The Spanninga S-Run is a hipbelt running and hiking light. It produces 350 Lumen but the big secret is the rearlight! Curious why? Watch the videoreview!
- Weight: 202 grams
- Size: 67 – 135 cm
- Price: € 50,00
I like running and I do it a few times a week. There is another reason to do that as well: I need stay in shape for the outdoor stuff I do. Most of the times I run just during the daytime, but in wintertime I end up running when it is dark. I use reflective clothing and a fantastic reflective hat and sometimes a headlamp. The Dutch bike light manufacturer Spanninga asked me if I wanted to do a review on a new running hipbelt lamp: the Spanninga S-Run. That was a novelty for me so why not!
The Spanninga S-Run is a hipbelt lamp. On my precise scale I measure its weight at 202 grams and that is spot on since Spanninga claims 200 grams. The weight is divided in the lamp itself and the batterypack with a red rearlamp. The two can’t be taken of the belt itself so measuring them solo is not possible, but is feels like the two are the same weight. That is good for the balance.
Belt 67 – 135 cm
The circumference of the Spanninga S-Run is adjustable thanks to two sliding ‘buckels’ and the belt is also quite elastic. In the smallest configuration the belts circumference is adjustable from 67 cm non-stretched to 110 cm with the elastic stretched fully. In the widest configuration it goes from 85 non-stretched cm to 135 cm fully stretched. The belt has diagonal stripes and Spanninga logo’s that are reflective. To make both belt ends meet a big buckle is used. Even if you are gloved up the buckle is very usable.
The headlight of the Spanninga S-Run contains 3 bright white leds that provide 350 Lumens in the High Power mode, 175 Lumens in the Medium Power mode and 90 Lumens in the Low Power mode. These are numbers provided by Spanninga. More on Lumens later. To change between the three-power modi there is a nice big rubber nob on top of the headlamp. Also this one is usable with gloves when they are not too thick. Next to the on/off button is a red led that indicates when the battery is low on power. The leds are fitted in a separate unit that can be tilted 15 degrees vertically to compensate the runners position. Or to make the light more a proximity light instead of a long range vision light. Or the other way around… Spanninga claims that the lighting design provides a useful lighting of about 20 in front of the runner and a width of 5 meter at the previously mentioned 20 meters.
The battery and the rearlamp are also in a separate unit that has the possibility to slide on the belt. Spanninga dos not state the amount of power that the rechargeable batteries store. According to the manufacturer the lights have a burning time of 3 hours in High Power mode, 6 hours in Medium Power mode and 10 hours in Low Power mode. Charging is done with the provided USB-cable. The charging point is on the bottom of the rear light battery pack and is it covered with a good piece of rubber. The Spanninga S-Run has an IPX4 waterproof rating making it splashproof. To connect the battery pack with the headlamp a thick, spiraled cable is used.
The rearlamp has 5 red leds which light two red colored pieces of plastic in the rear unit. By switching on the headlamp the rearlamp is turned on simultaneously. The rearlamp does not light continuously but has a sort of pulsing light. It looks a bit like a heartbeat and it looks pretty cool. But it is not done because of its coolness but according to Spanninga it has a better attention this way.
Running with a hip belt like this is a new experience to me. Fitting the belt to my hips is quite easy. First thing is to adjust the belt to my hips. I’d rather talk about waist because that is actually where the belt is around; it is more the hips that it sits on. After adjusting the belt itself it is time to get the lights in position. Both lights slide firmly on the belt and getting them in place is done is a few seconds. It takes some experimenting to get the belt on the right tension: too firm is not comfortable, too loose and the belt rides down the hips. Women are definitely better of in this respect. The big buckle is fine when running on colder days with gloves.
The belt is wide and the elasticity has a nice balance between comfort and firmness. When running I never experienced that the lights themselves were getting loose or started sliding on the belt. Neither did they bounce up and down. While running with only a thin T-shirt and the Spanninga S-Run on top of it, I did feel the hard plastic big buckle and the two plastic pieces that are needed to adjust the circumference. This is not only the belt to blame. My waist is 82 cm and this results in a buckle that is almost on top of my right hipbone. Did this bother me? Not really.
Now let me get back on the Lumen that Spanninga claims for the S-Run. The maximum of 350 Lumen that the Dutch manufacturer claims is a nice number but it doesn’t say anything about the usability in real life. Lumen is just a way of expressing how much light – the light intensity – the leds together produce. And it is very logical to think that more Lumen means more – better – light. Hardly any manufacturer states how useful their lamps are and now I have to introduce another lighting word: Lux.
Lux is – like Lumen – a way of measuring the amount of light that falls on a certain spot. So this is actually the useful amount of light for your eyes and the visibility. In the past I did quite a lot of testing on headlamps for the magazine I used to work for. We tested headlamps by measuring the Lumens and the amount of Lux that reaches a certain spot in the R&D laboratory of Philips car lighting. In this laboratory we not only measured the amount of Lumen and Lux but also the lighting pattern. After we did this several times, we made our own lab in the basement of the office. You might understand that since I left the magazine I don’t have this possibility anymore so now I do almost the same, but outdoors.
I measured the amount of Lux that reaches a black square at 5 meters, 10 meters and 20 meters. The first number is the point I figured out as the distance that I need to see when running. The 20 meters is the lighting range claimed by Spanninga. With a simple Lux-meter I measured:
- High Power: 189.7 Lux at 5 meter, 46.9 Lux at 10 meter and 12.3 Lux at 20 meter.
- Medium Power: 101.6 Lux at 5 meter, 24.5 Lux at 10 meter and 4.9 Lux at 20 meter.
- Low Power: 49.8 Lux at 5 meter, 12.4 Lux at 10 meter and 2.4 Lux at 20 meter.
Now, what does this mean in real life?
Field testing headlamp
Switching the S-Run on is easy: just push the button for about two seconds. The longer push prevents switching it on by accident. Switching between the three modes is just a short push and is easy when running. In High Power mode the lighting is fine in all three modes. In Medium Power mode I find 10 meters is the maximum useful lighting when running. The Low Power mode is only functional at 5 meters. But… if you run with full moon that moon provides about 0.25 Lux and than the road in front of you is still very visible. So it’s also adaptation from the eyes to less light that counts. With a full moon the light is everywhere; with a head, chest or waist lamp this is not the case since you still have a ‘concentrated’ beam.
The beam pattern is not totally to my liking when running. The beam is almost round and when I am running the light bounces from left to right and vice versa. With this round beam de difference between the bright spot in the middle and the dark black next to it, is too big. I rather see a light with a wider more rectangular shape. Next to this I also found that the tilting mechanism doesn’t always tilt high enough. I am a small guy… And the hips as place for a running light? The hips – or the spine just above them – are the pivoting point when running. I tried the Spanninga S-Run also at chest height and than the beam is way more stable. But… while running the belt slides down; it’s not a designed chest lamp.
Field testing rearlamp
For so far I have only been talking about the headlight. With the rearlight the amount of Lumens seems to be not too interesting; the manufacturer doesn’t state this. And I do agree. The rearlight is only there so that you are noticed when running. I tested this with the light on stick and walking away from the lamp with a GPS. The result: I saw it at a distance of 300 meters and that is way enough!
Battery life in practice
The numbers provided by Spanninga seams to be pretty accurate. I only tested the High Power mode and it lasted 2 hours and 41 minutes before it shifted into the more energy friendly Medium Power mode. It continued burning for another 1 hour. Recharging the battery takes about 3 hours and 50 minutes.
The name might be the S-Run but on the packaging Spanninga also suggest that the lamp is useable for Nordic Skating, using as a light in a tent and when hiking. On Nordic Skating I think the usability is almost the same as running. Using the lamp in a tent? Yes, for sure but then it would be better if you could switch the red and white lights individual. Using the Spanninga S-Run while hiking? I’ve tried it and it works fine, even better than whilst running. But the rearlight is quite useless when hiking with a backpack and also the belt sits on the seam spot as a hipbelt. The two together is not that comfortable. The S-Run would be better with detachable lights so I could fit the headlamp to the belt or chest strap of the backpack.
The Spanninga S-Run is a well-built hip belt lamp. The adjustability of the belt has a wide range. The stretch of the belt is a good mix between firm and stretch and comfort. The plastic parts are a bit too bulky to my liking. The on/of switch is fine and useable with not to thick gloves. The lighting modes are well chosen en fit most needs. I would rather see a wider rectangular beam than a round beam as on the S-Run since while running the light beam moves from left to right a lot. I am not sure if the hips are the best point for a running light; the chest is the more stable place. The rearlight is super. The battery time is as Spanninga promises. The Spanninga S-Run is also usable for other activities like hiking but with a backpack the two belts interfere. It is a pity the light units cannot be taken of the belt. The Spanninga S-Run retails for € 50,00 and this is a fine price in relation to build quality but a bit high is you just want to experiment if this lamp would work for you. Combining price, build quality and practicality I rate the Spanninga S-Run at 7,2 out of 10 points total.