It never fails – you’re out scouting for the bull, the buck, the trophy or just some meat on the hoof and the daylight expires. Or you’re out hunting as the sun goes down and you score. Now you need a flashlight to follow blood trails, work your way back through a mile of brush or find the radio you dropped in the dirt in heat of the moment. Maybe you keep a flashlight by your bed or a headlamp to exit the high rise in case of an emergency. Murphy’s law takes effect and your batteries are dead. Bummer. One way to address this is through rechargeable flashlights. In three parts I’ll review three Bushnell Rubicon Lighting options in their rechargeable configurations. Lastly, I’ll share my thoughts on an optics company selling lighting.
First things first: When it comes to adventure sports and hunting, the question of rechargeable versus replaceable batteries is a good one. Some love the idea of rechargeable lights, some hate it. After all, IF you carry a spare pair of batteries you’re good to go, right? Yes, but IF often is followed by “only I’d remembered to…” I like the idea of rechargeable batteries and have been using rechargeable tactical flashlights for years. If you want to guarantee power, take a back up battery or, even better, a solar powered recharging system like the Solar Wrap series from Bushnell or something from Goal Zero. I’ve even charged my Bushnell H125R headlamp using my RePower 4400 battery pack for my RePlay XD action camera!
First up for review is the most complex item in my lineup, the Bushnell Rubicon Lighting H125R Rechargeable Headlamp.
Part 1 – Bushnell Rubicon Lighting: H125R Rechargeable Headlamp Review
If you haven’t used a headlamp, you don’t know what you’re missing! The Bushnell H125R Rechargeable Headlamp is a winner in my book mostly thanks to its versatility. Its multiple outputs and settings give you five lighting options to work with: Spot hight, spot low, flood high, flood low and a red halo mode.
The Cree LED spotlight offers both high and low beam modes. In high beam I found it useful for easily identifying terrain and trails ahead of me out to 40 yards or so – pretty impressive and quite sufficient for navigational needs. It’s plenty for walking on foot or driving an ATV/UTV. Bushnell claims 57 meters, but I don’t know how they qualify that. On high beam my battery outlasted the two hour Bushnell stated performance, a definite win. For low beam performance, cut the useful distance in half, but the battery life stretches to twelve hours.
Using the spotlight I find my eyes locked in a forward position, fixated on the spot of light. As a result, I move head to look around instead of my eyes. Switching to the flood lamp changes that. The flood lamp obviously doesn’t reach as far, but puts out an even wide super soft light. I find I use my eyes to look around naturally instead of turning my head. Bushnell says the H125R headlamp is good to eleven meters here, I’d say that’s close and the battery life should exceed three hours. Switch the Rubicon Lighting headlamp to low flood and Bushnell says you’ll get 18 hours of run time! That’s longer than it’s dark in most places. The low flood light is excellent for task lighting, but wouldn’t be ideal for navigation.
The fifth mode of the H125R Rechargeable Headlamp has its own stand-alone operation and switch. No high and low, just a glowing red pair of parentheses Bushnell calls a “halo.” Since it’s on its own switch you easily avoid an accidental blast of white light, keeping your natural night vision intact. Bushnell rates this light as good to one meter. Practically speaking, it’s certainly good for anything in arm’s reach.
Since we’re talking about being outdoors, we have to talk about water resistance. I’ve been hog hunting in West Texas on dry but overcast day that in a moment turned into a torrential down pour. If that happened at night, a headlamp would prove really helpful. The Bushnell H125R, along with the other lights I’m reviewing here, is rated IPX4, meaning splash protection for at least five minutes. If your adventures and hunts put you in rain forests constantly, perhaps this isn’t the ideal light for you. Mine don’t, so the IPX4 rating is perfectly acceptable to me.
The icing on the cake here is that the headlamp tilts downward as needed. So one minute you’re scanning ahead and the next you tilt it down while making sure you have 5.56 ammo in that mag instead of the 300 Blackout you were carrying for your buddy… Now turn it off and call in the coyotes!
To wrap up this review of the Bushnell Rubicon Lighting H125R Rechargeable Headlamp I’ll say two things. First, with a name like this thing has should be called by its acronym – BRLH125RH. Actually, now that I type that, maybe typing the name isn’t so bad after all… Secondly, I found it online between $37 and $55. I think this is a great value for a highly adaptable headlamp. I recommend it!
In part two, we’ll look at the Bushnell Rubicon Lighting T500R Rechargeable Flashlight. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for that update and many more!