Think Mighty Mouse. Think Rudy. If you’re from my generation, think Little Mac from “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.”
I’ve avoided trail running at night for most of my career because I’m a minimalist. I still wear the little shorts. I don’t carry water or GU on most runs. I don’t carry an iPod and I definitely don’t wear big, bouncy, uncomfortable headlamps. After strapping on a Remix headlamp from locally-based Princeton Tec, I may be converted on the headlamp issue.
The Remix was easy to use from the moment it came out of the packaging. The light was self-contained, which meant minimal weight and no wires from an external battery pack. The three included AAA batteries easily slid right in, the head strap adjusted without a fuss, and the big, easy to find, single-button operation was intuitive.
The lamp has two light sources which each have two settings. The lowest setting has a burn time of 200 hours and produces light from a set of three efficient Ultrabright LEDs for doing short range work like reading or knitting sweaters for your cat. The brighter setting will run for 61 hours and is suitable for finding things around a campsite or a transition area pre-dawn.
Switching over to the single-bulb Max bright was as simple as holding the button in for a full second. The two settings from this bulb will produce a much brighter, more focused light with a narrower spread that will allow the user to see much further away. The lower setting in this option will still burn for an impressive 53 hours and is certainly enough light for a brisk trail run that is fairly technical. The brighter setting has some serious moxy and would definitely be the best setting for being chased by a bear.
Even in my best workouts on the worst sections of trail, I was not able to outrun the 45-meter throw of the light’s beam, and the 83-gram weight of the light (including batteries) did not bounce as I clumsily made my way down the more technical descents of trail.
If you find yourself being chased by a bear and you’re not on the brightest setting, worry not- the light will only cost $28 to replace, and thanks to the single-button operation, you won’t even miss those fingers.
The Princeton Tec Remix solidly exceeded my expectations and prejudices in a headlamp. I’m glad to have the lamp, I’ll continue to use it, and I’m enjoying trail running at night for the first time in my life. www.princetontec.com