A Guide’s Review of the Nitecore UT27 + NB10000
The Nitecore UT27 is a dual-beam headlamp designed for trail runners but there is no need for it to be pigeonholed as a running headlamp. It’s a lightweight headlamp with the power to be a reliable basecamp headlamp, trekking light, and emergency light for dark starts and full-value ski touring days. Add in its lightweight and fantastic battery and you’ve got the headlamp that spends every day with me on the trail.
- Max Output: 520 lumens
- Max Beam Distance: 128m
- Max Runtime: 13 hours
- Bulbs: Cree XP-G3 S3 LEDs
- Beam Colors: Cool White (5700k), Warm White (3000k), Red
- Weight: 74g
- Battery: HLB1300 Rechargeable Li-ion included.
- Country of Origin: China
What is the Nitecore UT27?
The Nitecore UT27 is a dual beam, dual power headlamp designed with trail running in mind. It turns out it’s simply a good headlamp with a fantastic rechargeable battery that is so light you’ll barely notice it in your pack or on your head.
Controlling the Nitecore UT27 is a simple two-button affair with both buttons being on the top of the headlamp. The button marked T is for the long-range light. The Button marked W is for the Wide light. Hold both down to lock out the light.
To access the red light, double-press either button while the light is off. Quickly press either button again and the red light will flash. Hold either button for over a second and the red light turns off.
Lock Out. When Battery is replaced it resets lock-out. When the light is off short press either button and the power indicator light will flash. If it flashes three times the battery is above 50%, twice is below 50%, and once is below 10%. I wish there was a fourth flash to let me know when the battery is still over 75%.
The Nitecore UT27 headband is perforated, silicone lined, and slightly stretchy. The silicone is placed so that it can divert sweat from the wearer’s eyes and is only found at the front of the strap. I didn’t get the chance to test this feature out as I was hiking at night, not trail running. I imagine it does a good job of keeping the lamp from sliding off a helmet should you be wearing one. Admittedly, the strap wasn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. It doesn’t stretch very much and is a bit rough in texture. Wear it over a hat, beanie, or anything else and the comfort issue will be gone.
The Nitecore UT27 uses two Cree XP-G3 S3 LEDs. The long-range bulb is the warmer of the two at 3000k. This bulb emits 520 lumens in search mode and 400 lumens in spotlight mode. The max throw of the 520-lumen bulb is suggested at 128 meters.
The second bulb is the whiter of the two at 5700k. It emits light at either 200 lumens in the TrueVision floodlight mode or 55 lumens in a normal floodlight.
The Nitecore UT27 comes with Nitecores fantastic HLB1300 Battery. Why is it fantastic? For starters, it lasts one heck of a long time while being used at 50 lumens. Most importantly it has a built-in charger and USB-C port. That’s right, just plug from your laptop, battery bank, or wall outlet straight into the battery.
If that’s not a good enough solution for keeping you going in the dark, the UT27 also takes AAA batteries. Need to change batteries in the dark? The compartment is glow in the dark!
If you pick up the pro package you get an extra HLB1300 battery. Definitely pick up the pro package if your budget allows it.
Bonus Power: Nitecore NB10000 Power Bank
The basic Nitecore UT27 comes with one HLB1300. There are upgrades available, and indeed you probably should. Extra package options are with two HLB1300 batteries or to include the super light NB10000 Power Bank.
The Nitecore NB10000Power Bank is billed as the lightest 10,000 mah battery bank on the market, on average 40% lighter than other battery banks (Unconfirmed claim). Its casing is made of a Carbon Fiber reinforced polymer and the panels are made of carbon fiber. This helps keep its weight down to 150 grams and keeps it durable at the same time.
There is a USB-A port for charging external devices, a two-way USB-C, and an LED indicator to let you know how much juice is left in the power bank. There is straight-through charging, meaning you can charge the bank while also charging a device plugged into the NB10000. Set inside the power button are three small LEDs that indicate power levels and charging. These lights have been moved outside of the power button on the NB1000 Gen 2 and look to be much easier to see.
The Nitecore UT27 has an IP66 rating. This means it is dustproof and can withstand water from powerful jets. It is not immersion-proof but should easily withstand heavy rain. It is also 1m Impact Resistant from drops. I haven’t tested either of these ratings. I’m sure there’s a Youtube channel out there that might. For more on IP ratings, head on over to Wikipedia.
When I first used the Nitecore UT27, it was as an emergency light for guiding hiking trips in the Alps. It’s incredibly light and went unnoticed in my pack. I would use the red light occasionally in huts to avoid the room light or the bright white lights on the UT27 and waking up the other sleepers.
I then went hiking in the Dolomites in October, starting and ending each day in the dark, finally getting a chance to put the Nitecore UT27 to the test. The 520-lumen setting was great for seeing where trails meandered to in the dark but was almost too bright for regular use. I ended up using the 50-lumen light for most of the time, at least an hour and a half in the morning and likewise at night. It was perfect for being able to see the close intricacies of the trail and wasn’t so powerful that I couldn’t see larger trail changes in my peripheral vision.
Occasionally I would throw on the turbo mode, but in reality, I rarely needed it and only did so as a test of brightness. I honestly didn’t need the 400-lumen setting much either. The 200 and 50 were more than ample for me at a quick hiking pace. I can see the 400 and 520 being more useful while running, the true intent of this headlamp.
What this means is this lightweight headlamp packs more than you need, until you need it. It runs for ages on a single charge at lower settings and packs a lot of power when moving fast or for an emergency. At 75 grams, there’s no need not to have this lamp in your kit.
Who is the Nitecore UT27 for?
The Nitecore UT27 is for everyone that needs a reliable headlamp with good lumens, long life, and easy recharging in a lightweight package.
Who is the Nitecore UT27 not for?
The most hardcore of ultralighters will either mod the lamp or look for one with a slimmer strap.
If you are interested in picking up a Nitecore UT27 headlamp head on over to Nitecore and pick one up.
Black Sheep Adventure sports was provided with a free sample of the Nitecore UT27 and NB10000. This in no way affected our opinion and review of the Light and Battery.