Outbound Lighting is a relative newcomer to the bike lighting scene. They currently offer 2 versions of their light, the Road Edition, and Trail Edition. They make a helmet mount light called The Hangover. The Outbound Lighting Downhill Package is a bundle of the Trail Edition and Hangover. I recently picked up the Downhill Package to replace my aging Niterider 750’s I had been using. Let’s take a look at the Downhill Package and how does it perform.
Outbound Lighting – who are they?
Outbound Lighting is a small company run by a couple of guys in Illinois. They come from an automotive lighting background. They used their automotive experience and computer design to develop their lights. They assemble their lights in a warehouse in Chicago. This makes their lights one of the few American made bike lights on the market.
They started Outbound Lighting as a kickstarter campaign in 2017. Their first lights were built in 2018. Since then they have sold over 4000 sets of lights to bike enthusiasts everywhere.
Outbound Lighting Downhill Package
The Downhill Package consists of their Trail Edition light and their Hangover light. The Trail Edition comes with a handlebar mount installed. The Hangover comes with a GoPro sticky mount installed to attach to your helmet. The package currently costs $318. It is only available directly from Outbound Lighting.
The Trail Edition
The Trail Edition is a 1500 lumen light you can mount to your handlebar or helmet with the included mounts. Unlike most bike lights that have a circular beam pattern, the Trail Edition has a wide square pattern. It is designed to illuminate a wide area, in the same way, that a car headlight works. It comes with an LG lithium battery instead of the more normal generic unbranded battery cells.
The light has an adaptive mode that starts at the highest power and then dims a little bit after the first 20 minutes. This is because your eyes adjust to the lights and max brightness isn’t needed anymore. This allows a longer useful battery life at full power. You get 3.8 hours of light in Adaptive mode vs 2.6 hours at high power or 4.2 hours at medium. You get 12 hours of light at low setting.
The below video is from Outbound Lighting and demonstrates the Trail Edition compared to an ordinary bike light that has a circular light pattern.
There are 2 versions of the light. The Road Edition and the Trail Edition. They appear to be the same except the Road Edition cuts off the light pattern at about chest height. This is to avoid blinding cars and pedestrains. The Trail Edition does not. The Trail Edition light pattern appears symmetrical up and down. You see features in the trees higher up in the air.
The Hangover is the Outbound Lighting vision of the perfect helmet mounted light. The Hangover has a rectangular pattern of 6 LED’s and a self contained battery. It gives more of a spotlight pattern. It has a rectangular beam pattern like the Trail Edition but it’s more focused off in the distance.
The Hangover uses a sticky GoPro mount to attach to your helmet.
It has an adaptive mode similar to the Trail Edition. You get 20 minutes of full power after which it dims to give you a longer battery life. Battery life is 1.8 hours in adaptive mode. You get 1.1 hours in high, 2.8 hours in medium, and 9.5 hours in low. It has passthrough charging through a USB cord meaning the light can turn on while charging. If you want longer life you can use a USB battery attached with the cord to get more hours.
It took me about 2 weeks to get my lights from the day I ordered them. Outbound Lighting has a warning on their website stating they are waiting for parts. I have yet to see their page when they don’t have an out of stock warning for every product. You have to use a little patience. Unless you are lucky you won’t get next day shipping because they have to build the lights first. They did send a note out with tracking information on the day it finally did ship.
The lights arrive in a cardboard box like normal. The Trail Edition comes in a nice carbon fiber finish padded zipper case. It has a foam insert with spaces for the light, battery and charger.
The Hangover comes in it’s own box and includes a USB cord. The connector on the cord is 2 way and can blug in either direction. No more trying to fumble around with a Micro USB plug that can only go in one way. They take 3 tries, the wrong way, the wrong way again, and then the correct way. The new connector is a nice plus.
Both lights have a very high quality finish and look to them. They have a lot of small details such as the 2 way connector on the Hangover and multiple ways to mount. The Trail Edition has plenty of molded in cooling fins. They feel heavier than a really cheap light. They don’t feel excessively heavy.
Mounting the Trail Edition
Mounting the trail edition is straight forward. If you want to mount to your handlebars, you use the attached rubber strap mount. It fits nice and secure without having to use a ton of stretch on the rubber strap. The LG battery has a nice neoprene pouch with a velcro elastic mountain strap. I had no trouble getting it to fit on my full suspension frame. It stays very nice and secure. The cables are just about the right length. A couple of wraps around the frame was all I needed to keep the slack under control.
If you want to mount the Trail Edition using a GoPro mount you have to remove the handlebar mount. It attaches with one screw. You remove it and put on the GoPro mount and put the screw back.
Mountain The Hangover
The Hangover gets mounted using the included sticky GoPro mount. You can use any GoPro mount if you have another style. I mounted mine to a Giro Chronicle helmet. You should check how the sticky mount fits on your helmet before removing the backing to stick it. The Giro Chronicle has a groove down the center that is narrower than the sticky mount. If you try to attach it as is, you won’t get good adhesion.
The trick is to cut some of the adhesive tape off of each edge so that it fits down the groove in the helmet. This is easy to do if you haven’t taken the backing off yet. A few strokes with a Xacto knife will take care of it. Then you can peel the backing off and put it on and you will have a very secure fit. I’ve had a GoPro mount on my ski helmet for years and needed a screwdriver to pry it off last time I had to remove it. I’m not at all worried the light will fall off on the trail.
The Hangover attaches to the GoPro mount with a screw. Use a screwdriver or a GoPro wrench to tighten it as tight as you can possibly get it. If you don’t it will come loose while riding. I learned this a long time ago with a GoPro on a helmet mount. Even with the screw tightened as tight as you can get it with a screwdriver or wrench, you’ll still be able to adjust the mount. You will still be able to reach up and adjust the aim without tools or taking the helmet off your head.
You charge the Trail Edition with the included charger. For the Hangover you need to find something to plug the USB cord into to charge with. Either a laptop or a wall outlet adapter.
The Trail Edition has a red light during charging that turns Green when it’s finished. The Hangover has a set of 4 red LED’s that flash while it’s charging and go to solid green when it’s done. It took a couple of hours to fully charge them both after they arrived.
Performance out on the trail
So how well do they work when riding. That is the question everyone wants the answer to. The answer in short is they work great. The below picture shows how much they illuminated the trail. The first image is from a spot where the trail is going around a corner. The second was from halfway through the ride where there was a long straight stretch. That was half an hour into the ride so the adaptive setting should have started dimming the light to medium power.
Both the Trail Edition and Hangover are bright enough to ride with by themselves. On slower singletrack, you have more than enough light with either one. They do complement each other very nicely. The Trail Edition has much more of a bright floodlight pattern. It lights up your peripheral vision very well. The Hangover has more of a spotlight pattern that illuminates farther away objects better. It still does a pretty good job of lighting your periphery too.
The Hangover doesn’t feel heavy on your head. My Niterider 750 used a strap mount for the helmet. It always felt a bit wobbly because it wasn’t rigid mounted to the helmet. The Hangover with a sticky mount doesn’t feel like it’s moving on top of your head. It’s very comfortable to ride with.
My best riding friend is a firm believer in using cheap Amazon lights. His handlebar light is much brighter than my Niterider 750 was. It gets blown away by the Trail Edition. It is really obvious it has a very circular light pattern when you switch between the 2 lights. The Trail Edition lights up everything. The cheap 1500 Lumen light only lights up in front of you. To add a bit of insult his light stopped working a 1/4 way into our ride and he had to do the rest on a very dim helmet light.
The ride time was about an hour and 45 minutes. I used adaptive mode the entire time. At the end of the ride, the Trail Edition had 3 out of 5 bars battery remaining. The Hangover had 1 out of 4 bars left.
Based on this, the battery life listed by Outbound Lighting is pretty accurate. If we were going to do a ride longer than 2 hours I would switch to medium or low settings for the entire ride. I’m confident that the brightness on low would be fine for most average speed single track trails.
Outbound Lighting Customer Service
I had one issue with my Trail Edition light. When you hold the button down to turn it on, it’s possible for it to think you double pushed the button. This will enter a pulsing mode where the light pulses every second. I didn’t realize it had this function. Fortunately, this happened at home while I was testing the light out.
I sent a note using the contact us form on Outbound Lighting’s website asking what happened with my light. I didn’t think the pulsing was normal. I got a response from one of the 2 owners, Tom “Danger” Place, in about an hour. In it, he explained the pulse mode and how to turn it back on in regular mode.
After riding for an hour and 45 minutes riding on adaptive mode, we finished our ride. I got in my car to drive off. The road out of the park is a couple miles of backwoods until you get to the highway. My eyes were used to the bike lighting and my car lights felt a bit inadequate. They weren’t illuminating my periphery nearly as well. Another indicator of how well these lights were illuminating the trail.
The Outbound Lighting Downhill Package is a solid set of mountain bike lighting. The combination of the Trail Edition handlebar light and Hangover helmet light light up the trail. They are expensive but they absolutely perform better than the cheap Amazon lights. I recommend these for anyone looking for a great set of trail riding lights.
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About the author
My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water. I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions. I decided to start Gear Craver as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.