Gear Shed

Q:

Which headlp is bright enough for nighttime trail runs?

I need a headlp for late-night trail running. I have a Petzl Tikka, which is great if everything is within hands reach, but beyond your feet it doesn't work very well. What do you suggest? David Syracuse, New York

Princeton Tec Quad headlamp     Photo: courtesy, REI

Princeton Tec Quad headlamp

Princeton Tec Quad headlamp

A:What you need is a good center spotlight, as the outer pool from that will help with your peripheral vision. Petzl’s Tikka was a groundbreaking LED light, but these days, the technology has much surpassed it. Princeton Tec’s Quad ($32; www.princetontec.com), for instance, uses four LED bulbs to generate plenty of light for a brisk trail run, with objects nicely illuminated a good 20 to 25 feet ahead. It uses three AAA batteries and has a comfortable headband to wear over a hat or your skull.

Another worthwhile choice is the Black Diamond’s Spot ($43; www.blackdiamondequipment.com), which has one super-bright LED with a focused lens for spotlighting distant objects and three regular LEDs. So you can really see what’s coming up, with enough peripheral light so that rocks and logs are thrown into relief.

Sort of along the same lines, Petzl’s Myo XP headlamp ($70; http://en.petzl.com) has a “boost" mode that lets you throw out a very bright beam for up to 20 seconds as you hold the button down, which might come in handy if you’re on a technical stretch of trail or really need to be seen if crossing a road in traffic. It’s also an excellent, bright, all-around headlamp.

Get more advice from the Gear Guy as he picks this season’s top gifts in Away.com’s Holiday Gift Guide. You’ll probably find a few things to put on your own wish list, too.

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