With daylight in shorter and shorter supply this season, early-morning and late-evening training sessions can become dangerous without the right gear. One of the best ways to stay safe while running, biking, or walking in dark conditions is to wear light-emitting devices that announce your location to others and illuminate your path.
The Nathan Sports Orion Strobe I’ve been testing for the past few weeks provides excellent illumination. It has become an indispensable part of my morning running attire, and it’s been excellent for walking the dog at night.
I recommend this product for its strong performance and ease of use. Plus, since November is National Running Safety Month, it seems only fitting to make sure you’re properly equipped as we head into winter.
Nathan Sports Orion Strobe Usability
The Nathan Sports Orion Strobe is small but able. It measures roughly 2” tall by 1.25” wide by 1” deep. Coupled with its small dimensions, an integrated clip on the device’s backside allows it to be placed almost anywhere when in use.
I’ve tended to clip the light to the waist of running shorts when jogging. I’ve also affixed the device to the included elastic adjustable strap (which includes two pieces of reflective tape), clipping the strap around my waist. Once, when biking, I clipped the strap across my chest so the light would rest higher for better bike path illumination.
Nathan Sports Orion Strobe Lighting
The strobe features two forward-facing LED light sources. The white LED provides excellent path illumination, consistent with what would be expected of a small high-power flashlight. The red LED is a “softer” light that does not generate path illumination, but provides excellent visibility in the dark.
Output of the device is 32 lumens. Visibility of the LED is rated at 2400 feet, and beam distance is rated at 20 meters. In my use, these ratings seem accurate. I have always felt light output is sufficient. It is surprisingly strong for the small size of the Nathan Sports Orion Strobe.
There are four illumination modes on the device: 1) red LED on, white LED off; 2) red LED on, white LED flashing; 3) red LED flashing, white LED on; and 4) red LED off, white LED on. To toggle between modes, the centrally located power button is pressed once. To turn the device on or off, the power button is held down for about 3 seconds.
In medium-light conditions, I have tended to use the product with the red LED on continuously and the white LED off. In low-light conditions, I prefer the white LED on and the red LED off.
I personally prefer these settings because I do find it a little distracting to have either the red or white LED flashing.
Nathan Sports Orion Strobe Battery
One feature I especially like about this Nathan Sports Orion Strobe product is that it has a rechargeable battery. The battery is a 3V lithium ion rechargeable, which can be refueled via integrated USB port.
Despite heavy usage, I have not yet drained the battery’s initial charge, so I cannot comment on recharge times. The manufacturer claims 3 hours of charging provides a refill when the battery is fully depleted.
Battery life is excellent. For example, if the red LED is on, while the white LED is off, the battery will last at least 30 hours. If the red LED is set to flash, while the white LED is on, battery life still exceeds 4 hours.
Nathan Sports Orion Strobe Other Comments
The Nathan Sports Orion Strobe is claimed to be weather resistant, though I have not tested this claim. The product is guaranteed against defects under the Nathan Sports warranty.
Who Nathan Sports Orion Strobe Is For
Though I had never before used a flashlight when running or walking the dog, and though I had never considered using a personal illumination device like the Nathan Sports Orion Strobe, it has become indispensable for low-light outdoor exercise.
I feel safe and visible when I wear it. I also can see my path much better. Ensuring I don’t roll an ankle on poorly-lit, uneven ground becomes less of a concern when I wear the device. One night when I took the dog out, I forgot the strobe, and I was shocked how accustomed I had become to the illumination it provides. This is a very good product.
Accordingly, the Nathan Sports Orion Strobe seems useful for anyone who exercises outdoors in pre-dawn morning or post-dusk evening. As someone who regularly exercises outside in low-light conditions, I plan to continue using this device daily. As a driver, I wish more runners, walkers, and bikers would wear devices like this, since I am always fearful I won’t see someone when driving at night.
This is an excellent product. The quality is very high, its functionality is perfect, and its ease-of-use is fantastic. I am very pleased with the Nathan Sports Orion Strobe. I will continue to use it daily. This product is highly recommended, particularly since this is National Running Safety Month.
For more information, please visit: www.nathansports.com.