The Gear Junkie Scoop: Princeton Tec Byte Headlamp

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By Stephen Regenold

It costs about $20. Its light shines bright enough to runin the woods full speed at night. The Byte from Princeton Tec is a compact andhigh-performance headlamp new for this fall.

I took the Byte on a trail run one dark evening and wasimmediately impressed. The unit is tiny — measuring a scant two inches wideand a mere 2.25 ounces on a scale. It straps unnoticeably on the head with athin elasticized band.

Its beam, quoted at 35 lumens in brightness, is strongenough to cut about 50 feet ahead through a dark scene. On a bike, the Byte'slight bubble is just passable for safe travel. You can see potholes and crackson a road. But it's not bright enough for mountain biking.

For hiking and running, the Byte is more than enough. Iwas impressed with its illumination on a trail run one black evening. Fromroots and rocks to branches hanging over the trail, the Byte revealed all.

The L.E.D. headlamp has three modes, including two levelsof brightness with white light and a red-light mode. The red light can be usedto read a map or for other quick tasks in the dark when you do not want tocompromise your night vision.

The company ( quotes 80 hours ofburn time for the high beam on a pair of AAA batteries — impressive. Theheadlamp's case is waterproof, though not made for long-term submersion as innighttime scuba diving.

The Byte costs $19.99 and is available now. It's a greatprice for an able-bodied and solid little headlamp ready to light up your nexthike in the woods at night.

–Stephen Regenold is founder and editor

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