words :: Ben Osborne.
I never thought I’d find a big difference in a headlamp. Then I got to try out the BioLite 330.
The unit ticks all the boxes of what you would look for in a headlamp—lightweight, comfortable, easy to use, and it even takes things a step further—but we’ll get to that later. The first thing that stands out is the unit’s sleek design—and it’s not just for looks. It is comfortable with an undeniably ergonomic fit.
Perhaps most impressive is BioLite’s unique take on the adjustability of the light. Instead of the light pivoting on an axle at the bottom of the light, making it poke further out on your head to point it down, the adjustability is subtle, functional, and tight.
For light settings, the headlamp has all you need but doesn’t go over the top with confusing settings—there’s a red light for map-reading, a flashing light, and a low and high setting of a traditional light that tops out at 330 lumens. Besides being comfortable and functional, there’s a kicker that put this headlamp over the top for me: it doesn’t require replacement batteries.
The BioLite Headlamp 330 is the first I’ve ever used that is rechargeable via USB. For someone who forgets to buy batteries, leaves them in for so long they get corroded, and cares about the environment, this is a game-changer.
But before I tested it, a rechargeable headlamp worried me on two levels: how it would perform in the cold, and the battery life—but I quickly realized my concerns were baseless. The first time I used the headlamp I only had time to charge it halfway, and it’s been a full month of camping and it hasn’t let me down.
In that month I’ve camped in the alpine where temps have dropped below zero, and the headlamp has done just fine—a testament to its ability to hold battery life in the cold. Now that I’ve taken a dive into the world of BioLite headlamps, there’s no chance I’m turning back—they are just too comfortable and convenient (without sacrificing performance) to look elsewhere.