Path illumination is a common issue in the trail running community. Erik, our footwear buyer here at Running Warehouse and avid ultra runner, told me that as soon as he found out we were going to carry the UltrAspire Lumen 600 Belt, he knew he had to try it. He explained to me that headlamps tend to hinder depth perception when running in the dark, which can be a real problem when it comes to keeping your footing and avoiding obstacles on the path in front of you.
Headlamps provide an angle of lighting that is detrimental to depth perception, shining down on the ground and minimizing shadows that would ordinarily warn a runner of bumps, rocks, and changes in the surface of a trail. Erik explained that it is for this reason that he often will bring a hand held flashlight along on his dark runs, or a clip on light, to project light at a better angle, allowing him to see uneven portions of the path in the dark. The downside to these other illumination accessories is that they are often more cumbersome and usually work well in combination with a headlamp, not providing sufficient lighting by themselves.
So this is why Erik was so stoked to find out about the UltrAspire belts… this was going to be a simplification of his illumination system. He put the Lumen 600 Belt to the test and went on a handful of night runs. Battery life? Excellent. Brightness? Simply brilliant. More comfortable than a headlamp strap, Erik noted that the weight of the light in the belt was unnoticeable to him. He said he wished he was wearing it during his Rio Del Lago 100 miler this past month because on the medium brightness setting the battery would have lasted through the dark hours of the ultra without Erik needing to worry about changing batteries or bringing an extra headlamp along.
So, what we’re saying is…
The UltrAspire Lumen 170 and Lumen 600 belts provide solutions to some of the problems caused by other lighting methods. Since the light is at your waist, it shines in front of you regardless of where your head is pointing, illuminating the path ahead constantly. With light projecting from your waist you will find wide-angle peripheral lighting to improve depth perception and a more natural lighting experience, allowing you to see small obstacles that may trip you up in your path. Because of the long battery life, you’ll find that you may be able to rely solely on this belt light and not have to bring any alternatives.
What other features do these belts have?
- Water, dust, and impact resistant aircraft grade aluminum housing with tempered glass lens for clarity and durability
- Zippered pocket(s) for secure storage of nutritional items or other essentials
- Four lighting modes to customize your lighting experience depending on your needs
- 180° up/down directional rotation allows you to control the angle of your light
- Reflective details and high visibility design features
- Lightweight mesh is breathable and comfortable
Though there are a few differences between the two UltrAspire belts (the Lumen 170 has less brightness, less storage, and requires 3 AAA batteries), both have the potential to change your low-light/no-light running game for the better.