Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp

8.8
8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = Runnerclick score (8.8)/10

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Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp Review Facts
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Earning high marks for its rechargeable battery life and cited as ideal for runners heading out for frequent dark o’clock runs, the Black Diamond Sprinter is a solid contender in the world of headlamps. Its strong oval beam of  200 lumens LED light and its efficient beam distance (up to 50 m) offers a quality lighting option for those taking to the roads. And while it offers battery power options that extend run time, reviews indicate that it still maintains a shorter battery life off one charge than that of a traditional alkaline (around 5 hours according to some reviewers). For these reasons, many feel it best suited for roads rather than backcountry trails. With a markedly higher price tag, some may be disappointed that it isn’t a better performer in all areas but is instead more specialized for a single purpose. While it does not represent a bargain up front, it should head off the cost of batteries in the future. And with frequent charging, the Sprinter offers a more customized tool for the daily urban runner. Well constructed and securely fitting, with an added safety feature to boot, the Black Diamond Sprinter shines against the competition when it is settled within in its narrow scope of use. Not a jack-of-all-trades as it may not meet every outdoor enthusiast’s needs but what it does, it does do well.

 

Pros
  • Narrow focus on purpose: Daily urban runner specific
  • Quality dispersed LED light
  • Good close up lighting at 2m and max lighting at 50m
  • Well-balanced with lamp in front and battery in back
  • Adjustable headband
  • Optional center/top strap included
  • Rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • Updated model charges via standard USB cable
  • 3 power battery setting for optimal battery usage
  • One touch high beam effect
  • Red strobe blinker at rear for added visibility
  • Rated at IPX4: stormproof
Cons
  • Less affordable than other options
  • Shorter battery life make it not off the beaten path or long run friendly
  • Some concern over the USB port cover not fitting securely allowing water in
  • Reports that the battery pack was difficult to reattach
Use
Use

Use

Offering 200 lumens, with 2-50 min/max distances, and a marketed burn time of 4 hours on high, 24 on average, and 42 on low power, the Black Diamond Sprinter headlamp does not seem as impressive on paper. Most claim it is simple to switch lighting modes to use only the power you need and conserve battery life. But powered by only one rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, the 1 triple power LED light just can't seem to offer enough brightness and distance for some...except those using it for a narrowly focused purpose: daily dark road running. The published statistics do not lend themselves to the confidence that quite a few adventurers would expect in a headlamp but once you factor in that its use appears to be highly specific in that regard, the game changes.  It becomes a purposeful tool for many nighttime and pre-dawn warriors. Particularly useful for cyclists and runners, the Sprinter boasts an efficient way to safely navigate early morning and evening outings. Black Diamond enters a stiff competition with lamps that are slated to give off better lighting for outdoor enthusiasts. However, multiple independent testers and users have found that the Sprinter performed better than advertised - making it a strong contender among headlamps of similar purpose. Many found it to be well thought out and constructed, and smart for the environment with its rechargeable battery pack. This combined with its water resistance, make it a very good choice for daily urban running in almost any weather.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

This headlamp consists of a strap that circles the head with a small lamp in the front and battery pack balancing it out in back. An optional top/center band can also be worn for stability. The head is able to breathe as the unit is not cumbersome and with the elastic and adjustable fit, it can be modified to not sit so tight that you sweat.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Black Diamond Sprinter is adjustable, lightweight, and well designed. A balanced lamp in front and sealed lithium-ion battery pack in the back creates a good weight distribution for maximum comfort and the addition of a red blinking light on the pack creates added visibility for safety. While bulky at first glance because of its two separate compartments, most like the layout and find the rear battery to be undetectable once moving. The fit can be further customized with the addition of a top strap for enhanced stability.

Size
Size

Size

The Black Diamond Sprinter is offered in just one size. The headband and additional optional center strap are adjustable for a secure, personalized fit.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Most have found the Black Diamond Sprinter to be well made and long lasting. In its updated form that offers 200 lumens, reviews are favorable for quality. Older models did elicit some concerns about the construction of the lamp and connecting wires but that has not seemed to be an issue in the newer incarnation. Some experienced a faulty flap covering the USB port as well as breakage of the clip that attaches the battery pack to the band. And while some found the battery pack to lose charge quickly, most were pleased with its ability to provide the full 5 hour run time and then some.
Accessories
Accessories

Accessories

There are no known accessories manufactured for this product. However, charging cable and headlamp replacements are available for the 2015 models and newer as well as charging cradles (without cable) for older models.
Style
Style

Style

As headlamps go, the Sprinter appears streamlined and basic. Offered with a black band and a blue-rimmed headlamp, it is marketed as smoke blue. This simple and functional design is smartly balanced with the battery pack/red strobe at the rear of the headband.
Price
Price

Price

With a cost that almost doubles lamps that have similar specs, the Sprinter is one to really think about. It is deemed highly specialized for the day-to-day urban runner so it seems to feed into a niche market. Even with top billing from some, it is hard to swallow the cost. In its favor most say it is durable, the light fits their needs, that it is waterproof, and that the safety feature is an added gem. But where the cost tends to get justified is in its offering of an environmentally conscious rechargeable battery that can produce considerable savings in the long run. In addition, it can be found online for a significantly reduced price making it a better buy.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- 200 lumens
- 2m min/50m max beam distance
- 3 power modes including one-touch high beam setting
- Safety red strobe on battery pack at rear of unit
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack
- Updated model charges via USB cable
- Provides 5 hour runtime
- Rated IPX: 4 - stormproof
- Adjustable headband with optional center/top strap for stability
- Best suited for urban running
- A little pricey
- Rated top pick among some reviewers
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

When determining if this is the right headlamp for you, it is important to understand where it falls in relationship to other lamps with respect to some key features. With lumens as a defining category in the search for a headlamp, some may see the updated Sprinter's 200 lumens as proof enough to buy it. Just as indoor lighting which tends to be 200-300 lumens doesn't look the same, the same is true for headlamps. Its beam distance of 4 meters min and 50 meters max works in conjunction with lumens for a comprehensive measurement. And its close up brightness sets it apart from others and helps it to earn top pick at some review sites, And while the Sprinter can light up the night effectively, it is not for everyone. While most applaud its craftsmanship and ease of use, they find the light is just simply not enough for their purpose. This is because they claim that unless they are out on a familiar road, the brightness doesn't just gradually decrease: it seems to drop off significantly after the initial few meters. And most feel the light just doesn't provide enough detail for uneven terrain. But within the scope of road runners that get out daily for their dark miles, this lamp hits the mark. A feature that is lauded by some is the quick touch high beam. This proves to be an essential safety feature along with visibility from the back courtesy of the red strobe. Battery life is another key factor to consider. The Sprinter provides around 5 hours run time courtesy of a USB chargeable battery pack located on the back of the unit. This is not a very long amount of time but considering that its scope is daily urban dark miles, it works well for many and it even comes ready straight out of the box with an initial charge. Subsequent charges are done via USB cable making for a more streamlined product. With some decline in the battery life, the brightness did not work for some but reports of that are rare. This lamp is available with a bigger investment price than some competitors but keeping in mind the savings from avoiding alkaline replacements, most seem pleased with their purchases. At full cost, it might be wise to look for a less expensive option but if you can find the Black Diamond Sprinter available at a reduced rate online and you just want to get out a few times a week for your neighborhood miles, then try it out.