“I hike, I bike, I climb, and I camp, so my ideal light needs to be able to keep up with me through it all,” says one Colorado tester. “The Solite, with its helmet and bike mounts (sold separately; $15 for the set) lets me use it—hands-free—no matter what I’m up to.” The housing and battery pack also snap together to convert into a candy bar-size flashlight. And, at 250 lumens, it’s the brightest light we tested, making it perfect for high-speed sports like mountain biking or oh-dark-thirty, off-trail routefinding.
The light dims to a scant 6 lumens (bright enough for reading or following a well-defined trail) to make the most of the rechargeable battery (up to 100 hours). But on the medium setting (125 lumens), you’ll run out of juice in five hours, and the highest setting only lasts 2.5 hours, making this light best for done-in-a-looong-day pursuits or overnights.
Testers grumbled about the tangle-prone wire between the separate light housing and battery pack, but praised the extra-wide and comfortable elastic head strap. Props: Packaging is all recyclable paper and the battery is USB rechargeable, so the Solite 250 screams eco-friendly. Bummer: no night vision-preserving red mode. $150; 4.5 oz.; IP65; internal lithium-ion; 250 lumens; lightandmotion.com
More Tester Feedback Nick Kozel: Overall, this is a great lamp and proved very durable. It has many different mounting options that make it super-versatile. I like it for short technical trips, where maximum light output is necessary. But for anything longer than an overnight, I’d want to bring some sort of charging device, solar or otherwise.
Bruce Kreutzer: Overall, I really enjoyed using this headlamp. The brightness is astounding, and the fast headlamp to flashlight conversion is impressive. The construction is sturdy, with a metal jacket around the light, and a solid battery pack.
Bridger Kroenke: The wide headband is very sturdy though a bit uncomfortable. The plastic connecting the battery pack to the band felt flimsy but I never had a problem with it. The housing has little windows on the side that emit red light, which helps with peripheral vision, but I missed having a red only mode.
Ben Morrissey: I would recommend this light to a friend for its brightness with the caveat that it doesn't have a red only setting, a must for me. The separate battery and light, and the cord that connects the two can be awkward, but man, this thing is bright!