UCO AIR LED Headlamp Review

UCO AIR LED Headlamp Review Overall I believe that with more usage and testing the UCO Air 150 will become my goto headlamp. It’s light. It works. While the posted […]

UCO AIR LED Headlamp Review

Overall

I believe that with more usage and testing the UCO Air 150 will become my goto headlamp. It’s light. It works. While the posted battery life looks poor, I ask how long do you keep your headlamps on? The one charge lasted a full 3 day weekend and random usage around my house for a few weeks since then. I noticed no weather related battery drain and no accidental activation inside of my pack. While I’m not entirely sold on the headband. I do have a simple way around it but plan on giving it more time for me to adjust to it. Aside from the headband and not having a green LED, this is a solid 3.5 gear rating in my book.

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The UCO Air 150 headlamp is light. It works. The one charge lasted a full 3 day weekend and random usage around my house for a few weeks since then.

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First Impressions – UCO AIR LED Headlamp

UCO AIR Headlamp

The UCO Headlamp is a 150 lumens, rechargeable headlamp that UCO claims as being light as air. Taking it out of the box the first thing that I noticed was that the headband wasn’t the normal elastic headband that you find in most premium headlamp offerings. It comes with a large dial surrounding the light – rotate it left and the light comes on, rotate it right and the red light comes on. To the right of the light is a wood-grain section with “AIR” displayed in a lighter stain of wood grain. I know that this is just UCO’s way to fill up the space that is needed to house the battery, but I like the touch – it looks classy.

UCO Headlamp  Features

UCO has redesigned the common elastic headband for the UCO Air 150 headlamp. A three part fabric with Lycra neoprene against the skin, and the headlamp attaching to the headband without any hard attachment points does indeed make this headlamp very comfortable to wear. The head band easily adjusts with a hook and loop on the right side of the headband.

The LED UCO Air 150 light is adjustable from 10 to 150 lumens. When you turn the dial to activate the AIR headlamp you actually start at the 10 lumens setting and not the “blind my friends” 150 lumens setting. Turn the dial in the other direction and you get the red camp light.

The UCO Air 150 headlamp contains a vertical adjustment as well. So, you can aim the light towards the ground in front of you and not in your friend’s eyes. Unfortunately, the Air 150 headlamp can’t actually make your friends point their lights down. It only gives them the option. 🙁

The UCO Air 150 headlamp operates on a built-in rechargeable 170 mAh lithium-ion battery that will recharge via micro USB input. In other words, if I run out of juice while on the trail, I can recharge it with the same cable that I use to charge my phone.

Compared to other backpacking LED headlamps I own, the UCO Air 150 headlamp is lighter than both my Black Diamond Spot and my Black Diamond Ion.  UCO Air 150’s high beam is brighter than the Ion headlamp but not as bright as the Spot headlamp. The UCO Air 150’s infinity wheel is easier to use and more reliable than the Black Diamond Ions finger touch activation. The Ion headlamp does not have a lock like the Black Diamond Spot, and turns on set to it’s weakest setting while the Spot headlamp powers on full strength.

UCO AIR LED Headlamp Specs

UCO AIR Headlamp

  • HEAD STRAP: Hook and Loop Adjustment
  • LUMENS: Up to 150
  • BEAM PROJECTION: 154′ on High
  • BATTERY: 170 mAh Li-Ion Battery
  • BATTERY LIFE:
    •  48 mins on High
    • 1.5 hours on Medium
    • 5 hours on Low
  • WATER RESISTANCE: IPX4
  • WEIGHT w/ Batteries: 1.6 oz. (45 g)
  • DIMS: 2.3 x .65 x 1.4 in (5.9 x 1.7 x 3.5 cm)

UCO AIR LED Headlamp Field Test Results

I first got to take this headlamp out on a cold winter camping trip. Prior to leaving, I made sure that the UCO Air 150 headlamp was charged. The red charging light turns green when the battery is full. I happened to arrive at the campsite well after dark. So, the need for the headlamp was immediate. I put the UCO Air 150 headlamp on my head and adjusted the strap to what was comfortable over my beanie hat, turned the dial, and there was light. I dialed up more power and began setting up my hammock. Once I completed my hammock set up, I dialed the power down and went to the campfire.

My buddies wanted to see the lamp and it got passed around the fire. Everyone seemed pretty impressed with the build and ease of use.  That night the temperature dropped to 18°. The headlamp was hung on my hammock’s ridgeline. So, I didn’t take any extra precautions to keep the battery warm to keep the cold from prematurely draining the battery.  The next night at dusk, I grabbed the UCO AIR LED headlamp and again quickly adjusted it for my truckers hat and used it as needed around camp. It was very easy to turn on with gloves on – no need to fiddle with a button or combination of buttons to get to the setting I was looking for.

UCO AIR Headlamp

What Could Be Better?

I would like to see the headlamp get rid of the red light and replace it with a green one. Whenever the discussion at the campfire turns to headlamps, the one wish that everyone has is that they all want a green light. The red doesn’t seem bright enough to be useful. While the headband is very comfortable, it is larger than the typical headlamp band. At least UCO developed the UCO Air 150 headlamp so that it could be easily removed from the headband if someone would wanted to replace the headband with a length of shock cord and cord lock.

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About Chris G

Chris G. - Camping Gear Review Specialist Following in Jeff's footsteps and connecting with Gear Reports roots, Chris G is establishing himself as our resident camping, backpacking and hammock specialist. No one is sure when he actually writes reviews, as he seems to post pictures from remote backpacking camp locations 24/7/365. While much of the crew at Gear Report have branched out into firearms, Chris remains focused on all things camping.