by: Beau Johnston
- Output: 100 lumin
- Run Time: 2.5 hr -High; 5 hr - Med; 20 hr - Low; 100 hr - Read; 60hr - Flash
- Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Ion
- Charge Time: 5 hr (USB)
- Weight: 149 gr. (with strap)
- Price: $84.99 (color: Frost); $99.99 (color: Pewter)
Spending days at a time on the road, traveling from one destination to the next, often means pulling into camp after the sun has gone down. True to form, I pulled into the campground after dark and still had to setup the tent and download the day's photos onto the computer. The Solite had been charging in the truck during the day's travels to replenish the batteries from the previous nights' usage and was now ready to go for another couple of nights. The best part is I no longer have to worry about keeping spare batteries for yet another device.
The multiple power settings are a great feature, with the low power producing more than enough light for most camp chores. A quick click of the power button can bump up the light output to high, enabling the user to illuminate larger areas and greater distances. I found myself only rarely having to charge the headlamp's battery using the supplied USB cable, plugging it into the 4Runner's power outlet. The battery quickly charges, only taking 5hrs to charge from a dead battery. While this may seam like a long time, I was able to get several night of use out of the headlamp on the medium output power before I needed to charge the unit over a morning's drive.
The headlamp is full of innovative design features, including the red side illumination which is designed to increase the visibility of the user when hiking and biking. The battery pack includes a LED battery level indicator which allows the wearer to quickly determine the remaining battery life. The adjustable head band can easily fit over a hat, beanie, or climbing helmet and the non-slip rubber texture ensures the headlamp wont slip off.
The only issue I ran into while using the headlamp was the socket-head cap screw used as the pivot point for the lamp. I never realized how much I adjust the angle of the lamp, up and down, in camp. Adjusting the angle can cause the screw to become loose and the lamp won't stay in position. This could easily be fixed with the use of a lock washer in place of the flat washer, although all that is needed to tighten the screw is a hex wrench.
The Solite 100 has been a great addition to my travel kit, rarely leaving the truck when I am not traveling. I have come to rely on the headlamp when night falls on camp. I would recommend the Solite 100 for anybody looking for a new headlamp. I attended a photography workshop this past fall, and I had several people comment on the headlamp's light output and ability to be recharged. It really is a great all-around headlamp and well worth the investment.