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BioLite Headlamp 750 Review

Small But Powerful Pro-Level Headlamp

The BioLite 750 Headlamp is a small but mighty headlamp that sports some pro features.

It’s aimed at runners who are likely to be powering through the darkness for hours on end and need a reliable, strong light to see them safely through.

In comparison to its competitors, this little lamp has some really nice functions that put it a step above the others.

It’s also incredibly affordable for a headlamp that packs such a punch in the features department.

PROS:

  • 500 lumen light (750 lumen for burst mode)
  • IPX4 (protects from splashing water from any direction)
  • Beam distance of 400 feet
  • Eight lighting modes
  • Four adjustable angles
  • USB rechargeable

CONS:

  • The bulb gets very hot in 750 lumen mode
  • Tricky at first to figure out Burst mode

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The BioLite 750 headlamp is quite a bit different than other headlamps I’ve used in the past.

I tend to use non-rechargeable, standard battery-powered headlamps. These typically fit 2-3 AAA batteries in a single compartment with the rest of the headlamp.

The BioLite 750 with its rechargeable battery is new for me. It also has some features not found on more basic running headlamps.

Let’s dig in…

Design

The BioLite 750 is comprised of two parts. The front is a lightweight strap that contours around your head. In the rear, there is the rechargeable battery housed in a second compartment.

The battery pack is quite big and hefty while the front light housing is almost invisibly lightweight. The result – when you put the headlamp on the first time – is a comfortable fit that spreads the weight evenly around your head.

The other noticeable feature of this headlamp is the front part of the strap. Unlike other headlamps that use an elastic strap around your head, the BioLite uses a molded semi-circle strap that covers the front of your head from temple to temple. Then, it has a standard strap in the rear. The actual light is securely built-in to that front strap.

The goal with this entire design is to reduce the bouncing you normally feel when running with a standard headlamp. With the weight evenly spread around, there should be less movement with the headlamp and more comfortable to wear.

Power

The BioLite 750 has a maximum 750 lumens, but it can only be used under special circumstances.

For consistent run time, it makes use of 500 lumens, which is still quite significant. If you want to gain an hour or so on your run time, you can switch it down to 250 lumens.

If you don’t need extreme illumination, you can run it on a low 5 lumens.

The headlamp only kicks into full 750 lumens during “burst mode”, and then it’s only activated for 30 seconds.

Lighting Modes

The BioLite 750 features eight different lighting modes. They are:

  • Red floodlight
  • White floodlight
  • White spotlight
  • Spot & flood combo
  • White strobe
  • Burst mode
  • Red strobe (rear) 
  • Red floodlight (rear)

It’s easy to switch between modes by pressing the power button at ½ second intervals. A feature that’s very useful is the memory function, which saves the last mode you used and starts up again on that mode when you turn it back on.

Having such a variety of lighting modes is helpful as you’re covered in a whole lot of different situations.

The rear red light allows cars and other people to see you. It’s basically a warning light to those behind you, so they know you’re ahead of them. 

The front red light can be a helpful light for doing tasks in darkness when you don’t need full illumination.

Flood lights are great for lighting up a wide area in front of you, especially if you’re running on some rough terrain.

The spot – or spot plus flood for more light – are what you’ll likely use most often when running in the dark.

The burst function is especially useful if you need a short time of full illumination. It pumps the light up to 750 lumens for 30 seconds to fully illuminate everything in your path.

Strobes are the perfect way to let someone know you are there without excessive battery drain.

Battery

The rechargeable battery can run for an impressive 150 hours on its lowest setting of 5 lumens.

At 250 lumens, which is still fairly bright, you can get 8.5 hours of run time.

At full brightness of 500 lumens, the headlamp can run for 7 hours non-stop.

Low battery is indicated by an LED battery checker that uses 4 LED lights to show where the battery life is.

The 3000mAh battery is charged by connecting it to a power source using a micro USB.

If you have a portable charger or a powerbank, you can get an almost infinite runtime out of this headlamp but hooking it up to the lamp while running. Biolite calls this Forever mode.

There is also a mode called Constant. Like most headlamps, as the battery loses charge, the headlamp slowly dims. Constant mode allows the light to stay at the same brightness level – until the battery loses charge and it just shuts off completely.

Headband Fit

The BioLite 750 Headlamp is mounted on a moisture-wicking headband. It’s fairly soft and easily adjustable.

It features a 3D SlimFit construction, which allows for a slimmer and lighter band, for a better fit.

One of the great things that contributes to the comfortable fit is how light the headlamp itself is. At just 150 grams, it doesn’t put any strain on the headband, which means there’s no pressure anywhere on the head.

It also means no bouncing around when you’re running, whether you’re on the road or up and down the trails.

The headband is not too thick that it’s uncomfortable on the forehead, but not too thin that it feels like it cuts into your head.

Other Features

Other things that score points in this headlamp include:

  • Large buttons: It can be easily operated with or without gloves on.
  • Lockout button: Prevents you from accidentally switching it on when not wearing it.
  • IPX-4 rating: Run in most weather with this light rain-resistant headlamp.
  • Built-in memory: Remembers and goes back to your last-used mode.
  • Tilt function: Adjustable to 4 different angles.
  • Charge time: Charges fully in 2.5 hours.
  • Guarantee: 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Hands-On

I was able to test out the Biolite 750 and see how its features worked while in use.

Battery

Charging up the headlamp was straightforward. It came with a short USB cable that can be plugged into a computer or USB charger like what you have with a phone or similar item.

The headlamp itself didn’t have a wall-socket charger – just the cord – but this is fairly standard with most rechargeable gadgets these days.

Using the Headlamp

Holding down the button on the front headlamp unit for 8 seconds locks/unlocks the headlamp to prevent accidentally turning it on when it’s being stored or jostled around in your pack. I found this pretty straightforward and a nice feature to have.

Running with the headlamp, I found it bright and effective. There are quite a few options for running including a spotlight, floodlight, or both used together – plus diming which can extend the battery if you don’t need it at full power.

I found switching between the different light options to be easy to do. Diming the light was done by pressing and holding down the front button.

Burst and Constant Mode

Two buttons on the battery compartment in the back operate the rear red light and the Burst and Constant mode.

While the rear red light was easy to operate, the Constant button and Burst button were a bit trickier. This button was larger and had a raised imprint to distinguish between the two.

But activating it was confusing. The instruction manual said you need to hold this button down for 30 seconds to trigger Burst mode.

What actually happens is that you press the button once and Burst mode is triggered for 30 seconds. This is actually much better since trying to hold the button down for 30 seconds to use is impractical and difficult if you are running on trails at night.

Once I did figure this out, the added Lumens were a nice feature when needed.

No Bounce

I found this to be true. The headlight was very comfortable to wear and did bounce much less than most headlamps. This meant I didn’t need to cinch the band super tight for fear that the headlamp would come flying off my head.

What We Liked

I particularly liked the comfort of this headlamp. It’s small, lightweight, and doesn’t move on your head while you’re running.

It’s actually easy to forget you’re wearing it, which is a pro as it’s really not distracting at all when you’re in the middle of a race or doing a night run.

I also liked that you can take it out in any weather, as it’s both weather-resistant and easy to operate with gloves on in the cold.

The ability to charge it while running using a power source is another useful function. That means you can run comfortably through the night – perfect for long ultras.

What We Didn’t Like

The fact that the power button is also the “switch modes” button was a bit confusing. The absence of a separate mode button may throw some people off.

Burst mode is great – but only once you figure it out.

It can also be easy to forget to lock it and stick it in a bag and accidentally switch it on. In full lumens mode the bulb can get very hot, which can cause damage if you don’t realize it’s on.

To unlock the light, you need to hold the button for 8 seconds, which could become tedious and annoying.

Final Thoughts

This little headlamp is a hidden gem in the world of running lights. For a good price you’ll be getting a full-featured lamp that’s so lightweight you may even forget you’re wearing it when you’re running.

It’s comfortable, versatile, durable, and able to illuminate your run to your own liking. You aren’t likely to find another headlamp at its price with the same great features.

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The Wired Runner