Although I have had Coast HL7 Pure Beam Focus Headlamp since last Christmas, I’ve only recently used it enough to give it a good shakedown, and a qualified review. So now that I have used it on some Dopey training runs (running at night in search of bearable temperatures) and again at the Port Aransas Sand Crab Night Beach Run, I feel at least somewhat prepared and qualified to share my thoughts.
- Light output: High – 285 lumens; Low – 4 lumens
- Runtime: High – 1 hour 30 minutes; Low – 70 hours
- Beam distance: High – 119 meters (390 ft); Low – 13 meters (42 ft)
- 3 X AAA batteries (included)
- Weight: 4.5oz (w/batteries installed) (Product details show the weight as 2.2lbs, but I suspect that is shipping weight. Mine weighed 4.5 ounces on my food scale)
Running with the HL7
The first thing I noticed about this light was its bulk. It looks large and “industrial” with the lamp on the front and the separate battery compartment on the back of the headband. But after using it, I appreciate that these two items are separate as they balance the weight of the unit very well. This helps, especially when running, because it does not bounce or move around on my head. I’ve worn a buff under mine when using it since it seemed like there needed to be a buffer between the lamp, the battery compartment and my head (especially in the Texas heat!). I’m not going to say that I couldn’t tell I was wearing it, but the weight/bulk of the unit was not as noticeable as I thought it might be.
So far my favorite features of this headlamp are the adjustable light output and focus-able beam. These features are not commonly found on units in this price range ($25-$30).
The adjustable light output allows you pick the amount of light you need for the situation… High for running/hiking and low for more close up work like reading or knot tying (yes, I’m a fisherman).
Of course using the light on the high setting costs battery life, but it’s nice to have it when you need it. I have used the light for over 2 hours without needing to change the batteries, so I appreciate the honesty/modesty of the stated 1.5 hour runtime on high. The light output is very easy to adjust via a proportional toggle on the battery compartment.
The focusable beam is another nice feature of the HL7. This allows you to adjust the “size” of the beam from a wide “Ultra View flood” pattern (great for running or other times when you are moving quickly and need to see a larger area of the terrain in front of you) all the way down to the “bulls-eye spot” beam which doesn’t cover as large an area, but does give your light a longer throw (good for seeing things farther away, OR when you are working under your motorhome).
The beam can be adjusted by turning the bezel on the front of the lamp. Both the focusable beam and the adjustable output are proportional, giving the Coast HL7 Pure Beam Focus Headlamp infinite adjustability.
In addition to light output and beam focus, the HL7 has other features and adjustments that come in handy. The oversized on/off button is located conveniently on the front of the lamp. The hinged beam angles up and down. That lets you direct the light where you need it and keep your head in a natural, comfortable position. The elastic headband is also adjustable and is roomy enough to allow the light to be worn over a hat, beanie or bandana/buff (The package also includes hard hat clips, making the HL7 hard hat compatible, although I have not tested this functionality).
Coast warranties the Coast HL7 Pure Beam Focus Headlamp to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the original purchaser.
What’s in the Box
The HL7 comes with the lamp/headband/battery unit, a neoprene carrying case (with a belt loop), hard hat clips (which make the lamp hard hat compatible), 3AAA batteries and an instruction sheet.
The long and short: Although I have not tested it in any kind of extreme conditions, I would recommend the Coast HL7 Pure Beam Focus Headlamp to anyone looking for a versatile, dependable headlamp. It has worked well for me while running, hiking and while taking care of the occasional mechanical repair. The HL7 has all the features (and brightness) of lamps costing much more. At this price point, you can’t go wrong with the HL7. This robust little powerhouse earns the Fatman Seal of Approval.
Check it out on Amazon.