Posted onAuthorPaul Mags4 Comments
When I looked at the now-classic NU-25 headlamp, I found it light, capable, and effective. A headlamp that works well for the myriad of chores needed for backpacking and some night hiking in a pinch.
However, it’s not meant for continuous night hiking or where you need much illumination. It does not last relatively long, either.
It’s good for what it is.
But if you need, or want, a longer battery life, another headlamp will fit your needs better.
And what headlamp may fit the bill? Another Nitecore headlamp, for sure. In this case? The NU43 headlamp.
“Flashlight Go,” an online store specializing in flashlights, provided the headlamp to me, and I tested it over the winter.
I’ll let the Nitecore website give the stats –
WHITE LIGHT :
What does all this mean in the real world?
It means it’s a bit heavier than the NU25, esp modified (4 oz vs. 1 oz) and bulkier, but it’s far brighter, has a more intense beam, and lasts longer. The light is also very weather resistant and sturdier seeming, too. As with all headlamps I use now, it’s rechargeable and uses an internal battery.
It works well for any situation where you need a long-lasting headlamp that will work well for long nights in winter, emergency use when the vehicle breaks down, car camping, or more technical aspects such as SAR use, climbing, or similar.
It’s telling that the mid-mode is about a third higher in the output of the NU25, with a much longer battery life of 15 hours vs. 5 hrs.
I found the Nitecore comfortable to wear, and the two-button setup makes it easy to switch between modes. It’s the simple RED LIGHT / WHITE LIGHT setup I prefer, but rather a one-button configuration for the light type of red vs. white and another button to set the brightness. Easy enough to use once you get used to this system. As a fantastic bonus, the USB-C input charges the headlamp much more efficiently.
The headlamp costs $60, but it is competitive for a headlamp with these features.
PCO Joan. Using the redlight mode at a quick camp before a backpacking trip.
Overall and use case?
Unless you plan on deep winter backpacking and need a very long-lasting headlamp, this headlamp is overkill for most people’s needs. More technical pursuits will appreciate the relative lightweight compared to similar headlamps in the class, along with durability, brightness, and long-lasting battery life.
For my use, I certainly appreciate the duration of the battery time for those longer and earlier winter nights when Joan and I made camp on a jeep road somewhere before backpacking. And it makes an excellent headlamp to stash in the vehicle for emergencies. Though not cheap, it is not expensive compared to similar choices.
If you have similar needs, the NU43 by Nitecore continues its tradition of providing well-designed quality headlamps for a reasonable price.
Disclaimer – “Flashlight Go provided the headlamp for my review.
CategoriesGearTagsgear, gear review, lights
Sounds like a good headlamp, but it lacks one feature that I value: the lamp’s rechargeable battery apparently cannot be removed and replaced. I have a headlamp whose rechargeable battery can be replaced with AAA batteries in case it gets depleted. I have the advantages of mostly using a rechargeable battery while having a backup option.
Understood. However, I do not find that to be needed for real-world use for most applications. Now, a friend of mine is an ~20-year veteran of SAR, currently an officer in SAR, and owns a guiding company. He always said that the best backup for a headlamp batteries? Another charged headlamp. In a critical situation where you may need a backup source, you don’t want to futz with batteries. Esp since in modern headlamps most of the weight is in the battery source and not the headlamp itself. Certainly more expensive than batteries, but much easier, efficient, and needed in… Read more »
If I were doing much SAR work, I’d probably use a different strategy, but I’ve only been involved in a few serious rescues in 50 years or so. The real-world situations I have most often experienced are having the headlamp turn on in my pack, my having failed to recharge it, and just having the lamp stop working (not a battery problem, but see below). You probably manage to avoid those situations, but I’ve experienced them all and expect to again. The backup batteries I carry are lithium AAA cells, which have a very long shelf life, don’t weigh very… Read more »
I’ve done almost entirely away from AAA or AA batteries in my devices as have many others.
Having said that, you seem comfortable with a system that fits your situation. Cheers!
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