness does not decrease gradually as the batteries drain
    – automatically switches to reserve mode when batteries are nearly spent
  • STANDARD LIGHTING technology in Maximum mode.
  • Several programmable lighting modes to adapt light intensity and burn time to the activity
  • Reliable and rugged:
    – battery charge indicator light: warns when the batteries are approximately 70 % then 90 % discharged
    – switches are protected from accidental operation when light body is in upright position
    – water and weather resistant for all-weather use (IP X4)
  • Comfortable and stable in action: included top strap provides additional stability when needed
  • Perfect for endurance activities:
    – long burn time
    – lightweight: 168 g
    – balanced on the head for comfort

There are other great headlamps out there that would likely meet these same criteria’s but I have found that this one has been more than enough for all my adventures so far and after using it now for 2 years I have had no issues!! Highly recommend it and have recommended it to dozens of people who have all been more than satisfied with their purchase!!


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