When you're heading out for night-time adventures you're going to need illumination, and assuming you want to keep your hands free a head torch is an absolute must-have piece of kit. It needs to be bright with a decent battery life, it has to be fairly lightweight and it absolutely must be comfortable and secure, and we think we've found the absolute best option.
The BioLite HeadLamp 750 sits right at the top of Biolite’s head torch range, offering long battery life, big lumens and stability in a rechargeable, lightweight package. Available from October 2020, the BioLite HeadLamp 750 has an SRP of $99.95/£99.99. Read on to find out why it's probably the best head torch you can get right now.
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BioLite HeadLamp 750 review: design and Build
The BioLite HeadLamp 750 lifts many of its design cues from Biolite’s earlier lightweight headlamp, the Biolite 200, which is broadly good news. The moulded plastic cup that holds the headlamp is seamlessly blended into the fabric head strap, just like the running-focussed 200, and the two have almost identical dimensions, with a similar click-clack adjustment of main beam angle. The moisture-wicking strap is doubled through the bulky 3,000mAh Li-Ion Battery at the rear in an ingenious system that allows the slider buckles on either side to adjust fit with ease, much like the smaller 200.
The main button is front and centre, making it easily accessible even in gloves, and toggles through the eight light modes with a short tap – there’s even a red LED for night-time tactical moments. A flattened cable with extender leads back to the battery pack, partially concealed in the headband, which keeps things streamlined and minimises tangles. The rear battery pack conceals two buttons, one that triggers the rear-mounted dual mode red light (flood and strobe), and another that fires a 4-LED white battery indicator beneath.
Recharging is via a rubberised micro-USB port at the bottom of the battery pack, which connects with the provided ‘3 Foot Run Forever Cable with Pass-Thru charging capabilities’. This is essentially a flattened micro-USB cable that can be used in ‘Run forever’ mode, where a separate battery pack can be hooked up for extra juice.
It’s a neat idea, and ideal for serious endurance runners, but does involve substantial extra faff, not least in stashing the extra battery pack in a good, stable running bag or similar. It also dents the otherwise impressive USP of weight, as the BioLite HeadLamp 750 clocks in at a minimalist 150g - not too shabby for a head torch that can fire out 750 lumens in a high-burst.
BioLite HeadLamp 750 review: performance
Comfort levels are another strong point. Just like its smaller sibling, the BioLite HeadLamp 750's bonded strap distributes weight and spreads the elastic load, making it easy to clamp this to your head without immediately feeling discomfort. It also creates lots of friction, which helps minimise the force needed to keep everything stable, and prevents general sliding around - especially on top of a beanie or buff.
That broad strap and easy-to-tighten sliders really come into their own when running, keeping the head torch very stable in even the most energetic situations (ducking under branches on a woodland trail), and also allowing it to be easily tightened if needed. Thanks to the elasticated material it'll fit neatly over a helmet too, if that's a concern for your particular brand of night-time adventuring.
One criticism that’s easily levelled at this and similar multi-beam head torches is that it can be tricky to select the beam you want when scrolling through the options – if you accidentally click too many times you have to cycle back through all the options again. This is mainly an issue when fiddling around rather than in use, as it’s pretty easy to work out the loop of White Spot, White Flood, White Spot + Flood, and 30-second Burst when you’re actually in the dark.
Performance-wise, the BioLite HeadLamp 750 certainly delivers on brightness, although the astonishingly bright 750 lumen burst is more for headlines than everyday use, but with seven hours of 500 Lumens on high, there’s no danger of getting lost in the dark with this beast. Indeed, there are few head torches on the market with more lumens on tap, putting the BioLite HeadLamp 750 near the top of the tree on that metric alone.
It’s rechargeable only, so you can’t carry an emergency handful of AAAs or similar, although the pass-through feature allows a pre-charged power bank to stand in, which could be a pro or a con, depending on where you are.
BioLite HeadLamp 750 review: verdict
The BioLite HeadLamp 750 is a solid high-end head torch, comfortable to wear and easy to operate, with a good balance of power and burn time available on tap. We like the running-capable strap that keeps this relatively bulky powerpack stable and comfortable on the head, idiot-proof controls and the well-armoured charge port. The rear-facing red light is very useful in busier environments, and optional in less hectic situations. Weight is low, and recharging is fast. Overall it’s a good candidate as an all-rounder for serious night expeditioning, where that massive burst comes into its own.