Running in the dark is something that most of us do as a necessity so we can get our mileage – be that at a race that starts before daylight or during summer nights when the sun goes down. As winter and darker weather is approaching, it’s almost a given that you need a headlamp to do any sort of running. If you’re one of those brave souls who finds themselves pounding the pavement, or the trail, in the black of night, you know how important a good headlamp is. Recently we checked out the new BioLite Headlamp 425.
Headlamps seem to be something that continues to get better year after year – with new tech and a commitment to safety. Though we haven’t run in a ton of BioLite items before, the Headlamp 425 is reported as having:
- Increased beam distance, better run time, improved temp use rating
- Larger, glove-friendly power button and slimmer back battery
- New Light Modes: Rear red strobe, rear red flood
- Run Forever charging – extend runtimes indefinitely thanks to this pass-thru charging feature that allows you to run and charge your headlamp simultaneously.
Having owned and tried several headlamps, a main concern is always one of battery life. The BioLite 425’s battery lasts for about 3.5-4 hours on high, or 60 (!) hours on low. Besides the claim to long battery life, Biolite also talks up the fit, which is pretty dang solid. While that might sound a little punny, I will say that it fits great with only 10mm of profile on the front, while also being foolishly light (less than 3 ounces).
Because of its slim size, it sits more flat against the forehead (secured with Moisture-wicking fabric) that means less bounce. A bouncy, uncomfortable headlamp is the #1 reason why these go unused in my house – and this is the best I have personally every tried.
But the real test is after the light go out!
There are multiple lighting modes in the 425:
- White Spot
- White Strobe
- White Flood
- Spot + Flood
- Red Rear Light
- Red Rear Strobe
- Red Flood
- 1 Hour Reserve
My first outing was about an hour, which gave me a chance to test brightness, fit, and options, such as the tilt adjustment and the different spotlight choices. Interestingly, the low setting was plenty bright for my neighborhood run, where street lights were present. Even when I got into darker places, the lowest setting was quite good. Another initial thought was also how easy it was to adjust the light settings even while wearing gloves. Definite plus!
My second outing was longer and in areas where no other major lights were present. Again, the low setting was decent, but the spot + flood option was crazy good. I could see everything, well in advance, while also not feeling like I was getting tunnel vision. I didn’t leave it on high for long, given I wanted to make sure I had enough light to get through my run, but it was nice to know it was so powerful in the event I needed it. At the end of that second outing, I had yet to charge the light after its first charge when it was new, meaning multiple runs are available to you before the need to plug it in.
If you are in need of ongoing lighting, the 425 comes with BioLite’s “Run Forever” feature – in which technically allows you to use the headlamp while
simultaneously powering it with an external power bank.
The BioLite Headlamp 425 is honestly an amazing option for those who prefer a thin profile up front and the ability to extend runtimes. They also have a 325 (for those needing something more standard) or the 800 (for those who need as much light for as long as possible). The choice is yours – but BioLite makes it hard to go elsewhere.
Products & Price:
- Headlamp 425 | $59.95
- Colorways = Midnight Gray, Ocean Teal (reviewed), Ember Yellow
- Temperature Use Rating = (-20C to 60C)
- Beam Distance = Flood: 15m; Spot: 85m