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Nite Ize Radiant 170 Clip Light Review

Nite Ize radiant 170 Clip Light Review

The Nite Ize Radiant 170 Clip Light turns any billed cap into a headlamp. Hat clip lights used to be all the rage with hikers, but until now they’ve been eclipsed by bigger, brighter, and rechargeable headlamps. But if you live and hike in your ball cap, you’ll quickly discover that headlamps and ball caps don’t play well together because the bill blocks the light.  That’s why the Radiant 170 Clip Light is a winner. With 170 lumens of light, it’s more than capable of lighting up the night. Plus, being USB rechargeable, it’s easy to top off the power on backpacking or hunting trips along with your other USB rechargeable items. But the Radiant 170 isn’t just a hat clip light but a multi-use LED light that can used in a wide variety of ways.

Specs at a Glance

  • Max lumens: 170
  • Light modes/lumens: white high flood (170), white low flood (20), red high flood (5), red flash (5)
  • Electronic Lock: Yes
  • Battery Meter: Yes
  • Attachment: Plastic clip
  • Rechargeable: Yes
  • Recharging Time: 2:40
  • Adjustable Tilt: 180 degrees
  • Cable: Micro USB (not included)
  • Water Resistant (tested to IPX4)
  • Weight: 1.62 oz (46g)

The Nite Ize Radiant 170 Clip Light checks off all of my boxes when evaluating hiking and backpacking lights. It has an electronic lock so it won’t turn off accidentally and drain in your pack and there’s a battery meter so you know when you need to recharge it. I’m big on USB rechargeable headlamps because they’re so much easier to keep charged up, especially if you carry a power pack on trips to keep your smartphone, camera, satellite communicator, etc charged as well. There’s no need to carry or keep track of proprietary chargers or different size batteries for each device.

There’s also a red light to preserve your night vision and not blind your friends
There’s also a red light to preserve your night vision and not blind your friends

Weightwise, the Radiant 170 comes in at 1.62 oz (46g) so it’s lightweight enough to attach to a billed cap and doesn’t feel heavy or uncomfortable. It has a tight-fitting plastic clip that slides over your hat bill and keeps it securely in place. It can rotate 90 degrees under the bill (or 180 degrees otherwise) and the controls are easy to adjust on the fly for task lighting.

There are three lighting modes plus a flashing red mode, with burn times as follows:

  • White high flood (170 lumens) – 2 hours
  • White low flood (20 lumens) – 11 hours
  • Red high flood (5 lumens) – 18 hours

The flood mode is good for walking at night and general camp chores like cooking or hanging out in a tent.

The control logic is also easy to remember or figure out if you only use the light periodically. The light automatically goes into lock mode when you turn it off. Pressing the on-button for 2 seconds puts it into white mode and then single presses alternate between high and low flood. Pressing the on-button for 5 seconds puts it into red mode and single presses alternate between flood and flashing. I really hate complicated light controls because I forget them, but this system passes the test.

The Clip is removable and reversible so you can orient it any way you want.
The Clip is removable and reversible so you can orient it any way you want.

While the Nite Ize Clip Light is perfect for wearing with a billed cap, you’re not limited to that use. You can clip the light to a shoulder or sternum strap, to a tree, or to your tent vestibule, or to the back of a bicycle. The Clip is removable and reversible so you can orient it any way you want. The applications are unlimited and quite a bit more flexible than most headlamps which are tightly coupled to their headbands.

Nite Ize also makes a version of this same light called the Nite Ize Radiant 170 Rechargeable Task Light Flashlight which is the identical light but doesn’t come with a clip. Instead, it comes with a magnet and a Nite Ize Gear Tie so you can anchor the light to magnetic surfaces or attach it to items that the clip can’t accommodate. I think it is probably better for home/repair tasks than the Radiant 170 Clip Light version. Magnets always scare me on outdoor gear because they can throw off a compass, so I avoid gear the incorporates them, or modify it to remove them. Still, I can see how it would be useful in my basement for tinkering with my furnace or changing a car tire in the dark.


The Nite Ize Radiant 170 Clip Light is a rechargeable LED light with a clip that can be attached to hat bills or other thin surfaces like backpack straps and tent bodies. If you’re a diehard hat wearer and want a headlamp that can be attached to your billed hats, this light is for you. It packs plenty of power and has an easy-to-remember control sequence which makes it simple for anyone to use. It doesn’t include a Micro USB charging cable, so make sure you have one from another device handy. Otherwise, this light is a great find!

Disclosure: The author purchased this product.

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One comment

  1. I love Nitecore flashlights and headlamps. Personally I’d go with the TINI or TIP series from them. Slightly heavier, about the size and weight of a car key fob, but the lumen output is much higher. You miss out on the red light, but I like having these types of lights as a backup to my headlamp or for walking my dog at night.

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