Tech Review: Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp
We were searching for a headlamp that would allow us to run more in the evenings and after doing some research our review team decided to try out the Black Diamond Sprinter. It came highly recommended especially for distance runners, but our target was a headlamp with decently high lumens and also something rechargeable. We of course also wanted something that could handle the weather. I spent a few months with the Sprinter and I’ve got some solid findings.
First off as I mentioned, the Sprinter is rechargeable. It comes with a cradle that the rear battery of the headlamp snaps into as well as a short USB cable. The lithium-ion battery lasted for me right around the advertised six hours on high, but honestly I’ve seen even better performance than that. For really long runs, I would run it at the lower setting and that would guarantee me a couple days. A full recharge for me has been taking about 3 to 4 hours which is faster than advertised and I usually just throw it on the cradle after most runs, so it’s already ready to go when I am. It also has a regulation feature built in so as the battery wears down, the light is smart enough to start dimming to prolong usage.
Next let’s talk about light output. The number of lumens a headlamp puts out is typically how it’s judged, but the field of view and dispersal of that light is also important. The sprinter puts out about 75 lumens at its highest setting which is adequate for most runners. I find it really shines on the trails as you get plenty of light and a much larger field of view. The beam shape is listed as 45 meters so you get a large field of view and the amount of light dispersal is quite high so not only can you see more in front of you, but the left and right angles are well covered. You’ll find it hard to notice any spots that don’t have light unless they fall out of your peripheral vision. It’s pretty safe to say that with this headlamp you will not miss anything on the roads or trails.
In terms of construction, the Sprinter is worn around the circumference of your head like most headlamps, but it also includes a third top strap for added stability. I never felt the need to use that strap as I felt it stayed in place quite well and never had any issues with slippage and additionally never felt it was too tight or experienced strap lines. The lamp on the front is connected to the rechargeable battery which mounted at the rear of your head and it’s connected by a small black wire. The nice part about the rear battery pack is that it also acts as a red strobe. I found this quite nice from a visibility perspective as you get both front illumination as well as rear visibility. The Sprinter is also water resistant (up to 1m) and I never experienced any rain or snow related issues with it and I ran it in the rain, a lot… its the Pacific Northwest after all. It’s also fairly light given its heavy duty features, coming in around 3.4oz.
Overall, the Sprinter has been a really solid performer and my only caveat is around price versus utility. The Sprinter comes in at $79.99 and is really designed for longevity of usage. If you are a recreational runner doing 1 to 2 hour runs, then a lighter battery driven model might suit you better. That being said, the Black Diamond Sprinter is definitely a premium runner’s headlamp and you will not be disappointed with the results.