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Walking Equipment and Accessories

BioLite HeadLamp 330 | Review

Newcomers BioLite look to improve a well-refined product with their HeadLamp 330

Why We Chose The BioLite HeadLamp 330: Sleek and lightweight design, bright yet efficient capabilities, funding a worthy cause.

Headtorches are a pretty hard bit of kit to improve, with a well-refined range of products being produced by many of the mainstays in the market.

So we naturally become intrigued when a newcomer pushes into the market, and with that, when they bring some fresh ideas and concepts to their designs – this is exactly the case with rookie BioLite.

BioLite came into being just 10 years ago when the founders met at a combustion conference in New York. One of them, Jonathan Ceda, had brought along a working prototype of a biomass stove (the original CampStove) and when he crossed paths with Alec Drummond, a camping enthusiast with an engineering background, a unique idea was born between them.

“The whole torch hugs your head comfortably and it was great to not feel any amount of bulk at the top of my forehead”

The stove they eventually produced and began selling together was capable of bringing safe and affordable energy to those who needed it most, with a biomass thermoelectric method they had developed requiring 50% less fuel than fossil fuel stoves and reducing toxic emissions by 90%. Additionally, their product achieved this whilst also being able to produce electricity through the heat generated by the stove – enough to charge personal devices.

Fast forward on, and after making waves in the outdoor industry with their stoves, BioLite have had a crack at headtorches. With the bio energy experience behind them, BioLite were able to design this headtorch, the Headlamp 330, which runs off USB power and looks to move consumers away from an over-reliance on disposable batteries. Yes, this is by no means a new idea, but the unique thing with this is that BioLite have achieved all this in an impressively small and lightweight package.

Better still, the HeadLamp 330 also packs a punch when it comes to brightness, offering the wearer, you guessed it – 330 lumens. That’s 330 lumens at a weight of 69g, with an average burn time of 40 hours on the low setting and 3 hours 30 minutes on high – and all at the price of £50.

The BioLite HeadLamp doesn't need batteries. Photo: Chris Johnson
The BioLite HeadLamp 330 has an average burn time of over four hours. Photo: Chris Johnson
The Micro USB charging slot can be found at the back of the head torch. Photo: Chris Johnson

Comparing the HeadLamp 330 to its competitors is interesting. Many of whom are not able to cook up the tricky balance of high-lumen, long burn time and low weight that the team at BioLite have managed to strike. Take the Petzl Bindi for instance, while that might be at least 20g lighter, it only has a burn time of 2 hours. Then there’s the Black Diamond Iota which weighs the same as BioLite’s 330, but only offers 150 lumens.

Bringing all of this efficient, lightweight power together in a sleek design has been achieved well by BioLite. A small button on the top of the head torch is the sole function to switch light settings and although some may find it tricky to locate or compress with gloves on, it keeps up with the minimal design of the head torch.

The settings, which can be navigated through the use of this button, include a white spot, flood and strobe, along with a red spot setting for use in close proximity with others or for maintaining your night vision when reading a map.

At the bottom of the battery unit which sits on the back of the headtorch (and so, the back of your head) is a micro USB charging slot which is plugged by a water repellent seal and a battery indication light which lights up once the head torch is switched on.

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer
“When I first picked up this headtorch, I went to put it on the wrong way round – with the battery at the front and the torch at the back of my head. This is because the battery unit, located at the back of the torch is actually much larger than the extremely sleek and streamlined torch at the front.

Once I got over this confusion and got the headtorch on my head the correct way round, I noticed that it’s a really comfortable package – lightweight too. The whole torch hugs your head comfortably and it was great to not feel any amount of bulk at the top of my forehead, as you’d usually expect from more traditional headtorches.

I did find the tilt and power/function buttons quite hard to use, particularly with any form of glove on, so this is something to be aware of.”

The settings include white spot, flood, strobe and red spot. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Jonathan Ceda – CEO of BioLite

“The headlamp category had been stuck in the same basic design for decades, and it was time to look at it with a fresh perspective. When you look at where other wearables have evolved, like headphones and footwear, you can see real strides in design and how these products integrate onto a users’ body. If you forget you’re wearing our HeadLamp, we’ve done our job.”

BioLite HeadLamp 330

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