Want a brighter headlamp? The amazing Scangrip I-View headlamp

Guess which be-headlamp-ed runner is wearing the Scangrip I-View? Photo by Hai Nguyen of Sunstone Running Club.

Running in the dark happens pretty frequently for runners in the Northwest. Especially if you run multiple times per week, don't have a treadmill, and work a "9 to 5" job. Add in "are a parent" to that list and there's a good chance most of your runs are in the dark. The I-View headlamp from Danish company Scangrip is AWESOME. I run early in the morning 2-3 mornings per week, and walk with a friend once or twice a week after our kids are all in bed. But, ever since our move in January, we've been a one-headlamp family. So when I was offered the chance to review a new headlamp, I was pretty excited. Because sharing a headlamp, even with someone you love, isn't always ideal.

My “other headlamp” is a Petzl Tikka 2, which is a great headlamp. The biggest difference between the very popular Petzl Tikka style headlamp and the I-View is the size. The I-View light unit is wider. It’s not as wide as your face, contrary to the way the picture below may suggest, but it is about three inches wide. It also doesn’t have a pivot, which the Petzl needs so you can target the light towards the ground or straight ahead, depending on what you prefer. Otherwise, it’s pretty similar to wear: it’s on a wide, comfortable, adjustable elastic band, weighs only 4.25 oz., and fits against the forehead smoothly.

This is a photo from the Scangrip website showing what all comes with the headlamp: the USB cable, a USB/wall plug in, and the info booklet.

I was a little concerned that without a pivot feature, this would be more like a train headlight; showing what there was to see 10 meters out in front but not showing the area immediately in front of me. I didn’t need to worry, because the I-View is incredibly bright and the rounded lens on the lamp direct light in a wide vertical area.

The true beauty of this lamp, and why I love it, is that it lights up a very WIDE area. I can run with two friends, and my light is wide enough for all of us to see very well. It’s also very BRIGHT. If you look at the photo above, I’m the runner with the biggest light circle. For comparison, I’m holding a Petzl Tikka 2 in my left hand. The first time I wore this headlamp to this group run, I joked that we could mine for coal after our miles were done. And I was only half-kidding.

I don’t have proof that this is true, but my (much faster) husband told me that the faster you run, the brighter headlamp you need. I guess that could be true, because you need to be able to see further ahead of you because you’re moving faster. (Disclosure: I never took physics.) Anyway, Mr. sub-18 5k now prefers this headlamp, too.

This waterproof headlamp doesn’t run on batteries. It’s rechargeable, and after it went out on me during a run (because I kept forgetting to plug it in!), I started plugging it in every 2-3 runs just to be safe. The lamp went from full power to “out of juice” like that, without warning, whereas a battery-powered lamp will generally fade; some lamps even have a warning light to alert you of a low battery. However, it’s easy to recharge: you can plug it into any USB port connected to a power source to recharge. It comes with a USB-port two-prong wall plug as well.

While I only have TWO hands, I can verify that this illustration is pretty accurate if you are doing detail work – like changing a tire. But for running, the effective light area is wide enough for three runners.

The lamp has two levels, bright and what I think of as “Stadium Light,” as well as a feature that lets you turn the light on and off just by waving your hand closely in front of it. That’s a neat feature; great for when you pause in your run to chat with others (because otherwise you’re be too bright to look at).

The wider base of the light does mean there is more of the lamp covering the elastic, so I think I noticed a little more sweat, but it wasn’t an issue. It also took me a few runs to get used to the wave on/off feature. Since my husband borrows this headlamp now too (what’s mine is his, I guess), I often have to adjust the elastic after I start running and I’ve turned the lamp off doing so a few times; not an issue.

The headlamp also works well as a hand-held, just wrap the head strap around your hand a few times and hold it. When I am running and don’t need my headlamp to see, I often carry it in my hand to wave at cars to ensure I’m seen. There is no way a driver – even one on the phone! – could miss this light. The strap does not come off, however; to clean it, just use some mild soap and warm water to scrub it with a coarse rag or toothbrush. (The light is water resistant.)

It is a bit pricier than most running headlamps, but the light area and power of this lamp are worth it. It’s a sturdy lamp that would work great for cycling, camping, hiking, or finding things lost to the garage monster. It’s available from Scangrip USA’s online store for $69; you can also find it on Amazon but it’s sold by Scangrip USA there as well for the same price.

Run Oregon was provided the Scangrip I-View for testing and review.

About Kelly Barten (1151 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.

1 Comment on Want a brighter headlamp? The amazing Scangrip I-View headlamp

  1. Great review; however, I must disagree on one small point. It DOES have a battery, just not one you can change out.

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