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A Light in the Darkness: Bilby 400 Headlamp by Knog

Bilby 400 Headlamp by Knog

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never been a big fan of headlamps. In fact, if I have had to run in the dark, I would usually grab a flashlight rather than subject myself to wearing a headlamp. My issues have been: too bulky, too heavy, won’t stay put, uncomfortable, having to replace batteries regularly, etc. If you have had similar thoughts about your headlamp, let me introduce you to the Bilby 400 Silicone Headlamp by Knog. This is a whole new headlamp experience!

Here are the things I like about the Knog Bilby 400 Headlamp.

Compact: The Bilby headlamp is pretty compact. It isn’t just a flashlight on your head. As my husband said when he saw it, “This looks like a headlamp that was intentionally designed for runners.” Nothing sticks out or gets in the way. It truly does have a design that is intentional. It is sleek and unobtrusive. Just like we runners like things.

Light: At 90 grams it is fairly light. Obviously, it isn’t the lightest headlamp available. However, the weight is well-distributed so that I didn’t feel all the weight is in one place weighing down. This made it feel lighter than other headlamps I’ve tried.

Rechargeable: I love that this headlamp doesn’t require batteries to add to the overall weight. There is an integrated USB attached to the lighting pod. All you have to do is pop it out of the silicone body and plug it directly into a USB port. It will recharge (from empty) in just 4 hours and there are no cords or chargers to have to keep track of!

Integrated USB port on lighting pod.

Well-fitting: The body and strap of the Bilby Headlamp is made of medical grade silicone. This makes it almost stick to your forehead so that it doesn’t bounce or move around. However, it is easy to move if needed. The strap/body is one piece that is adjusted with a toggle. It was easy to adjust while wearing and even while running or walking. Once adjusted, it stayed the right size and I could just forget about it. I have worn this directly on my head and over a beanie. It worked great either way.

Adjustable strap with toggle.

Multiple light options:

The 5 LEDs on the Bilby are optimally placed for their individual purposes – a high beam to see by, 2 elliptical beams for mid and wide beam angles, a red light for night light purposes and downlights for reading. Within each mode there are four brightness settings. On the brightest setting, the Bilby has a range of up to 100 meters.

I like the variety of lighting options, however, this is the one area I found to have some negatives. There are 2 buttons on top of the headlamp to control all of the features. I have yet to remember which button does what and how. With only 2 buttons, each button has different functions based on a long press or short press and whether that press occurs when the light is on or off. I feel like I have to read the directions before every use because I keep forgetting what I need to do. I’m sure with more use, I will get this figured out. But, for now, I am keeping the directions handy!

Color choices: OK, so color options may not seem like a big deal for something you wear in the dark, but I like choices. Most headlamps come in one color format, so this is a bonus! You can choose from: Fluro Orange, Putty Grey, Violet Blue, and Black. What’s not to like about that?

The Bilby Headlamp has changed my thoughts on headlamps from No way! to Why not? I am officially moving from holding a flashlight on a nighttime run or walk to grabbing my Bilby 400. I am so glad that a company realized the negative issues of old-school headlamps and made them better and more practical for those of us who are active.

Company: Knog

Product and Price: Bilby Headlamp, $99.99 AUD (Australian), on  Amazon $59.99 USD

Specs:

  • 400 lumens
  • 90 grams
  • 5 hour run time (full power), 105+ hrs on lowest setting
  • waterproof to 1 m
  • rechargeable in 4 hours with integrated USB
  • 5 LEDs
  • adjustable fit from 300-660mm
  • medical grade silicone

More about Knog:

While our products flash and ding and lighten up the world, we are a proudly Australian design business founded in 2002. Our home is in Melbourne, but we’ve taken flight all over the world.

Co-founders Hugo Davidson (designer) and Mal McKechnie (engineer) started working together long before Knog. They’ve always shared the same vision: to make unboring things.

Knog makes innovative products that inspire people to explore the great outdoors on foot or two wheels.


 

Thank you to Knog for providing us with a sample headlamp. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Annette Vaughan (485 Articles)
Annette Vaughan is a runner and personal trainer in Canby, Oregon. She began running at the age of 30 and became hooked after her first race (even though she is a self-proclaimed slow runner.) She enjoys small local races from 5Ks to half-marathons, with a 30K on the books as her longest run ever. She has also become a huge fan of obstacle course races and just can't get enough of them. Annette is a certified personal trainer, who believes in promoting movement since our bodies were designed to move. The more we move, the better we move and function in everyday life.

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