“A headlamp so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re wearing it.”
That’s the manufacturer’s claim for the new BioLite HeadLamp 200. And they weren’t wrong, as I found out the hard way while camping in Nevada recently. While removing my knit winter hat, I absent-mindedly forgot the headlamp was wrapped around it, and almost dropped it into my campfire on three separate occasions. Every time, I cursed myself and swore I wouldn’t do it again. And every time, five minutes later, I’d already forgotten the 50-gram lamp was on my head.
The Skinny on BioLite’s New HeadLamp 200
Here’s how BioLite bills the new HeadLamp 200 …
The Vagabond’s Take
For most folks, a headlamp is a headlamp is a headlamp. All include a stretchy band with a rectangular, usually high-intensity LED light that sits in the middle of your forehead to help you navigate dinner at camp or spot a bear leering at you from between the trees. Yes, BioLite’s newest headlamp does all that, but in a more streamlined, ultra-lightweight, comfortable package than most.
It offers a few seemingly minor features that have already made it a go-essential for my camping and car camping trips. The first is a moisture-wicking fabric headband that’s soft, comfortable, and stays dry no matter what I’m doing (all of which contribute to the “too easy to forget I’m wearing it” factor). The second is an easily articulating bezel for angling the light exactly where I need it with one hand.
But, perhaps most importantly, it’s USB rechargeable via an included micro-USB cable. I love being able to leave the standard alkaline batteries at home, knowing that I can top up the battery from my car or backup power bank on the road. It also features a clever lock mode so it never accidentally turns on in my pack and bleeds the battery dry. At its lowest setting, the 700mAH lithium-ion battery is good for 40 hours of burn time — plenty for a long weekend away, even without recharging. But, at least I know that I can recharge it from any powered USB port.
The BioLite HeadLamp 200 features four lighting modes: white strobe, white spot (with dimming), red flood (with dimming), and red strobe. I use the white spot mode 95% of the time. It’ll blast a 50-meter beam when I really need to hunt for something. But, even in the pitch-black Nevada desert, that was overkill for most tasks. It works just as effectively — and lasts far longer — at a dimmer setting. (If you decide you really need more, check out the BioLite HeadLamp 330 with nearly 50% more brightness.)
At 200 lumens, it certainly isn’t the brightest headlamp on the market. But, that modest illumination is plenty for almost any task at basecamp. For cooking, reading, finding a pee tree in the middle of the night, or searching for the right camera cable, it’s more than enough.
Pricing and Availability
The BioLite HeadLamp 200 is now available in four earthly colors: Midnight Grey, Ocean Teal, Moss Green, or Ember Red. At less than $45, it practically feels like a steal.
BioLite HeadLamp 200 (Midnight Grey)
- A headlamp so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re wearing it. This headlamp delivers excellent fit, versatile lighting modes, and USB rechargeability so you can leave the disposable batteries behind. It’s time to try a headlamp you’ll keep on your head and not around your neck.
- Four light modes: White + Dim , Red + Dim, White Strobe, Red Strobe
- Front panel tilts downward with one hand. Weighs ony 50 grams.