Nathan Neutron Fire Runners’ Headlamp Review
Now that fall is here and the days are getting shorter, the chances of going for a run in the dark is ever increasing. With darkness comes the need for visibility or as Nathan Sports likes to say, “See. Be Seen. Run Longer.” This Fall and Winter they will try to help us combat the darkness with the Neutron Fire Runners’ Headlamp.
The Neutron Fire is a low profile lightweight headlamp that is powered by two AAA batteries. The entire front piece of the headlamp unclips from the mount on the band to install the batteries. The lamp is rated as IPX4 weather resist, which basically means it can withstand some light rain. When the two pieces are clipped together it makes a well crafted fit, but there is no seal or rubber grommet to protect it from rain.
The Nebula Fire offers a maximum of 115 lumens with five lighting modes – low, medium, high, sprint, & strobe. The two AAA batteries will provide a maximum burn time of 30+ hours on low light setting.
The Neutron brings some color to the night with the side LED strobes. For added visibility you can turn on the side strobes to red, green or blue.
The Nathan headlamp was more than capable of lighting up a running trail in front of my feet to make sure that I was not tripping over and roots or fallen branches. Raising the light to see down the running trail to check for any animals was equally sufficient. The side strobes on the lamp are extremely bright and can be seen from quite a distance away, which is the point of them, right? Turn the middle strobe off and just running the side strobes gives an eerie look, as you can see by the picture below….hmm maybe wear this on Halloween night.
Now onto the thing that I dislike about the Neutron. The headlamp has a four click adjustment for the direction that the lamp is pointing, from flat to your forehead which points the light straight out in front of you; to clicked all the way down, which will point the light at your feet. While I don’t have a problem with the adjustment system, I do have a problem with the weight that is put on the small elastic headband. As small amount of weight as it is, when you are running the headlight bounces with every footfall. And the farther you tilt the lamp down the more bounce the light gives you, because all of the weight from the lamp and the batteries is pivoting on that tiny bracket. I did tighten the headband down to beyond comfortably snug and it did eliminate some of the bounce, but not all of it.
Yes, form and running technique can play a big part in the bounce of a running stride, and I do consider myself a generally smooth runner, with a cadence of around 180 strides per minute, which equates to gentle running. The pro tip below gives a solution to the above problem.
Pro Tip : If you find yourself with the bouncy headlamp situation and it is this style bracket where the weight on the bottom of the front bracket causes it to bounce, turn and wear the headlamp upside down. Raise and lower the elastic band on the back of your head for the front beam height adjustment. This will minimize the bounce, if not eliminate it all together.
- Main LED: 115 max lumens
- Side LED’s: RGB Light, red, green, or blue
- Battery: 2xAAA batteries, replaceable
- Burn Time: 30+ hours
- Water Resistance: IPX4 – Weather resistant
- Adjustable headlamp angle
The Nathan Neutron Fire Runners’ Headlamp is an affordable headlamp that shines bright and will get the job done. However it would be better suited for hiking, walking or camping, due to the annoyance of the bouncing light when on a run.
For more information or to purchase, visit : www.nathansports.com