Outbound Lighting Launch Trail Evo Light

Nov 20, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  

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.


Trail Evo rubberized top-shell utilizes a pass-thru cooling channel to get the heat straight out of the LEDs, keeping efficiency high, according to Outbound.


For more information, visit www.outboundlighting.com.





122 Comments

  • 68 0
 One of the only bike light promo /reviews I have ever seen with no photos in the dark!
  • 33 0
 Outbound Lights are so good they turn night into day.
  • 3 0
 They are shot it the dark. Really captivating stuff
  • 14 2
 Meh, I’ll stick with my cheap eBay specials and charging them in the saucepan
  • 3 0
 @sewer-rat: so if they catch fire now worries? That’s brilliant!
  • 3 0
 @sewer-rat: ha ha yeah, to catch the sparks? Same here.
  • 2 2
 not available for sale right now on website
  • 3 2
 @madmon: Yes they are. They won't ship for a couple of weeks, but they are open for ordering at a discounted price. It's a new product currently in production. Outbound has been selling so many lights that they have often been shipping as fast as they can assemble them with a couple of weeks lead time lately. You can follow them on social media or the MTBR light forum and they are very good about updates of project and production status.
  • 3 7
flag madmon (Nov 23, 2020 at 6:36) (Below Threshold)
 @velodonata: suckers can order parts that do not exist I buy tangible goods. Stop trying to sell me crap you are so pushy. I have also been inundated on facebook with your ads I can not stop seeing even though I ask for them to stop it is like your responses...no one is listening as if you are a BOT
  • 6 2
 @madmon: Lol. You're the one who went to their website just to come back here and spout bullshit. Believe what you want, your loss. They aren't going to miss your business and I don't give a f*ck if you want to ride around with your tangible head pushed up your ass.
  • 1 9
flag madmon (Nov 23, 2020 at 8:42) (Below Threshold)
 @velodonata: GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE i knew I could get you to speak and whooooomp there it is
  • 1 9
flag madmon (Nov 23, 2020 at 8:43) (Below Threshold)
 @velodonata: you run a scam based on idiots willing to invest
  • 1 9
flag madmon (Nov 23, 2020 at 8:43) (Below Threshold)
 @velodonata: keep going douchbag
  • 2 0
 @madmon: ????That's Facebook's add algorithm, and if you don't know the difference difference between launch and release that's on high ????‍♂️. Outbound has 2 established products they released on time you exist and are tangibly kind of a tool.
  • 6 0
 @madmon: You've been asking dopey questions in your barely literate way for 3 days now and bawling at the answers. It's just a light, either you want one or you just want to be a troll. Make up your mind. And if you really think I have anything to do with Outbound other than being a customer, well jokes on you, go service yourself.
  • 2 0
 @madmon: dude, you aren't yelling at the Outbound proprietor, they're just customers who are happy with the product. The product is not a scam, I know you, and I can assure you it's a sweet product, not sure why you're so angry about this company.
  • 1 0
 @madmon: oh really? then how was I able to buy one?
  • 39 7
 Is it just me or was this comment thread immediately populated with suspiciously polished 'real world' user reviews?
  • 14 5
 Agreed. Seems like a decent light but the bot-like comments are pretty off putting.
  • 13 5
 @Jgallegos335: they’re just really good lights. My brother has the reg trail and the hangover and loves them. So much so that I’m going to resell my old lights for an evo package.

These lights just seem way better than what anyone else is putting out.

And if you think I’m a bot just look at my comment history...
  • 14 3
 So I’ve clicked through on the top 5 comments that praise the lights (as of right now) and only one of them didn’t have a buy sell history dating back a while. So either outbound lights is out there buying people’s old PB accounts or they’re legit reviews
  • 13 2
 I dont think so. I have a trail model and its as good as the above comments.
  • 3 5
 @sdurant12: could just be my inner cynic coming through
  • 6 1
 @Jgallegos335: seriously cynical. They just are really good lights.
  • 5 0
 I own both a Road and Trail lamp from their Focal line, and a Hangover (which I heavily modified for bike-packing). I could've also written a well-polished review of these lights, but I instead chose to post a smart-@ss comment because #PinkBike. These guys don't need help selling lights. They're that good.
  • 1 0
 That's what I thought too, I ended up asking in local groups on facebook for reviews and everyone said they recommend them. I took a gamble and got their "DH Package", the only thing I don't like is that they announced this one a month after... The Hangover and Trail in combination are the best lights I've ever used/seen though imo
  • 12 1
 I prefer to use a cut down Tiki torch with magnifying lens for nighttime excursions...
  • 4 0
 Finally some real talk!!!
  • 4 0
 I strap a Dolphin MK7 to each shoulder and look like a football line backer or a 80’s woman’s power suit with shoulder pads.
  • 12 5
 I have the Trail and Hangover editions and am really happy with them both. I feel like I can go just as fast at night as in the day, the runtimes are super long and the beam spread is really effective. Way better than any of my previous lights that were spotlight-like. I had an issue with my Hangover light and the company handled it very quickly and effectively. 100% recommend.
  • 4 0
 My buddy Kevin P. just picked up this light today.
  • 1 0
 What was the issue you had?
  • 1 0
 @ninjatarian: it worked when it arrived (brief test) then I charged it, and then it completely bricked, totally dead.

Replacement is working fine.
  • 1 0
 What were your previous lights out of curiosity?
  • 8 1
 I'll go against the grain a little bit here. I have a Hangover, and while it's objectively a good helmet light, the initial claims as to battery longevity and charge times were so far off that it's hard to believe they weren't intentionally misleading. There was such a difference that I thought I received a defective unit and attempted to get a replacement from Outbound. I emailed them and used their support form to attempt to discuss the issue, and got jack s**t in response from them. Eventually, I noticed that they dramatically reduced their claims to match it's real world performance at some point, so at least there's that. This looks like a great light, but under no circumstances will I ever buy a new product from them without waiting for some verifiable, impartial real-world reviews based on my past experiences with the company.
  • 2 2
 I don’t think the claims were ever reduced, they posted a runtime chart, I know on MTBr Outbound offered to update the firmware on original Hangover units to address some complaints people had, surprised you didn’t get a response though based on what everyone else has said. Hmm.
  • 5 0
 @HuckGnarris: Yeah, they absolutely reduced their claims. Go to www.outboundlighting.com/product/hangover and go to the earliest reviews and you'll see others making the same complaint. They originally said "2 hours on high" and changed it to "90 minutes of strong output."

For instance, on 12/31/19 user Case I. wrote "The 2 hour runtime on high, now updated to included "per FL1 standard" is a big let down, you really only get an hour on high before the output starts dropping down, around 90 minutes in total and it drops to low. That's a big let down and deceptive advertising to me."

Like I said, it's a GOOD light. It was just marketed in the beginning as a physics-defying game changer, which it's not, so you have to wonder how and (why) an engineer would get it so wrong. I would have flat out returned it if it weren't for the USB-C passthrough charging, which came in handy during last years' 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. So I still own it and use it, it's just not what I thought I was buying and I was turned off by the company's unwillingness to even respond to me.
  • 3 1
 @abbottt1: Yeah, the initial release of the Hangover was their only real misstep, he overhyped it a bit and wasn't clear on how it was being rated. He also sucked up the criticism and did a solid job of making good on it. He took returns on any unhappy purchasers and updated the marketing. It was an interesting episode to observe in the evolution of a small company. Personally, I liked the Hangover enough to buy 2 of them, but I did wish that it either had a swappable battery or had been designed around a 21700 cell like the Evo uses. I wouldn't have minded the extra 20 grams and minor size increase, but I know keeping the light to 100g was a major goal for a self contained helmet light. I'm also surprised you had trouble communicating with them, although I expect it was simply a case of a very small company being overwhelmed.
  • 5 2
 Such perfect timing! Just went on a night ride last night with my older Niteriders, and while the ride was great I wasn't a fan of tunnel vision. Just started researching lights today and was set to order the MagicShine 8000. But then I saw this as I was about to pull the trigger and it looks perfect - no separate battery, a good wide beam, and plenty of battery for the length of ride I do. Ordered! Thanks for the heads up Pinkbike.
  • 6 3
 Own the previous trail and hangover lights and they're awesome... the hangover is easily the best helmet light I've ever used and the trail light has a better beam than any light I've ever seen. It lights up more of the trail, and with more useful light, than any other setup I've used. Their "light carpet" sounds like ad copy but it's really effective on the trail.
  • 5 2
 This was an instant buy, based on my previous experience with Outbound and their lights. They are the rare real deal company that has a new way of looking at their niche product category that truly improves on what was previously available, actually does exactly what they say they will, and if you don't like something they will make it right. I got in on the original crowdfunded light a few years ago, it was one of the smoothest run Kickstarters I have ever seen, definitely the best for an electronic device. Matt, the owner and designer, has always been open about his products and his different way of looking at the needs of the market as an MTBer coming from a position of designing light optics for other applications. Now he has reached the point where he didn't need any crowdfunding or presales to pay for an ambitious new product launch that will very likely vault Outbound into the next tier of light manufacturers. Sometimes something is so good everybody sounds like a shill talking about it, this is one of those times.
  • 1 2
 I could not order the light since Outbound claims that are not available yet as if they are in the crowd funding mode.
  • 1 2
 @madmon: BS. I ordered one. They are self funding this project. It is currently in production to ship in a week or two. Which is how all of their lights have been lately because they are selling faster than they can produce them. The lead time for components is months, especially lately. The first production run of these is large and components were ordered long ago.
  • 1 0
 @madmon: I ordered one without any difficulty.
  • 3 0
 I've been off the battery pack lights for awhile now. I've been using the over-priced Exposure Diablo as my only light on my helmet. It's a decent light but definitely more of a flashlight beam. I've been upgrading every few years as the lights got brighter and the flashlight affect has gotten worse. Also, as the light ages I've had to attach the small battery to the helmet to get a full ride in, making it very heavy. A full night ride for us is generally about 2-ish hours with a good amount of stops.

Enter the Hangover. This provides the same amount of usable light as my Diablo and I'm able to get a full ride in w/o extra battery. It's not perfect though. I do wish it was a little brighter and had a little more battery. To get a full ride in I have to pay attention. If I just leave it on it high it will burn out before the ride ends. There is a little bit of a bright spot, but nothing compared to most lights. Now that I'm used to it I don't even notice. I love how quickly it charges and doesn't use a proprietary cable. I also love how light it is. I picked up a gopro mount headstrap and use it as a headlamp all the time. I also picked up extra GoPro sticker mounts and put one on my snowboard helmet and DH helmet.

Since they are so cheap I've been running one on the bars as well. This gives off way more light than I'm used to. This Evo light appears to double the amount of light and almost double the battery life. It's also designed to work in unison with the Hangover so I'm stoked to give it a whirl.
  • 3 1
 For people who have the current Hangover/Trail combo, do you see this as a significant step forward? I'm deciding wehther to go for the Downhill or Dowhill Evo combo, with the latter containing the Evo rather than the Trail to partner with the downhill being $45 more expensive.
  • 3 0
 I just got my Hangover/Trail about a month ago, the Trail is a lot better compared to most other lights I've tried, but I would've sprung for the Evo given what I'm seeing now with this release.
  • 3 0
 I largely agree with @flipfantasia however the external batter pack on the original trail does allow for a borderline absurd 4.25ish hours of runtime on adaptive mode. If you do longer night rides or, more realistically, are a goober like me and forget to charge your light that’s a helluva feature
  • 3 0
 @BamaBiscuits: fair point, actually just read this comment from Matt on mtbr thread... "One other thing we are working on is an inexpensive DC5521 to USB converter so that people can use their old trail packs as additional power sources for Evo if they upgrade. Similar to what magicshine has, but wanting it without extra cables and stuff." forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/outbound-lighting-trail-evo-discussion-1158145.html#post15093013
  • 1 0
 @BamaBiscuits: you can also plug an external battery to the evo, any usb??? So theoretically you could use a 6aH Mali ya battery ????
  • 7 6
 I am a big fan of outbound, I preordered a hangover this time last year, and I can say that it has one of the best beam patterns out there. Also, with the unit's flat design, the weight is far less noticeable on my helmet as it doesn't stick way over my head. I often see other brands with the strap style mount that stick 5 or so inches over the top of the helmet and cannot think they people still put up with that style mount. With a GoPro mount already on the camera, it's a very sleek design. This has helped my neck not hurt after our typical 15-mile night ride. I love the direction they are pushing the market.
  • 67 0
 I usually get my hangovers without preordering them, they're just there the next day
  • 30 1
 @Upduro: one could argue that drinking is pre-ordering a hangover
  • 3 0
 @Upduro: comedy gold
  • 4 3
 Been riding Outbound for a couple years now, lights are incredible, both the Hangover and the Trail. Absolutely cant wait for my Evo to arrive and get some miles in on it. This combo is going to be a game changer! Stoked to see the little guys doing big stuff!!
  • 2 1
 I have never had an issue with a bar mounted light and batter pack on the bike. So for 3x less and nearly 2x the power I will stick with my old magichine. The light pattern might not be as good according to others but I will just buy 3 and I bet the light pattern could be amazing. Not sure it will look good though, but it's dark and I am not looking at the light when riding.
  • 1 0
 I bought one Hangover to start as a preorder just to see how good it was. At the time, I think I paid $95. I bought a second one off the MTBR classifieds from someone local who was a light nerd and didn’t like it enough to keep it, again around $95 which I consider fair . Pretty sure he had a Gloworm he preferred. Anyhow, I ride in the rather dense woods of south central NY, and have found that the Hangover on medium or low is sufficient for the speeds I can reach on these trails, now combined with the older Trail light on medium or low as well. I have not run out of battery on a ride yet, but I was also annoyed with the runtime bloviating. I also gave Matt some feedback about his quick reference card (a little saltier than i wanted my son to read). So all with the Hangover was not perfect, but in the context of my riding, it works very well. I may even rig up a strap for it for X Country skiing this winter if we get enough snow.
  • 1 0
 Anyone have any experience with this brand Vs a Light N Motion Seca?
I run a Seca 1700 on my helmet and Seca 2200 on the bars. The beam pattern is fantastic but my 1700 is getting on a bit (I tend to do a lot more night riding than daytime) and I wish the LnM had a better battery level indicator. I'd looked at the previous Outbound models but wasn't quite convinced.
  • 2 0
 I've never used a Seca but my friend has one not sure which but it was a 2000 something lumens. He barrower my Outbound trail edition and seemed to think it was better in terms out output and pattern and was surprised to hear it was less lumens.
  • 1 0
 [Edit]
I have all their previous lights. Hangover was a little overhyped. I find that a decent flashlight or spot bike light is sufficient on a helmet, as you can move your head around. Hangover is nicer than a flashlight though, as good as any light in its price range. Ironically, their bar lights are so good, that you don’t need as nice of a helmet light. Skip it if budget is tight, buy if you can splurge.

The trail and road lights really are great. Anything nearly as well designed costs as much or more. Beam patterns on my more expensive German dyno and ebike commuter lights aren’t quite as good. Lumen output on both are plenty. The even carpet of light really does make the terrain easier to read. The road edition has a great cutoff so you don’t blind other road users. My night vision is pretty not great, and I can ride as fast and safely on trails or crummy roads with their lights as I can in the daytime. I don’t know of any other light can do that for me without costing more or using three or four times as much battery power.
  • 1 0
 I have the original hangover and it's a great light. Nice and light and strong beam. Run time not that great but I carry a power bank just in case I'm on a long ride. I would consider this for my bar light but it seems a bit pricy. I am running a Raveman 1600 on the bar that I picked up for $100 and stoked at that combo.
  • 3 0
 Own the previous generation light and it rocks. Can't be beat for the money.
  • 2 1
 I've had a Hangover for a year and am looking forward to getting my Evo! Outbound's reflector design is definitely better than anything else out there. Plus their customer service is great.
  • 2 0
 Looks nice but lil pricey, I run 2 bright eyes with diffuser lenses (for wide beam spread), 3200 lumens (combined) for like 1/3 the cost.
  • 1 1
 Being a light manufacturer these days and not sharing the lumens because you “use it better” is like a bike manufacturer not telling the weight of the bike because you think you spread it better around or something. And yes, there is of course a difference between rotating weight and static weight on a bike...and most light manufacturers also spread their light beams differently. But it is still common curtesy to just share it, and let the customer decide. Or send it in for a review.
  • 1 2
 My son and I have the previous trail/hangover combo. We are rather new to night riding, and started out with the just the Hangover lights last winter. They illuminate the trail really well, so much so that I rarely think about the fact that everything around me is dark. Performance has been great, though I do have an external battery pack for the Hangover in case the ride goes long, or misfortune strikes. The one benefit to the Trail Evo that would sway me, as I do not mind the external battery on the Trail I have, is the new mounting system. Admittedly, I could buy a go pro mount to center the Trail on my bars, but I have gone with the supplied rubber strap which leaves it off centered the right. Whether this has anything to do with my right hand regularly grazing a tree on night rides, I do not know, but I am gonna go with it. I was also happy to support a small US entrepreneur and took a chance on what have turned out to be solid products.
  • 2 0
 There’s no way you can understand riding with proper lights until you’ve done it.
  • 2 3
 I got my hangover/trail combo two months ago. I've got a handful of rides on them. People were fishing reviews because they're good lights. The trail light is amazing. I had the 5000 lumen magicshine for my bars and the 800 lumen for my helmet. The trail is better than the magicshine 5000 because it has such a wide, uniform light spread from edge to edge. There are no hot spots. I used it without my helmet light once and I was still able to ride and see around corners. The hangover is good but not great. It is all in one but it still has a bright hot spot in the center. Together they're rad. But the hangover as a solo light may not be my first choice. Last season outbound offered a downhill combo with the road (helmet) and trail (bar) lights. Both are external batteries. That might have been pretty sweet.
  • 1 0
 Agreed the Trail light is great but the Hangover is fairly average light.
  • 1 0
 @50105010: the hangover isn't meant to be a solo light... it's meant to be a helmet light with a bright spot that's used with the trail light.
  • 6 5
 I recently tried an outbound light and immediately grew 3 inches taller, lost 15kg and am now an elite sprinter! They are just such great lights!
  • 3 0
 Who cares it says the word ‘evo’ on it.


SOLD
  • 1 0
 Why only 2k lumen?
I got 6k on my headlamp (actual measured lumens), and for going at some speed when dark and wet, I wouldn't go lower.
  • 1 0
 I actually appreciate the hangover most on my commuters, as I’m too lazy to use the outbound with external pack on them. Really hoping for a road evo next.
  • 2 0
 Just need a way to mount this on a GoPro handlebar mount.
  • 2 0
 Not sure about this new one, but the original Trail light has a removable handlebar clamp and ships with a GoPro adapter.
  • 3 2
 @zacjob: Right, I have one of those, and it does come with the GoPro option. This one looks to have a more dedicated mount.

Realistically the review on this light over on NSMB today is much better and expansive than this one.
  • 1 0
 @blaklabl: this isn’t a review, just a news release
  • 2 0
 @sdurant12: thanks for the clarification ????
  • 1 0
 @blaklabl: emailed the owner a few days ago and asked if they were going to be releasing a gopro mount for the Evo...

"We are working on it right now. We vastly underestimated how many people wanted it so we are going to spin up a quick product page as a placeholder and get that designed and manufactured real quick."

Given my past experience with them, I'd bet they'll have one available in a few weeks.
  • 2 0
 The million dollar question is does it fit on 35mm handlebars?
  • 5 0
 yeah it comes with both 31.8 and 35mm mounts.
  • 2 1
 My DH Package just shipped yesterday, Hopefully they’ll let me swap my trail for the EVO!
  • 2 0
 They will, just ask. Excellent customer service.
  • 2 0
 @velodonata: yep! Sent them a message last night, got a response today and it’s all set up! Refreshing to get such good customer service!
  • 1 0
 Any one know what happened to traiLED?
  • 1 0
 Looks like they saw the Hope R8 and turned it up to 9!
  • 1 0
 As bright as Komodo 3000...
  • 1 0
 Oh hey @m0sstef
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