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When Bosavi first contacted me about their LED headlamp, I was in the middle of attending Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, and glanced through their email without really reading it. And it probably would have been lost in the 100 or so emails I got each day that week, had someone at the show not asked if I had heard of Bosavi before. Turns out it’s not just another LED headlamp, and deserved a closer look. I managed to get my hands on one, which is pretty surprising, since they seem to sell out quick.
So what makes the Bosavi LED Headlamp different? I’d have to start with “just everything”. The light, battery, programmable functions, and packaging are all unique in one way or another. For instance, the LEDs – there’s a high power CREE LED with an output of 110 lumens set in the middle, plus two other LEDs – one red, one white, on either side of it. A potent 3.7 volt lithium polymer battery with a capacity of 700mAh resides inside the light. A single button on top and one inside manage to provide much more than the usual light options. And rather than being just recyclable, the package turns into a little lantern for the Bosavi.
Having different modes is nothing new for an LED light. Bosavi offers low (or economy, as they call it) white, flashing white, optimized, high brightness, steady red, and flashing red modes. All from a single top-mounted button. The inside button is for locking the light, so it doesn’t come on by accident. But it has a second function too. Don’t need one or more of those modes, and don’t want to scroll through it? While in that mode, hold the top button and lock button for two seconds. That mode will be disabled until you reset the light by holding both buttons while it’s turned off. Takes a lot more time to explain than actually do it. I’m sure the one mode not likely to be disabled is the “high brightness”. By double clicking the top button, the center LED kicks it up a notch for one minute, then the light reverts back to whatever mode you were in. It may not be so easy to double tap when riding in traffic, but in theory, this is a great function.
Like many lights sold today, the Bosavi is charged via a micro USB port. No batteries to buy, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever be at a loss for a charger. My test unit also came with a strap for using it as a headlamp while walking, running, or climbing, plus the optional $10 handlebar mount. This plastic mount uses a pair of zip ties to keep things simple, and the price low. Set it up, adjust it, and snug it down. You can still fine tune the angle, unless it’s on the bar tape of your road bike. Other than that, it’s handy and functional. We’ve tested plenty of headlights, and some bicycle lights with helmet mounts, but the Bosavi is the first that does both by design.
Retail on the Bosavi headlamp is $69.95, and as mentioned, it’s frequently sold out. Not to worry though. A newer version, the Rev 2.0 is on the way. While it’s safe to say there will be some improvements on an already great design, it’s also slated to be $10 less than the original. Keep an eye on bosavi.com for more details.
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Bosavi LED Headlamp for free from Bosavi, in consideration for review publication