I never knew I could be such a big fan of a headlamp — I mean, it’s a headlamp, right? The Ledlenser MH10 however, isn’t your run of the mill headlamp.
The external battery back might seem a bit inconvenient: is this something only for expeditions? But I’ve used the MH10 sitting around the campfire as well as deep in the mountains and you shortly forget about that external battery pack. The battery compartment is rounded to fit against the back of your head, or helmet, and the front is similarly curved for a comfortable fit. The cable is solidly connected into the external battery pack so I’m not worried about the connection wearing through like a shitty headphone jack.
Generous tilt allows me to drop the light beam lower than on other headlamps: handy for those dark road trip evenings cooking in remote corners of parking lots (or just when you don’t want to blind your partners at a benighted belay).
The IPX4 rating provides splash proof water protection for those rainy days. Naturally I took the liberty of testing it to full immersion: several dips in an Idaho hot spring later and the the MH10 is still beaming bright (this is not recommended to test out on your own, however — both the headlamp and battery required a few days in the hot desert sun to dry out and return back to normal function).
The features that stand out the most though are the basic controls. These are a single large button and a large round knob. That’s it. This is the type of headlamp you can turn on with your biggest warmest winter gloves. There are three brightness settings, cycled through by pushing a recessed hard-click button. No fancy fluff — flashing light, coloured hues — required. The knob is a knurled 35mm diameter rotating ring which can narrow or expand the beam as necessary. Ledlenser’s name for this is Rapid Focus, and it is both quick and efficient.
With a brightness rating of 600 Lumens, the MH10 is brighter than the headlights of my old Nissan Pathfinder. Fair warning that if you’re walking behind someone with a more common 100-300 Lumen headlamp, the Ledlenser will leave it in shadow, casting a bring light around that person and their beam.
Ledlenser’s patented Advanced Focus System combines a reflector and lens to provide clear, bright, light at great distances, and smooth, balanced, light at close distances. Don’t take my makeshift explanation of this because Ledlenser has a far better explanation and video of how this works on their website (LINK). What I do know is that this headlamp gives out a far superior beam and even lighting at long distances than any other headlamp I’ve ever used. With such incredible brightness I found the Ledlenser great for recon missions where you might be trying to scope out faint trails or big walls from a distance.
The listed battery life range, depending on brightness settings, is 10 hrs to 120 hrs, although I’ve never actually tested this. I don’t even remember when the last time I charged it is: I vaguely recall charging it on an occasion or two… The battery recharge is done by micro-USB, a handy and commonplace connection.
The main on/off/brightness button doesn’t have a lock but I haven’t had it ever accidentally turn on: the force required to push through the settings is a bit stronger than most headlamps.
The MH10 has a total measured weight of 164g and costs $100 Cad or $80 USD.
I can’t speak highly enough of this headlamp. Very highly recommended.