Ultralight USB Headlamps

I decided to upgrade to micro-USB powered electronics. That means no more hiking with extra batteries or a battery charger!

First I wrote down what I liked and I didn’t like about my AAA battery headlamp. With that in mind, I researched for USB headlamps that fit my criteria: lighter than 3 oz., great reviews, white and red lights, lock mode, long battery life, tiltable and at least 160 lumens.

Ultralight USB Headlamps
Make/Model Lumens Weight Price Hours
Nitecore NU25 360 .99 oz $37 360 lm for 30 min., 190 lm for 5 hrs., 36 lm for 8 hrs., 1 lm for 160 hrs.
Petzel Bindi 200 1.3 oz $60 200 lm for 2 hrs., 100 lm for 3 hrs., 5 lm for 50 hrs,
UCO Air Headlamp 150 1.6 oz. $35 48 min. on high, 1.5 hrs. on medium, 5 hrs. on low
Olight H1R Nova 600 1.8 oz. $68 600 lm for 1hr20min., 180 lm for 1hr40min., 60 lm for 3-5 hrs., 15 lm for 4-20 hrs., 2 lm for 5-6 days
Black Diamond Iota 150 1.9 oz $28 150 lm for 2 hrs., 4 lm for 40 hrs.


USB Headlamps – More Specs
Make/Model Tiltable H2O Proof/
Red Light Strobe Lock
Nitecore NU25 yes Proof 4 yes, 2 levels yes yes Battery power indicator. Press twice to lock.
Petzel Bindi yes Resistant 3 yes yes yes
UCO Air Headlamp yes Resistant dial yes no no Made in USA. Designer looking!
Olight H1R Nova yes Proof 5 no yes no This headlamp can also clip to your hat/backpack.
Black Diamond Iota yes Resistant dimmer no yes yes Brightness memory. Battery power indicator.


I decided to upgrade from the Black Diamond Cosmo to the Nitecore NU25. Look how skinny the rechargeable headlamp is compared to my old AAA battery headlamp!

I’ve been using the Nitecore for four months now and I adore it. There’s nothing I’d change about it and that’s saying a lot!

If I wanted to go Ultralight, then I could remove the headlamp from the elastic band and attach velcro to my hat and to the back of the light. I like the versatility of having the light on a headband, so for now it’s staying this way.

Old vs. New Headlamp
Make/Model Lumens Weight Price H2O Proof/
Red Light Strobe Lock
Black Diamond Cosmo 160 3 oz $30 Resistant yes yes yes X3 AAA. This 2016 model is no longer available.
Nitecore NU25 360 .99 oz $37 Proof yes, 2 levels yes yes Battery power indicator. Press twice to lock.

1 thought on “Ultralight USB Headlamps”

  1. Great research! This is helpful.

    How wonderful that you found a head lamp that is perfect for your needs. How often does that happen?

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