TEAM MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR POWERED BY PETZL NAO INTELLIGENCE LIGHTING/
Team Mountain Hardwear has just completed the Adidas Swift Adventure Race. This is a 2 to 3 day nonstop race covering approximately 310km with 8,800m ascent, with the main disciplines being Canoeing, Running, Biking, Navigating, Climbing and Caving.
The race was completed by the team non-stop in 42 hours with extremely challenging weather conditions affecting all teams. The 4-person mixed team raced with the new Petzl NAO’s as a first for Petzl and a first for Adventure racing. Prior to competing at the world championships they needed to test the performance of the head torches in a long-term real life test of the smart technology.
The reactive light technology of the Petzl NAO coped really well with all the elements the team had to deal with. The team faced real problems like fog and rain reflecting light back, and navigators having to adjust their eyes each time they looked at the maps. The reactive lighting made these problems a thing of the past; with the lights dimming each time they sensed reflected light. The team also found that they could look at each other without the usual blinding from the head torches, allowing us to communicate at night as quickly and easily as racing in the day.
Not only does the reactive light allow for racing performance benefits, it also prolongs the battery life by only using the very powerful settings when it needs them. The flexibility to switch from energy saving mode to reactive mode allowed the team to save even more battery. So the non-navigators in the team could conserve their head torches until they required the reactive mode to perform specific tasking like abseiling at night.
The team used the torches mainly on reactive mode for a full night of mountain biking; two then lasted though to the second night of trekking until 4 am in the morning, with two requiring a quick battery change for the latter part of the race. (Approximately 9 Hours).
For emergencies the USB charged battery can be replaced by 2 AAA battery to get you
out of a sticky spot, which is a great lightweight option for back up. The head torch is a good weight considering all the technology and battery life squeezed into it. The strap is comfortable on the head when running and didn’t cause the team any issues when wearing them on a helmet. The team raced with the Meteor III Multisport Helmet and NAO combination, which once set up was a great fit, but it does take a bit of effort to fit initially. Be sure to pull the neat cords in for storage otherwise they could easily get tangled.
The technology of the NAO head touch has revolutionized Team Mountain Hardwear’sperception of Adventure Racing head torches. The ability to react to the conditions or environment in a blink of an eye is truly amazing. It makes reading maps, riding bikes, and running around the hills in the dark a simple task. You can even stare at your teammates without blinding them. What a clever solution for a true users problem, all packaged in a well thought out design.
During the swift adventure race, Team Mountain Hardwear swapped the lead for the first 13 hours , but in the first night section they pulled ahead, extending the lead to 40 minutes.
The team slowed on the final long trek through injury and illness, but still fighting for the win. With only 21km to go Team Adidas managed to catch the team and push the team into a hard fought second place. With both teams qualified for the world championships it will be a great battle as they compete on the world stage.