Sunday, February 25, 2024

Petzl Nao RL Headlamp Evaluation – iRunFar


“And that could be a … that could be a HEADLAMP. She’s blinding our cameras with it.”

Whilst the 2023 Western States 100 livestream commentators and digicam operators won’t have favored my Petzl Nao RL ($170) beaming into their drained eyes at 4:30 a.m. as I crossed the end line, I will’t suppose of a higher public endorsement for this headlamp. You’re welcome, Petzl. It’s no marvel this gentle used to be our height pick out for ultrarunning in our very best working headlamps information.

With a real weight of five.2 oz. (146 grams) and generating as much as 1,500 lumens of cool, white gentle, this headlamp packs numerous energy and brightness right into a somewhat small, light-weight package deal. That’s why it’s our first preference when our longer term takes us in the course of the evening. Even supposing it’s a hefty funding, particularly should you choose for an extra battery pack, this headlamp is worthwhile should you run 100 milers or embark on adventures that take you via more than one nights.

Store the Petzl Nao RL

Petzl Nao RL - testing

Checking out the Petzl Nao RL within the box. All footage by way of Andy Cochrane, except in a different way famous.

Petzl Nao RL Options and Specs

The Petzl Nao RL is constructed with a chargeable 3,200-milliampere-hour lithium-ion battery. It used to be a bit of tough to arrange the primary time, however the packaging comprises transparent directions, and as soon as it’s set, it’s simple to recharge and switch the battery pack.

Petzl calls this battery R1 and sells particular person R1 battery packs one at a time for $70, if you wish to stay a back-up readily available or make a very easy switch between fees. Consistent with Petzl, this battery takes about 3.5 hours to rate and can closing via 300 charging cycles.

This headlamp has a couple of other lights modes, together with same old and Petzl’s Reactive Lighting fixtures. Reactive Lighting fixtures signifies that the headlamp’s brightness and beam robotically modify in step with surrounding ambient gentle — rising dimmer when there’s extra ambient gentle and brighter when there’s much less. This generation permits the headlamp to self-optimize for each lights and tool use, permitting the consumer to concentrate on the path forward and no longer twiddling with headlamp changes.

The battery pack, which is located at the again of the pinnacle, has a purple gentle that may be set to steady, strobe, or off.

Petzl Nao RL - side view

An aspect view of the Petzl Nao RL.

Inside each and every of those lights choices, the Nao RL will also be adjusted between 3 brightness ranges: max burn time, same old, and max energy. Whilst max burn time is enough round camp or on a temporary daybreak patrol undertaking, it’s no longer brilliant sufficient for many ultrarunners’ drained eyes all over the wee morning hours mid-100 miler. However, its max energy stage delivers as much as 1,500 lumens however received’t closing in the course of the evening. The usual stage is the center vary of each burn time and tool, and the Reactive Lighting fixtures environment gives the longest burn time, even though it’s a variety — 5 to 40 hours.

Even supposing the Nao RL is a bit of heavier than our favourite on a regular basis working headlamps, its 5.2-ounce (146 grams) precise weight is correct in the midst of the highest headlamps for ultrarunning. The important thing distinction between a day by day headlamp and one who’s ideally suited for ultrarunning is the battery existence. As a result of the most efficient ultrarunning lighting have sufficient battery energy to closing in the course of the evening, they have got larger battery packs and are subsequently fairly heavier.

Whilst you’ll be able to unquestionably use one gentle for each your on a regular basis pre-dawn or sundown runs and your subsequent 100 miler, some runners will go for a light-weight headlamp after they simplest want gentle for a couple of hours, after which stay a longer-lasting gentle readily available for in a single day missions and 100 milers. A number of the headlamps that may shine in the course of the evening, the Nao RL is lots light-weight.

Petzl Nao RL - back view

A again view of the Petzl Nao RL.

Petzl Nao RL Efficiency

I wore the Petzl Nao RL for masses of early morning, past due night, and in a single day miles all over 2023 whilst coaching for and racing each the Western States 100 and IMTUF 100 Mile. In each races, I wore the headlamp over a backward cap or a folded-up gaiter. This headlamp used to be relaxed in the course of the evening and not brought about any force issues or pressure complications.

The Nao RL is simple to regulate whilst working, the usage of the orange twine and a small orange tab that sits above the battery pack at the again of the headlamp. Merely turn the tab up, modify the orange strap for the most efficient have compatibility, then push the tab go into reverse. Additionally integrated with this lights device is an elastic cable strap that may be added to the highest. This extra strap can assist diffuse force should you’re delicate to headlamp straps to your head, alternatively I by no means felt the will for this extra strap.

In our very best working headlamps article, we dinged the Petzl Nao RL for its convenience. Whilst it’s nonetheless our top-choice ultrarunning headlamp, its elastic cable building is a bit of awkward, particularly you probably have a low ponytail or bun. That stated, with a gaiter-like headscarf or backward cap offering a bit of padding, it’s simple to overlook you’re even dressed in this headlamp.

Petzl Nao RL - left side back view

A left aspect, again view of the Petzl Nao RL.

Greater than the rest, I used to be inspired with the Nao RL’s battery energy. All over my in a single day races, I used the Reactive Lighting fixtures environment and typically set it at the usual stage to optimize the battery and to verify it’d closing in the course of the evening. On the other hand, in each the Western States 100 and IMTUF 100 Mile, I reached some degree the place I sought after extra gentle via a technical phase of path, and I switched to the max energy stage. I anxious about draining the battery, so I carried a backup (albeit, much less brilliant) gentle simply in case.

I used to be shocked to seek out that the Nao RL’s battery lasted in the course of the evening, no longer simplest Western States’s roughly 8 midnights, but additionally IMTUF’s 11 midnights. Whilst those numbers are throughout the up-to-24 hours indexed on Petzl’s web page, and I used to be no longer the usage of max energy all of the time, I didn’t totally believe the headlamp to closing in the course of the evening and used to be happy to seek out that it did.

Runners could have other personal tastes for headlamp brightness, and their personal tastes will trade according to the terrain. After 5 100 milers and numerous adventures at the hours of darkness, I’ve realized that I’m relaxed preserving my gentle as dim as imaginable on a gravel street, pavement, or different open and non-technical surfaces, however I really like extra brightness at the path, particularly after I’m working by myself.

Now that I’ve were given some enjoy with the Nao RL, I will be able to most probably set it at max energy with Reactive Lighting fixtures anytime I’m on singletrack within the wooded area at evening. I will be able to proceed sporting a backup headlamp or, higher but, a 2nd Petzl R1 battery pack that I will simply switch at the fly.

After all, whilst this gentle packs down small bearing in mind its battery pack, it nonetheless occupies a piece of area in my hydration pack. I spotted that after I stashed it in a rear aspect pocket (so I may get admission to it with out preventing or taking out my pack), I had to verify it used to be located flush towards my again, or I’d really feel its arduous plastic edges urgent towards my low again. After all, this used to be no longer a subject matter if I saved it in my vest’s higher again pocket, however then I needed to take my pack off or get assist from a pacer to dig it out.

For those causes, I usually left the headlamp with my group all over races till I wished it after which dropped it with them once more after first light. Consequently, I received’t essentially succeed in for this headlamp if I want simply an hour or two of sunshine firstly of a longer term, as a result of I’ve different lights choices that pack all the way down to a few 3rd of the dimensions.

Petzl Nao RL - IMTUF

The creator taking a breather all over the middle of the night phase of the 2023 IMTUF 100 Mile, dressed in the Petzl Nao RL. Photograph courtesy of Alli Hartz.

Petzl Nao RL Total Impressions

The Petzl Nao RL is a competent gentle that’s each robust and compact. Whilst it’s dear, it’s a top class, feature-packed gentle that’s ideally suited for ultrarunning.

It has a variety of each brightness and battery energy, so runners can to find the very best steadiness of sunshine and run-time for his or her particular person personal tastes and the calls for of the terrain, climate, and goal to hand. This gentle is simple to regulate, and the battery pack will also be swapped out at the fly. The one problem is that it’s dear, particularly should you upload on an additional battery pack.

That stated, it’s our favourite headlamp for ultrarunning in our very best working headlamps information, and it’s well worth the funding for any runner who continuously runs for more than one hours at evening.

Store the Petzl Nao RL

Name for Feedback

  • Have you ever attempted the Petzl Nao RL? What do you suppose?
  • For many who additionally ran with the unique Petzl Nao, what do you take into accounts this 2nd model?
  • What’s your favourite headlamp for day by day use and/or ultrarunning?

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

Petzl Nao RL - Western States finish line

The creator dressed in the Petzl Nao RL on the 2023 Western States 100 end line. Photograph courtesy of Alli Hartz.


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