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May 2022 Issue
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Knog Bilby 400



Our Rating:

Features: The Bilby is a USB-rechargeable illumination/battery unit enclosed in a stretchy one-piece silicone headband with toggle adjustment. There are five lights, each one designed for a different speciality; including high beam, two elliptical beams for mid and wide angles, a red beam and a down-light. Each mode has four brightness settings. It’s dustproof and waterproof to 1m (IP67 rating). 

Fit: The strap is adjustable to fit head circumferences from 300-660mm and the toggle slides for correct tension. It’s fit-and-forget, but can also be easily adjusted should you wear a hat. 

Comfort: This is perhaps the most comfortable torch I have worn, due to both the thin silicone strap and the anatomic curve of the torch body which integrates into the strap and sits nicely on your head. There is a small foam pad on the back of the torch body which helps it remain firmly positioned and also cushions the harder silicone. 

In use: To charge the torch you remove the lamp and battery unit from the strap and plug it directly into a USB port – quick and convenient. It charges in 4hr and can run for 5hr on full power (400 lumens) or over 105hr on the lowest setting. At 200 lumen, it will run for 14hr, but you can’t swap out the battery when it’s flat, as it’s built in, so you’ll need a power bank to recharge it on a long trip. 

The torch features a transport lock, via its two buttons, which control the light mode and power level, but you can also tilt the beam through a 20-degree arc to compensate for the non-movable torch body. That’s where this torch got a little frustrating; there are so many options available via the two buttons – including boost mode that can be used for 10 minutes – that it’s fiddly and confusing to use and takes a while to get used to.  

But having so many modes means there’s an ideal beam for almost every use; around camp, on the trail, a dedicated low angle reading beam, through to the 100m range main beam, which could be narrower for better route finding when tramping off track. 

Climbers should note that it won’t fasten to a helmet well because helmet tabs will not fit over the integrated torch body/strap.

Value: Considering the overall brightness, number of modes and sleekness of this headlamp, it’s well priced for its range of features.

Verdict: A versatile torch for all-around tramping and camping use.

Plusses: Highly configurable, comfortable, well made.
Confusing operation, batteries not replaceable.