Bearded Goat Gear

Real World Trail Running & Backpacking Gear Reviews

Nitecore NU25 headlamp Review for Trail Running and Backpacking Nitecore NU25 headlamp Review for Trail Running and Backpacking
Nitecore NU25 headlamp Review for Trail Running and Backpacking

Hitting the trails and backroads without concern for time of day in all sorts of areas provides some of the best experiences. Whether it be running on a dirt road or hiking up a heavily wooded trail, getting out at night or into the night can be great. Even just feeling safe while heading out the door on a cold winter morning can be the start of a great time…so long as you have a good light and know that you’ll be safe! That is why having a good headlamp is crucial.


Going off the beaten path in the early morning, evening, or night can present significant challenges. The less than perfect footing and hidden objects can make for some hazardous routes and at best you’ll bruise your ego – and…well, we won’t discuss the worst! 

Almost all of these potential difficulties are due to lack of visibility and why Runners World recommends having a good light. Having a solid go to headlamp is a must and the reason why we are reviewing the Nitecore NU25 headlamp.

Who We Are

Bearded Goat Gear is an active lifestyle company with the goal of getting you outside with the right gear. Whether it is backpacking, trail running, cycling or even making your way down a body of water; Bearded Goat Gear provides you with all the information you need to get the right equipment for your adventures.

Whether it is clothing, accessories, or access to a new outdoor trip, Bearded Goat Gear focuses on providing you with the info you need to enrich your experience and keep your enthusiasm going – and hey, getting new gear is just fun 🙂

Our Decision

Before we get into the details of how we came to our “Yay” or “Nay” decision, we start by giving the Nitecore NU25 headlamp two big thumbs up. According to the experts at Active, seeing and being seen are the essential attributes. These and several other factors went into our evaluation. Here is what we liked and disliked about this product.

Video Review

What Did We Like the Most?

Depending upon your activity, the weight of a headlamp can have varying importance. However, it is critical for a running headlamp or a backpacking headlamp, and the Nitecore NU25 scores high marks. Weighing in at less than an ounce, the Nitecore NU25 offers a powerful light source that you will hardly know you have on.

The head strap is ergonomically designed and is comfortable and secure in its hold. Also adding to the convenience is the rechargeable battery. So there is no need to worry about having to change batteries or it running out of life in the middle of an excursion. It comes with the charger included. The battery cover is on the “downward” side, and covered with a fit piece of rubber, so no big worries about moisture getting in.

Also, we like the thicker (width) headband for running – the ability to add a red blinker light like one of these from Amazon on the back.

What Did We Like the Least?

Every product on the market has some drawbacks. While the Nitecore NU25 is an exceptional lightweight headlamp, it did have some qualities that we think could be improved. 

First, the buttons take some figuring out. Since there’s only 2 buttons and several modes and different functions you’ll want to hang onto the little instruction manual that comes with it for a few weeks. 

We also found that touching any button after the light has been on after 3+ seconds will shut off the device. These types of devices work best when each button has specific functions and not all-encompassing features. Yet, this quirk is not a deal-breaker. With some experience and familiarity with the product, you will soon have all of the button technicalities under control.

Generally, I want to switch to another light mode and don’t mind pressing a button a couple times to turn it off…maybe that’s just me. It’s not a big deal but something to know about.


The Nitecore NU25 headlamp has some great attributes. Here is a list of features.

  • 360 lumens of primary white output’
  • Four adjustable brightness settings
  • 88-yard range
  • 13-lumen red LED for night vision
  • Excellent for photography, star gazing, map reading and hunting
  • It contains a red caution emergency signaling mode
  • Battery power level indicator
  • Weight is only .99 ounces.

Real World Use & Testing

As with all products that we purchase, we test them under the same conditions that you might face. Here is what we found.


We put the Nitecore NU25 through its paces. First of all, we checked for its luminosity capabilities. On early dark morning runs, the 360 lumens of primary white output proved to be more than sufficient and I honestly don’t need that much light. The medium setting was more than enough for running on a sidewalk and through a neighborhood.

Its ability to angle, and adjustable brightness that could throw light up to 88 yards, kept everything visible and clear.

While taking it out for runs in the early morning it was cold, wet, and windy, and throughout, the product performed admirably. We also combined the device with a trucker hat that kept the rain out of our eyes and thanks to the ability to angle the light up or down at nearly ninety-degree angles it worked out very well.

Last but not least we recently did a quick one night backpack trip and got to test it overnight.

Our verdict? Same as with running; it’s lightweight, comfortable, and the red light worked well. The low setting was enough to see in total darkness for going to the bathroom or rooting around your pack while the high red light setting was…bright. Like, seriously one of the brightest red lights we’d seen. 

Any Issues?

There were no significant issues in our test. The headlamp performed wonderfully and stood up to challenging conditions with zero problems. The strap remained secure and could easily be adjusted to accommodate a trucker hat, beanie, or just about anything else.

Any Potential Issues We See?

The short answer is, no. Although the buttons could sometimes be awkward, there were no significant future issues that we could foresee. After perusing other reviews, we found only minimal issues that were easily solved and caused no future problems – part of why we grabbed this for ourselves.


Safety and saving time is probably the best reason to have a good headlamp, and though you cannot put a price on it, the $36.95 cost (at time of review) for the Nitecore NU25 is well worth the money for us. You can check the current price and purchase it here.

The Nitecore NU25 headlamp is an outstanding light source and a great addition to any runner, backpacker, or adventurer’s safety and convenience arsenal. Its features, luminosity, lightness, strength, and adjustability make it perfect for any outdoor activity.

The Nitecore NU25 will help you navigate rugged terrain while providing additional security. Its lightweight ergonomic design is both comfortable and simple to use. Because of the Nitecore NU25’s features, we highly recommend it.

  • Lightweight
  • Decent price
  • Several light output levels
  • Slightly odd button configuration

5 of 5

5 of 5

4 of 5