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Because it s best to run at night. Mactronic Rebel headlamp - review

Fig. Piotr Barycki

Even if someone is not a fan of running at night, then probably in a while - as soon as the heat comes - you will have to get used to it. And if you have to run at night, it's best to have something to light your way.

Of course, you can immediately go all out and equip yourself with a really strong, and very extensive in terms of possibilities   equipment , but not everyone wants to carry such a lantern on their heads. For some, all you need is something small, light and very easy to use. And just such a device came to me some time ago in the form of a Mactronic Rebel headlamp.

It's light, really light.

34 g - that's the weight of the whole set that we have to wear on our heads. Not much, especially compared to the previously tested Maverick, whose dimensions and weight I did not complain about, but which was balanced to equal ... 97 g. There is definitely a difference.

And this difference can be felt when using the Rebel, although it may be a better term to say that the Rebel cannot feel it. I wore it on my head even during a few hours of running and with the right belt setting I quickly forgot that I had something extra on my head. In the same way I didn't have any dilemmas when packing for longer running and I thrown Rebel into my backpack without hesitation. Even when the risk of running after dark was minimal.

The strap itself is just very good. Although there is no additional head strap, e.g. in Maverick, such a little thing does not require additional stabilization and I never had the impression that such an addition would be needed. It is wide enough not to irritate, the adjustment range is very large, and the adjustment points do not hurt. The whole is finished from the inside so as to prevent or at least minimize the chances of the flashlight moving on the head.

The only thing I can fault is the fact that the contact point of the flashlight itself with our forehead could be slightly better padded. In some systems, it happens that the plastic sticks a little too much into our forehead - especially e.g. when adjusting the lighting angle.

A bonus plus: the flashlight strap can be easily unmounted from the flashlight (with zero chance that this will happen by accident during the run) and e.g. washed after particularly demanding training.

At the same time not only the angle of illumination can be adjusted.

But not to miss anything - yes, the viewing angle can be adjusted in a standard way - by tilting the flashlight module. Interestingly, the adjustment range (step, but fully sufficient intervals) is definitely greater than 90 degrees. So if we try, we can shine almost straight in the eye for some reason. Of course, this applies - if we have a thick cap on our head, then this setting will allow us, for example, to read the map more comfortably or check what has broken in the engine again.

However, this regulation is not the most interesting for Rebels. The most interesting is that it has three lighting modes, and these three modes still have their own sub modes. Seriously. On board we have 9 LEDs - four cold white (Samsung 2835 Cool White SMDs LED), four warm white (Samsung 2835 WarmWhite SMDs) and one red.

A set of 8 LEDs can be lit together:

We can only shine with cold diodes :

Or only warm :

Added to this is a red, position rather than illuminating diode that can glow with either continuous or pulsating light, or work in SOS mode.

Not only that - we can quite smoothly regulate the intensity of light in each of the systems (except for pulsating red, SOS and the most powerful, combined). To make it more accurate, I stick to the specification the powers of individual modes:

  • Warm + cold light 400 lm
  • Cold light 230 lm
  • Warm light 204 lm
  • Red light 14 lm
  • Warm light 40 lm
  • Cold light 40 lm
  • Cold light 22 lm
  • Warm light 20 lm
  • Red light 1 lm

So we have a maximum of 400 lm, a minimum of ... 1 lm. And actually a large section of the scale in the middle, the adjustment is trivial, as long as we read the instructions. The whole set has only one button, with which we handle all these switches. Luckily, the flashlight remembers previous settings, so there is no need to manually calibrate again each time.

Oh, I would forget. This was the environment without the flashlight turned on. All photos were taken with the same camera settings in manual mode and processed in exactly the same symbolic way:

So how does it shine?

I would describe it in a nutshell: urban or suburban .

Let's start with the range - the manufacturer admits the maximum range of up to 33 meters, but I could not cut my hand that I would notice - especially during faster running - all obstacles that are at such a distance from me. Light from the Rebel, even at the highest level of power, is not overly focused and flashlight - rather old ensures good visibility around us as much as possible. Anyway, this can be seen in the previous photos - our right and left side are well lit, as well as a few good meters in front of us, but it's difficult to talk about some stunning range ahead.

Effect? While running on the darker lit paths in and around the city, dark parks and similar locations, Rebel did very well. Even with faster running, I had no cases when something suddenly appeared in front of my feet - I saw everything well in advance and properly illuminated. The lack of focus was also a plus in such a form that I could run in the middle of a fairly wide path, knowing what to avoid and where to avoid it, because the entire width of the road was illuminated.

However, I would rather not take the Rebel with me for night running in the mountains or on more demanding terrain. There, it could definitely use a larger range and stronger lighting of what is ahead of us. Here, the scattering of light and illumination of the roadside is not so important, and for some it may even become a disadvantage.

Anyway, several additional factors disqualify a little Rebel in this category.

Battery? For city running just in time.

The rebel is unlikely to break records when it comes to working time without charging. In its most powerful mode (400 lm) it can withstand about 2 hours without charging, and the results that I note indicate that it is rather a few (but not more) minutes shorter or longer, depending on the day.

Fortunately, when I was running around the city at night, I rarely used this mode, because I usually didn't need such a strong source of light. And if we only need to illuminate the ground (really useful, especially with dimly-lit lanterns), Rebel results may approach 4 hours (230 or 204 lm). In economy modes (40 lm) we even get (at least in theory) well over 7 hours, but in turn I consider this level rather too weak to be treated as something other than position lighting when running. Instead, it was enough to navigate the dark garden or driveway (yes, I don't have lighting yet).

On the downside - although mainly theoretical - one can include the fact that the battery (600 mAh) is permanently built into the flashlight. So we can't go on a trip with a charged battery pack and just change them when they run out one by one. Either we connect the powerbank to the microUSB socket (protected against water - I was running in the rain and nothing happened), or we welcome the darkness as our best friend.

However, I consider this to be a rather theoretical minus, because for such applications in which Rebel did my best, i.e. when running around the city, I did not even think about taking energy reserves with me. The only thing I watched was to regularly connect it to charge between longer runs.

Worth it or not?

If we are looking for something to set off into the wilderness for long hours - the answer is rather obvious. Similarly, if we just care about something that will illuminate the surroundings in a more focused form, as far as possible and as strong as possible light.

If, however, we need something for lighter tasks, it is difficult for me to find a reason to cross the Rebel for any reason. It has a reasonable price (currently just over PLN 110), a wide range of adjustment, a very reasonable brightness and method of providing light, and it is very comfortable and light. Anyway, I admit that it is these last two features that Rebel has become a device that always lies on the cabinet at the exit of the house - I take it with me for running, walking the dog and going to the shed in the garden at night. And even despite the fact that there are more powerful - but larger - headlamps right next to it, all the time ready for operation.

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Because it's best to run at night. Mactronic Rebel headlamp - review


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