NiteCore NU20

rated 4.5 of 5 stars (1)
photo: NiteCore NU20 headlamp


Price Current Retail: $29.95
Reviewers Paid: $35.00


From a brief experience it appears to be as advertised—super light, rugged, and of good quality. It functions effectively.

12/31/19 FOLLOW-UP: Only change from my original impression is I'm MORE EXCITED about it.


  • Light
  • Comfortable
  • Simple
  • Reliable
  • Long Battery Life
  • Cold Weather Option


  • Had to buy the wide headband to get the ultralight headband.



This is a brief initial impression of the Nitecore NU 20, as the light arrived just as I was heading out for a night hike.

I found the bracket “tab” that covers the switch to be pretty ingenious. The joint between the light and bracket is firm and will maintain the angle set. It's not going to change accidentally. The tab covers the switch in the straight ahead position, preventing the light from being switched on when it's in my pocket or pack.

The NU 20 arrived almost fully charged. It took about 15 minutes for it to reach full charge when plugged into my car on the way to my hike—Nice.

The UL shock cord “headband” was easy to adjust and comfortable for the two hours spent on the trail. 

The beam spread was useful with a center hot spot. Using mostly the “High” setting there was no discernible dimming over the two hours of use at 50 degrees F. The NU 20 claims a six-hour run time on “High”.

Purchased from Litesmith who carries interesting gear for the ultralight and lightweight backpacker.  I paid $35.00 and got the UL shockcord headband you see pictured as well as the regular headband.

Only one negative so far: I see no simple and convenient way to switch to the regular headband without messing up the UL headband. 

I am going on a six-day backpack soon and will provide a fuller review following that.

Weight of the light, bracket, and UL headband on my kitchen scale: 31g (1.09 oz.)

Weight of the wide headband: 23g (0.81 oz.)

FOLLOW-UP 12/31/19:

Went on a three-day, two-night trip. The light performed flawlessly. The lowest setting was perfectly adequate to find stuff in my tent at night. With one lumen at the lowest setting it was not enough to mess up my night vision. The UL headband was comfortable and easy to adjust.

I have been looking for a lightweight headlamp with a remote battery pack that I could store in my jacket to keep the batteries warm for cold weather hiking. The NU20 has a nonremoveable battery, however, it is rechargeable, has a charging port, and can be charged while it is lit.

So I kept a battery pack in my jacket with a charging cable to the headlamp. The recharge port is on the bottom and the supplied charge cable is a straight shaped connector so if you are wearing the light and that charge cable is plugged in the cable is in front of the left eye and annoying. 

Found a cable with a 90 deg. connector on Amazon. It is bi-directional and will mount to the  right or left. (See pic.)

Was on a two-hour, 17-deg F.night hike and there was no discernible dropoff in output using the remote battery pack.

(I know lithium batteries are supposed to be less affected by cold. That may be, but I have found they are useless after an hour or so at 17 deg.)


I have four headlamps currently, a couple Petzls, a Coast, and the NiteCore. My Black Diamond ReVolt recently bit the dust. I lead night hikes on a regular basis, including through the winter. The lowest night hike temp was 20 deg. F. Never paid more than 50-60 bucks for a light.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35


Enjoy your upcoming trip, Slow Louis.

5 months ago
Slow Louis

Thanks Alicia! How do I add pictures to the review itself?

5 months ago

Hi Louis. To add pictures, in the full/non-mobile version of the site, go into Edit mode of your review, click the photo icon (looks like a small tree) to insert/edit image at the top of the body of your review. I hope that helps!

5 months ago

Thanks for sharing those pics, Slow Louis.

4 months ago

Thanks for the update, Louis!

3 months ago

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