Superlight light: UCO Air Headlamp Review

Everyone needs a good headlamp. And a bright one. And a lightweight one. And a rechargeable one. It would be nice if they were all the same one. UCO get pretty close with their USB-rechargeable Air headlamp. Headlamps are starting to do away with the AAA and AA batteries and go to rechargeable battery packs. Some headlamps have battery packs or adapters so you don’t have to use AAA batteries.The Air Headlamp from UCO has done away with batteries all together and gone straight to a battery pack. It’s rechargeable with a standard micro-USB cable. It doesn’t include one but you probably have 10 at home from all your other devices. If you don’t have one yet, you can pick one up at any electronics store.

Lightweight and comfortable with a big strap

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The best part of the Air is how lightweight and comfortable it is. Weighing only 45 grams (1.6 ounces) it doesn’t feel like you have anything on your head. The big strap isn’t elastic but has a velcro section so you can set the size to whatever you need. It doesn’t squeeze your head at all when wearing it. I didn’t feel any pressure points after wearing it for an hour straight.A soft padded panel holds the light itself so there’s no pressure on your forehead from it. the light itself is so light that it doesn’t press down much.The downside to the strap is it’s size. While very light, it doesn’t pack down tiny. A thinner strap would make this even smaller and lighter.

USB Rechargeable battery

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There isn’t much room in the Air for battery so the battery life isn’t super high. 5 hours on low, 1.5 hours on medium and 48 minutes on high.  For camping, around the house or emergencies this would be fine. Plug it in any time. For a longer backpacking trip, it likely won’t be enough when you may be using the headlamp for hours each day. That said, with more and more people carrying back up batteries for phones, cameras and GPS units, that may not matter. Just plug it in. With a full battery charge only needing 170 mAh, compared to 2000-3000 for a phone, you’ll be able to charge it many times with a small battery pack.

Just ‘turn’ it on

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Using the headlamp is very easy. Some headlamps have multiple buttons and many different settings to click through every time. The wheel around the light on the Air is a dial that twists to whatever setting you want. It clicks into place for off. Click once the other direction for a red light.

The dial goes from 10 lumens up to 150 lumens on full. 150 lumens is plenty for task around camp or under the sink. I found I wanted a bit more when running at night or needing to see a long ways down the trail. On full power, the 150 lumens should go to 46 meters (154 feet).

Good

  • Very lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use dial control
  • USB rechargeable

Needs Work

  • battery life
  • large strap
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Recommendation

The UCO Air Headlamp is extremely lightweight and comfortable, great for wearing around home and camp or during emergencies. The battery life isn’t stellar for long trips but any time you can recharge with USB then you’ve got plenty more power to charge up the Air.