The small BioLite HeadLamp 200 isn’t a bike-specific light, it’s just a head lamp. But its simple, lightweight design and flexible fit make it a great option for cyclists, whether the bikepacker looking to light up camp at night, or a mountain biker stuffing one into a hydration pack as a backup for when ride mishaps keeps you out in the woods after dark.
BioLite HeadLamp 200, compact rechargeable LED head light
BioLite is an interesting company that has developed some unique sustainable light, power & cooking products for off-the-grid lifestyles. (There’s surely some #vanlife or even just bikepacking adventure crossover potential there.) But at the same time, they’ve developed a couple of simple, USB-rechargeable headlamps that deliver a lightweight, comfortable fit.
The latest HeadLamp 200 is probably most interesting to us cyclists, because its small size and flat mount strap works just as well over a helmet as directly on your forehead. Fitting it around my medium/large POC Tectal helmet, the strap wasn’t even opened up all the way, and the light stayed in place as I rode along at a reasonable clip on or off-road.
HeadLamp 200 – Tech details
The name tells how much light this thing puts out. At 200 lumens of white LED light output, it isn’t really enough for proper full-speed mountain biking – throwing light for a claimed 50m with the full power spot. But, as an emergency backup, it’ll easily get you out of the woods. That’s more than enough light for around camp, and you can smoothly dim it down to just 5 lumens to extend burn time by 13x.
The 65° adjustable-angle BioLite HeadLamp 200 also has a full-power white strobe mode that is literally blinding (using the main central LED), and low power red flood LED for visibility with less impact to others, plus a red strobe mode (using the small LED, left of center). One top button takes you through all the modes, and it returns to whatever mode you used last when you turn it back on. Flash for commuter visibility or emergencies, steady for seeing where you are going.
Burn time is rated as 3 hours on high (200lm) and up to 40 hours on low (5lm) with the built-in 700mAh, 2.6Wh lithium ion battery – rechargeable via micro-USB. I’ve yet to push it to running out yet, but likely will in an upcoming trip.
The little headlamp weighs just 49g on our scale (1g under BioLite’s claim). The slim fit of the fabric headband fits comfortably against my forehead, and stays stable & not bouncing without having to strap it down very tight. I did cinch it down a bit more to eliminate bouncing while riding. The only concern I might have is that over time the strap may stretch out (a problem I’ve had with previous head lamps.)
But even though the fabric strap isn’t replaceable, the rear elastic is simply stitched onto the wicking fabric front, and sewing on another band in ten years’ time probably wouldn’t be a big deal.
BioLite HeadLamp 200 – pricing & availability
The $45 / 45€ BioLite HeadLamp 200 come in one size that will fit down to around a 50cm head, up to fitting over a helmet with the adjustable wicking fabric strap (available in gray, teal, red & olive). BioLite even hives buyers a 30 day risk free trial called the HolyFit Guarantee to make sure every buyer is satisfied.
As for me, the BioLite is now a regular part of my bikepacking kit. Gone are the need for extra batteries, and I’ll even be able to charge it off my SON dynamo hub on the go.
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