I felt that deserved a few exclamation points and some bolding… anyway, as runners, we often find the necessity to run in the heart of darkness to be absolutely and utterly paramount. Whether it’s because of cooler morning temperatures, time availability, weekend long runs that have to start at 3:30 AM… the list goes on. Bright-colored clothes are always important. Reflectors and blinking LED lights, even better.
But a headlamp? Brother, that is worth its weight in recovery chocolate milk and THEN some…
In pitch darkness, you need to be able to see the road. If there’s debris, you don’t want to trip over it. If you’re running on the sidewalk or uneven pavement, the smallest change in conditions can send you sprawling onto your Royal American. Furthermore, a headlamp will make you visible to oncoming road traffic, as well as other runners, bicyclists, or pedestrians, alerting them not only of your presence but direction and movement.
Ergo: if you’re running at night (or early morning), your headlamp is absolutely essential.
I was sent the Aennon Multi-Function LED Headlamp to review here at Hokeyblog. As always, my opinions are my own and utterly unswayed by anything other than my own empirical observations. So let’s take a look at this product:
The Aennon Headlamp is constructed out of lightweight but sturdy plastic, with an adjustable strap that fits both around and over the head. The lamp itself has a tilt range of just about 90 degrees. Powered by three AAA batteries, it operates in three modes of increasing brightness as well as a “red light” mode.
So let’s take a look at my experience with the headlamp. Here are a few photos of the unboxing:
The plastic construction of the headlamp felt light and sturdy in my hand. It took some minor fiddling to get the three AAA batteries in place and back into the unit, but it was mostly an easy effort overall.
Now here came the real effort: a test of the unit during my nighttime run! Here’s the picture of your Running Nerd in question, wearing the headlamp:
I’ve worn other headlamps in the past, and there is simply no possible way to NOT look dorky while wearing one. You have to know that going in, and you also have to unconditionally not care one iota about it. This is about safety first and foremost.
Anyway, the lamp felt comfortable and secure on my rather over-sized melon. I have something of a large head, so headgear of any kind — even baseball caps, for that matter — often feels too snug or oddly-fitting on my noggin. Thankfully, the adjustable straps made sure that the unit was not only well-fitted, but comfortable. No problems there.
Now there are three settings on the lamp (four if you use the “red light” mode, which I don’t and can’t see myself using for running purposes), each of them using 2, 4, or 8 of its LED lights. I ran at the brightest setting (“Ultra Bright” mode), which claims to shine up to 164 feet in distance and casts the widest dispersion of the light source. I can’t see myself using anything but the Ultra Bright mode when running at night. The manual promises up to 16 hours of battery life in “Power Save” mode, which uses only two LEDs to Ultra Bright’s eight. Logic dictates that this would leave you with up to 4 hours of power if you use the highest setting on a regular basis. In other words, keep plenty of spares around.
Otherwise, I found it to be a very useful and satisfying headlamp. It never felt hot or uncomfortable, which can happen with other headlamps that simply have a larger, “headband” styled strap that goes around the forehead with the light unit attached to the center. Furthermore, there was no slippage, bobbing, or fussing with the unit. It stayed put exactly where I wanted it to be. The 90-degree tilt was fairly versatile and managed to stay in place throughout the entire of a 5-mile run.
Overall I was pretty pleased with Aennon Headlamp. Compared with others in its class, it is also somewhat price competitive. The only issue at hand would be battery power — a super-early morning run might require 2-4 hours of darkness (or more!), so if that’s the case make sure you stock it with fresh batteries. As it stands, this headlamp is a very light, comfortable, and unobtrusive unit that does exactly what you need it to do.