this thing's incredible

My Favorite Headlamp Is This Cyclops-Looking Beanie

Photo: Brenley Goertzen

I recently relocated from New York City to my home state of Minnesota. After our first October snowfall, I was promptly reminded to locate the winter gear that I’ll be using for the next five months. Most critically, this meant unearthing my beloved headlamp beanie by Night Scope. In a past life, I was a high-school — and then Division I — distance runner pounding out over 50 miles each week. When my teammates weren’t around to join me on runs, I opted for the next best thing: my mom. Before the final season of my collegiate athletic career, she gifted me this hat to use during colder, darker training days. I think she had gotten tired of holding a flashlight while biking next to me for countless freezing miles.

While nothing could ever replace my mom’s company, this ingenious hat has kept me safe — and my noggin toasty — in below-zero, sunless stretches. (I refuse to run on treadmills.) The headlamp lies flat across your forehead, making it comfortable and easy to click between three brightness settings using the central button. The LED light also has enough spotlight range to illuminate a few feet in front of me and doesn’t interfere with my vision. Not to mention, this is way better than wearing a headlamp on top of a hat (or on top of one of those earmuff headbands) because it’s less conspicuous, very lightweight, and much more secure.

You may be wondering how you’re supposed to clean the soft knit of the hat after sweating profusely in it. Well, the LED light is actually removable. Simply pop it out and throw the toque into your washing machine. And while the hat is getting a wash, you can charge the light with any standard USB charging port.

Beyond wearing it outdoors, my other preferred way to use my headlamp beanie is while reading at night. Personally, I’ve never owned a real reading light because I don’t appreciate clipping things to my books. This hat is a wireless, hands-free, and portable lamp all in one. It accommodates all the odd positions I find myself in while flipping pages at bedtime.

Recharge the LED light with ease. Photo: Brenley Goertzen

There’s also another style for kids (or adults) that features a playful pom-pom and comes in various color combinations and patterns — perfect for safetyproofing any Halloween costume ahead of trick-or-treating. In fact, it could be part of a costume; this beanie unquestionably resembles a Cyclops or, better yet, one of Gru’s one-eyed Minions.

Although I’ve yet to try mine during other ill-lit activities, I have used it to search for lost items under my sink and in my linen closet — tight, shadowy spaces that are particularly aggravating to navigate, especially while holding your phone as a flashlight. But perhaps most notably, I’ve worn it after coming in from a cold night, eager to ransack my pantry for late-night snacks, all without waking my roommates.

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My Favorite Headlamp Is This Cyclops-Looking Beanie