It’s been almost two years since UltrAspire made an innovative splash in the run lighting category with the introduction of their Lumen waist belts. There were two product models available, named after the number of (you guessed it) lumens they provided: the 170 was the smaller lightweight version, and the 600 was the brighter lamp with the sturdier waistband and more storage capacity.
This fall UltrAspire has expanded the Lumen collection and also created some thoughtful offshoots of their original two belts. We’ve been testing the products for a few months, and a rundown of the collection follows, in ascending order of brightness.
Lumen 100 Wrist Light ($20)
One of the new products is this wrist-mounted lamp that allows you to keep your hands free for items like bottles, trekking poles or a dog leash. With relatively low brightness, this lamp is best suited for throwing extra light on a close field of vision such as when you’re adjusting your shoes, fiddling with your keys, or digging through a bag. It has a bit of bounce when running, but the adjustable Velcro band can be tightened down to minimize this. The Lumen 100 weighs 1.3 oz, runs on a single AA battery, and has a burn time of 14 hours on the high setting.
Lumen 115 Clip Light ($40)
Although its brightness is still on the low side, this clip light proved to be one of our favorites due to its versatility. It fastens with a strong magnet that can be folded over any horizontal or vertical attachment, so it’s easy to use as a sternum light on your hydration pack, or attached to a shoulder strap, or across the waistband of your shorts. The main lamp has a ratchet positioning system and can scroll through three brightness levels, while smaller side bulbs create red LEDs if needed. Its field of vision is relatively small, but is a nice complement to a head-mounted lamp. The Lumen 115 weighs 1.6 oz, uses one AA battery, and burns for 14 hours on high.
Lumen 170 2.0 Waist Light ($100)
This is an updated version of the company’s original Lumen 170 belt, with upgraded features that include an improved flood cone for an even distribution of light, a new belt mechanism for easier adjustment, a thin lightweight webbing that rides securely, and a large zippered cell phone pocket on the front. The Lumen 170 2.0 uses three AAA batteries, has a burn time of 10 hours on the high setting, and weighs 5.7 oz.
Lumen 220 Waist Light ($70)
This new product in the Lumen line is roughly the same weight and provides comparable brightness and burn time to a high-end compact headlamp, but is worn at the waist level. This is a bare-bones lighting product; there are no pockets or storage of any kind on the waistband except for one teeny tiny finger pocket that is just stretchy enough to hold replacement batteries. A prototype of the Lumen 220 helped light Magdalena Boulet’s path to a second place finish at Western States last June. The lamp itself has six power settings ranging from high beam to red strobe. Battery life is 28 hours on the high setting, and the Lumen 220 can use three regular alkaline AAA batteries or accommodate rechargeable AAAs. Its weight is a minimal 3.0 oz.
Lumen 600R Waist Light ($150)
This is a stripped down version of the original Lumen 600, created in response to customer feedback for a sleeker and lighter weight option of the belt that could still provide an amazing 600 lumens of brightness. This belt easily provides enough light on its own to navigate the trails in the dark, and it works remarkably well to create a larger field of illuminated vision when combined with a headlamp. The Lumen 600R weighs a lean 5.3 oz with thin mesh webbing and a conical waistband for a comfortable and stable fit. Like the Lumen 220, there is no storage aside from a small stretch mesh pouch on the front. This lamp has similar power settings and red LED capacity as the Lumen 220, but this model uses a rechargeable 3.7V battery (included) that burns for 8 hours on its high setting.
Lumen 600 2.0 Waist Light ($180)
If you loved the original Lumen 600 belt, fret not – it’s still available for you, with a set of material upgrades that are similar to those of the Lumen 170 2.0. Its buckle, mesh, and webbing are all updated and lighter weight, and the two zipper pockets are slightly larger in size to accommodate a typical smart phone. Another new feature is the addition of two vertical elastic webbing straps on top of the back pocket, which can be used to secure a scrunched-down item of clothing (the product page describes this as a jacket strap, but in our testing they are more appropriately sized for gloves or a hat). The bulb itself has been upgraded also, with the same improvements in flood cone distribution compared to the original version. It also has the same lineup of settings and brightness levels, as well as battery type and burn time as the Lumen 600R. The Lumen 600 2.0 weighs in at 7.2 oz, which is more than 20% lighter than the original Lumen 600.
Whether you’re looking to augment your headlamp or replace it altogether, UltrAspire has an item in its new Lumen series to meet your needs. All of these products are available now at www.ultraspire.com.