Light the Way with the BioLite HeadLamp 330!
The BioLite HeadLamp 330 is a powerful and lightweight wearable flashlight; combined with the BioLite light diffusing stuff sack, you’ll be fully prepared for your first or 1,000th night outdoors.
The BioLite HeadLamp 330 is available in various colors including midnight grey, ocean teal, ember red, and sunrise yellow. It’s incredibly lightweight at only 69g. The light diffusing stuff sack weighs 2g, which means the entire system weighs less than a fifth of a pound!
I tested this headlamp outdoors during the new moon around 2200 hrs. Thankfully my neighborhood does not have many street lamps, so I was able to test it in very dark conditions. Lastly, I photographed the headlamp and light diffusing stuff sack at sunset.
At first, I was not very fond of the fact that the battery pack is located in the back, but this headlamp is actually quite comfortable. It didn’t cause any issues with my curly hair and the moisture wicking band fit snugly on my forehead. Charging the headlamp is also super simple; it has a micro-USB connector which means I can either charge it at home or in my car while I am on my way to the mountains.
Hiking in the forest at night can be super intimidating and, yes, I am definitely afraid of the dark. Fortunately for me, the BioLite HeadLamp 330 is super bright! The flood light setting is wide angle, so while I was walking it illuminated the sidewalk below me as well as the trees above me. According to the website the flood light setting is 16m long.
Then there’s the spotlight feature! With this, the wearer can illuminate up to 75 m down a path. Personally, I wish I had this feature recently while hiking at night in Kiskeya (Dominican Republic) and worrying about snakes. I kept imagining that a snake would appear in front of me and that I wouldn’t have enough distance to run away. Can’t wait to test this headlamp in the backcountry.
The BioLite HeadLamp 330 is super versatile. Along with the regular spotlight and floodlight, this headlamp also has a red floodlight—to preserve your night vision—and a white strobe light feature—to mark your tent’s position for a lost friend. Also if you press and hold on the main button on the top of the lamp, the light dims. So, you can choose the feature and the light intensity.
Not convinced that you actually need extra light settings? The light dimmer allows you to do a quick map check at night while still preserving your night vision (typically, red lights make it more difficult to distinguish certain colors on a topographical map at night).
The strobe light is a great safety feature because it’s useful for 1) marking your position 2) alerting others that you need help 3) disorienting animals that may threaten your safety at night. The red light feature is also wonderful because you can hang out with friends at night without blazing a bright white light in their eyes. So you can still enjoy a nighttime hike AND see the stars.
The BioLite HeadLamp 330 has a IPX4 rating, which means it is water resistant to splashes coming from any direction. So if you are stuck under tree canopy while it is pouring rain and you need a headlamp to see, you can use this one without worrying about it getting damaged. The headband is also quick drying and super sweat resistant, which is perfect for me because I sweat a lot when I hike and don’t want it sticking to my forehead.
Light Diffusing Stuff Sack
The light diffusing stuff sack for the Biolite Headlamp 330 is super helpful for the moments when I needed a lantern instead of a headlamp. There's no need to resort to using your cell phone flashlight and a water bottle anymore! The diffusing sack has an internal attachment system that suspends the headlamp inside the stuff sack and helps increase the brightness. It sounds sort of weird if you haven’t tried it before; in simpler terms, it’s a super thin stuff sack that you can place your headlamp inside to help reflect some of it’s light. The end result is a lantern that is super useful for tent camping or sleeping under the stars! Personally I found this to be super helpful because I can now preserve my phone battery and save weight on camping trips by not bringing an extra lantern. When it’s not needed, you can use the same stuff sack to store the headlamp in your pack.
The BioLite HeadLamp 330 is definitely worth the price. I love all the settings on the headlamp and its ease of use. The battery life is pretty strong on this headlamp: it can last 40 hours on the wide angle setting and 3.5 hours on the spotlight. I’ve seen some battery powered headlamps that can last longer, but at least with the rechargeable batteries you don’t have to deal with replacing batteries or corrosion.
I recommend charging the headlamp fully before going on a camping or backpacking trip. The LED charge indicator in the back is a super helpful way to check how much charge is remaining so that you can conserve light accordingly. It took me two and a half hours to charge the headlamp at home and three and a half hours when I connected it to my car charger. If you plan to spend extended periods of time without access to any electricity, you should bring a portable charger along with a micro-USB charging cable with you.
All in all, I think the the BioLite HeadLamp 330 is definitely worth the price. It is user friendly and has very useful settings. Personally, I love that it is rechargeable because I always bring my portable charger on the trail anyways and tend to forget to bring extra batteries. This headlamp is simple and lightweight but also super powerful. I definitely recommend it and am excited to use it on my next backpacking trip. Light the Way!