The mornings are dark here in Portland in the winter and the night seems to come even faster so having a reliable headlamp can make all the difference. We have tried a lot of them over the past few years, but the latest edition to make the cut is the Sprinter from Black Diamond.
Fit of the Sprinter
The Sprinter isn’t the brightest headlamp out there, but it is built for runners. The unit is well balanced, dispersing the weight between the front and rear of the unit, putting the majority of it (the battery) in the rear. This prevents the drooping nature that many lamps that are front heavy suffer from. The three strap mounting system keeps the lamp firmly in place and allows for a wide variety of head sizes. I can safely say I never touch the strap at all during a run and it literally never moves. It weighs in at just under 4 ounces, so totally reasonable.
The Sprinter puts off 200 lumens of light which provides approximately 50 meters of visible distance on high and 2 meters at low mode. In find on most normal days this works pretty well. It is definitely better when focused on the ground as when its straight ahead it is definitely not as effective. When it is focused in place, which is easy enough from the hinged front lamp, the thing works really well and is more than enough for your everyday runs. Note, there is also a rear red flasher so from a safety perspective it does double duty for you. It also does include a strobe mode as well on the front.
Battery Life and Charging
The Sprinter runs off a rechargeable lithium ion battery that lasts about 4 hours on high mode and 42 hours on low. On average we found this typically lasted significantly longer than the 4 hours during mixed use. They say a full charge takes about 5 hours which we found was pretty much dead on depending on far you let the battery run down.
The Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp comes in at $79.95 and at the price point you get a lot of bang for the buck. There are better performing lights out there, but the I find the fit on the Sprinter to be solid. It’s clearly made for runners and the unit is just so unobtrusive that you can literally run for hours and not notice you have it on. If you need a brighter lamp, then again there are much better options, but the Sprinter is a great mix. Check out their site for more info.