Product review

12 Jun, 2020

OLight H2R Nova

Tested by: Russ





Miles used:


Times replaced:


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Using in the field


I’ve tested some pretty cheap headlamps, but never a performance lamp like the Olight H2R Nova. When Olight reached out to me asking me to test one of their lamps I went for the highest performance possible to truly see the difference. So why the H2R Nova?


Why the Olight H2R Nova?

The beam distance on this thing is just insane. I wanted to test it on some proper night hiking in Snowdonia National Park and use it on the Welsh 3,000s. The ultra-long beam distance and long battery life open up a whole new world of nighttime hiking. Being able to see that far into the distance on a hike in the darkness not only makes things safer, you’re able to see the landscape around you, helping you build a picture of where you are, making navigation in the dark easier.


How well does it work?

After thorough testing, it works incredibly well. The battery life is great on the 2nd setting at 600 lumens you get a good 2.5 hours. Bump it up to boost mode at 2,300 lumens and it’ll give you a 1-minute burst, but drain the battery significantly. I found the boost mode only necessary when exploring a wide-open area or when scrambling over ridgelines or down gullies. It comes in handy for sure, but I’d advise purchasing an extra battery as I experienced some charging issues.


What’s there not to like?

While it’s possible to charge the Olight H2R Nova via a battery bank, the charging cable is a very unique, magnetic charger and if it fails in the field and you have a long way to go to get to camp, you’re screwed. I’ve already had the cable fail to charge and it needs to be rested in a specific spot to get a charge properly. Luckily, the battery is interchangeable and easy to change even in dreadful conditions. This is quite a heavy headlamp to have on your head for extended lengths of time, while the overhead strap helps I don’t think it’s necessary and I removed the centre strap. Apart from that, I love using it.


Who’s it for?

This headlamp is for those who spend a lot of time hiking at night. Their objectives may be to spend extended periods of time examining features, looking for nocturnal wildlife or exploring the deepest, darkest caves. For a thru-hiker, it’s hard to justify the weight, but if you’re planning on hiking in the Southern California Desert in the middle of summer, hiking more at night might be a good idea. Having the H2R Nova will certainly brighten the experience and unlock a world of night walking.


Value for money

At around the £80 mark, it’s not the cheapest headlamp, but with these specs and features, it’s not the most expensive either. Worth every penny if you’re planning on hiking at night a lot. Just make sure you get a spare charger and extra battery.


I made Thrunotes

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  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Power consumption 70% 70%
  • Brightness 90% 90%
  • Power to weight ratio 70% 70%
  • Value to weight ratio 50% 50%
  • Value for money 60% 60%


  • Powerful
  • Long beam reach
  • Good battery life
  • Interchangeable battery
  • Excellent quality
  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof


  • Heavy
  • Unique charging cable
  • Expensive



£81.95 at


64g (2.26oz)


From 110mm (4.33in)


Machined aluminium

Max brightness:

2,300 Lumens

Max beam distance:

152 metres (501 feet)

Max runtime:

45 days

Beam levels:



  • High performance LED
  • SOS Beacon: Yes
  • Red light: No
  • Overhead strap
  • Lapel clip
  • Single-switch mode operation
  • 36V interchangeable battery
  • Magnetic USB charge base

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