We were at the 2015 USARA National Championship when I had finally had it with my headlamps. Rather than resting at the cabin in preparation for the next day’s race, I was at the bike staging area wrapping my bike helmet with a Walmart bag. My cheaply made headlamp and batteries were not waterproof, not even water resistant, and they wouldn’t survive the evening’s downpour without protection. At that moment I decided this was BS and if I was going to take this racing thing seriously, then I needed to be willing to invest in better gear. First on my list was a great set of lights.
When you think about it, few things will improve your overall course speed better than good lights. For night sections, you use lights during every event: trail running, biking and canoeing. Very few pieces of gear cross all 3 of the main domains of adventure racing. So, in my book, it’s definitely worth the cost. Cheap lights are simply a frustration to be avoided. I wanted lights that I could throw in my pack and if I have to swim across a river, or hike for hours in a downpour, I don’t have to worry about them. I like gear that I can trust. There is nothing worse than bombing down a muddy mountain bike trail at night, in the rain, and have your headlamp fail on you. And if you adventure race, you know that you WILL be bombing down a trail, at night, in the rain…every race director has a direct line to the rain gods to make that happen.
So, I asked some racing buddies of mine what lights they recommended and did a few inquiries online and chose the Lupine Piko.
I’m not a professional gear reviewer, I just like sharing what works for me. If you want to hear the good remarks from the pros then check out the reviews. But here’s the skinny:
All that in 55 grams. 55 GRAMS! Oh sorry…1.94 ounces. Yeah, that doesn’t help either does it. How about this, it’s freakin’ light, like 2 slices of toast light. Yeah, I know, that doesn’t include the battery weight. But, who knows what battery size you’re going to use. You can choose either the 2.2Ah, 3.3Ah, 6.6Ah, 13.2Ah or the mack daddy 20Ah Bottle Battery. For me, when I want to attach it to my bike helmet, I use the 3.3Ah
When I’m doing night orienteering and need a lot of light for a long time, I’ll throw the 6.6Ah into my pack and run an extension cable up to my headband. This means that all the weight is in my pack and I’m kicking out 1500 lumens with only a 55 gram light on my head. So what does 1500 lumens look like?
BAMM! About like that! Oh, and did you notice the red lights on the back of the battery pack? These serve as a visual indication of the battery’s charge level so you know, before you go. They can also be set to stay on as a taillight. Not something you’re going to find in those cheap lights and battery packs.
I will say that the biggest negative for the Piko is switching between bike helmet and headband. I don’t think the designers were thinking about multi-sport applications, like adventure racing, when they designed the mount. However, there is a simple fix, and that is to get the GoPro Adapter. Once you have the GoPro Adapter, your mounting options are endless. Check out what Team Odyssey did for their Lupine Piko using the GoPro Adapter
Psyched?! Ready to go Lupine! Then contact the awesome folks at Lupine North America. Tell them Team Disoriented highly recommended them. If you have any questions on the Piko or other Lupine lights, contact Bill and he will help you out.
If you have any questions for us on the Lupine Piko, or any comments in general, drop us a line below. Oh and BTW, this isn’t a picture of us, I just thought it was bad ass!