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If you are in the market for a new headlamp, you have probably come across BioLite’s Headlamp line. They offer three new, and different models: the Headlamp 325, 425, and 800 Pro. So, which one is right for you? In this article, we will compare and contrast the features of each headlamp that we tested in-person to help you make the best decision possible!
What are the differences between the 325, 425 and 800 Pro?
- Weight: 78 grams
- Light Output: 425 lumens
- Battery Range: 4 hours - 60 hours
- Beam Distance: 15 - 85 meters
- Weight: 50 grams
- Light Output: 325 lumens
- Battery Range: 3 hours - 40 hours
- Beam Distance: 10 - 70 meters
- Weight: 150 grams
- Light Output: 800 lumens
- Battery Range: 7 hours - 150 hours
- Beam Distance: 15 - 135 meters
The BioLite Headlamp 325 features a maximum lumen of 325, and multiple options for lighting (a Dim White, Dim red, and a Red or White Strobe).
It has a runtime of up to 40 hours on the low setting and 3 hours on the high setting, and you likely will only need to use the low setting in most circumstances. The 325 also has an easy-to-adjust headband that can even fit me, and I have a massive head. The headlamp itself is mounted into the headband so it fits flush to your forehead, and then you can tilt it (and it stays there) to be exactly what you need.
This headlamp can also be purchased in three different colors! I tested out the Ember Yellow, and it was my favorite color of the three headlamps from BioLite that I got to try.
The BioLite Headlamp 425 has all of the same features as the 325, but now includes a rear battery pack (for additional battery life) and rear red light.
The styling of the light also changes to be a bit more compact. Its battery life climbed to a max of 40 hours, and it is now up to 425 lumens. Its max beam of light can also now get to 85 meters, instead of the 325’s 70 meters. This is also the only unit of the three that offers USB-C charging.
With the 425 you also gain a couple new light modes, such as a white and red flood light, a mixture of spot and flood, and of course the rear red strobe and flood light.
The BioLite Headlamp 800 Pro is BioLite’s top-of-the-line headlamp. It includes all of the features of the 325 and 425, but gets bigger, both on the front light and the rear. The battery pack on the back has grown to help feed the 800-lumen front headlamp that can reach up to 135 meters with no problem. The only additional mode that the 800 Pro gains over the 425 is a white burst function.
This battery pack also helps it get up to 150 hours of usage. This all comes at a cost, as it weighs 150 grams, as opposed to the 325’s 50 grams.
What do I like about these headlamps?
1. The lighting is awesome
All three of these headlamps give off a lot of light, as you can see from the video I put together above, you can see that even the lowest 325 gives off plenty of light for most people. Each progressively nicer headlamp, of course, gets farther, with more options, however, all three do an awesome job, and should work for most people.
2. All three units are very comfortable
BioLite’s headlamps all feature an adjustable head strap that is super comfortable. The weight of these three units are pretty light (except the 800 Pro) and they do not feel overly cumbersome on your head like some others I have used. I think most people will find the 425 to be the best mid-point and will opt for that one.
3. The battery life is great
BioLite claims 40 hours of runtime for the 325 60 for the 425, and up to 150 hours for the 800 Pro. You have to acknowledge the fact that those are some impressive run times. I was not super impressed with the battery life of the old unit I tested a while back, and these have definitely gone much smoother in this department.
4. Tons of lighting options
BioLite also has plenty of lighting options with all three headlamps, allowing you to switch between white/red light, strobe modes, and more. This allows you to customize the exact type of light you need for your situation.
What don’t I like about the 325, 425 & 800 Pro?
1. The single-button operation can be annoying
I think the only downside I have found with each of these headlamps comes down to their single-button layout for operation. I never stopped having issues getting them to switch between all of the different modes.
While having such a huge array of options is a huge benefit, when you have to get to each mode by using different styles of pressing the same button to get to them, it can get a bit frustrating at times.
Which one would I recommend?
I would recommend purchasing the BioLite Headlamp 425. It isn’t nearly as large as the 800 Pro, however, it still offers the rear red lighting, better battery life, and more modes than the 325. I think the price is well justified for the unit.
I don’t recommend the 800 Pro for most people, as it just isn’t needed for most people. If you are someone that goes on long hikes, or even hunts out in the woods, it might be worth the upgrade. However, this would strictly be for the additional features, as the build quality isn’t much difference between the 425 and 800 Pro.
As for the 325, it would be an awesome option for those that need an awesome quality, yet budget-minded option (or maybe a good gift?). It may not have a rear red light, or nearly as good of battery life, however, it is a fantastic value.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Headlamp 800 Pro and Headlamp 325 takes three hours to charge, and the BioLite Headlamp 425 with its USB-C charge port only takes 2 hours to charge all the way to full.
Red lights are included on many headlamps, including BioLite’s, as it gives the user better night vision after the light is turned off. Red lights keep your eye’s pupils from shrinking down (what happens when your eye’s bring in light), so you can easily turn your light off, and have less time before you have regained your night vision.
The BioLite Headlamp 325, 425, and 800 PRO are great options for outdoor activities, camping trips, or for anyone who needs a reliable headlamp. Each model has its own unique features that make them the right choice for different types of users.
After considering the pros and cons of each model, you should have an idea of which BioLite Headlamp is right for you. No matter what you choose, BioLite’s headlamps are sure to provide years of reliable lighting in any situation.