Let’s talk specifically about three new models that I think are legitimate difference makers. First, the BioLite HeadLamp 200 ($44.95; bioliteenergy.com). This might be the unicorn in the headlamp world because it doesn’t actually make you feel like a unicorn with something you notice in the middle of your forehead. It’s only 1.7 ounces, yet it kicks out 200 lumens of light, which is surprisingly much, and plenty to tie a Hexagenia or mouse fly on in the middle of the night. The lightest and brightest combo I’ve ever seen, and super easy to recharge via USB through a convenient port. Oh and it’s got a red light feature which is super handy for stealthy fishing.
“Claymore” reminds me of a Scottish broadsword, or the military mine that blasts a set perimeter—the latter being the more appropriate correlation to the Claymore Heady Plus headlamp ($79.95; bigtentoutdoors.com) because this baby can blow everything up with light when you want it to. It has four modes, ranging from focused light at 400 lumens, to turbo at 600 lumens, and a flood light in three different tones (warm, cool, and natural white) also at 400 lumens. It’s really easy to operate and switch modes and is also USB rechargeable and weatherproof. You feel this one a bit more, but if you want to stop a cat in its tracks or light up the path in the middle of the night, this one really kicks.
Lastly, some of us are still into the clip-ons for the brim of a ball cap. Claymore also makes best lightweight-lightpower combination in the form of the CAPON65A rechargeable cap light. It provides 200 lumens (basically 200 candles) and is not at all bulky. I like the power and mode buttons which are easy to find and fiddle with. It even has a mini floodlight mode and is quick to dim on touch. Claymore has a very intriguing technology background coming from the world’s LED capital (South Korea) and drawing from global tech superpowers LG, Samsung, and Seoul Semiconductor.