Today, Outbound is launching their Trail Evo handlebar light. The light is USB-C rechargeable and features a 150+ minute run-time. It sells for $245 USD.
Named after the Evolution trail on Mt. Galbraith in Bellingham, WA, Outbound says that the Trail Evo builds upon the wide, even beam pattern of their 'Hangover' light and further improves peripheral spread to give the rider the feeling of pushing a “wall of light” down the singletrack. Designed specifically for handlebar mounting, it pairs with Outbound's Hangover helmet light for a cable-free setup with identical user interfaces and beam patterns tuned to complement each other.
Outbound say that the goal with Evo and Hangover is not to pump out the most lumens possible, but rather to "direct those lumens exactly where they need to be, so that a rider's eyes can process the whole trail faster at speed." Outbound believe that their light works better with your peripheral vision to help you stay balanced, and the more traditional “flashlight” style optics on some other lights can lead to tunnel vision and more difficulty reading the terrain, particularly on tight and twisty singletrack. The brand's 'Downhill Package' is aimed to allow riders to see far down the trail and through corners with the Hangover, while providing depth and peripheral spread from the Evo, all without harsh hotspots that “look bright” but they claim can actually hurt contrast.
Trail Evo handlebar light (left) and Hangover helmet light (right).
Outbound's team says that the Evo and Hangover compete with ~2,000-lumen and ~1,000-lumen lights, respectively, but the output is instead rated on the measurement of intensity at specific points in the beam pattern since that translates more directly to "real-world performance" on the trail than a single lumen number.
Outbound says that they can use smaller batteries because they make efficient use of the light produced. This allows them to eliminate external packs with cables that need to be strapped somewhere on your frame. Both Evo and Hangover utilize cast magnesium housings to provide sufficient thermal performance with less weight vs. aluminum, along with over-molded top shells to reduce assembly complexity. There's a rubberized touch surface on a large button that is designed to be easy to operate with gloves on.
The light has a cable management system that clips cables onto the bottom of the light to keep them out of the beam and there is a sturdy quick-release that allows the light itself to be taken off and put back on without taking the entire clamp mount off of the bars.
As far as runtimes go, many lights can start bright and dim over time as the battery fades which is, according to Outbound, fine, since our eyes adapt. They claim that you can't tell a difference until lights reach 50-60% of the perceived brightness which is why they claim 150+ minutes in their standard Adaptive mode.
The Evo's High, Medium, and Low modes are solid output modes designed for riders that adjust the light often. For example, low on the climbs and high on the descents. Adaptive is more designed for riders who don't want to think of the light and have a solid runtime. All modes have a 20-minute reserve power that drops to low to help you get out of the woods if your ride runs longer than expected. The chart above breaks that down.
For more information, visit www.outboundlighting.com