- Inexpensive ($35)
- Easy to adjust strap
- Decent projection
- Works about 75% of the time
I picked up the Nite-Ize Inova STS headlamp at Outdoor Retailer last month. Nothing fancy about it–just as I like things. It’s light, cheap, and has the right amount of luminosity (is that the right word?) for me. I’m not someone who wants to light up the entire trail…I like just enough to stay safe and then use the moon for most of my light source. 130-150 lumens has always been great, and at an advertised 142, this would be perfect.
It’s waterproof, which is pretty great for all season. It’ll stay safe from head sweat in the summer, and safe from rain in the winter. There are three levels of white light (bright, med, and strobe) and two red (low and strobe.) The red function is purely for defense…it doesn’t have enough power to light up any amount of trail.
The strap is a simple nylon/elastic band that’s easy to adjust, so when I switch it from head to my waist I don’t have to figure out how to enlarge or contract the strap.
A swipe bar on top of the unit controls color of light (white or red) and power, and certainly seems like it should be self-explanatory, but I’ve had a heck of a time getting it to work with any consistency. Sometimes the “swipe” works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve wetted my finger, dried it off, pushed hard, pushed soft, but I can’t get it to work all the time.
Overall, I like the light. The battery life is decent, the brightness is just right for me, it’s cheap, it’s waterproof…but the performance is waning in the “turn the thing on” department. Additionally, as much as I like the straps, I wish they “disconnected” from the back of the unit so I could attach it to a vest.
Unfortunately, because of the swiping issues, I’ll keep it and run with it, but would have a hard time recommending it to others. When the swiping problem is fixed, this will be a highly recommended piece of gear.