Every outdoor pursuit has its own specialized gear, but there are some essential pieces of equipment that belong in every gear bag regardless of the outdoor activity you plan to pursue. At the top of that list is a quality headlamp or flashlight. As the illumination technology has advanced significantly in recent years, lights have become brighter, more efficient, and more lightweight, making them both more practical to carry and more effective in a wide range of outdoor activities. Despite these advancements, however, it’s still been difficult to find one light that can do it all, and do it well. But the Led Lenser XEO 19R might very well change that.
The XEO 19R is designed primarily as a headlamp, but that’s only the beginning of what this light is capable of. The light features a pair of adjustable lenses that can be used independently or in conjunction with each other depending on how much light you need in any given situation. Each lens also has multiple brightness settings giving you a wide range of illumination options for every possible situation and the knob on each side of the light makes it easy for you to focus each lens from a wide beam to a narrow ray with a simple slide of the lever. At its brightest, the XEO 19R casts a blinding 2000 lumens on the trail in front of you, but to conserve the battery for up to 20 hours, the lights can be dimmed back to a still very respectable 200 lumens.
One of the coolest features of the light, however, is Led Lenser’s Optisense Technology that uses a brightness sensor on the outside of the light to automatically adjust the strength of the beam based on the proximity of the object being illuminated. So if you need to look down at the map in your hands while you’re hiking in the pre-dawn hours, the light automatically dims so that the reflection off the paper doesn’t overwhelm your eyes, then the headlamp instantly adjusts to a brighter setting when you look up again and stare down the dark trail.
While the XEO 19R provides the kind of versatility that few headlamps or flashlights can match, the true beauty of this headlamp is in the unsurpassed variety of practical applications that it can be used for. The XEO 19R retails for $330, but that price includes an accessory pack that’s worth its weight in gold because of the array of possibilities that it brings to this powerful light. The headlamp slides easily off its strap and can attach directly to the battery pack to create a powerful hand-held flashlight, or you can use the included mounting systems to attach the lamp to a helmet, a GoPro chest strap, or even a tripod. One of the most useful mounting mechanisms, however, is the handlebar attachment that gives urban commuters or nighttime mountain bikers the kind of illumination that is typically only available on top of a lighthouse.
Because of the size and weight of the rechargeable battery pack that’s needed to power the night-splitting 2000 lumens, the XEO 19R isn’t the most practical choice for backpacking, ultra running, and other pursuits where every ounce matters. But for other outdoor activities, Led Lenser has made it easier to manage the bulk and weight of the battery by providing different connecting cords and attachment set-ups that give you the option to strap the battery pack onto a belt, a bike frame, or the headlamp harness itself.
While the price tag for the XEO 19R certainly isn’t anything to scoff at, neither is the technology that’s incorporated in the light. From the X-Lens Technology used to focus multiple LEDs into a single beam and the Advanced Focus System that incorporates reflectors and lenses for an equally effective light at a variety of ranges, the XEO might very well be the most advanced headlamp on the market today. And when you consider the amount of money you’re likely to spend on a series of lights for all the different outdoor pursuits you engage in, the XEO 19R starts looking like a pretty wise investment indeed.