Knog is well-known for their innovative take on everything they make. So, it’s no surprise that the Knog Bandicoot headlamp is different than you’d expect. The integrated silicone rubber body and straps make for a unique, waterproof design that adjusts as needed. With a wide variety of light options, the Bandicoot gets kudos for doing things differently.

Knog Bandicoot Headlamp Features:

  • Matte silicone rubber body and straps
  • Fully-waterproof design
  • Custom light settings via modemaker
  • Integrated USB charging plug
  • 5 lighting modes with 4 brightness settings for each
  • Red night mode light
  • Down light mode for reading and camp prep
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Weight: 60 grams
  • MSRP: $34.95
Knog Bandicoot Headlamp Lenses

A wide array of lenses and brightness settings.

Let there be Bandicoot!

There are a ton of headlamps on the market these days. What was once only used for climbers is now ubiquitous for all outdoor activities. Headlamps are indispensable and plain old flashlights have been relegated to occasional use. In my glove box you’ll always find one and the back of my car usually has a couple for dawn patrol use.

As mentioned, Knog has a penchant for putting their own stamp on things and the Bandicoot is no exception. ┬áThe body of the light features four sets of LED’s that are positioned for specific purposes. I’ll start out with my favorite mode, and it might come as a surprise. It’s the reading/camp mode.

Knog Bandicoot Headlamp Review

Reading mode is awesome for campsite duty as well.

A headlamp and I’m going to talk about reading/camp mode? Yup. Here’s the deal, when you’re in camp or in the tent, the last thing you want to do is shine your bright, 500 lumen headlamp into the eyes of your tent mate. With reading mode, the light shines downward and delivers the perfect light source for reading or late-night snack-making. I also used it on road trips while prepping sandwiches for the kids. I was able to make a mean salami sandwich without blinding my wife as she drove across New Mexico.

Let’s talk adjustability. With the silicone rubber strap, adjustments are a little different from what you’re used to and did take a bit of thinking to get connected the first time. Once I got the hang of the adjustments, subsequent modifications were a breeze. One drawback is the lack of micro-adjustments. When you re-position one side, you kind of have to move the opposite side to match. As such, the minimum movement is about 2cm. Going from hat to beanie mode is more involved than a typical elastic strap.

Knog Bandicoot USB Plug

Magnetic and mechanical clip keeps the charging side in place until needed.

Knog Bandicoot Headlamp Charging

Find yourself a USB port to charge.

On the trail, the brightness is excellent for hiking as it brightens the trail like a lighthouse. But, for higher-paced activities, including trail running, I did wish I could point the light forward just enough to get a better glimpse of the terrain ahead. Additionally, I run with a hat and without that adjustment, the brim blocked some of my usable light.

The two-button operation is easy to use. One turns the light on and the other adjusts brightness settings. All functions work well with or without gloves.

The Good

  • Charges easily with USB plug
  • Rubbery straps stretch and move with you
  • Lighting modes galore
  • Love the reading mode for camp tasks
  • Waterproof design
  • Foam brow pad helps when sweaty

The Bad

  • Can’t adjust the beam forward enough for running
  • Size adjustments are a little more involved
  • Doesn’t work well wearing a hat (due to lack of beam adjustment)

The Bottom Line: Knog Bandicoot Headlamp

The unique design of the Knog Bandicoot is noteworthy and makes for a compact and versatile headlamp. It is fully waterproof and has a vast array of light patterns and brightness settings. The only wish is for a little more forward-facing light for trail running.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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