Last night I finally decided to join the Boulder Running Company’s Tuesday Night Fun Run. And what a great decision that was! Boulder Running Company had three companies with demo gear: Nathan Sports with lighting, hydration, and reflective gear; TomTom with GPS watches; and 2XU with compression sleeves. I had the good luck of demoing the Nathan Sports Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch. This was really good fortune because I lost my trusty handheld light and hate running with a headlamp.
Unlike many traditional hand held lights, the Zephyr Fire 100 is designed to be “grip-free”, meaning you don’t have to physically hold the light for it to stay in your hand. This is achieved through a comfortable stretchy mesh strap that fits over your hand, effectively attaching the light to your hand. The light has a 24 degree downward angle so you don’t have to point the light at the ground, it naturally does it for you. It also has three lighting modes (bright, dim, and strobe) for the main beam and a red LED on the back to alert people to your presence. And finally, the feature that I like the best for when I’m out running by myself, it has a “warning siren” that is activated with the touch of a button. The siren is loud enough to alert people that you may be in danger, but not loud enough to wake the neighbors or to cause local dogs to start howling. The only negative about the warning siren is the location of the button for it. I kept activating the warning siren when I was trying to turn the light on/off.
In addition to testing out the Zephyr Fire 100, the wonderful Nathan Sports rep, Sadie, told me about a new reactive lighting headlamp that Nathan is developing and should be on the market in the next year. This is a headlamp made by runners for runners, unlike the Petzl’s and Black Diamonds of the world that are made for climbers. The headlamp will automatically brighter or dim the LEDs based on ambiant lighting, but will do so much quicker than other reactive lighting headlamps on the market. In addition, the headlamp will recognize car headlights and will automatically switch to strobe mode. But instead of the normal strobe with flashes at regular intervals, the light will flash “R U N” in morse code so that it’s more noticeable to drivers. Finally, you’ll be able to wave your hand in front of the headlamp to turn it on and off – really important when you’re at mile 86 of an ultra and your fingers aren’t working properly. I was planning on buying a new headlamp, but after hearing Sadie talk about the soon-to-be-released Nathan, I know I’ll be waiting to make that purchase!
But back to the Zephyr Fire! The Zephyr Fire is available in two different lumen options: the Zephyr Fire 100 which has a maximum output of 108 lumens and the Zephyr Fire 300 which has a maximum output of 359 lumens and an extra lighting mode. Both models can be recharged with a USB cable that is include with the hand torch. The Zephyr Fire 100 comes in pink or yellow and the Zephyr Fire 300 comes in black.