As runners we have a pretty good feel for the change in season and those in the SE corner of Vic are well aware of Winter slowly grabbing hold. Tights, jackets, gloves and beanies are all being pulled from the depths of our closets in order to soften the bite of cold temps and chilly winds.
We’re also noticing that we’re spending more time without a sun in the sky and the
conversation about headlamps is a daily occurrence in the store. The industry does a great job in confusing us with crazy technical lingo to explain their 50 different units so I’m here to try and break it down a little for you. That way, you’re putting your hard earned into exactly what you need to get you through the winter in as much comfort as possible!
Ok so here’s what you should be considering when purchasing a headlamp –
A) Comfort. It doesn’t matter how bright it is, how long the battery lasts or how cheap
it is if the dang thing doesn’t fit your head well. If you buy an uncomfortable
headlamp, you’ll never wear it or you’ll be the guy in the group constantly
complaining of the pressure on your forehead, the slipping of the band or the
bouncing of the battery pack. Like feet and shoes, everybody has different shapes
and preferences so you need to head to shop and try them on to make sure they fit
B) Lumens. If you’re running on an open/exposed path then you don’t need a unit that
offers more than 300 lumens on MAX. If you are a single trail warrior, I’d be looking
at a minimum of 300 lumens and a MAX of around 750 lumens. If you run with
others, go on the minimal side. If you’re a solo runner – no dramas heading higher.
C) Beam pattern. Running specific headlamps offer a focused type of beam pattern that
helps to illuminate further ahead to handle the speed at which you’re approaching
objects. Regular headlights are good for camping use and reading maps etc. Be
D) Battery. USB rechargeable is the norm now but to have an option to use standard AA
or AAA batteries is fantastic if you can’t find the charger or you’re running an ultra
etc. Bigger battery = longer burn time = heavier unit. I don’t run longer than 60mins
in darkness so I prioritize weight when selecting my lamp.
The Running Company Ballarat stocks Petzl headlamps. They have a range from $80 through to $310 depending on what you require from your lamp.