As an ultramarathon or trail runner, you have to be particular about your sports gear. You don't want any inconveniences as you train, and most of all, you want to do your "thing" right. Dedicated as you are to your sport, you should be aware of the equipment you need.
Trail runners have running in the dark like the back of their hand. During events or when they're training, they often run before dawn or after sunrise. It's pretty awkward and precarious to find yourself traversing a trail in the dark, and one of the must-have gears on you is light.
Now, this equipment comes in many forms. How do you choose the most suitable for yourself? Consider that the light you carry when trail running should possess the right elements combined- the battery life, the brightness, and the style, among other features.
What type of lighting gear should you pick? This article is a handy guide whether you opt for running headlamps, waist lights, or other devices.
What Makes The Best Running Headlamp? Factors To Consider
This refers to the brightness of your headlamp. Running through technical trails need you to be confident and energetic as you move ahead. You ought to get rid of any visual strain in this aspect. This is when you need to have a beam of light with you so that you can do away with the mental and neurological fatigue of groping in the dark.
With the apt light output from your headlamp, you'll prevent mental tiredness and boost your physical endurance. Having more brain power, you can navigate your route accurately and change your gear when necessary.
The unit of measure for the brightness of a light is called lumens. The more lumens your light source have, the brighter it is. Headlamps for running have different brightness settings, and they have lumens that range from 200 to 1000.
You need just the right light output from your light source, and a premium choice for this is the NightBuddy Headlamp. The NightBuddy LED Headlamp has sufficient power to produce auspicious light quality, and it pumps out a maximum of 350 lumens.
Nightbuddy is a rechargeable headlamp via its battery, and you can refill its power fast with a USB-type C charger. Used at the brightest setting, it can function for 3 hours, while on the lowest light setting can last for 8 hours.
Run light, especially because you tend to do so on technical terrain, and as long as you have your power source full, you don't need to carry spare batteries.
#2 Beam Type and Shape
How does your bright headlamp emit its beam? The lumens of light for your gear is important, but so is its beam. If your headlamp has a wider beam, then it emits light over a broader area, although not very bright.
However, if it projects a narrower beam, it will provide brighter light and better visibility of your trail. The beam lighting modes of a headlamp vary. Bright light or lesser can be selected when you switch on to your desired beam type.
The NightBuddy Headlamp is a practical trail running gear because it functions with ultra-wide illumination that reaches 100m ahead.
#3 Weight and Durability
A lightweight headlamp may sound like a good idea. However, using it compromises some useful features. Although this device is weight-saving, it tends to have lesser lumens and battery power. Add to that possible issues with durability. If you're thinking about a heavy and brightest headlamp, you should relate it to the duration of your trail running.
Train your neck before running at night to avoid neck pain, muscle strain, and headaches. With a (heavy) headlight strapped to your head while training, these conditions can beset you.
Waist lights may be an alternative, but there are some constraints. Whereas headlamps give you better night vision by illuminating the space where you turn your head, waist lights need your effort to redirect their light. Likewise, these gadgets usually bounce, tending to disorient and give you discomfort.
Other than opting for a headlamp with the brightest light, consider durability. A lightweight product may be appealing, but it is often fragile.
#4 Functionality and Convenience Of Use
Trail running is not exclusive on warm and dry summer nights. At certain times, you might have to do it in chilly or rainstormy conditions. Efficient night vision remains to be a must under these scenarios wherein you'll have to fumble for the necessary gear.
Another feature to look at is the ease of use of your headlamp. Is it easy and quick to fit, adjust and take off?
The NightBuddy 230deg LED Headlamp is designed with a wave sensor where all you have to do is make a handy wave to turn it on and off. You don't need to scamper to look for a switch in times when you urgently need light.
Rechargeable batteries or a rechargeable battery pack ought to be neat and nifty, too. They should be easy to remove and replace. Light modes and light settings, in general, have to be quick to operate. In a single button, yes, or perhaps other sensor features.#5#
#5 Long Battery Life
Running on technical trails in the dark can catch you off-guard. The brighter the light output of your headlamp, the shorter its battery life is.
Take note of the brightness levels of your lamp, and if possible, choose a product that has the strongest maximum brightness. This way, its middle or low light settings will suffice in a dark technical terrain while consuming lesser battery power. Its light quality is functional even though at lower lumens.
You may have to carry rechargeable batteries with you in case you run for long hours. You'll need light to replace them, that's why you need to preserve its power. The same applies if you're using disposable batteries. Choose carefully a bright headlamp that doesn't quickly drain the batteries.
#6 #7 Comfortable Fit
You wouldn't want to put up with a bouncy or ill-fitting headlamp while trail running for 1 or 2 hours. A nasty-fitting head strap may be bearable in the beginning, but not after several hours of doing your sport.
The NightBuddy LED Headlamp comes with a zero-bounce design. It fits snugly on your head and features a side LED light for long-distance illumination. Water-resistant and insect-repellant, it stays in place as you move without putting undue pressure around your head.
There are expensive headlamps, but the NightBuddy is a high-quality headlamp that doesn't produce a shaky beam when you run. Otherwise, hours of light which is jostling, can lead to poor visibility and vertigo.
Ultra runners and other sports enthusiasts who train for the entire night on fishing or camping trips need a lamp that fits and remains in position while emitting the brightest light.
#7 Cost- Efficiency and Premium Brand
There are plenty of expensive headlamps. When you purchase one, see if it is worth the price and that it is indeed a high-quality headlamp. It makes sense to invest in quality.
Look for features such as higher lumens, longer battery run time and power level, snug-fitting elastic strap, and rear light if you need it. Do the same when you're looking for the right waist light.
Read heaps of product reviews in this aspect. How many hours of battery life can it generate, and how are the power button or separate buttons for brightness settings designed? Remember that you have to consider functionality for these. Can it produce a bright beam for the entire night? Are the light beams adjustable and practical?
If your field of vision with the lighting is insufficient, you might suffer physical discomfort. Your eyes and mental capacity will be strained, affecting your physical performance. Check the max power and max output of the device and see to it that it caters to your ultra-running needs.
Night owls all over the world find the NightBuddy LED Headlamp dependable. Instead of a spot beam, it gives off ultrawide illumination that reaches as far as 100m. Ultra runners prefer its comfortable field of vision while being lightweight, durable, and adjustable.
These are the features that you should look for in your trail running headlamp. You can pay for something pricey. However, those that are expensive don't have to be the best. There are mid-range high-quality headlamp products that are at par with the premier ones.
The max output of your device ought to have high lumens so that you can settle for the mid or low-light settings and prolong its hours of battery life.
A high-end headlamp may satisfy you with its premium features, but if you take time to dig around, you can find a practical and reasonably-priced lighting device for trail running.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many lumens are needed for trail running at night?
On average, you need a 300-lumens headlamp to sustain your trail running needs. Ultra running can be demanding, especially when it's pitch black, so go for a device that has different and functional types of lighting and types of beams. Take into account its max output, along with other necessary functions.
Why should I wear a headlamp while running in the dark?
A headlamp and a backup light are necessary when running in low-light conditions because they give you ample night vision by illuminating your path. It makes you visible as well, especially to motorists. The common type of these devices has basic features, but you can opt for something that has a high-tech design and elements.
Are 400 lumens bright enough for running on dark trails?
Headlamps with different functions and lighting options come in a range of 200 to 1000 lumens. Four hundred lumens is ideal for 1 to 2 hours of running in the dark, especially when you're using regular batteries. If you're expecting to stay out for up to 8 hours, you need to take with you an extra battery pack.