I’ve bought many different headlamps, starting years ago when they first started coming onto the market. Black Diamond, Petzel, different cheap brands, and now the Olight Perun 2 headlamp. This latest headlamp by Olight is unique from all the others, however, because it bridges the gap between a standard flashlight and an actual headlamp.
Is the Olight Perun 2 headlamp worth the money? If you’re looking for a flashlight first and a headlamp second – yes. If you’re looking for a headlamp first and a flashlight second – maybe. Let’s dig into the review of this light and I’ll explain.
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Perun 2 Components and Specifications
The Perun 2 comes with a number of components that you’re not going to find with a standard headlamp. The package includes: the light itself, the headband, detachable clip, lanyard, lanyard pin, battery charging cord, and operating instructions.
Battery. The battery of the Perun 2 is like most other lights offered by Olight. It comes with a custom 4000mAh 21700 rechargeable battery pushing out a maximum output of 2,500 lumens, which is 25% brighter than its predecessor the Perun. The upside to this battery is that it’s both powerful and rechargeable. The downside is that you can’t put over-the-counter batteries in it. That’s not a problem if you’re always near an outlet to recharge it. It’s more of a problem if you’re in the field and need a longer run time than one charge will allow.
Light. The Perun 2 has a variety of different modes depending on how much light you need. This is a great feature for a few reasons. First, if you need to maintain some level of operational security, you can use the lowest setting to see just enough without bringing unwanted attention in your direction. Second, by using the minimum setting needed to get the job done you are reducing battery drain.
Here are the specifics:
|Specification||Mode 1||Mode 2||Mode 3||Mode 4||Mode 5|
|Run Time||175 mins||270 mins||18 hours||66 hours||12.5 days|
|Beam||166 meters||74 meters||36 meters||18 meters||N/A|
Body size and weight. The body of the light is made of a lightweight aluminum alloy. It weight is in at 5.68 ounces (including the battery). It measure 4.75″ in length, 1.06″ in body diameter, and 1.13″ in head diameter.
Perun 2 Bonus Features
Many Light Settings
I highlighted the specs of the different modes in the preceding chart, but that alone doesn’t illustrate the breadth of settings. One switch allows you to cycle through different modes. By pressing and holding the switch the light will move through the different modes to get the one you want.
You merely press and hold the switch for one second to enter moonlight mode. You double click the switch to enter Turbo mode. You triple click the light to enter SOS mode. You can also press and hold the switch for two seconds to access lockout mode. This prevents the light from accidentally turning on, which could compromise operational security or battery life.
Beyond the great specs of this flashlight, it has notable features. The first is the actual headband with silicone bracket that holds the light in place on your forehead. It wraps over and around the head providing a solid base to support the light’s weight.
Traditional headlamps typically only have an around-the-forehead band. That works fine for those lights as the body is significantly smaller and lighter. The Perun 2’s weight and size require more support, so you get the strap that runs over the head as well.
Pocket Clip and Lanyard
The Perun 2 headlamp has a detachable pocket clip that wraps around the frame and an optional lanyard. These add functionality as they can help secure the lamp inside a pocket, on a chest strap, or removed entirely if you’re cutting ounces for an ultralight bug out bag.
Magnetic Charging Cable
One of the reasons I keep going back to Olight is most of their products are easily recharged via a USB charging cable. That charging cable works on almost all of their lights, so if you invest in more than one Olight light, you will soon find yourself with multiple charging cables that you can leave in different locations so you always have one nearby. I can charge these virtually anywhere, from my house to my car to my laptop. Any place that has a USB outlet.
This feature also saves buying batteries that would otherwise get thrown out. This equates to a savings where the light could pay for itself over time through saved batteries. I have means of storing batteries for better organization, but Olight lights reduce the need for adding even more batteries.
Something you won’t find in many flashlights, let alone a headlamp, is an auto-off timer. The Perun 2 has a long (9 minute) and a short (3 minute) timer. Set it and the light will automatically turn off after the selected time. Useful? Maybe. But it’s yet another feature.
Olight Perun 2 Headlamp vs Traditional Headlamp
Is the Olight Perun 2 headlamp worth the money? We’re revisiting that question now, and the answer really comes down to intended use. The Perun 2 is the perfect headlamp for someone who want to capture the benefits of both a headlamp and a traditional flashlight. A traditional headlamp, designed specifically and solely to be worn on the forehead, will almost certainly serve you better for strict headlamp purposes.
For comparison’s sake, let’s look at the headlamp closest to the Perun 2 in the picture above. That would be the higher end Petzl Actik Core.
In the pictures below you can see the lowest light setting comparison:
You can see the Petzl’s low setting seems a bit brighter, and it is, but that (could) also mean unnecessary battery drain if you don’t need that much light. Also, not pictured here, the Olight has other settings between lowest and highest. I’m only comparing the two settings here.
See here a comparison of the headlamps at highest settings:
Here it’s clear that the Petzl doesn’t have the same level of shine that the Perun 2 does. The tall tree in the background on the right is about 50 yards away. It’s not visible with the Petzl. Even the snow in the middle-ground of the picture is more… crisp.
Perun 2 Advantages
Where the Perun 2 outshines (sorry, couldn’t resist) the Actik Core is that it’s a “headlamp” that can be easily removed from the headband and used as a high-end all-purpose flashlight with far more power and features than you will ever find in a designated headlamp. The volume of lumens are no comparison. The Actik reaches a max power of 350 whereas the Perun 2 has a max of 2500.
Petzl Actik Core Advantages
This headlamp is much lighter to wear on your head. It gives you light specifically designed to be right in front of you, where you’re looking. Adjusting it up and down is as easy as tilting the housing. It has much less bulk.
The biggest advantage, however, is that this Actik Core has a rechargeable battery and the ability to use AAA batteries. This makes extended use in the field significantly easier and saves buying batteries you would have to toss out when they reach the end of their life.
What Would I Choose?
My Olight collection is growing. Pictured below from L to R: Freyr, Perun 2, Olantern, PL-PRO Valkyrie, Odin, Warrior Mini (my favorite of all), and the Obulb. Each of those links will take you to the review of that light or to the product itself.
So, if I had to choose between a traditional headlamp and the Perun 2, which would I pick? Frankly, both.
They fill two different needs. If I’m out backpacking, I am going to want the smaller size and weight of a traditional headlamp. I want the versatility to be able to carry extra batteries with me and not have to rely on charging the battery for more juice while in the field.
However, around the house and while camping, the Olight Perun 2 headlamp comes out ahead because I can clip it on my belt, wear it on my head, or carry it in my head. It will also allow me to throw a whole lot more lumens downfield than I ever could with a regular headlamp.
Those are my thoughts. Chime in if you have a different experience or thoughts on the subject.