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Mola Headlamp by Snow Peak

An innovative light that focuses its beam to the predicted line of sight using gravity and a counterweight

by Hans Aschim in Design on 10 February 2014

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Aside from increasing luminosity and battery life, there is seemingly little room for innovation in headlamp design—the essential utility piece for camping, backpacking and adventures of the like. Leave it to Japan's purveyor of intelligent outdoor products Snow Peak to improve this old stand with a patented innovation that predicts the wearer's line of site to improve visibility and user experience. The Mola headlamp contains Snow Peak's patented Optic Mobility system that utilizes gravity and a counterweight to create a dynamic beam system. A side dial allows the wearer to adjust the neutral (or forward-facing) position of the beam. Tilt your head up and the the beam aims slightly upwards, projecting light into your sightline rather that at the position of the forehead, like traditional headlamps.

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The beam can also be locked into place simply by pushing the dial in—a great feature for working on knots or when your movements are more subtle. True to the brand's dedication to both quality and innovation, the Mola is among the top performers in other headlamp categories. The compact light puts out between 10 and 110 lumens and can be dimmed manually. Depending on the brightness and setting, the light's two AAA batteries provide between 45 (at full power) and 160 (in strobe mode) hours of battery life. When it's time for fresh juice the light even flashes red to make sure you're never left in the dark. The Mola even comes equipped with IPX4 water-resistance which will light the way through the rain.

Available in three colors, the Mola headlamp is currently available exclusively from REI for $60 and will be available from Snow Peak, and other retailers in April.

Photos by Hans Aschim

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