Petzl Nao Headlamp (March 2015 Editor’s Choice)

6.8 oz | 575 lumens | $185 |


Manually adjustable brightness settings come standard on headlamps, and not every runner will shell out the extra coin for the convenience of not pressing a button. But the Nao’s reactive lighting system may be worth it to those who race or do scrambly, off-trail runs in the dark and want full use of their concentration—and hands—while running the battery as efficiently as possible.

The Nao comes with a USB-rechargeable battery pack that can be swapped out for two AAA batteries, giving you a backup on all-night runs when the power source could die.

The weight is well distributed, and it fits comfortably. The reactive lighting provided a suitable amount of light for everything from the backlit edge of town to dark, wooded gullies. With two lighting modes (reactive and constant), each subdivided into two (or more, if you choose) categories, it did take a few minutes of fiddling (and deciphering the user manual) to figure out the lighting switch, so practice with the Nao before taking it out on the trail.

Sponsored video: The rechargeable NAO headlamp adapts its two high-power LEDs instantly and automatically to the lighting needs for greater comfort, fewer manual interventions and longer battery life

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