Our friends at 365+ Tactical sent over another item to look at.

With winter approaching and days getting shorter and shorter, many of our outdoor sporting activities are often cut short because of lack of daylight. Luckily, Olight has the illumination game all figured out. Thanks to them, we are able to introduce a new headlamp, designed for the sporty types among us. It’s the super lightweight and compact, Olight HS2.

This is a special breed of headlamp, not previously available. It’s designed for fast-paced activities like running, mountain biking, snowboarding and so on.

OVERVIEW

Manufacturer’s specifications:

Batteries: customized LiPo battery pack

LED: 2x Cree XP-G2

Strobe: no

SOS: yes

Waterproof: IPX4

Low voltage protection: audible beeping from the battery box when battery voltage low, automatic power cutoff at critical levels

Output specs:

Maximum output: 400 lumens for 2 hours and 12 minutes

Maximum runtime: 18 hours at 50 lumens

Other output levels: 200/100/50 lumens

Light intensity: 36100 candela

Beam distance: ~85 m

Measured dimensions and weight:

Length: 240mm

Head width: 230mm

Weight: 115g

WHAT YOU GET IN THE BOX

When you open the cardboard box, you are greeted by the carry pouch. Inside, you find the light module, the head strap, the battery box, a couple of extra cable retention clips and a USB cable. Of course, there is also a user manual.

APPERANCE

 

The HS2 is not like your typical Olight headlamp. First and the most obvious difference is the dual LED head. It houses two same XP-G2 emitters behind different lenses. We’ll get to those in just a moment.

Moving along the strap, we get to the big blue power/mode button, which is located on the female connecting socket. The other (male) connecting socket and cable continue the line along the strap and feature some “pigtail” twists for easier fitting.

The strap itself sports some light reflective accents, which make your moving around at night even safer.

At the end of the cable, we find the battery box. It doesn’t open in any way and it features four battery status indicator LEDs, a button to check the status and a charging port covered with a silicone plug.

PRACTICAL USE

As mentioned, this headlamp features a dual emitter head system. Two same LED emitters sit in different reflector cones and are covered with different lenses.

One is a SPOT setup and the other is a FLOOD one. The nice thing about these two is then you can use them both at once for long-range illumination or just the one you need. This comes in handy, where power preservation is needed.

All modes are accessed via the blue square button on the side.

Click once on the switch to turn the light ON. Click + hold to turn it off.

The light always comes on at high flood + throw beam. Click once to cycle between the high and low mode, in a loop.

Double click to switch from flood + throw beam to either just flood, just throw, flood + throw, in a loop.

All modes have two power settings, allowing you to save some battery power. The user interface is quite straightforward and easily taught to anyone.

The head is made of aircraft aluminium in a uni-body design. It can be rotated up and down 180 degrees with no intermediate “steps” like some previous headlamps. The business end is protected with a nice stainless steel bezel in their signature blue colour.

The head can be removed from the original head strap and eventually mounted on other gear like backpack sternum straps or similar width webbing or elastic.

As said, the one switch controls all main functions. The best thing about it is that it also houses the micro USB female socket. Once the battery pack is connected, it creates a waterproof seal around it.

But if you disconnect the original battery, you can connect almost any other USB power bank to power the headlamp. Not all aftermarket cables ensure a perfect connection, but if you use the one that was provided in the box, you should be fine.

In this case, there is no waterproof seal around it. But with some ingenuity or some duct tape, you can rain-proof the connection quite easily.

With this function, you can potentially use the lamp indefinitely. You do have a cable running down your back to the power bank, but that rarely caused any problems for us. We usually have our gear set up with “web dominators” and other different webbing securing gadgets which work perfectly for cables too.

The battery pack itself is a customized 2000 mAh LiPo cell, which can be recharged anywhere you can plug in a USB cable. The speed of charging, of course, depends on the power source you use. You can charge your battery pack while still using the headlamp though.

On the side of this battery pack, there is a small blue button, which serves only to check the battery status. When pressed, four LEDs next to it show just how much battery life there is left. Maximum of four blue LEDs are used to show the status while using the lamp and also while charging.

The battery pack hides another feature, which is not obvious just from looking at it. When the battery power drops to about 10%, the box gives out an audible signal. It beeps for 10 seconds or until the blue button is pressed. This is quite useful since you don’t have to take the lamp off your head to notice it.

When running the lamp on HIGH mode, you only have about 10 minutes of power left, if you don’t lower the power output. The headlamp holds its power nicely, so if you ignore the beep, you don’t get a second warning by power step-down. When it runs out of juice, it will just stop working. And so the night search for the power bank begins.

The beam combo is what makes this headlamp stand out from the rest of what Olight has to offer. It’s like having two lamps on your head. If you are out hiking, doing some work in the dark, the low or high setting of flood beam is perfect. If you are running, you can use the spot beam to see obstacles in the distance. But if you participate in some higher speed activities like mountain biking, skiing or similar, both beams are the mode to use.

The light allocation is perfect for illuminating everything on your trail, near and far. With a 400 lumen output, you easily pick up any obstacles in front of you and because of the flood beam you are completely aware of your surroundings. No surprises from the sides.

The SOS beacon mode is ok, but a steady beacon would be even better and also there are no red LEDs on the back of the battery case like on the H15S Wave.

Its go-to power setting when powering ON is both beams-high, so you need to remember that when using it for close proximity work. But if you forget, however, the last great feature worth mentioning is the ramping effect. Every change in brightness is ramped, so you don’t get blinded by the high-intensity light. Even when you turn it ON or OFF, it “fades” the power nicely.

CONCLUSION

This is a headlamp especially designed for fast-paced activities. That means fewer brightness modes, no strobe and no “moonlight” mode. With a 50 lumen minimum output on flood mode low, it might prove to be a bit much for reading a book in your bed and definitely too much for sneaking around the house. But with a maximum run time of 18 hours, you’ll be sure to finish what you are doing before the power runs out. This being the second most powerful headlamp Olight has to offer, its beam combo is in a class of its own. It’s quite enough for some night bike riding on the local trails. Pair it with a handlebar mounted SR Mini II and you can hit a black diamond gnar fest. The SOS mode could be accompanied or even replaced by the steady beacon flashing for transitional periods of the day. When there is enough light to see, but you still want to be noticed by other users of the road/trail. This is also where our wish for a red back light comes in, as the battery pack (since it’s there) has more than enough room for it.

Overall, this is a great piece of kit and it definitely deserves a spot in our backpack.

Be sure to check all of their other Olight products on their website, where they offer Military/Police/Outdoor equipment and can provide solutions for all situations, needs and users.