Getting married has changed the face of gear reviewing for me, mostly because I now have to stand between my husband and my supply chain. Anything that comes through the door that isn’t specifically sized for me runs the risk of being intercepted and assimilated into his gear stash. I’m also always on him about liking “little stuff;” a category comprised of anything from a tiny empty cardboard box to a techy gadget. A headlamp is a prime example of especially highly prized “little stuff” so bringing the box into the house before opening it was an enormous tactical error.
The arrival of the Vis 360 coincided with a time frame of forced reduced activity for me so when my husband latched onto it before I’d even gotten it unpacked, it was hard to make a case to not let him use it. It’s been firmly on the “his” side of the garage ever since. I’ve wound up sulking along beside him, poking at various features on the headlamp and asking “what’s this? Why’s this like that?” and countless other intentionally annoying inquiries meant to maximize the guilt he must be feeling for using a Geargals test piece for his own benefit.
It turns out, though, that being on the outside of the gear testing experience was the perfect technique for this headlamp, which is meant not only for the wearer to see, but to be seen. The battery pack doubles as a high viz red light to the rear, which as a person who has walked in close proximity behind I can assure you is quite bright enough for safety on the roadside. The Vis 360 is called the 360 because it has 360 visibility for safety – white light to the front, the red to the rear, and two amber lights on each side. When wearing it you don’t even notice, which is excellent for annoying your hiking partner who just wants to look at the northern lights at night without being blinded. Seriously, though, I liked the 360 aspect for applications like SAR, during which 360 visibility is really helpful for all the team members.
I think the very best feature of the Vis 360 is its lightweight construction. I have problems wearing heavy helmets, and adding heavy lights to them makes for a miserable experience. The evenly distributed weight of the Vis is easy on the neck muscles. I think this is one headlamp that is getting relocated to the “Hers” shelf!