The Ra strap light, which we covered a while back during its crowdfunding campaign, and recently had the opportunity to do a hands-on review. The long story short is this is an incredible piece of gear that really does innovate in a sub-category of outdoor gear lighting. The Kogalla Ra strap light is like a headlamp that is meant to be worn in a lot of places, none of them being your head. Every tool has its place, so this doesn’t replace headlamps in every situation but is a much better option for a lot of scenarios. We tested the Ra Single Pack ($125) and the Accessory Pack ($25), which really let us see all the ways Ra can be useful outdoors.
The Single Pack includes the strap light that is a five high power LEDs with a combined output of 800 lumens. The LEDs are spread across a roughly 7.25 in. plastic strap that feels very sturdy but also flexes so doesn’t feel like it has any risk of breaking. The strap light has an on/off button and an attached braided 3 ft. USB cord. That cord is necessary because the light does not have a power source of its own. This is an interesting direction to go in a world where everything seems to be cordless, and honestly, I was wary of it. After spending some time hiking, biking, and generally gallivanting at night, I can say the battery pack is not an issue at all. There are three different sizes of battery packs, and we tested the smallest (BatPak1) that has a 6,700 mAh battery for a ton of light time. The battery life depends on how bright you have the light and the mode it is in. You can get it pretty dim or blast all 800 lumens, which I can say lights up everything in a wide area, certainly plenty for anything you’re doing except maybe going long for a Hail Mary on a football field.
It’s crazy bright. The Ra Strap Light has magnets on the back, so it can stick easily to ferrous metal objects (like the car) or the MagBack polycarbonate backer that lets you easily attach the light to your clothes. You can easily attach the Ra to your pack straps for tons of light in any direction you’re facing. I used it on my shoulder, chest and waist straps while hiking at night and have never had such a wide field of view lit up. Because it attached to the straps, there was automatically somewhere to put the battery pack, which I ran along my hydration pack hose or straight back from my waist.
The Accessory Pack came with the MagBack that I used to affix the Ra to my clothes, a hook and loop strip, red and blue lens covers, and a D-ring strap that wraps around the full length of the light with D-rings on each end. I used the MagBack to attach the light to my clothes starting with my shirt, which didn’t work well because of the weight of the light, then moved on to putting it just under my belt line. This worked surprisingly well and wasn’t uncomfortable at all. This was my preferred way of wearing the light when I wasn’t wearing a pack because I could easily drop the battery pack in a pocket and forget about it. The wide angle of the light is helpful with this method. There’s so much light available, I decided to try the red and green lens covers to save my night vision. They pop easily on the LEDs and manage to hardly dim the light output. I even used the red lens covers with D-ring strap on the back of my pack for extra visibility riding home through town from the trail.
The verdict is in on the Ra Strap Light and it’s freakin’ awesome. I absolutely love the light and will use it regularly for a number of outdoor activities from mountain biking, trail running, hiking, camping, and even working on the car. With the Accessory Pack, it’s crazy versatile and can be mounted absolutely anywhere. At $125 for the light and battery pack or $150 with the Accessory Pack as well, this is a piece of gear you should definitely have in your kit.