'Sprinter' Headlamp Made for Runners of the Night

Winter’s short days and looong, dark evenings mean more time outside at night. For me, often working 9 to 5 like much of the population, that includes running trails and on roads in the fading hours after work with a headlamp on.

Built just for “runners of the night” like me, the Sprinter Headlamp from Black Diamond has features that allow runners to see and be seen. Its main L.E.D. sports a dimmer adjustment –- hold the button down and the light decreases and increases in a brightness cycle until you’ve found the right level of shine.

runner of the night.jpg

Trail of light: Time-lapse image exposes headlamp’s “see and be seen” front and rear beams

Its beam, rated at about 75 lumens (spring 2012 model), has an “ovalized” shape made for runners. It shines on the trail to expose rocks and other obstacles before I trip. The headlamp fits close and weighs 3.5 ounces — pretty much unnoticeable as you run.

A bonus: The sprinter adds a blinking red taillight to the headlamp equation. Most bikers won’t ride without a “rear red blinky” light at night, so why not road runners, too? This headlamp gives you multiple strobe modes to catch a driver’s eye.

black diamond sprinter headlamp.jpg

Bright white on front, blinking and red from behind

New for the spring 2012 model, which comes to market later this winter, Black Diamond adds a USB charger option to the Sprinter — no throw-away batteries needed. For power, the company quotes a 6-hour charge time for the lithium-polymer battery sucking juice from a laptop port. In use, at full blast, the lamp can then shine for up to 5 hours before another plug-in to charge.

Overall, I have few complaints. The Sprinter has served as a solid companion on night runs. The upgrades on the spring 2012 model (USB charging, a brighter L.E.D., and a reduced price to $69.95) make the Sprinter a no-brainer for anyone who heeds the call to run at night.

—Billy Brown is editor and founder of www.trektechblog.com.

black diamond sprinter.jpg

Low profile: Headlamp weighs just 3.5 ounces on the head

Posted by Dr. M - 12/28/2011 10:57 AM

I’m all for seeing and more importantly being seen on the road but the geek factor on the Sprinter is a little too high for me. Not too sure runners are going to want all of that equipment circling their heads for their after hours jog. I see some cyclists using these also along with attached rear view mirrors and other gadgets. Cyclists can run in their jerseys and simply attach a blinky to a rear pocket. Your head gets sweaty enough without added extra gadgets on top.

Posted by mnrunnergirl - 12/28/2011 11:37 AM

This would be ideal for anyone running Ragnar. I plan on getting one.

Posted by comms - 12/28/2011 11:40 AM

I think its a great set up. I run with a headlamp all the time. 75 lumens is a good lighting factor especially if the front case is not overly bulky. The USB charge dosen’t wow me as I will easily use a headlamp for 5+ hours at a time outdoors. I do like the rear LED. A lot of people I know like myself who do obstacle course racing and training at night, want this option over wasting chem lights. Not as bright but not as wasteful.

Posted by mark - 12/28/2011 12:16 PM

Excited to hear about the changes for next year. I originally read about the Sprinter on your site when you had a preview model before they even came out. I ordered one direct from BD the day they were released & couldn’t be happier. While it wouldn’t be my first choice for backpacking trips (due to the rechargable batteries), it’s perfect for running at night. Having a rechargable headlamp means that I’m never out on a run when the battery runs out. Plus the rear strobe is a huge benefit for running on roads in the dark. The headlamp is perfectly weighted for running (at least for me). I don’t even think about it once it’s on my head.

Posted by swampy - 12/28/2011 02:02 PM

Solid light for short runs. It was my primary light for the Grindstone 100 and did not hold enough charge to last more than 10 hours.

Posted by armytek - 02/12/2013 06:10 AM

Looking for a good headlamp. Some days ago I found the information on the forum about the headlamps of Armytek company. I know that this company produces good hand flashlights. And now they are going to produce the headlamps. May be do you know anything about it?

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