Review: CatEye Volt 300

Lights Lights Shootout

Two years ago, CatEye wowed us with the 250 Lumen Nano Shot which featured a very small package for $100. Actual output was 200 in the integrating sphere.  This year, the new light is the Volt 300 for only $60. The good news is the actual output is 349 Lumens in the sphere, so not only is it significantly cheaper, but it’s much brighter as well.

So that’s the real story here as it is an incredibly affordable light and it is bright enough for commuting or even trail riding. It can even be used on the helmet to complement the CatEye Volt 1200 mounted on the bar.

Form factor is not as nifty as the old Nano Shots but this still a handy flashlight style light that can have great utility around the house. It features a removable battery which can be replaced with a fresh rechargeable one for ‘unlimited’ run time.

Run time is an incredible three hours on the highest setting. It’s sophisticated enough to sense a high powered USB source too so it can charge in three hours instead of six.

Specifications

  • Price: $60
  • Claimed Lumens: 300 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 349 Lumens
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 35 Lux
  • Lumens per $: 5.82 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 2.91 Lumens
  • Time on High: 3:00 Hours
  • Charge Time: 3:00/6:00 Hours (Can sense high powered USB charger)
  • Mounted Weight: 120 grams
  • Category: Flashlight/Commuter
Strengths
  • $60 is a screaming deal for this light
  • 349 measured Lumens is quite a bit above the claimed 300 Lumens
  • Good value for the money
  • Excellent CatEye quality
  • It can be used with as a helmet light to complement the Volt 1200
  • Light head has a lip to prevent rider glare and it has cutouts on the side to provide some side visibility
Weaknesses
  • It’s just barely enough for trail riding so it’s more of a commuter light
  • Square shaped beam pattern would be much better served as rectangular to offer better peripheral view
Mounting

The mount is the old school CatEye bike computer mount. It worked fine for bike computers and it was fine for the small Nano Shot light. Remarkably, it still does the job for the 120 gram Volt 300.  Such is the foundation of the CatEye brand.  They have simple, well-designed components that can do the job and more.

Mtbr Light Meter Measurements

This light measured 35 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility. The light output measurement is performed by placing a Lux light meter beside the light. Both are pointed at the ceiling (five feet above) of a dark room. This measurement uses the ambient light produced by the bike light.

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 349 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 300 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.

Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Tunnel Beam Pattern Photo

The location is useful since it has walls and a ceiling that can display a bike light beam pattern. The walls have a lot of graffiti on them and actually show detail when they are lit up by a light with a wide angle. Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 feet.

Compare all Tunnel Beam Patterns here »

For more information visit www.cateye.com.

Review: CatEye Volt 300 Gallery
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CatEye Volt 300 Lumen-Hour Graph

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Cateye Volt 300 - 2014 Mtbr Tunnel Test

Return to 2014 Bike Lights Shootout Main Page »

Related Links
2014 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2014 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

Do you own the CatEye Volt 300? Help us become a better resource and write a review!

 

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Brian says:

    I have been using this light for a few weeks and I like it. The color temperature of the light is just about perfect (not too blue or yellow), and it’s just bright enough and wide enough of a beam pattern to comfortably use for commuting. However, as the reviewer here states, it’s still not quite wide enough or maybe even bright enough to use for trail use. Although, mine seems to have a wider beam pattern than the one shown in the test image here.

    It also seems to last longer than the claimed 3 hours. I’m pretty sure I used it on high for nearly 4 hours and it never quite died. It does take a while to charge though, even though I’m using a high power port but no biggie – I can just leave it plugged in overnight.

    Another cool feature is the different modes. There are 3 brightness settings and one flash. But the nice thing about the flash is that the light still stays on low or medium setting but flashes a brighter setting – so it’s not just an annoying on and off strobe. Also to turn it on and off, you hold the button down for a second or so, so you don’t have to cycle thru the settings – it remembers your last setting.

    And yes, the styling is sleek and the quality good. I rode it through the rain once already and had no problems and the mount is easy to attach and stable so far (I’m on a mountain bike) although my light is somewhat hard to snap on and off. I’m going to get the Cateye Rapid X when it comes out too.

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