Gear of the Week: UCO Beta Headlamp

This affordable light outshines its price tag.
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UCO Beta

Our take This headlamp’s price puts it in bargain territory, but it looks and performs like a premium product. The Beta’s sleek wooden housing earned praise for its retro styling, and testers report that the low-profile design and sub-2-ounce weight is comfortable even when worn for hours. “I accidentally fell asleep with it on—twice—on a trip in Mississippi’s De Soto National Forest, but didn’t even notice until I woke up in the morning,” one says. The Beta gets 70 hours of battery life (it uses three AAAs) on its lowest setting, and four hours on the highest, which at 200 lumens allowed one tester to see 100 feet ahead of him when trail running. Tradeoff: no red light mode.

Trail cred “After three months of continuous testing and haphazard stuffing into my pack, the only blemish is a slight chip on the wood veneer,” one tester says. “Besides that, it hasn’t suffered a scratch.”

$25; 1.8 oz (with batteries); Buy the UCO Beta Headlamp Now