Headlamps serve two primary purposes for road runners: to see, and to be seen.  You want something that lights your path, and effectively alerts others (especially those behind the wheel of a car) to your presence.  The Black Diamond Sprinter meets both of those needs brilliantly, and is super eco-friendly to boot.

Sprinter shown with all accessories included

Sprinter shown with all accessories included

Black Diamond Sprinter Specs:

  • Bulb type: High-output LED in front, red LED in back
  • Beam type: Flood
  • Brightness (high setting): 68 lumens
  • Weight: 100g/3.5 oz
  • Dimensions: Lamp: 2” x 1.25” x 0.75” / Battery pack: 3” x 1.75” x 0.9”
  • Maximum beam distance (high setting): 50m
  • Brightness levels: 2
  • Strobe: yes
  • Battery type: lithium polymer rechargeable (6 hour charge time)
  • Battery life (high setting, at 70 degrees): 5 hours
  • Retail price: $79.95


Black Diamond Sprinter Review

from Black Diamond website

from Black Diamond website

Black Diamond calls the Sprinter “urban-inspired”, and the combination of front and rear LEDs is ideal for runners who need an extra measure of security from road hazards and approaching vehicles.

Front view: superbright LED, single multi-function button on top

Front view: superbright LED, single multi-function button on top

Light output is impressive: the 68 lumens in front are brighter than most compact lamps, and over 40% brighter than the Black Diamond Spot.  The flood beam distributes light evenly in a wide visual field, and is regulated for constant illumination throughout the battery life.

Optional top strap attached for improved stability

Optional top strap attached for improved stability

Compared to most external battery headlamps, the Sprinter is very lightweight, and its fore-aft weight distribution is balanced for minimal bouncing and improved comfort.  However, an optional top strap is included if you need additional stability.

The red rear strobe is an outstanding safety feature, and has an on/off switch in case you’re either 1) on trails far away from cars, or 2) in a group of runners who don’t want a flashing red light in their face.  (Trust me, it’s no fun.)

Battery pack resting on charging unit

Battery pack resting on charging unit; rear view with LED strobe and on/off switch

The Sprinter’s distinguishing feature, however, is the rechargeable lithium polymer battery.  With a 6-hour charge time, it burns for 5 hours on the high setting, and 64 hours on the dim setting.  The docking port comes with adapters for multiple outlet configurations.  Interface between battery pack and charging station is slightly unsteady, so look for the indicator light to ensure the unit is charging.

Finally, the Sprinter’s water resistance is a mighty IPX7, sealed waterproof to 1m – about as good as you’ll find in a running headlamp.

Good Sprinter

  • Strong front LED beam bright enough for use on trails as well as road
  • Blinking rear LED for safety, with convenient on/off function
  • Rechargeable battery is eco-friendly and economic over long term
  • Lightweight, comfortable design
  • Outstanding water resistance

Bad Sprinter

  • Short battery life on high setting requires frequent recharging
  • Battery pack slightly unsteady on charging unit
  • No spot setting

Bottom Line: Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp

The Black Diamond Sprinter is equally suitable for road or trail use, and is a wonderful combination of everything you want in a headlamp – comfort, brightness, and safety – with the added bonus of being Earth-friendly.

Buy Now: Black Diamond Headlamps at Backcountry.com

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.


  1. Just out of curiosity, have you tried putting this on a bike helmet? I think this would be a very usable addition to any bike commuters light setup if would sit on a helmet.

  2. Since I prefer to strap my headlamp around my upper arm, your description of the Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp makes it a prime candidate for my next purchase.

  3. Pingback: Gear of the Year 2010; Surprise Holiday Giveaway | LikeBarefoot

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