It costs about $20. Its light shines bright enough to run in the woods full speed at night. The Byte from Princeton Tec is a compact and high-performance headlamp new for this fall.
I took the Byte on a trail run one dark evening and was immediately impressed. The unit is tiny — measuring a scant two inches wide and a mere 2.25 ounces on a scale. It straps unnoticeably on the head with a thin elasticized band.
Its beam, quoted at 35 lumens in brightness, is strong enough to cut about 50 feet ahead through a dark scene. On a bike, the Byte’s light bubble is just passable for safe travel. You can see potholes and cracks on a road. But it’s not bright enough for mountain biking.
For hiking and running, the Byte is more than enough. I was impressed with its illumination on a trail run one black evening. From roots and rocks to branches hanging over the trail, the Byte revealed all.
The L.E.D. headlamp has three modes, including two levels of brightness with white light and a red-light mode. The red light can be used to read a map or for other quick tasks in the dark when you do not want to compromise your night vision.
The company (www.princetontec.com) quotes 80 hours of burn time for the high beam on a pair of AAA batteries — impressive. The headlamp’s case is waterproof, though not made for long-term submersion as in nighttime scuba diving.
The Byte costs $19.99 and is available now. It’s a great price for an able-bodied and solid little headlamp ready to light up your next hike in the woods at night.
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.