Nite Beams LED Double Vision Running Caps and Visors - Review

Light Your Way for Night Walking and Running

NiteBeams LED Double Vison Hat. Wendy Bumgardner © 2013

I've worn several different LED hats since they debuted. They are important for safety when walking and running at night, both for seeing where you are going and letting other people see you.

I spotted the Nite Beams LED Double Vision Running Hat at the race expo for the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll "Strip at Night" Marathon. While I had an LED hat with me to use, I was wishing for a better one. The one I had with me, the Panther Vision PowerCap,  was of cotton twill, which just doesn't feel sporty enough for a half marathon.

More: Tips for Night Races

The Nite Beams cap, or the similarly-designed visor, are made of a sporty mesh fabric that is 90% polyester and 10% cotton. It's a mesh fabric that works great for letting your head breathe and release sweat. I also liked the colors and design. They come in Black/White mesh, Safety Green/Black mesh and Pink/White mesh.

The LED lights are unobtrusive, they go unnoticed by day, so you can wear this hat day or night.

The cap is one-size-fits-all and adjusts with velcro in the back. It has a ponytail hole. It is washable if you remove the batteries.

Four Bright LED Lights in Front

The Nite Beams LED Double Vision cap and visor feature four ultra-bright white LED spotlights built into the bill. They claim they are the brightest of any such LED hat. That's a claim that is sure to be surpassed eventually, but I was pleased with how bright they were. Nite Beams says they light your path for 20 feet in front of you.

That's about right for spotting potholes, curbs, puddles and debris while you run or walk.

To turn it on, you press the button under the bill. That is a handy spot and it was very easy to turn on and off. A little too easy, maybe, as I discovered it lit up one evening in the back seat of my car when it was bumped by a bag of groceries.

I then discovered that there is another switch on the battery casing so you can turn it off to ensure it doesn't come on when the under-bill switch is bumped.

The power source for the lights in front are two replaceable CR-2032 batteries. They should last for many, many weeks, unlike traditional bulb flashlights and headlamps with batteries that only last a few hours.

The lights and batteries add no noticeable weight to the cap, and you don't have the uncomfortable strap you have with a headlamp.

One drawback of having the lights mounted in the hat is that you can't adjust where the beam hits the ground except by adjusting the tilt of the cap or visor. That can mean that you have to wear it in a way that is uncomfortable, or hold your head at an angle that is bad for your walking or running form. I didn't have any problem with this hat, the beam seemed to hit the ground right where I preferred.

Red Flashing or Steady LED Lights in Back

A big selling point for me were the two red LED lights in the back of the cap, which you turn on with a separate switch.

You can switch them on steady or flashing. They can be seen from a quarter mile away (half a kilometer) to provide an extra measure of safety when walking or running at night. Interestingly, it uses a different battery from the front lights, a CR-1220.
More: 8 Tips for Night Walking Safety

Bottom Line on the Nite Beams LED Double Vision Running Hat or Visor

I wore this hat on the the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. While much of the race is on the brightly lit Las Vegas Strip, there are some dark spots and tripping hazards that the 30,000 runners and walkers ahead of me dropped. I was happy to have the light in those areas.

I also wore it on local Christmas lights night walks, although I added an ear band for warmth. I really love the lightweight fabric, it makes it easy to pack and stow to take along.

This hat would be great for night races such as Hood to Coast/Portland to Coast relay race.

I also reviewed their Nite Beams LED Pet Collar and Leash, for safety when walking/running at night with your dog.

Manufacturer's Site

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